Tuesday, July 31, 2012

I loathe Palo Alto Medical Facility

I need to get a chlamydia test done for reasons I'm not going to explain here. Life is complicated. PAMF is being annoying. I had some kind of visit in the last year so they've told me that I will have to pay for 100% of the visit. Why do I have insurance again?

I think I'll go to Planned Parenthood. Even paying out of pocket there is cheaper.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Busy weekend

I went up to work at Wicked Grounds this weekend. On Saturday I went up after running thirteen miles. I was tired but ebullient. BART was really full so at one point I gave up my seat so that an elderly person could sit. Even though I just ran thirteen miles, I am clearly in a better position to be standing.

When I stood up two elderly Latina women started making comments--ok, so only one of them was loud. They glared at me. The words are already fuzzy in my memory (ahhh blessed medication) but she called me trash. They expressed shock that I was that gross and a woman. Ew. I was wearing jeans, a t-shirt with the words "Rope Slut", and a zip up hoodie mostly closed over my chest. And a dog choke collar closed with a padlock. I looked at her quite fiercely and asked, "Do you kiss your mother with that mouth?" She turned bright red and looked down.

By contrast I ran around several blocks in San Francisco yesterday wearing a latex cheerleader outfit. It's made with maroon and clear panels. One of the clear panels on the skirt is right over my ass crack. There is a deep clear vee in the front of the shirt. Now that I have ginormous mom nipples you can clearly see areola but not quite the nipple. It's uhh festive. I had quite a few gay men tell me that I looked fabulous and they were proud of me for wearing it. It was... different.

Dore Alley is my anniversary. I got beaten by choice for the first time the night before Dore Alley in 2000. I was eighteen. It was my second weekend at the Power Exchange, a bdsm themed sex club in San Francisco. I had brought my sister the previous weekend and I was too afraid to play. I came back dressed in clothes I bought at Hot Topic and I asked a transwoman to beat me. I was afraid of the men, honestly. She flogged me very well.

I feel like Leather as an identity has changed a lot in the twelve years I have been part of the bdsm community. Even though I'm not active these days it still feels like my community. I have been there my entire adult life. I don't have another community. There is no other grouping of people who will accept me for absolutely all of my fucked-up-interests.

I got to know a new person yesterday as a result of a massive faux pas. I used the wrong gender pronoun. I felt like a total fucking asshole. The woman-born-woman very bravely stayed near the cash register to tell me that I made a mistake when I said "he". I felt so bad. (In my defense she is a very butch lesbian. Not that it excuses me in the slightest.) After that I ended up having a very long and protracted conversation with her.

It's not every day I meet someone who says, "I know I am weird but it is because I was tortured as a child."

Her androgynous gender appearance is the result of her father performing medical experiments on her from birth and trying to change her gender because she was born an identical twin and they wanted a boy.

We had a lot to talk about. We felt very comfortable together. We both found the bdsm scene at eighteen. She's two years younger than me. I'm not sure how I have missed her for ten years. I do recognize her handle. I think I just have never been a San Francisco person. And City people don't come south.

I got to sit down and have a surprise conversation with someone who I pretty much couldn't shock. Do you know how often that happens to me? I'd put it at twice a decade. Normal people want to talk about their lives. From birth to eighteen I lived a traumatic horror show and when I turned eighteen I ran straight into the Leather community. I was embraced and adored. I still am.

I didn't spend much time with anyone outside the Leather community for the four years I was with Tom. I was still close with Anna but Jenny and I barely spoke. We had very different lives even though we were both college students. I have rarely been like people my age. It was really amazing yesterday to find this person. I hope I can keep in touch with her. She feels like a gift.

The actual Up Your Alley Fair wasn't very exciting. I felt pretty sad about how much it has changed. I saw far more latex than leather. Most guys were simply wearing underwear if they weren't wearing pants. It didn't look like a leather event. It looked like a bath house but outside with very little sex. I only saw three or four guys getting head. There used to be hundreds. I had the very strong impulse to ask the only really slutty guy I saw there (he had a line of boys) if he was willing to see if a mouth is just a mouth. I didn't! I don't do that any more! But I wanted to. I wonder if he would have let me. The fair felt uninspiring and if no one else was going to put on a show I might as well.

I really like this part of me. I want Noah to go to Folsom with me. Exhibitionism is big for me. I probably won't have actual penetrative sex at Folsom but we will have to drive because I won't be willing to make it home. The car can be put somewhere private.

I really like getting the shit beaten out of me while people watch and freak out. I like it. I really really like it. I like the energy of the crowd. I freak people out in dungeons too. I am on the far extreme edge of what is currently common. I wasn't when I came into the community.

I found the leather community at the very beginning of the online era. People were still very paranoid about using the internet. It was harder to find parties because they weren't advertised online. You had to get to know people still. We hung out in IRC talking all day and night together but we arranged the parties at munches. We had dungeons that were basically our community spaces. People spent a lot of time hanging around.

When I showed up as an eighteen year old it was very rare to see another person under thirty. The community was full of people who had already had full lives and then discovered something about themselves. They were people who made very conscious life choices to become the people they were.

Where I was there were a lot of older women who were very heavy masochists. Life has already made their ass hard. They have been getting hit for a very long time and they have leather  butt. They can barely bruise any more. Sadists like bruises. If it gets harder and harder to bruise you... well... I guess I'll just have to hit you with something bigger.

I got to meet someone this weekend who grew up like me. She was intensely abused and ostracized as a child and then found the same Leather community. I know all of the people she was mentored by. I don't know how in the hell I have missed her.

I really want to write more about sex but I should go in.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

It will be a very long day.

I have a theory as to why significantly more men than women run marathons. It's because men don't have to bleed every month. Today I have to run a half marathon and then go work a full shift at Wicked Grounds (come visit, ok?). I started bleeding yesterday. I'm pretty fucking uncomfortable. My lower back is quite unhappy with life.

What I would like to do right now is get an old fashioned hot water bottle and fill it and a new fangled heating pad. I want to lie in the fetal position with the hot water on the front of my belly and the heating pad on my lower back. Instead I am going to get dressed in that rabidly uncomfortable sports bra (My last long run caused me to get a rash from rubbing) and run for three or so hours. Because of how my body feels I'm going to aim for three and a half hours. Which is more than twenty minutes longer than my previous time for this distance. I hurt.

I should probably take some pain medication. Today will probably also be a day for caffeine. I have to start running no later than 5:30 if I want to do everything on time today. It's going to be a very long day. I've already been up for a while taking care of Calli.

But I'm a fucking bad ass and I can do anything. Time to run.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Early rising

Yesterday was a very physically demanding day and I fell into bed due to righteous exhaustion at 7:30. I wake up at 3:30 whether I like it or not, lately, so that seems prudent of my body. I have always been inclined to be awake earlier than the people around me. I don't really care if my blood type says I am pre-agrarian. Clearly my body thinks I should be up and milking some cows right now. I am adapted to farm life in some interesting ways. And I can't shake these habits. I've never really lived on a farm.

For a while when we I was sixteen we lived on my grandfather's property. It wasn't anything close to a farm by the time I lived there. He had been dead for years and the various houses were rented out to lazy people. No one worked the property at all. It just decayed.

I'm out of bed right now even though what I want to be doing in snuggling Noah. He's not a freak of nature like me. He doesn't go to bed early enough to be wakened right now. I wasn't this much of an early riser when I was younger but I've always had problems based on the fact that I wake up to early. It's amazing how many people there are in the world  to get mad at you for stupid things like waking up early in the day.

Tom went between not liking it (while traveling because I am thoroughly obnoxious) and ignoring it. He went to bed late and got up somewhere between ten and noon. He wasn't going to change his life for me. When you add in his work schedule it very quickly became obvious that once I had a real job (especially teaching, with it's early-morning schedule) I probably would never see him again. We just didn't match up. It was a petty reason but on the list of reasons we were Just Not Compatible.

I grew up with my sister loathing me. She is a night owl. She thinks the day should start at 2pm. My mom wasn't that extreme. My mom was actually remarkably flexible. She could fall asleep whenever (years of pervasive exhaustion teach you this trick) and she was happy to take drugs (usually just caffeine, but harder stuff sometimes) to stay up as long as she wanted.

I'm extremely hostile about caffeine usage. I can tell I'm getting snippy towards Noah about the topic. My mom woke up every morning and took a hand full of pills. Sudafed and Vivarin were always in the mix though it changed up a lot over time depending on time of year and current health issues.

I don't want to need stimulants to live my life. I want to go to bed when I am tired. I'm not entirely sure why this makes me pathetic but it seems to. I am out of synch. I do not have a "fun" schedule. My schedule seems to be freakishly well suited to my being isolated and alone. This is my chattiest part of the day. I'm in the garage typing because Noah has to sleep. This is when the loneliness gets to me the most.

I wake up in a good mood. I wake up fairly excited about the day. I just do. I always have. And then I have to go spend hours and hours in a room by myself not talking to anyone. For the love of Christ don't talk to anyone. They need to sleep. Shut up. Don't you care about anyone but yourself? I do. So I hide. I keep my mouth shut. It's polite.

I wish I could do things and not feel like I am doing them because I am bad. It is highly inconvenient that my most cheerful part of the day are the three hours before anyone else is awake. If someone woke up with me this would be party time. I have nothing else that needs to be done and I'm quite energetic. Yay! That's a lot of why running in the morning isn't that much of a hardship. But I don't like going in full dark. I'm klutzy and that's a recipe for injury. My eyes aren't so hot these days anyway. Dear g-d I need new glasses.

I don't know if other people have the same experience, but for me getting older is this long surprising journey of finding who I am and what I need. Like the early rising. I'm a lot more at peace with it than I used to be. Now I go to bed at 7:30 instead of trying and trying to stay up later so I can be "cool". I'm not cool. That's just life. Oh well. For me to try and stay up in order to be "cool" makes about as much sense as lipstick on a pig. I'm a nasty fucking bitch when I stay up too late. My body doesn't like it.

It's hard because that cuts me out of just about every social group I have ever known about. I can't go dancing. I can't go to bdsm events. I can't go hang out with people after fucking dinner. I can't handle the late-night camping sessions. I'm in bed by 8. I'm exhausted. I am a very physically active person. If you include the silly little walking around during the day ten miles of movement in a day is very common. And I'm carrying a minimum of thirty pounds of weight while I do this movement because I have to get Calli around.

I'm oriented early. I just am. I wish I didn't feel lame for it. I'm uhm, like Benjamin Franklin? Does that make me seem more virtuous? (He was a cantankerous old lech so maybe I'm on the right track.)

It doesn't matter. Over the years I will use this time to write a good many books. I think I have a lot in me. Good thing I have thirty + years ahead of me of 3-5 hours of being awake before other people. It will give me a lot of time to get these words out of my head.

Today is Friday. It's a rest day. I think I will stay home today. I will try not to freak out because I'm sick of the neighbor. I feel bad making my kids play alone. But I'm not happy about the behaviors they are picking up. I have limited ways of influencing this and all of them make me feel guilty. I think it's time to stop feeling guilty and start feeling ruthless.

I made this chunk of my life about raising my kids. I need to make all forward progress about that. If I don't like all the results of that forward progress, whatever. I can't try to take care of everything or I will end up taking care of nothing.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Kids and parents

I'm having issues with the neighbor kid and dealing with them is complicated. She is a year older than Shanna and she likes to think that makes her the boss. Lately she has been physically preventing Shanna from doing things I tell Shanna to do.

Yesterday I tried to go over to her house and talk to her and her family about it. I talked to the grandmother first. Then the mom. The mom didn't want me to talk to the kid and said she would handle it. The thing is, this kid is in my house 20-30 hours a week. If I can't talk to the kid about stuff then she can't be here.

I'm feeling extremely conflicted. On one hand I TOTALLY GET WANTING TO MICROMANAGE YOUR KIDS. On the other hand, when someone is a caregiver nearly full time... uhm... well... telling me not to talk to your kid about issues is kind of a problem. I think I'm going to need to start sending her home a lot. And Shanna won't be allowed to play over there.

The grandmother is ostensibly in charge during the day but she spends a lot of time lying down in the other room. She has migraines and a variety of mental health issues that are mostly untreated. She is on meds and she thinks that is all she needs to do for them. Uhm. If you spend more than twenty hours a week in bed because you are sad then your mental health issues aren't treated. Ask me how I know.

It's hard trying to figure out the right thing to do. I think I need to start watching them like hawks and sending her home at the first sign of trouble on a day. If I don't then she punches Shanna. This is getting ridiculous.

I can be honest and admit that part of the problem is I don't like little kids. They are assholes. (Yes, mine too.) The thing is, this is a little asshole I'm not allowed to discipline or tell no. I'm not going to put up with that shit. If you are going to grow up to be a fucking bully you can do it somewhere else.

But then I feel like, "If no one helps this kid... no one will help this kid." This is how I fell through the cracks, you know? But she's hitting my fucking kid. Pretty soon I am going to hit her. The last time she punched Shanna in the stomach hard enough to knock Shanna down and wind her I sent her home and didn't let her come back for a week. I don't think the kid's family cared.

On one hand I feel bad not letting them play because it means that I am dooming Shanna to a lot of alone time. On the other hand I don't want Shanna getting used to people hitting her. She shouldn't think that is just a standard part of friendships.

It's not just the hitting though. I told Shanna to go put her scooter in the yard and this kid physically blocked her and told Shanna she wasn't allowed into my yard. WTF?! And her mom wouldn't let me talk to her about it.

Thank goodness she starts school soon. Thank goodness. Thank goodness. Thank goodness. Maybe we will just get busier and not have time for the kid. Too bad I don't want to drive much.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

This process blows.

I've been sitting here thinking about why I need a therapist so much all of a sudden. What is this urge. What does it mean? Why is it happening?

I have this intense need to be seen. I need to feel like I exist in the world and I need to see proof of myself reflected in the eyes of other people. Right now I have Noah and the kids, mostly. I go through my life feeling invisible. I am not someone in the eyes of the people around me. I am furniture. They don't know me and they don't particularly care.

I have wonderful friends who give me what they can. They are all busy people. I tried to change the nature of my friendships-called-family and they blew up badly. It's happened one right after another. I can't keep risking this. This is too hurtful. My need is just too much for people.

I see a therapist week after week after week after week because otherwise no one gives a fucking shit about the stupid piddly shit of my life. I feel like I only exist in the highlights. No one cares what I am actually struggling with. No one wants the story. No one has time. Some of them kind of wish they could. The problem is that if they wish they could maybe then they feel some shame about not being able to help me. Then they get mad at me. Because it's my fault they feel ashamed.

I need a therapist because I need to see knowledge of me reflected in someones eyes. I desperately fucking need to have someone know my complex story so that I can make small references to the distant past that is hugely significant. I fucking need that. I can't handle having to live my life in the Readers Digest Version. I feel like a fake and a liar all the god damn time. I'm constantly feeling my heart race because I'm afraid I'll slip and talk about the wrong thing at the wrong time and all of a sudden people will hate me and tell me they don't want to be near me any more.

Don't call this fucking paranoia. This is my god damn life.

I have to pay someone to be as consistent as I need. And even when I do pay someone to be in this role I can't get it.

I'm looking for a parent. I'm looking for someone to be an active mentor. I feel so fucking alone. I'm so scared. I think I am pathetic. Isn't it past time I was the adult already?

But I still hide under the desk and cry because I don't know what to do when I feel consumed with self-loathing other than to hurt myself in some way and I'm trying not to teach that. I don't know what to do. Right now I rock and cry. I feel like a blithering idiot but I try to comfort myself. I feel really stupid. I stroke my own hair.

No. No one is ever going to take care of me. I will never have that. When I am sick I have to get up and deal with it by myself. It is never going to be different. I just missed that. These things are stupid and petty and small.

But I haven't cut myself in over a year. I haven't cut myself since I stopped trying to meet the needs of my chosen family. I just can't. I have nothing to give. If I want to keep the self control to not mutilate myself I have to save that energy. It is that hard to not hurt myself. To not beat my head on the floor. To not punch door frames.

Sometimes all I can do is sit under the desk and cry.

I need a therapist because I need someone to watch the seasons of my life. Who can coach me. Who can talk to me about why I am currently struggling and what are the "balls" I have to drop. How I can I figure out how to lower the amount of harm in my life? It's a process.

When I am actively involved in communities I can sometimes coast without a therapist and do ok. I had a Buddy when I was a teacher. He had the classroom next to mine. We spent a lot of time talking. He got a lot of the story. Not the details of abuse or anything. But he learned a lot about me. A lot more than a therapist given how much time we spent talking.

I had that at the munch when I dated Tom. Losing that in the breakup was hard.

I need a therapist because for me what I am feeling right now is what I have always felt and will always feel. It's not true. I have a very convenient memory. I need someone that I touch base with who really focuses on me. Where I get to be selfish and self absorbed and no I am not going to keep my mouth shut because I don't want to "burden you". Fucker I need some god damn support. And I have to pay for it. And it's flakey. And it might die. Or tell me to go away because I do something horrible. Or it might stop showing up within an hour of the assigned start time. Or it might... just... need to move on. I'm a client, not a friend.

As inadequate as it is... it's the only way I can have a relationship with someone where I see them every week. I need that. Even though it makes me feel pathetic and stupid and small. Better to pay a therapist to be my friend than to kill myself because I feel like I don't fucking matter.

Just seems like money well spent.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Back to hunting, I guess.

Noah recently discovered that we have money in an HSA we forgot about. Woo. That means I all of a sudden have money in the medical section. I think I am going to call my former therapist and say I am ready for a referral now.

What I am doing right now isn't working for me. That means I need to figure out how to change it. I'm not very good at doing that by myself. That's ok. There are professionals for this shit. This is why I have been in therapy for decades and I probably will be for most of my life. Even though I feel ashamed of myself for that. My therapists are the most stable friendships I have. I need mirrors. I don't seem to be able to construct a mirror with sufficient intensity any other way. I have to pay someone to pay attention to me before I believe that they will actually do so week after week.

I feel really pathetic. I also feel really suicidal. It's time to call for a referral. I'm not managing on my own right now.

I really hate me.

stupid body

I'm frustrated and angry. I can't seem to get off. It's this ache inside of me, this need. But I can't get there. The galling thing is I know I would be able to go find a stranger on the internet and get off. My orgasm response is largely tied to being performative. That's not really how my sex life works any more. So I just don't get off. And if I'm any kind of honest I will admit that I kind of hate Noah right now. He can get off. No problem. And I'm left with this feeling of being a cum dumpster. It's the only god damn reason I participate in sex. He needs somewhere for the goo to go.

I feel frustrated and angry. Running doesn't help this ache. I can rarely make myself come when I masturbate (not that I get almost any chance to do that anyway).

Today I hate my body. It hurts. It feels bad. I feel so angry. So frustrated. I hate my body.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Random judgey thought.

When people I am ostensibly "close" with tell me emphatically that they don't read my blog and they didn't read the book and they aren't going to I feel a sudden and distinct cessation of closeness. This person only wants to know about the parts of me that are "nice".

I don't think that everyone has to keep up with the blog in order to like me. But I do feel kind of intensely about people not wanting to know about my life. I'd like to turn around and start walking so we can keep it that way. I'm not going to fucking censor so you so that you can avoid being uncomfortable. If you don't want to know things like that about a person maybe you just shouldn't know me at all. I will be better off if I avoid people who want me to think that parts of my life are unmentionable.


It isn't that I think everyone has to read it. It's that when people feel the need to emphatically tell me they won't I want to leave. That feels like a door slammed in my face. They won't allow themselves to find out things that are painful so they don't want to know about me.

Ok. I'll take that at face value and leave. There are people in this world who do not flinch when they look at me. I live with them. Maybe I should just stay home.

I'm tired of having to be supportive of people who want to avoid trauma by never knowing that people like me exist. I don't have energy for this.

Editing is part of the creative process.

I'm editing No Secrets again.

If you have read it, did you have any burning questions? Any parts you really didn't understand and you wish you did? That was really what I was hoping to get from working with an editor, finding out where the holes in the story are. I didn't get that feedback. Oh well.

It's hard to read this story. It's really annoying finding dozens of typographical errors in each chapter. I thought I fucking paid an editor. Oh well. :-\

I'm also working on another book. I feel like I have to be doing something. I feel so trapped and stuck and boring and... Oh man.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Since I'm not sleeping I might as well write.

For the last day or so Noah and I have been talking about how he thinks the next book shouldn't just be part two of the autobiographical series. He thinks the next book should be about suicide. So far this morning I've written about 2,000 words. I think there is a part of me that wants to hurry up and write about suicide now because I want to work on part two during NaNoWriMo. This isn't the same kind of story telling. I want to tell stories! But he's right. This is weighing heavily on my mind.

He keeps asking me who I want to talk to and why. Who do I want to talk to? People who think they have it so bad that there is no point in continuing to try. It couldn't possibly ever stop hurting. Life is pain. Anyone who tells you otherwise is selling something.

But how do you bear it? How do you keep going? How do you get through yet another shitty day? A big part of it for me is this obsessive, tenacious belief I have that I am not alone and there are people in the world who understand me, at least a little, and more importantly there are people who love me and need me. I don't just mean the kids.

I was a teacher for two and a half years. Former students talk to me at least once a week telling me thank you for helping them with something or other. I've helped some of them become better educated about their birth choices. A student told me that she avoided a c-section because I gave her the strength and assurance to argue for her rights. I feel like that's a big deal. She had the brass plated balls to argue with a doctor about her rights because I told her she could. Fuck yeah.

When people are very suicidal they call me. Even if we aren't close. Even if they barely know me. I wear my heart on my sleeve and I seem safe. I am not going to look down on someone no matter how low they feel because I feel like I'm sitting there in the gutter with them. You can't look down when your chin is on the ground. Everything is level or up.

I feel pretty ridiculous sometimes because I feel like part of my gift this lifetime is the easing of other peoples pain. Even if I am not that important in and of myself I touch people. Maybe they will be important. Maybe they will be able to do something because they felt seen by me. Maybe I will be able to lend them some of my strength and stubbornness.

How do I make it through another day? By making deals and trades. Over time I have made some bad deals but all that mattered to me was making it through the day. By that metric I've been quite successful.

I feel pathetic because I measure my success in "not dead". Seems like a pathetically low bar. Not so much of a high jump but rather something to trip you up. If you fuck up on "not dying" the consequences are bad. If you hit a trip wire it hurts even though it's not a high bar. Landing on your face really really hurts.

I think a lot about survival. What does it mean to live? Why are we here? What am I doing? I feel overwhelmed by life. It's too much and not enough. But I have to stay. I have things to do. There are people who need me. I have to believe in the pit of my stomach that somewhere out there in the world there is someone who needs me quite badly. I can't die yet because I haven't met that person. I want to. That's enough to get me through today. I'll find a reason to get through tomorrow then.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

relationship blathering


One of the best things about writing alone in a room is I don’t have to care about “over sharing”. If people want to stop reading they can and it’s really not my problem. Yay! Ok, that is as much of a warning as you are going to get.

I’m sick. I have a low grade fever; I’m coughing; I have post-nasal drip; I have diarrhea; my throat hurts. Yesterday I went running anyway. When I got home blacksheep told me that I don’t have to run when I am sick. This was exactly what I needed to hear. I have a weird attitude towards advice. Long-time readers are hesitant to suggest anything to me because for many years I responded with immediate vicious hostility to any sign of advice. Mostly because people who didn't know me that well were going off half-cocked. The advice wasn't always relevant and I'm not a very nice person about handling that. I understand that is basically a character failing on my part. Such is life.

I am extremely careful in my head about hierarchies. I assign people authority and stature in my head and don't tell them. If you tell the bastards they get a big head and want to take the increased amount of influence for a spin. Bad plan. But I have little weights and measures in my head that tell me about the person who is talking. It carefully decides how much I should give a shit about what they are saying.

I have been told for a long time that I'm a counter phobic six. (Enneagram shit.) I hear they are very hierarchical. Like, for example, I have a hard time arguing in my head with what blacksheep tells me about exercise. I try hard to understand that she doesn't know everything about my experiences and I have to give her a lot of information before her advice is perfect. But it is very rare at this point for me to think "She's wrong." I think, "Ennnnhhhh I think she doesn't know what I'm dealing with." I can understand that her advice is right for 95% of people. Today it doesn't apply to me (or whatever). 

I have a lot of authorities in my head. I don't tell people I am putting them on pedestals. You can't tell people that. 

So a friend was criticizing another friend. She said, "She lets the internet think for her." I asked for clarification. The other person asks for advice online and then follows it. A fair bit. I could feel the blush creeping up my neck.

I don't go to the hospital for illness until I have checked with the internet and enough people tell me it is a good idea. I have a basic belief that I am not capable of evaluating my own health state. It's not a good belief. So I let people on the internet (let's not fucking kid ourselves I'm not saying these people know me well or have seen my illness state) listen to my list of symptoms and then decide if it is serious or not. I think the internet has a 50/50 rate of getting me to the doctor for major illnesses (bacterial infection, strep throat, mono) and times I'm told "It's the flu. Go home and rest." I'll still listen to the internet because otherwise I wouldn't care about myself enough to end my suffering when I am seriously ill. The misfires are probably worth it but I can't bring myself to make the call alone. I just can't.

Someone else has to think that my suffering is bad enough and has gone on long enough and that person has to tell me to stop the madness. Without that loop I sit here and cry and feel bad and just deal with it. The human condition involves a lot of pain. Don't be a god damn whiner. Oh but I am a whiner. A big one.

This is something I talked to my therapist a lot about. I am very careful who I let be an influence on me. I'm well aware that the vast majority of people are poison for me. They will tell me that I am bad or wrong for things I can't change. I am who I am. I don't need more shame. I really don't. I don't hurt anyone. I've had a lot of life experiences that permanently taint me, that's fine. I don't hurt anyone (who hasn't asked very nicely). Not even that, now. I will never hurt anyone again. I feel like I have been defanged. I will never again enjoy sadistic pleasure. It's against the rules.

It's really weird knowing that on one hand I am absolutely depraved and sick and blah blah blah and on the other hand I'm this really quiet, mellow little suburban mom. Whose advice is relevant to me? How do I pick people to give me advice on different topics?

The older I get and the longer I stay in one place the more I can judge people based on what they do rather than what they say. That has certainly changed the hierarchy of my internal advice pedestal. I pick very carefully who is behaving in ways I want to emulate. I am a copier. That's what I do. I pattern myself off of people I respect. I do it in ways the people themselves often don't recognize that way--but I'm just special that way. 

I care about who can show up and get the hard shit done, year after year. Who goes through strife and then recovers and moves on? Who has actual coping skills? What are they? How do they work? How did they develop their expertise in a topic? Why should I respect them?

I'm really harsh in my evaluations. If you ever want to know how I evaluate you go ahead and ask. I'll tell you. I don't see any point in hiding it or sugar coating it. I'll tell you the good, the bad, and the ugly about what I see. Only there is this little manipulation hiding in that--the people I have a problem with probably aren't reading my journal. Ha. 

Many of the women I know view their endurance in a shameful light. They do not take pride in their ability to endure. They are in a crappy relationship and they don't leave so they view that as a sign of their generic weakness. Life is really complicated. Sometimes those crappy relationships are the bedrock of a whole town. If you take away that one relationship it seems like everything else will crumble. You will have to go build a new town. That's hard. If you haven't done a lot of big life transitions such a change is terrifying. Noah had better not turn into a shitty husband in ten or fifteen years because I will probably be too chicken to leave him at that point. I will have invested too much of myself in him. I don't want to leave the parts of me I gave him. I get it.

Up to now leaving has been so easy. I couldn't understand why people stayed. For me the devil you don't know is pretty much always safer than the devil you know so jump ship often. You'll end up in this magical tidal surge that will take you to the right deserted island in the Bahamas. It'll work out.

I am so harsh in defending myself that I don't think people understand that I think they are better than me. I'm defending my pitiful right to be less than you. I tell myself often that people disliking me is not a reason to die. Their opinion is not important enough. It's hard to believe that my right to exist trumps other peoples right to not be bothered by disgusting people like me. These days it seems to me that I only have the ghost of disgusting behavior lying around the house and I should still be sacrificed. It's for the good of the whole. People who are bad or unruly should be culled for the sake of the herd. One bad apple can spoil a bunch.

I sit here in isolation and think about the threads in my life. The people who touch me at least occasionally. I think about why I know them. I consciously decide over and over if I want to keep knowing them or if I want to just stop making the effort. Not very many people make a lot of effort to keep in contact with me. That's part of what makes you so unique, D. You have called me every few months for more than ten years no matter where you were in the world. I feel so very special. You want to know what is happening in my life. Even though you drive me nuts sometimes and I can barely understand you because you talk so fast I feel like my life would be empty and sad without you. I wouldn't have this mirror floating around in the world carrying a positive image of me. Btw- get off the internet and go finish your damn paper.

A lot of people have come and gone in my life. I have to consciously try to not have attachment to people staying. That is how I can end relationships. I know that if I stop trying the other person won't put effort into it until they want something from me. Sometimes it is years before they look up and around and realize I'm not nearby any more. It is interesting when people still have attachment to me and I have psychologically let them go. 

There is a concept called the Monkey Sphere (maybe I'll add a link when internet comes back on. If I forget you can google it yourself). Basically this theory is that you can only have intimate relationships with 'x' number of people and you can only have more distant friend relationships with 'y' people and you can only know so many 'z' people casually out in the community. As you get higher in the alphabet the numbers generally get higher. People become less of an individual investment. 

I consciously think about the inner circle very hard. Who can I allow to be an actual influence on me? It's a very loaded self-conversation. I think about how much I have hurt people and how much they put up with. I think about how much they have hurt me and how much I can put up with. I think about whether or not this person behaves in a way that will make me safe. Someone can't be in the inner circle if they will hurt me. I mean, a little bit of occasional hurt is different. Noah isn't perfect. Neither are my kids. I do have to keep score and be honest about it in my head. If someone develops a long-term pattern of hurting me I can't ignore that. It would be stupid. It would be self-harming. It would be deciding that this other person is simply more important than my continued safety and health. Err, not a good decision. 

People can be part of my distant community and do things that hurt me. That happens. It's life. You ignore it and move on. That person doesn't have a lot of influence. The hurt is small and contained. 

The inner circle just has too much access. Too much influence. When I notice a bleed out starting I'm better off severing the limb. I have no other options for keeping myself safe. That's how it feels.

It's hard for me to decide I am a good person given how callous and self-centered I am. But then I look around the rest of the world and I notice that I'm really not so bad in the scale of things. It is hard for me to be able to feel good about myself while people in the inner circle disapprove of me. Often I decide that it is easier to cut them out of the circle than try to reconcile the situation. I don't need people who are going to tell me I am bad. What are they basing it on? How much time have they spent with me in person watching my actual behavior? How the fuck do they know?! Because they interpret things from my journal where I focus the vast majority of my writing energy on things I think that are negative and I don't write about my behavior all that much. Right. Yeah. Don't need that.

I'm well aware that even my bad days are significantly better than most of the good days I had growing up. I'm doing well at this point in my life. I really am. My behavior is pretty good. Sure I talk about conversational topics that make other people uncomfortable, but that's not a big sin as things go. I'm not hurting anyone.

I'm not allowing people to pretend that people like me don't exist. Even though they want to. Even though people would really prefer I shut up and follow the herd. Watch tv. Talk about movies. That's what I should talk about. Hell, even if I wanted to get back into the academia shit and talk about books that would be ok as long as I only read authors that are approved parts of the Canon. Right?

I'm not like other people. I don't know why. I don't understand all of the differences. But I feel a deep hostility towards people who want me to be more like them. It's kind of funny. I pattern off of people all the time but I pick specific small parts of their behavior. I am not interested in having someone else's life. I want my life. I may think that someone is better at _____ than me but I can also hand you a long list of ways the person does ______, ____, and ________ worse than me. I'm alright(sic), Jack.

I really like my relationship with Shanna. I'm allowed to be direct with her in ways I'm not allowed to be with anyone else (until Calli can talk more). Why did I want to be a parent? Because I believe that I have a view of the world that does not deserve to be eradicated. Because in the core of my self-serving soul I believe that who and what I am deserves to continue on after I die. 

In cutting off my family I am actually showing the things my mom did right. My mother taught me to be strong. My mother taught me that not a god damn person in the world was going to make sure I was safe except for me. That has been an incredibly useful lesson. Is it possible to teach that lesson without damaging someone? I don't know. I want to find out. In no other relationship in my life do I get to set terms from the beginning. It's a compromise. I get to just exist in front of my kids and they can't tell me to change. It's... startling.

I could abuse the fuck out of them and teach them that the world is hurtful and violent. But I don't. I teach them how to notice other people. I teach them how to be considerate and polite. I teach them how to ask for things in a way that will make it more likely they will get it. I'm trying to teach the difference between persistance and pestering. 

I can go out and interact with the world and seem totally appropriate. I can keep things hidden and just be sunny and delightful and friendly. People don't know a fucking thing is going on with me. They weren't able to see the scars I hid. I am a fucking good liar.

I want my kids to have the choice about how people perceive them. I want them to have my versatility without the underlying damage. I'm not sure if it is possible. I don't want to control what their variations look like, precisely. And I am very well aware that I only get about ten years of setting the terms. Then I have to start handing over control at a quicker and quicker rate. That's how they become independent. 

I don't beat my kids because I don't believe in my heart of hearts that what I am asking of them is always reasonable and appropriate. I know that I ask for things they can't do. It would not be ok for me to beat them for their lack of development. I think that happens more than people want to admit. It truly is my responsibility to put a lock on the side gate so my kids can't sneak out and play in the front yard unsupervised. Beating them for disobeying won't help. They will still want to sneak out. They will just try harder to hide it from me. I don't want them hiding it from me. I want to control the environment and make it safe for where they are now and gradually pull back. 

Calli can't even speak yet. There is no way she should be in the front without adult supervision. A lot of Shanna's limits are group imposed and we talk about that. I can't consider individual safety yet because they aren't ready to do much separate yet. Shanna gets to run five houses down to see her friend. That is the limit of her independent solo movement. She is resentful. I repeat, "I get to make these decisions until you are older. Then I don't get to control you. Sorry, kid."

Even though yesterday morning started off rough emotionally I had a good day. I sat on the couch and read. I don't feel good. Shanna went to her friend's house and Calli napped on me. It was restful and silent. Oh that was nice. Even when they were both home they seemed to trade off who wanted to interact with me so the day was paced well.

If I think hard about the words I used and my tone it was a pretty good day. My only nasty carping was at Noah about the topic of leftovers. I'm really grateful that he puts up with me. (The kids won't eat leftovers for lunch and Noah gets food at work. I end up eating the same damn thing over and over and sometimes it makes me cry.) Batch cooking just isn't for me.

Abrupt topic shift (like you aren't used to that by now): Sometimes I think it is weird that the sex I have now isn't much like the sex I trained for. When I was nineteen a sanctimonious bitch told me that no one under twenty-five should be in the bdsm community. People should go explore vanilla sex till their thirties and then start on rougher sex. I was, understandably, unimpressed with her. When I was nineteen I had been having PIV sex for seven years by choice and I had countless oral sex partners. Telling me that I wasn't ready and I should have more sex was hilarious. Now that I am thirty I am slightly less annoyed with her and I can basically understand why she believes that. I still think she was a sanctimonious bitch and I am still unimpressed by her.

And now the kids are in here.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Don't make someone a priority while you are their option.

I'm really upset about these no-shows. I was already heading in the direction of feeling depressed and having two women who loudly and adamantly have told me they are my "family" behave this way convinces me that I must be a worthless piece of shit. Even my god damn chosen family just won't bother to think of me. I'm feeling bitter. I try really hard for my friends. I go to great lengths and deal with inconvenience to spend time with them.

I'm feeling bitter and thin and unimportant. I don't know if this obsession with BFFs is an American thing alone or if it is normal and natural to ache for people who value you this way. I think that is what the BFF thing is about. The longing for someone to really understand you and value you and love you and think you are important. I wish I had that. Instead I get to be an audience member. I get to be an adoring fan. Friendships aren't based on me supporting your art while you sleep through visits where you might find out something real about my life. Obviously my life isn't that interesting to you. I understand.

I wish people would stop lying to me. I wish people would stop telling me I am important when I am obviously and demonstrably not. The continual let down hurts so much. Just be honest. You will spend time with me if you can't find anything better to do. You will spend time with me if you have managed to successfully straighten your stereo wires in time so you are truly bored so why not.

I have Noah. I have the girls. Those are the people I can count on. That's the list. And I shouldn't expect too much from my kids. I can't talk to them about being upset. That's inappropriate. They don't need to know why I am crying today. "Because my "friends" are assholes who don't actually care about me and it hurts my feelings." I can't say that to her. So instead I think I'll just not leave the house this week. Bad things tend to go in threes. I just won't make more plans. I don't really want to be ditched again. I am so god damn tired of this being ditched shit. Echoes of my childhood go through my head.

Stupid girl. Why would anyone want to be your friend. Go away. No one likes you anyway. Pissy Krissy always whining about how people aren't nice to you. Who would want to be nice to you anyway.

I was angry. I was angry because people hit me and raped me and called me names. So I don't deserve friends because I am too angry and difficult. It doesn't end at adulthood.

I have spent some time in the last few days on the friend with a close friend's wife. I don't know her that well but she is suicidal and I have time during the day to be on the phone and a fairly deep understanding of what it means to want to kill yourself. I have been trying to help her get through the worst of the impulses. Today will end. The intensity of this desire will fade. Let's just trust the process. You feel this way sometimes. These feelings will end. The only constant part of life is change.

It feels kind of odd to be trying so hard to convince someone else of her worth when I don't believe much about my own worth. I want her to have what I can't have. I can't feel good about myself. What the fuck is there to feel good about? I feel so very unimportant and stupid and stagnant and worthless.

I had kids because I needed to have someone who actually needed me in order to give myself a pass on suicide. I'm fucking needed. I don't know what to tell a childless person. I don't know what to tell someone who wanted kids and couldn't have them. I thank the G-d I barely believe in for my children every day because I'm not sure I would be here without them. How can someone go find the same kind of meaning in another way? People do it. Not everyone has to breed in order to be important. But I wasn't clever enough to find a way to feel like I mattered.

I survived because I used a long list of bad coping methods that got me through that day. I have spent most of my life worried about getting through today. I have plans, sure. The long-term plans help me find a way to structure my day.

In between conversations with her I am trying to figure out how I am going to explain this in the group. How am I going to talk about all the Craigslist Casual Encounter people I found just because I needed to not be alone. If I was alone I felt like I wouldn't make it through that night. So I found people however I could. Most of society tells me I should be ashamed of myself. I am a disgusting whore for having sex with so many people. I have had a lot of sex with people I have never seen again. I don't need to be in love with someone to have sex. I just need to feel desperate.

I will admit it is a bit awkward to me how many people Noah has worked with over the years who are part of my body count. I have gotten to know the men in this valley. The Christmas party last year was festive. Body Count Person's wife was introduced to me and told euphemistically that I was uhhh someone he uhhh knew. She put it together and made some comment about his wild days. It wasn't entirely approving so I did my best to become invisible. Good women don't generally want to have their noses rubbed in the behavior of the filthy whores.

Today I feel convinced that the only use I have is child minder. I'm glad I have that. It's something. I won't always feel this way. But I think I'm going to stay home for a week or two. I don't need to open myself up to more rejection right now. If you can't handle dealing with what you might get, don't ask for anything. If you can't handle being told no or having people just not show up out of the blue don't make plans. I don't need anything else making me cry right now. It's kind of embarrassing. It's awkward to explain to the kids.

I should rest. I'm sick and I have to run twenty four miles this week. Maybe I can tell myself that my lack of social life is me preparing properly for the marathon. I keep doing things with friends that make training harder.

Like staying out very late with that friend who no-showed on me. That fucked up my running for the weekend quite a bit. I'm three miles down with some nasty blisters because I accommodated her schedule. Oh well! Apparently I am giving people too much of myself because I am doing it with the belief that I will get something back. When the something back fails I feel this enormous cavern of need. Because I was doing a trade not a gift. I don't have enough spare to gift right now. So I should stay home and stop dealing with people for a while. I don't have enough going spare to give without expectations so I shouldn't give at all.

It hurts. I feel humiliated that at this point in time I should stay home and focus on the kids because otherwise the kids have to deal with me crying for hours during the day. They have to deal with me being impatient and inflexible. They have to deal with me not wanting them to help. They have to deal with me being upset.

Those people who are upsetting me don't have to deal with my upset. They get to go back to their lives and not give a shit. My kids are the losers. That strikes me as unfair. I feel guilty because I want to do the Slow Fade out of most peoples lives because I just can't handle the losing-trade of our friendship anymore. I don't have anything left to give them. I'm out. That bucket is fucking empty and is currently being used to beat me on the head as folks look for more water. There is no more god damn water.

I keep thinking about a character sketch about a woman who isn't much like me but whom I can understand. I have spent most of my life worried about inconveniencing or hurting other people. What would it be like to truly not care?

I have three people in this world I need to worry about. No one else is interested in a truly reciprocal relationship about needs. That's ok. But I shouldn't act like anyone else is a priority. They aren't. I need to not be supportive and not feel guilty. You betcha. I'm not going to support you any more. You don't fucking support me and I don't have shit to give any more.

I think this is what self-care is?

There are a couple of people who come to my house to see me. I need to stop trying to expand the circle. It's not worth it. I have exactly two people who make an effort to see me every month. That's a lot better than zero, right? They don't bullshit me or call me family. They don't ask much of me. They just come hang out and watch my life for a few hours. They don't add work or effort. It's not an intense kind of support. But it's nice. It feels settled and appropriate. They aren't trying to be my BFF. They are trying to be part of a community. It is a relationship with more distance because they only give me what they have going spare and it's not a lot. It's ok that I don't give them much.

I feel sad and scared and alone. I feel unimportant and invisible.

The thing is, a lot of people have affectionate feelings toward me. They just don't have any way of meeting my needs. It's not their fault. It's not my fault. But it is. It's real. I have no choice but to figure out how to get by without those supposed needs being met or I need to meet them myself. What is a true need?

I need to eat. I seriously need to knock it off with the sugar. I need sleep. I need to start going to bed at a consistent time again. I need to be kind to my family because they are kind to me. That means I need to limit stress.

I think today will move very slowly.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Today is fired.

I have been vibrating with anger all day and that isn't fair to my kids. Part of my anger level is I don't feel like it is ok for me to talk about the things that are making me angry. It cycles from there. I feel like I owe people respect and privacy. I'm not sure why I feel like I owe people this. I guess that once people get to a certain level of inner-circle-of-friends I feel like they get dispensation from the normal rules I have with other people? I don't hash out much of my friendships in writing. Not until long after things happen at least.

I'm allowed to talk about me and my experience of things but I don't get to out people. That is what my "upbringing" in the scene taught me. It's a harder line to walk than it appears on first glance. How can you talk about things and still obfuscate?

I've had two friends no-show in the last week. The second one just finally popped up at the end of the day to explain what happen. I'm frustrated but it's a situation I understand given that I have done similar sorts of things myself. I'm not happy with her because it is the second god damn no-show in a week so now it feels like a big statement about my general self-worth.

I still haven't heard from the first no show. It's been six days. I sent her an email at forty minutes past the meeting time saying that I was going to head out and go to a La Leche League meeting so she probably shouldn't come by at that point. I haven't heard from her. I'm sure she's busy.

I had to explain to my kids what was happening. She told them she was coming. Shanna was looking forward to it. I had to fucking explain to my kid why someone was god damn letting her down. Because she forgot. That happens. Because we aren't fucking important enough to remember, I guess. I didn't say any of that. What I said was, "Well, people make mistakes. I guess she didn't write it down and it slipped her mind."

I'm seething. And I'm ignored. It's hard being reminded how little I matter. I hate being lied to. "I'll be there." Yeah. Right.

I feel guilty for not being more forgiving. I fuck up too. I expect people to tolerate so much, don't I owe people an eternity of putting up with in exchange? That's what this feels like. I'm being tested. Do I love her enough? Do I want a relationship enough? She wants to see what I will put up with before I prove her self-fulfilling prophesy that everyone leaves her. At least that is the story in my head right now. I don't know another story to put in its place. I could reach out and try harder. If this was the first time I had ever had similar experiences I might. But this isn't the first or second or third or twentieth. After a while it seems kind of stupid, don't you think? Obviously I'm not wanted here.

Sometimes life is like that.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Chemical states and relationship transitions

Something that probably isn't obvious is: the frequency I write is largely dictated by how much shame I feel about what is swirling around in my head. I haven't been writing as much. I feel too much shame. I feel ashamed of who I am and how I experience the world. I shouldn't talk about how I am experiencing things because that is drama. Which means I am running in little hamster circles in my head. It's almost fun only it isn't.

I think I am depressed. If I look at my physical activity lately and my attitude I have (for me) almost stopped moving. For normal people this means I am still fairly productive. I do this by sitting down in the morning and drawing up a schedule for the whole day and marking by the half hour what I should be doing. I put in a lot of reading on days when I have to do this. I can follow a schedule and "do what I am supposed to do" if I am just following a set of instructions. I no longer have to think during the day. I check the posted schedule at least five times an hour because I can't remember what I should be doing.

I feel very sad and disconnected. On one hand I am seeing friends and trying to deepen relationships. On the other hand I spend all of my time with people experiencing a lot of physical distress because I believe in the core of my being that people actually think I am a piece of shit and they are just tolerating me because that is what you do in life. It's what I do with the pieces of shit in my life. I don't tell them I think that about them. But I think it. So I firmly believe I am not the only one in the world.

I'm trying. I'm trying to ignore the irrationality in my head but it comes at a fairly high cost. My stomach hurts right now. It has been hurting for quite a while. My throat hurts. My arms even hurt from clenching. My jaw hurts. I can taste the bitter metal of fear and adrenaline a lot of the time. I can't help but feel like living with this much stress will kill me whether I commit suicide or not. My body is simply working too hard. And I won't give myself much of a break on the other activities in my life.

It is my job to show my kids how to be productive, sensible, functional adults. That means I can't really model getting depressed and sitting around with my books and movies for months. Even though I know I used to do exactly that for long stretches. I'd go to roost and avoid people. I can't any more. My kids can't deal with that kind of isolation. They actually need people. 

I suspect that part of my issue is around money. I use money to fill in the cracks on what I have to do versus what I want to do--I expect that is standard. Right now and for a while I can't do that. I have to stay home and not spend money. That's hard because it means I am making today and yesterday and tomorrow a lot harder than they "have" to be so that some day off in the distant future we can do as ok as we are right now while we have a dip in income. Self discipline is hard. It wears through my willpower. I get physically tired. And knowing that I can't do much of anything with money to make my life better triggers a lot of feeling hopeless about situations in my life. Either I can figure out how to do everything by magic with no money or I can deal with them just not happening. Things won't get fixed. It makes me feel bad.

I don't like feeling thwarted. It makes me want to stop trying. But I can't. It's not fair for me to stop trying. It's not fair for me to stop hoping. I provide the structure of everything for my kids. They need to understand that frugality is not a death sentence. They shouldn't view it with abject horror as making their lives terrible. You need to live within your means. It's not a harsh sentence. It's life.

My tomato harvest will once again be epic. I anticipate begging access to a pressure canner this year. I have frozen enough fruit to get us through the winter. I feel good about that. We will need more meat before the end of the year. Ok, I just set up a beef pickup in September. I believe the internet is Magic. This means I can save up the $600 for the meat over more than one month. Woo. I am starting to build my stockpile again. I cleaned out all the food in the house for Sarah so we could build a stockpile of foods we both like to cook with together. That didn't really happen and I haven't had a full larder in a year. I have a fair bit of stuff in the freezer I will probably never use because it's not stuff I like and I have otherwise been just trying to make up the deficit in the food budget for a long time. We've been buying week to week until last month. I would like to spend the summer/fall stocking up so that over the winter I can lower the food budget and eat out of stores. We'll see. Temporarily I raised the food budget by taking it out of other places. Money is not infinite.

I think it is kind of weird that I feel bad for feeling frustrated about money. I have access to far more money than anyone in my family. By far. My mother broke $30k/year for the first time the year she turned fifty. My sister I think got up above $60k/year. Noah makes more than twice that by himself. 

When people tell me that they don't see any relevance for feminism in the current era I think: "Why is everything that women do esteemed so little and why is the stuff men do esteemed so highly?" If you think it is because the men stuff is more important I might kick you in the shins. If the poorly-esteemed work that women do stopped happening then all of a sudden you would have MUCH BIGGER PROBLEMS than if your god damn magical phone stopped working. Or if you didn't have a computer oh no what would you do?! What your fucking ancestors did for millenium. Stop whining. 

We have an interesting way of deciding what is important and what is worth money here. I'm grateful that I get to be on the receiving end of that money but I feel pretty ashamed of the fact that I would never have had a life this comfortable without Noah. No chance. Comparatively I am worthless. That feels bad to me. If I didn't have Noah I would probably have to go on welfare for a while. I can't just go get a teaching job. I would have to go back to school because my credential lapsed. 

I know that all of my status is worthless if I stop having this man stand next to me. I feel thin. I feel unimportant. I feel permeable and insignificant. So of course I'm binge eating and I've gained weight.

I am only worthy of low status occupations and activities. It's certainly all I do with my time. I garden and clean. I play with my kids. Shouldn't I pay a gardner and a housekeeper and a nanny so I don't have to sully my hands with those activities? Ugh. Yet more evidence of my class issues; I suppose. I feel strongly pressured to be idle. That should be the point of all this status I inherited from Noah. Only I physically cannot handle idleness. It makes me feel terrible emotionally and physically.

If I am not working to make my home nicer then I sit here and stare dejectedly at all the things I can't fix right now and I cry. It's not better.

I feel really bad because I can't handle dealing with new people right now. I am slowly moving around the people I've known for many many years deepening relationships but I'm terrified of new people. I don't know how to act around them. I feel so physically bad that the experience is really unpleasant. I feel guilty about this. I don't believe I am done finding the people I will be close to this lifetime. I'm just really scared right now and I can't do it.

Well I know one thing I'm doing today. I'm getting rid of the spider web right above where I write that is currently home to a spider the size of the tip of my pinky finger up to the joint. That's rather disturbing. Awesome.

I feel bad because Noah takes my fussing over money as sign that he is not providing well enough. I'm having trouble convincing him that I believe he is a good provider. I think that is kind of funny. He is supporting me with a degree of luxury I have never consistently experienced in my entire life. Yes, it's adequate. Really. When my petty cash runs in the tens of thousands no one should feel guilty. Holy fucking shit. We have a high burn rate. In order to ensure that we will actually be ok in case of a temporary set-back we need a very large cushion. It's simple mathematics. Why does it feel so emotionally complicated?

But he grew up with parents who didn't work at all and dealt with family investments. It's a whole different world. He grew up with parents who didn't have jobs and still paid people to clean their house and work on their property. It's a whole different world.

I think I don't want to have an outside job partially because I don't want my kids to believe that cleaning up after themselves is beneath them and should be done by a menial laborer who cannot aspire to better for complex reasons of race, class, shame, and bigotry. I don't want to get a job so I can have enough money to pay someone to be beneath me. I never get what I want from those relationships and then I hate people. It's not a good system. You can't pay someone enough to care about doing their job. People are either interested in their work or they aren't. I'm interested in the work of maintaining my house. No one else is. I have to live here. I don't want to live in a piece of shit house that is falling down around my ears. Maintenance is god damn mandatory.

Part of what I am struggling with right now is the fact that I want my kids to have relationships with people. That means they are going to have to deal with the fact that people are not reliable. They can't be trusted to tell the truth. You have to be very careful how you partition out trust. Look at what people do and not what they say if you want to know the truth of a person.

This is what I tell myself because I try so hard to do the right thing even though I feel my speech is often offensive and wrong. I say inappropriate things. But at least I am physically doing all the right things at the right times of the day. Sometimes it feels like all that I have to prop up my self worth. Of course I value it highly. 

I have been thinking about storyboarding for the book but I haven't picked up a pen. I'm afraid. I have ideas and I'm afraid I'm not good enough to complete them. I think the best thing about NaNoWriMo is the structured pressure of it. Produce, motherfucker. I am really looking forward to being post-marathon and in a writing phase again. I need a better ergonomic system before November or I am going to damage myself. My arms are tingling as I type. Shit.

I've been thinking a lot about the structure and nature of my compulsive sexuality. When do I do it? Why do I do it? What are the lead-up events? It's a group coping activity. I don't do it one on one in the same way--even with prey. I do it as a way of finding a position in a group of people. I know how to be the slut. It's pretty much the only group role I feel comfortable in. As an aging woman it is one I need to get out of before I look more desperate and pathetic than I already do. 

I slept. I swear I did. I still feel tired. I feel exhausted in the marrow of my bones. I'm going out tonight. Sigh. Like, after bed time tonight. I leave at dinner time. Lately I have been finding it very important to financially prioritize supporting the endeavors of long time friends. I've paid to attend several shows/events recently just because I wanted to be in the same physical space as specific people. I don't care much about the activity. I never really have. I want the people. I want to stand in close physical proximity to people who know a lot about me and like me. I ache for it. Being an audience is a fairly comfortable role right now. Little is expected of me but I get to make someone else feel good by being present. Nearly half of the fun money I have had for the whole year has been spent on going out to see two people in particular. I like them. I need them. If you add in this one other friend you get to more than half of the money I have spent other than the book. That's been my money for the year. I don't go to Starbuck's. I don't treat myself to books or music. I did take Shanna to see Brave. That is our movie for the year. We go to the park and to the kid places we have memberships to. We pack lunch. I severely limit my driving. Yesterday we drove to Oakland then Oakley then Vacaville to see people and I don't think I can drive much the rest of the month. I've used more than half of my monthly gas allotment on one day. Well, ok. It was worth it. I only see them two or three times a year. I only drive up once. It's worth it. That is how I am setting my priorities.

I like relationships that have a lot of hurdles to existence. If they continue then I feel like someone truly loves me. It is hard for someone to prove they love me. I get into trouble with expectations. I try to keep them low but once in a while I am foolish and I expect more from people than they are going to do. I recover from that with ill grace. I'm never thrilled when someone shows themselves to be not worthy of trust I have given them. It causes me to feel a lot of self-doubt about my general worth. I thought I could trust this person to do what they say and I can't. It must be because I am not worth telling the truth to. It must be because I am not worthy of even thinking about long enough to follow through on commitments. That must be it. I am so fucking pathetic.

At this point I can't talk about my anger and frustrations about these situations because I can't express it in front of my kids. My kids get to have their own reactions. They don't need to learn my anger. So I am doing a lot of stuffing. That means it creeps out in little insidious ways. I'm snippier and shorter of temper. It feels so unfair to my kids. I'm not mad at them. I'm just out of patience because I wasted it on adults.

I feel like I should hide in my house with my kids and not deal with people because that is the only way I can ensure I am just reacting to my kids and not the other people in the world. Only it only kind of works. Because then I bring the trouble home. The kids need relationships too.

This too shall pass. One of the greatest gifts of getting older is I trust that this phase will end. I won't always feel this way. It's a cycle.  I still don't think I have bipolar disorder. This is why I put myself on a schedule when I feel like this. If I haven't gotten anything done by nine in the morning I have to write up a schedule or it will be a couch day. I know it. I have occasional couch days when I believe that physically the rest is probably a good idea. I try to keep those to once or twice a month. I don't want to teach my kids that a great big part of life is just sitting around not being productive in any way. You need rest, sure. But find a way to get your rest in while still doing something. Reading does count as an activity. It's a great excuse to rest. Watching movies... well, sometimes. When you are sick, sure why not. Otherwise you need to move your body more than that. We don't stay in one position while we read. 

I love seeing my kids develop my physical mannerisms. I feel affirmed and loved and seen. They read like me. We like to change positions a lot. Sitting still is quite hard. We squirm and wiggle and roll over and over. We stretch at the same time. They get books and do yoga with me. I get to set normal for them. They will grow up believing that what I do is right and good. It makes me cry. I have always been different from everyone around me and I was viewed as bad and a threat to be stomped down. I was supposed to be more like them. My kids think I am great. They don't know that I have never fit in any of the molds I have been shoved towards. They don't care. We fit.

I strongly encourage my kids to be different from me. I support them having different opinions. I talk to them (mostly Shanna still) about how I have control over them for a very short period and then they get to make all of their own decisions. I talk about how I don't want to have control over them because they will have different ideas and opinions than me and they should do what will make them happy. I also talk about how to coexist peacefully. I talk about having respect for people around you. I model what that means. I really love my kids. I get to be good and kind and respectful towards people who absolutely deserve it and have no ability to let me down. My expectations of them are that they are helpless little amoebas at this point who will flail and be random. I'm pretty much right. But they will become adults who understand in the marrow of their bones what it means that Mom does what she says

That freaks me the fuck out. That pressure. That is what gets me out of bed every morning. That is why I make schedules and get shit done no matter how I feel physically. I god damn need to have more people in the world who believe that I am trustworthy and good and kind. I say some very harsh things and as a result a fair number of people think I am an asshole. I can't really say they are wrong. But that is such a small part of me. I feel defined by the negativity in me. With my kids I have a perfect chance to have a different experience. 

I must say it is going well. This is one of the hard phases. I can objectively understand that my emotional cycles and their behavior cycles are being wonky and I'm being patient with all of us. That is what a good mother does. Well, I'm not patient with the screaming. I will put my hand over a screaming mouth because otherwise I get horrible headaches to the point where I can't really see straight. If I have to drive I cannot allow them to hurt me in that way. I just can't. Why do I feel so guilty about covering their mouths? I don't make it hard to breathe. I am not cruel. I don't do it for an extended period of time. I don't shake them. I don't hurt them. I don't yell at them. I try to calmly say, "That's an outside voice. Inside you have to be more quiet." "No really, that hurts me so you cannot scream in my ear." I have to teach them boundaries, right?

I don't feel worthy of defending and my kids are pushing boundaries all over the place. It's a hard combination. I'm trying to live up to my end of the bargain. I have to teach them how to be respectful of other people. It's my fucking job. One for which I have managed to trade having a very cushy life. I have an easy job. I shouldn't bitch about it. 

It's weird to think about how I would handle these emotional cycles if I had a job. I think I never would have found time and space to really write. I think that would be one of the things I had to drop. I would be more volatile. When Noah showed up and asked me to marry him I was trying to work up the courage to ask him to raise a child with me but I thought I had no right to ask him for what I have now. I planned to work and raise one kid by myself. That would have been a very different life. I'm really glad Noah actually wanted me.

It's really odd to me when I think about how to write about the journey from eighteen to now. My different phases seem extreme. When I was eighteen I was engaged to Stephen and supporting myself by working in the library and the theatre. I planned to make theatre my life. I really wanted to run a spotlight for Cirque du Soleil someday. I knew I wanted kids but I had things to do first. I thought college was a good idea but I was nervous. I really wanted to go to CMU for technical theatre.

Then I left Stephen and found Tom and the bdsm community. I transferred to the English department. I went to college but I did not have the immersive college experience; I was a commuter student on campus two days a week and I took classes straight through from ten in the morning till ten at night. When I finished my BA I had a choice to make. If I wanted to be active in the bdsm community and be an Adult all the time then I should probably go through graduate school and try to work at the college level. Then I don't have to be as paranoid about being outed. Or I could decide that I wanted children and go for a degree that will give me a schedule more potentially compatible with theirs. Tom was not open to me being a stay at home mom. I went through some graduate school. I decided that kids were more important than Tom. I broke up with him and started the credential program. In order to transition out of that relationship and emotionally distance myself from him I started having sex with a lot of people. It worked.


I dated Noah for the last six months of my relationship with Tom. I think that Noah was probably a lot of the reason I finally had the nerve to end things with Tom. Noah doesn't permit me to be unaware of why I am doing what I am doing. He's kind of annoying. I broke up with him for a lot of reasons. I can't sum that up.

I went through the credential hunting hard for someone to have kids with. I wanted to start soon and I knew it. I was very frank about it when I talked to people I was having sex with. There are some men who ping hard for the idea of having kids and there are some who are repulsed. I needed to know who was potential prey. I was hunting.

Puppy was a mistake. I thought he was like Tom only younger and wanted kids. I was quite wrong. I should have never tried to date someone who thought it was funny that I was an actual Californian and would mock me and my vapidness for living here. And he thought I was fat even though I was at my lowest adult weight. He was very harsh about my body. He was very bitter because of his ex-wife and has a lot of mommy-issues. That relationship didn't stand a chance.

After that I had a few months where I stopped hunting. Then I met Spot. I knew he wasn't The One to have kids with. I made up my mind to ask Noah about having kids with me even though I didn't think he was interested in the kind of relationship I wanted. He wanted the kind of relationship he wanted and I was not going to fucking be the Other Significant Other. Hell Fucking No. I'm not going to make someone my priority as long as I am their option. 

But out of the blue he asked me to marry him. Just like that. Five months later we eloped. I moved into this house more than six years ago. Our sixth wedding anniversary is in September. I have to say that it is going well. I have the wonderful four year old and two year old of my dreams. My two year old is currently yelling "baby! high!" because she wants to be pushed on the swing. I should go before she slams the laptop screen on my fingers.

But I'll come back to edit and tag and add that it is because my life is so good that I feel so bad about feeling bad. I need to stop feeling like someone who has had my life. It's really hard.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

hunting

So I was reading this article about how 50 Shades of Grey Gives Bondage a Bad Name. She was quite scandalized by the use of cable ties instead of rope. She adamantly says that real players don't use cable ties they use thick rope to prevent damage.

That's for those folk what know the difference between fantasy and reality. I have been restrained with cable ties quite a bit. Want to see pictures? In a variety of different postures. Once I was even hog tied with cable ties face down in the bath tub. Then my partner filled it. Good times!

I love when people loudly say that bdsm has no correlation to abusive childhoods. Except in those rare, freak cases--of course. *wave*

While I was running today the Prince song "Gett Off" came on and I got to wander down memory lane. Mmmm hunting. I remember hunting. That was one of my favorite songs to listen to as I got ready to go out and find sex. I wanted to go find someone who was looking for me and they don't know it yet.

I can't hunt with witnesses. I went to the parties of friends-of-friends and then I avoided the one person I knew. You can usually determine early in a party if there is any prey lurking about. Men with high libidos have a way of checking out women. You can tell the ones who have been without sex for a while. They squirm once in a while as they look around. I would hang back and watch them for a few minutes. I should only go after men who are willing to look at many women as potential. The kind of guy who stares wistfully after one woman all night is unlikely to want to fuck someone on the side.

I like big blustery guys. They are cocky and domineering and usually quite insecure. It's certainly not all I go for. There have been some men with slight builds and everything in between. I don't hunt for women like this. It's different.

I like approaching someone who looks like he can be funny and at the center of the crowd but right now he is just sitting on the side. It's best to approach prey when they are alone. It is less pressure. The stakes are lower to start with and you can raise them much faster.

I find that the best way to get people to have sex with me is to make knowing personal commentary. I point out things that are stark staringly obvious... that they believe no one knows about them. I am quite good at that. I can make people feel seen. Once you start having a connection and a conversation I just move closer. I reach out and almost touch them and visibly stop. Oh wait. I forgot. I don't know you yet. I don't know if it is ok to touch you.

Sometimes it isn't. I like knowing that early.

Usually it is. Most people go through life pretty touch starved. Prey often don't recognize themselves as such early on. They seem to believe no one would want them that way. I think that part of the reason my hunting technique works so well is because most people do not believe they are attractive and are happy to jump on any opportunity in life to prove otherwise to themselves. I try not to disappoint.

When I want things to move towards sex I start abruptly switching the conversational topic (might about books, computers, politics, religion, whatever) to something slightly inappropriately personal. Did you see that your seam is starting to come loose... here? Then rub my finger up the center of their thighs. I love the gasp and wide eyes. People really do fall into types and I can smell my prey. Not everyone reacts this way to my behavior. Only prey. If someone isn't prey then they have usually made it clear long before this point and I move on.

Do you know how I have been so successfully slutty? I've been turned down hundreds of times. You can't take it personally. Move on. Someone else will be interested.

In my wilder and friskier youth the next move was sitting on a lap and lowering my voice so my prey has to lean in even closer to hear me. It doesn't matter what I talk about at this time. I can talk about the food at dinner and it is an obviously irrelevant point to what we are clearly doing. If I talk about something explicitly non-sexual I have the opening to act almost surprised by the growing cock underneath me while I squirm. It's awesome.

Then comes the abrupt switch to talking about Responsible Adult Things. So, how often do you get STD testing? (I did every three months when I was active.) When was the last time? What were the results? How many partners have you had since then? What kind of protection do you use? Then I find a euphemistic way of alluding to the fact that I get around and I explain where I am right then. For a while I had a number of people in the poly community all getting tested every three months so that I would have unprotected oral sex with them. I felt like a good influence. I got to talk about HPV and HSV in detail. People end sex with me a lot more educated than they start.

I miss the hunt because I miss having to decide what kind of sex I want and then go out and find it.

Kids woke up.


Monday, July 9, 2012

relationships

Sometimes it seems kind of funny to me how well suited Noah and I are for one another. I think about this mostly in comparison to the other men I have lived with: Uncle Bob, Tom, Puppy, Steve. No other man had an appreciable day-to-day influence at any point. It's kind of interesting to think about how I have gone about trying out different lives. I tried to be who they wanted.

Uncle Bob wanted a meekness I never displayed. I was supposed to be grateful and I wasn't. I was never grateful for anything throughout my later childhood and teenage years. Well, that's not true. I was quite nice about presents and such. But I didn't act like a beneficiary of charity. I worked hard for Auntie. I did my best to ensure that my presence impacted them negatively as little as possible. I started working at fifteen, as soon as someone would hire me. I paid my room and board. Didn't I owe them for taking me in when I was a pitiful little girl? Fuck off and die. Oh wait. He did die. And I didn't get to say goodbye. They didn't tell me it was time. He died with a wedge between us. I'm sorry, Uncle Bob. I am grateful. I am. You did your best. I'm sorry that your best was so far from what I needed that I could never have the relationship you wanted. I could never look up to you. I could never treat you like my protector. You didn't protect me. Not even a little bit. Not even at all. I suppose you prevented me from living in a car. You prevented me from going hungry. I am grateful that you helped me when I was otherwise helpless.

I tried to be what Tom wanted. I looked at his picture files and I dressed how he wanted and I wore shoes how he wanted and I mostly kept my mouth shut like he wanted. He was quite into gags. I have a lot of pictures of me tied up with a variety of gags in my mouth. I don't look at the pictures much. Mostly what I see when I look at them is how sad my eyes seem. I wanted to be what he wanted. I tried hard. The dream of children was far more important to me than making him happy. That was the right choice. Thank goodness it worked out.

Puppy was a mistake. On paper he had similar attributes to Tom and I thought he was close enough that I could make it work. He wasn't Tom. He wasn't at all as close to wanted as I thought. I will never know for sure but I think he was lying to me from fairly early on. He told me what I wanted to hear. I'm not sure why. Oh well. He was always very jealous of Noah. Oh dear me. Now iTunes has provided me with the Heart classic "Alone" and it's kind of funny timing.

Steve wasn't the right fit for me. He was very submissive and vanilla sexually. He was repulsed by most of the "crazy" things I wanted to talk about during sex. Leaving that relationship was smart. I wish I hadn't pushed it as far as I did. I thought he was my only way out. He wasn't. But he was my first step.

Noah makes me feel comfortable. Noah makes me feel right. The way I want to do things is fine and should be mostly catered to. Occasionally he has a different preference and he's willing to negotiate. I don't feel like my voice is onerous. I don't feel annoying. It is such a sharp contrast to how I feel when I am in the room with anyone else that it hurts. Why can't I believe that anyone else really likes me? Given that most of the people who spend time with me go through great efforts to do so I know it is completely illogical to act like they don't like me. Yet here I go. Every time.

I fucked up this weekend. We were invited to a brunch. I read that email at least four times. I put it on the calendar for the wrong day. Uhm. That's embarrassing. These are people that Noah knows and I don't really know them well. I have enjoyed all of the interactions I have had. The wife in question was quite pleasant and welcomed us into the house and we had a pleasant visit. Except for me wandering off to "find the bathroom" when I couldn't control my crying because I felt so bad and stupid and wrong because I came on the wrong day and inconvenienced her. She didn't seem inconvenienced terribly. It seemed like a nice surprise. Yet I couldn't enjoy it. I felt horrible anxiety and stomach pain. I felt like I was on the verge of puking on the floor for most of the hour or so we sat there and talked.

I get really irrational about food at times like that. I don't (can't) eat a lot but I get very fussy about only wanting to eat real food and not snack food. I get bitey and pissy and fierce. All of a sudden what I eat is something where I get an idea in the back of my head and I latch on to it and I am like a starving dog defending my bowl.

Today I felt like I was vibrating with anxiety pretty much all day. Thankfully the neighbor and I seem to be passing the kids back and forth now. They tend to spend two or so hours at one place then trade off all day. Sometimes both girls go over there and play. It's useful. It means that I can sit very still and stare at one point and calm down without the kids present in between volleys of screaming.

I keep telling myself that I am not working this hard on my tone of voice and attitude all the time because I am worried about her liking me today. I'm worried about how she will talk to me and remember me in twenty years. I can correct her, and I should--I am her mother, but I don't need to be a bitch. Ever. I don't know very many happy people. I feel like a liar.

I feel like Noah knows more about me than anyone. He understands a lot of my moods. He helps me figure out what triggers my mood swings because he stares at me so hard he knows when I have subtle shifts. It's kind of weird to live with. But it makes me feel good. I feel important. I feel special.

I think I still participate on MDC (mothering.com) because hearing other women talk about the shitty things their husbands do makes me feel so much better about my marriage. I am reminded to be grateful. I feel fairly uncomfortable with how grateful I feel sometimes. I feel rather awkward about the fact that the intensity of emotion I feel for Noah is what I associate with the same feeling of thinking about G-d. It's not an all the time thing. I couldn't function that way. But when I stop to think about how grateful I am for what he has done for my life--yeah. I cry. I choke. How could anyone want me enough to change my life the way Noah has? How could I possibly be worth how much effort he has put into me? What have I done to deserve this?

I feel guilty that I am being supported. I feel like I must be taking advantage of him. Using him. What I offer in return is so meager, so little. I cannot possibly be earning my keep. But I'm so tired from working as hard as I can. I can never be enough. I can never do enough.

I try to figure out what it is that Noah wants me to be. To do. He's a cagey fucker and he won't give me any instructions at this juncture in time. Probably for the best. I don't think children should have to deal with a power imbalanced relationship. I have to be responsible for me. It's quite frustrating. I'd kind of like to relax into being chattel right about now. Then at least I wouldn't have to wonder if I was doing enough. If I wasn't told to do more I'm fine. It's a system.

It's hard to talk to Noah about my perception of isolation and loneliness. He works in an office and is required to talk to people quite a bit during the day. He's just having an entirely different experience of life. It's hard to make him understand how I see things. I don't explain very well and I get frustrated and irrational quite easily. Luckily he's patient and lets me control the flow of conversation a lot of the time. I can be testy and stop talking for a while and he doesn't react much. Stoic. That's really the word for him.

I worry about what I do to Noah. I worry about how I have changed him. Will change him. I feel guilty for my mercurial lashing out. He seems to think it is tolerable.

I've been reading a very long winded book series. Outlander by Diana Gabaldon. I haven't read it since before I had kids. I think the last time was when I was on bed rest when I was pregnant with Shanna. I reread everything.

I have a different perspective on the comfort of a partner now. In a couple of months Noah and I will have been married for six years. That is far longer than I have consecutively lived with anyone else in my life. I think I only lost about a year and a half of time with my mom over the eighteen years of my childhood. But it was splotchy in pieces. It will be a while before Noah is the person I have lived with absolutely the longest. I think I have lived with him for more time than any of my siblings.

I live with people who like me. It fucking freaks me out. It must be because I am playing the right role right now. I had better not fuck this up. I hope they don't find out I am bad.

When I was pregnant with Shanna a close friend told me that someone like me (meaning with my mental health issues) had no business becoming a parent. I couldn't do a good job. I feel haunted by that prediction. Is it a prophecy? I'm aware that the baby shit is convenient for people to focus on. It's this weird, isolated, obsessive part of life. Everything Feels So Important! Until it's your third kid. Then you need to move on with your fucking life and things are more relaxed. Anyway.

I have felt very actively depressed all day. I am swimming through molasses. This week is action packed for us. I should probably go to bed. I have to get up and run as early as possible. Taylor is coming tomorrow night and I would like Noah to come home from work early-ish. But I procrastinate. Because I'm too busy singing along with The Verve Pipe and those stupid "Freshman".

D- I think of you. And that stupid boy we dated. Scott. We can't be held responsible. We fell in love in the first place. It's kind of funny that the boy turned out to not be worth it at all but I kept you. I'm glad I have you.