Saturday, December 31, 2011

Time for the next step on the book.

Well this is a banner morning.  I sat here trying to come up with something I was angry about.  I went through a few of my pet topics in my head.  I'm not sure if I feel resignation or sadness or rather I just feel resolute.  I think I am at a place where I have satisfied enough Whys for now.

I left stuff out of the book.  I left people out of the book.  It was an accident.  On one hand I feel the need to go back and add those people in.  On the other hand, no I need to edit what is there, not add material.  I can add a forward and that's it.  I can't stay mired in that part of my life.  If something comes up in a conversation I can say it or I can add stuff to the blog but that book is done.  I need to stop thinking about that part of my life so much.  It is over.  It's time to close that book.

But what do I do about all the damage?  There are often unintended consequences to actions and they can last a lifetime.  Who do I want my children to remember?  It's time to stop feeling angry all the time.  Not because I have to, because I have actually given that run of my life a good long serious look.  I don't feel like I left anything unsaid I need to feel bad about not saying.  It's ok that people can't really and truly get the accurate body count number of my sexual partners in the book.  It's really embarrassing how many people I left out of the book.  I wasn't talking about the parts of my life that included them.  There was so much to tell.  The threads just fell out of the story.

I'm mostly through Bastard Out of Carolina.  I read Trash about a week ago.  I'm really grateful a friend handed them to me right now.  I can stop fretting about this book.  No Shame, No Secrets, No Silence is done.  I'm thinking about emailing it to my editor right now, in fact.  Done.

Friday, December 30, 2011

"Go see a therapist"

You go see a therapist when you are stuck in some way and you can't change by yourself.  Otherwise you just change by yourself and save the money.  Therapy is expensive, yo.

Who do I want to be when I grow up?  What patterns am I actually stuck in and which patterns can I change if I think about them?  What is a happy life?  What do I want to do with my time and my life?  That really is the crux of it, isn't it?  The way you spend your hours is the way you spend your years.  I think I am saying it wrong but someone had something like that as a sig line on MDC.  Where is my Zen place?  What is it that I should be doing for my spirit to be in alignment with my body?  (By the way I don't use the word Zen in a way that is associated with any actual definition or official usage.  I am a co-opting piece of shit.)

I told Noah this morning that I don't feel like I am having sex for me and I don't like that feeling any more.  I am having sex so that I can continue to be this construct in my head.  I am not really getting off much these days.  That's a big change.  Sorta?  It started with pregnancy.  It kind of came back and then it seems to be gone again.  I can get close and I have all these nifty hypnosis tricks in place so I can trigger muscle spasms in the appropriate way such that I suppose it feels like an orgasm, kinda.  It's like eating soft serve.  It's just not ice cream even if it looks like and is presented as the same thing.  Even with sprinkles.  It's not ice cream.

You aren't supposed to say that on the internet, right?  The way we are having sex isn't working for me.  I don't want to be this right now.  I'm not saying never again.  I am saying I need something other than what I have right now.  This is hard to write about because I am trying very hard to not represent what Noah wants.  I don't think I really know or understand what Noah wants.  It's not his fault, but I think we are operating with a lot of unspoken assumptions and I should only speak for me.

I'm sitting here thinking and thinking and thinking.  In these arguments I always get stuck with this huge load of rage and I scream that I don't want to spend the rest of my life doing laundry.  Dude.  The rest of my life will involve laundry.  Shut the fuck up already.  Why does this become such a sticking point?  I could dissect it.  I could start having the other adults in the house do the laundry; they would if I required it.  Really and truly, they would.  But it would require reminding and fussing and then I would never be satisfied with the results.  They would fold the damn shirts wrong.

This isn't about laundry.

I don't have very many pictures of my mother.  But in several she's doing laundry.  I remember the sighs.  The long tirades about how much she hated having to clean up after me.  I remember her bitterness at having to go out and earn money and come home to the messes I made  It's honestly one reason I don't want to have a job.  If I had a job I would resent the ever loving shit out of my children for having the audacity to live in the house and make a mess when I wasn't there.  It offends my dignity.  Oh God help someone who breaks a dish when I'm not home.  I'm completely unreasonable.  But if I'm standing in the room and not the one who does it?  My reaction is, "Thank God it wasn't me!"  And I'm not mad.  Mistakes happen.

I don't forgive slights that are done when I'm out of sight.  I'm not sure what is up with that.  Hunh.  Ok, that's actually a big one.  I'm going to have to think about that one for a long time.  I resent having to be a support network for a life and for happiness I won't get to share.  It really bothers me.  It makes me feel angry that I spend 'x' hours of week doing extra work so that Noah gets to have 'y' hours of time completely alone.  Because the hours aren't equal.  Not in my head.

There is a tally.  He doesn't understand it or track it.  It is totally invisible to him if I do it right.  Sex is part of the tally.  Part of the things I "have to do".  The tally that "should be" invisible to him.  Which means the cost should be invisible as well.  I'm having trouble writing a coherent sentence about this.  If I don't explain the tally system he can't change his behavior based on the different costs.

For the whole rest of my life Noah will have more effect on me than anyone.  Dealing with him is effort because he is a human being and that's just life.  That's ok.  That's more than ok.  I want to put a lot of effort into him because I like him sooooooooooo much.  If he doesn't understand where I am putting effort and why... it's kind of silly, you know?  I don't know that I am using my effort to good effect.  I don't know where I am spinning my wheels and trying to do things to please dead people.

Who do I want to be when I grow up?  What would I be like if I had grown up believing that my body is mine and people should only do things to me that I want them to do?  I wonder if she is more or less fierce than I am?

Obedience.  What is it?  Obedience to what?  To blind ideals?  To stupid short-sighted goals?  To instant gratification with a high opportunity cost?  What cost can I bear?  Honestly--a high cost.  I really can.  But where should the cost be spent?  I don't think that decision should be made in a vacuum.  Years ago Noah offered me an abusive relationship with off-switch.  What does it mean to be off?  What does it mean when it is turned on?  I'm not afraid of Noah, not really.  Noah told me flat out this morning that he doesn't believe me when I say I won't leave.  He's a smartie, that one.  The part that I don't think he understands is I wouldn't be able to stay gone.  I can never actually walk away from him.  He is the father of my children.  Until his death he will be in my life.  That is complicated.  Noah doesn't actually know what it means to talk about a broken home.  I do.  I want a home.

Even if it is soft serve, it's home.  That sounds terrible.  Even if I am nothing exciting you will still stay.  Even if I am a poor imitation of what a wife should be.  Even if I am not anything like advertised.  I feel like I am ruining Noah's life by being so conflicted about sex.  I don't think Noah's sexual performance has suddenly gone down hill.

Who do I want to be when I grow up?  I don't think a therapist can just fix me.  I need to figure out who I want to be.  No one else can tell me that.  What would I be like if I could move through the world without the sure knowledge that if someone asked me for sex I am essentially required to say yes, or at least only say no to a very small number of people in specific categories.  Anyone in category A should be good enough.

People are not interchangeable.  They really aren't.  And I don't fucking owe anyone anything.  The Embargo is not my fault.  It really doesn't matter what my father told me.  I don't have a cunt so that I can get as many dicks as possible.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

hair cutting

No one really knows what the boundaries are for another person.  You have to speak for yourself, only, always.  I decided to stop hunting and I cut all my hair off.  In the bathroom with nail scissors.  And now I'm going to feel like a fucking schmuck for years.  Something broke.  I think if I believed I could get away with wearing a burqa I would.  I feel like a melodramatic, stupid, immature moron.  Not to put too fine a point on it.

Ok, so what really happened is I was in the process of trying to leave the house one day and I couldn't comb through the snarls.  I lost my temper and badly cut the knot out.  I have been compulsively going into the bathroom to fix it ever since.  It's rather short.  My hair is not ok with bleach.  I have a fairly ridiculous amount of shame around the fact that this is not the first time I have stopped hunting and shaved my head.  I should tell that story.  I don't know if it is in the book or not.

I was seventeen and at West Valley.  I was hanging out with Praveena.  It was towards the end of our time hanging out together.  I was on the tail end of one of my whoring-around-phases and feeling really bad about myself.  I was getting to the point where I noticed that everyone who fucked me ditched me really soon after.  I was at Praveena's house and we were having a conversation about the fact that it bothered me that people no longer wanted to be my friend after we had sex.  She thoughtfully looked at me and said, "Then why don't you find out if they want to be your friend before you have sex with them?"

I started shaking.  You don't understand.  People don't spend time with me very often.  Sex was how I got people to look at me.  I moved around so often that I knew that I had to get attention quickly or I wouldn't get it at all.  I know what I'm supposed to act like.  I know my "role".  I couldn't verbalize any of that at the time.  I couldn't imagine anyone wanting to be near me.  I just sat there shaking.  I had been cutting my hair at home compulsively for a while.  It was probably three or four inches long.  I asked her for shaving supplies.  She was kind of confused as to why I wanted to shave my legs right then but she got them.

I went out in the back yard and shaved my head.  She watched in wide mouthed horror.  She had hair almost to her waist.  She was a gorgeous Persian girl with super thick luscious hair.  She sputtered and gasped and tried to talk me out of it.  I remember the look of squick on her face.  I laughed.

My mother didn't laugh.  To put this in larger context, this happened in October of 1998.  My father had killed himself a couple of weeks earlier.  Tommy had killed himself in June.  My mom said a lot of very rude and nasty things to me about my looks.  She pointed out that my head was exceedingly lumpy.  She pointed out that given how fat I was, my head looked especially small and stupid.  I need that big bushy hair to balance out my fat ass.

I was invited to go to a 'formal' dinner related to the haunted house event I volunteered at.  My hair was only a few millimeters long at that point.  I covered my head in glitter and wore a tight black velvet dress.  My mom didn't say anything, but she shook her head and grimaced.

At the time I felt awkward and stupid and barely spoke to anyone.  The reality is that people were perfectly nice and civil to me.  The people who knew me at all were friendly and strangers went out of their way to be nice.  I never went back to that organization.  My mother extensively talked about how stupid I looked and how she bets they would be making fun of me behind my back.

I'm not really cutting my hair because I think it makes me look ugly.  When I feel ugly I feel compelled to cut my hair.  I really do have beautiful hair.  My hair is lovely enough that someone who feels and acts the way I do should not have that much camouflage to look "normal".

I can't possibly explain my mothers furious disgust at people who dye their hair "funny colors".  Oh my god.  Anyone who would do that is disgusting.  They are lesser, dirty people.  They are not normal.  Above all we must be normal, right?  I don't even know what that means.

I really and truly did dye my hair because I thought it was fun.  I have enjoyed catching glimpses of myself in reflections and seeing the shock of color.  It makes me smile.  Unfortunately my hair is quite fine and the bleach destroys it and it gets shorter and shorter and... yeah.  It's time to deal with letting it grow out again.

And that represents so much internal conflict of self-expression and self-identity.  It's ridiculous that it matters so much.  As I listen to Lady Gaga sing about her own hair experience I feel trite and ridiculous and like I am such a product of my generation.  Of course I dye my hair odd colors and cut it myself in ridiculous ways.  I'm Emo, right?  I guess I never got over high school.

This is part of what I mean when I say I don't fit.  I don't really know the rules.  Do you want to know the main reason I'm cutting my hair myself?  Because it really doesn't matter if I pay someone to do this.  Pretty soon I'm going to just buzz it because it's time to start fresh.  There really isn't a point in paying someone to do that.  I've been looking extensively at our budgeting.  I'm going to continue paying for Noah's haircuts because I like them.  Enh, I'm just done paying for them for a few years.  It makes me twitch to pay that much money on hair care.  Curly hair is very forgiving and it's not like I'm trying to impress anyone.  That feels bad to say.

I have fun cutting my hair.  I like trying to figure out the shape of my head.  I get compliments from random people when I am out so I think I do a reasonable job.  I'm not ugly.  I don't really think that having short hair makes me ugly.  I don't think that other people with short hair are ugly.  But when I am feeling ugly I compulsively cut my hair.  I'm trying to change what I see in the mirror.  I want to have more control over what I see.  I don't want to go pay someone else who will try to make me look like some mainstream idea of beauty.  Whatever it is that society values and requires of women I am not it.  Let's get the advertising straight.

There are fifty sides to every story.  I like cutting my hair.  I think it is fun.  I think it is weird.  I think it is a slightly self-harming behavior but fairly harmless so it's ok.  I think it is an obsessive compulsive tick when I am overwhelmed with my sexuality.  I think that other people will judge me badly for being the kind of person who will do this.  I don't know why I care.  Thank goodness we are through picture season.

I need to let the roots get a bit longer before I decide how short to get.  Until then I get to cut off bits and pieces every time the urge strikes.  I think it is kind of funny that I do this during cold weather.  I guess I'll just have to wear my Cheshire Cat hat all the time for a few months.  That's subtle.

I told Noah some truth last night.  I wonder how that will work out.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

That's why.

This morning I had an important thought.  If I stop smoking pot now I am going to start cutting frequently.  The Ativan is not a choice that works as well.  I'm not willing to be on a daily pill, even though I probably should at this point.  My mood cycles have been horrible in the last two weeks.  Pot levels it all out and makes me cheerful and just barely stupid.  I am in a great space to sit and play with Play Doh for hours.  I can build with Lego's all day.  I'm noticing what things I didn't get Shanna that I probably should have.

I'm enjoying how cuddly and affectionate Calli is... when I'm stoned.  When I'm sober it bothers me and I want to get up and walk away.  There is something wrong with me.  When I am sober it hurts.  She bangs her head on me, she scratches, she steps on me awkwardly or knees me or or or or...  I kind of hate it.  When I am stoned I just mumble, "oooph, gentle with Mommy".  I'm so glad to be near her that I don't mind her rough antics.  She doesn't mean anything by them.  She's just a baby.

My body isn't a good place to be lately.  I have to spend a lot of time dissociated if I want to function at all. It's hard.  Most of my body hurts most of the time.  My stomach hurts terribly from stress, pot also levels that out.

Pot allows me to put aside my grown up concerns and worries and just be present and happy in the moment with my kids.  Most of the day is really quite pleasant.  I only think about things that are relevant to what is in my line of sight, quite deliberately.  That's how I manage to be a good mother.  I think only of our immediate house and my kids most of the time.  I don't divide my energy well.  I can work on house stuff like cleaning with the kids around, but that's the limit.  Sometimes they let me read.  They hate the computer and mostly I have to be in a different room on a break in order to use it.  That's when I smoke pot.

I go think about grown up things for brief periods behind closed doors during the day.  That is what having Sarah here gives me.  Time to walk away from the kids when my thoughts become intrusive.  When I am starting to feel edgy I can ask for a break.  I'm trying to have the breaks be as effective sober and they just aren't.  My emotions are too intense.

I have ridiculous self-control and ridiculous patience... within small tight boundaries.  My kids will grow up being told frankly that I smoke because I need the medicine in the plant and there isn't a better way to get it out for me.  Why do I need the medicine?  Because of something that was broken when I was a little girl.  They won't be broken in that way so they won't need the medicine.  It's rather unpleasant to do, so I don't recommend it.  Shanna will cheerfully lecture anyone within hearing on how disgusting and unhealthy smoking is.  Yay California.

But sober, I'm edgy and raw.  I cry a lot.  I can't stand to let anyone touch me and when my kids grab me my entire physical reaction is to want to shake them off like a dog.  I loathe being touched.  It feels like such a disgusting and horrible incursion into my body.  Every touch feels bad right now.  Everything hurts.  The most gentle of caresses feels like a slap.  I can mostly dissociate away when sober, but not enough to smile or pretend I am enjoying it.

I don't want my children to grow up with a mother who flinches away from them constantly as if they are terrible people for wanting to touch her.  I think I should get stoned instead.  It doesn't really matter that I feel bad about doing it.  It doesn't matter that the stupid bitch at PAMF looked at me like dirt because I have a medical card.  It allows me to be a good mother.  I feel so ashamed of myself for needing it.  I guess this makes me an addict?  Officially?  I don't know.

It seems to me that most of life is about walking a series of thin lines.  I am more ashamed of cutting than I am of smoking pot.  The specific reason I think it is worse is because I will be more strongly judged and censured for cutting.  I don't know a lot about tribal cutting, I've never bothered to find out.  I can imagine there being places in the world where my desire to cut myself to deal with my emotional experience would be viewed differently.  If I were to lose my fear of judgment, I would be able to represent myself in a way that would feel more honest.  I am a person who has experienced a lot of pain. But I did it in a way that is invisible and hard to ignore.  There are scars all through my vagina.  I think the scars should be on the outside so that other people can see them.  I think that marking yourself in proportion to the pain you feel is a way of identifying yourself so that you can find other people to talk to who can hopefully give you relevant advice beyond, "Just cheer up!"  Yeah, fuck you too.

Pot keeps me from feeling suicidal.  I'm just not desperate enough.  It really pisses me off that I can never really be a martyr for any cause ever in my life because if I go in a way that is not completely fucking random people will assume I killed myself.  It's just got to be the base assumption forever.

I'd really like to kill myself.  But in my personal hierarchy of needs it is far far more important that I never give my children the experience of parental suicide.  Jimmy thinks that just not talking about things and not doing the same things will break the chains and he's wrong.  The only thing that will break the chains is consciously talking about what we are doing and then choosing to do something else.  It is hard to be a different person.  It doesn't happen by sitting back silently and hoping it happens.

Who do I want to be?  I want to be someone who doesn't need to be apathetic all the time in order to function.  This stage of processing won't last forever.  What do I need to change about my life in order to not get back to feeling this desperate and hurt?  Can I change enough?   Is this just something that is part of me because of my previous trauma?  Will I always find a new trigger somewhere down the road?  I don't know.  I really don't.

I'm just bitchy and mean and bored and antsy and angry and touchy when I am sober.  I feel so dissatisfied with everything in life.  I hate that in myself.  And when I'm stoned I'm fine.  No really.  I am doing exactly what I said I would and I do enjoy it when I can focus on it.  There must be something wrong with me if I need pot to focus.  That's not very functional, only it is.  I'm functional, I really am.  I beg the internet to believe me.  Why do I care so much?  Why do I feel like I constantly have to prove that I have some value.  I am not just a worthless piece of shit.  Even if I do smoke pot.  Even if I am just a disgusting whore.

I think I'm ordering more pot today.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

training

When I was 18 I started dating a man who was 11.5 years my senior.  His friends made a lot of jokes about how it was important to catch them young so you can train them right.  It's far truer than I like admitting.  At 18 I started dating someone who has a fairly low appetite for intercourse and a very high appetite for watching women suffer.

That partner has a very hard time orgasming.  In my opinionated opinion there are several factors at play there.  The first and most important thing contributing to that is too many years of extremely rough masturbation.  Boys, please be gentle with your junk.  But nearly as important is the fact that he was kind of freakishly huge and I think his circumcision was made too tight.  Just my opinion.  He had issues and I think they were related.  All the pro-circ people in the world can tell me there is no relationship and I won't believe them.  That's fine.

But when I was 18 I hooked up with this guy who was freakishly endowed who was almost impossible to get off.  I made it my life's mission to get him off.  It really didn't matter what I had to do.  45 minutes of intensely elaborate oral sex, sure no problem.  Hours and hours of intercourse, sure no problem.  You want to tie me up, sure.  You want to hang me from my neck, sure.  You want to break my arm, sure (ok, that was an accident--but it happened in the first six weeks we were dating and it didn't slow me down).  We egged each other on.  No matter what he could come up with that was embarrassing, humiliating, or painful... I could suggest worse and beg him to do it.

It's fairly unusual for me to ask someone to stop what they are doing to me.  I whine and I complain and I give suggestions and I cry and I scream.  I don't ask people to stop.  Ok, I did "safeword" when someone used a cattle prod on my genitals when I was 19.  I honestly can't remember if I have tapped out any other time.  People tend to not push me hard.  I don't have to ask people to stop, they stop because they are afraid of my crying.  They stop because they don't feel comfortable ignoring my less-than-subtle suggestions.  Not very many people notice that I don't ask people to stop.  Most people take it as written that suggestions mean stop.  But sometimes people notice.  Then I'm in trouble.

I didn't take much responsibility for my needs in my relationship with my Owner.  Instead I elaborately wrote contracts with him and tried to get them met that way and it didn't work.  I think that a fair bit of the problem was, I needed far more sex than him and being pestered for sex, especially sex where you have to put a lot of energy into hurting someone... that's hard.  My Owner didn't actually want to hurt me as much as I wanted to be hurt.  He wanted to do some of that, sometimes.  But not the way I wanted.  He couldn't keep up the steady stream.

But I did learn how to make him orgasm.  I did gain enough trust to have that with him.  Not every time, of course.  But I learned how to go about putting in enough effort to get that result.  It took a long time.  In some ways he was kind of the ideal partner for me--he represented a real challenge that I had to work on my skills for; but in other ways he was rather a nightmare because he represented nearly-constant failure at the thing I work hardest at in life.  It's kind of embarrassing to admit that I work harder on being good at sex than I do at being good at anything else.  I think about it harder.  I think about it more.

I think that is a lot of why I think I can not be a good person.  Good people aren't this obsessed with sex. Good people don't think this hard about being used and hurt.  Good people don't orgasm on command after being called a whore.

I'm thinking really hard about the forward to the book.  This story requires one.  Why did I write it?  What tone do I want to set?  Needless to say I'm feeling kind of mixed on what I want to say.

Earlier this year I woke up and realized that if I got hit by a bus there is no one to tell my children about my life.  No one who knows the pieces.  No one they will know even can.  They don't know the people who populated my childhood, and that's something they will need to know some day.  Some day they will want to know why I have no family.  Why they have no family.  They will want to know why I am so harsh sometimes.  Why I cry sometimes.  They don't need to know the specifics of my life when they are young.  It's totally irrelevant to their life at this point.  But some day they deserve to know.  I will do things during their lives I will have to apologize for.  I hope that I always apologize immediately and in the ways that they need.

I have it in me to do irreparable damage.  Damage that can never be apologized for.  I know that edge.  I know why I could do such damage.  I know that I walk a tight line.  You wouldn't know it if you met my children.

I surround myself carefully with people who were wounded by too-harsh mothers.  They give me feedback.  My children are joyous examples of the species.  They have not been hurt by my too-harshness.  I have successfully balanced giving them far more positives than I give negatives.  Even if I do feel too dirty to touch them.  Even if I do feel undeserving.  I know it isn't about me or what I deserve.  I give to them all the love I wish I was given.  I tell them over and over that they are good.  They are wonderful.  They are sweet.  They are kind.  They are thoughtful.  They are strong.  They are brave.  They are allowed to ask for help.  They are children and not yet responsible for themselves, but some day they will be ready.  I hope in telling them all of these things I hear them about myself.

Sex is a good and wonderful thing between people who care about each other.  It is affirming.  It is bonding.  It is loving.  It is friendly.  It is compassionate.  But it can be twisted.  I was taught that my only value was in getting men off.  I was told I am responsible for getting anyone off who wants to get off, no matter how I feel about it.  I never really believed it.  I always knew there were limits.  I knew I wasn't supposed to be getting my brothers off.  I knew I wasn't supposed to be getting my father off.  But I sure listened and believed that it was true of any other man who was willing to agree that I should.

My daughters will not grow up believing that promiscuity is a required part of life.  They will not be taught how to get men off before they hit puberty.  They will not believe that it is their job to dress like whores.  I don't care if we have to be weird creepy shut-ins who are not part of normal society.  I "slipped through the cracks" and got this message over and over in so many different places.  It won't happen to my children.  I will god damn prevent it.  My children will not be brought up to be like me.  My children will be brought up to believe that their body is theirs and they can use it as they choose.  I hope that my children never feel like they owe sex to any one.  I want them to feel like they can say yes and I want them to feel like they can say no.

I don't want my children to move through this world with the sure knowledge that any man at pretty much any time might rape them.  I do.  If I am going to be alone with a man I very carefully weigh how I will respond if/when they initiate sex.  Normally I simply avoid being alone with people if I don't want to have sex.  I know that I am not really able to say no in the moment.

It's hard admitting to my friends that if they pressed me for sex in person there is an extremely low chance I can say no.  Unless they approach me as a submissive man expecting me to do the work.  That I can say no to.  Laziness trumps everything.  If someone is willing to just show up and fuck me?  Yeah.  I don't say no.

That's a lot of why I think I should stop sleeping with people.  I do it compulsively.  I do it because I feel this really strong internal push to do it regardless of dithering or reasons I shouldn't.  I feel compelled.  Not absolutely all the time, obviously I don't go out fucking people constantly or the internet would hear more of it, but every few years I go through a phase.  And my sprees can be prodigious.  I think it is safer that I just try to wear out Noah.

It is dangerous liking rough, harsh, use-me-like-a-whore sex.  Not very many people can do that and still treat you like a perfectly nice individual later.  Things bleed.  It's hard to have boundaries.  In order for people to think about you and treat you like that... they have to cross some line in themselves.  I like to do things that people are normally told not to do.  That makes it really hard to understand that there are still boundaries.  It's even harder to guess where they are or what they might be around.  That's a lot of why I tell people not to worry about my triggers.  They aren't where you think they are any way.

What is a "healthy relationship" anyway?  My emotions in my day-to-day life are far more stable when I get the extremes out during sex.  Ridiculous amounts of sex.  Painful sex.  Degrading sex.  Noah is very polite to me outside of sex.  That sounds underwhelming.  Noah is a truly amazing husband.  And he does nasty terrible things to me so that I feel safe with him.  I have a lot of conflict around that.  I kind of wish that all of the healing-from-sexual-abuse books stopped telling me that as a compulsively sexual person I really should be celibate.  Maybe not forever, but at least for a while.  I am not going to do that for a wide variety of reasons.  Whether or not I should.

I'm just about out of pot.  I don't think anyone would be able to live with me if I also stopped having sex.  I would not be a nice person to live with.  It's time to make running just about daily.  It's time to edit the book.  I'm scared.  I'm going to go through and do another pass to see if I've left out any glaring omissions.  Then I will send it off to my editor.  I can't do the paring down.  I really can't.  Oh gosh.  This is frightening.

Life just keeps happening.  Sometimes whether I like it or not.

aftermath

I told Noah that I would be fairly ashamed to tell people how we are moving forward.  According to my personal religion that means I am committing a sin.  It's mixed.  Mostly I would say we are getting along very well.  I'm not starting fights or insulting him or picking on him.  Noah is his usual polite and adoring self.  It's like nothing happened except we have massively increased how much sex we are having and how degrading our sex is.

We have spent a lot of time talking about how compulsive I am about sex.  About how that works in my head.  We have spent a lot of time talking about how impulsive Noah is about sex.  So far we seem to be at the point where we are both acknowledging that we qualify as "sex addicts" by any reasonable definition but maybe if we stick with each other we won't cause too big of problems?

Apparently the task of the week is to see how much sex we have to have before Noah can't handle any more.  So far we have managed three times a day every day.  Then I fall asleep.  I feel mixed about this.  He knows I feel mixed about this.  Hell, I'm writing about feeling mixed about this--everyone will know.    It's hard talking about the actual needs that casual sex meets for me.  I can meet some pretty fucked up needs without telling anyone what I am doing.  I never have to tell my partners what my internal dialogue is.  I don't have a very high opinion of myself and my voracious need for sex.

I don't have a very high opinion of the fact that my preference is for most of the sex I have to be quasi-consensual.  Noah is well aware that a large percentage, possibly "most", of our sex involves me not being in the mood at all.  It doesn't really matter if I am interested in sex.  I am interested in being a good whore.  That means I will do what I am supposed to do.  I feel manifestly uncomfortable admitting that.  A large percentage of the sex I have I only have because I feel like I am required to do so.  That is what someone like me is good for.  That is what I am supposed to do.  And I'm really good at it.  And I fucking live for the post-sex adulation.  People I fuck tend to be willing to tell me at great length how good I am at sex.  I try very hard to make sure I work far harder at sex than most women.  I really really want the approval I get after sex.

I feel like something is broken in me.  That I chase this so hard.  Noah and I have been talking a lot lately.  I don't think I am going to sleep with other people any more.  Regardless of what Noah ends up doing for the rest of his life, I need to stop buying affection with sex.  I need to stop begging my friends to like me by proving that I am better at sex than anyone they've ever slept with.  It's not really a strategy that is working for me.

I like to pick other sex addicts and go have multiple hours of sex with them.  Most of the time they are so shocked by finding a woman who is also as motivated by sex that they are willing to tell me pretty much anything I want.  It's broken.  I have a partner at home who is willing to do the Jekyll/Hyde thing with me.  He will degrade me and talk about me being a whore during sex.  He will tell me that if I am so motivated by cock I am required to show up at 5am every day and wake him up with my mouth.  And he's pretty nice to me the rest of the time.

I feel worried by the duality of our relationship.  Most of the time in most ways he really is an amazing partner.  He is a good, stable provider.  He is kind.  He is great with our children.  I have been able to push him towards mutually agreed upon improvements in behavior over the years.  He's very willing to accommodate me in just about every part of life.  He bends over backwards for me in nearly every way.  He will even call me names and hurt me tremendously during sex if I tell him I want him to.

There is this mythos in my head that slaves and masochists should experience no internal conflict over what they do.  I have massive internal conflict.  I am still upset that Noah lied to me.  And my response is to tell him more and more complex stories that I am terribly ashamed of.  Things that hurt me very much.  And I ask him to use them against me.  I want him to agree that I am just a dirty whore.  There isn't much else that someone like me is good for.  But I want him to gift wrap it in a package where I don't have to be at risk going forward.

For me to keep having the kind of casual sex that I like is for me to risk my life.  It really won't be much longer before I go back for hunting for rough, dangerous sex.  Sure I'm being all loud and snotty this round of hunting because I want vanilla sex right now.  That would fade.  I would go back to wanting people to do dangerous things to me.  I've already had a broken bone in the pursuit of good sex, what else will happen?

It is a lot safer to stick with Noah.  He will be able to hurt me as much or more than anyone else.  He doesn't flinch from doing so.  Noah has not yet inflicted as much pain on me as a small handful of other people, but he has every intention of doing so.  I get the impression that some day he will be the one I have done my most intense play with.  That kind of terrifies me.  Because he has a high bar to reach.  I have already done things that were a really bad idea.  I'm sure I will do more.

If I do this instead of cutting or sleeping around or drugs or whatever other self-harming behavior I can dream up... is that better?  I don't know.  I don't know how this life thing is supposed to work.  I hear I am just supposed to magically decide that I shouldn't be harmed any more, not by anyone.  Not by me, and not by random guys, and not by my husband.  But I need this.  I am so used to feeling shit on.  I require it so much.

Noah has been nice and patient for a long time.  We haven't done intense or painful or degrading sex in a long time.  He's been more respectful than that.  So I got bored and went out and slept with other people.  And the thing is, it's not enough that he does these things to me.  I need people to know that these things are part of my life.  I need for people to know that I am this person.  I can't have this done in secret.  I can't keep secrets.

It would be a sin if I did these things and kept them private and secret.  I believe that.  That is something that I have to hold on to in life.  Something is only a sin if I am ashamed to talk about it.  If I am talking about this now, does that mean I am released from the power of it being a sin?  I don't know.  I worry about needing what I need.  It's mixed.

I can point in a straight line from events in my early childhood to what I do now.  Come March, other people will be able to do so as well.  Noah already can.  And he stomps all over me with that knowledge.  Only in ways I find hot, of course.  Is that the difference?  Is that the line between what we do and some amorphous "abuse"?  If I tell Noah to stop doing something on a given day he does.  Except by prior arrangement.  Except that I know that I just don't bother to say no when I'm not in the mood.  I figure out how to let it happen.  I figure out how to permit him the access he wants whether I want it or not.  I don't generally bother to communicate whether I am in the mood or not.  If he tells me to do something, I do it.

It's interesting when people talk to me about how self-assured I am.  How self-possessed.  How willing to stand up for myself.  Ha.  Only sometimes.  Only in some ways.  If a sexual partner is telling me to do things I frankly don't want to do I have limited ability to communicate my wants.  It depends on how I am doing emotionally and it depends on how much I am invested in the partner.  I have casual sex because I can have boundaries with strangers.  I have repeat sex with long-term friends because I have beaten them down in non-sexual settings and they don't push real hard out of fear of a backlash that will never come.  I don't have boundaries with my long-term partners.  I barely communicate anything about my limits beyond telling them what buttons will get them the biggest reaction today.  "Today is ____ anniversary so why don't you hurt me by doing _________."

It's not a sin if I talk about it.  I don't know what it is, but it's not a sin.  I have decided this for my own personal pantheon of beliefs.

These needs all predate Noah.  They are not because of him.  Most of them are not really about him at all.  These are things that were broken in me as a child.  But he frankly enjoys many of the ways I am broken.  He feels no shame whatsoever in enjoying what I became as the direct result of years of sexual assault.  Well, maybe he feels a little shame.  But not much.  Not enough to prevent him from trying to behave in ways that will keep me from getting bored in the future.  Not enough to lessen his enjoyment of what this deep feeling of shame causes me to do during sex.  His favorite part lately seems to be that I'm really ok with him fucking my throat until he causes me to vomit.  I have a fairly reactive gag reflex.  I consider vomiting to be just part of serious blow jobs.  I don't think that is normal.  It never feels like it is really a good time to say, "Could you back off on the deep throating?"  I don't get to set terms like that.  I get to accept.

In about ten minutes I have to get up and close the computer.  I will walk across the house and I will do what I was told to do.  Do I want to?  Enh.  Not really.  My throat and cunt are sore.  I could use about a week off from sex to recover at this point.  But I draw comfort from the fact that I have confessed so I go forth without sin.  I will smile.  I will encourage him.  I will beg him for more, in fact.  It doesn't really matter that I'm sore.  That's beside the point.  I don't think I should go have sex with other people any more.  I don't think that is a good decision for me.  He says he is going to be monogamous as well.  No, let me be clear.  He will be as monogamous as I am.

I fell compelled by my shame.  I told him he would be allowed to sleep with whomever he wanted, forever.  I promised him that.  At no point did I tell him I would like it or feel happy about it.  I feel like I did a bait and switch.  I feel like I owe him for all the sex he will never get to have because he was stupid enough to marry someone as insecure and selfish and possessive as me.  I feel guilty that I seem to have tricked him into monogamy.  In turn I fell compelled to say, "Ok fine, I guess I can't be monogamous either--go have fun."

I sincerely believe I should stop having sex with other people.  I should not act on feeling compelled to earn love and affection with sex outside my marriage.  It's bad enough that I do it with Noah.  I don't actually think I should go out and find a harem of men who will cheerfully call me a whore during sex.  I don't need that.  I do enough of that all by myself.

I feel so broken.  I seem to have absolutely internalized that anyone who fucks this many people is kind of disgusting.  And all I want to do is increase the number so I can increase just how many people will think I am disgusting.

But Noah doesn't care.  He doesn't care at all what I've done or what I might do in the future.  He wants me.  He takes great pride in me.  He loves me and adores me.  He bends over backwards from me in pretty much every part of life.  Except when he's being impulsive.  Oops.  His friend told him, "The problem with your situation is it's hard to know when you are cheating."  Maybe if the rules are clearer then it will be easier to figure out what to do?

I feel like I have taken something away from him.  He was poly when I met him.  How dare I take that away.  I seem to be the epitome of what Dan Savage and Mistress Matisse warn about.  That evil double crosser who promises poly and can't hack it.  I'm sorry I am so broken.  I really am.  I wish that I could encourage Noah to do anything he wants with anyone he wants.  Hell, I do encourage him.  But it hurts me when he does it.  I'm sorry that is true.  I really am.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Thinking about forgiveness

Do you know what not forgiving means?  It means dying alone and angry no matter who is in the room.  I don't want to die alone.  I don't want to die afraid.  I don't want to be angry that after all this misery all I get is death.  I don't want that.  I want to die knowing that I have honest to fucking god made the world a better place.  I helped other people be happier, better, stronger, wiser.  I want to die smiling.  I want to know that I did exactly what I was supposed to do and I helped as many people as I could.  I want to feel peace.   Some day I want to know peace.

As long as I am angry like this there is no room.  I have nothing to give.  Being angry takes up so much of me.  I don't want this.  I don't want this to be my life.  I don't know the path and I am so afraid.

Every marriage involves different compromises.  Different accommodation of irritations.  Different forgiveness.  Because the human condition is that we bump each other funny sometimes.  Thank you to all the women who wrote me to tell me that you are angry at Noah too.  It actually made me feel better.  I felt like the anger wasn't just mine.  And that's complicated too.  Life is long and life is hard.  Noah really fucked up.  But he has never done anything to break my trust like this before.  He has carefully in pre-negotiated ways pushed me right up to the edge of my limits and off a cliff.  But that's not the same thing as breaking trust.  He has never broken trust before.

That does have to count for something.  He knew he was being a raging dick.  He didn't mean to do what he did.  I have never seen him cry before.  He says it hasn't happened since junior high.  He probably already feels bad enough.  Beating him down isn't a way to have a happy marriage.  It really isn't.

I will never again bear a child.  That is a decision I have made for myself.  I want to spend my life with the only person I will ever really completely join my body to.  I want to.  And he's going to fuck up some times.  And I am going to get very very angry with him.  But I keep my promises.  I promised him a lifetime.

What does forgiveness even mean?  It means telling him how I feel about sex with other people and watching him cringe.  It means filling in the dots for him on some of my broken.  It means telling him that I don't want to have sex with other people any more.  Even though taking that hit on my identity is going to be massive for me.  I am going to feel compulsive.  I am going to want it.  And I think I shouldn't do it any more.  It's not actually a good decision for me any more.  Given who I am I don't think it will actually be a healthy thing for me to do with other people ever again.  I think this broken is too deep.

It's time to try something else.

I am my hair

Last night Noah finally talked about his areas of insecurity.  It makes me feel like perhaps I shouldn't have put the trampoline in the exact location I did.  There is a really lot of "But I thought you wanted..." in my marriage.  That's not good.

No matter how much I am hurting, I want Noah.  Noah sees me in a way no one else does.  He wants me more than anyone else ever has, and I don't mean just for sex.  Noah lies to me because he wants to be perfect for me and he's afraid he's not.  He's afraid to tell me he isn't.  Oversimplifying, but true.  I think that's never ok.  You have to tell me the truth, for better or worse.

No one promised me more better than worse.  Mostly it has been more better than worse.

I told my therapist yesterday that I don't fit in groups.  She tried to argue with me until I leaned forward and intently told her, "If I left Noah tomorrow and all of a sudden I was single and poor I would find dozens of groups that would take me with open arms.  As a married, rich, seemingly heterosexual, who looks the way I do and acts the way I do with the trauma history I have... No.  I don't fit into groups.  She closed her mouth and nodded.  She told me she can see my point.  My therapist also took a new job.  She will only have hours on Thursday or Friday nights.  Thursday's Sarah is going to be taking a class and it's Noah's night off.  Not to mention that I don't think I want to fight rush hour traffic to Oakland.  And having therapy on Friday night would wreck the whole fucking weekend.  I cry enough.  I guess this means I am going to be between-therapists.  Shit.  Perfect timing.

It feels like petulant whining for me to be upset.  I have such a comfortable, easy life right now I shouldn't whine so much about anything that is going wrong.  How can it be that bad?  I feel really weird about the fact that I still have loud, messy poor people problems.  The way I throw temper tantrums feels low class to me.  I have only witnessed the "public" faces of homes with more money.  I can't act like them.  I can't produce children who act like them.  I can't even have a middle class attitude about infidelity.  I want to go jump off a bridge.  I'm so melodramatic.  It's all so very intense.  I can't have "normal" "acceptable" feelings.  I don't feel angry and upset.  I feel like (and do) cut up large swaths of my body.

What exactly are people supposed to do with anger?  I've never been able to figure this out.  You're allowed to feel anger you just aren't allowed to show it.  How the fuck does that work?  I don't think other people get as angry as me.

Side note: the dry cleaners who got their window broken at the General Strike?  $620.  I feel thrilled that I did that.  The family who owns the business almost cried.  The building management was going to make them pay it.  Do you know why I did it?  Because I really want to break windows and it is only the thinnest veneer of control I have over that urge.  I can't feel angry with whoever broke the windows.  I understand.

I just honestly think I am smarter and more willing to think about long-term consequences than him.  (I know it was a him because J.P. Massar watched the kid do it.)  I understand ignorance.  I think that people should be working a lot harder to learn about different points of view.  I know it is hard.  I struggle with feeling safe being myself around other points of view.  I start to feel like I meld in and disappear.  Until I do something Wrong and I feel ostracized.

I don't go dance because there are too many people who won't look me in the eye.  I feel unwelcome.  I'm not mad about it.  I'm resigned.  This has been my whole life.  I understand.  I'm not someone that people want to look in the eye.  It's ok.

It's approaching the end of funny colored hair time.  The bleach is destroying it.  Yesterday I cut off several inches in the front at a funny angle with wisps every which way because I couldn't comb the knot out.  I should probably straighten my hair cut a bit today.  In front of a mirror this time.  It's time to stop bleaching and let it grow.  I'm also at the perfect point in my cycle to kind of want to shave my head so I will have a weird reason to hide at home again for a long time.  That's the kind of thing I want to do and I don't want to deal with the social consequences of doing.  Boy howdy do you get comments when you shave your head as a girl.  I'm trying to decide how short I am willing to go this time.  I have a lumpy head.  I went down to nothing when I was seventeen.  Not long after my father killed himself.  So
thirteen years ago I shaved my head and like a year ago my hair was nearly to my waist.  If I ever want long hair again it will be a long, slow slog.  Like, when I'm fifty.  We'll see.

My heart hurts.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Good thing I have therapy today.

The song right now is Tonight I Wanna Cry.  I wish he had used a real word, but whatever.  It's kind of funny because I'm not crying.  This is the first time in a week I haven't been.

I'm thinking hard about what marriage means to me.  You see, I'm at a weird tipping point in my marriage. A point of leverage.  Most people don't get to the point where they have lived with their spouse longer than anyone else ever in their lives until about twenty years in.  I've been married for five years.  I have lived with Noah longer than I ever lived consecutively with either of my parents.  It really doesn't matter if it is not fair that I hold Noah to a higher standard of truth telling than other people use in their marriage.  I do.  And that's the fucking deal.  You take it or...

Ok, now I'm crying.  I will get to the point where I am not angry all the time.  This is a stage.  I know that.  But I will never stop needing that level of trust.  Noah is already the only mirror my life has.  I won't leave Noah.  It really doesn't matter if he breaks my trust over and over.  I will never be willing to walk away from another person.  I will be mean and nasty and vicious sometimes and try to drive them away because I am angry.  But I can never leave again.  I don't have that in me.

Yesterday I talked to the friend who was born across the street.  She asked me if I could bear living with it because her mom couldn't.  I remember how that happened.  I visited during that period.  It was bad.  I remember what happened to her family.  I know what has happened to her mom.  Noah will never leave me and I will never leave Noah.  I'm afraid we may hurt each other very badly though.

Given that everyone in this house agrees to the basic premise that our kids deserve to grow up safe and happy we will make sure they do.  I'm really scared.  As much as people mock me fucking constantly for being angry, oh my fucking god you have no idea.  You have no fucking idea what I sit on.  I am direct and I am female.  Stop fucking commenting on my anger.  If a man said the same thing you wouldn't fucking say, "Don't hold back, tell me how you really feel."  Well, Noah might.  And he does it on purpose to be a fucking asshole.  (He does not say it to me.)

I have to choose to not be angry.  I have to choose to bite my tongue and not escalate.  I have to choose to not make nasty comments.  When he goes out with people I have to not snap, "And you had better fucking come home this time."  He knows already.  He knows I am on edge.  He's not going to push that again, maybe ever.  What will he push instead?

I apparently get to hold him hostage for the rest of our lives.  His level of nonmonogamy will mirror mine.  I guess that's a good way of seeing how effective of a whore I am.  How long can I hold out?  How long until I have to admit that he is right and he should be allowed to do whatever he wants whenever he wants because I want to do the same.  I don't know.  It's not worth the fucking drama.

I have to decide how to tell this story.  What story is this?  I've already been monogamous for most of the marriage.  I guess I'm supposed to be one of those stories about how open marriages don't work.  Swinging?  When I know that everything I do is giving Noah a free pass to go do it with someone else.  Wow.  All of a sudden it really makes me feel sick to my stomach.  It's not about him having the sex with someone else, although I do try hard to not picture it.  Noah wants to egg me on to do things with other people so that he can do it.  I don't want to be used that way.  I don't want to feel pressured to have sex with other people because I know I have to in order to give Noah "permission" to go do something I'm not thrilled about anyway.  I am really unhappy about being part of the Embargo Noah, I'm not fucking doing this arrangement.

No.  I am not going to be a gate keeper.  You can't blame me for the rest of your life for what you do and do not get to do.

I feel like what I am going to do is learn to shut my mouth.  I'll perfect my come on.  I'll do what Noah wants me to do and I'll sleep with other people.  I will learn to tell the story perfectly so that I don't talk about the fact that it always hurts.  It always leaves me uncomfortable for days.  Even the fairly nice stuff with lots of lube.  I don't fit other people.  It always rubs wrong.  It's feeling increasingly apparent with each person I sleep with.  I have intense feelings about that.  I feel intense compulsion to figure it out because Noah wants me to.  Noah wants me to be slutty.  He wanted that kind of wife.  He really did.  He went out and picked the woman with the highest body count he could find who wasn't already married.  I guess I didn't tell him up front how much of that sex was quasi-consensual childhood experiences did I?  It kind of changes the picture.

It's going to be interesting when people see the blanks filled in on my promiscuity.  I wear it like a bragging badge.  I am such a whore.  Everything is complicated.  I don't feel bad about the sex I had recently.  I don't feel like it makes me a bad person.  I didn't break the sanctity of my marriage, blah blah blah.  But it was remarkable to me just how weird it felt to me to be so uncomfortable during and after sex.  I had forgotten that part.  That used to be such an understood part of sex for me.  Oh yeah.  It always hurts.  It doesn't with Noah.  And it's not that he has the smallest penis I have ever had sex with.  (Uhm, err should I insert a disclaimer?)  Smaller penises often hurt more than him.

We fit.  I don't know why.  It's one of the most intense parts of our marriage for me.  He is the first sexual partner I've ever had where I am not uncomfortable and/or in pain during and after.  I mean, he can but it takes effort on his part.  Sex is such a huge part of me and my life.  I am so intensely conflicted about it.  I finally have a partner who doesn't hurt me every single time we have sex.  I don't want to leave this.  I don't want to give up on sex for the rest of my life.  That's what my mother did.

I wouldn't really do the single and dating thing while raising my kids.  I would stay home and cry that I fucked up my ability to watch their whole lives.  Being a mom is a way of finding out what it would have been like to have a mother who was continuously with me throughout my childhood.  Yes, I'm doing it in a much more high intensity way than most of my friends who are mothers.  You don't have similar wounds to heal.  I need this consistency.  I need to have a stable period in my life of twenty years.  At least once.  I need it.  I have to choose this.  If I left I would never have a stable period to finish growing up in.  I would never get to have that safety.

Tom gave me the first period of safety.  But he wasn't willing to let me finish growing up.  Noah will let me grow up.  He will let me change.  He will encourage me whole-heartedly.

But he doesn't want just me.  And I am very compulsive about sex for a long list of reasons.  I don't have a good excuse, and I'm not sure I need one given that I've been honest and up front and negotiated to be allowed to do the things I wanted to do for a very long time.  So did he.  He doesn't need an excuse either.  He just wants it.  New-shiny-sex is pretty hot.

But it always hurts.  There is always a down side for me.  Not to mention that I feel intensely conflicted about being out of the house and not present with my kids.  It's not like I do night-time parenting any way.  Noah does, except when he's out.

It is hard to not be angry all day every day.  I'm not.  I'm a little snippy.  I'm generally very polite with my children.  But small irritations are escalating too fast for me these days.  I get so mad so easily.  I'm not doing anything other than making terrible facial expressions and having a shitty tone of voice, I hear. I don't want my kids to remember this.  I don't want to be this person.  I really don't know what the road forward looks like.  I'm so scared.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

alone

This morning I am thinking about the fact that I will always and forever be the only one to defend me.  The only one who thinks I am worth defending.  The only one who will ever tell anyone to stop hurting me.  That makes me sad.  I am alone in such a basic way.  Noah will never defend me and no one will defend me from Noah.

That makes sense.  It is my marriage.  People don't want to get involved.  Just like people didn't want to get involved with my family when I was a child.  There's no sense in being mad at Noah.  Mistakes happen.  He didn't realize he had conveyed such a strong sense that no sex would happen.  He meant to be a little bit of a jerk, not a cheater... so why be mad?

I'm sorry I'm such an angry person.  I have a lot of very good reasons to be angry.  Fuck you if you don't agree with me.  Fuck you if you make me the butt of your joke for my anger.  I'm really tired of people mocking me for being angry.  I'm tired of people telling me all the time how very angry I am.  I should just stop talking.  I know I can't stop writing.  I kind of tried.  But I should stop talking basically entirely. It's not fair to force anyone to put up with my nastiness.

I am angry.  I am so very angry.  And apparently that's not really an acceptable thing.  It's not acceptable that outside the view of my children I punch walls until my hands bruise.  It's not acceptable that outside the view of my children I cut myself.  I do these things because I am angry and sad and I am told to shut up and bottle up that anger.  I can't any more.  I feel so much rage.  And it makes me snippy.

My tone of voice sucks.  As a result I get to be the butt of every joke.  I loathe the comments.  I feel mocked and ridiculed and silenced.  I feel like I was told the polite version of shut the fuck up.  That's what pseudo-civilized people use as code for, "Your turn to talk is over."  Fine.  I got the message.  I'll shut up.

I have a therapy appointment tomorrow.  It's a good thing.  I need to talk to her about how strong my suicide ideation is.  (No one fucking report me.  I'm not going to do this to my kids.)  I don't know how to get the thoughts to stop right now.  I don't know how to feel any hope that my life isn't going to be just an abusive fucking nightmare forever.  And no one will give a shit.  No one will ever care.  No one will ever defend me.  How do I have any sense of self esteem to evaluate when I need to get out?  How do I preserve that shred of me?  What do I do?

I don't know right now.  But I'm scared.  I don't want to live with a partner who will tell me to my face that he is not going to have sex with someone before doing so.  What else will he lie to me about?  Yes, I realize it is all my fault he had to minimize his chances because I am such a nasty fucking bitch and all.  I'm trying to stop talking so that maybe he will never have to lie to me again.  Or at least next time it won't be my fault for being a bitch.  Instead it will be my fault for being withdrawn.  I'm really scared.

And when other people think about what to do when their marriage falls apart they think of their family resources.  I curse myself for trusting Noah and I wish I hadn't spent the last annuity payment as donations.  I wish I had the sure knowledge that I could leave this marriage the same way I came in, on my own with money that didn't come from anyone else.  Now I will forever know that my "safety net" is at Noah's discretion.  Sure, he's going to allow me to open another bank account and transfer his money into it.  He's a nice guy and all.  He wants to look committed.  But I know I am now at his discretion.  And that's when he breaks my trust.

This shit is so fucking complicated.  And I'm alone with dealing with it.  Because I have no one and nothing.  Being an orphan fucking sucks.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

just shut up

I feel like the way forward for my marriage is for me to stop talking.  If I want Noah to feel safe and comfortable talking to me I need to stop being so negative and shut up and give him... I don't know.  I guess I'm supposed to be pleasant all the time?  It's really not ok that I'm so prone to attack.

I keep startling Sarah too.  She flinches a lot.  She keeps getting this look on her face like I slapped her.  I don't mean to be so nasty.  I really don't.

All I can hear is my mother hissing at me, Shut up, Kristine.  I need to shut up.  The common factor in all of my different relationships is me.  Obviously if I have the same problem over and over the problem is me.  I'm sorry I'm so angry.  I'm sorry.  I'm sorry.  I'm sorry.  I'm sorry.

I don't want to be angry.  This hurts so much.  I'm tired of crying.  I'm tired of spending my whole life waiting for someone to do something nasty to me so that I have an excuse to be nasty to them.  I'm sorry that I am preemptively hostile towards behaviors that are going to long-term do me no good.

I'm really tired of having life events happen that will make me feel ashamed when I write the next Christmas card.  Because I won't mention them.  Because they are not fit for "civilized conversation."  I need to keep my fucking dirty laundry in the closet.  I need to shut up.  Shut up.  Shut up.  Shut up Kristine.

What am I going to teach my daughters?

The cycles of abuse thrive in secrecy.  Children of ACOA... act like they grew up with an alcoholic.  The problem isn't the alcohol.  The problem is the behaviors ingrained in your family.  That's why I can't be around my family.  Because shit just keeps happening and things snowball when there are secrets.

I try very hard to be respectful of Noah in my writing, always.  Yes I occasionally rant about him.  I try to present balance.  I want my daughters to believe that they deserve better than I believe I deserve.  Please, if there is a God, let my daughters think they deserve more than I think I deserve.

But I have what I have.  I don't know yet what that really means.  Everyone makes mistakes.

Thing is, my daughters are unlikely to ever know this happened.  Not unless I tell them.  Or write about it a whole lot.  No one will remember a couple of blog posts in a few years.  I will know for the rest of my life that I deserve someone who cheats on me.  I have no way of controlling his behavior now or in the future.  He will do whatever he does.  I get to decide what I am willing to stand near.  That is the whole limit of my ability to enforce any so-called-standards.

I don't really believe in divorce.  I think I made my bed.  What am I going to teach my daughters that they deserve?

This has been a bad year for me for grief.  I have cried a lot.  Uncle Bob's death has triggered a whole ocean of tears with all the backlash toward my family.  I am crying over my non-relationship with my father.  I hurt so very very much.

And I am unpleasant in the process.  I am such a bitch that my husband can't tell me the truth without risking my wrath.  He figures it is just easier to defer the anger till after he finally gets to have some fun.  My co-parent flinches from me constantly because I am so nasty.

Shut up, Kristine, shut up.  Just shut your stupid, nasty mouth.  What is your fucking problem.  I'm sorry I'm sorry I'm sorry I'm sorry I'm sorry.

I'm sorry I'm so angry.  I'm sorry I'm so difficult.  I know I expect too much.  I'm so sorry.  I'm so terribly sorry.  I'm trying to shut up.  I'm trying to be pleasant.  I'm sorry.  I'm sorry.  I'm sorry.

What I'm teaching my daughters is that if you aren't "nice enough" people are allowed to turn around and kick you viciously once in a while.  And when they do it is your responsibility if to ask how hard they want to fuck you after that.  You are supposed to ask what else you can do to turn them on.

I really kind of make myself sick.

I can't feel self-righteous.  I did "expect" him to fuck her.  That's why I asked multiple times if he thought  there would be sex.  I was hoping that maybe I would get an email or a phone call or a something if he was going to be able to close the deal.  Or she would say no on the first date.  I don't know.

He said that sex 'wouldn't happen'.  Why did you bring condoms then?  He just said it because he didn't want to hurt my feelings.  Why am I so god damn mean?

I don't want monogamy under duress.  I don't want Noah to stop dating other people just because I am such a stupid miserable bitch.  I'm tired of being the reason people can't have what they want.  Because I am so fucking nasty.  I'll shut up.

I don't want Noah to be monogamous with me because he doesn't want to deal with the drama of dating other people.  I would only want a monogamous relationship with someone who actually felt that way about me.  Noah doesn't.  I don't get that this lifetime.  I don't get to really be wanted that way.  My partner will always wish that he had the freedom to fuck pretty much anyone at pretty much any time.  He won't do it because he doesn't want to deal with the drama.  He has a high level of self interest that way.

I'd rather learn to shut up than live with trapping him.  If you don't want to fucking be with me then don't.  Go fuck someone else.  I don't want your fucking pity.

What to say?

As life goes, something happened.  I don't know how to talk about it.  I have never been shy with my overall discomfort with nonmonogamy.  I feel like I bring that up pretty often and pretty honestly.  Doing so apparently created a situation where Noah felt unable to tell me the truth.  So he was evasive.  He minimized.  He said he "didn't think sex would happen" because it was "just a coffee date."  When he later got the option for it to be more than a coffee date I got an sms... at the time he was supposed to be arriving home.

I want everyone in the audience to pause for 2.5 seconds and imagine how I would feel about Noah renegotiating sex at the last second by sms after telling me it wouldn't happen.... everyone got that image in their head now?

What I did was respond with nastiness and passive aggression.  I didn't even tell him no.  I told him I was angry that he was asking and fuck you and do what you want.  I certainly feel like I earned his behavior.  I feel like I deserve what he went and did because I am such a nasty bitch why would he want to come home to me any way.

He sent the sms at 10.  He came home at 1am.  I have done very little but cry since then.  What the hell am I going to do?  If I didn't have children I think I would have driven to a bridge and jumped off.  Now that the last person I was going to really trust this life time did this to me... what do I have left?  What do I really get to hope for?  What kind of respect am I ever going to be given?  None?  Barely any?  

I don't know why I thought that someone like me deserved better.  I was lying to myself.  Of course this happened.  How could any thing other than this happen?  I wasn't enthusiastic enough about Noah's dates.  I didn't pat him on the back with a big smile and tell him happy hunting.  I didn't encourage him to push for the close.  I didn't expect him to push for sex regardless of all other factors.  What the hell was I thinking?

My trust was shattered.  I had so little left to start with.  I don't know what to do.  The women on MDC say I need to a) stop cutting and b) make a list of reasons to stay and reasons to go.  I think they may be asking for a bit much.  I don't quite feel like it is fair and accurate to say I need to learn to feel a range of emotions.  I think I already do.  I feel rage and regret and sadness and depression (love that throat closing feeling); I feel betrayed and unloved and desecrated and violated.  This is horrible.  My best friend.  My lover did this to me.

I suppose I was a little too cocky that my husband would never cheat.  Hell, he would never need to!  All he has to do is tell me in advance.

Oh well.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Remembering childhood

A friend sent me a link: Little Girls or Little Women?  The Disney Princess Effect.  It's worth a read, though it's long.

People often feel the need to challenge me when I say I plan to homeschool my kids.  People I don't know will tell me that I "should" give school a try to see if it will work out.  Uhm.  How about if we give homeschooling a try and see if that works out before you rush to fix something that isn't broken?  I don't understand the rabid opposition.

I don't know who my kids will be when they are adults.  I don't have an end goal in mind.  But I know what I want them to remember.  I know what I want their self-esteem to be based on.  I know what patterns I want them to have as their default affectionate behavior for the rest of their lives.  I like to plan ahead.

It really bothers me that my family denies my memories.  They remember things as being "not that bad".  But I say that they were not at the bottom of the shit-pile.  Of course they remember things differently.  They had a different experience.  I know what I want my daughters to remember.  Other people seem very confident that whatever their kids remember is fine.  They will have whatever life they have.

I honestly have trouble with that.  Shanna hated preschool and came home with stories about the kids telling her that she is weird and they don't want to be her friend.  She cut the mohawk herself.  Yes, we had previously added the pink streak, but it looked very different in longer hair.  It was cute.  Now... she looks less cherubicly sweet.  She's still cute and all, but it's a very different look.  Yes, yes, I could have forced her to "stick it out" and "try to find a friend" but give me a break.  No.  Not yet.  At some point she will have to do the hard work of sticking out a tough thing.  It's not preschool at three.

I want my kids to remember being challenged in ways that they can manage.  I'm not training my kids to fit into the public school system of behavior.  I'm shooting for how I want them to be at eighteen.  I'm trying to figure out a very different set of scaffolding.  I don't want her to get used to silently doing work by herself while other children play together.  I see no reason to include that as a prominent part of her early memories.

We can be at home working together.  A lot of what I like about smoking less pot is that means the kids can wander in the garage when I'm writing.  I have to bark at them a bit to get them to let me alone enough to work... but they will learn.  That's ok.  I have to defend this space.  When you walk up talking to me, if I put a finger up, freakin wait until I look up to talk to me.  Or I will be very grumpy because you interrupted my thought.  Yeah, I want them to remember that.  It will be a lesson that serves them well in life.  They need to see more of it.

If I want to be able to work in my home, I need to be able to work in my home.  I need to start getting my kids used to seeing that.  It's going to be interesting.

I think I became a teacher largely in part because I didn't know much about the other options.  My sister told me the entire process of becoming a teacher when I was fairly young, maybe ten?  She wanted to be an English teacher.  So when I went to college I always took extra English classes.  I knew I could pass them and I wanted to keep my GPA up.  I didn't take more than required in Maths because I was terrified of bringing my GPA down.  And I shouldn't have passed Statistics, but the teacher liked me.  I never tried any class outside of the areas I already had expertise.

I got through high school without really taking Biology, Chemistry, Physics... anything.  I was raised to sit around and read books and think about sex.  Most of the books in our house were historical romance novels of the really-graphic-sex variety.  Once I got passed The Babysitters Club I transitioned into reading my mother and my sister's books.

I have really strong feelings about how the culture of ones early childhood decides your adulthood.  Above all else I want my children to go forward in the rest of their life knowing that they have the right to ask to have their needs met and get it.  I want them to understand that adults have needs too and I want to learn how to balance everyones needs.

I think that we need to sit down and make some long-term goals.  If we don't have communal goals and something we are working towards then we are tilting at windmills and wasting resources.  I don't like wasting resources.  It makes me really angry.  I want money to be as effective as possible.  In order to do that you have to have a communal set of goals.

The reason that people sink together or rise together is decided largely by how they treat shared resources.  My family stays in the whole because they take turns who is acting out by spending a bunch of money.  It's cyclical.  Denise is the worst now that Uncle Bob is dead.

I feel like I have gotten off track this year.  I'm not going to admit how much money has come and gone.  I feel horrified.  There was the standard 401k investing, but no other saving.  That's not ok.  A whole year of that is not ok.  Well, no more trips to Scotland or the French Laundry.  No more major house renovation.  This is why I don't feel like I get to bitch.  Instead of saving we had an adventurous year.  And we didn't go into debt for any of it.  I think that it's ok that we had a lavish year.  We can afford it.  But we can't have a year that good every year.  That may be once a decade.

We need to start saving.  How much?  How far into our lifestyle are we going to cut?  This is going to be a stressful series of conversations.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Bonding

I think a lot about why I want to overshare my emotional experience while hunting.  I think that part of it is, I don't know how these things go for other people.  Does everyone waffle like me?  Noah says he doesn't.  Does anyone?  I don't know.

I feel like my whole life has been a weird balancing act.  I have to do enough hard things to balance out the easy things.  I'm not really even sure what that means.  Why do I feel utterly compelled to promise elaborate sex acts to strangers?  I can't do it with people I know very well because then I feel like I have to live up to that promise all the time.

Last night I did well.  I closed.  Three times.  Excellent.  It helps that this was one of the rare times when I have taunted this person in real life previously.  He was ready for some follow through.  I feel giddy that I managed.  It's like checking a box on a treasure hunt.  w00t.  Inspired hot sex three times in one night.  And he didn't finish quickly.  Excellent stamina.  I feel like women are judged this way, why shouldn't men?

Why shouldn't I talk about sex as if it is a perfectly respectable hobby?  Excepting religious reasons... no really, why should anyone care?  Granted not everyone wants to hear about it, but I don't want to hear about golf either.  So?  Why are most hobbies morally neutral but sex is bad?  Why am I bad because I like to feel this way?

It's not like I have devoted my entire life to it.  I'm doing a few other things as well.  Like writing about it.

Sarah is taking Shanna to Arizona tomorrow.  I will miss them.  It's always hard for me when Shanna visits people without me.

I have a date Thursday night.  I need to go to bed early on Tuesday and Wednesday if I want to be in the mood.  If it was for tonight I would cancel.  I'm burning too hot.  I'm using too much energy and way way too much at night.  I'm so tired.

I feel the kind of tired where I am emotionally raw.  This is how I always came home feeling.  And my mother would pick a fight.  When I feel vulnerable like this I am sensitive and I easily feel shamed and unwanted.  It doesn't always happen after sex with new people and it can happen with Noah.  When I feel like I am breaking taboos this sometimes hits.

I feel really bad about telling the guy last night "Maybe" when he asked for a second date.  I feel like I made promises I don't intend to keep.  I kept my mouth shut about things he said or did that were complete relationship deal breakers for me because oh man is that not a battle I'm interested in.  I'm not trying to hurt him.  I think he is a fine individual.  Just not someone I want to be in a relationship with. Oh the sex was hot though.  If we run into one another at a sex party... maybe.  If I'm in the mood.  He certainly did most of it just right.

It feels like as a slut/whore/whatever word you want to use having those kind of preferences is kind of mean.  I'm supposed to just take people as they are and like them.  Mostly I do.  But there's always one thing... I know it would drive me batty.  I go home and thank God that Noah doesn't have/do/think/whatever the thing was.

This is why I don't feel polyamorous.  Not really.  Only I have my boys.  I do feel a connection to them.  It is pretty much always more intense on their side.  I have a date scheduled with my shaman.  We haven't been on a date in about six or seven years?  And it was a four or five year gap between that and the previous set of dates.

I have a long cycle sometimes, apparently.  It's interesting to learn that about myself.  I'm glad I didn't stay with Steve because I would not have had the room to grow to be the person I am now.  I like who and what I am.  He wouldn't have stood next to me for this journey.  He wasn't my partner.  Not like this.  Tom didn't want to have kids with me.  That is why I left him.  Having children was more important to me than being with him.  I made the right choice.

I am strongly dyadic in my bonding.  I do very intense one on one bonding.  And then it scares the piss out of me and I run away.  Noah is the only person I have ever met who can really match my intensity in an on-going way.  We take breaks occasionally when we are escalating, but we always come back to a topic.  We can always finish talking about something no matter how hard it is.

I have never had a person in my life who will do that.  I would follow him off a cliff because no one will ever make me feel seen the way Noah does.  I'm protective of this space.  I feel terrified of it being encroached on.

That's why I only go on first dates.  I have no interest in finding a new bond right now.  Fuck you all.  You all suck compared to Noah.  I'm not going to go on a second date and start dealing with the fact that you can't have conversations the way I want to have them.  It feels like a waste of my time.  I'm not interested in sitting through multiple dates where I have to silently roll my eyes and put up with shit that irritates the fuck out of me.  Everyone irritates me.  Everyone.  But I can turn around and tell Noah what he is doing that irritates the fuck out of me.  I can't do that with anyone else.

It's very stressful being around people and being polite.  I'm really not very polite in my head.  But I want polite children.  I have gone most of the way towards creating polite children.  When they start behaving in a way that irritates me it is because they are mimicking something I've done.  If I want to change their behavior the first thing I need to do is identify where I am behaving in a sub-optimal way and change it.  I put a lot of pressure on myself right now.

But people seriously irritate the fuck out of me and I'd like to yell at them a lot.  I don't.  It's not personal.  I'm sorry I feel this way.  But I do.

I don't go on second date because that one little thing that irritated me?  I left thinking about it.  I constructed a story in my head about that little personality tic becoming part of my life.  Oh god that would require a lot of patience.  Can't do it.  I'm sorry.

I've done a fair bit of recycling old hits in my head, lately.  I've gone on dates with several old flames, with mixed success.  I'm interested in seeing how things have changed with my shaman.  I feel weird about the fact that he is ok with being available for me whenever I want him over the course of more than a decade.  That's... holy shit that's commitment.  I love him.  But I'm not and I never have been "in love".  It's dramatic that I now have Noah to compare everyone to.  He changed the whole scale.

I like inspiring people.  Really good sex can change your world view.  There are so many good chemicals.  The aftermath of goodness can be bittersweet.  I like inspiring people to feel better about themselves.  I want them to feel affirmed for the one gift I am willing to accept from them.

I'm tired.  I've had a week of bad sleep.  I feel guilty that I avoided conversation last night by falling asleep.  He woke me up after an hour and a half to put me on bart.  Fucking slick, Krissy.  I feel bad.  It's not like I did it on purpose.  I'm really tired.  But uhm, that shouldn't be part of the first date.  Kind of poor form.

Noah is trying to schedule a date for Thursday.  I have extra impetus to not cancel.  Bother.  This is the kind of thing that inevitably happens around him dating.  If I cancel it gets weird.  He's just as (or more) twitchy than I am at this point.  He acts like he should be kicked.  I have a hard time when Noah puts his head down and looks like he is in pain.  Like I have already been berating him... just because he feels guilty.  I haven't said anything.  It makes me angry.  And then I'm going to say things.

This is a bad cycle.  Mostly in our life he acts like my ambient anger isn't about him.  He goes about his life being cheerful and dandy and on his own time.  This is a good thing.  When he feels like he is to blame for my anger the dynamic changes.  I feel like an abusive asshole because he starts flinching.  It's hard because it feels like my anger isn't much higher than normal but all of a sudden I am bad for feeling it.  WTF?  Why do I have to be Miss Susie Sunshine on this sacred topic above all others?  I'm a cranky person.  I just am.  Why is it surprising around this topic?

Why am I only not allowed to feel feelings about this.  You are fine with them on every other topic.

I'm going back and sleeping with my friends because I have already been fierce and aggressive and they have proven they really like me.  It's weird to show up and let them surprise me with how they actually want to touch me.  It's weird finding out what is on the other side of the brick wall I build around myself.

First date sex has a certain loneliness to it.  That's the bittersweet part.  You know that this person doesn't really know you.  When you plan to disappear in the morning you hide behind that knowledge.  You carefully don't present yourself at certain times.  It's not worth finding out how this person feels about 'x' controversial topic.  For me to carefully censor what I'm saying...

This feeling.  It's like what I had as a child.  When I was being sent to a new place.  I desperately wanted to please them.  I wanted to be liked.  Not being liked was so bad.  So very bad.  When people don't like me they tend to loathe me.  They feel free to say the nastiest, meanest things possible.  They do this because I reveal a lot of intense personal feelings quickly and then other people bond to me.  Then when I reject the bond, because it was ephemeral for me, something that was completely true in the moment and not true later, they know personal things.

I'm being vague.  There is no way for me to recount the people and ways I have been told I am disgusting for the kind of sex I like to have.  I had a good night last night.  I don't want to do it again soon because of my own issues with being patient with people.  He did nothing wrong.  He's awesome.  My shaman is wonderful.  I feel much more connected to him than I do to most people.  I only want to go out on approximately a dozen dates over a decade.  It's not because he has done something wrong.

I feel like running away from intimacy this hard is a sign that I am deeply broken.  If people cannot be everything and perfect then I have no space for them in my life.  And I judge everyone against Noah and find them wanting.  I'm lonely.

A lot of the impatience is just that people feel weird to me.  I never feel comfortable.  I always feel fake and like I have to be thinking very hard about not saying "the wrong thing" because inevitably someone will blow up at me.

Talking about sex and relationships feels especially charged and fierce.  People always feel weird to me.  I'm not very adaptable.  I have times where I can do it, but it's hard.  I'm always poised for inevitable rejection.  Some woman who wrote me a nasty dear Jane letter felt the need to go back and change her RSVP to a no for an event I had in 2010.  Uhm.  Wow.  Thanks for letting me know, again, that you still dislike me.

I feel inadequate to the task of living my life.  I feel like I keep writing checks my body can't cash.  I haven't run in a few days.  I'm too physically exhausted.  Shanna and Calli and I did help shut down the port yesterday.  That was a walk.  I was impressed with Shanna's tenacity.  I gave her multiple opportunities to wuss out when she got tired.  She said, "No!  I can do it!  I'm buff!"  My strong girl.

I feel a vague desire to probe her for why she introduces herself as She-Ra.  But that's people hacking and she can't consent.  So instead when she does it I just smile along.  I don't know what to say.  Why should she feel more attached to the name I picked out?

I'm teaching her to be kind of weird.  I feel bad about that.  I'm very good at talking to strangers... if I initiate it or if they follow a pattern of questions I recognize as "valid".  I can answer some questions easily.  Other times I freeze up and feel really dumb and walk away muttering about my inadequate social skills... she notices.

Today there is a park day trip to the park where I used to meet the above mentioned Dear Jane woman.  It's a great park.  The homeschool group is going.  I keep thinking to myself that I'm not there to make friends.  I'm there to let Shanna make friends.  I don't know that I can do it.  I can't sleep in, ok fine.  I need to start going to bed earlier at night.  I'm so tired I can't function.  This is not useful.

This is part of what I mean when I say I can't date.  I don't regulate my energy well.  Right now I'm trying to do too many things.  I can't do everything.  Time to drop some balls.