1.24.2018

On Spinning Plates

It's hard describe the feeling of being under constant stress and lingering doom. I once likened it to the idea of trying to hold the doors closed against a horde of rabid zombies. Eventually you're going to be too tired and you're going to lose everything.

That, is sort of the summation of how I've felt for about the last six months. I'm watching the slow drain on my finances and see how I draw negative income month after month, and seeing the deadline approach for when I can't make my rent payment. Then the holidays came and my parents gave me some cash to push the date back a bit, but, the problem still remains. In less than six months I'll not have enough money to pay my rent. This has never happened to me before, and I'm terrified. I have no real backup option solidified, though there are some options that are being discussed. Neither of the two are ones I'm particularly fond of, but hey neither am I much of a fan of living on the street.

I have lived off the kindness of strangers before, having lived for a time exchanging manual labor for rent (in this case cleaning/cooking). But then I had my own room and a shared bathroom (not a bad gig all things considered). The balance there was that there was enough space for me, among relationships I was ambivalent towards.

Now my options are much more precarious. Both involve putting the bulk of my possessions either up for sale or in storage. One sacrifices personal space for relationship security. The other the reverse.

I'm hate the idea of someone having leverage over me in situations that require discussions of sensitive topics. It's hard to have an honest discussion about your feelings, and navigating poly and kink dynamics and relationships when your partner has the ability to make you homeless. It isn't that I think that is a likely scenario, It isn't and I don't, it's that it is a possibility, and in the back of my mind that chills the conversation and silences things. I begin to police the words I use and when and how I say things because I don't want to risk that conversation being brought up.

If there is anything I've learned about myself these past few years, it is that I absolutely cannot stand being inauthentic to myself, and "playing the game". You know, that "I know, that you know, that I know, but we won't say anything about it" bullshit. You see it in job interviews (Why do you want to work here? Oh because I just absolutely live to make cheeseburgers for assholes for minimum wage) and in family shit holiday dinners (we all know uncle jack is a homosexual, so we just don't ask about his life at all).

Both of those new situations feel like some version of the above. I have no idea what to do about it other than just, deal with it. Compartmentalization is how I dealt with trauma as a child, and it's apparently how I deal with things now. I'll put all those terrified feelings and emotions (along with all the rest) in a small little box and deal with them later, because right now I need to solve the issue, and I can't do that if I'm in a catatonic depression wanting to end my life.

I think this is why I find anytime someone asks me direct questions about my status or how I'm feeling to be so jarring or upsetting (since we as a society can't use the word triggering in a serious context thanks to fucking shitbag man babies on the internet). It's someone asking what is inside the box (WHATS IN THE BOX! are you happy now?) it's someone asking me to open the container and let those emotions out, that have been stewing and compounding this whole time.

Meanwhile, the relationships I'm in that require access to those emotions is suffering, and while I can keep those plates spinning now, the stress and emotions that come from that also then need to be compartmentalized. You can see how this cascading system of boxes starts to eventually pile up and explode.

Which leads me to here and now, in which I want to burn everything down and run away to join the circus. Though, I doubt I could afford the rent there either.

12.26.2017

On Christmas Dreams

I want to talk about Christmas, gifts, and how and why efforts ring hollow for me.

So, if you read back a bit, you'll know that I have a rather extensive history of emotional neglect in my childhood. My parents, were more or less, unavailable for me and my needs. I make no attempts to justify that, or to qualify it with reasons or examples, it is an old issue that I don't need to explain.

One of the things I do want to share though, is how that manifests around this time of year, and what I take away from it these days. One of my earlier Christmas memories is of receiving a gift that was ...not great. I know I know, spoiled rich white kid gets gift, doesn't like it, is traumatized forever. Let me clarify.

The issue, wasn't that the gift wasn't what I wanted, the issue, was that it was something I already had. It wasn't the item that hurt, it was the lack of knowledge from my parents, or lack of effort, to know what who I was. And yes, that alone, is small potatoes out of context. However, it's just another aspect, and color of what my childhood was like growing. The lack of attention, the unavailability of my parents, and the overall lack of making an effort is entirely in character for them.

IT was another example of them not knowing who I was, and not caring enough to find out. Now, flash forward a few decades, and they wonder why I don't reciprocate their gestures. Why I find concepts like duty and familial obligations as such trivial notions of effort. I get cards from my parents containing money, and honeyed words that ring hollow when the same people routinely advocate positions against my interest.

Which, goes back to an ongoing issue with my father. We haven't spoken since the election, and I have no real interest in doing so. Our lives are so entirely separate that I don't see the point in repairing that bond. He has his life, I have my life, and outside a shared history and some DNA, there isn't much there for me. I don't have the emotional energy to educate him on how and why his views are damaging and hurtful.

If I did, what benefit is there for me? I still don't feel a great connection to him, It's not like we've had a long great history or relationship. He barely knew me then, he barely knows me now.

One of the other trends for gifts have been board games, or fantasy games. Google Heroes Quest if you want an example, and a hilarious video. I remember getting dozens of these fantasy games between my brother and I. and I remember being consistently sad and disappointed when I would want to play them, but no one be around, or up for doing such. They would get maybe one or two uses before being relegated to a closet. I'd then raid them for their miniatures/figurines to use for my own play and stories. I find this still happens though. Many times I remember myself buying things with the thought that it would be a fun group activity for my chosen family, only to have it fizzle out and sit on a shelf to be used a few times but rarely as a group of us.  I have this same fear for new gifts this year as well.

I find myself torn between the optimistic view of wanting that family bonding time over games and drinks, spending the money and emotional investment advocating for a time for the four/five of us to get together. And the pragmatic view of realizing that everyone has their own job and life and time and energy to spend on their own, and rarely is on the same thing the rest of us want to do. It feels on one hand selfish to ask them to spend this time doing something they may not enjoy, despite my marketing attempts towards them, and my not-so-subtle "hey we should do this" prompts, on the other, it's hard to deny myself that craving for family bond that was so oft denied growing up and that waxes hard this time of year.

And outside that, is my monologue, which says it's dumb to even ask for such, when if they wanted to, they would invest the time to do such. I don't know. We all want to feel like we belong, and maybe I'm wrapped up in trying to cover my chosen family in the bonding methods of my failed biological one.

A stray thought: In context, it seems of course reasonable that I would be the one to move away, I was the one who had the least keeping me there. It's not difficult to do when you have no strings holding you to a place that actively campaigns against your kind. Maybe my brother never managed to move away because he felt the connections to family more strongly than I.

Maybe, I'm just a cold hearted bitch who thinks she is owed something from the world for the shitty circumstances of her life.

10.12.2017

Mescalin, It's the only way to fly

As the long term effects of dropping my medication comes to reality, the existence of reality starts to become flimsy to me. Let me clarify, My senses continue to function, I can reach out, touch, and all the synapses continue to fire as they normally would. However, there's a layer of distance or fog between everything that makes the synapse signal..unclear. Something about it all seems unreal.

I've managed to keep this in the realm of derealization and depersonalization so far. I fear the moment my mind starts to say, "well, if it isn't real, I can just make stuff up" and begin to hallucinate, that it will cross over into the realm of psychosis.

That in mind, Apparently, I avoid boredom at all cost. I recently found myself turning down things I felt I should and wanted to do, because it might end up in a situation where I would have nothing to do. Instead I opted to do something I thought would be more entertaining. I mad an active choice, that I knew would hurt someone's feelings, so I wouldn't be bored.

That, is an alarming realization for me. As it wasn't just boredom. I entertained the idea of engaging in said situation, if it involved playing more video games. Something I find I end up doing unconsciously. More and more I'm witnessing myself doing these things out of habit, or addiction, or compulsion. I don't realize I'm doing them, but I can't turn down the option of turning my brain off. Of putting it into a low grade hypnotic zone of focus. It's strange that when I play games, Half the time I am zoned out of what I'm playing, and retreating my mind to somewhere else, thinking of something else, while my body and lower brain functions play.

I relive the same idiotic two second Simpsons clip in my mind, over and over, for hours while killing monsters in Diablo. For, no real reason, that I can discern, other than the following.

Twenty years ago, I learned that the only way to deal with my trauma, was to ignore it. The best way to do such, was to turn my mind off, to zone out, to immerse myself so heavily into a different world, a world where I didn't have to deal with being trans, or being depressed, or alone, or battered, or humiliated. As long as I was playing games, I didn't have to think about all that, my goal was simple, Collect the thing, Rescue the person, Kill the bad guy, etc.

Do the thing, solve the problem. Clearly stated goal, clearly stated reward, do the action, get the result.

Fast forward, and here we are. Mired in the ambiguity of adulthood, where myriad reasons for job denial exist in vaguely stated emails, if they are even sent. Why? No reason. Why did you not get the thing? You'll never know, what can you do to adjust your performance to get the thing? You'll never know.

Adulthood is nothing but vague responses to questions you didn't ask. The coping mechanisms I developed en masse have no use here. So I have to make new ones, which, not only do I have to develop all over again, but I have to put to use on my current issues, as well as all the ones I never addressed growing up. I have to be both adult me now, taking care of myself, as well as who my parents should have been, to child me then, to repair the damage that was done and hopefully heal that trauma. It is, exhausting.

How does all that fit together, well it's easy to ignore that ugly growth in your neck if you never go to the doctor. As such, turning your mind off is an easy coping mechanism, and it's easy to slip back into rather than addressing anything that takes energy or effort.

I don't want to process through the years of rejection. I don't want to process through the years of isolation and abandonment. I don't want to process through the feelings of inadequacy.

There is no easy process for that, there is no reward in sight for doing such, there is no getting better, there is just understanding the puzzle, and knowing how and why it hurt you. There is no healing an ugly emotional scar.

So. Where do we go from here.

8.31.2017

Uninspired.

Again, I find myself attempting to jump start my creativity by writing in my traditional blog style. I have been neglecting it compared to how much and how often I used to write. Part of me worries that I've simply lost my touch with the craft. Maybe all the creativity was burned out of me long ago by disappointment and depression.

My best writing was done in my most low of places, and part of me worries that I won't be able to produce like that again unless I'm back in those depths. Writing is sort of what I've been latching onto as a hope for passion this past year or so, and I keep calling myself a writer, yet I haven't written anything in months. More so, I don't even know where to start writing. I've set out today to just sit down, and write, write anything, write crap, write amazing things, write for fun. Yet, I come to  a blank page yet again and I have nothing.

My lack of ideas and my ongoing addiction to escapsim seem to be correlated pretty positively. It seems the more I turn my mind off to what is going on around me, inside me, the less it's able to produce anything on it's own. Muscle metaphors not withstanding, is there anything left of it?

Perhaps what I'm missing is simple inspiration, I know there is a story I want to tell, but I don't know what it is, or how it unfolds. I know the things I like and enjoy, and want to incorporate, and I know no one else can tell the same story like I can, I guess the issue I'm having is that someone is asking me "then what happens", and my answer is always "I don't fucking know". Hell even having writers block (which maybe this is a form of, but not how I imagine it) would at least have me writing something, even if it's crap.

7.29.2017

Faling asleep

I've been using these entries as a prompt to get me writing again. Lately, being the recent two weeks or so, I've found myself incredibly tired almost all the time. There's a number of factors, working a job for one, now, is draining some. I've also had to take variations in my typical medications. That, and the typical caffeine addiction. Even know, it's....what, 3pm-ish? And I feel like i could just lay me head down and pass out. Granted I did accidentally stay up later than I intended, but the sentiment is the same.

It echoes an existing fear and feeling I have that I'm sleeping through my life when I should be working on things. Mainly, writing. I feel like i have made no progress on it recently, and it's causing me some distress as I try and rationalize it. I'm also starting to notice just how unproductive and zoned out I get when I'm at home. I'd never really considered my escapism a problem, but now it may start to become one if I actively end up doing things I don't want to, simply out of habit.

Over-arching that however, is this ongoing sense of cloudy-ness. It feels like there is a slight haze between me and everything else that is making me feel weak. Like all of my sense are dulled, and I'm disassociating, but I'm still present and conscious. Maybe my body is, but my mind is being held here by the medications? I don't know.

There are all sorts of possible rationale for said feelings, but it's a long and boring list of things that are your typical stressors. I feel like citing my mental illness as a reason I have trouble managing the things most people can do normally is a cop out. It's something I have to deal with sure, but it's ...I donno, I feel like I should be able to do these things regardless.

On that line, part of me is worried that without the intensity of depression, that I can muster up the same prose and writing that I could before. There's a desperation that comes in that mind set that has always pushed me to write and express those feelings. Now that I'm medicated, I worry that push is gone, and I can't muster up the same talent. Maybe that's all just an excuse to not write, as after all it is easier to give up and say it is too hard than it is to continue through something.

As I write, even now, it feels like there's a drain at the bottom of me that is slowly leaking through all of my energy and willpower to do...well anything. Is that simply a decrease in dopamine reuptake? or is that my soul simply giving up on yet another passion in the face of my own mediocrity.

It just seems so easy to blame all of my apathy and exhaustion on mental illness and give up to escapsim. It feels so easy to just say I can't do X because of depression, and that feels authentic, so it's not like I'm using that to excuse my lazyness. I donno, sleeping just feels so much easier when you're tired.

7.13.2017

retracing my roots

Seems like it has been forever since I've written, but I'm not sure there has been enough to be worth writing. The haze that I normally get from day to day is still there, and as my financial stress increases I find myself more apathetic towards everything. What's the point of doing anything after all if I don't enjoy it. I've been doing some introspection and reflection on what things were like as a child, and just how and when I began to feel so isolated and alone. I can remember telling my parents about not having any friends, despite having friends. I believe now that I meant that I did not feel connected to them, or anyone. When my mom tried to encourage me and help me by practicing social skills I backed away from the issue. Whether that's because she missed my point, or I felt she wasn't understanding me, I'm not sure.

What I do know, is that for as long as I can remember I've felt alone. There's a period of time where in I can be absorbed into another person. If I'm around other folk, I can sort of tune out of myself, and focus on them. I put on this facade of a person that Is like me, but not me. There's a large gap between that boundary and where I find myself when I'm alone. Somewhere in that gap, is where I find myself often these days. Adrift in that chasm unsure of what is real and what isn't. Is the facade myself, and I'm just asleep, am I behind the curtain and just hidden from view?

When I'm alone, I'm more honest with myself, or, authentic maybe. I don't feel like I'm having to put on a falsehood of health for lack of a better term. I feel free to frown and have my normal resting bitch face. I don't feel the pressure to be happy or be entertaining or compassionate or care about other people. I can focus on myself and being authentic to that.

To contrast, when I'm around close friends or family, I shut that part off from the rest of me. The two parts have been so separated for so long that I'm not sure how, or if possible, to merge the two together. Which leaves me feeling detached and disconnected to those who are closest to me. Not to say that without caveats, there's the possibility that this disconnected feeling is due to my current medication putting a dampener on my emotions, making everything feel more compressed than it would be normally. It cuts off the highs and lows, which is great when you have nothing but lows, but not as much when you're in periods of highs. So there's that possibility.

In discussing this with therapist I was asked if I can ever remember feeling deeply connected on both levels to someone. I do, but, it was in an abusive unhealthy relationship, that I had invested all of myself into. She was my reason for living, and when that ended I was broken for a long time. It's very possible that I'm still shielding myself from experiencing that pain again.

Which leads me down some interest thought trains. For one, maybe the only way I can feel deep emotional reactions and connections is through power exchange and putting someone before myself. I'm hesitant to call "deeply emotional reactions" love, but that's perhaps a more adequate phrasing for it. Though in using that, I feel it reduces my other relationships in status and significance, so I'll stick with the DER for now.

Does that then mean, I'm only capable of really feeling connected to myself on both levels if I give up control and put my faith in someone else? I know there is validation for me in that, and the feeling of being desired and accepted and as belonging to someone, as someone with value.

Or maybe that just means that is the only way I know of currently to connect both aspects of myself. Having the choice taken from me is much easier than trying to make the choice myself after all.

It's easier for me to worship someone, and have them ask me to better myself, than it is for me to push myself to do the same thing. Perhaps that comes down to not having any self value, or poor esteem from well, life. In valuing my own desires so low, it becomes harder to even do the things I want to do for myself.

Maybe that's another reason I enjoy masochism as much as I do, as it pushes that boundary between myself alone, and myself with others via physical pain until the facade comes down. It's the main reason I enjoy it, and the catharsis that I get from doing such things. I guess I just want that same sort of emotional connection out of other intense activities (i.e. sex).

But then, maybe I'm just stressed and overthinking things. I haven't had any real catharsis though in about six months, and the feeling of having emotional asphyxiation is starting to creep in.

2.05.2017

Fuck mental illness.

I feel like I've been out of touch with a lot of my emotions lately. Maybe because I haven't written here but once in the last six months. I was out earlier today and saw something that cued a depressive wave. I'm not entirely sure why, maybe just the remembrance of it all.

I saw one of the TV dinners that are designed to appeal to kids, and that I used to eat all the time growing up. Something about that, and that image, just felt incredibly lonely and isolating. Which is how I felt a lot of my childhood. Just the toxicity of those awful meals, parallels a lot of the toxicity of my childhood. The neglect and isolation and the image that cooking prepared meals conjures in my mind.

And the knowledge that these things are still being made, that somewhere out there, is another poor girl who's being fed these things, and ignored and dismissed. It's, just heartbreaking.

It also strikes home in my current isolation and touch starvation. I find myself hypnotized and distracting into a blur of days. Without anything to really mark one day to the next, it all blends together into one haze of unproductive screen staring. Transitioning from computer to laptop to TV to laptop and back. I feel like my mind has been injected with Novocain. I can't seem to think straight, or focus on anything other than the fact that I should be doing something. I feel like most of my conscious mind has gone into hibernation and everything is on autopilot. Even now, writing this, I'm not consciously thinking about the words, I'm just letting the stream of thoughts flow. There's no analysis, there's no cognition there, it's just...flow.

I know some of this is likely disassociation in some form, where I tune out everything because it's uncomfortable to be here. The world is an extremely uncomfortable place right now. It's so much easier to stay in bed and sleep for 12-14 hours. I do my Yoga, which helps, but it doesn't make me feel awake.

I want to say this is depression sneaking back in, as it has all the normal signs of it. But, if it is, despite the medications, I'm wondering just what I can do about it. There's just this wellspring of despair that rushes out of me like a geyser that I can't really place most of the time. It's the feeling of heartbreak, but I'm not sure over what. Outside of past injuries or just straight loneliness. And amidst those sobbing spells, the old familiar comes strutting back into my mind like an abusive lover. After those thoughts, it's never quite a question as to why my natural instinct is to constantly busy myself with tasks. Still, as much as I want to focus on my writing, or my guitar playing, or anything else, it all comes back to a feeling of emptiness.

It's not too surprising that someone who was neglected and dismissed as a child would feel uncomfortable on her own, and essentially alone for long periods of time. That instinct has always been clear, but having it then embellished, ripped apart and torn open by an abusive relationship there after just makes things worse. Not only can I not function on my own for periods, but then I also keep people at an emotional distance because the last time I really opened myself up to love someone they shattered me with their carelessness, selfishness and stupidity.

I'm really beginning to loath mental illness.