Everyone is sleeping. I'm sitting in the living room. It feels really weird. The sun is coming up. It's 6:34. Where is everyone? I could go wake Noah up--he wouldn't mind. I figure he needs the sleep. I ate a blueberry muffin. Not exactly a breakfast of champions. I'm going to run twelve miles today.
Someone on the internet told me that if I was being harassed in my neighborhood I should drive to a better neighborhood so I can run there. That made me feel really angry. I felt insulted and disgusted by the suggestion. Noah asked me if I was looking for sympathy or advice. I thought about it really hard. I was pretty sure I wanted advice but not that fucking advice.
Then I got several other pieces of advice. I understand that other people feel comfortable with hand guns, but I've had one pointed at my head. I don't think there are any circumstances under which I could really handle having a gun on my person. I don't like the options it gives me. I was thrilled when someone suggested changing time of day, wearing a loud whistle, carrying mace, borrowing a dog to run with, or finding running buddies.
Ok. Now that's a god damn list of suggestions that doesn't bother me. It was a really strikingly different set of reactions from me. This is why I used to be fanatical that I didn't want advice. Because I don't have a lot of control over how strong my emotional reaction will be. When it's generic people on the internet I will maybe/probably never meet it doesn't matter. As long as I'm not a dick it doesn't matter how I feel. That's convenient.
People react to things based on a long list of complex factors. Everyone has a different life. I have a hard time when people suggest things that aren't a good fit. I feel enraged by the suggestion that I should be a different kind of person. I do not want to be someone who runs away from difficult situations. If things got worse I might run with a big stick. I'm ok with the consequences of having that taken away from me and used against me. Unless someone is highly trained in martial arts they are unlikely to hit me any harder than my boyfriends.
I think a lot about why "women like me" don't survive. I feel like my desire to do things in a way different from the herd makes me defective. But I'm doing the best I can. What is an acceptable life?
I've been yelling too much lately. Shanna is trying hard to learn to sneak. That's a process I am struggling with. I used to do it. I feel kind of thrilled by having this mini-me in the house. I get to be so much nicer than I had.
Even though I feel like I am yelling more than I want to be yelling I have these tapes in my head that play over and over. I'm not like that. I don't go on tirades. I make my point and I move on. I try to. I think I do. Am I ever allowed to be secure about this? Would it ever be ok for me to feel complacent on this subject? I don't think so. So I am constantly wary. I must not go on tirades at my children. I must not go on tirades at my children.
I hear them in my head. When Shanna does stuff that I have done I hear my mother. I hear her screaming. I hear her choking and crying as she hit me and screamed at me that I was bad and stupid and how dare I and and and.
I'm having a hard time lately. I feel like a big part of the reason I want to block out this period of their childhood and be with them all the time is so I can experience what it is like to have a whole childhood that is safe. I don't know. I have these terrible voices in my head. I am so afraid of being like my mother.
I am already too critical. I feel harsh lately. Overly judgmental. Really I feel like I should just shut my stupid mouth. When Shanna smarts off at me I smile at her and try to gently lead her tone and words in the direction I want them. In my head I hear, "You stupid little bitch". Sometimes I honestly wonder about schizophrenia. When I was a teenager one of the meds they put me on caused me to be "borderline schizophrenic" according to the psychiatrist I was working with at Kaiser. I hear a lot of things that are not going on a lot of the time. It is very hard to not have multiple memory tracks going at once in my head. Sometimes it makes it hard to hear what someone is actually saying to me. I know it makes me sound sharp and harsh. Someone is always being nasty to me in my head. But it's not an excuse.
That's why I speak gently to my children. They won't learn how to treat me unless I model it. I want them to be polite and gentle with me. So I am with them. It feels important. I am not going to be a hypocrite in that way. I am not going to yell at them and hit them for "talking smart".
I hear stirring.