Friday, April 13, 2012

You are good. You are smart. You are kind.

Noah agreed to be married to me for better or worse. I think he might actually mean it. I think that even though I've been miserable and mean and sick for almost five years he shows a remarkable resiliency in cheer. All I have to do is have sex with him and he's suddenly good to go again. It's kind of weird. I don't have quite the same system. I need so much support in so many areas and I am deeply ashamed of that need. I feel like my need is a sign that I am pathetic and lazy. I feel like I am a failure because I cannot completely do every thing in my life by myself. I'm a stay at home mom. I don't have a job. All I have to do is keep the house clean, the kids fed and clothed, and at this stage... play with them. It's not exactly hard. Right?

It's really fucking hard because it takes so much patience. I am not a very patient person. I am a very demanding and exacting person. I don't like delays at all. I spend most of my days wanting to bash my head through a wall as a pressure relief. Instead I take a deep breath, count down from ten silently, then I try to smile and say, "Let's try again." That's my fucking job.

I have always been very clear about the fact hat I behave differently "at work" than I do "in my life". In my life I do a lot of things I have to hide from my work. When I was teaching I was not particularly "out" about talking about my queerness or sexual history. I didn't talk about going to raves and doing drugs on the weekends--although I did. I think that being in the closet about those things was wise. It meant that when kids started talking about things I understood the language but I wasn't their "buddy" because I wasn't an obvious peer. I'm not sure I am phrasing this right--I need to make my mistakes past-tense. I can't talk about them while I'm doing them because then I get muddled up and unable to be honest about my mistakes. I know that I am doing stupid shit but I can't admit it yet because I want to keep doing it for a while. I didn't need to tell students I did that.

Noah came in to talk to me so whatever train of thought I had was gone. As Calli likes to say, "Whoops!" She also spreads her arms and yells, "Ta da!" I can't wait until she can really talk. End sidebar.

And a new day dawns. I still don't know exactly where I was going with that train of thought. I'm going to keep going instead of hitting post because I don't get comments anyway. So what if things are long and complicated. I'm apparently just writing for me. And Noah. He talks to me about my writing. That feels like a manipulative ploy but I don't mean it to be. People talk to me about my writing when I can get them in person. I'm not subtle in asking for feedback. I really like finding out what my writing makes people think about.

My wonderful complication was over for dinner recently and she told me that she thinks about me. It was said in the context of, "I'm glad it is ok that we don't IM very frequently because you just know I think of you." No, actually I didn't know that you think about me. Wait. You think about me? Oh shit. What do you think?! When I get to that point I am trying to learn to reference something I got from Ashley Judd " I hold that it is none of my business what people think of me."

That's hard for me to wrap my head around.

I was taught that it is my responsibility to influence and control what other people think of me. I should be careful what I reveal. I should tell different people different stories so that I evoke the right reactions from people. It's a lot of why I do large information dumps on people and then run away. I believe in the core of my being that I am "doing it wrong" and I am bad for what I am doing. It is bad for me to be rude and inflict my inner stupidity on other people. No one wants to hear about how pathetic I am. No one wants to read the same whiny bullshit year after year. Grow the fuck up already. Stop being sad. But I can't. I can't stop. I wish I could stop. I don't know how to stop being sad. I am sad. I just am. And while I am sad I have to make believe that I am happy and cheerful and that we live in basically a good world. That's my job.

I need to have some place where I can say over and over again that I was hurt very badly and it still hurts. I would give anything to make this pain go away. I would give anything if I no longer needed to sit in a room by myself and cry every single day because I am so fucking sad. I cry and cry until I am dehydrated. I drink nearly a gallon of water a day. I shouldn't be able to get dehydrated. But that pee doesn't lie. (See, there I go with the tmi.)

It hurts. I miss my mom. I'm horrified every day because I look at Shanna and I think, "I was out having oral sex with multiple children already." My mother didn't keep me safe. I look at Shanna and wonder what I would be like if I had been allowed to be innocent. What would I want in life? How would I feel about the world? How would I be different? And it bothers me. It bothers me all the time.

I feel like I am a dirty, bad, mean piece of shit. I'm really glad that other people tell me, often, that they do not have that experience of me. I feel pathetic and stupid for needing to be told that. I'm told that you have to say ten nice things to balance out every bad statement to a person. That's kind of the way it affects your sense of self.

I spent my whole childhood being told I was stupid and bad and a whore and little bitch and worthless. I'm thirty years old and I still sit alone in a room and cry about it. Because it still lives in me. I was told those things so many times that I agreed. I thought they were true. If fucking everyone tells you the same story how can you believe anything else? If it walks like a duck and it sounds like a duck and it swims like a duck? It's probably a duck--right? If one person tells me to buy horse shoes I'm going to look at him funny. If two people tell me to buy horse shoes I'm going to think about it. If three people tell me to buy horse shoes I am going to get moving towards the store; I probably need them, right?

I spent my whole childhood being told I was stupid and bad and a whore and little bitch and worthless.

It still hurts. I'm not a fan of that old saying, "Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me." I have healed from every broken bone I have had. My arms work fine. My hand works fine. I have been hit with sticks. I have been hit with stones. Those things heal. I can forget that kind of pain. It isn't important. I believe I am a worthless piece of shit. I believe I am dirty and bad.

Noah gave me shampoo and conditioner for Christmas. This is kind of funny because I haven't used such products in years. Since my hair is hella short I've been using them because it really doesn't matter if my hair frizzes. I'm discovering something I had forgotten when I switched to baking soda and vinegar. It doesn't matter how many times I "soap" my hair it always feels dirty to me. Dirty in that way that indicates "not washed". I feel like there is no way to get the dirt and the bad off of me. It is a physical feeling. I remember my mother complaining about my hair. The only way my mother liked my hair was about an inch long so that she could ignore taking care of it. She was very resistant to me having long hair even though she complimented me on how I looked far more when I had long hair. Hair has such a weird place in my life. My mother was always thrilled when I wanted to play with her hair. Sissy loved to have her hair brushed. I don't like having other people care for my hair because no one ever wants to be gentle enough. It hurts when other people touch my hair. My mom and sister liked it when I did their hair because I was more gentle than them. I was taught to touch my head and hair roughly. To treat it like something gross. Because I am dirty. When I switched to baking soda and vinegar I had a feeling of at peace with the feeling of my hair. It didn't feel "clean" but it did feel soft. It's interesting to use shampoo and conditioner again. My hair feels rough and dirty again. Specifically dirty. And I think it is making my dandruff worse. See, more tmi.

I feel stupid because I want to talk about how bad I feel about being an animal and having hair and being dirty. I need to talk about this because I don't want to teach my daughter to feel this way. My brother is a stupid moron because he thinks the way to break behavior patterns is to not talk about them and pray they go away. Yeah. That doesn't work. Not talking about things creates a festering wound because GUESS WHAT?! It is still a wound. It still hurts. Just not talking about it isn't working.

I have to work very hard every day to decide what I want to teach my children because what I was taught was that I am bad, dirty, worthless, useless, and a whore. I know that I must be something else. I must be other than just what I was taught to be. Somehow I did that. How did I do it? Where did I do it? What should I do instead? I don't know what to do. You can't deal with a problematic behavior by just "not doing 'x'" you have to replace 'x' with something. You have to have some idea of what you are moving towards. I don't know. I don't have very many good examples.

I don't get to watch other parents very often. When I do I spend most of the time thinking, "Oh they do ________ better than me." Of course this means that I offer criticisms. Because I'm like that. I expect that they are judging me so I start first. Just to get this going. I guess. I need to hear peoples criticisms of me. I suppose this is why I am asking people for feedback in person. I don't need to hear the random criticism of people on the internet who don't know me or what I actually do. When you only know me through my writing you are hearing a very random sampling of things from my brain. It's a poor example of my life. That's the joy of mental illness. I can be totally fucked up in my head but life just keeps plugging right along. I'm doing my best to be functional at my job and how that works is going to change over time. I'm trying to figure out the right way to act. I'm trying to figure out my idea of the best mother for my kids. It's not exactly like me. I'm having a very hard time figuring out how it will interact with my sex life. We have a lock on our bedroom door.

I feel disgusting for needing sex. I am developing more of a complex as time goes by. Noah is, understandably, not thrilled. This is going to be hard to work through. For some strange reason he seems to be willing to go through this with me. I ask so much of him. Far more than I should ask. I know that it isn't ok to need as much support as I need. That doesn't change the fact that I need it. And he is willing to give it. He says. We'll see. I'm so scared. I hurt so much. I need so much. I know I'm not supposed to talk about it. No. That's not true. I'm supposed to talk about it one hour a week in a therapists office and then be all better. Right?

I hurt so much. I cry so much. I am so fucking sad. But my personal time is long over. Really I'm being kind of an asshole to Noah right now. I need to cry though. I have to. I can't not cry today. And I don't like doing it in front of the kids more than necessary. They will see enough sadness from me this lifetime.

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