This has been one of those thinking-heavy but writing-little sorts of weeks. I feel busy. I feel tired and stretched thin. I will be glad when training is over. My race is in nine weeks and two days. The running takes so much out of me and I'm just going to be increasing mileage from here. I feel kind of weird about it.
We've had some discipline issues this week. On Tuesdays we are supposed to go to the park with the home schooling group. I feel this socialization is very important. But while I was making lunch (it took an hour because Shanna had a lot of requests--I made scones from scratch, cucumber sandwiches, cut up a bunch of vegetables for dipping and made guac, and and and) Shanna went around the house destroying it.
I'm not sure how other children function. When I describe Shanna as a tornado I'm not kidding. In the hour I was busy in the kitchen she dumped the drawers in her room with clothes, the linen closet, took everything out of the toy box, took several games off of high shelves she isn't supposed to access and strewed them between multiple rooms, dumped the Lego's and spread them between multiple rooms, dumped many shelves of books onto the floor, and broke apart the foam letter mat in the garage in addition to dumping all the puzzles off of shelves onto the floor.
I started crying. I can't go spend hours in the park physically wearing myself out and then come home to that mess. I just can't. I'm tired. I'm running twenty-five miles a week or more. It's not like I need my house to be museum tidy but I need to be able to walk through my home without injury. I told Shanna that there was zero possibility we could finish cleaning the house by time to go to the park and I was going to be tired enough after that much cleaning that I was not going to be willing to go late. I would need to sit down and rest.
She cried and screamed and told me I was mean and not fair. I looked at her carefully and then I went to the garage and started cleaning. When she followed me screaming at me I carefully walked her back into the house and shut the door behind me. I'm not going to be screamed at while I clean up after someone. I don't fucking think so. I was very careful not to yell or scream.
Shanna has been asking me a lot lately how my mother would react in situations. It's hard. While we were cleaning (after she calmed down) she asked me what my mother would have done. I looked around the house warily and said that my mother would have hit me over and over and told me I was disgusting and bad. She looked shocked. She asked me if I think that about her. I said no. I told her that her behavior isn't very considerate but that's about as bad as it is. She thought about that for a while.
A few times lately she has engaged in behavior that would have earned me a beating. I've been thinking a lot about that topic as a result. I "wasn't hit much" by the standards of my family but I was also willing to be told to sit in one place and not open my mouth. I was willing to sit in a chair and read and not move or inconvenience anyone. That's why I wasn't hit as much.
Shanna did something, I can't even remember what, and I felt very frustrated. I started crying, as I am wont to do when I am deeply frustrated. She asked me why I was upset. I told her, "Sometimes I feel very frustrated because I'm not sure what to do when you engage in behavior I dislike. My mom was very mean to me and I don't want to do that to you but I don't know what I should be doing and it is very very frustrating."
Now she has taken to giving me advice on how I should handle things. It's kind of funny.
I feel like Calli has exploded on the scene recently. Now she talks. A lot. All day. I have no idea how many words she has picked up. I couldn't begin to count. I think back with nostalgia to how I wrote down every new word I heard from Shanna. I had a list. I don't have that kind of time or attention now. She adds so many words a day that I have no perception of how large her vocabulary is. Somewhere between 50 and 500. If it isn't 500 yet it will be this week at the rate she is going.
She signs a lot more than Shanna ever did, and I don't think it is just because of the videos. She has a lot in her head and a lot of trouble with her vocal cords. She's annoyed by her speech impediment. She knows she is saying words wrong. She tries to get sounds and can't. I smile and pat her on the head and say it's a matter of practice. It'll come.
Calli is independent in ways Shanna has never been and that means I misunderstand the depth of her attachment to me. Calli runs away faster and farther and doesn't look back... until she has to be on me for multiple hours and cries and whines if I put her on my back because then she can't see my face. She has a really strong need to be physically near my face looking at me. She does it for many hours a day. She gets very agitated if she doesn't get it. I smile at her as much as I can physically force myself. I love her so much.
It's neat trying to teach them how to be friends. As I'm reading developmental stuff sometimes I feel guilty that I'm not providing Shanna nearly as much peer interaction as would be good for her (she kind of sucks with kids her age) and I hope that Calli and Shanna will be enough company for one another. Yes, we do see other kids. We still spend a very lot of time at home alone. I need to.
I feel very weird about balancing our needs. I need a fair bit of time at home. If I am out of the house too much I am exhausted and I cry inappropriately in public. Crying is a much bigger part of my life than it is for "normal" people, near as I can tell. Being too tired or hungry or stressed triggers tears for me. I don't have to feel additionally sad. I have enough background sad in my life that I'm always up for a good cry. It's very embarrassing and hard to control when I'm in public.
It's a fairly predictable pattern for me. I can schedule things in advance around my needs and I can generally get through an obligation if I make it. But I don't schedule anything else that day--including dishes. I'm trying to consciously learn more about how this works for me. I need control over this.
It is hard to explain what it is like to be in my body. Based on what I understand from books my body is not typical. My heart races a little frequently during the day. I feel waves of terror spontaneously and randomly. I have long periods of intense negative thoughts while I am engaging in just about any activity. Randomly cutting paper just to practice using scissors with Shanna can trigger a diatribe in my head.
I have a lot of control. These things don't get expressed very often. But the cost is so high. I feel like thin, like when you wear through the sole of a shoe and can see the sock. Too much friction. Can't keep going.
I have been thinking a lot lately about the long-term effect being a stay at home mom will have on my life. I've been thinking very hard about how worthless my society thinks I am. I'm thinking of the scorn I sometimes see on peoples faces. To be fair if I tell another mother that I am staying home with my kids 75% of the time they say, "Oh you are lucky." I like that. I am. I am very lucky. I am so very lucky that I get to have the life I have now.
I tell myself that this stage of my life is my gift for surviving my childhood. I went through hell, sure, but now I have this. I feel ashamed of the extent of my negativity and depression and anxiety because I am one of the luckiest people ever in the history of human kind.
I am safe. I have a partner who adores me and helps me. I stopped working in the middle of pregnancy. I came home and sat and read. I didn't clean. I didn't cook. He either made dinner or we went out. I sat in a torpor and cried while he was at work. I felt horrible. But he came home to me every day. He took care of me. I will never be able to repay the debt of gratitude I feel towards this man. During the physically weakest part of my adult life he was a gentle and loving care giver. I've never had that before.
I have two daughters who see me and feel like the world is wonderful. I have been very nice to them--not that they are spoiled. Well, they are. But they have very nice manners. I'm pretty rigid in my expectations.
I spent my pregnancy reading and thinking about what kind of interaction I wanted to have with my kids. I worked out the details of how I would have to react to various kinds of stimuli. I have to plan in advance how I will react under stress because in the moment I can't. I can't plan when I am upset. And I have to react to my children full speed all day long. It's fucking terrifying.
When you are under stress you revert to your earliest training. What was your earliest training like? You don't want me to talk about mine.
So! We're not doing that any more! I mean, I still do it in my head. I still have these horrible tapes playing in the background. I still have all of the same impulses and inclinations. But I don't do it. And it is physically hard. It is work. All day every day. So I like spending a lot of time alone in a room. It feels so fucking good. I even get pissy about the cat sometimes.
While I run lately I've been thinking a lot about my relationship with God. I've been seeing the door to door missionaries a lot more. I don't believe there is an omnipresent anything that decided long ago that every so often there had to be a kid brutally raped by her father. Sorry, no.
I believe it is random. I really do. I believe that life is terribly unfair. I recognize that most of my situational good fortune in my current adult life would not be available to me if I wasn't white. That bothers me. I don't think that I can believer in someone stronger than me controlling things and look around at the world and continue to keep going. That is too god damn depressing.
I am a not-so-dumb animal. I want to continue to eat and shit and mate and have non-sexual touching with people I exchange caring with. That's what I god damn want. These are instincts. I want to be a human being worth knowing. What makes someone worth knowing? Damned if I know.
I don't turn over any control of me to a Higher Power. It's the big reason I will never try any of the "Anonymous" shit. Fuck you telling me I can't do something by myself. Ha. Watch me, motherfucker. Have you met me? Can you really think of something that I am likely to want that I can't do? There are physical feats I am not likely to accomplish--sure. I won't be in the NBA this lifetime. I'm really ok with that. I don't feel like that fact is a reflection of a failure of will power.
I can't decide to be someone else. But I can be me without any help. I don't need anyone to decide for me what is right or wrong. I can do that. I know what they feel like in the pit of my stomach. The problem is that I feel a lot of fear when I don't have enough information. How can I make a decision when I don't know enough about the situation to know what the right decision is? Oh god. But you can't go through life that way. You do the best you can with what you know.
I do a lot of research. I don't hesitate to say, "I don't know yet but I will get back to you."
But when you are dealing with children all day every day... yeah. It's a mixed bag. Some things you can put off and a lot of things you need to react to immediately. I script. I do a lot of research around child development is happening with my kids so that I can react appropriately. I really want to be appropriate.
I don't believe that anyone is controlling me except for me. Then what about these pervasive horrible thoughts? It's random. It's the natural reaction of trauma. I will never undo my life. I can just write scripts for the future that suck less.
I have a really good life. I am treated very well. I'm actually glad that Noah and I are having this period without the raunchy sex. It's nice for there to be at least one period of my life where liking me means everyone around me is gentle and kind with me. Writing that sentence makes me cry. I have certainly had relationships and people in my life who have never hurt me.
I feel like I have a running calendar in my head: last self injury on _______ date. I'm not telling you the date because I feel embarrassed about this count. I have categories you see. It's all split up into "well this counts for this but not for that" and I dicker about what I am allowed to do to hurt myself. Like I haven't cut or hit my head or burned myself or anything like that in a long time. But I'm having a lot of food issues.
It's complicated, yo.
But Noah is very gentle with me these days. I'm terribly sexually bored by it, but emotionally it feels really important and good. We are going to have to figure out the balance there eventually. I feel like the kids still provide enough physical stress that it isn't a good idea. The kids are getting less rough with me--we've been specifically working on it a lot for the last couple of weeks.
I am not someone who would feel good about being one of the brick makers for the pyramid. I wouldn't feel like I was awesome and doing something great. And yet someone has to be the brick maker. It's a required job. I think that people who believe in a Higher Power make great brick layers.
I don't believe there is a plan. I'm not willing to do something I find awful because it is part of something bigger than me. Fuck you I have suffered enough. Not that brick laying is awful. I'm not suited to being an NBA player either.
Thing is, I don't know what I am going to be when I grow up. I'm not sure what I'm building towards. So I'm picking things up almost at random. I don't know very many people like me.
I have had an unusual life. I have done things at the wrong stages and the wrong times but mostly it works for me. I am sexually wired towards some really disturbing things. Whether it is my fault or not is immaterial. It is. I am currently in a phase of my life where I am trying to build non-sexual relationships with two people in a very intense way. There isn't a lot of me left to go do deviant stuff. It is physically hard on me to not fulfill those needs but emotionally I don't have the ability to handle more pain right now. I need to know that Noah does not just want me around as a cum dumpster and thing to objectify and hurt. I need to be something more than that to him. But we will get back to playing with that some day.
Fulfilling your dreams is hard because in your head as you have the dream you fixate on looking/being a certain way. Doing things at certain stages. Some people solve this by not growing up in their head. I don't have any interest in being anything like I was pre-twenty-five. Maybe I'll think of myself as thirty forever. The year I trained for a marathon. That was the brutally hard thing I did that year.
I just mutate my self injury. I have to get it somewhere and running is enough. Holy shit.
I say I don't know many people like me because I don't know anyone else who mutates as fast as I do spurred by fear. That's not a terrible judgment on people. Most people tend to be paralyzed by fear. Fear makes me move. It makes me change. I have a hard time when I find out that people I know are doing the exact same thing they did ten years ago. It freaks me out. I feel like maybe I'm defective. I seriously doubt there will ever be a period in my life where my days look the same from one decade to the next. Maybe when the fifteen years after the kids move out? I doubt it.
How I am is not good. I am not consistent enough. I am not strong enough. I am not I am not I am not.
Never the less I have to go start today. We are going to meet a friend with little kids at Habitot. I hope it goes well.