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Life's been good to me so far

I can't complain, but sometimes I still do.

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tina long-winded marie
24 October 1981
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"I must be a mermaid. I have no fear of depths, and a great fear of shallow living."
-Anais Nin

I'm a writer - an all over the place writer. A non-thematic and irregularly posting blogger, a private poet, and an acer of essays. An artist friend is illustrating my childrens' book for self publishing, and I have some exciting contributors for a narrative nonfiction project on medical PTSD that I hope someone will pick up.

I also have a small press publisher that believed in this collection of microfiction, which is now available - on Amazon.

That same publisher put out an ebook of 3 horror stories for Halloween 2012, one of which, "My Aunt Vicky's House," is mine. Click for Hallowed Horrors

I'm 34, living for some little while more in a rambling, 1950s single story house that I've loved dearly. I recently graduated with a Bachelors in Psychology and am now applying to grad schools, but that's crammed into the evening, weekend and virtual school hours around being a full time mother to five children that are each so, so different. We're experimenting this year with having everyone in school (rather than some or all of them homeschooling) for the first time, and kinda perpetually surprised by the ways that's harder, rather than easier...

It was really powerful for me to learn that both Anne Rice and J.K. Rowling waited til their 30s to even begin their careers. Mine was on hold for what felt like forever, when I thought about it (which wasn't often), while I was having and caring for babies.

I share this life with Grant/theneolistickid, my confidante, goofball and lover - we got married a few years ago but have been a couple or best friends since we were 13. I had a bad spell for awhile, in this marriage, but I laid it all out on the table and through a ton of gut wrenching honesty, some counseling, and ongoing personal work on both of our parts...I'm pretty psyched about it most of the time these days. The sky is the limit and we seem to be getting there through shared candlelit bubble baths, sobbing-hard conversations and exploring kinky fantasies. You know, in the 40 hours per month we actually see each other.

He thinks this picture is mildly embarassing. But...mmm.

We have four cats, two rats, and a tarantula. Dozens of houseplants. I have something of an infatuation with nurturing life in general. As a family, we do a lot of tent camping, long walks, weekends away, eating together, reading (aloud and separately) and going to parks and beaches. I really love this family, and even when Grant and I were in a bad spot (even if we go back to a bad spot), that doesn't stop holding me up and making me happy.

Since I was raised in completely different circumstances and had a pretty rough first couple of years of adulthood, I appreciate everything we've created and built immensely. I look around in wonder pretty often, and just let the gratitude wash over me.

There is a dark shadow where I have more surgery looming in the future, and scars, and ptsd triggers. What are you gonna do? Mostly we laugh.

I also have a condition called pernicious anemia, that means I can't absorb B-12 through food. I have to go get shots of B-12 about once a week. Figuring this out was a huge relief, because B-12 deficiency is scary-serious and I'd been hurting and out of it for a long time before I was diagnosed.

I was born in Key West and have always lived somewhere in Florida, near the ocean, never having seasons except for "wet", "dry" and "hurricane". I moved around a lot, with a shifting cast of different adults (some relatives, some drug dealers, all a bit nuts) as a kid. I was an honor student with full paid scholarships and no desire to be a mother... and then I got pregnant at 17. And so began a rapid metamorphosis wherein I ended up driving a minivan and not seeing anything wrong with that.

I am comfortable with everyone honest and adore strangers, but have a hard time with "small talk" and psuedo-authority figures (doctors, school principals, bank presidents, store managers...please). I've recently went from being serially barefoot to understanding this whole shoe thing women do. I'm a scorpio and in spite of myself, I feel like that means something.

I've got a wide spectrum of friends and relatives, ranging from gay and pagan to devoutly orthodox and conservative. Christian faith used to have a strong central role in my life and how I raised my kids, though I am not really sure what it means to me anymore. It's been a bit of a painful struggle these last years as I swung between converting to Catholicism and dropping out altogether. I've landed somewhere in the midst of existentialism.

I see damn near everything as potentially sensual if not sexual, have a massive libido, and am pretty open minded about all of it. This has contributed to my marital and faith angst in the past, but it still isn't something I can bring myself to want any different. I love this part of me; interconnected as it is to everything else in me, there would just not be very much left afterwards if it was removed.

I try not to judge other people from my own set of circumstances, but from their perspectives. Because I've sure changed my mind about plenty of things, and we're all just people.

"If you bungle raising your children, I don't think whatever else you do matters very much." - Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis

Do you realize that everyone you love,
Someday, will die?
So instead of saying all of your goodbyes
Let them know you realize that life goes fast -
It's hard to make the good things last
You realize the sun doesn't go 'round;
It's just an illusion caused by the world spinning round....

-The Flaming Lips

The husband is: theneolistickid
Us, December of 2008

He's in IT, a former skateboarder, a Radiohead fan, an awesome cook, and self-taught at almost everything he does - like photography, wood working and playing the piano. He's also truly striving to better himself in ways that make me downright humbled and ashamed of myself. He jokes around a lot but he's also willing to look inside himself and learn things with an openness that floors me everytime.

The kids are:
Ananda, or Annie, born in 2000. Homeschooled til 14, dyslexic, finally out of her shell. Vegetarian just because she's always hated meat, and Gourmand because I've created a monster. Reads voraciously, identifies as a Nerdfighter. She plays roller derby on a team and the cello in an ensemble, and draws by herself in her room. She's in Girl Scout leadership, mostly has friends older than herself, and since they're aware of my blog I don't write nearly as many private things about her as I used to.

Aaron, born in 2001. Empathetic but scatter brained, intuitive yet hyper. Has the determination to learn to ride a bike or read all by himself. Huge appreciation for beauty, very sensitive. Aaron was riding a skateboard before he turned 2, and is currently pursuing playing piano frighteningly well by ear, unicycling, and spending too much time on the roof. Has an uncanny way with animals. Unravels in very loud and crowded situations, or when there is too much going on at once (SPD). Empathy does not extend to Isaac. Still heartbreakingly identifies as the other half of the once-inseparable "A and A". Aaron has been in the dance company of a pretty intense studio off and on for a few years now, and traveled to competitions with them. Aaron was homeschooled til 13, when I found the arts charter he and Annie are both enjoying now.

Isaac, born in 2004. Isaac grew from a very difficult baby into an IMPOSSIBLE toddler; he was frequently referred to only as "The Tyrant" in this journal, for about 3 years. Pale, reddish haired and blue eyed, he stands out in our family as the lone carrier of recessive genes, the middle child. Isaac is incredibly smart, as well as very flirty and charming. He has an anxiety disorder, with ticks, that he understands very well. He burned through every Diary of a Wimpy Kid book in about a week. Obsessed with legos, video games. Has always had troubled sleep frought with nightmares. He's gone to a charter school for 3rd and 4th grade, after previously being homeschooled. He spent a year as a cheerleader, and plays the clarinet for a couple of years, now.

Jake, born in 2005, is also known as Jakosaurus Rex, Jakaroni and Cheese, Jakey, Ha-cob, Jeac, Jacobey, Jakey Bakey Pudding and Pie... He has a great sense of humor, is INCREDIBLY affectionate, and has a pretty horrible bad temper that has an inverse relationship to his blood sugar. Jake's got a curly black afro that is the main thing most people seem to notice, about him. We're like peas and carrots, Jake and I, and we have all kinds of little lovey rituals. He is independant to the point of being conveniently self-entertaining, but mind-bogglingly rebellious and fearless. EATS. ALL. THE. TIME. Spends inordinate amounts of time looking at and asking to be read books. Adores his younger cousins. Draws/writes a lot of lengthy comics.

Elise was born via emergency cesarean in 2007. Diagnosed with Hypoxic Ischemic Encephelopathy, or HIE, and having seizures, Elise spent over 3 weeks in NICU care as neurologists told us she would never be an individual and caregivers warned us she may need a G-Tube if she couldn't swallow. Hundreds of people around the world prayed for her. The short version is, she is doing really, REALLY well, and has been since basically the 2nd or 3rd month of life. She has a big attitude, like when we heard her shrieking at Jake (at 3) - "HOW DARE YOU, JAKEY! Me no BELIEVE THAT!" At 7, I see some kind of real short term memory problems she's struggling with, but they're not holding her back much. It is part of why we pulled her out of school, after a year of half day preschool and then half a year of full time Kindergarten. She wants to be a scientist, idolizes Roald Dahl's Matilda in ways that sort of break my heart at times, and plays with (my little...) ponies daily. She's usually counting down to a couple of things she can't wait for.

The kids, Christmas 2009:

History, if you want it:
I tried really, REALLY hard to have natural births...and failed, over and over, with c-section and newborn complications ranging from "inconvenient and hard" to "disastrous and devastating". There was also the second trimester miscarriage handled completely at home, including the burial. My true joy within my family has been overlayed with this unnecessary medical whirlwind of pain, nightmares, scars and separations. I'm finally starting to emerge from the worst of ptsd, with reparative surgery on the horizon, a venomous distrust of the entire obstetric industry, and half a million dollars in lawsuit winnings. At least we get to be homeowners and donate to charities we care about now? I sure have plenty of material to fill the book I'd like to come of all this, and you probably haven't spotted us all on several episodes of TLC's "House of Babies" (2005), which focuses on the Miami Maternity Center.

And the first two kids had a different biological father, who was younger than me, not at all ready to be a parent, and hard to leave. We're sort of like e-friends who like to stay several states apart in RL, now.

I just barely by the skin of my teeth managed to subvert the cycle of abuse I was raised in. But in this case, barely still counts.

I write like I talk, minus many of the curse words. In real life I make eye contact, listen pretty well, and make people laugh unintentionally pretty often. I'm also so chill that people routinely wonder if I'm stoned. (I'm not!)
(reuseable) bags, afternoon tea, alexander mcqueen, alliteration, anne rice, anti-circumcision, archetypal imagery, ask a mortician, attachment parenting, bach's cello suites, belly casts, big ol' cadillacs, bike riding, bloody rose petal red, botany, brain injuries, c.s. lewis, camping, candles, canoeing, carl sagan, chemistry, child-led learning, classic rock, cloth diapers, crochet, dark tower, dia de los muertos, dinner as a family, disciples of christ, dissociative disorder, doll making, dominance and submission, dresden dolls, dresses with pants, e.e. cummings, edward gorey, elle, embroidery, emdr, exhileration, existentialism, eye contact, fair rides, fantasies, farmer's markets, feminism, florence and the machine, flowers, french language, french press coffee, fungus, gay rights, grad school, harlem renaissance, harry potter, herbalism, holistic care, homeschooling, indigo girls, intensity, keeping plants alive, kevin smith, key west, kimya dawson, kurt vonnegut, lauren slater, louis ck, lush, lust, luxury hotels and resorts, making time, manifestation, meditation, mermaids, mindfulness, moss, mushrooms, natural birth, natural burial, neil gaiman, neuroplasticity, nigella lawson, nikki sixx, not getting speeding tickets, npr, nutrition, october, oitnb, oldies, overcoming codependency, pandora radio, pbs, perception as reality, picnics, piercings, placebo effect, poetic prose, poetry, polyamory, potential energy, psychotherapy, ptsd, rain, raising chickens, raising teenagers, recessive genes, repetition, researching, room service, rum, russia, sanctity, sensory processing disorder, sex education, sex positivity, silence, sincerity, sisterhood, sleep deprivation, solitude, spanish translations, spinning in circles, spiral notebooks, swimming, tattoos, tea sets, tetris, textiles, the big lebowski, the rosary, tori amos, traditions, trees, tumblr, underwater photography, unit studies, vampire weekend, vbac, vivaldi's four seasons, vulnerability, walks, water, wine, writing, yarn

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