Thursday, December 13, 2012

emptying my brain

I just had a brilliant idea. I need to get my hands on more big boxes. Then the next time we get rained out of the park I can tell folks to come over with markers. I think that having an activity will be useful. The pack of wild children running and screaming can't be a full time gig. We have this construction kit we were given for building with cardboard. I am totally sure I could come up with something awesome given who the biggest five kids are. Those girls are clever.

I started working on the childrens book while we were at Disneyland. We mailed all the Christmas cards to the home schoolers but I'm not done with my cards. I have emails I want to write but I really want to see Noah too. And we have a tea party today that I need to prepare for. Luckily Noah cleaned the house for me while we were gone. Now that is true love.

I feel like a terribly ungrateful person for having this sad track in my head but I don't know how to turn it off. My life literally has all of the elements I ever said I wanted. Oh, except for a mother. Or a father. Or a sister. Or brothers. I wanted to have those relationships too. I wanted to have people who would actually learn about me and be able to help me. I wanted to have people who felt obligated to help me. I'll say it. I don't have anyone who feels obligated to help me. I have people who feel bad for me and help me when they can. It really is different. I'm fucking grateful for what I have.

I feel constantly sad that I was not good enough to deserve a family. Having children and a husband is different. I'm grateful for them. I want them. Please God let nothing take them from me. I need them so much. But it's different. My children know a very small part of me. And that is how it needs to stay. That is really hard. I don't feel like anyone knows me very well and it makes me so sad.

I feel so unimportant. It really feels like the death of who I was. My children will only know me Post-Rape. No one knew me before then.

It is very overwhelming feeling. Like I really have to kill who I was. Like it should become my shameful silent secret. Even though it still feels like it is happening in my body sometimes. I don't know how to make it stop. I don't know how to stop hearing them tell me over and over that I am worthless and stupid and bad.

So I look at my nice family, my good family. I feel like I am going to hurt them. I feel like I am going to poison them unless I find a way to wall off the toxic waste that is my body. Unless I can learn how to pretend that I never had a persona that was raped over and over and over then I have to try harder to be silent. Be silent. Be silent.

No one wants to hear that shit Kristine. Shut up. Shut up. No one fucking cares. Why are you so stupid?

Noah noticed that Calli had a ridiculous language jump during the trip. I think it was because I felt safer talking there. It's ok to talk in Disneyland because I am describing physical objects the whole time and answering their questions. I'm on task and I can relax. I can't spontaneously talk about what I am thinking almost ever in my life. I just can't. I have to be extremely conscious about what I talk about. It is easier at Disneyland where I have a job in front of me. I am interpreting this world and giving them my view of it and explaining to them what I want them to get out of it. I don't go to Disneyland with the same agenda as other families (sorry folks). Shanna likes to play. We find places to hang out and she recruits kids into games. I need her to be adaptive to a wide variety of people. I take her to a lot of different kinds of places.

We need to be able to negotiate crowds. Disneyland is a very low stakes place to practice this. We go when it is not busy and we rehearse how to act. We talk about how far apart to be. We specifically talk about how many steps you are allowed to have between you and Mommy. Count them off. How do you look around you and determine where is safe to run and where you must walk? I need them to be able to evaluate environments and figure out behavior.

Shanna knows my full and complete name and knows that if she gets lost she is to walk to a cast member and say "Excuse me but I seem to have lost my mother. Not to worry, I know her phone number." She sings it. I taught it as a song. That makes it easier to remember.

I am not trying to raise compliant children. But I am trying to raise children who have habits I can stand. We can argue and bicker all day long--but you'll keep a civil tongue in your head or I'm not talking to you. If I yell first I acknowledge that I started it and I apologize. I expect Shanna to do the same. We don't need to yell at each other. We can just talk.

By the end of the trip Shanna said we should have brought the double stroller. Ha. I hated having a stroller. I really did. I felt boxed in and controlled. I was pissed off by having to remember it. I took to forcing one child at a time into it because that way I could follow the pace set by one kid at a time. I was not capable of following two kids with a damn stroller. I hated it. Oh man they used it. I hated it. Thank you D. I really appreciate the loan. I will get it back to you soon.

I have to go in. Thank goodness this is a Godmama weekend. I can use some time off. I'm feeling very overwhelmed.


  1. "She sings it."
    I freaking-a love this! I'll want to hear it so I can learn it too!

    Also, as a person who constantly moves her life all the time, boxes can be gotten at the back of almost any store. I usually go to my aunt's liquor store, or to the local grocery store, but the latter takes a specific schedule (ie before 8am). But most places will tell you when to get them. Also, I keep all of my roommates' boxes from their Amazon deliveries.

    I am a firm believer of boxes as toys. My imaginary children play almost solely with empty boxes. And they love it. :)

  2. How big boxes do you need? I did most of my hanukkah shopping via Amazon, so I have a ton of boxes at the moment. They're medium-sized, biggest one is probably about 24 x 18 x 12 inches (I'm guessing. Didn't measure). If you'd like, I can save them for you.
    Reading this, I think that you not having had a family makes you put family on a pedestal more than it deserves. To be sure, having a close family is significantly better than not. No question. But it doesn't always help with the things you're talking about here. While I was growing up, despite my dad's brokenness, mine was one of the most functional families I saw around me. Even so, I often feel like there isn't anyone who knows me really well. There have been times in my life with people around me who did genuinely know me well (Noah was one), but that hasn't been true for probably 10 years.

    It's different. I know it's different, and so much harder and worse for you. I don't want to belittle that. I want you to know that this image you have in your head of how amazing and perfect a family would be is a fantasy. Yes, families are great, and yes they help. But there are a lot of things they don't fix. And some things that they break too.

    Also, some of us help you because we like you, not because we feel bad for you.