Category Archives: whinge

Chasing and being ok

I should be sleeping, but I’m awake. I’m thinking about how much I’m shoving on my friend while she’s here. So here’s the sitch. I met this woman on Twitter during my road trip. Towards the end the kids and I realized we were going to have a miserable time camping at the snowy Grand Canyon and decided to detour. I asked the universe (and Twitter) where we should go. This woman popped up and said, “Pick me! Pick Phoenix!” So I did.

We spent a few days together and it was lovely. I think she is great. I think her kids are rad and super smart and really engaged in life. I honestly don’t meet that many public school kids who are that good at asserting themselves. I was seriously impressed with these kids. They are just… there’s a lot of there there.

So I asked my friend to come visit. Thing is, the entire time I’ve known this family they’ve been on my monthly donation list because of disability issues. The mama hasn’t worked in a while and that is indefinite. So this trip is horrifyingly prohibitively expensive.

So I said, “Can I bring you to California. You and your family. You need a break from life.”

We are going all over the bay area and down to Santa Barbara with a stop in Monterey on the way home. We will spend close to a week driving into San Francisco to see the museums.

These kids showed up at my house and with glowing faces they said, “Can we homeschool every day?!” They are so excited they can barely speak. Only they talk just as much as my kids do so this is a hilarious time. Oh so much volume. But fascinating! The opinions! The independent thought going on!

One of the first questions was: “Does your little boy still wear dresses?” Answer: “That question is more complicated than you think. My kid wears dresses sometimes. But I only sometimes have a little boy. Let’s talk about the gender binary and people who do not fall on it at either end.”

It was lovely.

I sat down after dinner and started listing off the cool things to do within an hour of driving… we filled the trip days fast. We have a full itinerary.

I am 100% convinced my friend never would have asked for something like this in her life. I’m spending around $1200-$1500 for them to have this vacation. Folks I don’t know that well that I met through the internet.


I am ruled by my impulses. Because it breaks my heart that my children get to have the life they have and children this god damn smart and talented don’t get to have as much opportunity. Yes, I’d love to bring you out here for three weeks for as much information as we can pack into your little skulls. It would be an honor.

I do these things to pay back the child I was. The child who felt so bad that everyone else got to go do fun things and take classes and go to museums. I got to move again.

Part of what is helping is that I’m not having to chase this family. I offered and she accepted… but I didn’t have to chase her and keep offering.

Being able to accept a gift this big is hard. Pride is a big deal. Accepting this much love and help from someone is hard to feel ok with. People can only take so much then they need to give. Not necessarily back to the person they received from… paying things forward is more important

I am running into asking rev limiters within myself. I can ask different people and it isn’t scary. I can’t ask a small group of people for things repeatedly. That’s too much hard; I feel too much like I’m hurting people.

Unless I get asked back. I need to be asked for things in exchange. Do you know one of the reasons it is easy for me to help this family have this trip? They are kind of assertive about how things need to work for them. “I need _____. I can’t do _____.” Even if receiving a gift they are directing it to be more useful for them. That melts my butter. I feel like they seriously are trying to get what they need from this gift.

I have probably asked many hundreds if not over a thousand people to spend time with me in my life. I don’t ask everyone for sexual attention. Unless I feel an energetic push back… I feel like I am hurting people by sticking around.

If I initiate all of our, “Hey let’s hang out” it will get more and more sporadic over time. My give runs out. My ask runs out. I wish I still had it in me to ask you over lots… I don’t. I don’t think you care. I think you’d rather do something else.

I think you’d rather not put your pants on and walk three blocks to see me after I drive multiple thousands of miles. That’s what I’m worth.

That’s from someone who has been publicly calling me “family” for over a decade. Yeah. That’s what I’m worth to my family.

But not Noah. And not my kids. They would do a whole hell of a lot to see me.

Noah crisscrossed the country chasing me. It was glorious.

Even though they live with me every day. If I start getting distracted by life or people they do tricks until I stare at them again. Please look at us. We need your attention. Yes my loves. I will give you my attention too.

Yes, I like pushy. Yes, I want people who say hey I’m here and I want your attention. Yes, that is risking rejection. Welcome to my god damn life.

It occurs to me that I could create a calendar for the house hold and share that with folks who are interested. Dates when people are free to invite themselves over could be clearly marked.

I can’t keep inviting the way I have for years. I’m tired and it hurts.

Noah says I’m just ditching my friends for lovers. I don’t think that is true. I can list off lots of friends talking and visits in the past few months. It is true that I’m putting less effort into my friends.

But I think I was there anyway. I think there was just a brief surge for dating. I think that is going to… change as time moves on anyway. I’ll run out of ask there too. I don’t get the impression that most of the folks I date are going to feel ok being pushy with asking for dates. My submissive. My glorious submissive. Thank you for being so brave so far. I know I’m busy and asking me means risking me being overwhelmed and kind of a twerp on a given day. I’m grateful you ask. Thank you. I’m sorry I’m not always good company but I’m so glad I get to know you. Sometimes when I say I’m not good company it isn’t about me not liking you it is about me wanting to keep my nasty moods away from you. I know you are comfortable with getting the less than sweet parts of me, but I don’t want to take my feelings out on anyone like that. I don’t want to start using you for that kind of thing.

I love you too much.

I’ll hit you; I’ll carve my name into your flesh with a scalpel; I’ll kick you as hard as I can in the testicles. I do not want to hurt you. I want you to feel loved. I can’t be nasty to you when I’m having a bad day. That’s not cool.

I need to be nasty to you on good days when it is a positive, loving choice for both of us.

I’m going to run out of chase on dating for the same reason I always do. Most people… aren’t as into me as I want them to be. They like me ok, but they don’t really seek me out. I seek them out as much as I can… then I can’t anymore.

Usually that’s about three months.

The people who have gone longer than that… my first fiancé, my Owner, Puppy, Spot, Noah… they always act like they are drawn to me. I don’t think my first fiancé would have fallen out of love with me. I think he wanted to marry me and he was going to be ok being that person forever. I think I could have had that. But he needed me to not change very much. He needed me to calm down and not be so crazy. He needed me to be very conservative sexually. I couldn’t do that for him. I think I could still be with my Owner if I hadn’t wanted kids so much. Puppy was the only one who dumped me. He has some serious issues and that was for the best. He would have been very abusive. Spot… that one did run its course. There was no more there for that relationship. But we are still friends.

Noah came back when I shoved him away as hard as I could. He was still my friend even though it hurt because not knowing me was more painful than dealing with me rejecting him as a boyfriend. Then after a while of being my friend he noticed that I was single for five minutes and he took a chance on offering me the best deal of my whole damn life. Would I like to marry my best friend and have the babies I’ve been dreaming of? Yes. Yes I would.

I like sudden intense protestations of devotion that I end up being able to count on. That works for me.

And Noah has chased me ever since. I do not always honor his efforts as I should. But I take breaks to admire just how forking nice to me he is. He chases me. He feels like he would die without me.

It makes it kind of hard to keep chasing people who are not that enthusiastic about seeing me, who do not push for time or attention, who do not make it clear that they want to know me.

I’m spoiled as fuck.

My submissive chases me à la Pepé Le Pew. Slow and patient and just there for my entire adult life.

You know who else chases me? Sarah. That’s why she is My Sarah. Because she has chased me and pushed and offered and grabbed chances to see me for over twelve years.

Lots and lots and lots of people can ask me once or twice a year for a visit. That’s so wonderful and sweet and generous. They give me what they have to spare. They ask for how much of me they want. I’m grateful for every person who gives me a three hour visit a year because they want to know me and that’s all they have spare. That is a gift.

It is so glorious having people in my life who want more and more and more of me. The number of people who feel that way is growing and I can’t help but think that is so wonderful. One of the women I look up to most described knowing me as being like watching the birth of a planet. I’m developing my own gravity.

So this ADD book I’m reading keeps saying, “There is something special about a lot of people with ADD. You can’t put your finger on what it is. It’s just there.” I find that hilarious.

When you look at comorbidity things: ADD is highly correlated with trauma which is highly correlated with being targeted which is highly correlated to being something that attracts notice.

Being special/different/weird is threatening as fuck. Lemme tell you.

Hey, is that a self love moment there? Did I just admit that I know I’m special?


I am. I always have been. I do radiate energy like the sun. Either I freak people out or I draw them in. I pay attention to people. I want to know them and love them. Just looking at people as hard as I do is special. Not many people are even capable of really looking at everyone around them and paying attention the way I do. It is some trick of attention and hypervigilance and empathy.

And where in the hell did I find the well of love I seem to have for people? Despite everything. Recently someone said I didn’t break; I broke open.

I need to be needed or there isn’t a lot of point in me. I think that the majority of creatures who are ever born live and die not having a point. I think that the creature has to make their own point, their own purpose, their own meaning.

Am I doing it?

So far people in ten states and a few different countries have told me that knowing me has changed them for the better. It’s a start.

I can say with great certainty that the three people who live here, my submissive, and My Sarah will chase me just about to the ends of the earth. Jenny has flown out to rescue me when I was in danger even though she isn’t by nature a chaser.

I still call her Jenny because I’m the only damn one who can. To you, she is Jennifer. You do not have leave to address her familiar. I think the only reason I can’t mature into the grown up name is because it was a very young person who first opened her heart to me. It was a very young person with intense wounds of her own who learned how to put up with me. When I cry and think of how very much I miss my friend I am dimly aware that we are grown ups now… but I miss her from that place of being very young. Because that is where she first touched me. I met her when I was twelve. I feel like twelve was for me the absolute last gasping breaths of my childhood. That was right as I started seriously dating.

Jenny managed to catch the last bits of me that could love as a child. And I love her with all the intensity of a child for their best friend still. Thank you.

Despite how not chaste I am… I am still chased. I am deemed worthy of love. And by people I respect and love in return. People who absolutely thrill me to my toes that these people think I am worth enough of their energy to chase me. People who are impacted by my gravity pull and just have to be near me.

Oh I love you I love you I love you.

That’s at least six people who will… chase me pretty fucking far. Blacksheep has jumped enormous hurdles to be my friend. DSH has gone waaaaaaay far past her comfort zone for me even though she isn’t one to chase people like me.

I could keep going.

I am blessed and blessed and blessed. My Bonus Family. It would take a few pages to go through all they have done for me. Even though I’m god damn difficult and sometimes they need some boundaries. That’s healthy.

Most of the people who love me with great intensity have rev limiters of their own. They have lives. Part of the reason I love them so much is because they are intense people with a lot going on. They give me what they can. Even if they can’t chase me the way I like to be chased…

Really, how spoiled can someone be? I get chased. I have three people chasing me 24/7. Quit being so greedy.

And yet I’d still kinda like to set up a calendar that says when folks can invite themselves over and see what happens.

I don’t want to decide who it is and how many people. I just… want to see what happens. I assume not much. I assume a few people sometimes but not much.  The key to happiness is low expectations.

I’m really looking forward to the next few weeks. I’m nervous because this is a lot of time to be “on” with folks I don’t know that well. But I know this mama through mental/physical disability support. At least we are both very understanding of our mutual shortcomings. Ha.

I am so grateful that they accepted my invitation. This is going to be a lot of fun for me. I can’t wait to homeschool her kids. I feel like a walking encyclopedia and that is one of my favorite feelings. See how useful I can be. I am a good tool!

One of the things that makes me special is how fast I can access disparate topics in my brain and explain them in simple or complicated ways for just about anyone. I can make connections between things that seem unrelated… until I explain… faster than the vast majority of people I’ve ever met. And I’ve met a lot of people. I am not an expert in almost anything. Instead of going deep I go wide. That allows for a different kind of thinking, a different kind of intensity.

Ok, reading this book on ADD is making me question something about my long term mental health diagnosis: depression. I don’t do the torpor kind of depression. I do the head-down-keep-working-as-you-hate-yourself-and-want-to-die kind. Apparently that is a pretty standard ADD thing. Oh. Huh. That’s supposed to be one of those things they kinda look for. I hate them and their not looking.

If you loathe yourself: you are depressed. Sorta. Maybe.

I made Noah listen to this song. I can’t find it easily on the internet so you get lyrics.  The thing is… I need to be loved. And I need it from lots of people because I’m trying to push past a whole lot of not being loved.

There is some interesting research out there on preverbal trauma and early formative trauma. I feel like I still need to be filled with as much love as an infant. I was not wanted. Not from conception. I only exist because a bad thing happened. What do I have to do to make up for that? What do I have to do for the world to make up for the harm I caused by coming into being. For declaring, “I don’t care that this hurts you. I need to be here.”

It’s not like I think I really deserve to be punished for choosing to be born. It was an accident. A surprise.

To be fair, my mom told me over and over I was a surprise. She didn’t know she wanted me till she had me. Sissy is the one who told me over and over that I was an accident. My mom just admitted it was rape. My mom tries to make sense of her life given the stories she has been given. God wanted her to have that child. Me.

I have been crying for my mother for over 31, almost 32 years. My mom was 32 when I was born. I might be 35 or 36 if I have another child.

Am I a grown up yet?

When my mama was 35 years old she had four children. She locked her abusive husband out of the house and sued for divorce. On the grounds that he had been raping their children. He was still given partial custody. He refused to pay alimony or child support so my mom lost the house and we ended up living in the car. Well, he would pay it. In exchange for sex.

Sometimes I think I judge my mother far too harshly for surviving a world of horror.

Sex. Sex. Sex. Is it good? Is it bad? Is it neither? Is it both? Does it depend?

I think that if I don’t have that much pull… I should probably just be ok with that. It is probably healthier that way. Maybe. Who knows.

Yes. Yes, I want pushy.

I think people misunderstand suicide prevention. There is a lot of shaming. “Don’t do it because it is selfish. You hurt people.” I hurt people by living too. I promise. It’s always complicated. It is always about the balance of hurting people vs being hurt.

I think it should be framed as enlightened self interested selfishness. Someday I will get to the point where I am out of good days. I’m not there yet. I’m trying to construct a future so fantastic that I absolutely want to stay alive to see it.

I know we are giving up the WWOOF year I’ve always wanted because of a baby I want more. You know what? I bet I will still go to Africa with Sarah someday. I bet I will still go to Taiwan to see Pam someday. I bet I will still go to South America someday. I don’t know who will go with me or who I will see… but it’s probably going to happen.

I’m like that.

I go do things.

No more travel for a long time though. I need to save money. We don’t really travel cheap.

The kids and Noah have promised to veto all requests for travel in 2017 even if I say, “but we could…”


I love my reminders.

My Eldest Child likes to say, “You should listen to yourself more, mom. You are a smart lady.” But I don’t listen to myself. I need to hear it from you. I need to hear it in your voice. I need to have you replace my inside voice. Do you know why? Because when I talk to me I’m so god damn mean. When you remind me of something I just said a few minutes ago… you usually sound so nice.

I know I sounded nice when I said it to you. That’s because it is easy to be nice to you. No, I can’t remind myself in that same nice way. I need you on a tape in my head. Because my tapes are all so bad. Thank you for reminding me.

I never mean that sarcastically.

Well… maybe once in a while but I’ll make it obvious with a funny voice.

Shiny change of topic. I feel like it is wise to restate a thing about voice in my blog. I talk to “you” a lot. That’s a moving target. I often consciously create sentences so I’m addressing multiple situations and multiple people at once and I phrase it as a singular. So if you feel paranoid that I’m talking to you… maybe…. inclusively…

Or maybe you’re the one. Noah gets a lot of direct address. Ok, other people do too and I hide behind the group thing. Let’s be honest. But I do the group address thing too!

I’m just tricksy.

I sat here for a while and just went through some visuals of stuff I’d like to have happen in my life. Oh let it be so.


I’m an idiot. This isn’t serious. I’ll get over it. But I’ve been thinking about it for a day now and having feelings and whining to myself and maybe if I type it I will stop fucking whining. (Ha. Ha. Ha.)

I feel whiny as fuck that I regularly try to get Noah to watch movies with me and he won’t but he’s going to go do that with friends while I’m gone.

I’m a baby.

I know this isn’t a big deal. I’m not like… actually jealous but I feel whiny.

I’ll get over it. It’s not a problem. It’s not a bad thing. I don’t want him sitting at home by himself and if this is what he can get together with people to do I get being stuck with a less-than-your-preference activity.

But I still feel whiny that I want to share my cultural references with him so we can talk about them and he really doesn’t care.

So I’m going to be a whiny bitch over here for a while. Hopefully this will be the one and only mention of it.

(I DON’T WANT HIM TO CANCEL. THAT’S NOT MY POINT. I just document all my whiny shit so that in the future I can see that I felt that way.)

(I’m not mad at Pam or A. either. It’s not their fault Noah won’t movies with me.)



Doesn’t help that I feel physically bad.

Weirdly accomplished

You know what? I’m feeling proud of myself right now. I had a bad weekend emotionally. All I did was sit quietly and read and cry. That’s pretty fucking awesome. I had a lot of desire/impulse to hurt myself and I just let it be. I was not capable of letting these feelings just be ten years ago. I had to hurt myself.

Even three years ago.

I take this “modeling” thing seriously. I’m home schooling for reasons. Some of those reasons are so that I am forced to proactively deal with my mental health because I have genetically susceptible children and they need to be taught coping methods as easily as they are taught to tie their shoes. It’s just necessary for our genetic material. If you proactively handle your problems… they don’t turn into problems.

The funny thing is: I’m covered in bruises and I have no idea how I got any of them. So maybe I’ll dissociate a little and get in a tiny bit of self-harm. It doesn’t count though. I can’t remember it.

I played with the kids a little but not a lot. I participated in meals (that Noah made because he is so ridiculously nice). I didn’t spend the whole weekend ranting. I snuggled people. I wasn’t completely avoidant.

I just made sure that I spent time sitting in the sunshine enjoying my plants and bugs. Holy shit we have a lot of bugs in our back yard. I completely didn’t notice until I sat out there for a few hours. Then I realized that there were hundreds of bugs on each planter bed. Lots of different kinds! I need to figure out how to get more beneficial insects into my yard. Ladybugs, oh ladybugs… where are you? I saw a butterfly! My garden is attracting butterflies!!!!!! /me happy dance

(That’s an IRC reference; the /me thing. IRC is a chat room program. I’m kind of a nerd.)

I’m in a lot of pain, but it is an amount of pain I can work through. I will probably try to run when the babysitter is here today. I have been feeling yucky stiff. It is weird how much better I feel when I’m exercising more consistently. My foot is finally feeling better.

I made a DMV appointment to process the trailer. I’m plugging right along on getting ready for the road trip.

I have made most of my Disney World reservations. It’s kind of funny that I pushed Disney World further back date wise to accommodate other peoples needs. Now they don’t want to go. So I’m not going to be there on my birthday like I had originally planned because instead I wanted to be with friends. But now the friends don’t want to go. I didn’t want to be there in October. October is more expensive points-wise.

Yeah, that’s how scheduling goes.

Hell, I scheduled Calli’s birthday around being in Boston with the Godmama. Maybe I should just fucking change all of the scheduling again. I’m feeling shitty about scheduling around people who dump me.

I have feelings. I need to stop acting like people are ever going to be a significant part of my life. It is folly. I am going to do my shit alone. Why is this so hard for me to accept?

Because I know a lot of people who are part of tight friend-networks and I am so jealous I can’t see straight. I don’t even know how to follow a group to be part of events like that. I’ve tried. I just… never make it.

It’s a good thing I’m not the kind of person who requires other people to go do interesting things.

I feel sad in the same way I felt sad when I stopped hanging out with the people I knew at Los Gatos High School. I feel like I wasted a bunch of time and energy on people who are never going to think I am important. I feel stupid.

I’m taking the no-shows very hard lately. It is especially hard that the home school group is amorphous and I have a lot of very different experiences with the families in it. There are consistent, dependable people. But they are busy. The people who are eager to make plans are the same people who just don’t show up and never remember that they had plans in the first place.

Each no-show, unfortunately, balances out against 10 successes. It’s stupid. I should try to count them in the other direction. I should try to emotionally feel like each success balances out 10 no-shows but…

But I’m digging out of a big black hole anyway. I don’t have that kind of slack to give.

Outside of parks I have two home school events on the calendar between now and the road trip. That may be good enough.

I don’t think the people in the group are doing something wrong or terrible. I think they are living their lives as if I am not important to them… which is simply literally true and accurate.

Sometimes I can handle it and sometimes I can’t. When I can’t, best I stay home. No one is interested in feeling guilty or ashamed because they are not prioritizing me. They shouldn’t prioritize me. It would be kind of weird and fucked up if they did. I’m nothing to them.

That’s the problem. I’m nothing to pretty much everyone. It’s a lot of why I feel like I am nothing.

But I have three people. And they were so nice to me this weekend. That has to be good enough. It is what it is. It is all that I will ever have.

It is three people more than a lot of people get. My mom has never in her life had three people be nice to her the way my family is nice to me. I shouldn’t be so ungrateful.


This is feeling pathetic and lame. I’m feeling intensely suicidal. Because I don’t want to deal with resolving how to handle stuff with the home school group. That’s not cool. (I’m not threatening anyone or anything. I’m just having stupid shit in my brain.)

I feel trapped. I feel like nothing will ever be better for me. I feel like I should just go because of course it will come out that it happened and then everyone will tell me it is my fault.

I told exactly two people in the group. I asked them not to intervene. One of the first responses was, “You could promise the mom you would never go near the kid again.” (To be fair the other response was THAT MOTHER IS TOTALLY RIDICULOUS.) I told them only because I’m about to leave for five months and I’m afraid that if I leave with no one knowing I will return to everyone knowing that I did a bad thing.

I want to slit my wrists. Someone assaults me and I’m supposed to promise to never go near him again?

I want to never go back to the group. I want to never ever talk to anyone from that community again. I’m supposed to promise to not be a problem after someone almost kills me.

I’ve never been anything but a problem. I should just go. I am clearly, obviously, not as worth keeping.

I want to beat my head on the floor.

More than 50% of what is on the schedule for the rest of the month is babysitting. I anticipate a lot of time sitting in the garage and crying. I’m due.

We have three home school events on the calendar. We’ll see.

I asked the kids if they would mind staying home more for a while and they both cheered. Maybe they don’t need those kids as much as I think. They have friends who are not dependent on me being part of that group.

Maybe I shouldn’t make any decisions when I’m triggered like this. My shrink calls it “abreaction”. She says that I get so upset about things that are happening now because I was not allowed to react when things happened to me when I was a kid. The throat kick qualifies as an assault. If I was still a mandated reporter my happy ass would be on the phone with CPS. Because I’m not a mandated reporter I get to be one in a long line of people supporting that abusive people don’t get consequences for their behavior.


I am honestly not sure if a CPS call is the “right thing” but it would cause drama in the home schooling community that would affect my kids for years. Do I care enough about that boy not being a future abuser to risk my kids getting targeted because their mom is a whistle blower?

That’s what I’m looking at.

Do I think that kid will assault other people in the future? Unequivocally yes. I’ve seen him hit a lot of people.

But am I willing to put my kids in a position where they will be punished because I spoke up about this pattern? How many people is it ok for this kid to hurt without consequences?

I don’t think I’m going to intervene. I’m going to say this is a fucked up world where people are allowed to do bad things every day without consequences. One more rich bastard will get away with being a bad person. Shocking. It’s not because of me. It’s because that is how the world works.

And the home school group likes them more than me. They don’t rock the boat. They aren’t a problem. Just me. I’m the one who should promise to not be a problem.

I want to die.

Just because in this moment in time I can’t see the road forward doesn’t mean there won’t be one. I’ll stop acting like I have friends there. It isn’t safe for that kind of trust. I’m not there because I will gain friends. I’m not good enough to be friends with.

I’m just a fucking driver for my kids.

It’s not ok for me to create drama. No one fucking cares. Just shut up you stupid stupid stupid stupid stupid bitch.

I’m actually glad I’m able to write this down as it happens this time. Usually it takes such a long time.

I’m really looking forward to running away from home. I can stop dealing with the fact that I don’t think people like me very much. I can stop dealing with the fact that I feel like it would be ok in my community if I died as long as no one had to be punished for it.

I don’t know how to stop this panic in my belly.

Deep breaths. That is step number one. Stop the shallow breathing, nit wit.

Groups care more about preserving the group than any individual member. It’s not personal. It is how all institutions work. Doesn’t matter if that behavior will damage individuals. It is how groups work. Group harmony over the defense of the individual. Completely standard human behavior. It isn’t personal. No one is acting that way out of specific hatred of me.

I don’t think there is a grudge. I don’t think there is spite.

I think there is apathy. And I’ve had so much of it that I want to die.

I’ll stay home instead. With the three people who would be completely devastated if I were to hurt myself or die. They are the only people whose opinion I should court. They are the only people who have an actual stake in my life.

Looking outside these walls is seeming pretty dangerous. But then I want to run away from home? I’m a conundrum.

It will be safe to ask for my needs on the trip. Every request will be fleeting and brief. If someone says no I will be on to the next town tomorrow and whatever.

Here, with people I was trying hard to be friends with… having my physical safety be …. uhm… as important in the discussion as it is…

I can’t cope with that. I feel disposable. Promise to stay away from him. I’ll stay far far far far far away.

I’ll stay so far away that you may never see me again. Is it avoidance if I’m doing what they want? They don’t like me that much anyway.

For a while I was trying to form a more core group of Fremont people. That didn’t pan out.

That’s just how life goes. The people who live near you are not always palatable. I’m not. So I guess that’s just how it goes. I believe that writing as much as I’m writing will mean that I will have consequences. I believe I will be punished for saying this. And maybe that belief is enough that it will become true. Maybe it would have happened no matter what I said and now my words can be used as the justification.

That’s what happened with the Godmamas. They pulled away and turned down all help and refused any gestures from my side and then said I never did anything for them. They said I talked about how they wanted to leave so fine they are leaving.

I expect to be fully shunned in the home school group. I had a problem. Thus am the problem.

Haven’t beat my head yet this morning. That’s an act of will.

Maybe I’m just a melodramatic bitch. Probably. Shut up shut up shut up shut up shut up shut up you stupid cunt. Don’t you know no one fucking cares.

I’m scared and I’m sad. There is probably going to be a lot of fall out from this. We won’t be invited to parties. We won’t be the ones at the big group events. They will be. Because I’m the problem. I feel like I should apologize to my kids for belonging to me.

I feel like any community that chooses someone who behaves like that… deserves what they get. And if I’m stupid enough to stand near someone whom I’ve seen kick other people viciously, maybe I deserve what I get too.

Of course I deserve to be kicked in the throat. How could it be any other way?

It was my fault. I rough housed. What else did I expect?

That phrase haunts me. It echoes through the years. You went on a date with a boy. What else did you expect? You drank alcohol (three shots over multiple hours!). What else did you expect?

I expect to be treated like shit. I expect to be treated like if I die it is no big loss any way.

That’s what I expect. And that means I’m “scary” and I should be punished for scaring people.

And so the world turns.

Not here

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

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

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

Yeah yeah, time management. I have class issues.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

You think I have no tact?

Oh man.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

They want me to stay. So they show up.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

But I really want a break.

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

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

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

So tired.

I am so tired there aren’t many parts of my body that aren’t in overwhelming pain. A 5 is probably the average level of pain for my body parts with some pieces spiking to 8 and 9. I didn’t really follow the elimination diet in Hawaii–I had too little control over cooking. As a result most of the time I had the most heinous gas pain I think I have ever experienced. Double over in pain and can’t breathe bad pain.

I am much more motivated to figure out the food stuff. I’m going to get strict on food again and work through this puzzle.

I am not going to do the full marathon in March. I feel like a steaming pile of dog shit. I can’t eat adequate calories for the amount of physical activity I’m doing let alone marathon training. I’m hurting my body with pushing myself to continue to exercise long after every part of me hurts.

The surfing was rad, but I was in so much pain when I arrived that by the time I left I felt nearly incoherent. And today is worse. The abdominal muscles you use to push yourself up over and over on a surf board hurt so bad that my kids gently touching my chest causes me to shriek with pain.

I tried not to whine too much, I think I did ok. I did do some whining about being in pain, but I didn’t make it the focus of the whole trip. I still participated. I did have fun. I don’t think I brought everyone down.

It was a nice trip. I’m glad I went. I had fun talking with grown ups without having to filter. I was blurty and I over-shared a lot of things, but I rarely have a safe environment to do that any more. Luckily these are people who have been through the crucible already and they aren’t too freaked out by my stories. *phew*

I’m glad I went. I really want to bring my kids there.

So many big feelings.

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

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

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

I really hate it when that happens.

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

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

I said that a lot.

Man I’m such a hypocritical asshole.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

P had health issues. It wasn’t personal.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I want my mommy.

Food accommodation

I know a lot of people with rigorous food preferences/allergies/intolerances/religious restrictions/etc. I am starting to think that I should paint a grid inside my cabinet so I can track who is gluten free/dairy free/vegetarian/allergic to tomatoes and potatoes/ allergic to corn/allergic to soy…. It would be a complicated grid.

I was thinking about this as I talked to a friend yesterday who is vegetarian, gluten free, and dairy free. He always causes me to think about my food choices in more detail. I try hard to do it from a consciously evaluating point of view and not from a defensive point of view.

This week he said something I found very interesting, “I’m not sure if I am actually allergic to gluten but when I eat it I have urgent, painful diarrhea that causes me to need to run to the toilet eight times a day. So I don’t eat it. I don’t care if I’m actually allergic.”

That… That made me think very hard. Huh. It isn’t normal to run to the bathroom with diarrhea eight times a day? I try very hard to accommodate my friends who have different dietary needs. It’s a big deal to me that people should be loved and fed in the ways that are appropriate for THEM.

We had some completely different friends over earlier in the week and that meant accommodating a vegan and a vegetarian with diabetes. H’okay. Guess what? The dinner we prepared for them had me dealing with violent, burning, painful diarrhea for over a day.

So uhm… Hm.

This morning I lay in bed and I got really really angry for (what I believe to be) the very first time about my food needs not seeming as important as the vegetarian/vegan/allergies in my social circle. I don’t know very many people with anaphylactic allergies. I know people who get sore butts, mostly.

I try very hard to ensure that I’m not damaging anyone else’s body. But when I go over to the home of a vegetarian or a vegan there is little consideration for how their food will effect me. It’s my problem.

All of a sudden this morning I felt lots of rage about that. I don’t think I’ve ever felt angry about this before. I don’t think I have ever seen it as an injustice before. This morning, as I lay in bed unable to sleep all of a sudden I felt violently full of rage. Why in the hell does everyone else’s ass matter and mine doesn’t!?

I have no idea what to do with this sudden burst of new-thing-to-be-pissy-about. Probably I won’t do anything. I’m not going to start demanding that vegans supply meat for me at their parties.

But I’m wondering if maybe I should stop going to dinner at their houses. Because I’m kind of tired of it not mattering that my body does not process vegetables well. It causes me terrible pain for days. Yes yes yes, they are “healthy” and EVERYONE should GO VEG!! Or obviously you are a piece of shit who doesn’t care about anyone but yourself and certainly not the POOR LITTLE ANIMALS. WHAT KIND OF MONSTER ARE YOU!?

Uhm, I’m the kind who lived with terrible malnutrition for decades and now I can’t digest vegetables. And fuck you.

I don’t think that people who are gluten free need to buy “regular” pasta when I come over. I don’t think dairy free people need to buy me cow milk. I don’t think that vegans are required to cook me meat. But when we are ordering pizzas?…. Then I feel kind of shit on. Because the pizza you will order means I either get to have horrible diarrhea for days or I don’t eat.

I haven’t felt pissy or defensive about this in the past. I’m not sure if this will last longer than today.

Having relationships is really hard. How do we all manage to be respectful of one another and the varying needs that their bodies have? I don’t know.

That said, the friend who came over yesterday has a wife who can cook the best vegan food in the world. If I could finally narrow it down to a handful of vegetables that are the “trigger” foods (I think a food diary is coming at some point) she would be able to feed me vegan food that didn’t hurt me.

I have done a lot to narrow the range of triggers for my terrible diarrhea. I get way less of it than I used to. But apparently eating cauliflower soup, pasta with tomato/garlic/basil/carrots, and salad is not ok. I knew the salad would be pushing my luck. I ate very little of the raw veggies. I ate like two pieces of lettuce and three cucumber slices. Mostly I ate cooked stuff. Supposedly cooking the vegetables should make me better able to process them. These are all food we eat on a regular basis and I don’t always have the terrible burning diarrhea.

A lot of the reason I haven’t tried harder on food diary stuff is it is very discouraging. My “triggers” clearly move around. It is much more important how much stress I am under generally. Clearly tomatoes aren’t always a problem. Clearly potatoes aren’t even usually a problem. (I have weeks where I eat potatoes daily and don’t have a diarrhea problem.) Alcohol is fine if I am under basically no stress and horrifying if I feel even a little bit of anxiety to start with.

Fuck all food forever.

It doesn’t help that I’m in a phase where basically all food is revolting and nasty and I feel sick all the time. Running is fun. I hate weather changes. My poor intestine.

I do my best (I’ve been slipping) to eat humanely sourced meat. I can afford it and I think that is the ethical choice given my financial resources and my physical dietary needs. I slip when I’m buried with every other part of life and I don’t have the spoons to deal with sourcing “better raised” meat.

I know that it is sad that animals have to die so I can live. I agree that it is not “fun”. I agree that it isn’t “nice”. But my alternative is to live with horrifying pain or kill myself. If you don’t know what it is like to have diarrhea for months in a row then you can’t really talk to me about my food choices. Also: no doctor has been useful in this process. I’ve tried going in to talk about it and I’ve tried asking for advice. I wasn’t told much useful. I was told to do my own food diary and figure out what to eliminate. When I asked about bringing in the diary to talk to them I was told that there wasn’t much they could do. Maybe I should have insisted on talking to a nutritionist? An intestine specialist? I don’t know how to advocate for myself on this issue. Doctors are not out checking on patients to find out how they can be most useful. You have to walk in knowing what to tell them to do. I don’t know what to do.

I’m feeling overwhelmed. And this one little piece jumped out at me this morning. Interesting to think about.


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.

Pay the piper.

I’m sitting here looking at Mint. I’m not looking forward to admitting how I did this year with money. Not so good. I mean, I’m paying all the bills and everything will come even and I am investing money. I’m just not doing everything I want to be doing. I’m getting distracted. Life is very distracting.

And I’m about to hemorrhage money. Whimper.

To be clear: I am grateful that my problems are at this level. My life is really easy and lucky. I am not worried about how to pay for rent or food. I am whining about not paying my mortgage off as many years early as I would prefer. Perspective is important. No matter what my mortgage will be paid off–that’s not in question. The question is will I be able to shave seven or more years off of my fifteen year mortgage. That’s a rather tractable, attractive problem in the scheme of things.

If I fail and I only pay my mortgage off in six years because I remodeled my bathroom and went on a Disney Cruise for my tenth anniversary and went on a five month road trip with my kids and…

I can’t really get upset. I have one of the easiest possible adulthoods ever had by my species. It is really weird to understand that.

Take a deep breath and get the fuck over feeling “stressed”. Most of the people I know (including my partner) have to actually “perform” more than me. I have a very unique amount of freedom.

There are almost zero “shoulds” in my life. I do what I want when I want. I have enough money to eat what I want when I want it. I live in one of the most wonderfully diverse places on earth for food. And I have enough money to eat out many times a week. That is luck I could not imagine as a child.

I’m thinking about that because I’m looking at money and realizing I should try to uhhh not be so expansive for the next few months. If I manage to reign things in then everything will balance out and I’ll hit my basic savings goals for the year. Right now I’m very behind. I’m basically a full month of pay behind where I want to be on saving. That’s bad heading into the last quarter. Given what I wish I was putting into the mortgage I’m actually closer to two full months of income behind on where I want to be for saving.

I feel like I have been very bad.

I feel like I want to be very conservative with money for the next few months. I feel like I could just about make up where I wish I was. But it would mean cutting driving down to nearly nothing. It would mean eating a lot more beans.

I feel like I should have a conversation with the family tonight at dinner. I don’t think I should make this decision for everyone.


No time to really type

But I miss you, internet. You are my best friend.

I’ve been spending a lot of time thinking about how lucky I am. My life seems miraculous to me. I have so many things going right.

If my *biggest problem* of the last few weeks is that other people aren’t good at being as punctual as I like… I need to not bitch. My life is so wonderful. I am blessed. I am loved.

I am still in touch with at least a dozen people I was friends with in high school and middle school. Twenty years of friendship. I can’t be as bad as I think. They wouldn’t still be calling me and visiting. They drive far out of their way to see me. I can’t be nearly as bad as I think.

My kids are challenging sometimes. That’s normal, expected and for the best. I wouldn’t want them any other way. We are in a phase. A phase where lots of rules are broken and lots of glass gets broken. This phase will end. Thank goodness.

Lots happening. I miss you, internet. I promise I will be back soon.

I need to stop criticizing other people. I can have opinions about specific interactions I am involved in, but I can’t criticize the personhood of another person any more.

Noah reminded me that years ago I referred to someone as a poseur. I cringed when he repeated it to me. I am such a schmuck.

Mostly, mostly, mostly I need to not judge other parents. I am not in their homes. I do not know how they parent. I am not in a position to judge. I need to internalize that times about 50 bazillion. I think I’m not bad about it now but I do more than I feel ok about. I don’t need to judge anyone but me.

Thank goodness for good days.

Given that I started off the day crying and shaking and gritting my teeth I decided to not pressure myself to work hard all day. I puttered. I got my chores done but it took about four hours longer than normal. I went to the dispensary because I was down to three days of medication (yay babysitter) and discovered that San Jose no longer permits the sale of edibles. Only bud. That sucks. Yes, I have a vaporizer (technically two). It takes a lot of pot to get as stoned with a vape.

I think that today was good because I dropped so much from my work list. I got to feel like I did enough.

Also I called K. I have not been talking to her regularly lately and I’m struggling with that on a few different levels. Talking with her today was nice.

I ran three miles and did a yoga class.

I sorta wonder if part of the reason today was better was because I smoked instead of having edibles. I’ve been kinda wondering if the increased panic is somehow related to the edibles because it feels like it is really high lately. But I am never sure because the panic has come and gone for many years before I touched pot.

So the picnic on Saturday. It was nice. It was well done. The people there were very friendly. If only I could stop feeling like I am a disgusting asshole who should be screamed at to get OUT OUT OUT.

I don’t think other people are doing anything inappropriate to me lately. I think people have been fine. I feel really ashamed of myself.

I am having big feelings about everyone. Lots of feelings about why they should shun me and be disgusted by me. And when I think that really hard for a while I get angry. It is so hard to be nice to people when I feel like I already hate them for rejecting me. It isn’t fair at all.

I don’t feel very worthy of relationships.

Today with the kids was relatively good. There were bumps and several stints in time out for hitting (I wasn’t doing the hitting–for kids who have never been hit I’m continually shocked by how much hitting my kids do on each other) but mostly it was a really loving day.

At bedtime the kids asked me and Noah to sit on the couch and they took turns “reading” us stories. It was really sweet and loving and tender and wonderful.

I did something I’m pretty ashamed of. I haven’t even told Noah yet, though mostly for logistical reasons. I don’t want to talk about it in front of the kids.

I fucked up with the kids. At the party on Sunday. The one where I was losing control and crying a lot.

At some point the kids both got really defiant at once. I didn’t freak out but I asked them to go to the bathroom with me. (They were also sticky so I had a good cover.) When we got to the bathroom I kind of collapsed to the floor and started crying. I told them that I wasn’t having a very good time and I wanted to go home. I told them that if they wanted me to stay so they could enjoy the party they would have to change their attitude right now and stop arguing with me or we would have to leave.

They both looked rather taken aback. They said, “Oh. Uhm, ok.”

Then I washed my face with cold water because we needed to back to the party. They asked me why I was doing that. This is the part I’m ashamed of. I said, “Because people don’t actually want to know when you are crying and cold water helps your face look less puffy so you can hide it more easily. That way people can have an easier time pretending they don’t notice.”

I shouldn’t have said that. And this isn’t the kind of fuck up I can apologize for. If I apologize for this one I will cement the lesson. I need to just not repeat it.

I don’t want my kids to believe that no one gives a shit if they are crying and they should try to hide it. That isn’t the kind of people I want them to be. I want them to be ok with the fact that they matter to people.

Just because I alternate between hot and cold and feeling distant that doesn’t mean I should teach them to believe like me.

I’m sorry I said it.

Do I “really” believe that no one cares? No. The lovely party host followed me out to the side yard to tell me that she could see that I was upset and she wanted to know if there was anything she could do.

It isn’t other peoples fault that I am like this. Not any more. Whatever blame existed has expired. I’m just like this.

I’m sorry.

What did I mean when I alluded to being miserable at Disney next year? I meant that I’m this rich bitch who is going to go to Disneyland twice and Disney World for almost a month out of a calendar year and I am probably going to spend a lot of time crying while I’m there because I feel lonely. I think that is kind of pathetic and stupid. I think I’m pretty much a loser. What is the point of an ungrateful bitch like me getting to have these things?

There is no deserve. There is no fair. There is no right.

I think I’m a fucking idiot for spending so much time on crying and feeling lonely when I have a life that many people would desperately want to have. I am such an ungrateful bitch.

I’m not ungrateful though. I do appreciate what I have. I appreciate it very much. And I can’t stop crying even though I do.

There are these stories they tell you when you are growing up. Just do this thing. Get to this place. Have this relationship and you will be… happy.

I don’t know how to feel happy. Even though I have what I want. Even though I’m doing what I want.

I just want to crawl under my desk and cry for my mommy and I think that’s pretty fucking pathetic.

I want to take my mommy to Disney. She’s so much fun there. She likes to just sit on a bench with me and watch people go by. We would talk about the different dynamics we saw.

I miss my mommy so much. But I have missed her like this my whole life. Contact and attachment were always sporadic and random and hard to predict.

I feel kind of like a loser for posting on the internet about my self-harming urges. But it does help. When I talk about the fact that I want to and I am afraid of slipping then I create a situation where I would have to go back and admit in public that I screwed up. So I’m less likely to slip. It is embarrassing.

I want to beat my head really a lot. I don’t like me very much. I’m not real clear on why I feel I need punishment so bad right now.

It is very hard trying to learn to step back and be objective from my reality and try to convince myself that it isn’t real. These are just lies. I am not a disgusting piece of shit and I don’t need to die. I don’t need to be hurt.

But right now it feels so very true.

Sometimes I feel very sad because I understand why people believe that someone as fucked up as me shouldn’t have kids. I don’t really deserve anything good.

They are so good. Ok, so they can be assholes sometimes–that is part of life. They are good. They are empathetic and loving and considerate to a degree the development books tell me I just can’t expect from kids. But my kids are like this.

I feel so bad that they have to grow up with me. I try to remind myself that at this point without me is far worse in every way. Too late for take backs.

I should go to bed. At least I see my shrink tomorrow. See, this is why I still see a shrink. Cause here I fucking go year after year after year.

I feel pretty disgusted with me. I do well then I do shitty. I’m fucking tired of fucking bouncing.

Editing continues

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

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

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

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

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

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

Coming along.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Deep breaths.

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

I’m not doing something bad.

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

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

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

It’s not that kind of book.

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

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

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

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

It’ll be rad. Yeah. Sure. Oh man.

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

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


Money, money, money by the pound.

I’m scared and insecure. Let’s talk about money. I won’t feel as bad about myself. That can’t be healthy, can it? I feel insecure about some parts of my life. Let me wander over and assure myself that my social problems are not going to derail me getting to do whatever the fuck I want to do. Maybe that isn’t unhealthy.

I have decided that I can’t buy an RV for the road trip until I have maxed out on saving for the road trip and I have maxed our emergency fund. That seems S-M-R-T.

This month’s salary + bonus (the bonus Noah is whiny enough to say isn’t high enough) will almost entirely go off for credit cards, mortgage, etc. Luckily I can now say that the second business I helped fund has been so successful I have been bought out. The check is on its way to me. I’m a god damn entrepreneur. Go me.

With that bump I will have $21,000 (rounded, obviously) out of the $25,000 I want in the checking account before I travel and $25,000 out of $40,000 in an emergency fund. That means I want to save an additional $19,000 before I buy an RV. And it means that I will be blowing a huge hole in my emergency fund that I will have to recoup. So uhm. Erf. But I think I can do that in the next few years.  Seriously, he makes obscene amounts of money. If I can’t do that then I’m a fucking loser. Technically I have been saving at a rate to make the goal on the emergency fund in four years and some. I want that as back up before we go over seas.

Yeah yeah yeah I have an IRA, 401k, two 529s, and additional investment stuff going on. Don’t tell me, “Oh gosh if you have that much cash you should invest!”

I like having a cushion. I invest, but I like my cushion. Shit happens. I like having many options. I like knowing that I will be able to do what I want to do.

Noah has already earned $15,000 out of the $60,000 I think we will need for the around the world trip. His ability to earn money continues to blow my mind. That is kept in a third account.

My real “back up” in case Noah loses his job is the fact that we have $60,000 in cash distributed between accounts nominally in the name of other more shallow goals. Of course all such frippery could be tossed to the side in case of a catastrophe. I’ve got back up plans for my back up plans.

I… don’t earn money. But I manage it very well. He wouldn’t have this much if he had to manage it himself. That isn’t his strength. That’s my strength. I’m not so good at earning.

A friend was mentioning how her partner needs to hire a professional organizer and I said, “I’m close to putting out my shingle. I’d charge $30/hour.” She yelled at me for a while. She thinks my starting rate should be $50/hour with the possibility of a sliding scale if I’m feeling fucking generous.

I am going to potentially have four whole hours tomorrow to edit the book. Maybe someday it will earn money. Probably when I’m dead. That’s usually how it works for writers. Luckily I have children who will get the income. It won’t just go to a publishing house. Ha.

I feel pretty weird about having this much money. But looking at it does help calm me down.

My mom spent my whole childhood crying over money. All the time. Almost every day. My mom has experienced poverty in a way I will never really understand. Children don’t get it. Kids don’t understand being poor vs. rich. It is too complex. Now I feel like all I can do is try to imagine my mother’s experience.

I’m so grateful I don’t have to endure what she went through. She has no money sense. Even when she has enough in her pocket to cover all her expenses this month she can’t do it. I don’t know what broke her or when.

Even if things in my life were to go badly they can never ever ever go as badly as they have gone for my mom. I have a college education and a history of helping to start businesses. I have a rich and varied work history and a lot of people who would vouch for me. I could find work at a reasonable salary. My mom never could.

The head of my union told me that if I ever want to go back into teaching it doesn’t matter if they are hiring or not they will hire me. I can teach gang kids. I can form personal relationships and help them understand the benefits to them of literacy.

That’s a god damn marketable skill.

I feel really bad for my mom. She is becoming a Dickensian character in my mind. She never had my options. She never had the same privileges I had.

I went to Los Gatos High School. Maybe only for my sophomore year but I got to learn about the standards of college and a rigorous set of expectations as a teenager. My mom graduated from Bakersfield High School pregnant with absolutely no expectation that she would need to learn anything more complicated than cooking, baking, and sewing.

For the record, she’s great at all three. Better than me.

It is harder and harder for me to be angry with her as the years pass. I feel really sorry for her. But I can’t let her hurt my kids.

My children have absolutely no exposure to toxic, bitter people. None. The last few years have been the nicest of my life. I have felt suicidal less often then ever before. Pretty frequently I find myself consciously making choices that work to extend my life because I’m not ready to die yet.

I never felt this good about myself when I knew my mother. Having pity for her is fine. I can pity rabid animals too. I shouldn’t pick them up.

It’s all mixed up. My mom. Money. Feeling scared. Feeling attacked. That asshole “funny” unschooling dad. The mom who keeps making cracks about me. Scheduling difficulties and feeling unimportant. Other people have their own shit and aren’t just my support units. It all feels the same. The same unworthy, stupid, bad. Talking about it feels manipulative, but I don’t want anyone to change what they are doing.

I feel this way right now. I don’t always feel this way. I write it down partially so I can prove to myself, “See–it changes. It goes up. It goes down. You have weak boundaries right now. That isn’t anyone else’s fault. It’s ok. They will come back up again soon.”

Soon I won’t feel like everyone hates me and I should go eat worms.

I wonder how much it is tied to Shanna’s current defiance. She’s getting very close to being the age I was when I caused the fight with Tommy that involved Uncle Bob burning Tommy with the hot coffee.

The punishment for that was moving to Texas and my brother got hit by a car. I will have a hard time handling this defiance streak. “Abreact.” That’s my therapists favorite word. Reliving trauma. Supposed to be in a therapeutic session but welcome to my life. Flashbacks?

I’m not having flashbacks. But I am reliving some of the terror I felt when I was disobedient. When she turns around and flips out at me I feel like it is all my fault and I am about to be punished and then I over react.

It’s going to be a rocky few months. Holy shit on Crisco. But we will get through it and we will develop new coping methods for handling triggering situations without abuse. Like you do. If you want to know your kids in thirty years.

I tell my kids that I’m sorry for my mistakes a lot. I hurt Calli yesterday. We were playing and dancing and I twisted her arm a little wrong. I’ve done exactly that dance move with her hundreds of times. But she gained weight recently and it pushed her past a threshold. Oops. I’m really sorry. We spent a while cuddling with an ice pack. She’s fine now. But she was really freaked out and she kept yelling that I hurt her.

Yes. I did. I’m really sorry. It didn’t hurt the last time I did it. I won’t do it any more. You are too big now and I didn’t notice because I wish you were going to be my tiny baby forever. As you grow up I will sometimes hurt you because I misunderstand how your boundaries are shifting. I’m so sorry. I can’t be perfect. There is no such thing. I will make many more mistakes. I’m so sorry.

By the end we were petting the cat and each others faces and she told me she forgives me and we went on with the day.

It doesn’t really matter if some woman who will never be my friend makes jokes about my lack of value. But I miss my mama. And I wish that my mama had thought I was valuable. My mama didn’t miss me when I was gone for a month either. No one really misses me if I’m gone. I know.

Some days it hurts more than others.

I’m not “funny”. Instead people “can’t tell the difference between my whining and my talking”.

I am a whiny baby and I don’t like being picked on.

It’s really not fair that I have to continue having involvement with this group for the sake of my children when I would rather just not go back. That’s how I handle these things. I can’t have a fight. I can’t make drama. If I don’t like how I’m treated, I leave. But I can’t leave.

I can make sure I stop talking to this woman. She thinks she is “funny”. I think it’s not funny to tell someone who has been suicidal for most of their life that no one would miss them.

Happy fucking Mothers Day

I’m almost done with the third quartet from Tamora Pierce. I’ll go back to reading about people who are allowed to start fist fights with bullies. Sometimes I wish my life were that simple still. I am going to read every book she has ever written. I even have the add-odd short story collections. I’m really glad she is out there writing.

Rape, rape culture, and home school dynamics. (What a fun title.)

If I sat down and delineated all of the relationships that are bumpy right now… I wouldn’t have many people willing to talk to me next week. I feel like if I am having this many problems all at once it must be me. I’m doing something. I’m not entirely sure what I’m doing wrong.

Is it oversharing? I haven’t even done that much of it lately. Not for me. Not in the scope of my level of over sharing.

I don’t know.

Passive aggression today. (Err, obviously not with the person who might read this.) There is one mom in particular who likes to make cracks about me. In the past it was a comment about how it isn’t possible to tell the difference between when I whine and when I talk. Today it was how no one will miss me if I disappear for a month. “Oh I’m kidding.”

I would cheerfully like to lock my front door, set up grocery delivery service, and maybe come out next year.

At least someone else, who I consider more friendly to me, looked kind of shocked when she said no one would miss me. I don’t think I was the only one who thought the “joke” wasn’t funny.

I’m sorry I’m not the quality of person you wish you got to associate with. What would you like me to do about that?

I’m feeling really really sad about some scheduling things. I don’t think anyone did anything wrong. Sometimes scheduling is hard and makes me sad.

I am happy that I got to speak with someone else on the unschooling list who felt very upset about the whole exchange. She felt that his “I’m not defending what he did to Krissy… but this show is great! He won an award!” was pretty disgusting. I’m so grateful to hear that I’m not the only one. I’ve been feeling really bad about the fact that I live in a world that prioritizes the funny rapists. I don’t feel like I want to live in a world like that. She said she wouldn’t care if I was the only victim this guy had–the fact that he has many such stories from many women isn’t more problematic. The fact that people will cover for him even for one rape is seriously a disgusting thing. She said she doesn’t want her kids in a room with someone like that and she’s grateful I spoke up.

Mostly I get crickets back. So I never know how much of what I say harms people or helps them. The people who do speak up are usually men telling me to shut up because I might hurt one of the poor men folk. I have less sympathy for this point of view than many might hope.

I don’t go out of my way to hurt any individual men. Well, or at least it has been a great many years since I have. (And all of those guys had to ask VERY NICELY.)

If I hurt my rapists by talking about them… sorry dudes. You made this bed, not me. I didn’t tell you to do what you did. So I get to talk about it. You get no privacy from me.

The vast majority of men in the whole wide world haven’t done a negative thing to me. So mostly I think guys are ok. I wish they would yell at one another for inappropriate sexist behavior more often but no one is perfect. I’m a yeller. I understand it isn’t everyones thing.

I feel scared. Unimportant. Stupid. I feel like if I got raped so many times it must be all my fucking fault and there is nothing I can do to take away me deserving it. I feel like maybe I wasn’t clear enough with Paul. Or with Dan. I told them so many times that I didn’t do bareback sex. Over and over I said, “This is a cover required portal. Thanks.” I thought I was funny. I said that I only have sex when two forms of birth control are used. (I sure as shit knew I didn’t want to coparent with either loser. Having protected sex is one thing. Having a baby with a loser is different.)

Am I allowed such fine tuned boundaries? Or is that breaking some rule such that it’s ok when guys want to stick it in any way?

“He won an award! He’s so funny!”

I hate you. I’m glad I don’t even know who you are, funny unschooling asshole dad, but you can jump right off a cliff.

Wait. Isn’t that me wishing harm on an individual man? Didn’t I just try to claim I don’t do this?!?!?!

Well, ok I’m a fucking liar. It’s unusual for me to wish harm on someone. And I don’t wish to go harm him. And I don’t wish to have someone else go harm him for me. But I’d be cool with him jumping off a cliff. Ok, no I wouldn’t. He’s a parent. That would be horrible and I would be a horrible person for being cool with him committing suicide.

Ok… uhm… don’t jump off a cliff. But shut the fuck up, okay? Stop endorsing rapists. It makes you look like a Very Bad Person with Questionable Judgement. Now that I know that you will send your kids to Paul I think I need to make sure my kids are never alone in a room with you.

And yet I live with someone who has committed rape. What kind of fucking hypocrite piece of shit am I? I really wonder sometimes.

Why can I forgive one rapist and not another? Well. I don’t have a good answer to that question but it fucking keeps me up at night.

Noah is not the only rapist I have forgiven. Life is very complicated. Why in the hell do I carry around a grudge bigger than Alaska for some of the dudes who raped me? Why do I pick and choose?

I want to believe that part of it is, I don’t forgive the ones who have a long list of victims. I don’t forgive the real predators.

So Noah isn’t a real predator? Enh, not really. Noah learned boundaries slow and hard but he has shown continual progress across the board in his life. He hasn’t sat in one place doing the same thing with chick after chick after chick. I have seen no sign of my kids having anything like inappropriate sexual knowledge and I bloody well look for signs. I believe that he has been as honorable within our family as one can be.

This unschooling dad who is defending Paul probably has many years of positive experiences. Lots of trust. Why shouldn’t he defend his friend?

Do I really believe that rapists deserve to be shunned for all time and banned from all gatherings?

I can’t say yes with a straight face, now can I?

I think this is where I sit in the hamster wheel. I can’t say that all rapists should be banned. This is what is keeping me up at night. Then what do I think should happen?

I’m not shy about outing Noah. Which means that I am inviting other people to shun him if I say that rapists should be shunned. Is that what I want? Do I believe that secretly it would be better for them if they just got the fuck away from Noah? Err, no. I think he’s a really interesting person with a lot to offer.

Why don’t I want to see Paul in such a light? Why do I want him to be cast in the role of villain so I can rant and rail and hate him so much? Is this misdirected shit at my dad?

I think that part of it is–I can forgive someone for raping me. I know that my behavior “invited” such response. When there is a whole string of other women… you know… no. You are hurting people. I know of three other specific women who have been extremely fucked up by you. You are a bad person. You are a liar and a cheat and a fraud as your profession. You say hateful nasty things that you really believe with a smile on your face and people laugh because they think you are “joking.”

If you make a big chunk of your living from being a jerk… I don’t think that is funny. Clearly lots of other people do because you have made a career out of this. People are fucking weird.

But given the things I like to do… I can’t say that much.

Only clearly I can say a lot.

I sat a friend’s sister down before Burning Man last year and gave her an intense conversation about always having a sober trip sitter if you do drugs so you can be safe.

You never know when there will be someone around who just wants to “stick it in a few times. It’s no big deal.”

Because too many people, me included, don’t think all rapists should be banned from all spaces. So they are everywhere.

I know there is a large demographic who believes that it is my fault or the woman Paul raped before me’s fault or the woman before that’s fault. We didn’t report. We haven’t put Paul in jail. It is our collective fault that he is out there raping a whole string of women.

Cause uhm, yeah. That makes sense. It is his dick and it is our fault we have cunts he can put it in. Like, duh.

Something like that.

My heart hurts. I feel so sad. But at least when I can write about it Noah knows why I’m so tetchy. It’s easier to accommodate my anxiety du jour if he knows what it is shaped like.

Sometimes I feel very sad and very scared that at the end of the day I belong with the rapist camp. I know so many rapists because, well duh. I just would. That’s just the shape in the world I belong in.

Why do I only forgive some of them? Noah’s not the only one. But the others in my life have more right to privacy. Noah’s a sucker for marrying me. Marrying was like the opposite of an NDA. “I agree to having my life discussed in detail on the internet. Even the embarrassing shit. Ok, maybe mostly only those bits.”

Is it just because I like Noah’s jokes more? He doesn’t make jokes that make other people look small or pathetic. His jokes are about bicycles. And smart ass parrots. He doesn’t want to denigrate people.

Is that enough of a difference? Does that justify my attitude?

“Get over it.”

I’m trying. It’s complicated.

Paul and I had sex several times. It wasn’t a stranger rape. He was a sometimes-partner at sex parties. He is less than 1% of my sexual partners. Why do I care so much that one time he did something that was against my boundaries? Why is it such a big deal that I want to keep my children and the children of my friends away from him?

Because he bloody well groomed me into inappropriate displays of trust followed by an action that could have resulted in an STD or a baby. He’s a big whore. He has no right having bareback sex.

Paul feels like a legitimate threat. Not to me–never again. I’m no longer in a vulnerable demographic as far as he is concerned. But there are a lot of nice young girls out there. Waiting to be groomed.

That scares me silly.

I feel attacked even though I am not the one at risk. Even though no one is attacking me. Even though instead of attacking my character or criticism instead only support was voiced. I en’t saying my feelings are logical so don’t nitpick.

How do I get over feeling attacked? Anxiety is energy stored in the body that needs to be used somehow. Well, I have a 10k race tomorrow. That should help.

It is hard to stop feeling attacked when I continually run into people who make little “jokes” about me. Oh I’m sure she doesn’t mean it. (See–it’s totally not just men I have trouble with. I have troubles with all possible gender configurations. I’m flexible like that.)

Deep breath. In. Out. Not here to make friends. Here to provide children with opportunity to make friends. I don’t have to be friends with the parents. It is not a requirement.

Would it really be that tacky if I started bringing a book and sitting off to the side? I feel like speaking in the group is resulting in people disliking me and I would prefer to just opt out.

I’m tired of feeling scared of every word out of my mouth. I’m tired of feeling like I’m doing something wrong.

This is why I loudly say I’m poor white trash. Or I used to. I’m not any more. Now I don’t get to say that and my lack of cultural mesh is just my fault. I’m just… wrong.

I’d rather be wrong because I said I’m poor white trash than because you’ve just decided to despise me despite my best efforts at being sociable. I’m not as good at the social slams and I don’t really like being around it.

I need to make some different choices. What the fuck.

I feel sad. I feel bad. I feel like I’m doing everything wrong. Define “everything”. I can’t.

I could come up with complaints about my parenting, but they are all fairly minor complaints. In the scheme of things I’m doing ok.

I don’t think I’m doing everything wrong with Noah. He keeps telling me he likes me. When I crawl back into bed after one of my many trips to the bathroom he snuggles me like a teddy bear. Clearly this is a man who has jumped over hoop after hoop after hoop to demonstrate his love for me. Clearly.

Do I think everyone should put as much effort into me as Noah does? Nah. That would be hella annoying. I don’t have anything to exchange on that level and the exchange is most of why it is important.

I want my belly to stop hurting. It’s not food. It’s anxiety. I want my teeth to stop chattering like I am on the verge of crying. I want to stop crying. I want to be less testy.

Where’s my god damn zen state?

Up your butt and around the corner. That’s where it fucking went.

I am so mature.

In other evasive news, I have started making more editing progress. I’m not making it shorter. That will be why I pay a real editor. But I am doing a lot of editing and clarifying points. And this coming week I have three separate days where I have babysitting so I will have more space from the kids. One of those days is just an hour for therapy. Two of the days I will use the time for editing. I have a local teenage baby-sitter and I found a local stay at home mom who wants to do trades. Awesome. She has work she needs to get done too.

I’m not actually doing everything wrong. I just feel like it. I just feel like I’m walking with a black cloud over my head.

I’m not doing everything wrong. When I am less able to be stimulating to my kids, I make sure they have lots of contact with other adults and children. They aren’t being isolated. Yeah, some weeks they get more screen time than they “should”. But they are still well under national average so whatever.

My kid is going to go run a 1.5 mile race tomorrow because she really wants to. I know she can do this distance because I have run much farther with her. I’m not worried about them getting some screen time. Balance, grasshopper.

I’m not eating a balanced diet. I haven’t done meal planning in a while. I’m not sleeping adequately or evenly. I’m not exercising consistently enough. Basically I’m not doing anything to keep my body on an even keel.

See, we all fall down sometimes. It’s not about how many times you fall down. It’s about how many times you get up.

Why do I think Paul should be shunned and not Noah? That question keeps me up at night. How can I justify my own nitpicky hypocrisy? Why are some people beyond redemption and other people aren’t? I don’t know. Why the fuck are they?

“I’ll just stick it in a little.”

Because I still want to beat my head when I think about how stupid stupid stupid stupid I was for being near a piece of shit like you in the first place. Wanting to be near a dirt bag like you sure seems to be indication enough that I deserve whatever I get.

Now I’m picturing Agatha Heterodyne chasing my brain hamsters screaming, “DIE!!!!” (Noah will probably provide a link to an appropriate web page tomorrow. He’s cute like that.)

Why does my cunt matter so much? Because I god damn say it does. Because it does. Because it is part of me. Because I get to decide what is and isn’t important as it goes in and out of there. No one else.

If you don’t understand that basic ownership violation I just… maybe I’m finally out of words.

Drips, drabs, ups, and downs.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I do?


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

And yet I keep hosting. Irony.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I’m really sorry.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Debt is evil.

Make your money work for you.

Pay yourself first.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thanks, Pam, for letting me write this morning.

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

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

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

That’s a lesson I can learn.

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

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

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

And then I can stop thinking about it.

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

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


Today I took the girls to visit an old friend of mine. I haven’t seen her much since I had kids. She’s older than me and she has a grown daughter. Talking to her is different now than it used to be.

Now she actively tries to tell me not to use her as an example. I don’t know if she was simply unaware of how I tried to pattern match off of her in the past or if it seemed more harmless.

Now she adamantly tells me that I should not make similar choices to her. She is not all that happy with the far side of the parenting road and she thinks that she made a lot of wrong choices.

Given that she is a specialist who works with developmentally delayed children (wow I know a lot of them) I did my normal poke, “Several friends think I should have Calli evaluated as potentially somewhere on the spectrum or possibly a speech delay. What do you think?”

She snickered. She said, “I have a 3.5 year old client who can point and say “unh” when he wants something. She’s really not delayed.”

This was kind of weird because I realized how much I want to brush off the encouraging and/or positive comments I receive about my children. Instead I worry and worry about the outliers who tell me, “I think you should ____”.

I never know how to feel about that. I don’t spend a lot of time talking about it, but lots of strangers stop me to grab my shoulders and stare at me in a really intense way and say, “Do you know how exceptional your child is?”

It happens every few months. I uhhh don’t know how to react. This is usually after ten or so minutes talking to Shanna. Talking about that sounds like bragging but honestly it makes me uncomfortable.

It’s not like it only comes from the sweet old grandmothers. It comes from a wide variety of people in a wide variety of circumstances. They are a lot easier to brush off and not think about much. I worry about the criticisms.

I want to believe that people are seeing the real experience of my life when they see potential areas I’m fucking up and not when it’s going right. The going right must be a fluke, right? I don’t believe compliments or positive statements. Although I’m not looney–I know my oldest child is advanced in speaking. But yeah. Whatever. How’s that going to effect the price of tea in China?

When I first knew a lot of my friends as mothers they were still young-ish mothers. I knew them through the periods they talk of with regret. It’s weird to now hear that side of it because I didn’t know anything at the time. I thought they were so great. Now they tell me not so much.

I’m worried, like I am. What am I fucking up? What am I missing? What am I not catching that a competent professional would catch?

Then I went on to read a thread on a homeschool email list about the idea of seeing a speech pathologist/therapist/getting kids evaluated for autism/etc other labels. The point was made that many, most issues (like speech stuff) would naturally resolve around six but we put kids into therapy earlier than that “so they don’t get used to the stigma of being deficient”. (Not my phrasing–emphasis is mine.)

It was a long thread and I’m quoting a very small part and the person I’m quoting had many interesting ideas so I’m not trying to paint it badly. But it was one of those “howdy there, juxtaposition” moments. (I’m working my way through a book on how people reach insights. It’s fascinating how connections layer.)

Anyway. The point was I think it is kind of interesting that I’m dithering about getting Calli evaluated. I have not been able to make up my mind if I want to pursue it or not. If she has speech delay it is extremely minor and most kids resolve minor issues on their own by six. She doesn’t have a severe speech issue. That is clear. She seems to have some difficulty with some sounds, but we do exercises. I’m not sure speech therapy would have much to offer her. The pediatrician does the basic autism screening and has at every appointment. The pediatrician says Calli is fine. But I worry.

And I hesitate to put my sticky little feet near the waters of the system. Do I really want my local school system building a dossier on my kids so that they can pester me about what I’m doing and whether I’m doing it right?

I go back and forth about how I feel about working with charter schools and it comes down to, ultimately, the fact that if I got the wrong “supervising teacher” to work with I would explode with rage.

That’s not so healthy or functional, I know.

I don’t do well with people who have a small amount of arbitrary power and then are petty. It’s a super common trait though and not a situation I really want to deal with.

But I worry about the idea that I am flying blind with no one to supervise me. The trouble is finding someone I respect who would be in an appropriate position to work with me. Mostly I just ask different people who have different specialties for informal evaluations.

Yeah. I feel mixed about the “methodology” I’m following. It’s uhm. Well. It’s unschooling. I don’t have a rubric of right or wrong. I’m just… doing.

What I’m trying to do is teach me and Shanna and Calli how to be polite to people. We have very good manners together. We can go to a grown-up only house and behave exactly how we should because there are Rules and we gosh darn spend the whole car ride there going over them. There are different rules for different places

I consciously and deliberately always specify why a rule exists.

You know that obnoxious “why” phase parents bitch about? We don’t have much of that here. I explain why before they can ever stop to consider how to react to an arbitrary rule. We don’t have many arbitrary rules.

Even “no food on the carpet” is “except on party days or very rarely with something that has NO CRUMBS”.

I need my children to be able to pick up on subtle behavior clues. I need it like I need water. It is not normal or natural to be as obsessed with it as I am. That means that it is not acceptable for me to expect my children to just be able to do it.

It means I have to explicitly teach my children how to evaluate how to talk to people. It means I have to go through and explain detailed body language stuff. We work on it a lot.

It’s controlling and wacky and crazy. But I tell them a lot, “I’m teaching you what I have learned. I don’t know everything. Sometimes I’m just flat wrong. As you grow up you will have different experiences than I’ve had and you will decide that I’m very wrong about some things. That happens to the best of us. For now, try to get some idea of what I’m looking at. It will take time and practice and you are going to make some mistakes and feel embarrassed. Brush it off and try again. You have to fail a million times before you can be an expert at anything.”

I want my kids to have the self confidence that comes from being allowed to try 30 things that fail before you find something that works.

And that means I frustrate the shit out of them.

I sorta think of myself as aspiring to be a cross of Mary Poppins, Mr. Miyagi, and Professor McGonagall. But more cuddly than that list implies.

I’m very demanding and exacting and I expect that is going to suck to live with long-term. We’ll see.

I don’t like curriculum but we talk about history a lot. I believe that studying history is important because many of the mistakes that we might make were already made by other people–go see how it worked out for them and then decide if you want that kind of result. We talk about historical people and periods and events and we read biographies.

When Shanna makes a grammar error and I correct her she does actually say, “Why was that wrong?” so I guess I get some “Why” questions. Mostly she says “What does ____ mean?”

I set the framework in their heads. We talk about space and biology and evolution and chemistry and physics and botany.

We haven’t been seriously working on language stuff but our play sometimes includes bouncing between using all the words in our collective vocabulary in every language we know to name objects in a space. It’s fun. They teach me words. (I verify things on the internet…) That will only get bigger as they get older. It’s a great way of getting them to sit still and be patient. I start by pointing at something and I will say it’s name/color/some descriptive term and someone will respond with a variation or move to a new object.

Unschooling means we spend our lives learning. The kids have spontaneous jam sessions where they sit down and make up song lyrics for a half hour to an hour. I uhhh look askance from a distance as someone who has always felt excluded from the cliqueish world of playing music. Shanna really likes making music and making up lyrics to go with what she is playing. It is a lot of fun to watch. It’s not “serious learning” but I would argue that it’s also important. She’s only five. Yes, some disciplines believe you can force children to learn even younger than she is. There is also some reason to believe it is better to start at more like seven or eight when the kid will really understand the range of options.

For now I’m comfortable with dithering. Or maybe I just think eight because that is when public schools start music. Who knows.

Shanna’s learning enough right now. She really does have a lot she’s trying to do.

We play math games. I don’t start them. I would probably avoid math much more if I could. Ugh. Shanna is very focused on math to my jaundiced view. She probably sits down to spontaneously do math work every week or two. She’s not a prodigy or anything but she’s interested and she feels like she is successful at it and she knows that understanding math is important for many careers. She doesn’t have any opening for bias that might imply she might be potentially bad at math.

We spend our days moving back and forth between subjects all day long. Cooking is chemistry and math. We talk about how much food costs. We talk about why we make the choices we make with the money we spend on food. There are a lot of shoot-off topics from there. Sometimes I do sit down and draw out how something would visually look if I think it would be hard for them to imagine.

But it’s all organic. (I don’t mean the hippy dippy shit.) I mean it just kind of happens. I respond to their questions all day long. I alternate filling their heads with so much information they sometimes look like they might explode with telling them, “I don’t know how to do it. You figure it out.”

We are loud people. We want to be heard. That is the last trait I want to extinguish in my kids. Same with not punishing them for whining. *I* whine. I’m not going to forking punish my kids for doing what I model. That would make me a despicable hypocrite.

do not punish my kids for doing things I have taught them to do. Iron clad rule.

Does everyone live with rules? This many rules. So many rules. I feel like I am drowning in all the rules, rules, rules. Be this here. Be that there. Be something else someplace else. 

I like the Biblical phrase “a house divided”.

Fall. Fall. Fall.

Only I’m not divided. I promised me I’d never do that. I would never split off my memories so that only certain parts of me existed at a time. Apparently that is one of the main ways folks like me get out of childhood. That’s what the specialists tell me.

I’m not splitting. But I’m learning how to be polite in a wide variety of different cultures and it’s hard. I think I only get to like 70% correct anywhere I try.

I always say too much. I’m too forward. I’m too loud. I’m too inappropriate (although this one has faded now that I only over-share sexually with some of Noah’s random co-workers at Christmas parties. Surely that’s uhm not as bad as I’ve ever been before. That’s been it for the last several years running.

This is big.

And yet I shouldn’t talk about it because it is indiscreet. But controlling hypersexuality doesn’t go away when you are married and monogamous and having moderately good sex with your husband. (I post about bad spells and he goes, “Ahh. An opportunity. So if I put in more effort I get more sex? H’okay then!”) We’re too tired for the earth shattering kind of sex. Some day we’ll get back there. *cross fingers*

I feel like that is the main overwhelming fact of parenthood. Exhaustion. I actually sleep pretty well these days. What, I only miss 2-7 hours in the average week lately? I’ve been sleeping pretty well. I wake up when I want to and not because I have to. That’s doing ok. But I’m still exhausted.

Yes, it’s a running day and I’m tired after eight miles. But it’s not that. I think the running makes me feel better about being this tired because I am whether I run or not. At least when I run I get to have this macho swagger for a while as I feel my rock hard thighs. Holy crap. I didn’t know my legs did that. (They stopped being rock hard when I defrosted and relaxed after the run… but they had like an hour there.. Maybe I need more mid-run stretching breaks… hm.)

I think that the schedule I should keep is either run or edit seven days a week. I only predictably have till 6:30am to work. The whole rest of the day is too overwhelming with kid-need-to-communicate. I love them so much but sometimes I feel like a wrung out sponge.

When I look kind of deflated Noah says, “Well we didn’t pick the low intensity kind of parenting.”

Nope. Not so much.

If I get through this twenty year period and I end up with adult children who want to be my friends and who can go off into the world and have happy lives…

I don’t want a codependent relationship forever. I don’t want two dependents. I want to engage in loud, wild, crazy sex in the middle of my living room. You can move out some day, kiddos. I have plans.

But I hope and pray every day that they will want to be my friend. I want to hear about their lives. I want to know what happens to them. Sure, I hope that they will tell me sometimes that I am a good mom. Mostly I hope that I will look at what they do with their life and think quietly to myself “That was a good choice.” I should keep my mouth shut. It is not my job to judge who they become as adults. Not one way or another.

I don’t judge them much now. I evaluate them. But I describe everything in terms of progress and development. There is no “good” or “bad”. I’m just making sure you are doing what a three year old should be able to do.

I worry that if I decide to have her evaluated she will have a very small delay and I will be told that I “really should pay for therapy so she won’t be more delayed later” (when that is only a faint possibility).

Yeah, I over think things.

If she has a 10% or 20% delay then she is still in the range of normal. She’s just not right at the center line or above it. I don’t believe there is a chance that she is more delayed than that. And her expressive language is advanced. I think she just has to grow into her mouth.

I want to give her time. I think that is all I have to give her. I don’t want to think of her as “behind”. She’s Calli. She’s not the most advanced in every single part of human development but she is certainly not struggling to be understood.

If she starts having problems having conversations with strangers because they can’t understand her then I will take her in for an evaluation. That seems like a good bar. As long as strangers can understand her and have a pick up conversation she is doing well enough for three.

Ok. I think I can stop worrying about that now. (I can dream, can’t I? Actually I can’t because I’ve started having pot at night again. Thank you blissful slumber. Yes, my tolerance is lower.)

I feel like I am so tired I will go fall in my bowl of soup. Maybe time to start getting ready for dinner. I’m so glad it is a leftovers night.

I planned out dinners for February and March. I’m pretty good about sticking to my schedule if I make it. I’m hoping to uhm bring down my food budget a little. It’s hard given some of my food priority stuff. I do my best to buy my meat from actual farmers. I make a big exception for sausage. I’m going to hell for the sausage. I have some very strong feelings about the unsustainability of factory farmed meat. But man I know how expensive it is to be all prissy about “food ethics”. Maybe this year I should be better about tracking food spending. I wonder what I’m putting where. I could look at vendors. on Mint… Hmmm. Now I’m procrastinating. Put down the darn keyboard, Krissy.

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’m gonna be a super model.

Not a supermodel. That’s different. I frequently feel weird that I don’t do things for myself. I do them so that I can show my kids how it “should” be done. I need to show them how to eat healthy food. I need to show them how to exercise. I need to show them how to rest. The list keeps getting longer. All the “shoulds”. I won’t do them for myself.

Lately I’ve been thinking very hard about the fact that cutting is free and pot is expensive. Only there is a hidden cost. I teach my children by what I do. I don’t want them slicing themselves open. I want them liking their bodies.

Yesterday I randomly blurbed on Twitter about Calli telling me that we are both good girls. I said that it surprises me that people think I’m good. One of my Daddy’s popped up and told me that lots of people think I’m good. That one didn’t surprise me much. Another former lover piped up to tell me I’m awesome.

Uhh, what you know about me is that I showed up for sex when you wanted sex and I didn’t talk about myself and I didn’t stay longer than you wanted me around. Oh, then you went on to work with my husband which was hella awkward. What in the fuck are you basing the word “awesome” on? The fact that I’m good at showing up for sex and keeping it on the down-low so no one has to be aware that you touched me?


Sometimes when I stop and reflect on the fact that my writing makes other people feel judged, particularly that people think I am holding myself up as better than them…


I’m struggling to think that anything I do is “right”. I’m trying like hell to believe that it is ok for me to teach my children the way I am. I don’t know I am right. I’m just hoping that the best I can do is good enough.

Isn’t that what everyone is doing? We are doing the best we can every day. Everyone has something different they are good at doing. I’m not good at everything. I’m not good at all that many things. My list of failures is longer than my successes.

But that’s the process. Right?

Today I will try and rest more. It feels bad. It feels lazy. It feels like skipping out on life.

But I’ll cuddle more with the kids. The first year of my kids’ lives I sat still with them. That’s pretty much what I did. I sat still and managed my anxiety and let the world rush by without me.

No, mothers aren’t meant to be alone all the time with their children. I know. It isn’t best practice. I do not believe that the option of day care/school is the best way to solve this problem in our family. I don’t think they are bad or unworthy options but they aren’t options I want to pursue.

I don’t really want to go get a job so I can afford to pay someone else money to watch my kids for me. I don’t want to.

I have the privilege to make another choice. I want to make the choice I am making. I am not saying that the options shouldn’t be there for other people. I think they should. I think they should be government supported because it is best for all of society if children have access to such support.

I still need to do what I’m doing.

I need to learn how to be an adult. I want to do this so I can show my children how to be an adult. This is the best I can do.

I wish I were better too.

My people.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Uhh, sorry.

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

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

I just…

I’m trying.

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

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

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

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

Sometimes people have unconscious reactions. It happens.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I wish.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I feel like a petty, whining baby.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I should just stop caring.