I feel like part of what I get out of seeing a new therapist is being able to go find someone who specializes in issues like mine and ask, "So have you worked on cases as complicated as mine before?" One therapist one time said, "Oh sure" but then she fired me a couple of months later because actually I freaked her out. This therapist has so far said that she has worked with ritual abuse survivors who have multi-layered trauma like me but they probably still had far fewer traumatic events.
I feel pathetic about my need to play Oppression Olympics. I try not to play it with individual people one on one. I need professionals to pat me on the back and tell me that it *should* be harder for me that it is for most people because my life experiences were worse. Otherwise I feel very pathetic because I don't feel very functional.
I've been thinking very hard about what it means to lead an ordinary versus an extraordinary life. I think that technically it is too late for me to be ordinary. I am just weird.
Resiliency. That is the word people use for me the most often. "Wow. How did you come by such resiliency?" Do you mean why didn't I lay down and die many years ago? I have shit to do. I seriously think that is why. I have stuff I want to see done in the world and I just can't bring myself to leave them undone. No one else will fucking do them.
But that is the ordinary struggle of my species. How do I fit into the destruction/creation cycle? Humans tend to like to destroy things or build them--the same person rarely likes to do both. I am an order Muppet. I have a strong need to create and bring patterns out of chaos. The play house in the front yard is coming along and it looks really neat.
I don't think I will change the world. I don't think I am that special. But when people who have a lot of experience with trauma meet me they tend to tell me quite quickly, "Have you thought about writing about why you survived?" Yes. I am half-heartedly starting to work on that book right now actually. My husband and the few readers who gave an opinion think it is a better idea to write that one instead of porn next. Boring.
I'm having a hard time figuring out how writing it will look in my life. What shape will my hours take. I'll figure something out. And I'll have a mailing list soon. I hope I will feel a wave of energy when that arrives. Why do I want a mailing list? Because I'm going to start asking people to share with me how they have outrun suicide. Blogger's system rarely allows people to comment. I will be migrating away soon.
I'm not saying much about the first therapist. She is reading my book. She is working hard on learning history right now. I like therapists who want to get a good overall picture before they get into the nitty gritty. I feel weird when therapists want to hear just enough details to talk about one situation and then stop therapy. That's not how or why I go to therapy.
She wanted to know who Traci and Francesca are. She wanted to hear about Uncle Bob. She wanted me to tell her about my sister and my grandparents. She has read up to 1987 but she still wants more information. So I proceeded to tell her a lot that isn't in the book. Her eyes go wide a lot. I'm not sure how I will work with that long term. We'll see. Maybe I'll stop shocking her.
She asked how I met Noah. And if it was love at first sight. Ha! "I came to his random house party as person A's date (I was living with person B) but I was really hunting for person C. Person C had shared two previous lovers with person B, whom I was living with. Person C is now living with the woman Noah broke up with to marry me. And person A is married to one of my closest friends. Noah was the creepy guy who was overly aggressive in the kitchen. He barely got a first date and it went questionably. He really barely got a second date. Then I dated him for nine months then dumped him.
No, it was not a foregone conclusion when we met.
Why does it work? Because he is nicer to me than any other person ever. Does that mean he is always nice to me? Hell no. If you haven't noticed I kind of have low standards for how people treat me. I don't know how to feel about our relationship. It works for me. I feel weird about how poorly it would fit anyone else. We are both so weird. Whatever. We are happy enough.
What is enough? How do you determine that someone is good enough to keep forever? I think it is a decision to spend time together. I think it is a decision to stay in love.
I feel lonely in a way I can't explain. I feel empty and unable to try. But I have Noah. I'm trying to figure out how this will work. I feel bad because of how much contact I want with him--but I know of other families that spend far more time together than we do. We are actually fairly low in the time-spent-together column. We don't see one another much. It has to be enough. It has to.
Whereas it is very nice that Taylor and P come to visit me a lot I can't sit here and wait like a wound-down clock in between those visits. It isn't fair to my kids. I feel like I do a lot of waiting to do things. I am waiting until I have company. I'm waiting until I feel safe. It's hard to explain that part of the reason I don't go do things by myself is I have legitimate reasons for knowing it isn't safe for me to be out in the world alone. And I don't seem to be able to make it work to go with anyone. I didn't manage to find a partner who wants to do things with me.
Sometimes that feels like exactly what I deserve. Why would he want to do any of the stupid things I find interesting? I don't know. I think that is a lot of what I was doing with Sarah. On paper she wants to do all the stupid shit I want to do. Unfortunately she is not physically able to keep up with the things she wants to do. And she doesn't want to deal with what that means for her so she makes promises she can't keep. And I explode. And I stop trying to do things because it is just too hard. The price is too high. I feel worse because I was stupid enough to persevere instead of better. I feel like the whole thing is an uphill slog and it just isn't fucking worth it.
My kids are getting better at cleaning. "We aren't going anywhere unless you do your share" is an effective tool. I'm god damn serious. I'm not your fucking maid. I don't give them a big share, but they have to help. It's becoming more automatic and streamlined.
I am looking into doing things with the kids by myself. So far the kids are so much extra work that I have trouble going out. As they are increasingly able to handle their basic needs my scope of support changes. I like going places with them now. It is a lot more fun than going places two years ago. Not having to carry a diaper bag has made my whole life better. I feel less angry about life now that I'm not a pack animal with a sore back all the time.
I feel scared to pull them into the hobbies I like. I find a lot of rapists when I go out into the world. I'm afraid to introduce my kids to people I know. It won't be many more years before those rapists look at my daughters. I feel like the best defense they have is for people to know that they are my children. It would not be wise to mess with my children. I will end you. And I won't feel bad about it. But do I even want them to do the things I do?
I'm not talking about bringing them to bdsm clubs. I'm thinking about things like Renaissance Faire and Dickens Fair and dancing. I like doing these things. I know a lot of rapists in these communities. And no one fucking gives a shit. I stopped going out because I couldn't deal with fending people off. I just find these bastards. How is someone like me supposed to keep little kids safe?
I try to hide behind other mothers. I don't think that women understand that I am doing this. I use you as a shield. I don't have to talk to other people in the world if I don't want to. Having company makes me feel more safe. It makes me feel like if something bad happens and I start kicking and screaming to defend myself someone might notice. Mostly I think people don't care. Statistically I am right.
I stay home and garden (barely--I don't have money and I own few tools so my efforts are slow) and try to teach the kids how to handle their own needs. That's what I do right now.
Maybe some day I will feel less scared and I will be able to go do something more interesting.