Saturday, July 30, 2011

Holy crudmonkeys too much caffeine.

I AM AWAKE!!  Ok.  I'm not taking a Foosh mint at 10pm ever again.  Oh my god.  I thought I would be able to go to sleep by about 2.  Hahaha!  I am vibrating.  Excellent.  I didn't have this experience from caffeine when I was younger.  I think perhaps I was just so used to drinking copious amounts of it that I was immune?  Is that even the right word?  Acclimated?  Whatever.  I'm feeling downright sprightly.  Not too long ago I was told that it would be ok if I couldn't get everything unpacked in time for my birthday party in five weeks, we could rent a storage unit.  Today we unloaded the truck in under an hour and returned it a day early.  And I have unpacked about a quarter of the boxes.  I expect to be about 75% done by the end of the weekend.  So I'm waggling my tail in glee.  I think it is kind of sick how much joy I get from working really hard.  Do you see what it is?  I just found a little sprint!  It's So Freakin Exciting!!!  Whoo hoo!

Some wit might say, "What the heck was Scotland?"  A grueling, nightmarish trudge.  Oh man.  Ok yeah, I had fun and I'm glad we went.  But it was a buttload of dealing with absolutely nothing but the kids.  The only thing I could "get done" was laundry or cleaning up.  It sucked.  Those are not the parts of being home I enjoy at all.  That's the shit work.  (Uhh... taking care of my kids is not shit work.  I did not mean to imply that.  Carry on.)  But I hate laundry and I hate piddly cleaning up!  I want to make something!  Dangit!  I want to noticeably improve my quality of life for ficks sake!  I felt so stymied.  And we didn't get in as much sight seeing as one might hope given various anxiety and/or physical issues from being ill and/or me having to deal with Shanna being jet lagged and awful out in public for nightmarishly long stretches at a time so Noah could work.  AHHHHH.  It was, shall we say, not the best month ever for me traveling around a foreign country.  I can't handle having social engagements on more than three days out of seven or I start to freak out because I can't keep my company manners in place firmly enough.  You should picture me twitching now.  Go on.  It sucked.  But Scotland was really wonderful.  I'm so glad that Jenny is there permanently so I have a mandatory reason to go back and explore when I'm not in a crisis state!  Yay!  Well, that's almost true.  I probably would be a lot happier if she moved back here so I could see her all the time.  But that isn't happening.  I'm trying to say that the glass is half full here.  So go with me.

Anyway.  I have been decompressing from the trip and trying to reconnect socially and I've been uhh questionable on that front.  I haven't been feeling good about much of anything.  Now that Sarah is here so that I can help instead of just having anxiety from far away (yes Noah, I see the reference to the book--what book was that again?)  The only thing I had to do was prep for Sarah to get here and wait.  But she's here now!  And I helped!  I've done things much better and faster than the bar was set to.  Oh man. It's like I just got a shot of heroin.  And I had CAFFEINE!!  Seriously.  I can't do that again.

Because you see, when I'm up till 4:00am (and counting) no is posting any interesting links.  Don't you guys understand that you are my link to anything interesting in the whole wide world?  I read facebook and G+  and that is it.  Unless it is sent to my email I don't know about it.  I don't read any news of any kind.  I've basically dropped MDC (I've had a freakin relapse tonight because people have the audacity to be sleeping) and I don't go anywhere else.  I don't even know where to go.  I used to hang out on IRC but that's long gone.  I don't really want to read the news.  I'm a creepy shut in and I'm sorry for that, but I just can't pay attention to the news.  It's only focused on the most absolutely disgusting parts of humanity and they distort public perception in really creepy ways.  I'm not interested in television.  I prefer reading text.  Yeah.  I can't follow celebrity gossip because I have no idea who any of them are.  I don't know of any online communities I would maybe feel like I fit.  And I really don't have time to add one if I found it.  The last thing I need is another internet time suck.

So y'all posting interesting one-off links, that's my sole lifeline to the outside world.  So don't be shy with the links ok?  Some night I just may need them.  Right now I am totally out of tabs and it sucks.  In that silly whiny way.  I wouldn't be able to find the book I am reading and I'm done packing.  Whinge!  Whinge!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Yup, still blowing up at every one.

Right now there isn't much room in my head for anything but how very wrong and bad and stupid I am.  Of course this means that I'm yelling at everyone around me and telling them how very wrong and bad and stupid they are. :(

Err, not the kids.  The grown ups.  I'm just crying randomly with the kids because I have nothing else to do with my frustration.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Disclosure and Confrontations chapter

I'm back to reading The Courage to Heal (screw you italics, who says you should get all the action) because it seems like a good time.  I'm in the Disclosures and Confrontations chapter.  I'm having some strong feelings.  I feel kind of weird about how I did my public confrontation.  I feel like I needed to make sure the door of my entire family was slammed shut on me telling the truth.  I had to know for sure that absolutely not one of my blood relatives loves me enough to choose me over my abusers.  Not one.  Not one of my blood relatives loves me enough to say that it is heinous and terrible that I was abused the way I was and they will cease contact with my abusers.  No one.  No one will pick me over them.  They either simply don't believe me that it happened at all and they think I am a liar or they somehow think it was ok that it happened.  I had to understand in the pit of my stomach how little they think of me so that I never ever go back and try to make amends.  I know how much I love my family.  I know how much I miss them.  It is terribly hard for me not to go cry to my mother.  I feel sad.  They have to die for me.  Jimmy was partially right.  I did tell everyone in a way that had shock value.  I did it to put everyone into a moment of stress to see how they reacted.  Guess what I found out.  If I have to go back and keep my silence and suck up for years before someone might be able to tell me in quiet whispers that they believe me but I musn't speak of it... No.  Just no.  I'm worth more than that.  Anyone is.

I confronted my family because I needed to clearly know that there is no space for me in my family.  They don't want me.  I am an inconvenient liability to their continued happiness because I insist on talking about things that make them feel guilty.  I need to have a clear line where I will never allow my experiences to be minimized by my family again.  They do not get to tell me what is or is not important.  My cousin told me: "You have serious mental problems. I really feel sorry for your children. Please, Please get professional help before you do damage to those poor babies that can not be reversed. OMG I can not believe the vile things that you make up. I really do feel sorry for you and hope that you get help. Do not write anymore of your vile lies to me or Nicole. You have hurt her enough as it is."

I'm telling you, I couldn't make this shit up.  So take that nasty witch from the writing class!  It's believable because I couldn't possibly make all of this up!  She can't believe the vile things I make up.  Right.  To be fair when I talk about my mother and my sister contributing to my sexual assault history it's kind of ambiguous.  I was sent off to be raped by people.  They would leave me alone with my brother so that he could attack me.  They sent me for weekends at my father's house.  My sister had sex in front of me.  With men who would masturbate on me and ask me if I was willing to fuck them... well before I was 15.  It's not like she pulled up a chair, but they wouldn't bother to close doors.  Pornography was the reading material in the house.  All historical romance novels are not created equal.  There's a lot of silly fluff that's not real sexual.  Bertrice Small is big on rape, sodomy, animal play, beatings, bestiality, incest... These are ridiculously graphic.  And my mom was fine with me reading them when I was 8.

It's hard to explain this.  I come from the kind of family where my niece can tell me that my sister taught her (my niece) about oral sex on my nephew and I nod and believe her.  That doesn't make me blink.  Perverse sexuality was absolutely the cultural norm.  Even though my mom gave up having sex like 20 years ago.

I finished the chapter and got to the writing exercise part.  Ok,

Dear Denise,

I cannot forgive you.  I am not capable of forgiving the things you have done in your life.  You allowed me to be hurt in so many ways so many times because you were so busy chasing down your latest fuck that you could not behave like a decent person.  I sit here and a litany of things go through my mind.  You talking to me in depth about how awesome anal sex is when I was very young.  You bringing men into our house who harassed me.  You refusing to care for me and instead abandoning me to get high or drunk.  You sexually assaulted our brother.  You contributed to the rape of your son.  You contributed to the sexual assault of your daughter.  I cannot forgive you.  You did not rape me.  Not by even the most liberal definition.  Never the less you helped me grow up in a world where I knew beyond the shadow of a doubt that if I wasn't getting fucked I was nothing.  You taught me that it is ok to abandon your children for years because you wanted to do drugs and fuck a convict.  You got your bad boy.  You married him, kind of.  Oops.  Turns out he was still married to his first wife so your marriage isn't legal.  Even though you traveled all the way out to the prison to marry him through the glass wall.  Congratulations you fucking loser.

Why am I bringing up old stuff?  Because you pretend like it didn't happen.  Because you think you get to set the terms on reality.  You don't.  There are things that are objectively true.  I wish to God I had worked harder to get your kids taken by CPS when they were young.  Although I think that I was too late.  I'm pretty sure you had already made your daughter suck off your son.  How can you live with yourself?  Dude, my demons haunt me and I have never done anything on your level.  How can you continue to take breath?  I bet you think you are a good person who has just made some mistakes.  You will blame drugs or alcohol, perhaps.  I don't know how much drugs you have been doing for the past 5 years and I don't really want to know.  I know it's an all night party every night and you don't work.  I know you babysit the children of teenage mothers.  Folks who really don't have a lot of experience with healthy environments.  You fit right in.  What are you doing to their kids?  Are you giving them alcohol?  Drugs?  You have been around people who start as little kids and they turned out fine, right?  Just because they are addicts who can't hold down a job or keep a stable place to live... well... that's just hard luck.

I feel revulsion when I think of you.  I know that you had it much worse from our father.  It went on for years and years and you lived with him your entire life.  I'm sure it was horrifically bad.  And you never did a god damn thing to protect me.  Fuck you.  How could you.  You selfish bitch.  I believe that you are the lowest kind of person.  I think you would fuck someone over if it made you a dollar all the while loudly announcing how loyal you are.  Oh you make me sick.  Where was your fucking loyalty to me.
You did not support me prosecuting our father.  You withdrew.  You were angry and you made that very clear.  Fuck you.  Because now you claim that you always loved and supported me.  No you didn't.  You went out and got high.  You had nothing to do with me.  Even when I specifically called you and asked for help because I was in bad positions you flat turned me down.  My only importance to you is to be a dog for you to kick.

When I think of you I think of the small old women in Japanese movies who chase people around and hit them with sticks.  You want power.  Having power means having people to dominate.  I will not let you dominate me.  Not even if you threaten to beat me up at my baby shower.  Seriously?  Who does that.  How Jerry Springer, pathetic are you?  When you are a guest in my home don't you dare sit there and start lecturing me about how I need to respect you because you are the up and coming matriarch because you are the only one who gets things done.  Kiss my ass.  You are good at bullying other people into working.  You are mean spirited and lazy.  I have no respect for you.

But I remember the good times too.  You taught me how to stick up for myself.  When you saw me as on your side you occasionally dropped good nuggets for self protection.  You taught me a lot about how to manipulate people and the system.  You were an odd combination of occasional spurts where you were functional and inspiring with being absolutely a burden on society.  I am in favor of welfare reform because of you.  Whenever anyone tells me that welfare fraud doesn't exist I start to laugh.  I know that you did pull yourself out of the system more than once.  You can do it.  Sometimes you just don't want to bother because you are too lazy.

I remember school vacations where I stayed at your house for a week with your kids while you went off to party.  I was a teenager.  I was babysitting.  Yeah, and cleaning up health hazards in your kitchen because you were so disgusting.  I had to do any shit work you didn't want to do.  And if I didn't do it you screamed at me.  You didn't actually "hit" me.  As you were fond of telling me.  You'd just shove a little.  Bump me.  You were big and aggressive.  All of my life you used physical force to instill fear.  I hate that you taught me to be like you.

I was willing to eliminate any possibility of relationships with my entire extended family because I am so repulsed that people think you are a good person.  I hope you rot in hell.

Sincerely, your sister.

Whiner be thy name. Or mine. Whatever.

Tonight I went to one of those kind of events.  If you don't know what that means then you probably don't want to.  Err, how to discuss this in a global way.  Uhh. Hm.  Oh I don't give a shit.  So I went to a party hoping to do some kind of sex play with someone but then I acted like a hostile bitter wallflower and I left feeling depressed.  There.  That is tonight's stupid.  I'm not mad that Noah had some chutzpah and went and found play.  Go him.  He's a fun sexy guy and I'm glad someone is noticing.  Because I'm not.  I don't flirt with Noah and he doesn't flirt with me.  He's afraid to approach me because I am broken.  Because when I don't want to have sex I say yes anyway and he feels like a rapist.  So he doesn't ask very often.  And we only have sex when I initiate.  And it often feels kind of uncomfortably perfunctory.  I'm sad that this is who I am right now.

I'm sad that I feel no desire.  I'm sad that I exude disinterest because I honestly feel no interest.  And it's not because of anyone else.  It's just in me.  On the way back from the party Noah told me that I had this problem until about 18 months postpartum the first time.  So like 7 months to go.  I hope.  This is not my happy face.

I'm also experiencing some noticeable grief about my family.  Not only did Uncle Bob die but I actively took steps to kill off any chance of reconciliation.  I am now dead to them.  I feel like a big part of me died.  I love my family.I feel very loyal to my family.  I feel like a traitor. I feel like I should be shot for treason  Ok, that thought made the waterworks flood.  Yeah.  I hurt my mommy.  You aren't supposed to do that.  Even the bible says to honor your mother and father.  I effectively killed my father and I just yelled about as loud as I could that my mother is a child abuser.  I don't want to think that about my mommy.  I truly don't.  Do you want to know what is making it feel real?  When I say things to Shanna in that tone of voice and I see her cringe.  I know that voice.  That's my mom's voice.  My mom didn't hit me.  She didn't have to.  She could make me feel like I was 3" tall.  I feel that I am teetering on a precarious edge because at this point Shanna turns around and yells at me that it's not ok to talk to her in that tone of voice so uhm, yeah.  She's pretty clear that she's not 3" tall.  And go fucking her.

I feel like I'm 3" tall.  I've been sniping at people lately.  I have no patience and I really want to hurt people who are close to me.  I'm doing it to absolutely everyone.  And I'm having an explosion of guilt and anxiety.  I feel tremendous social anxiety and I'm able to make the most positive situations seem like a tacit rejection of me.  That's pretty ridiculous.  I'm really not rational.  I'm struggling with body issues.  My little sprint on wikipedia called it Eating disorder not otherwise specified which, to be fair I'm not actually looking for a label because I want one.  I was actually looking for a word and I never did find it.  So I have the self image of being a fat person.  I think it is one that I actively want to have.  I think I want it for a myriad of reasons.  I don't think it is actually all that good for *me* to be fat because I have to be fairly sedentary to do it.  When I exercise I get smaller.  It's usually pretty dramatic and given that exercise is good for everyone, blah blah blah... No really, if I'm currently heavy that means I am extremely sedentary.  And that's not a healthy choice for me.  Not saying this is the truth for every body out there.

So uhm I've been binge eating since I noticed that I was getting "too thin".  I have been feeling like I am eating a lot and my clothes are getting tighter.  I feel like I have some weird subconscious thing going on that I associate fat with happy and maybe if I'm eating pleasure signal inducing foods constantly I will like myself more.  Hasn't worked yet but I keep trying.  Maybe I just haven't done it right yet.  Anyway. The part that I get hung up enough on to avoid talking about my mother at all costs (see how I did that; I'm good) is: I weighed myself tonight at my friend's house.  I am lighter than I've been since I got married.  I am certainly at what I consider a perfectly reasonable size.  But it's freaking me out and I'm binge eating to try and not stay in these clothes.  It's complicated.

But back to that mother thing.  Because yeah I'm going to have to figure out a healthy relationship with food and stop alternating between treating it like a punishment (through lack of it) and a reward (through excessive amounts of it).  Jesus I'm broken.  But I'll deal with that bit another day.  Maybe.

Years ago I wrote a story for a writing class that detailed some of the biggest sexual assaults I experienced from non-family members.  Some.  I had my sister read it and her first response was that I couldn't tell mom.  Mom wouldn't be able to handle this.  It wasn't fair for me to burden mom.  I went against orders (because I promise you that my sister considered them on that level) and I had my mom read it.  My mom was strangely sanguine.  Like, this definition: Anticipating the best; optimistic; not despondent; confident; full of hope.  By which I mean she apologized for not being there for me.  She cried about her weaknesses as a mother.  Then she went on to fairly casually talk about how we can move on now because the past is behind us.  WTF?!  (And I do actually say W- T- F.)  Yo!  Bitch!  It's not that easy.  I don't believe there is any reparation she could do for what her negligence did to me.  I really don't.  That's not about my overwhelming bitterness.  That's about the fact that there is nothing in the world she could do to earn my trust.  And if I think you are a rattlesnake, well... you really aren't someone I want near my home or my kids.  I don't know what you might do.  That tears it and buries it.  (Where the heck do I get these expressions?)  Yeah.  No.  Which means I have to deal with the results of that on my end.  I have to deal with the loss of my mom.

It really sucks.  Just sayin'.  There is no way for her to be a person I can have a healthy relationship.  Ok, how can I go about the business of just being healthy instead of being fucked up now that I am removing the fucked up influences?  I'm not really sure.

Areas That Could Use Improvement:
-my overall disposition. I act like everything and everyone is an inconvenience.
-my relationship with food and my body.  Making choices other people disagree with is ok.  Making choices I don't agree with because I am so uncomfortable in my skin... not so good.
-liking sex again.  That would be kind of nice.
-my tremendous social anxiety that is creating a brick wall between me and people who like me.
-my willingness to see myself as having worth.


And you know, could I start providing my children with a more stimulating mental situation so that they can be properly socialized... right.  Not that I'm under. any. pressure.  I'm sure I'll make a fabulous first impression with the local homeschooling community.  Ah shit.  I'm really afraid to get involved with the local homeschooling community right now because I'm afraid that people won't want their children to socialize with my kids because I am broken and bad.  Like, this is seriously keeping me up at night.  Shanna asks about R a lot.  She asks when she can see him again.  She asks why she can't see him any more.  I feel pretty shitty that the answer is I made R's mom so uncomfortable that she won't let him be friends with you.  I don't want to fuck things up for my kids this early in life.  I want to wait until they are a little older.  I already had a best friend by Shanna's age.  I feel like I am denying her some crucial life experience and isolating her unreasonably.  But she's 3.  I haven't ruined her life yet, right?

Friday, July 22, 2011

I'm just whining

Do other people stay up late at night and think about their relationship roster?  I'm not sure if I'm creepy.  Ok, that's a lie.  I know I'm creepy.  I'm not sure if it is creepy that I do this.  It is dramatic to me how much of my life rested on brief chances of starting or ending relationships.  It's not just romantic relationships.  Major friendships can be cataclysmic and define an era of life.  Now that I have more perspective on my actions in the scope of my life I feel a lot more clear about my role in things.  I have more regret than I would like to have.  I am not yet at peace with a few decisions.  I'm not very good at letting go of guilt.

And then I move on to family relationships.  I was very close with Uncle Bob for most of my childhood.  He and Auntie had the lion's share of raising me from when I was very young.  They didn't understand what my mother took me out of their house to do.  They are too ignorant to want to try.  I needed some formal break with my family to let go.

I feel compelled to slam the door on reconciliation on any terms.  No, I cannot be family to you.  You allowed me to be raped when I was a defenseless child in your care.  That is on your head.  You will bear that blood guilt.  How you deal with it is between you and G-d.

I don't actually feel compelled to be up late thinking about my family though.  I'm thinking about Anna.  I met Anna when I was 15 and we were intermittently extremely close and very close.  We totally did the BFF thing for... 11 years.  She never mixed with my other friends in any way.  She was cordial with my boyfriends but I don't know how "friendly" they were.  They never spent much time together.  I always have these intense female friendships completely apart from my romantic relationships.

I don't know how to be an integrated person.  I don't know how to have multiple strong relationships in my life at once.  When a new strong force arrives I have to fire something that is currently in my life.  Oh, I try to phase things out gradually... but there is a noticeable exodus.  I'm worried about some of my current relationship "testing" behaviors.  I'm edgy because I am in limbo.  Sarah arrives next week.  There will be lots of changes.  I would really like to find more constructive ways to deal with my angst than being fussy.  I wanted a better word than fussy but I couldn't come up with anything that most accurately describes it and that says a lot.

I should go to bed. Ugh.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Cycles

When I spend a lot of time around people who are really enthusiastic in their approval of me I get a temporary "high" and I start to feel more confident and I get into a basically manic state and I go out and I am intensely social in some large community for a while.  Inevitably something happens that shakes my perception of my degree of welcome and I start pulling away.  I generally feel more and more anxiety and I go through a period of dealing with intense abandonment fears and anxiety about the fact that I feel like everyone in the world hates me.  After this happens I start baiting people who are my friends (in my point of view) and I am extremely emotionally unpredictable.  I start getting my feelings hurt and I take everything as an insult no matter how I have to contort to make it sound that way.  I made it so there was no way for people not to reject me.  Before having kids I went into isolation for a while and I stopped talking to people.  Then I would slowly inch my way out again over time and follow some new acquaintance into a new community and start the cycle over again.


Is that a correct description?

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Privilege

I've been thinking a lot about privilege since reading this blog and I think I hit on part of it this morning.  I was talking to someone recently and I was trying to explain the pressure of meeting new people and how it is better or worse depending on how much they will matter in the long-run.  Meeting Noah's friends is stressful because I will have to deal with them for years... I'd better not fuck up.  Which means I inevitably will feel like I did no matter how I actually behave.  In the course of this conversation I said that I can't handle the pressure to be "nice" when I meet someone.  She seemed shocked, aren't I nice whenever I meet new people?  I actually laughed out loud.  Of course not.  I walk into every new association wondering if I am going to feel disliked because I am bad.  Whether this person will be "big enough" to overlook how fucked up I am and give me a chance anyway!  (This is said in a cheerleader voice.)

That shit gets old.  Privilege is feeling like you deserve to be breathing the same air as everyone else.  Privilege is growing up in a place that is safe and secure enough that you never freeze up in blind panic when your husband raises his voice the tiniest bit because surely this will be the time he makes you leave.  I believe there is no way that people could love me unless I change myself to meet their needs.  I believe that who I am, at a basic level, is wrong and I deserve to suffer for being wrong.  Because I cannot just "be nice" when I meet someone new.  I can't do that.  In order to just be nice to other people I would have to first stop expecting them to be vicious to me so that I can stop feeling defensive.  Given what did happen to me I'm really glad that I was good and vicious in response.  It was literally a survival mechanism.

But how do you just stop feeling defensive and vicious?  It's not as simple as anger management.  It's not as simple as just meditating and staying in the here and now.  Not for me.  Because the point of all those techniques is to let you relax into the assumed basic training of being a polite person.  I have never had that.  No, that's hyperbole.  That is not what I had as a child.  That is not my default at rest position.  I can actually get to a place where I feel calm and relaxed.  Sort of.  Briefly.  I can suppress my feelings with the best of them!  But then I am always paying in some way.  I'm hypersexual or asexual.  I'm binge eating or starving myself.  Privilege is thinking that "stopping my anger" will solve my problems.  No, it just moves the focal point of my current problem area.  I am broken and I have to figure out how to fix it.  Being quiet doesn't work.  Being quiet means passing on broken patterns on to my children even if they are never abused.

Denise's drug addiction would go in spurts.  She used intensely for a while then she blew up her life and was clean for a long period, or she used so minimally as to be functional.  My anxiety goes in hormonal spurts like that.  I can tell that I'm having totally irrational emotions.  If I can tell that they are totally irrational I can often talk myself through them.  When I suppress my memories and I refuse to work through them as they come up I am left sitting on a powder keg.  I don't think it is actually reasonable to ask me to deal with as many triggers as I have by just meditating.  Give me a break.  That might work for someone else, fine.  It doesn't work for me.  I just can't.

I feel like white trash because as I move through the world something about my physical presentation makes people wince.  Not all the time, I can control it with enough effort, but often.  It's something about my tone of voice, my looks, my word choice... I don't even know exactly.  Even when I am not cursing. Even when I am "trying to be nice" people still jolt at me.  I don't think I am actively yelling all the time. But people react visibly to me.  And it is common for people to comment on the fact that I have a lot of class markers of being poor.  It's excellent.

That is my basic self image moving through the world.  Then I read news articles about finance talking about how Noah is in the top 5% of the country financially.  I feel this simultaneous shock and horror.  How in the hell can that be me?  I feel like now that I am in this different class I should suddenly know how to behave as if I am of this class.  But I don't.  I feel awkward and uncomfortable.  I feel fake and deceitful.  How dare I come among good people when I'm obviously common trash.  As a result I am usually rude when I meet people because I have it so deeply ingrained in me that I am bad.  I don't know how to be anything else.

These are the things I think about when I think about privilege.  Because I have the unimaginable privilege to sit here at my computer whining about my pain when at this point in my life I have it easier than the vast majority of people ever in the history of the world.  That's perspective.  My problems are so small and so petty.  Why do I act like I'm important?  Because I have to.  Because everyone has to be concerned with themselves first and foremost or they have nothing to give.

Why aren't I "nice" when I meet people?  Because I am white trash and I don't know how.  No one ever taught me.

Suppression has limited usefulness.

It's interesting.  People keep asking me how I am doing, that's predictable (and appreciated!).  I'm not sure what to say a lot of the time.  "Well, I'm behaving as if I feel more cheerful.  I am less explosive.  I am not nearly as angry.  I also feel completely dead sexually.  When people touch me I feel my skin crawl.  But I'm way more calm with way less time in time out!"  Is that a win?

A number of people have expressed how impressed they are that I can simply suppress these memories.  I can stop having flashbacks.  I can black the body memories.  But it comes with a price.  I don't get to really be me when I'm doing this.  I'm just a shell.  You see, my therapist is on vacation till August 1st.  Perfect timing.  I don't really feel up to seeing a new person right now.  I'm... yeah.  I'm just not up for that.  I miss people and I miss going out but I am so happy to be home that I'm kind of afraid to leave.  I haven't even been up to Oakland yet to see the friend I normally see at least once a week because leaving the house is insurmountable.

Why is leaving the house insurmountable?  Because I only have so much patience right now and at home I can ask Shanna to do a very limited number of things so we have a limited number of fights.  Once we leave the house all bets are off.  We might have a great experience; we might have a horrible time.  By "horrible time" I mean that she will pick a fight in front of other people and I will feel intense shame and humiliation that my child is such a brat.  And I will end up yelling at her with far more intensity than the situation warrants because I am feeling shame and humiliation.  So I would rather not take her out.  It's not that I never yell at her at home, but it's far less.  And when I can tell that I am starting to internally escalate things that don't need to escalate I can safely separate us until I calm down more and can talk.  It's seamless and non-dramatic at home.  Well, three year olds are dramatic.

I'm experiencing a lot more sympathy for why other people give in to their kids to stop the freaking constant whining.  I still won't, but my alternative is to send her to her room until she can talk in a tone of voice that doesn't sound like nails on a chalk board.  I don't have that when we are out.  Oh it feels like pressure.  It feels like overwhelming-I'm-drowning-where-is-the-air pressure.  It's not a rational reaction.  It is, in fact, completely irrational.  I am comforted by books that tell me that three is just like this.  Get through the year and it improves.  Please G-d.

At home we do ok!  Really!  We have have far more good days than bad.  Even our bad days at home aren't that bad because I am way more liberal with "room time" than any "real" crunchy parent would be.  What the hell is gentle discipline anyway?  I don't hit her.  I do my best not to yell.  But oh man I need space and the only way I know to get it is to tell her that she has two options: she can be civilized and polite, or she can be in her room.  It's not that all expressions of emotion are uncivilized or impolite.  However, if you have to reach volumes that are harming my ear drums in order to express yourself you can do that outside the main room, sorry.  No, I don't think that children deserve to terrorize everyone around them as they develop emotions.  And I cannot sit down and patiently let her do everything she wants to do.  Sometimes things have to get done.  I'm almost sorry.  But mostly because it means that not only do I have to do an avalanche of work, I have to argue with her all day about whether or not she will let me do it without being a whiny brat because she wants me to do nothing but pay attention to her. Ugh.

I swear to G-d I do things with her.  I play games.  I teach her gardening stuff.  We play on the swing.  I read to them.  I bake with her.  Et cetera.  Nothing is enough so I need to just say that I've had enough.  My needs matter too.  And she needs to deal with that disappointment because life is going to hold a whole lot more disappointments in it.

I think that is what the current rash of articles on over attentive parenting is saying.  I feel like I am trying (and failing) to meet all of her needs because my needs were so extensively ignored and unmet.  But there is a happy medium.  My family didn't know how to meet my basic needs and Shanna is not in that position.  Shanna never has to wonder if she will have a place to live, food to eat (that is palatable), if she will see her mother or father or sister, or if she will get several hours of positive attention every day, or if she will be abused.  Shanna is safe.  Shanna really and truly is getting the basics that I didn't have.

It impacts the whole rest of your life to not have those things as a child.  That is why I still identify as white trash even though I feel guilty given the extensive privilege I enjoy now.  I still feel like I'm not sure I will have a place to live or palatable food (this is a serious issue at this point in my life).  Noah went to great lengths to create a family trust and he put all of his separate property I was previously not entitled to, all the inheritance stuff, into community property.  No really, all stay at home moms are not created equal.  I am not taking the risk that other people take.  He truly can't screw me, no matter what.  I will never be destitute again.  But I still go through periods where I am afraid to do things in the house because I think I will get in trouble.  I angst and dither over doing things because I fear that everyone will be mad at me and make me go.  This is not rational.  This is in my bone marrow.  This is why I feel like white trash.  I feel like a dirty little imposteur and at any moment I will be made to go away from decent people.  I've been told I wasn't welcome before.

I was asked to leave the Seventh Day Adventist church when I was a kid.  As an adult I would say that a small minded bully with no actual authority told me that she didn't like me... but that's not how it felt at 12.  I was pushing to do a lock-in with the youth group.  I had been to one at my friend Yvette's church and I really wanted to do it again.  A woman in an authority like position in the group took me aside and told me how offensive and inappropriate that was.  It was disgustingly sexual and then she told me that I would feel more comfortable in a place that was less Godly.

So I went and fucked Sean.  That's pretty much the timeline on that.  Super Bowl Sunday was a few weeks after that.  I went and visited family friends who were not making great life choices.  Lots of drugs.  Lots of risky behavior.  My family thought it was great for me to go stay with them!  They were also hosting a different family friend for the weekend.  He also happened to be their drug dealer.  On Superbowl Sunday I told him that I wanted him to do something to me.  He asked what.  I said I was too shy to say the word.  He asked me what letter it started with.  I said "F".  He started saying the predictable ones: fondle, feel, finger... then he got to fuck.  I said yes.

He turned all the lights off.  He did basically no foreplay.  He didn't use a condom.  I lay there and physically did all the things I "knew" I was supposed to do.  All the things I had learned from years and years of reading porn romance novels, and stealing my uncle's pornography.  But I cried while I did it.  I kind of thought that was just how it was supposed to go.

Apparently I unsuppressed some memories.  I don't want to be dead inside.  I don't want to feel like I am buried under the weight of all of the bad things.  If I suppress them I say that they are unimportant.  Not worth looking at.  But it is important that these things happened to me.  Maybe it is only important given the whole scope of my life, but that's ok.  Maybe it wouldn't be the end of the world story for someone else to say that the cried through losing their virginity.  It's kind of a different story for me.  I was told over and over from when I was a baby that my only value was in having sex.  At 12 I felt like my attempts to be good and I really and truly was trying, resulted in being kicked out and told that God didn't love me.  So I turned around and fucked a 25 year old drug dealer--without a condom.  That's why mental health professionals think I should be dead.  If I started off making choices like this when I was 12?  12!  Oh my fucking god.  I always thought I was so adult.  That I was so mature.  Everyone agreed that I was precocious, advanced, remarkably adult... No.  I was heinously abused.  It's different.

When I kick myself over and over for sending my daughter to her room because screaming when you dislike something is not an option... I feel like I am crushing her spirit.  I feel like I am abusing her.  I feel like I am not just on a slippery slope, but rather everything I do is inherently abusive because I am an abuser.  No matter what you do as a parent you can find someone to flog you and tell you that you are ruining your children.  I insist that she not yell at me, not use a volume that causes me physical pain, and that she not hit or kick anyone.  Ok, let's tack on pestering.  I really don't allow pestering.  Pestering is given warnings.  If you cross these lines, that means you need some time to see if you like being alone more than you like being polite to me.  No no no no.  I AM NOT ABUSIVE BECAUSE I HAVE BOUNDARIES.  I'm not.  I'm not.  I'm not.  I feel like me asserting myself is bad.  Like I don't deserve to do it.  Like when I inconvenience the people around me for my own comfort, "Shanna you don't get to play the screeching game inside" I am doing something terrible.  If I have to physically carry Shanna outside or to her room because she has decided to grab onto furniture and get louder?  Well... I still don't think I have crossed the line of abusive at that point either.  I'm not going to be chased from room to room in my house by a screaming child.  Just no.

Let me break to say that I don't think she is being malicious.  She's enjoying the feeling and trying to get a rise out of me.  I still don't have to like it or tolerate it.  But I worry about my reactions when we are out.  Like on the train when she wants to get to me the easiest way is to start getting loud.  She knows that it is a huge hot button.  So I picked her up and carried her to the vestibule area.  So far still ok.  But then she wouldn't stop screaming and I wouldn't stop yelling either. So I made her stand in the corner.  Which she didn't want to do and she fought me.  Thankfully Noah interceded because it wouldn't have been pleasant for either of us if he hadn't.  I got my back up over something stupid.  That was not the hill to die on because I had no method of enforcement that was appropriate and safe for all concerned.  So I was going to lose no matter what.  But the real problem was that we hadn't given her proper breakfast and she was hungry.  And that's all our fault.  And the real solution was to be more patient with her when we had inappropriately taxed her physically.  But instead I hissed unpleasantly at her "You are in public and you need to be quiet.  No.  You don't get to make the people around you miserable.  That's not ok."  Over and over. That's not an acceptable reaction.  That reaction is coming from my own intense fears about being looked at.  That is me being told that I was never allowed to talk about the abuse or unpleasant things in a way that would make people look at me.  I'm passing on that abused feeling.

I think that "abuse" makes you feel smaller, weaker, and less than.  Abuse is being told in some way that you are a less than person.  I feel like I don't deserve to take up space in the world.  That's a lot of my suicidal feelings.  I feel like I am a toxic force.  Like I am a toxic waste dump that should be eradicated for the good of the herd.  That's how I feel about myself.  No, I don't have the expectation that I will be "nice" when I meet new people.  I expect that I will feel awkward and uncomfortable and I will act out in some way because I am just that kind of stupid fucked up loser and I always make bad first impressions because I am just bad bad bad bad.

I don't know that I'm going to have a good day.  Who knows.  Maybe I will purge my bile on the internet and then go on with my day.  It could happen.  I'm hoping that purging my bile works.  Noah is home and my no-t-twin is having a house warming.  Maybe we could have a good day and go after nap time.  That would be really nice.  I can do two things at once when I am out in public.  I can watch one child and interact with an adult or I can watch two children.  That means that socializing in public is hard.  But life is hard and this is really a first world problem.  Just because it's hard doesn't mean you stop doing it.

I'm watching the sky.  I'm torn between disappointment and elation.  Lately the mornings have been feeling like a beach summer.  It's slightly humid but very chilly.  It's uncomfortable to move around the house in summer clothes.  But it's summer, damnit!  And I keep wearing my summer clothes with layers because I am so eager to strip down to as little as possible.  I miss warmth.  I want it on my skin and I almost never feel this way.  It's really bothering me this year in a way it never has before.  So the thing is, I want it to be warm in the morning so that I feel comfortable moving around and doing my work and then I can have the afternoon sloth to lie on the couch or play with the kids.  I do most of my big chore jobs in the mornings because the children have more patience and I'm tired of having freezing cold toes.  It's freaking July.  What the heck.  Right now it is 57 degrees.  That's pitiful!  (I'm working on the distracting part of suppressing.  The kids will wake up soon.)

I spend a lot of time thinking about why I feel the need to process what I went through the way I do.  It's not exactly the most pleasant thing to do.  At this stage of my life I feel like I am not in a position to take up a spiritual leader because I would need an intense cult... and yeah.  Like that's a good solution.  I don't want a religion to give meaning to my life.  I am not a glory to anyone else.  I can't come up with any way in the whole fucking world to talk any kind of good about a spiritual practice that does not tell me to pick up a big stick any time someone from my family comes near me.  No, I don't need to turn the other cheek.  And I'm not in a place where there is enough value there for me to deal with my current issues with organized religion.  Really.  In the cost benefit analysis, I lose.  Just no.

But there has to be some fucking meaning in this story.  Something.  Some reason I did this and survived.  I have to find something worth knowing in the mess.  I have to find a way to believe that being me and existing is a right and good thing.  That I am the right kind of me.  Because being a mother is not going to cut it forever.  I have to be alive and living in my body for me.  And I don't know a way to be me other than to tell my stories.

The part of me that I like the most is the part of me that looks at my behaviors that I dislike and I try to figure out why I do them so that I can either figure out how to stop doing them --and for real stop doing them, with accountability--or change my opinion of doing the behavior.  In some way it is kind of awful.  I'm developing situational ethics.  But I am trying to reframe it as, "I want to do this, but it is at priority level 9 and right now 3 conflicts with it.  Ok.  Well... shit."  Because then I have reason to examine my options more carefully on how I am doing 3.  Sometimes I am going to feel like a terrible person and feel a lot of guilt because... 9 is still a priority and I'm failing.  I'm bad.  I'm terrible.  I deserve all manner of evil and badness rained on my head.  That my friends, that is the crunchy guilt for me.  If I do something in a less-than-crunchy way... say only use a plastic bag once and then throw it away.  I have horrible anxiety and terrible self thoughts.  If I only cared more... Ugh.  There isn't enough time in the day for me to handle my mental health shit and my crunchy guilt.  Ha.

Talking about these things in the ways that I do is part of being me.  I need to stop feeling like I should be silent in public; it's not like I ever really followed that rule anyway.  Rather I need to stop feeling guilty for taking up space.  Other people are just going to have to deal with their own feelings of shame when I talk about their actions.  That's not my responsibility.  If you feel ashamed of the things you did to me when I was a child it is right and just.  I get to be that judge and jury.  I'm the only one who experienced it.  There will be people who agree with me and there will be people who disagree with me. That's life.  And in order to be me and find my own reason for living, I have to learn how to live with that.  I have to stop feeling terrified of the fact that people will disagree with me and dislike me.  I hide at home because I am white trash.  Because I am dirty.  Because I am low class in public.  I explode and yell.  I never can make my children look clean and put together.  I can't look clean and put together without professional help.  The less said about my husband the better.  *ahem*  (I'm kidding!  I like my husband!  It's just kind of rare for him to shave.)  We all fit in well together.  We are all similarly messy looking.

That was anxiety producing for me in the UK.  The only time I saw a family that kind of resembled my mental picture of mine in terms of being messily put together they were... very attention grabbing in obviously low class ways.  I had to stop and breathe for a moment as I realized that I shush my children in public and try to talk very quietly when I'm out because I don't want to be that any more.  I experience so much shame when I feel like people are looking at me the way I look at that woman.  That was my experience of growing up.  My sister was the loud "mother figure" bossing everyone around in this over the top domineering voice so that she could "sound like the boss".  She's got a complex.  Oh wait!  She is probably acting like my dad.  I was never really around him so I actually don't know.  I don't know what my dad sounded or acted like around people.  I don't think I saw it more than a few times.  I can't remember living with him.  So yeah.

My journey is really about finding balance between sharing the stories and working on my behavior while still having control when I need to have control.  Which is pretty much all the time right now.  Rats.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Food is a religion

I think that pretty much everyone has their own personal food religion.  Your pinnacle of how people should feel about/eat/think about food.  Big note: I am not trying to convert anyone to my religion.  So here is my basic approach to how I want to be eating.  My ideals.  The tenets that provoke my guilt when I fail to meet them.

First: eat local and seasonal.  To me, if you are eating what is in season and grows where you live... you'll do fine.  People survived eating the local stuff for a long time and I think that's a good basis.  But I'm a spoiled brat who lives in an area with the best damn food in the world.  Privilege much?

Second: I try for organic and/or grass/pasture raised.  My chickens shouldn't be vegetarians and my cows shouldn't eat corn.  I have some stupid bias that the food I eat will be healthier for me if it had the best life possible.  However from what I understand it isn't actually possible for everyone on the planet to eat "organic" produce.  So, err... yeah.  Not sure how I feel about that.

Third: I try to avoid processed food.  But I also try to not beat myself up for eating some.  It's a balancing act.  Processed food usually means less work for me.  I'm usually skimping on work because I am out of spoons.  (I'm sorry for co-opting that terminology given that I don't like using it given that I am able-bodied.  But I'm specifically using it in a mental health way so uhm... I'm not sure how else to phrase it.)

Fourth: I'm trying to grow food.  I want to get to a point where I am raising and preserving a reasonable percentage of our produce (like 25% would be AWESOME).  I'm thinking that I might shoot for reaching that by the time that Shanna is 15. Obviously I am not taking this gardening thing real seriously.


So part of the reason that I'm writing this is because I read books on urban homesteading and I find them terribly inspirational.  Or rather, I find them terribly guilt inducing.  I have all the time and ability in the world to really pursue this as a lifestyle choice.  So why don't I?  Well... honestly... it's a lot of work.  And I'm kind of busy.  And it is way down there in fourth place on my food priority list and food is way down at like spot number fifteen on my personal life priority list so... yeah.  I just don't care.

BUT THE CRUNCHY GUILT IS EATING MY BRAIN.  *ahem*

Want to know why I'm doing this much gardening?  Because I'm trying to find ways to learn about new interesting things without having to interact with other people.  Because I'm trying to find hobbies that make me feel good about being a creepy shut in.  Because it's a G-D science experiment!  I don't know any of this stuff about plant lives.  It's really awesome.

Because I'm an unschooler and I want to take this opportunity to learn about life.  This may not be the way that someone else thinks I should learn this topic, after all I could do it way more efficiently if I took a class on gardening.  But I now have a very good idea of why I shouldn't plant my tomatoes so close together.  I'm trying to decide how I want to resolve my current gardening conundrums.

Have I mentioned that my garden is rad?

tomato patch of doom

Saturday, July 9, 2011

I'm baaaaack

And of course the first thing I do is plop myself down in the middle of a big thought process around priorities.  I'm thinking about my priorities in life because right now I have to start acting on them in terms of living my life.  I no longer have a brick wall event coming that forces a reordering into crisis mode.  How do I actually want to live?  Priority number one: deciding my priorities needs to not become an obsessive thing that disrupts my life.  (Here I will make a side note: I have already had multiple funny asides I wanted to make but I can't remember the code for how to create a footnote and trying to think about how to make them is derailing my thought process.  I'm annoyed.  I may have finally found a motivation for learning how to code.)

It is 10 pm and my entire family is asleep.  Seems quite reasonable.  Only... the kids and I went to sleep at 1pm.  We are going to have an interesting adjustment from jet lag.  I'm up thinking about the patterns of our days and unschooling and my mental health and getting the house ready for Sarah and food and gardening and...

So I am thinking about priorities.  Sarah will be in our house within 20 days.  I am so excited I can barely sit still.  But that's not a hard dead line in any negative traumatic way for me.  I don't have to have the house to a certain "readiness".  She could move in today and it would all be handled.  I can do work before then that will make the integration process easier, and I'm doing that.  But it's not an emergency.  It can happen or not in whatever time or order I want.  I'm done with the scary bits of that project.  I just get to anticipate having Sarah here.  Everything else is gravy.  So right now I really am at the place where I get to sit down and think about how I want my life to look just because I get to start making it real now.

While I was on the trip I spent an obscene amount of time on Mothering.com because I was stuck in hotel rooms.  I don't have any idea how much I posted and I don't want to think about it.  I also wandered around the net looking at other parenting websites.  I learned that I need to stay on MDC.  I do not have the time or energy to go find a new forum.  My story is long and complex.  And I can't tell people little comfortable sound bites that ensure that they feel comfortable enough with me for me to say things without being attacked.  I have a long posting history on MDC.  Folks recognize me.  It feels like a community to me.  I have noticed it becoming more close knit after the recent mass evacuation.  A whole bunch of people have reached out to me during the decline of the site.  I feel increasingly seen there and I like it.  I suppose that means I am moving up the hierarchy of the clique?  But in a war of attrition I will lose.  I have too many other things to do and I am going to go do them.  I don't want to prioritize the kind of time it takes to stay popular on MDC.  I have a life to live.

I started this blog because I wanted a place to feel accountable to so that I could document my life.  I am not good at staying productive in a vacuum.  I need a boss.  Which isn't to say that I think I owe accountability to anyone specific on the internet.  Y'all can kiss off.  (said with love)  But I am choosing an unorthodox path for my family.  I want to prove to myself that I am actually doing what I say I am doing.  I don't know another way to give myself the motivation to keep working without trying to produce some result.  I want to talk about what I'm doing.  I miss the camaraderie of having a job.  Raising my kids is my job.  And sweet sony Jesus don't make this into a stay at home mom versus a work out of the home mom thing.  That's not what I mean.  I mean that I have decided to not only stay home, but I am educating my kids.  That's a separate job as well.  I am responsible for preparing them for the world.  Every parent is responsible for raising their children, and we all get help along that process.  Each parent chooses a different amount of help.  There is nothing wrong with that and I'm not judging how much "time" people spend with their kids.  I'm really not.  I'm trying to figure out what parts of raising them, educating them, preparing them for the world, entertaining them, etc. I actually have to do on a day to day basis and what parts of that can I and/or should I farm out?  There is no need for me to be a martyr.

My other job is being me.  Being me is high maintenance.  Being me (near as I can tell) is a lot more work than it is to be someone else.  I can't get good trade in value, so I'm sort of stuck with being me.  If I want to be me well I have to put a lot of work into that.  I am trying to get to the point where I respect and like myself enough that I feel good about all the time and effort I put into me instead of feeling ashamed that I require so much effort.  That is complicated.  Since we got home I have been doing a lot of emotional eating.  I can tell.  I can feel it.  I can look at what I am eating and see why it is making me physically feel bad.  But I can't seem to motivate myself to deal with it because of all the complicating factors around being exhausted from the trip.  But tomorrow we have a local farmers market.  And I'm working on giving myself permission to make specific choices that are short term suboptimal in favor of preparing for the marathon.  It's weird.

I don't know if I am making any sense.  I am also, once again, able to medicate for my anxiety.  Thank you California for recognizing that I should be able to have control over whether or not I have to feel that upset all the time.  I haven't yelled since we got home.  And my stomach isn't hurting all the time.  I've been able to slowly start stretching out the muscles in my head and neck and I no longer have a headache.  I had that headache for a month straight.  I'm fighting with my guilt to allow me more than the absolute bare minimum to be not full of rage.  It's 10:23 and my kids are likely to wake up in the middle of the night.  So I will be on duty and that requires being mostly sober.  But then I will get edgy.  Ah fuck it.  It is better for me to ensure that my stomach stops hurting.  That requires more than the amount that takes the edge off of my anxiety.  Tonight, that is the right decision.

I worry about putting things on the internet because I worry that I will only put the bad things.  Or only the bad things will be true.  I need to get back to a place where I am loudly doing the good things too.  That's the only thing that will allow me to feel safe.  And in order for me to feel like I am doing the good things loudly... I need to figure out what doing the good things are so I can know if I am actually doing them.  Seriously.  Do other people have to stop and think about this stuff?  Do you just know?  Ugh.

I don't think that today's noodling counts as a binding agreement.  Just so it has been said.  But I want to give my boss a status update.  I'm like that.

I think that it's time to set priorities.  What things actually matter to me.  And I need to act like I really do believe my priorities.  And if I can't act like I believe them... I need to decide how I feel about not believing them anymore because I need honesty.  I can't deal with hypocrisy.  But it's complicated because sometimes it isn't about hypocrisy, you just aren't meeting 'x' priority because you are still stuck on 'g' and it is more important.  I want to be very clear with myself about when and where I am stuck on g and when I have simply stopped believing that x is important.

For example.  The local food thing.  Wait, no... I want to back up.  I want to start at the beginning.  It's my story.

So I spent a lot of time on MDC during the trip.  One of the best things I got out of it (and the side track over to Trolls With Wooden Spoons) was to examine some of the ways in which I really did drink the Kool Aid at MDC.  And some of the things I have gotten from the experience have been good for me and I'm thrilled, and others suck.  But I've been forcing myself to take it as a package deal.  It's not.  No matter how rabidly people on the internet berate me for not meeting one specific point on a checklist... dude.  Really.  I'm not failing at life if I stop doing something perfectly.  Uhm... not that I have been perfect at any step on this journey.  I think I need to stop making perfection a goal or part of the conversation.  I just need to figure out what it means to be me and do that.  How pretentious is that?

I feel about as self-involved as an adolescent.  Shanna and I are at the same space in development, and in some ways that's true.  As I am discovering myself on the journey to recovering from incest, I really am starting in about the same place Shanna is.  I am reparenting myself.  But I'm far harder on myself than I am on Shanna.  Maybe I should be a lot more gentle with both of us.  My daughter is already a shining example of vitality.  I need to stop acting like I need to feel guilty for neglecting her.  I'm not neglecting her.  I am treating it like my only job is to educate her and she's blossoming.  Ok, she's weird... yes.  But she's trying things out.  None of what she is doing is for keeps.  Geez, she's only three.  But why can't I have the same latitude?  Why can't I be just figuring out who I am too?  That's also my job.  I didn't get that when I was a small child the way normal kids do.  I was too busy keeping secrets and trying to be the person other people wanted me to be.

The thing is, part of who I am is a responsible adult.  I need to ensure that I am meeting the specific priorities that actually matter to me and to the people and community around me.  I am quite literally responsible to and for the people and things around me.  I have obligations.  I have no interest in walking away from my obligations.  I really don't want to leave.  I have a wonderful life.  But it is work.  I have many jobs there.  I have been hiding at home for a long time because I haven't been up to the work of being in a community and being me and being a parent all at the same time.  I'll be frank and say that I worry about that decision.  I worry about that decision partially because I know that I describe my life on the internet in ways that make some people worry about my children.  I want witnesses.  That sounds awful.  I want there to be no way in the world for me to get away with doing anything bad to my children.  I want there to really and truly be no way at all I could hurt my kids and it would be invisible.  And that means a blog is not the whole answer.  That means people who interact with my children a lot and watch them.

Side note: this blog post about being queer just made my day.  I struggle a lot with queerness as an identity.  I feel pressured to engage in homosexual sex in a way I don't feel pressured to engage in heterosexual sex.  It's self-imposed.  But that is part of me figuring out who I am.  So maybe this isn't a side note after all.  I'm crying because I know I am begging for permission for spending time on thinking about myself.  I want to believe it is ok for me to take up as much space as I need to take up in my day.  That's part of my job!  Damnit!

Another side note: the more I think about Lady Gag's The Edge of Glory video the more I think that woman is a fucking genius.  In most of her videos she hands you a fully fleshed out STORY and you are not allowed to project your own stuff.  There is no room for you in her stories.  She is sharing her fantasy.  Not this time.  In this one there is a lot of room for the argument that she isn't presenting a story at all.  For once... she's just ... on the edge of a story with you.  And this time you get to tell it.  "I think that at this point in the video I would do..."  And yet you can't get away from the fact that it is a Lady Gaga video because even when she is downplaying all the stuff that is her normal trademark she is still so very her.  So in this video she is inviting collaboration.  I don't think she made this video so simply because she is a cheap bastard.  I think she wanted to give her fans a place to project themselves into a relationship with her.  I think she is that willing to be vulnerable.  And that's my story and I'm sticking to it.  Seriously.  This video is a love song to each and every fan.  She didn't want it to be a big dance number song.  This is how she feels about every person and she wanted it to be one on one.  This is how she wants to fuck every single one of her fans.  I think she is a genius.  She wants to feel like she is in love with each person.  She is Mother Monster and she wants to be lover as well.  I really think I should take the trouble to learn more about her and become more of an actual fan.  Because only in talking to other fans will avoid sounding like a lunatic.  ha.

I need to not focus on what other people should or shouldn't be doing outside my family.  That needs to drop off my priority list entirely.  So when I notice at 11:22 that I am no longer able to coherently write I need to go to sleep instead of trolling the internet.