"Do you know why I usually don't touch you when I cry?"
"Because my mom used to hit me when I cried."
Last night I cried on Noah's chest. I'm not 100% sure but I'm pretty sure that you can count how many times I have done that on one hand with fingers left over. We have been married for six years. I cry nearly every day. Often for many hours. I cry alone.
"No one wants to see that Kristine. No one wants to hear it either. Didn't I tell you to shut up? Fine. I'll give you something to cry about."
The fact that I was raped over and over wasn't good enough. The fact that people chased me home from school throwing rocks at me wasn't good enough. The fact that I moved constantly and didn't have friends or toys I could trust owning wasn't good enough. The fact that I usually didn't know if we would have a place to live next week or if we would be homeless wasn't good enough either.
I cry alone. Often (though not always anymore--I kind of glory in being able to make noise when I cry now) I cry completely silently. Even my breathe barely raises in volume. I shared a bed with my mother till I was sixteen. I know how to have tears run down my face and slowly control the sobbing with breath so that I don't get hit again. Mostly I just prefer to be alone in a room.
I was always told that I wasn't allowed to cry unless I was hit--that's the only good reason. Sometimes I wonder if I found the bdsm scene because I knew I needed to cry and I'm just not allowed to cry without being hit.
When other people think of "bdsm" I'm not sure what they think. I think there isn't a lot of point if someone isn't crying. A lot. Mostly uncontrollably. As a top I am ridiculously sadistic. Don't play with me unless what you want from today is to end up curled in the fetal position on the floor sobbing your heart out. That is what I have in me to give. I prefer when my play partners nearly kill me. I want them to hurt me terribly and risk my life. I know I am not important. I know that very sick people exist in the world. I hope that if I can give them a cheap thrill they won't hurt someone important.
When Noah raised his hand to stroke my face I flinched.
I was kind of randomly curious tonight so I looked it up. I'm pretty sure that I qualify for SSI for disability due to PTSD. If I had to hold down a job right now my life would be pretty nightmarish. I have continual flashbacks. I have a lot of panic attacks. I barely leave my house. I have to talk myself into believing there are "safe" people on the other side who don't hate me before I manage. Going to the grocery store is hard. I understand that it is for most parents. But when other peoples kids misbehave in public they don't crumple to the floor crying because it seems so overwhelming to deal with. I feel like a very pathetic person.
In order to figure out how to talk to my kids I sat around reading Jane Austen books. That is the language Shanna learned. That is why she is so excessively polite. I model it all the time. I made sure that for the first few years of her life she rarely heard anyone but me talk and I modeled extreme manners constantly.
I am trying to figure out how to shape the voices in my children's head. I know I don't control who they become. But I *do* control the messages they get about themselves right now.
My children believe manners are not optional and the world will crash to a halt with horror if you are rude. So they don't do it. Except for the one big exception. "If anyone is ever touching any part of your body in a way you don't like you need to ask them politely to stop once. If they continue, hit them. Scream. Run away. You are allowed to defend you."Shanna is extremely aware that her vulva is a private space and that no one should touch it until she is full grown and has asked them politely to touch her there. I told her the "whys and whens" around sex are conversations we will probably have in more like ten years. She tried to ask for more information. I said, "At four all you need to know is no one can touch you there. You won't be grown up for a very long time." She's ok with that for now.
It was weird to cry on Noah. I felt really bad about getting him all wet. The snot flows like a river. Mmmm sexy.
One of the things that is hardest for me about being rich is how isolating it is. I feel like I have gotten to know my neighbors to an unusual degree. They are certainly all shocked that I am attempting to do so. My experience of poverty (I understand that my life is not universal and I do not have the "universal poverty experience") was that people had a lot more time on their hands. There was a lot of time to kill and no one had any money. People had to either fall into a depressive rut in order to survive or they had to get creative.
I am very creative. Unfortunately I hate working alone and I am really struggling with the period of time when my kids are no help and instead a bunch of extra work. I'm willing to bet that in two or three years Shanna will be able to do most of the things I like to do. She helps a little now.
I like building things. I like having a concrete change on the world. I often get very frustrated with myself because I am a perfectionist and I get little practice to practice so I'm not improving at skills at the rate I want to.
Noah not wanting to build with me is hard. He doesn't want to do any kind of physical labor on the property. I feel like I am having to drag him kicking and screaming (by the god damn hair) towards the idea of doing any help with homeschooling beyond teaching programming. It is feeling very invalidating of the "us" label.
I feel like I subsumed who I was into my family. My life, my time, my work are all spent on things that directly benefit people in my family other than me. It feels like. Because I am self-serving like everyone else and I enjoy lying to myself.
I do home improvement stuff and I cook and I clean.
It is kind of funny because I feel a little competitive because many of my friends have kids in the same age range. Shanna is behind most of the kids we know academically. (I am tracking various kids in my head. It's interesting.) On one hand I feel like this means I am failing as a homeschooling parent. On the other hand I have the belief that early academic instruction is a bad idea. I am making a conscious decision. It still feels weird that all my friends kids knew their ABCs faster, can count earlier and higher. Blah.
I believe, because research tells me so, that early introduction of these concepts does not improve IQ or overall achievement down the line. I still feel kind of weirdly insecure about my kid and what I am doing. I don't exactly think my friends are drilling their kids. Why are they picking things up so much faster? I have no idea. But I feel insecure. That is one of the many things I am just going to have to live with being insecure about. I made a decision based on sound principles I still believe.
What I specifically miss about having community was there were always two or three women in the kitchen talking. I thought that was what the future looked like. I'm very sad because my life won't look like that for another fifteen years. And then they may very well want to go off into the world and spread their wings. I may do all of these years hoping for that and not get it. I have to be ok with it. I can't spend my life wishing for that. I would be doing something inappropriate. It's so hard to know that I can never hope for that. I tried to have that with Sarah. She hid from my anger in her room. I don't blame her.
I don't share my anger with my children. I share it with the adults in my life. I'm afraid that if I have hopes for what they will do as adults I will get very angry with them for disappointing me. Talk about poisoning the well. I try very hard to not have expectations of them beyond how they are treating me right now. I treat them how I want them to treat me and by and large it works out. When they are having a bad day and they freak out and cry a lot I comfort them even though my head hurts so much I start to cry too. I rock with them. I tell them it is ok to cry.
I tell my kids over and over, "When you feel sad you are allowed to cry." I will be their inside voice whether they are with me or not. I want them to believe it is ok to exist. I don't want them to feel like me.
I tell them it is ok to be frustrated. It's not ok to shout at people. Let's figure it out. And mostly we do.
I feel like oozing toxic waste. I feel like poison. I am so sad and so angry. I miss my mom. Isn't that crazy? Shouldn't I just be glad to be away from her? But she's my mommy. I ache for her so bad I feel like I can't breathe. I feel like my organs want to go into failure. I want my mommy. I have been crying for my mother my entire life. Even when I had her I didn't have her. My mother didn't take care of me. My mother damaged me.
My mother told me I wasn't allowed to be angry when I was raped. She told me I wasn't allowed to yell or scream or cry. I have made my bed and now I have to lie in it. Silently. While men do whatever they want. And I still miss her. Sometimes that feels like the most fucked up part.
I am sad about not having a father. I do not miss James Archer. I didn't know him. I don't even remember what he looks like. That part makes me sad. Sometimes I think of writing Jimmy a letter and asking for a picture. I don't know if he would send me one. I feel very sad about not being allowed to know what my father looks like. My mother gave Jimmy all the pictures of him many years ago. When I was still a child. I don't even know if he kept them.
I don't miss my sister. I think a wall came up when I found out about her forcing my niece to give my nephew a blow job. She became the living enemy. Being in a room with her and not spitting in her face is tantamount to supporting her behavior. No thank you. I think she is a piece of shit I stepped on.
I wish I felt like people loved me. I wish I could feel loved. I think part of the reason I cried on Noah last night was because I wanted to feel like he loved me. I didn't feel that way. I feel dead inside. I feel like I went on an extended vacation to Chernobyl and my insides are radioactive and not quite functioning right.
I feel hollow and empty. I feel already dead. I feel like the cessation of breathing is a mere formality.
I have been here before. I know that how I feel right now is not how I feel all the time. I am dimly aware of that. I did have the chutzpah to up and get married. I felt loved. But mental illness is a liar.
When I was in the teaching credential they told us that a child has to hear ten positive things to cancel out everything negative said to them about themself.
When I think about what my mother said to me I cry. My inside voice is strong and loud and dominating. Shut up Kristine. No one cares, Kristine. Shut up.
I'm very ready for this cycle to change.