The Lion’s Den

I feel betrayed.

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Iheart and I have been so close for so many years, ever since the app first launched.

And they still play songs like “Twerkit” on my selected stations. Haven’t they learned I prefer anything that isn’t indicative of the generation I live in?

Anyway, I decided to take a shot at an internet radio server because I couldn’t figure out any other way to begin this blog post. I guess I could have just said that. Oh well, I make things much more complicated than they should be.

One thing I have realized, that I’m not entirely proud of, is my tendency to hide behind this persona I’ve created. It makes it shockingly (not shockingly) difficult to express true feelings, true motives, and an honest opinion to people as often as I’d like to.

For example, because there’s always been an expectation over my head to perform at my academic best placed on me by teachers more so than anyone, and eventually myself when I realized they realized I wasn’t a mute moron I’ve always tried to play myself off as if I have everything together.

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I minimize the mental stress I feel when speaking of it.

I minimize amount I struggle in certain subjects when speaking of it.

My perfectionism requires I do whatever necessary to keep order on the outside. I must not show a single crack, a single crease or leak to the world lest I am prepared to deal with someone thinking less of me and me thinking less of myself.

It’s my anxiety speaking more than anyone. I think it takes a long time for people to dig deep into themselves and not only recognize but understand that a lot of the time the pressure placed on them is stemming from their own mind. It’s easy to feel the whole world on your shoulders and not realize you’re the one holding it there.

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So I try to remind myself a B on a test does not spell out DEATH. Death doesn’t even start with a ‘b’, unless I’ve been spelling it wrong all my life which, let’s face it, I would never do.

Of course, someone was speaking to me through the lights tonight, I swear. The car on the street had it’s parking lights flash in a Morse code fashion and when I passed no one was locking it or in it or anywhere near it. Then the light at Walgreens right above my car, the ones that never falter, did the same. I’m telling you, it’s a sign.

But I digress. Of course I do, it’s me, I’ll always say some dumb shit in the middle of my post and interrupt eloquent language with a sailor’s mouth. 

I also try to remind myself it’s okay to say what you feel, or what you think you feel. It helps people relate to you. If it’s one thing I have trouble with, it’s connecting with other human beings on a human level. You can probably tell. Perhaps that’s because the person they speak to the majority of the time is just a manikin constructed with life-like features to fool them.

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And then other times I wonder how my ability to switch between a human and a manikin will help me in the future, career wise.

My brain is often more aggressive than my anxiety can handle. Therefore I strive for the best in everything. I make competition between me and someone when there shouldn’t be, and when they don’t know I’ve made one. 

If they get praised for their writing, I make it a goal to get praised more often. When I do succeed (I’ve won an essay competition at my college this semester with a 9 page essay I wrote in six hours) my anxiety keeps me from reaping the benefits. They want me to read it at a ceremony and network myself among other writers and college executives.

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Firstly, it’s nine damn pages. They said I could just read a passage but lets be honest here guys, I wrote the thing in six hours and I understand people are often impressed with my formal writing but I was not impressed with it. In fact, I felt it was one of the worst essays I’d ever written.

Secondly, I fucking suck at socializing. And I really suck at speaking in front of huge groups. I thank them for the recognition but I’m just not ready for that.

One of my past professors has pushed another one of my essays into yet another competition. I’m not arrogant about winning, but I feel I have good chances to win that one as well.

Yes, they pay you.

Why get a Bachelor’s when you can get an M.D? That’s my mindset. 

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I always feel the need to 1-up someone and it’s not healthy. It’s not healthy because if I don’t succeed in such a task, I spiral into a soup of self loathing.

It’s part of the reason I enjoy movies like “City of God”. If you haven’t seen it, it’s about some slums in Brazil in the seventies. It’s about cocaine, power, and if you know anything about philosophy, a lot of philosophy.

It starts off describing a trio of slum teenagers and children, some of which rob and loot and deal drugs. They get money to help their families who often refuse to accept dirty money.

But there’s one kid who stands out from all the others without standing out and as a child full of ideas who is sick of not being recognized by the older “hoods”, tricks the trio and sprays a reign of death through a hotel brothel. He shoots ’em point blank. He’s a brutal child.

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But eventually he rises to the top because it’s all he’s been focused on. He finds ways to overpower everyone, he runs his slums by particular rules and regulations and although everyone bows at his mercy, they are at a type of peace for once.

He falls prey to the arrogance that partners with power and the arrogance is his downfall. I want to experience his success, his power, without the downfall and the only way to do that is to slither to the top without burning people along the way. I’m not out to hurt people (physically or mentally) and I’m not out to show off. I don’t want to be respected because of a title, because I’m a manager or an executive or a bestselling author or essayist, I want to be respected for the actions and the message I spread.

Often to get into those positions you sacrifice your integrity. You sacrifice your morals for the position, for the gold that comes with the position, and you don’t realize what you’ve done until you’re falling flat on your ass.

atm-machine-scramble-1This is why I’ve always loved Kant: we’re rational creatures. We don’t want to be treated as someone with instrumental value–in other words, we don’t want to be treated like objects, like tools, like an ATM machine. It’s not just about treating others with respect, or the Golden Rule (do unto others as you would want done to yourself), it’s also about having self respect. If you let yourself be used, you’re behaving unethically. 

I lived by that motto before I even knew how to spell Kant. It’s why, no matter how bad my anxiety is, no matter how far my depression knocks me down, I’ve always refused to let myself be run over or treated badly. It’s why I could build up the courage over my social anxiety to speak to my boss about my accommodations.

Once you’re in the professional realm, there’s no room for being a piece of raw meat. You’re in the lions den.

 

 

You’re So Conceited

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My notes have never been neat.

And this is my writing process. Ideas fly in my brain faster than my hand can scribble and whenever something random pops up, I scribble an arrow connecting that idea to several other ideas and then on the top there, you see those random words? Those are songs. Yep. I’ll be writing a thought and hear a song on the radio and jot it down. On the upper corner you see the doodles? Know what those are? Me either.

This is the reason I have trouble explaining how I plan an essay. Because . . . because I don’t. 

So tonight in my class when my professor asked us all for an opinion on how we each personally felt about the prompt, I said “I hate prompts. I don’t need them. I prefer to have the free range to focus on what I want to focus on and find an overlap in whatever texts we’re reading, because they all over lap and you can find it if you look.”

He said “Because you make your own prompts, huh?”

I said, “Yeah.”

Then I felt the air and realized how much of a conceited asshole I sounded like.

So I added, “I mean they’re helpful, I just don’t need them when I can do it on my own. It’s helpful because you don’t have to . . . do as much.”

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Then I felt the air and realized how much more of a concieted asshole I sounded.

He asked, “Did you feel yourself doing anything different on this than the other essays?”

I smiled and said “Naw.”

You had to be there to understand why the air suddenly felt arrogant.

I mean, I might as well have said “Yeah, I can pretty much write anything with perfection and all of you are stupid if you can’t.”

I certainly didn’t mean it like that, I only said the truth–I don’t need essay prompts to give structure to my essay, not when I’ve been writing essays with structure since I was in elementary school. I just don’t need it.

This is why I don’t talk. I always say the wrong thing in the wrong way.

I probably haven’t mentioned that in this class we never got essay prompts. We didn’t get grades on the essays and we never had tests. Instead, he typed up personal responses to each of our essays and thanked us for being in the class. Sounds like a dream class? Not really. It tests your personal responsibility. A lot of people don’t have that. He described it as a clash with his culture: there is no hierarchy with one person being superior to another in indigenous culture. He liked to make us feel respected. The thought of him grading us on how we felt and thought didn’t make sense to him and telling us what to write about and how to write also clashed because it’s missing the point of the literature.

I thanked him at the end of the class for some books he let me borrow and for teaching in general. So at least I did something polite and correct for once, socially, however awkward and stupid I looked.

I know I’m going to beat myself up about this. I hate sounding egotistical about writing. What if I’m not as good as I think I am, and when I say shit like that people are just laughing at me on the inside? That’s my first thought. My second thought is “that’s not ego, that’s confidence”. 

confidence-farzana-featured-1024x489I am confident in what I write. Confident enough to start writing a ten page essay at 3 in the morning and finishing it an hour before class starts and still being proud with how it came out.

There’s a bunch I wish I could have done to it, but for the amount of time I spent it’s pretty damn good.

I get recognition as a writer. I listen a lot and I incorporate a lot of other people’s ideas into my ideas. I don’t like getting recognition from the whole class on my writing because then I perceive every word out of my mouth as conceited. I feel as if because I do get the recognition, I don’t have the right to comment on things your average writer might struggle with.

Like writing without a prompt.

Even that shit sounded conceited: “I’m so good I shouldn’t need to comment on writing topics your average person struggles with.”

Sigh.

I’m not an asshole.

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Okay . . . back that up a little. can be an asshole. I get defensive often and forceful with my opinion. I won’t lie.

If there’s one thing advanced writing classes teach you when you’re in high school, it’s how to write a structured and well organized essay with a horribly vague, and disgustingly written prompt. They won’t tell you “put this in the body, and your thesis at the end of your first paragraph and make sure you tie everything into your conclusion; make sure the essay covers what you think about this opinion, what the opinion is, the author’s life, the main ideas of ‘family’, ‘life’, and ‘culture'” or anything like that. They might say “write on the values of so-and-so’s novel” And you just do it. You do it and you have to learn to analyze on your own. And if you struggle with it, well, kiss your A.P test essay section goodbye. Hoping for a 4? Nope bitch, you gonna get a 2.

That’s how they score A.P tests if you’ve never taken one or if you’re outside of the U.S. The score if from 1-5, 5 being outstanding.

But it’s also why I love this blog. There is no structure, there’s no rules, I’m not getting recognized for my writing like I do in classes–I can say shit, fuck, dick, go die, and that’s totally cool; no one gives a shit.

Well if you do give a shit, than I don’t know why you’re reading my blog. I blurt whatever comes to mind.

I don’t have to uphold a reputation here. I can be as informal as I want–which I am–and no one could give a flying pig-fuck.

I can make up words like pig-fuck. 

Enough said.

All in all, I will deeply miss this class. I hate that I left on such negative 2014_02_sad_dog_face_when_sorry_isnt_enough-150x150terms in my head. I didn’t want to sound like an asshole, I really didn’t. Everyone is so friendly and caring and I wish they could read this.

It’s true I don’t want to be their friends but I sometimes I hate seeming cold to people, especially good people like that. They don’t deserve it.

That’s something I wish a lot. I wish people I knew took the time to read what I write because that’s the real me. The person they go to lunch with or hang out with at the mall or whatever is not the real me. In public I’m paying attention to so many different things, my mind is spinning so quickly and I’m always stuck behind the anxiety. Sometimes, on the rare occasion my anxiety is low, and I’m with them in a crowd I just get so sick of being around the people that I end up irritable and quiet and aloof.

It’s when I’m with someone one-on-one they get a better glimpse of who I really am.

It’s when they read my writing they see everything I really am.

My problem is thinking everyone hates me. It’s not even an anxiety thing, I just legitimately think everyone hates me. People who pass me on the street hate me, that’s why they give me those looks. People in classes who sit near me who hate sitting near me because I never talk and I’m weird hate me. People who hear me talk with arrogance about writing when I can’t even say a simple sentence hate me. I register words as hatred and looks as hatred and half the time I’m convinced my own boyfriend hates me.

I think if he hated me that much, he’d have left by now. A year and a half is a long time to hate someone so closely.

But then again, keep your friends close but your enemies closer, am I right?

I get convinced that because I’m the way I am, because I genuinely don’t enjoy being around people often and because I genuinely also happen to have anxiety around people often, that he’d much prefer to be around other people, friends & family, people who do things normally or someone who isn’t fucking . . . well:

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There’s that word again.

Maybe I come off egotistical a lot. Maybe that’s what the problem is.

Do I sound egotistical to you?

I don’t ever say this kind of stuff to him because I’m just going to get the answer of ” I don’t hate you”.

That’s generally everyone’s reaction. But my brain doesn’t believe that.

Then comes the “so you don’t trust me?”

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Then I’m trapped in a corner like an idiot.

And are you starting to see why I just prefer to be by myself?

  1. People make me anxious.
  2. People are a lot of work.
  3. A lot of people bore me.
  4. I don’t know how to talk to them.
  5. I don’t know how to act with them.
  6. I don’t know how to connect with them. 
  7. I love them as humans, always will, but I don’t love them as friends; My boyfriend is the one exception.
  8. Why am I making this list?
  9. It’s pointless.
  10. I needed a number ten because stopping at nine seems like a bad omen or something.

Then you get out of your car and you stare across the street and there’s a black something that has the shape of a giant in a cloak and you say fuck that shit homie and you avoid it all together because what if it does exist, what if it’s an omen or a spirit and instead of walking up the driveway you walk through the lobby and then there’s a motherfucker standing right next to the lobby door fiddling with a fucking bike lock that he’s probably trying to pick and you flinch in your skin and say to yourself “I would have rather gotten killed by the giant cloaked reaper than scared by that creepy fucker”. 

Sigh.

I wish my brain gave me a chance to figure things out for myself before it flew off on these tangents.

I wish I wouldn’t have opened my mouth tonight. 

One good thing? I can focus on my fiction writing a lot more over this break. There’s a positive to focus on.

That’s one thing I’ve learned: you always need to find a positive. It doesn’t matter how negative the negative is; one tiny positive has the strength over several negatives. You just have to let it have that strength.

 

 

Math Puns Are The First Sine Of Madness

Ha, get it. Sine. Ha.

As you can guess, I should be working on my essay right now, and I will–I finished the introductory paragraph last night. That’s . . . that’s a start, right?

Professors don’t understand: when you have the tendency to wake up and not know how you’re going to feel or what you’re willing to tolerate for the day, it’s hard to complete assignments. That’s what drove me over a cliff this semester. It’s been bubbling up for a while and I got tired of suppressing this madness, so instead I’m riding it like a wave and although I regret dropping those classes (only because I have to retake them, fuck), I don’t regret taking time for myself. It’s better to do it now at this college than to transfer to a university and do it there. That’s what junior colleges are for. I can handle paying back $1500, I cannot handle paying back $30,000.

I keep reminding myself that my goal is not tarnished just because I’m taking it a little slow. Medical school isn’t going to deny my entry because I didn’t apply a year sooner. They might deny me when I give these answers on the MCAT:

Don’t Drink and Derive kids, it’s dangerous.

I’ve got so much time to myself now. When I’m not curled in the ball on the floor or obsessing over death, or freaked out about the fact that job people could call me at any moment and I’ll have to improvise on the spot without sounding like a complete moron, I let my mind wander to other things.

Other things like holly shit it’s going to take days to download photoshop and lightroom.

But also more important things, like loud mouths.

I have a loud mouth, I know I do. Yes, I’m socially anxious, but hey piss me off enough and you better pull out your titanium sword and slap on your iron armor and silver cup, because shit will go down.

But other people . . . the people who’s loud mouth they use to get attention, kind of like Trump and Carson or the Westboro Baptist Church. I can’t fathom being that obsessed with myself.

What it boils down to is lets see 1) how much attention I can bring to myself, 2) how far I can go before I crash and burn 3) how convincing my lies can get. It’s not as if these people aren’t aware of how ridiculous they sound. It’s not as if Trump doesn’t know deporting 11 million “immigrants” in one swoop is physically impossible, it’s not as if Carson doesn’t know being Gay isn’t a choice (I also 100% doubt his Christian faith; he’s a pathological liar and he’s not good at it), it’s not as if politicians don’t know controversy brings supporters. If they can back up their lies in the name of good old fashion “American Values”, they’re going to gain supporters regardless of whether or not their words are truthful.

That’s why I’ve said make mental health controversial. Screw trying to “reduce stigma” with little selfies of your medication, what’s that going to do? Seriously, be honest. What’s it going to do? I don’t even remember the people’s faces I saw who did those selfies. They made an impact on social media for the duration of a blink, or the length of a “snap-chat”.

I’m sick of labeling people who slap stereotypes on us (Amazon, Target, whatever; your family, your friends, whoever,) as people who are “misinformed” and watching people with mental disorders combat their ignorance with “look at me, I’m just as normal as you, #selfie #facebook #twitter #stopstigma #mentalhealthmatters” or whatever.

Sure, they could use some education, and I’m all for education them on the subject of mental health. However, these jokes and sayings by these companies (especially) are deliberate. The idea to put “Dorthea Dix Psych Ward” on a Halloween costume didn’t fall out of the sky. Media perpetuating the idea that mental disorders are the prime reason behind mass shootings/stabbings did not plummet from a cloud into a reporter’s hands. It’s misinformation but it’s also blatant disrespect and I don’t know about you, but I get pretty angry when I’m disrespected.

I’m not a huge fan of “an eye for an eye”. However, if you’re so disrespectful that you blind yourself to how disrespectful you actually are, I might need to take an eye for you to get it.

So let’s start a controversy.

If it’s one thing companies never do is take responsibility for their actions. Saying they take responsibility for their actions is not actually taking responsibility for their actions, just like saying you accept yourself for who you are is not actually accepting yourself. So the next time some big shot says something stupid on twitter or Facebook or puts out a dumb sweater or Halloween costume, don’t disregard it as a need to inform the masses. Yes, we do need to inform the masses but the only way to stop a toddler from purposefully breaking dishes on the floor over and over again is to punish them for it; condition them into understanding that what they’re doing is unacceptable.

Since we’re dealing with adults who act like children, we have the right to get in their face, point a million fingers at them and call them disrespectful, reveal their lack of common sense, and back up our argument with facts and information.

In my eyes, the idea of “rude” goes out the window when the truth is involved.

I’m pretty sure I’ve said things in posts that people go “what the fuck, that’s messed up” in their head while they’re reading and that’s alright with me, everyone is entitled to their opinion.

So with that, I have a confession to make:

There’s a reason I’m aggressive. I’m slightly power-hungry.

Okay . . . a lot power-hungry. In my mind, I prefer to be the authoritarian than the worker.

I can get pretty arrogant and I’ll manipulate whoever’s in my way of getting something I want. If I didn’t have social anxiety, I’d probably be one of those people jumping around from town to town with different aliases robbing people blind because they’re too stupid to notice what I’m doing. I’d recreate my own meaning of respect and immerse myself in the idea that “human rights” are socially constructed for the control of masses rather than “natural” or “innate”.

Alas, I’m too scared of people to make an attempt at acting on that level of confidence. And alas, I’ve been cursed with a pretty loud moral compass and I’m fully aware that treating people with that level of disrespect does not promote harmony.

That doesn’t stop the urges.

When you grow up in a house where you’re rarely respected, it becomes a bit of a habit to want to assert yourself in other situations.

And that’s where writing comes in handy. All those people who write into “Ask A Therapist” about their urges to kill people should start writing fiction or something. Put all that unnecessary rage onto the shoulders of a character before you stab that poor jogging chick.

I don’t have urges to kill people. I think . . . I think that should be noted here.

Perhaps these companies should also put their stereotypical designs into characters, into a personal journal, something that can carry the burden of their stupidity so we don’t have to.

Okay, I need to finish this essay. If I was jumping around from town to town with different aliases I wouldn’t need to be writing a fucking essay right now, would I? Shit man, that life just keeps looking better and better.

My Better Half

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I pretty much use the name “Alucard” for everything I’ve ever been apart of online, lest it be business related which . . . uh, never happens. I’ve wondered for so long why people thought I was a fan of anime. I . . . I hate anime. Okay, I don’t hate it, but it’s never struck me as cartoon genius. I can never catch the stories from the beginning so I come in like what the fuck why is there a floating teddy bear following that person and why does it puke rainbows? I don’t know. The animation bothers me too. Yes, it’s because of their mouths. They’re like triangles and they move like triangular mouths would move. I actually like the over size eyes and all that fancy stuff, but when it’s out of sync with the English over-dubs it’s just . . . it’s a pet peeve of mine. I’d prefer to watch it in Japanese. I can’t even stand it when English video is out of sync with English audio.

Anyway, I borrow “Alucard” and “AlucardEverlasting” from a song called, well, Alucard by Tech N9ne. It’s a song I go to when I feel on top of the world, when I’m sure I can conquer anything in my path and when I’m sure everyone else is writhing below me in their stupidity. Whatever. I just love that line: “All these stars never last, yet I will still stand while everyone’s passing”; yes, it fuels my crazy ego when it gets out of control. I think it’s worth pointing out it wasn’t until Tech literally said “read it backwards” in the song that I saw it spelled Dracula. Just thought I’d point out how smart I am.

So I googled the name after I noticed a lot of other people used the name too. Apparently Alucard is the main protagonist of the “Hellsing” anime/manga series. He’s a “Transcendent Vampire”, whatever the hell that means. I guess it’s different than a normal vampire, because he’s a part of the “Hellsing Organization” which works against supernatural forces like Vampires. I have to admit, reading about it hooked me and when they said he is apparently the “most powerful vampire” I grew giddy. Maybe Anime isn’t that awful after all, eh?

I love how the website I read denoted one of his pictures with “Alucard’s twisted side”. I totally have a twisted side! How completely relative to my life is that! Is it bad that I laughed at the fact that he rarely kills his victims by shooting them unless he’s totally disabled and humiliated them? My dark side is humored by his malice. I’m not even immortal or invincible, and I’m egotistical like this dude. Taunting and belittling an opponent? My pleasure. Break an opponent rather than kill an opponent? My greater pleasure.

Now, before I make myself out to be some kind of psychopath, it’d just like to say I don’t actually have opponents and I never break people. I’m also not a Transcendent Vampire. Unless someone makes me angry. Then I’m a God and I will go after their ass. So just . . . don’t make me angry.

Besides, Alucard’s got quite an honorable personality underneath all that arrogance. He respects humans who have the willpower to go through old age and death. I read he wants to be killed by a mortal because “that which defeats a monster is always a man”. I’d say that’s fairly accurate, especially since monsters are created by man in the first place. This made me dislike anime a little less. I have to admit, the characters are pretty much always developed with depth, the story lines are crazy, and the adventures are wild and I like that part of it. But I had a traumatic experience with Manga. I opened the book like a normal fucking book and everyone was like “YOU’RE READING IT BACKWARDS” and I’m like “I’M SORRY THIS DOESN’T MAKE SENSE” and that was another shining moment of my genius. I stay away from Manga. But I’d be willing to give Anime another chance. I love the creativity.

I’m always attracted to these kinds of characters because I think they embody what it means to be human better than humans do. We all have a dark side. I know mine is fairly intricate, arrogant, sophisticated, angry, and quite manipulative when she wants to be. She’s my guardian. When I’m out in the world and I’m hurting, she protects me. Sometimes it’s at the expense of others and I feel guilty afterwards. But I take advantage of my dark side whenever she arises, however she arises, because she’s powerful and unashamed. She could do whatever she wants and I get to ride along with her, pretending I have the same amount of self-esteem she has. I guess she’s my alter-ego. I don’t know what you call it, all I know is that I’d be lost without her around. We’d all be lost without our better halves.