Tuesday, January 29, 2013

book review as timeline

I'm reading this book Giving the Love That Heals by Harville Hendrix and Helen Lakelly Hunt. I have no idea why I need to say the names. Any who. I think that books like this could potentially be labeled with a full page in the front Dangerous for Incest Survivors. I'm just saying.

I'm getting to the parts where they go through the developmental stages that children go through. They detail the problems that come out of interruptions of the appropriate pattern. I really have lead a text book life. I really have tried hard to be good in exactly the ways I was taught.

Every so often I sit on the floor in my room and I think about all the events they have already missed. They are already that much more whole than me. I tick them off. My father teaching me to be silent and unresponsive while he penetrated my vagina. I wasn't even allowed to cry. If I did I would be given a reason to cry.

My kids have already escaped that. They believe that someone hurting them is a good reason to say, "Stop right now. That hurts me." I wasn't allowed to. I was taught to be passive with anyone who was willing to hurt me sexually. I can be extremely aggressive as long as someone does not go for my cunt. Then I feel my arms lock in as tight as possible to my sides and my neck muscles completely lock. I can move my hands, but not my arms. I feel my voice box basically go limp. I can whisper, "Please, no. Stop. I don't want this."

It started when I was younger than Calli. Both of my children already know a freedom I can't know. This book puts a lot of emphasis on understanding that your children are not you are not going to turn out much like you. Appropriate control and such as children age.

I am absolutely sure that my children will be different from me. They have a whole branch of genetics I don't share. They are growing up with different stories in their heads. Different experiences in their lives.

My kids get two hours of "unsupervised" (I can hear everything they say and do but I don't have visual contact and there is a closed door) time with the iPad every day. My therapist says this is an extremely good idea and I absolutely need to keep doing it.

I treat my therapists as a mixture of older sibling/parent who gives me permission to do what I want to do. Is this really an ok thing to want? Am I allowed to do this without being bad? My therapist thinks taking two hours of downtime in the middle of the day so that I can be patient and loving all the rest of the time is just necessary and will be fine. Till they break the iPad. Ha. They lose it if they start bouncing or kicking the walls.

I'm being evasive. I'm afraid the kids will interrupt and the next part of the book is weighing heavy on my heart. "7-12: The Stage of Concern"

They say you never get "past" the stage you were when you were wounded. Surely I have made some progress beyond Callidora's current level of development. I think I show significantly more sophistication in how I go about getting my way. I haven't bitten anyone in the face in a very long time.

I worry about when my kids each hit seven. I fear that I am reversing the minimizer/maximizer thing with each kid. I don't know. I fear that I will go to extremes and be wrong in every way. I've been thinking about rape a lot.

Apparently Paul Nathan, the last person who raped me before I ran off from the community is back in town. I'm really grateful I was told. I have one birthday party on my radar and she has already specifically told me that he isn't invited. Or the other guy who sexually assaulted me. She was quite thoughtful. I'm not sure I will play at the party anyway. I plan to bring food, talk, and cuddle with Noah. I don't have a fucking thing to prove. So I feel no real desire to play in public right now.

Oh that's defensive and asshole-ish. I have something to prove. I don't have to do it just because other people want me to. I've been listening to P!nk a lot lately. I'm not here for your entertainment. It makes me think about clothing. I've always dressed like a fucking nun. Only in the end--the last two was I finally dressed in provocative clothing.

So what are my kids going to wear in life? Being covered sure as shit didn't save me. Uncovering in what I was told was a "safe environment" wasn't.

It is interesting looking at how I have learned to set boundaries. It's been a slow and painful process. I've been a major asshole. How do I want that to work for my kids? How am I going to behave?

Shanna recently told me that when it comes time to go shopping that she wants to do all the picking. There will of course be some guidance whether that's her favorite or not. She might not like owning a pair of jeans--but she wears them when we are playing in the mud. You have to learn how to accommodate the life you have instead of the life you wish you had.

We will have to negotiate money in advance. Then she can spend it how she wants. Ok. Sure. Why not? It's going to be a gigantic pain in the ass, but that's ok too.

It's disconcerting to read parenting books--innocuous items and experience surges of vaginal pain. Original wounding indeed.

When I was in my early twenties I managed to find a leather dyke gynecologist to help me with vaginal pain problems. The first thing she did was tell me to start eating yogurt whether I liked it or not. Just do it. Experiment. You'll like something. And she told me to get off Depo Provera because it's terrible for women. It thins vaginal tissue in long-term use.

Then we got to the spiffy exam. She looked, said, "Hm. Hang on." She got up and took off her gloves one by one, slowly. Her brow was furrowed. She adjusted how I was sitting. She got a clear speculum and a mirror and a flashlight. She showed me the inside of my cunt.

She asked me, "How young were you when it started?"

There is so much wealth of knowledge in a question like that. But I lacked the ability to gather resources from her. I didn't know how.

So I am running into this problem where in order to process who I am as a separate individual I have to really understand the fundamental ways I will never have a reflection of me. It's all normal and shit but I have a lot of additional strong feelings. Being broken in plain sight does things to you.

Why is everyone else just more intrinsically deserving of love than I was? Because when I think twelve. Twelve fucking assholes raped me I know I'm not counting all of that right. I generally don't count guys who only forced me to give them blowjobs, no matter how violent it was. I don't want to think of that count. I don't like thinking about the neighbors who pee'ed with the door open and invited me in to "learn how to hold one" with that sly little grin.

Over and over. Neighborhood after neighborhood. It didn't matter if they were stinking unwashed alcoholic drug addicts in a trailer park or the nice little Catholic family or the rich old bastard in the mountains. And more. I moved more than fifty times before I was eighteen. I saw a lot of neighborhoods. I don't remember a lot of specifics of the times when I managed to startle but run off.

I was always asked. I said no as I got older. When I realized I could. The first few times I was told, "Come here. Touch it" I did it. Of fucking course I did. With my father ignoring such a command would have resulted in him hitting me in the head. My kids are pushy in ways I wouldn't have been able to pull off. I would have been black and blue. And sometimes it is hard to read these fucking development books and understand why Noah and I both are over sensitive to the noise in some moods and not in others. If Noah is happy he goes along with them playing. If not he's grumpy.

Me too. We are both a bit moody. I hear that's allowed. We'll see.

I think I should stop reading for today. I haven't even gotten through all the ways in which I am supposedly stunted yet. That's enough for one day. I'll finish it. I am finding value in it. They are right--this is all shit that must be kept away from my children.

This is my problem.

I think I need to get back to some extremist argument against educational standardization book after this light and fucking fluffy parenting book. You know, something cheerful.

I'm sick. And I'm crying. The snot is a river. Like my self pity. On that note I am going to go find more to eat.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

As often happens--I was interrupted. Bad mood.

Alright, internet, it's confession time. Sometimes I intensely dislike my husband. Parts of P!nk's new album The Truth About Love were written from inside my brain. If you haven't heard any of them and you are killing time on the internet, please do.

So end of digression. I've been having feelings. This isn't about Noah bashing. He hasn't done anything wrong. I just feel unsettled and angry and resentful and scared and hostile and like I want to fucking punch someone in the face and you are the only stupid fucker here. I don't hit Noah. Not in jest, not in retribution--nada. If I hit Noah he hits back. Harder. I don't really need to start a fistfight in front of my kids so I don't hit Noah.

But I'm having these feelings. I'm so angry. So angry. So fucking angry why can't I fucking hurt someone angry. But I can't. I will not. I am very aware that there is a very big part of my brain that wants to seriously hurt someone. Kicking the bag isn't really much of an outlet for this energy. Encouraging it is poison.

I've had friends in the bdsm community offer to "do a scene with me where I can get out those demons". I burst into spontaneous laughter at the thought. No. You only think you want that. I learned a lot of very specific skills during my time in that community. The first thing I would do is staple your mouth shut. So you can never revoke consent. Things would go from there.

I am an extremely violent person. This isn't something that feels good to me. I want to break someones nose specifically because I want to spit on the blood and grind it all over someones face. I want to damage someone very badly. And I learned how to tie people up very well. If someone was stupid enough to walk into that... that wouldn't be pretty. I would probably go to jail. And I'd accept that. It is appropriate to lock up people who want to do that. But there was consent.

I don't top from this place. And luckily I married into this situation that prohibits that from happening because Noah will never give initial consent. It is tidy.

I like those kinds of specific closed doors. They force me to think about no longer trying to hunt or ways of pleasing other people. Want do I actually want?

I don't know but I feel angry. I don't always feel like I want to punch the person in front of me and spit in the blood. Uhm, rarely even. Almost never? It's unusual? Ok. I think that one looks bad and can't be made better so I'm moving on.

I have a lot of unexpressed frustrations in my life and it's something I need to be more honest about. In the past few days I've been reading books about teaching computer programming to children as a way of teaching a specific style of thinking while also reading a book that railed against the entire mechanism and orientation of the modern school system. I've also been reading about how networks work versus how communities work. I live in an era and a place where people have a kind of basic orientation to friendship that is the exact opposite of what I grew up to expect.

I always thought I would kind of just jump into a camp. I'd find a partner and ditch my family and blend in to his. Well. So much for that. Ok. It's us. And the kids. That's my "family". When I need support I need to consciously think about how to meet it. I watched some terrible movie on netflix with rape as a plot twist and the only part of it that was in any way worth remembering was watching the mom try to support the daughter through the healing process after trauma. But she was fucking there. She crawled through the stupid window in a stupid plot device that is only found on movies.

But dude.

Isn't anger one of the stages of grief? All of the ways I look up for help are ways my mommy taught me to look up to her to for help. And right now I fucking hate her so much. Right now I wish she was dead. I don't feel this anger at my father any more. It won't be over until she is dead.

She was my mommy and she did not take care of me. Yes, yes you tell me... get over it. Forgive her. Oh fuck you. You forgive her. But this anger is eating me alive. I want my mommy.

When I was Shanna's age I had to learn to silently cry myself to sleep because I wanted my mommy. If I wasn't silent then "I was given a reason to cry" and I would be hit and the tv would be turned up terribly loud.

My mommy was getting married. Her other kids were at the wedding. I was too much trouble. I would get in the way.

Sometimes standing next to Shanna makes me shake. I feel so much anger at her entitlement. I feel like a gigantic jackass but I say, "Try again" is pleasant a tone as I can manage. Ok sometimes it is through gritted teeth. Rarely. She comes back with a please and a question instead of a demand.

I was not allowed to get into things. The food was for the family. But Auntie always had big tubs of red vines and vanilla wafers. And those delightful Fruity Pebbles. Oh man. I was never supervised all that well. I learned how to how to be sly and get my way very early. I stole so much sugar. Did I mention I've been hiding bags of chocolate chips in my shirt drawer and I come in and sneak handfuls? Oh internet I've been keeping a lot from you lately.

I'm having a lot of feelings. I'm baiting Noah. I think there are points where he could be persuaded to change his thinking but my current approach is nothing short of taunting him. I'm just not being nice. I must have been snippy with the kids because they are both clinging to me like mad all day every day. I'm trying to have patience. You teach patience by having patience. It is pretty much my meditation period during the day. Sit down and try to have an out of body experience so you don't beat the shit out of someone as they gouge you one more fucking time.

This is an investment in a future person who does not yet exist. That person is shaped, every day by how she is treated. My kids do not have lovies. They have me. Mt. Mommy. Apparently. It's quite uncomfortable and something I am struggling with how to have boundaries about. This is the kind of thing that is supposed to happen by the grandmother dragging the kid off the mom and saying, "Dude! You're getting heavy. You're mom asked you to sit next to her not on her." Then the kid listens. With mom it's a huge battle.

I could have had that. Fuck. She'd love to live here. Even the cold garage would be fine. She would constantly complain about me overheating the house just to get back at me.

But she is monstrous in her way. "Do you know what happened because of you" should never be followed with information about *anyones* finances. My niece feels a lot of obligation to support the family. I don't know how she is going to do it. I'm scared for her. But I need to be unaware of this situation. If she wants out she knows where I am.

But my sister and my mom are not welcome in my life. Not given the way they behave. It is hard knowing that they are monsters and I'm not allowed to kill the. We live in a time and a place that doesn't really allow that.

Ok, I don't want to go kill them. Not just because of the legal consequences. I'm angry but I'm not that angry.

But I will feel lighter when I find out each of them is dead. I suppose I should feel guilty about that.... Ok done.

I feel really angry that I wasn't taught what this life was like. My mom worked from the time I was four years old. I have no memories of spending days with her. I was with a series of indifferent, inattentive caregivers until I was entirely left alone. It was financial necessity. Just a high school diploma from Bakersfield was not really much to go on for employment.

I get "why I should forgive her". I can tell you that whole story. But it doesn't change the fact that she would try to make my daughter feel small. She does it to everyone around her. I don't want my kids to learn it. And when you have it around you are allowing it to be taught. I know that makes me rigid.

I mean, I am not open to that. But we have people in our lives. Am I treating my resources like a network or like a community? Who is open to what? I'm going to be let down. I'm going to have to be ok with hearing no. Is it terrible that sometimes I feel terrible about being turned down when I invite people over? Then I get to stay home. Without noise--ok, mostly without a huge din.

But I just wander around feeling this coiling, coursing snake. I want to attack someone so much.

I've been running a bit more. I'm hella slow. Ha. I'm going to be running a 5k with a friend... shit. Next weekend. Ack. Ha. Well, we'll make it through and have a lovely chat.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

January reading officially done.

Only four weeks in the month. Woo.

Book #4 for the year: Dumbing Us Down: The Hidden Curriculum of Compulsory Schooling

That's technically a reread. So it's not a "new" book. But I read it in 2003 (I think) so it is practically new to me. It's for the book club next weekend.

I'm also half-way through Mindstorms in addition to still plugging away at Giving the Love that Heals. I expect to finish both this week. I will probably finish one tomorrow with the way the weekend is going.

I'm in a terrible mood. I am sick and skipping pot because my lungs are pissy. And I'm feeling massively resentful about all kinds of rational and irrational things.

I should probably try to go to sleep.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Storytelling and defensive rambling

I have known that I wanted to have children and homeschool them from when I was a teenager. That was what I wanted from life. When you combine that driving urge with my compulsion towards promiscuous sex you have a high potential for problems. Not a guarantee--there are people with split custody who have plenty of spare time for dating but I actively chose not to take that path. Let me back up.

When my husband and I met we each had other primary partners. I was living with my boyfriend. I was no longer his slave at that point so he was just my boyfriend. I was rather clearly shopping for the reason to leave him. He and I had blunt conversations about the fact that I didn't think we had a future because I wanted kids and marriage and he didn't. So my days were numbered. We knew that before I asked to open the relationship and sleep with other people. Really he stopped sleeping with me right after that.

He was done too. He didn't want to play with me any more. We had played to the utmost limits of what you can safely do to someone. You really can't play harder than we did. He wanted to start over again. He wants the excitement of the new experience, not the sad resignation to more pain. Fair enough.

So I met my husband. I think he became interested in me because I wasn't hunting for him but I was so clearly hunting and I was doing it awkwardly and blatantly in a way that was tailor made for him but I was trying for someone standing right next to him. That shit is catnip. The dude I was hunting for turned out to be spectacularly uninterested in me and that's all good.

So I met my husband. And we dated for the last six months of my relationship with my ex-Owner. And things got progressively more serious because he really liked me but his primary was not in a position to want their relationship to change. But he wanted me to be a co-primary. Err, not so much. My husband was in a horrible motorcycle accident while we were dating. I broke up with my Owner during the period of recovery. I kind of realized that if this "other boyfriend" was so much more important to me than my former Owner-turned boyfriend then it was time to leave. Because I was spending all of my time dealing with accident recovery care or going out in the evenings hunting.

I was done. I didn't want to use him as a crash pad so I broke up with him and moved out basically as soon as I could find a place six weeks later. He had been hoping we would remain roommates and friends and work out a house cleaning arrangement in exchange for rent. In other words I would still wait on him. Yeah. No. Time to leave.

I moved out. I was dating my husband (with no premonition he would ever become such--I was one of like four women he was dating) and I immediately started a relationship with Daddy J. I was one of many for him too.

I was speaking bluntly with these men about my desires. They were enthusiastically agreeing that it sounded like fun--sure let's do that. I didn't see any desire to change their lifestyle though. They both actively plotted how to ditch future children for events.

I broke up with my husband. I broke up with Daddy J a month later. In this period there were a variety of one or two or three week affairs with other men. Two or three proposed marriage by the fourth date.

I don't think I've ever admitted that in public before. It's kind of awkward. I watched this movie Jolene on Netflix instant streaming (I love this service) and I felt this kind of weird throw up in my mouth. Holy shit that was the alternative path. Seriously. I had that offered to me.

I wanted children. I wanted them badly. I flat out told people that when I had kids all overt sexual behavior would end. Their reaction to that decided most of whether I kept talking to them. It's not about being in the closet--I'm really not in the closet but I don't model behavior in front of my children that I feel ashamed of them repeating with friends.

Then I met Puppy. On paper he looked a lot like my former Owner (gun nut, bondage as sadism, strong Libertarian) but in practice he had very different issues. When I would pester him about relationship questions things usually ended with me trying to apologize for asking then fleeing the room to hide behind a closed door while he shouted at me and beat on the door. It's probably a good thing he broke up with me as quickly as he did.

It's bad to go through life asking each guy you meet if he wants to support a stay at home wife. It just is. Wanting sex is partially, at least on a biological level, about wanting to make babies. That's how evolution works.

But as I was auditioning and rejecting these guys I went through college. I got a BA in English. I finished my course work early even though I skipped a semester or so in the middle because I always went double or more the full-time load. I finished my BA in 2003. I finished classes in March. I wasn't sure what to do next and I wasn't completely and totally convinced my relationship with my Owner was pointless yet (I hadn't started sleeping with anyone else yet) so I started the masters program. Officially I started it because even if I went into teaching primary school I didn't feel like I understood my subject well enough to deserve to teach it.

I missed a lot of school. When I was present I ignored my teachers by reading books in class. I knew I wouldn't be in the school long enough for it to matter if I was polite to the teachers or not. I'm not here for your entertainment. I didn't care about trying to fit in or learn social norms by the time I was about ten. I dropped out when I was sixteen after missing freshman year of high school.

It felt rather ironic that I wanted to go teach. I needed to learn more about literature. So I started graduate school. I decided mid-way through that semester that kids weren't optional and I applied to the teaching credential program. I told my Owner. He said he didn't think he was ready. That was the beginning of the end, really. He finally said it. I didn't leave for a year but it was inevitable. I hated the therapist who got him to admit that. She blamed me for forcing a lot of things that I wasn't forcing. I should at least appreciate that she got him to tell me the truth.

Fast forward. I broke up with Noah right in the middle of my year-long intensive teaching credential. What he wanted from me was too much work for too little reward with regards to my long-term goals. He wanted a lot of time and attention and to feel special but I was one of a harem.

I'm feeling quite guilty about how little sex I am up for this month. That's the problem with this tracking business. I told people up front that I would not commit overt sexual behavior in front of my kids but I thought poly would remain on the table. I thought I would want to have that as an option.

Then I realized that poly has a very hurtful learning curve. It's not a malice thing. Mistakes are part of life. I think that the stakes change when children are involved. If I am going to have to keep part of myself away from my husband in order to share it with someone else then that is a compartmentalization I have to keep alive all the time. It's not a sometimes food. And I have to always have a part of my heart ready to accept him being inconsiderate in how he pursues partners. It is impossible to be fully considerate without making mistakes and learning from the process.

That's life. The thing is... in order to do poly well you have to forgive for those mistakes. I don't forgive. I carry around a tally list of done-me-wrongs. It's not right. It's not a positive attribute of mine but it allowed me to decide that it was worth pressing charges against my father so it's not all bad either--ok?

Being a stay at home parent involves an enormous financial and career risk on the part of the person who stays home. It is risky in our culture to depend on someone. My husband works in an industry where people age out pretty young. He feels enormous stress to hurry up and be better than he is.

And I'm withholding what he has for stress relief. It feels like at the long end of this I should be absolutely a sex fiend--right? Sometimes I just don't wanna. And that feels like a dereliction of duty. I'm not being pressured. He went to the gym rather than even ask. Footie jammies are a fairly universal "I'm not having sex soon" signal.

And instead I tell pointless stories to the internet. Because I want to be seen. Even though it's not pretty. I need to tell the story as if someone has never heard any of it before. Even though I am afraid of being repetitive. It is ok to tell the story if I need to today.

I've been really sad lately. I have arranged to no longer fuck up my sleep schedule once a week. I think that will help. The vaporizer is... well. Doing this produces a different chemical reaction and I'm having a different and less useful effect. I suppose that what it is doing is reducing my anxiety but it is not elevating my mood. I don't get "high" at all. I miss being high. It's been over a week and man it is really feeling pretty awful. I'm crying a lot. And sleeping a lot during the day. Which is not great. The kids climb on me and whack my face. And they always decide that whatever they are eating for snack must be ground into the entire table cloth.

So. It feels like I have some kind of work to do. The vaporizer is a useful way to treat some set of problems but not all. The atypical depression characteristic of PTSD is usually a reaction of the body trying to regenerate after all the excessive chemical use. By chemical I mean things like adrenaline and oxytocin--all of those things involved in love and trauma and sex.

Life is long and really complicated. I need to believe that marriage is about building something that is greater than either of us could make on our own. I need to believe that we are choosing to become one thing that is acting for mutual good. Or I need to be protecting myself. This is a specific choice.

I don't mean to end on this kind of note but breakfast is ready.

I am struggling with the need to protect my body from being responsible for needs I can't meet. I feel brittle and defensive and unworthy. So unworthy.

But breakfast is on the table.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

I'm trying to read more.

This month I have read all three of Stieg Larson's books in The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo series.

I'm most of the way through Giving the Love that Heals.

I occasionally read a few more pages in Mark Twain's autobiography.

I want to finish at least one more book this month. I'm trying to do one book a week this year. We'll see.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Thinking about marriage.

I was asked to perform a wedding ceremony; two of my former students asked me. It's a bit weird but I think I'm going to grill them first.

You need to seriously talk about expectations about money and house work. Have you done so? No? Let's do it now. Let's talk about sex--I don't want any specifics but do you both feel like you are happy with what is going on. No really, you need to talk about it now. Don't be wishy washy. Don't be embarrassed. Dude--you are about to sign a legal fucking contract that lasts for the rest of your life. You have to talk about these things. How do you feel about children? How secure does "financially secure" mean? How do you plan to go about earning this money. How will childcare be divided? How do you feel about breastfeeding? Circumcision? I don't need to approve of your answer but you need to agree.

Noah and I really sat and talked about this stuff before we got married. It shocks the shit out of me when I hear people say that they got married without discussing these things. Holy fuck. Why not?!

Do you agree about degree of religious involvement for your children? Do you have expectations about how your children will be educated? How do you feel about home ownership? How are you going to make that happen?

The Tracy Chapman song Fast Car is on most of my playlists. I think about the future and how to prepare for it.

Marriage at its best is when two people who could be ok by themselves come together to be more than they can be apart. It's not about dependency. Even if one partner does not have a job. If you do not have a job because you are taking care of children you have a responsibility to your family to maintain skills that will enable you to reenter the work force should something catastrophic happens to your husband. Being a stay at home mom is a luxury. It is great when you can afford it. You can't assume you will always be able to afford it. When your children are under five you have the sure fact of having to pay for day care if something happens to your husband's income and you have to work. It feels like "your" responsibility. Or even if you just want to return to work.

Do you think of money as a pooled resource or are you possessive about how much "I've" earned. Be honest. There is no possible benefit to answering falsely. You have to live with this forever. You have to find a solution that works for both of you or you will fight forever. Talk about it now. I mean, not necessarily in front of me. But go home and work it out before the wedding. Spend all your spare time talking about these topics.

It's important. This is your life. Do you want it to be one where things just kind of fall into place because you both have the same expectations or do you want to be constantly bitter that things aren't working out how you thought?

Where do you want to spend holidays?

How do you feel about travel? How do you feel about expensive hobbies?

I know everything is lovey dovey and perfect and shit. How would you react if _____ cheated? It happens in a high percentage of marriages. Y'all have been together since you were fifteen. Statistically such things happen. How would you treat it? Do you think you could live with, "You get one fuck up this marriage. You need to be honest about it. I'd prefer to know before/after." How do you feel about pornography? Violent sex. You don't have to tell me. You need to explicitly talk about this. If you think a little light spanking that is obviously between people who are giggling and having a good time sounds hot don't go along when she says, "Violence is disgusting/horrifying/always degrading/whatever." Tell the fucking truth. You have to live with this. Be who you are. "I want to be open to the idea of possibly not always being monogamous but I think I want to establish a really firm basis in our marriage first--like ten or more years. Let's get through the early part of the kids thing." Or whatever. I don't need to know the answer.

We are no longer in the position of needing to marry our neighbor to combine estates. We don't have to marry someone who will be good at working on the dairy we already own. In what ways do you support one another's in growing towards your best selves?

How do you feel loved the most? (even though it's cheesy I'll mention the five love languages crap.)

Both kids are up and clamoring for my lap. Ack. Joy.


Hey, does anyone remember that grief ritual I went to last year? Well it's happening again. March 2-3. (Those are two different links.) I am very interested in going again but I am less interested in going alone again. If that makes sense.

So. Let me know.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

But if you try sometimes you just might find you get what you need.

First and most importantly: meeting him went fantastically well. I told him, "I want to ask you a couple of questions, then tell you a story, then ask for a personal favor." He agreed and settled in to listen to me.

My first question was, "Do you remember the first time we played?" "Uhhhh we played a few times but wasn't the first time at that Odyssey event when I screwed up with the taser?"

I felt like a weight tumbled off my chest at that moment. Ok. This will be fine.

I told him that him using the phrase "screwing up" means this is going to be a lot easier than I thought. He repeated all of the concrete memories he has of the night (it was twelve years ago--it's a bit fuzzy). Then I asked him what he knows about me and my life. He knows there were problems with my family and an estrangement--probably abuse and that's it.

Ok, now I know what he knows.

I started giving him the readers digest version of my life. I talked about trauma for under ten minutes so it was necessarily only some highlights. "I'm the product of rape. My mother didn't want me. If she hadn't been Catholic she would have aborted me. I was told that my whole life. My father started raping me when I was a toddler and he kept at it including festively on one occasion holding a gun on my head right after raping me and asking me if I deserved to live."

He interrupted and said, "Wait--how old were you when he held a gun on you?"

"Nine, ten. I'm not completely sure. It was within a few month period."

"Holy shit."

"Yeah. I prosecuted my father when I was sixteen. Just over two years before I met you. In the time between the start of pressing charges and the court date my brother went behind the local grocery store and doused himself in gasoline and  lit himself on fire. He didn't want to deal with what might happen next. He had been attacking me and trying to rape me for over a decade. Luckily he wasn't big enough to win. I'm a scrappy fighter. My father sat in the garage with the motor running on the first day of the trial. So my family says "He wasn't found guilty." And given that my sister has passed the incest on to her kids for the fourth generation in my family I have no more contact."

"Then, two months before I met you I picked a guy up for a date and had one shot of tequila and I promptly remember nothing from the night. In the morning I was sick as a dog--I spent the whole day vomiting over and over (in port-a-potties at San Francisco Gay Pride--that was fucking festive) and there were three condom wrappers in the trash. I called the police and tried to report being raped. I was told "We aren't going to ruin that nice boy's life for you."

"Between when I was 2 and 25 I was raped by 12 people. The last straw was Paul Nathan. That one just flat drove me out of the community. Done now."

"I understand that in the scope of my life what happened between us was maybe a 2 on the trauma scale. I have experienced much worse in my lifetime than someone putting a taser on my vulva for one hit. That's just honestly not that bad in my life."

"But I need someone who has violated my boundaries to know and care and feel bad. I need it like I need to breathe. I am coming to you, largely as an elder in my community. The rules of the community are that the difference between WIITWD (what it is that we do) and abuse is CONSENT. I was very clearly not consenting to what happened with you. I told you I wanted to stop at no/stop and not play with safewords and you kept going while I hysterically begged you to stop."

"What I really want from you is a public discussion about what tops should be doing to fuck up less. You have made mistakes. One more hysterical submissive coming along with a story about consent violation is ignored. I promise you. It doesn't help anyone really. You have a big name. If you really talk about your mistakes and how you have grown and changed that stands a big chance of helping people who need to be helped."

"If you do research into trauma you will see that one of the most important factors in recovery is community support and validation. Folks who don't get any... generally don't recover. You are an elder and a highly respected member of my community. You hurt me. I believe you that it was an accident but there was still result. I have had nightmares about you for years."

At about this point he stopped me to apologize over and over.

We went minute by minute through the scene using both sets of memories and talked about why the breakdown. "I said this was a hard limit so you immediately pulled one out of your bag." "Oh, I knew you liked violet wands and I think of these tools as being on a continuum so I tried to get you to find out if you really disliked it or if you just thought you did." "So you pressured me like fuck to let you try it on my arm. I felt like I couldn't say 'no' and still have a scene." "Oh that wasn't well done. Well, once you let me try it on your arm you said it wasn't as bad as you thought. I thought that was a green light to use it." "Oh holy hell no." "And at that time there was a big push for submissives to use their safewords to protect themselves because working through the fake no/no/no was something a lot of people were doing at once and I was used to trying to get girls to defend themselves by using safewords. I was just wrong to do it with you."

I have never hated him for this.

He asked why I played with him after that. I told him I played with him three more times because I was trying to see if the first scene was a mistake or if you were that kind of scary asshole. If you were that kind of scary asshole I probably would have found a way to hurt you. But you never again made anything resembling a mistake. You did precisely what we agreed to and it was fine. I felt very confused as to whether you were covering yourself better or what.

He asked me to give him specific details about what I would like him to write about publicly and he offered to let me proof it before he goes public. He said, "I have no ego in this. Everyone makes mistakes and if people can learn from me messing up then I am happy to share how that worked. If it will make you feel better, especially given that I had no idea that you as hurt as you were, then it's the right thing to do."

I almost curled up and bawled. That was not what I was expecting. I thought he would be a horrid douchebag. He wasn't. He was a really nice guy.

The early bits only took about 20 minutes. Then we talked for another 40 minutes about how kids change you (apparently his wife has some background information that is like mine) and what he has learned over the past few years. He asked me why I want to homeschool and was impressed that I'm obviously well informed about all of the weird little decisions I make but man would they not be good choices for him. He was positive and cheerful and encouraging. More than once he said, "I feel like this is an interesting conversation but we have reached the edge of what I can usefully contribute so I'm going to just nod for a few minutes and it's not because I am ignoring you or bored. I just know less than you."

This was not what I expected.

I told him that I know I am laying an inappropriate amount of grief at his feet. I was very broken long before I met him. The damage is not his fault. But there is this long pattern in my life of people hurting me and justifying it as things I deserve and I need to get past a place where I agree that I deserve to be hurt and I believe my consent is irrelevant. I have to change that if I am going to teach my daughters anything different. He started talking fast about how of course I don't deserve any of the abuse I have experienced. He went into specifics and talked about how fucked up it was that someone could do those things to a child. There is no way to deserve such treatment as a child.

We talked about psychologically healthy masochists and psychologically unhealthy masochists. We both have views. We talked about how he keeps himself safe at this point because unhealthy masochists generally have a lot of collateral damage. Not necessarily on purpose--but crazy people need specific support not to be told to shut up and bend over so they can be hit. Just sayin'.

I am so glad I went. I feel a lot more calm. I was cycling through panic attacks really fast for a few days. My heart was starting to hurt.

He gave me several big hugs and very sincerely wished me all the best when we parted. He will write something within the next week and get it up on the internet. (He moved house two days ago so he's really busy--I'm impressed he's willing to do it within a week.)

Sometimes people surprise me in wonderful ways.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

I believe "brave" is a synonym for "stupid".

It looks like I have plans for Friday afternoon. I am going to talk to someone who once seriously crossed my boundaries.

So when I was 19, two years after prosecuting my father for rape which resulted in my brother lighting himself on fire and my father sitting in the garage with the motor running, and two months after I was raped and the police told me they wouldn't "ruin that nice boy's life for me", I joined the bdsm community. In my first six weeks I asked someone to play. We met through IRC and we did most of our negotiations online.

That sounds pretty dodgy. Even though I was meeting people online they were all people with serious real-life presence in the scene. All of the people in this particular IRC channel were very active in the real-time bdsm community. Many for a decade or more. So I was new but they all knew one another.

The negotiations were: no scat, no water sports, and no cattle prods. I don't do safewords. If I say "no" or "stop" I mean it.

Of course that means he saran wrapped me  to a table and put a tazer on my genitals. "It's not a cattle prod." I was hysterically screaming "no no no no" and "please stop" as fast as I could. He turned the tazer on and told me he wouldn't stop till I safeworded. I did instantly. I believe my phrasing was, "Then safeword you son of a bitch."

The San Jose PD were watching. The DMs (Dungeon Monitors--the people who ostensibly make you "safe" in the public community) were quite concerned that I not make a scene because the police were there. Shut up already.

A few times over the years I have made bitter references to this with the person in question but I've never really sat down to talk to him about it.

I'm going to see him tomorrow. He doesn't know why we are meeting. I told him that Patti B put me up to it. I told him that I wanted to talk to him about something too complicated to put in writing (not true but I'm not going to ask him to read 50 pages of text) and he agreed to meet with me.

The funny thing is, his son and Shanna were born three hours apart on the same day. The day before our due date.

The kids will play at the park and he and I will sit on a bench.

Why am I doing this?

I'm bringing an amount of grief to this that isn't fair considering what happened. I will almost certainly tell him so.

I hope to Christ he apologizes. More than anything in the whole fucking universe I want one man who has hurt me to actually apologize. I have an agenda. That's why I'm going. I want to tell him a little bit about myself (I'm pretty sure he knows basically nothing) and I am going to ask him to apologize. Frankly I would love it if he would be willing to publicly talk about this mistake and what he has learned from it.

If someone who has violated my boundaries was willing to do that--just fucking one--I think I could be a lot less bitter. I think I could believe that not everyone is shit.

Sorry people, you aren't enough to convince me. I'm sure that is annoying.

I need to have someone feel bad for hurting me. I need it more than I need food. I need to have one person say, "I didn't do that because you deserved it. I did it because I'm an asshole/I fucked up/whatever."

I don't know that I'm going to get any validation whatsoever. I could leave this meeting more suicidal than I've been in a while. Who knows. My friends who know him have said I'm underestimating him. Give him a chance.

Ok, I will. But I'm scared. I don't know how well I believe this will go.

Other than Noah I no longer have contact with anyone who has raped me. And he had permission.  So he doesn't really feel guilty either. How can you rape someone with permission? Well we negotiated that some day he would get to ignore me when I said no. I didn't know he would pick such a bad day. I thought it would be an easier rape. Oh well. I'm often stupid and wrong.

Mostly the only thing I can do to protect myself is hide and just not know people. I'm kind of hiding in the home school group now. Maybe if I just don't talk to men anymore...

My fear is irrational I'm told. I'm really weird when it comes to fear. The more afraid I am the more I want to take action. The more I need to do something. I am not going to yell at the guy I'm meeting on Friday. My goal isn't to be mean to him or take anything out on him. I'm going to find out if he is the sociopath I assume he is or if he is the person other people believe he is. Maybe he will be willing to apologize. It was twelve years ago. Yes, I should be "over it" but I'm not. I have nightmares. I fucking think about this as a perfect example of why I learned not to bother saying 'no'. It's hard to have boundaries with Noah.

Although when I'm thinking about this shit we don't have sex for days. I can't handle being touched. This still has a noticeable impact on my life.

We'll see if he cares. I didn't press charges. I didn't make this a big thing. I have never publicly dragged him across the coals--mostly I don't even mention his name when I talk about this. And that's a level of discretion I don't give everyone.

If I have any karmic credit he will tell me he is sorry that he hurt me. If my life continues to be true to form he will give me a dismissive lecture about how I was an adult and I asked to play so I deserved what I got.

We'll see. I'm told I'm underestimating him. We'll see.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013


I don't think I can write coherently about what is going on in my brain. But I'm freaking out. I'm grateful that the only thing I "have" to do today is pick up meat from the co-op.

I'm terrified. I am so scared that I am fucking shaking. I hate my body and I hate my life right now.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Early Childhood Sexual Assault, Anger, and Parenting

Another one found me. My tribe. She asked a bunch of questions and I don't want to directly lift her message because I didn't ask permission first and she was all polite and stuff.

How do we deal with this anger? How do we teach something different? Are we doomed to teaching our daughters to be screaming harpies just like us? How do we get out of bed in the morning and manage to not kill them all? Yes, yes they are the reason we keep living so of course we don't really want to kill them.

First and foremost if you are a survivor of ECSA you should almost certainly be in therapy for the entire time you have children living at home and maybe for the rest of your life. You were taught bad things for your brain and body during the formative period of your existence. Overcoming that is a conscious choice every fucking day for the rest of your life. Sorry.

Ok, maybe someday it will be unconscious but I kind of doubt it.

What do we do with the anger? In my opinion step one is examining your anger. Why are you angry? Anger is a signal that something is crossing one of your boundaries? How does that work for you?

I've done a lot of work on my anger. I've written a lot here about that over time. What I mean by "done a lot of work on my anger" what I mean is I understand when I am getting angry because I feel trapped and helpless because in the past I was trapped and helpless. I have learned that I get to say, "I don't like how you are touching me, please stop." I have learned that I get to say, "When you speak to me in that tone of voice it sounds to me like you are angry--am I hearing you correctly or am I over reacting?" And "Right now I'm having a lot of big feelings and I need to go feel them for a few minutes before I can talk to you."

I get mad at my kids. I yell at my kids. I do more of it than I want to and I feel fear about the future when they you know... actually talk back. Parents yell at kids because parents feel out of control. I have a lot of control issues. The primary reason that I am making a lot of the parenting decisions I am making is because I am doing my best to lower the number of places in our lives where I feel like I "have to" make my kids do something. I don't have to make them get up at a certain time. I don't have to make them eat. I don't have to make them do their homework. I don't have to make them... whatever.

When I yell at my kids I try to cut myself off in mid-screech and apologize and leave the room. Me yelling is not about them. That's the first step.

If you are yelling at your kids because they are doing something you don't like it is your fucking problem as the adult to apologize for losing your temper and being an asshole.

Seriously. Yelling won't solve a fucking thing and it just makes you an asshole.

Should I say that again? I'm an asshole. Sometimes I yell at my kids because I'm an asshole. I don't yell at them because they are bad. I yell at them because sometimes I am an asshole.

Ok. Now that I'm clear on that part. In any situation where a child has done something that bothers me I need to first examine why I'm so pissed off. What boundaries feel intruded upon? Why do I feel the need to scream? Am I inconvenienced because I don't want to clean up a mess? Am I upset because I feel they wasted something (like throwing food all over the floor or if they cut up expensive clothing [it happened]) I need to first think, "Do they have any schema in their brain for understanding why I would care about this?"

Most of the time... maybe? Not really? But my kids are little. They are two and four. As they get older this will be different and more of a struggle.

Once I figure out why I'm freaked out I need to figure out how to fix it. Usually I need to be in a room by myself for a few minutes to calm down once I've started screeching. Then I come back and talk it out.

"I'm sorry I screamed. I felt surprised and overwhelmed by how much work I anticipate having to do. Yelling wasn't the right answer. Were you doing an experiment? How did this come to be? Ok. We do need to clean this up. Will you please fetch _____?"

I try to have a calm conversation as we are going about the clean up process. I HAVE BIG CONTROL ISSUES AROUND MESSES. I said that in capitol letters because I understand that it is my issue and not everyone shares it. I'm kind of standing on the table and reminding myself that my issues are not anyone else's problem and I get to do that in my journal. So there.

But my kids have to live with me. So I have to teach them how to be respectful about public spaces. I also have to calmly, politely, and with great fucking patience teach them step by step how to clean up after themselves. If I huff and do it myself then they are not capable of doing it in the future. That's just plain bad planning. If I'm all nice and shit to my kids while they are little I hear it pays off.

Kids fighting. This is something we are just starting to get to. I confess that I am going to have a very hard journey through sibling rivalry. You know that expression, "I hope you die in a fire" as a way of expressing that you hate someone and want them to suffer? Well, that's how my brother died. He covered himself in gasoline and lit himself on fire because I prosecuted my dad for raping me. Ok, not because. But it was in the five month period between when I pressed charges and when my dad killed himself the morning the trial was to start. I found out about both deaths through a screaming hysterical phone call from my oldest brother as he told me both deaths were all my fault and he hated me. My sister encouraged me to be a whore, take drugs, and submit quietly to being raped by the guys in my family.

I'm going to have an awkward journey through sibling rivalry with my kids. I'm just saying.

Lately my oldest has been in a phase where she constantly wants to play "let's race" then she will circle the other player for a while chanting, "I'm the winner and you're the loser." Of course this is in a sing song voice.

My youngest responds to this by hitting her older sister and saying, "You so mean." Good for her.

Ok, that's not what I say in the moment. But it's what I'll say in my damn journal.

In practice I talked to my oldest about the kid up the block who is just a little motor cross champ in training. This girl is a year older but she rides her bike really well and can take jumps off a ramp and she practices all kinds of stunts. She's going to be quite the bad ass in a few years.

I asked my oldest daughter if she would like it if her friend did the same thing to her about bicycle racing. Obviously the neighbor is going to win every single time they have a bike contest given that my kid can't even ride a bicycle properly. I asked if she wanted to be taunted and called a loser. She looked horrified. I asked her why she thought it was ok to do to her sister. She apologized and offered a hug.

I talk to my therapist about losing my temper. Her response is her most fucked up clients are people who had parents who always controlled their anger. It's normal and healthy to get mad. What matters is how you handle getting mad. Do you blame your kids? Do you tell them that you wouldn't get mad if they ________. Whoa. What an inappropriate amount of responsibility to put on a kid. Really on anyone.

I have issues with being lied to. If someone habitually lies to me I tend to get angry to the point where I kick holes in the wall and then I stop dealing with that person any more. This has been a frequent pattern for me. I can't do that with my children and all children lie.

I'll tell you the truth and say that one worries the shit out of me. I don't have a good plan yet. We'll see how things go.

Will you ever have peace? Well... what does peace mean for you? It means something different to everyone. Yesterday I had a moment of Zen.

I was out in the garage in the morning before anyone woke up and I was feeling panicked and scared and like I will never be worth anything at all--my husband really wants me to work on that word "worth" and deal with what it means to me--and I will never be able to accomplish anything and I will never be good enough and I will never do anything that makes the world a better place. I am just a fucking waste of oxygen.

Doesn't sound like a moment of Zen does it?

Then I stopped the whole cycle of suck for one moment.

My father was a severe repeat offender. He raped many children. He is dead because of me. He stopped because of me. Because of me my father was not able to pass his warped values down to my brother's children. My still-living brother hates me for taking his daddy away.

I had a moment of complete calm. I did make the world a better place. It was hard and it was scary and it involved a great deal of pain and making a lot of people hate my guts. It involved having to break the bonds of family. But I did it. I made the world better and safer.

It's not hyperbole. It is simply and literally true. How my father and brother chose to die was not my fault. I hold no responsibility there. But I stood up and told the truth and I said I wouldn't be raped any more.

I am an angry person partially because it took sixteen years before I could get my father to stop raping me. Over twenty-three years I was raped by twelve people. Because I was taught to go find people who would treat me that way. And they can smell blood in the water. They know I am not good at stopping people from hurting me.

I believe I should be in pain. It is one of the basic under pinnings of my world view. I don't truly believe that consciously but if you look at my life it is clearly true. At every stage, at every age I have hunted hard for ways to hurt myself. I have cut myself, burned myself, found friends who believe that whores don't get to say no, and boyfriends who like to hit their girlfriends. I made sure it was "bdsm" and I "consented" because do you know what happens when I say "no"?

Someone holds a taser to my vulva. True fucking story. That's what god damn happens when I say, "I don't want someone to use a cattle prod on me." The response is "Well this is a taser. Here you go!"

Do people like me ever heal?

What the fuck does that mean?

I haven't been raped in years. I've told my husband that if he ever rapes me again I will not only divorce him I will make sure he rots in jail. Not because I think he has plans to do so. But because that is something that I have to be prepared to do in defense of myself.

I have to believe that I do not deserve to be raped. I have to believe that I do not deserve to be in pain. It's the only way I can teach my children to not believe that they should be raped or in pain.

It's complicated.

Do you know how you teach your children? The vast majority is unconscious. They just watch you. They watch how you are an adult taking up space in the world. They watch how you let people talk to you. They watch how you talk to people. They watch what you tolerate and when you say, "Hey I deserve better."

They watch if you think the way to handle a disagreement is to fly off the handle and scream.

That part sucks ass. I'm just saying. I feel like a total douchebag sometimes. I apologize.

My children are aware that a long time ago stuff happened to me that changed how my brain works. Once I get into an emotion like anger/sadness/frustration I have to consciously work on changing that because my brain wants to just stay in that rut. It's not because of them it's because of stuff that happened years and years before they were born. They are not the reason I get so mad and I'm really sorry that sometimes it feels that way. Let me excuse myself into time out for a few minutes so I can come back and do this like a nice person.

(For the record I rarely smoke during these time outs because I think modeling Get Stressed = Do Drugs! is a bad idea. Even though I gosh darn want to. That's why I smoke on a schedule so that the kids don't associate outbursts with needing anxiety meds. And I now have a vaporizer! It has been here for twelve hours. Uhm, review later.)

I'll be honest that I tell myself "I lived through twenty years of hell. I can do twenty years of kind of frustrating."

Because really... the kids are frustrating. They aren't bad. They aren't malicious. They aren't evil. They aren't hurting me. But they frustrate the shit out of me sometimes. That's ok. Learning to deal with frustration is probably good for me.

Or something.

When you go find a therapist you have to be hella picky. You need to interview the therapist and decide if this person has an attitude and approach to like. When you pick a therapist you are essentially picking a surrogate parent of sorts. A guide towards more appropriate behaviors. You get to pick which therapist will be able to guide you in a way you want to be guided. You don't have to become a born again Christian just because some shrink tells you that is the answer to your problems.

You are unique. Your attitudes, your beliefs are things I don't share and I don't understand. I don't know what kind of support you need. You have to find a therapist who will be good for you... so I don't know exactly what advice to give.

I tell therapists during the phone screen: "I need you to never flinch. I need you to be a blank wall. You are not allowed to say, "Oh no" or "You poor dear" or any other such commentary or I will leave and not come back. I do not need to be mollycoddled. I need to be able to talk about my traumas so you can help me learn to work around them not so you can minimize or avoid them because they make you uncomfortable."

It weeds out a lot of people, let me tell you.

Friday, January 11, 2013

The first visit with the Dr was good so I should go back.

I went to an incest survivors support group for the first time on Tuesday. It went well. No histrionics. The other three participants have been together for over a year. I swear to god I am a professional new kid. 

At one point we went down a checklist of all the various symptoms and physical problems that Early Childhood Sexual Assault (ECSA) survivors have. With the exception of a shy bladder (I can pee anywhere) I have everything. If there is something bad associated with ECSA I have that problem. I am completely textbook. I spend a lot of time feeling fairly ashamed of this.

Stomach and GI problems are big for us. My stomach has hurt my whole life. As an educated adult I will label it anxiety. As a kid all I knew was that I kept being told over and over again, "Oh quite sniveling everything will be fine" and then someone else would beat the shit out of me. I have no idea how many times I was beaten as a child.  I went to 25 schools. I didn't get into a fight in any of the last five high schools. By then I had managed to avoid that specific issue. I got into fistfights--several in both middle schools. That leaves the 18 elementary schools. I don't have any memories of elementary school that are not tied up in people physically hurting me. The teachers beat me (in Oklahoma and Texas) and the students beat me everywhere.

My mom would tell me that people would like me more if I didn't dress like such a freak. From when I was very young I dressed like an orthodox conservative religious group. If I had been able to get away with covering my hair I would have. I wore long dresses. No one saw my skin. 

But I still got raped over and over. My dad sexually assaulted me/raped me over and over for more than a decade. Before I stopped him. First by requesting no more visitation and then when I prosecuted him.

The other eleven people who raped me all started out as "friends". They were going to "help" me. They "loved" me.

My stomach hurts all the time. I live my life in an incredible amount of fear.

When I turned 18 I decided that since being raped and beaten was unavoidable I was going to try and figure out how to control it. So I got into the bdsm community. I played with all the Big Names. I was an extremely heavy player. I have safeworded exactly once and that was when someone used a cattle prod on my vulva after I had specifically told him that my three hard limits for the scene were scat, water sports, and cattle prods. He saran wrapped me to a table so I couldn't move and then got out the cattle prod and said, "I hear you don't like these." I was 19. I had been in the community for less than three months. He was a Pillar of the Community. Of course I didn't make a stink.

That's just how shit happens in my life. I say: don't do ______ and then someone immediately does it. It is far safer for me to not think about the things I don't want to have happen to me. If I say, "I don't want to have sex with you" it is nearly inevitable that I will be raped.

No wonder I don't leave the house much.

So I need to talk to a doctor about my stomach and GI issues. A big part of the reason I smoke as much pot as I do is because I use it as an appetite stimulant. Most of the time my stomach hurts too much to eat. I feel cramping and waves of nausea on a daily basis. My stomach hurt. When I'm stoned I feel fine. I can even eat vegetables. Trying to eat vegetables sober means I will be in horrifying pain. It hurts so much to digest. And when I eat a salad completely sober I have burning painful diarrhea not long afterwards. 

This is why I didn't eat vegetables as a child.

Over the past few years of being a heavy stoner I have managed to get my diet to a place where pretty much any nutritionist would say, "Well done!" I get a weekly CSA box. We eat absolutely all of it. We eat pasture raised, humanely treated meat. Maybe slightly more than strictly necessary... but I don't think so. I eat a lot of fruit. We eat some starch still, but not even with every meal. White flour and white sugar are now things that are more like sometimes foods.

But I can't really eat sober. It hurts too much. I can take a few bites. I can never eat enough. 

When I was a kid I solved this by living entirely on carbohydrates and staying so full that my stomach never had the chance to get this empty painful feelings. Getting hungry is agony. Simple carbs are the primary thing I can eat without pain.

And I've almost entirely cut them out of my life because they are "bad for me" so when I'm in pain and I'm hungry and I want to eat I can sometimes end up sobbing and sobbing because either I can eat something "good for me" that will hurt me more or I can eat something "bad for me" that will long-term hurt me in another way  but provide instant relief.

I've been doing some googling on chronic bronchitis. I have to stop smoking. I have ordered a vaporizer and I will have no choice but to completely stop smoking. (It should arrive on Monday.) I grew up in a house where you couldn't see the opposite walls because of the haze of smoke. My lungs came pre-damaged. My mother was a chain smoker. Auntie smoked heavily during my early childhood but quit by the time I was in middle school. Uncle Bob smoked longer than her but I think he stopped when I was in high school. Our house was incredibly difficult to function in. Apparently chronic bronchitis is one of those incurable it can kill you super fast if you keep fucking with it sorts of things. I want to see my daughters grow up. I have to stop.

I think it is pretty reasonable for me to be scared right now. I don't know what the next step is. I need to be able to talk to a doctor about this. I need to try something else. This is something where I really don't know what to do. I have tried so many things over my lifetime.

And there's the weird pulsing thing that feels vaguely like trapped intestine in between the walls of my stomach muscles. That kind of shit sometimes happens after pregnancy. But I don't know what has been going on with that. Since I stopped marathon training the pain has gone down dramatically which makes me want to JUST NOT MENTION IT. SEE--IT'S FINE. Now it's genuinely in the 1-2 range for pain. It hasn't spiked up to 5 since October. Obviously I healed myself. It's fine. I can ignore it, right?

I'm not sure how to write this script for a doctor. I think of these problems in context of my life. But if I tell people about my life they respond with, "that is unbelievable" and there we are.

I tell Shanna that my problem is that a long time ago I had good reasons to be scared and my body has never managed to really understand that I don't need to feel scared any more. Something in my brain broke and that feeling just keeps happening even though it should stop.

I don't know how to make my stomach stop hurting. I don't know how to be able to just eat food without thinking the whole time about how much pain I will be in when I have to shit it out.

Having children has been the best thing that has ever happened to me in terms of food. I don't have crap in the house because I don't want them to eat it. Well, we eat ramen a few times a week because like always that is one of the primary things I can handle eating without pain. Yay simple carbs. When I am really really anxious it is one of the only things that doesn't cause violent stomach cramps.

Doesn't everyone spend all day every day fighting with how much pain they are in because they were stupid enough to eat vegetables?

Eating vegetables hurt as a child. So I wouldn't eat them. So people hit me and told me I was bad. And ungrateful. Let's not forget ungrateful. I am ungrateful stupid bitch because I won't eat what someone has made for me. Even though it will cause violent stomach cramps and horrible burning diarrhea. stupid stupid stupid bitch.

When people tell me to just "get over" my childhood I don't even know what that means. Should I have a lobotomy? Should I surgically cut out all of these memories? There will still be all the damage to my body. I don't know how to undo it.

I feel so scared.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

can't win them all

I was invited to go do a 5k with a friend. It sounded like a lot of fun. But she also invited someone who sexually assaulted me.

Guess I'm not doing that race.

This is rape culture. I can't go. I don't want to face him. It's my problem and not anyone else's. Geez why don't I just get over it.

I'll stay home, but thanks for the invitation.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

too many bad nights.

I haven't gotten a full night of sleep in a week. At least one of the kids is up for hours every night. I am starting to feel angry and really physically bad. I feel so much hatred for my kids right now. And I can't just go fall asleep. If I could just go sleep when I'm tired it would work out. But after I've been woken up three or four times in one night I can't get back to sleep anymore.

This is the point when I start freaking out. I just cry and cry. It feels like my body can't do anything else. I'm not sure if I can handle going out and being social this week if I don't get any sleep.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Thursday, January 3, 2013

not so violent after all

Once I'm crying so hard I shake the whole bed it seems like time to get up for the day. EMDR on Tuesday nights always makes it hard for me to sleep. I didn't go to bed until midnight on Tuesday. Of course I got up at 4 AM on Wednesday like normal. That's really not good. I think I slept through part of the visit of some of the homeschooling kids. That's really embarrassing. By 6 PM last night I was asleep on the floor. At 9 PM Noah woke me up and told me to brush my teeth and go to bed.

This week we were working on my fears about my siblings coming after me. In all honesty those fears are the most irrational in my life. It was really hard working through the visualization process on what I would do if my sister came after me. Ever since I was a little girl I have fantasized about how someday I would be as big or bigger than my sister. She beat me for a really long time. I have nurtured vengeance in my heart. I have spent a really lot of time and effort thinking about exactly how I would beat the ever loving shit out of her so that she could be a bloody pulp on the ground. I hate her a lot.

Unfortunately, a lot of the purpose of working through this kind of therapy is so that you think about the actual results of your actions before you do them. I couldn't do anything like that if my kids were there. I don't want my kids to see that. Especially not from me. Which means that I'm back to feeling helpless and scared it like there is nothing that I can do.

It is really hard to explain how much I want to hurt somebody else. It coexists with this really strong desire to not hurt anyone. A lot of years, maybe most of my life, I believed that the route to freedom was in being strong enough to beat them all off of you. In my mind I have been preparing for a really long time what would be necessary in order to damage my sister is much as possible. She has weakened knees. I would start there. 

My therapist told me to go home and watch the movie the girl with the Dragon tattoo. So I did. Yes. That kind of violence. I desperately want to hurt someone as badly as I have been hurt.

When I got to the part of the visualization that involved how my children would react I could keep going. I don't want to be a monster. Not in front of them. But I am so very angry.

Because I started passing out on the floor at 6 PM last night I woke up at 2 AM today. A lot of my friends have been writing year-end summaries. 2012 is like every year for me. It involves me losing major friendships. 

I feel bad. Not sick or like I don't feel well, but guilty. I feel like everything goes away because I'm bad. If I had been stronger, if I had been willing to work harder, if I had more patience, if I didn't get so angry, if I wasn't so bad maybe I would deserve more relationships. But you can't change who you are.

It is interesting to me how my self harming impulses of changed over time. I used to get to cutting and stop there and not really have to think about any other kind of hurting myself. I have so successfully treated cutting like not an option that isn't nearly as supreme in my thinking is it used to be. Now I focus really hard on wanting to beat my head against things. I feel like I want to beat some sense into my stupid skull. "I never would have agreed to that." "We spent two hours working on this together and now you say you wouldn't have agreed to it?"

I can't get things out of my head. I would like to beat my head against the floor until it hurts so bad that I can't think of anything but the pain. It's kind of stupid because my head hurts all the time anyway. I have spent most of my life using pain as a way of keeping my mouth shut. I feel crazy and bad.

When am I going to stop waking up at 2 AM to cry out for hours? Will I ever grow up?

Next week I am scheduled to start the incest support group that meets directly after my therapy session. I think that from now on I should be very careful not to schedule anyone coming over on Wednesdays. I will not be fit for human company.

I feel so broken and useless.

Sometimes it feels like I was created to live in a different world. One with a lot more violence. If what I was supposed to teach my children is how to react as fast as possible with as much violence as possible I think I could be very successful. But instead I'm supposed to treat my children nicely and I'm supposed to teach them manners and how to be polite to people. How in the fuck am I supposed to  teach something I don't know?

 I suppose it is a good thing for me to break off relationships with people who tell me I have personality disorders that multiple professionals have said I don't have. It probably isn't very nice to tell your friends that they have personality disorders.

Sometimes it feels really disorienting to live in the place of extreme hope and extreme hopelessness. I believe that I can do just about anything I set my mind to--except having relationships.

I have spent a lot of time trying to figure out why other people deserve love more than me. I haven't come up with an answer yet.

It isn't that I feel that I am completely unloved-- I know that some people love me. I am even vaguely aware that I'm probably loved by far more people than I can even imagine.

I wish I felt less empty.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Show me the money.

The year is now officially over. It's time for some analysis of spending and thought about long term goals.

I have no idea if you are going to be able to see that or not. If you can't, sorry. I will improve as I do this kind of thing more.

In big picture terms Mint wants me to think I am doing worse than I am. This is partially because they are not connected to any of our investment accounts.

Noah brought home $108,959 from his primary employer. He made another $5,566 on the book he wrote. (He is checking the proofs of it right now before he "really" releases it for sales. And he's already made that much money. My writing is just not as useful as his.) We had $7,056 arrive in investment dividends. My writing brought in a whopping $430 (I paid off the editor! That was my official goal. In another $220 I'll break even. Oy.) Noah's family sent us $15,075. (I feel staggered by that. Ignore that present thing. That was a bookkeeping oddity. I couldn't figure out how to delete it. He earned $3,406 working as an assistant teacher. And we got $5,998 back from tax returns.

All total our take home income for the year was $146,491. I feel like I never get to be upset about not having enough money. If that's not enough then nothing is enough.

I spent $120,640. So I lived within our means and saved. But not enough. Our spending is unsustainably high. This is an amount of income that we absolutely require Noah to earn. I can't float this ship.

So let's look at how all that money was spent.

Oof. Home is the big killer. I'll break down home and look at it first.

Mortgage being $50,651.07 is slightly disingenuous. Well, or rather it doesn't reflect our base mortgage. I paid off our time share to the tune of an extra $18,002.33. It was a 10% mortgage and I paid it off seven years early because we had the money in petty cash and now I don't have that heinous interest hanging over my head. I have also been steadily paying extra towards our regular mortgage as well. Our base mortgage is $2100 (and change but I'm not going to look it up) and I try to always pay a few hundred extra. Now that I don't have to pay the time share anymore I am going to roll all of the extra money into the regular mortgage. It has around $230,000 left.

The home improvement money was replacing the washer and dryer and both furnaces. That's unusual.

The Diana experiment was a way to try and pay someone to be helpful in the ways I need help. It failed. Moving on.

Home supplies is $972.61. Often that stuff like potting soil or laundry detergent I order on the internet or a hundred other small things. This is nickel and dime money and unlikely to get lower.

With luck I won't need to buy any more furniture in the next year or three. Oy.

Home Services I think is explaining the exterminator. Worth every penny.

Lawn & Garden is the nice man who cleans up my messes and keeps my bushes from blocking the front walkway. He doesn't have to do much. He always seems weirded out by how little I want him to do. I'm thrilled with the help.

I'm not entirely sure why I have a negative payment in this section. It's A Mystery. And my internet connection is being flakey (as usual) so the page isn't loading for me to find out. But the next page loads. The internet isn't sure if it loves me or not.

I'm going to show you the overall breakdown in a pie graph. Because Mint is cool.

I'm not going to bother showing you a screenshot of the next section.

Food and drink! $11,027 spent on groceries and $4,174.71 on restaurants. Given how ridiculously well we eat I can't complain about it. Not really. We eat remarkably good food.

Then Auto & Transport. 104 transactions resulting in a total of $10,226.34 spent. A bit over $5,000 of that was fixing the car after the deer jumped on the car. That's an act of God. Then we spent $2,563.15 on gas. Not bad. Just over $200/month is what I was aiming at. Just under $900 on other car repair stuff. Insurance is $643.49 for the year. I spent $551.00 on public transit (that saves a lot in gas). Registration for the vehicles was $426. I spent $131 on parking. Though honestly a lot of that was Noah going to the city for work stuff.

So this category feels ridiculously inflated but that's a blip. An unavoidable blip. A blip that causes me to be glad I have savings.

Taxes are $8,997.88. That category isn't really just taxes. I should rename it. It is property tax and home owners insurance and life insurance on both of us (a million for Noah, a quarter of a million for me) and occasional bursts of health insurance payment stuff.

When I say I believe in accountability I am serious.

Health & Fitness. My nemesis. I spent $3,099.90 on pot. That makes me feel bad about myself. Over $1500 of that (almost $1700, really) is the two months before the marathon when I went entirely on edibles. That's why I don't eat my pot. I can't afford it. That two month stretch was as much as another eleven months of smoking. And that was smoking at a significantly higher rate for most of that time than I have been in the last few weeks. I want to bring this down because I would rather not have it as a line item. Unfortunately my anxiety doesn't give a shit.

$2940 on therapy is because I was without a therapist for a lot of the year. This will be higher this year. Gulp.

$1403.37 on doctors. Most of that on some liver panels for Noah. I want to keep him.

$1200 on massage and I kind of wish I had spent more. I love my massage therapist so much. He helps make life worth living.

Gym: $95.71. We don't go enough. We rarely go. But that isn't much for a year and Noah and I both enjoy going to the gym together. And we will never again get gym membership for this cheap. We figure that if we pay for four or five years we don't use much but once the kids are bigger we resume usage it will be well worth it. I hope it works out. Sigh.

I'm not sure how I ended up negative in dentist. That seems odd. I guess I overpaid for procedures before insurance kicked in? And the other negative one... that screen isn't loading. Once again. It's A Mystery.

Back to the overall pie chart.

I spent $4,053.37 on gifts. That includes shipping things to people far away. That is all Christmas and birthdays and charity donations too. I would be surprised if this is long term lower than this. In the future I hope that charitable contributions will be higher so this section may increase. I want to break it down and track it better in the future.

Bills include phones, electricity, water, trash, etc. $3, 607.36 is just about exactly perfect for the $300/month I budget. Woo.

"Shopping" is a mish mash. The kids are fighting so I'm not going to try for another screen shot. It  includes cash, clothing, books, electronics, etc so $3,068 is probably where this will consistently stay.

Kids got $2,379.70. So, less than $200 every month. That was for clothes, toys, lessons, memberships, etc. I feel like I can't possibly make this lower and it is likely to get higher. Gulp.

Business services were things for Noah's contracting. This will be variable.

$253 on my cat. She's worth it. And getting old.

$168.55 on fees and charges. Otherwise known as the "Krissy is stupid sometimes about handling things so she gets banged." Sigh.

So I spent $118,318.78. I don't feel too bad about that.

For next year I don't think I can sustain $50,000 towards mortgage. It would be really nice, but I told Noah I would rather have him work less and make less money for this year. So I'll set my sights lower. My base mortgage is around $26,000. I want to make that a square $40,000 next year. Cross your fingers.

If I don't need to repair any major appliances next year (the only thing left is the dishwasher and I hope I can eke out at least one more year--we'll see) and no large animals jump on me then my spending will be at least $20,000 lower less year. Which will place us under Noah's take home salary for his primary employer.

I feel like I was not as frugal as I could be. I have also been dealing with a lot of grief and I do sometimes do retail therapy. Overall I'm not a big fan but sometimes it works. Given that I am keeping us within our limits and overpaying the mortgage and we are maxing out the 401k I don't feel as guilty as I could. I feel some guilt about not contributing to the 529 this year. It's only around $30,000. (I don't remember for sure and that paperwork is somewhere else.) I had hoped it would be at $50,000 by next year but I don't think that will happen. It'll work out. Paying off the mortgage first is a good idea in my opinion. I know that other people think we should be investing more but given what the stock market has done in my lifetime I'll pay down my mortgage first, thanks.

So I don't feel ashamed but I don't feel like this was one of my more self-disciplined years in terms of spending money. That's ok. You can't be perfect all the time. I made substantial progress towards my goals. That's good enough for government work.