The things I didn't mention about my family structure before the divorce were the vices. Apparently my dad loved to take long baths and read books. I've always felt very ashamed that I had anything in common with me because my mother made it very clear that having anything in common with him was shameful. She didn't seem to care about the vices she shared.
At one point my mother explained to me that she didn't believe that drugs taken while pregnant were all that big of a deal, look at her kids. With Denise she neither smoked, nor drank, and at that point she had never been exposed to anything harder. Denise is a heavy alcoholic and drug addict. With J she smoked cigarettes and occasional drinks. J is both an alcoholic and a drug addict but I get the impression he is pretty controlled with it these days. With Tommy she smoked a lot of pot, lots of drinking, and constant smoking. He started doing tequila shots when he was 3. They thought it was funny. He was probably hit by a car because he was so high he didn't know what the fuck he was doing. For my pregnancy? Take the above list and add speed. I barely drink because alcohol makes my stomach cramp and I have horrible diarrhea for days if I have more than two glasses. I occasionally do recreational drugs. (uhhh... breastfeeding and recreational drugs don't mix. Neither does pregnancy and recreational drugs. I have standards.) But oh man do I smoke a lot of pot these days. I find out tomorrow if I get into the PTSD study. If I do, I have to go off the pot.
I'm very excited. I am not enjoying smoking and I'm really not enjoying that when I go out to run I have coughing fits and they very nearly lead to puking on my neighbors lawn. That would be pretty humiliating. Right. Need to find other ways of managing panic attacks. Pot needs to go. I hate that I have to deal with it. I feel like smoking pot makes me like my family. I don't want to be like my family. My sister and brother both smoke pot so they can be nice people. That is their line. That is my current line. I don't want to be like them. I don't want to have drug use in common with my family. I don't want to need a drug to function. I hate this. I don't really think that pot is inferior to any pill I could be taking in its place. I don't want to need drugs to function. I want to get off my ass and get it done.
Panic attacks are one of the very few things in life where working harder is one of the stupidest things you can do. I feel unsafe. I feel like I am careening out of control. The important word here is control. If I really analyze the situations that are sending me off the deep end... this is all about control. Ok, all is a strong word.
When I was 12ish, we were living up in Redwood Estates. I came bounding down the stairs in my energetic way and I spun around the corner quickly and almost ran right into Aunt Vonnie. I screamed loud enough to rattle the sliding glass door and I flung myself backwards about three feet and landed on my ass. She laughed for about five minutes. I cried and shook. I've always had a strong startle reflex. When people appear "suddenly" in front of me I have a really strong fight or flight reflex. And I'll tell you that I trained myself out of flight. At this point in my life when I feel that way I want to fight. It takes a pretty enormous amount of self control for me to not hit or swing or shove all my body weight into someone. It's completely instinctive and I have the sensation in my body of tensing all of my muscles in preparation for physical contact.
I'm 30 now, so I've been in this body a while. I've learned tricks. I can surge forward and stop myself quickly enough to not hurt people anymore. I couldn't stop myself years ago when I was trying to learn this. But I probably look pretty scary by the look Sarah keeps wearing. That makes me feel really bad. I don't want to trigger her either. She had a mother with anger issues. Noah had a mother with anger issues.
I don't want to be the next in a long line of mothers with major anger issues. I don't want my children to be afraid of me.