Small Positives

Instead of burning under the fires of negativity, I’ll mention one of the small positives of this week:

I managed to get down to the Accessibility Support Center at my college to ask how to register. My boyfriend had to come with me of course, but I made it. I asked the woman what I would need to do in order to register for services from the center. She seemed nice and very receptive. She said the first step would be to attend one of the orientations that gives us a small overview of the services and a tour of the HUB station (that’s where the support/tutor services are).

The second step, the one I dreaded the most, was to then bring in documentation. She said it could be an IEP, a 504, family doctor records, anything like that. I knew it was coming and the anxiety still took over.

She set me up for an orientation on the 31st at 9:30 in the morning. That day I also have to be at my psych appointment at 11 am. She said it would be finished before then certainly. Then I have to drive back to the school for class at 12:40. That’s a busy day.

I walked from the center rather disappointed. An IEP? A 504? Two things you usually get when you get diagnosed with something as a child? You know, like ADHD?

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Unfortunately for me, when I wasn’t talking, when I refused to interact with children, they send me to a counselor who concluded I was “shy” and would “grow out of it”. I couldn’t even get an ADHD diagnosis for fucks sake.

If I would have known the system, I would have opened my mouth and expressed everything I felt. Instead I sat there, said not a word to the counselor woman, and still somehow got a certificate of completion for it. How does that even work?

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At this point this blog has become one large contradiction. I speak so often about how diagnosis doesn’t matter, how it doesn’t define you, how I feel it’s much less damaging to consider “symptoms” as “experiences”, and yet I’m here kicking myself over the fact that I’ve never gotten a sincere diagnosis past “social anxiety”. If you ask me, it makes me look like one of those preachers who reiterate the Bible, then go out and murder people.

I still believe in experiences over symptoms. I still believe in “this is how I am” over “this is what I have”.

I also know the world is a business and a label maker. And I’m going to milk every last drop of it, because if there are ways to get help out there for school, for housing, for finances, for whatever the case may be at any point in my life, than I think I deserve that.

When she said “family doctor” I cringed. Because I have no doctor any longer. Because I have no health insurance. My doctors never had any part of my mental health record anyway. Fucks sake.

The anxiety part of all of this is that I will be walking into that orientation at 9:30 without a complete record confirming what I experience and be surrounded by people who do. People with perhaps more severe mental/physical struggles than my own. It’s like I’m sitting myself down in a wheel chair with full knowledge that both my legs work, and signing up for a wheel chair basketball team with people who actually have lost function of their legs.

It’s another way for my brain to invalidate my own experiences.

shutterstock_106645070I think my main issue is that I’m very confused. Ever since I started this job it’s made me take a different look at behavior and experiences in different people and in myself. It’s made me realize I have so much more to work on than I thought. It makes doing janitor work ten times more appealing than it had before, and even then it had looked appealing.

Depending on what happens with full evaluations and a complete diagnosis, I may or may not continue working here. I love their concept, I love the “fight the system . . . but it’s really about the people” vibe that they give off. I want to always stay in contact with them and maybe even attend the groups. But working is something I’m not sure I’m ready for yet. I should have learned this lesson after my third job in four months.

Functioning and adulting isn’t easy for anyone, I’m aware of that as well.

Today I went into a hardware supply store and a Rite Aid, in the company of my mother. Both stores are pretty quiet and large and don’t have many crowds.

Three more days until the orientation.

 

 

A Testament Towards Feeling

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We are all fighters.

Survivors.

Warriors.

And I will never deny that fact.

To deal with whatever pain you experience day after day, minute after minute, hour after hour (physical, mental, terminal) means you have some kind of strength within you to keep going. It means you’re not willing to give your life up to something that wants to take you hostage. The people who have been through your pain, who can share in your pain, know the exhaustion you put yourself though and they smile and they say you’re strong. They say you’re resilient. They say you can make it because you’ve been making it. And all of their words are beautiful and heart felt and you trust them.

A connection makes all the difference.

disconnect-old-phoneSo what of those of us where connection has never been felt? What of those of us who use humor to interject ourselves because we have no other way of communicating? Those of us who get confused on when to say something, what to say, and how to say it? Those of us who consistently misinterpret someones tone of voice or facial expression to be malicious or crippled with ill intent? Those of us who have suddenly come to realization that this issue has caused a pattern of problems throughout their life?

What of those of us who have the crushing feeling that they’ve been copy-catting their way through life?

What does that mean? It probably means different things to different people. To some extent, we all copy someone else. We adopt each others mannerisms and ways of speech when we’re in a group. We see an outfit on someone and want the same. Some people call it being unoriginal, but I call that type of copying admiration–you like the outfit, it’s cute, so you buy it to also look cute.

To me, copying is a way of protecting myself. It’s not done for fun. In fact, I loathe myself for it deeply. In a conversation I copy the answers and mannerisms of the people around me not so they will like me, but so I don’t reveal how completely clueless I am in the rules of the flow of conversation. I don’t care if they like me. But I care if I look like the socially inept fool I am.

In the midst of two other people, I will not speak. Not because I don’t have something to say but because I’m not sure if it’s right to say. I’m particularly not sure when it’s appropriate to interject.

This makes the conversations I do manage to have very artificial. They’re sticking their maxresdefault2feelers out and I’m slapping them down by accident because I’m blind to them. I speak few words because of this issue. I’m brief and speak very quickly and often quietly.

I’m an observer. I watch how people converse, how they joke with each other, and I’ve pretty much analyzed all I can. I’ve got all these stray pieces strewn across the floor and I’m trying to come up with a formula that fits them together nicely. For example, in high school I noticed one big thing in conversation is eye contact. Not making it is weird, making it too much is also weird.

So I come up with an approximate time to stare at someone and an approximate, and appropriate time to look away. A good two or three seconds is alright, more if you’re still thinking of a response. It’s good to keep eye contact with someone while they’re talking because it shows your attention level, but it’s generally average to glance away once or twice while you’re speaking so it doesn’t become this creepy staring contest.

I still stare too long because I’m not sure if looking away makes me look more awkward or not. So it’s something I’ve been trying to understand since I was 16.

The missing link is in the flow. I don’t know how to keep a flow or stay on topic. Someone asks a question, you answer, what comes next? Why does anything have to come next?

I feel people think I’m not interested in them because I don’t ask about them. But I never knew I was supposed to . . .if someone wants me to know something about them, why don’t they just say it?

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I go silent often and people find that rude.

These are things I’ve thought about for the last year or so, things I’ve been recognizing in myself that I feel are the root cause of my social anxiety (next to my mistrust of people’s intentions, which probably stems from the fact that I can’t see anything but malice in their expressions or their words).

It came up today during supervisions. My supervisor asked me what could happen in the house that would integrate me into the team (I could take that one of two ways: 1) she wants to know how to improve communication throughout the team or 2)I’ve been recognized as the outcast I always am). She also asked if I even wanted to be part of the team (but she didn’t say it in a mean way, I don’t think).

I’m going to choose not to be offended, because experience tells me that wasn’t what she was aiming for, but it feels like I’m going through the same thing over and over again with the people back in grade school who constantly said “you’re too quiet, what can we do to make you more involved in the class?” or “can you participate more please?” or the people at one of my old jobs that said “we’re going to work on making you open up and have you work with [enter coworkers name] to make you a little louder on Thursday”.

It triggered me subconsciously I think and I put my guard up automatically.

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I said I did want to be part of the team. And I don’t think I lied. But I see how they operate, everyone is open with each other and it flows nicely and I don’t fit. I’m highly aware of that. I said I didn’t know what anyone could do. I wanted to say I have trouble making connections but I got lost in my speech as I often do, so I don’t really remember what I said.

It was something rehearsed, something I always say in response to these types of things because feelings are hard for me to distinguish when it comes to people. So I recite the feeling that is most common, that I hear most often, that makes the person the most happy, depending on the situation.

But personally, I go blank. The only feeling I’ve ever experienced from people is mistrust and anxiety from not understanding how they operate. So how could I answer a question like the above?

When she asked me whether or not I wanted to be apart of the team, I studied myself carefully. And felt a pull in neither direction. Blank. That was probably really awkward because she had no idea why I was silent.

book-1110648_960_720Anyone from any job could have asked me that, and my reaction would be the same. This is where I feel people misunderstand me: my feeling blank isn’t a testament to who they are as people, it’s a testament to my own feeling.

I don’t see why that is so hard to understand.

These people are not evil. Their not mean or horrible. In fact, they’re the best set of people I’ve met in my short life. But they are human, as most are, and that simple fact keeps me from relating. I’m distanced. Always have been.

So where do I go from here? I don’t know. This happens every job I go to, every class I’m in, every group I work with, every casual or focused conversation I have . . . it never changes, and it never has. Perhaps it will one day.

And I believe in order to change things, I need to understand this more clearly. I need another opinion. Even if that means spending 230 dollars on a 90 minute psychiatric opinion.

If you follow me, you know very well I’m not fond of “professionals” because of their lack of experience. But I have lack of experience being human and they have an abundance of it.

I have ideas from past psychologists and my current one. But perhaps it’s time to get a medical opinion as well, just something else in my arsenal of “tools I’m using to find myself”.

 

 

How I see Myself

 

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How many times in a day do you confuse yourself? 

It’s a strange question,  I know.

I don’t mean confuse yourself by picking up an item, putting it down, and then asking yourself “where did I just put that?”

I mean in terms of personality. In terms of defining why your depressed, why you’re anxious, what situations make you anxious, what situations make you depressed.

How times a day do you have trouble managing your emotions?

Mine get mixed up so heavily I feel I’m on the cusp of insanity. I can’t focus on anything, I can’t identify any feeling, every sound infuriates me and I can’t even listen to music without feeling like the lyrics are confusing my thoughts.

Like right now. Which Is why I’m struggling to write at the moment.

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When I get this way, the only emotion I can truly identify with is anger and frustration. So I listen to aggressive music and think about how happy I’d be if I saw that one Laundry worker from the healthcare center on his knees in front of the three APS agents in business suits and sunglasses.

I switch personalities quite frequently. Not in a DID sense, and not in the average sense where you switch on your “charm” to go confidently into an interview and switch off your “bitch” so the interviewer doesn’t throw you out of her office. In public, we all switch certain traits of ourselves on and off. That’s average behavior.

I switch from generally content to unbelievably aggressive/disinterested to generally depressed and suicidal and each of them have a separate personality attached to them.

My content personality is the average, one. It’s anxious and unsure and insecure about the majority of decisions I make in my life, including if someone asks me “what do you want to eat?” That personality will always beat the rest of me to the punch and say “I don’t know” in fear of insulting the other person if I pick something they don’t like. That personality gets offended to the point of tears if someone says “No, I don’t want that”. That personality feels like it’s done something equal to the social crimes of Hitler. Yes, that is my content self. 

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The depressed personality is lethargic and generally not anxious. It may be brought on by the anxiety but generally that personality will keep me locked in my room, in bed, and ignore the anxiety of missing class and ignore the anger of missing class. I might cry out of anger or sensitivity.

Contrary to what many people believe, my emotions do not have a wide range. When someone asks me what makes me happy . . . I don’t really have an answer. I have to think very hard. When someone asks me what makes me sad . . . I don’t really have an answer for it, I have to think very hard. I know the things that typically make people happy or sad, so I just say those things. Things don’t make me happy or sad, they just make me satisfied or unsatisfied.

The truth is, I’m just really good at faking it. 

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The personality of “unbelievably aggressive/disinterested” is my baseline personality. It’s completely separate from the other two. It was never developed like the others, it was always with me, therefore I consider it the baseline.

The older I’ve gotten the more I’ve realized my “disinterest” is in . . . well, everything.

I don’t care much about other people’s opinions. I don’t care much about what they like nor do I care to discuss their interests in length. That, to me, is “chit-chat”. I hate chit-chat.

I listen to other people’s opinions. I give them respect when they’re based on fact. I do things they like or give them things they like because I know that’s normal.

And I know as you’re reading this, perhaps your eyebrows rose and you’re thinking “and you want to be a psychiatrist? You want to listen to people?”

Here’s the thing.

How many psychologists do you know who have given up therapy because listening to the horror stories of other’s lives took a toll on their own mental health? I personally know a few.

I might not convince you, but trust me: you want someone who is capable of separating their emotions from your emotions. You want someone who can help you find logic in your illogical thought patterns.  You want someone who understands what you’re saying, and can think outside of the box you can’t for ways to use your strengths and weaknesses to your advantage. You don’t want someone who will bathe you in sympathy and be just a friend. You want a helpful friend you can trust. 

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Helpful, Motherfucker!

I am a nice person. I’ve learned to be nice. I’ve learned social customs, I’ve learned how to make people laugh, and I’ve learned to tolerate things. I know that I have a gift in terms of the way I can relate to people (it’s a one-way street in this case, I don’t feel I relate/connect to anyone), the way they flock to me for advice or just so I can be an ear for them. Since I have this gift, I might as well put it to use right? That’s the logical thing to do.

My aggression got me interested in psychiatry. The blatant disregard for logic in the world of business and medicine also got me interested in psychiatry. The people get helped in the process and that’s my main goal.

This is how I see myself. A shoddy integration of three distinct personalities. How do you see yourself?

Where Was I?

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Tonight I am struggling in a different kind of way.

Something strange is going on.

In the last post I’ve told you all about the passionflower incident in the vault, but I didn’t explain it in detail. I didn’t explain how I really felt about it and the thoughts that went through my head.

I told you all I felt someone was trying to frame me or perhaps send me a warning.

But let me explain this story in more detail.

That day I already woke up feeling odd. Even my new co-worker said “today is going to be a weird day”.

As if she knew.

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We do these things called “runs”. Runs are essentially when you take a Jansport backpack, take money, walk across the park with it, and deposit the money into the machines scattered around the park for employees to use. It’s also how we get record of what they deposited at the end of their shift.

During these runs you can take coin, bills, or both, up to a thousand dollars. Yes, I’ve carried ten, twenty thousand before, but that was with security escort and with another person. Runs we do individually without security.

On the runs where I took coin, I kept coming up short. On all of my runs that day I had to keep writing <.10> or <.20> on the over-short sheet. It looked like I was stealing dimes.

All of the bills I kept depositing kept rejecting at a high rate, so I had to stay at the terminals for longer than usual making sure the ones that were good bills and not crumpled or torn would deposit.

When my co-worker returned from her lunch, we were instructed to practice counting the vault to get quicker and more accurate at it. The FIRST thing we counted was the rolled quarters.

I even leaned on top of the wood and swiped m arm across the wood touching all the canisters to make sure my count was accurate.

We counted them over twenty times.

There are always two people in the vault. You need two finger prints to get in and there are three cameras in a space no larger than my room.

After twenty minutes of standing there with my new co-worker just chatting because we were sick of counting the same thing over and over again, I found the pill. Not her, just me. It appeared out of nowhere.

They’re fairly large pills and hard to miss. They look like this:

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They have a very pungent grass smell to them. Because, as I’ve said, it’s just dried flower petals in a digestible capsule. It’s 200 mg, and the standard dosage is usually 500 mg to 1 gram. So, to be honest, they’ve never done anything for me. It was the placebo effect. It takes 2mg of Ativan to even start my eyelids dropping, there’s no way .2 grams of a flower is going to do anything to this system of mine.

The odd thing? I haven’t even been able to take them for two weeks because It’s a struggle for me to swallow large pills, it always has been. The bottle, which I keep in my bag, was locked in the locker in the hall of the basement. The key is on my chain with my work id which is always around my neck. I’m the only one with access to that locker.

My first thought was someone was trying to frame me, send me a warning of some sort, perhaps that snitch from mid-shift or something.

But later I realized something. There are ALWAYS two people in the vault. There is ALWAYS someone monitoring the vault cameras. That means two people would have had to place that pill there.

When my trainer came into the vault after her lunch to see how we were doing, my co-worker and I gave her awkward smiles and my co-worker said we’d found weed (remember, she’s inexperienced about drugs) and I showed my trainer where. But my trainer kept talking about tips on working in the department, like she always did. It was as if she didn’t hear a word I’d said.

Later that night I couldn’t shake the feeling that none of what happened was even real. Tonight, I’m convinced none of it was real.

investigationIt just doesn’t add up. Two people would have had to placed the pill there. Someone would have had to either been taking it themselves, or stolen it out of my locker which is impossible. And none of that explains why the pill popped out of thin air or why my trainer, who loves juicy gossip, wouldn’t respond at all to our exciting discovery.

The management never said anything about it again.

None of it felt real. The whole day felt odd. Either someone was setting me up with the coins and sending me a warning with the pill, or none of it really happened at all. I can’t remember what I did with the last rejected dollar I brought back to the cash room, I can’t remember if I signed the paper.

I’m used to my experience in this reality not feeling real. I’m used to reality not feeling real. I’m not used to external experiences not feeling real. In fact, it’s done a good job of shocking me to my knees. And that’s a hard thing to do.

There’s only been a few scattered incidents of that happening and they were minor, so I ignored them. Much like the time I ignored the day where I kept hearing my name being whispered. I ignored the day I heard my car falling apart while I was at the stoplight and I started freaking out and putting my ear to the dash board and not being able to identify where the sound was coming from because it was coming from all around me and then it suddenly stopped and I fell back into reality. I ignored the words I heard over a megaphone that no one else seemed to hear. I ignored the instances of constantly feeling like someone or something is watching me.

Oh the irony, when Imagine Dragons sings in your ear “Now you can’t tell the false from the real”.

There you go, they’ve just confirmed it. 

Apparently the night of the incident I told my boyfriend someone else could also be using Passionflower but I’ve pretty much eradicated that option because it lacks logic. The incident not ever having happened makes more sense than someone else in that office taking passionflower and leaving it in the vault simply because, like I said, it popped out of thin air. I’d swiped my arm in front of the quarters half a dozen times, moving the canisters around, there was no way in hell we wouldn’t have seen that pill.

It makes me feel as if my co-worker was either also a figment of my imagination or she’s just never existed in the first place.

But that seems improbable because we needed two hands to get into the vault by ourselves.

Unless I was never in the vault in the first place.

Then where the hell was I? 

I hope I’m actually laying in my bed right now.

It all sounds irrational, but it doesn’t feel that way.

 

Spaghetti And MeatBugs Rant

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I just keep posting and posting and posting, I can’t stop.

I think I need to focus my attention on some other writing projects.

But first:

I’m tired as shit and I’m very irritated. 

As if you didn’t already know.

Today has been alright. I’ve been out a lot this week and it’s really drained me. I’ve only been getting four or five hours of sleep each night and I haven’t really been eating or drinking anything, which makes me even more tired.

This is what happens when I have a “busy” schedule. And I don’t even technically have a busy schedule. All I’ve been doing is picking up children from school and maybe helping with homework and it’s only for Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday.

But getting up and driving takes a lot of effort out of me. Being “responsible” for two more bodies outside of my own also takes a lot of effort out of me. I can barely take care of myself.

she20will20not20eat20all20about20eating20disorders_3So when there’s a lot going on in my outside world, my inside world is ignored and I’m so focused on trying to reduce my stress response that I forget about myself. I don’t eat–I don’t really want to–I don’t think anything, and it makes it easier to do both because we don’t have a lot of food in the house. We barely have any, actually. This happens at the beginning of month after my mother pays rent.

And when I get stressed and things don’t go in a routine way and I know I might be forced to use my own shitty judgement or improvise for some reason, that puts more stress on my shoulders. I don’t handle stress well. I need to know things before I do them. I need to know I have a little bit of control and if it’s not done in a routine manner well that’s the end of the world for me. I need my routine. I’ve been addicted to routine ever since I was little.

I’m a leg bouncer. It bounces constantly throughout the day but when it goes quickly like it’s doing right now, I know I’ve reached my stress threshold. Which is probably about negative fifty. My stress threshold is extremely low.

I’m a rocker. When my muscles in my legs can’t take it anymore and I can’t ignore that cramp feeling, I rock. It relaxes me and I’ve actually almost fallen asleep doing it. I try not to do it in public because rocking back and forth is the textbook “Crazy person” thing. They should try it sometimes, maybe they wouldn’t be so stressed.

I’m also a teeth clencher. It really, really hurts my jaw. I do it when I sleep sometimes (not as often as I used to) and I do when without even knowing it, not until the pain starts radiating. I also do it when I’m stressed. Right now I have to keep opening my jaw and thinking about it so I don’t clench it anymore. My teeth are killing me.

get-excited-cause-its-gonna-get-weirdWhen I get stressed, things get weird. That’s why my brain has created so many coping mechanisms for me.

*Warning, slightly gross alert* 

When I don’t drink enough water I get really dehydrated. I also have a nose problem. What does that mean? I have overactive mucus membranes. It’s never been “diagnosed” but I mean it’s pretty easy to tell, I can feel it constantly at the base of the opening where my nose meets my mouth. Nothing is coming from my throat, it’s all from the back of my nose. I did some research on it a while ago.

I’m still going to ask a doctor the next time I see one.

At any rate, when I don’t drink enough water and especially in the winter (cold winds, I’m assuming), my nose can get really dry and I’ve got a few nose bleeds from it. Pretty average issue.

paranoia-130613Except when I’m stressed and paranoid about everything.

I try to spit out as much of it as I can because it gets really annoying festering back there. This morning I was trying to clear out my sinuses both ways and then started brushing my teeth and suddenly there was blood in the sink. I thought maybe I’d nicked my gum or something but I checked everywhere, that’s not where it was coming from.

I hadn’t hacked up anything from my throat or lungs but that’s where my brain went.

. . .

I tried typing just now why I’m so terrified of things like that–obviously it’s indicators of bad things like a pulmonary embolism–but I can’t type about those kind of things specifically without being convinced it’s going to happen to me, particularly when I’m running on very little sleep and very little energy and a lot of stress.

At any rate, that was sign number one. 

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Duster Jacket. 

Sign number two? This evening when I was in the kitchen actually making a small bowl of yesterday’s spaghetti I saw a body leaning over in my peripheral vision and I screamed and faced it and saw it was just my father’s duster and hat hanging on the wall. I legit saw a face and a head. I don’t scream often, not unless there’s a legitimate reason to.

I asked him if it was necessary to have that thing there and he just laughed. That was sign number two.

It’s just telling me something bad is going to happen. That’s what I felt. 

So I continued on with my night. I poured some water and I looked into the cup and I saw little black things floating in it.

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You see, my father has memory problems. He also collects rain water in jugs when it rains so he can water our indoor plants with it. One day a week or so back, he put a jug in the fridge thinking it was store bought water and without his glasses didn’t see the black chunks floating around in it. Apparently neither did I when I poured myself some and drank it.

So I’ve been paranoid about that happening again. I poured three glasses of water in two different cups tonight and all three came out with black shit in it. I asked my mother if she’d bought the water and put it in the fridge earlier, and she said yes, that’s why I thought it was safe to drink. Apparently not. My father didn’t see anything floating in the jug, even with his glasses, but I did. That was sign number three. 

As soon as I entered the kitchen from showing him the jug of water and being thoroughly confused, sign number four scuttled across the floor. Some kind of cricket looking bug that wasn’t a cricket. It was rounded but with a small body and really long antenna. It wasn’t a cockroach, trust me.

At this point I’m terrified. That bug just solidified everything for me. It feels like it just brings bad things with it and it crossed my path right when I was entering the kitchen. Like it timed it.

So I snatched my bowl out of the microwave and came back to my room already terrified that . . . shit, I can’t even type it out without worrying it’s actually going to happen. So scratch that. Ignore it.

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I came back to my room and started watching more YouTube, the thing that numbs my mind the greatest, but every time I took a bite of the spaghetti it felt like that bug was in my mouth. I had to look at the food to make sure it wasn’t made of bugs.

It wasn’t very hot, but somehow one of the bites warmed the bottom part of my jaw and it felt like someone put something in it, like tampered with it. I thought I was poisoned for a second but that can’t be right. I didn’t ever leave my bowl by itself, I don’t think, and who is going to poison me? Right? Definitely sign number five. 

Five signs? Fuck that, I need to be careful where I step. Something might blow my head off.

So there’s a half eaten bowl of spaghetti sitting next to me. I ate ice cubes instead.

I ate a few tater tots, a couple slices of smoked sausage and some french fries. That’s what I ate today.

I honestly don’t want to eat anything at this moment. I don’t even feel comfortable leaving my room.

And this is why I try not to stress myself out. 

My legs are cramping. This is ridiculous. I’m so fucking tired but if I go to sleep I feel like something is going to happen. Too many signs tonight.

Looks like I’m in for another night of staying awake until my body collapses from pure exhaustion and my brain is too beat up to do anything about it.

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This Friday I don’t want to see anyone and I don’t want to talk to anyone. I’m just going to sleep. And when I wake up, I’m going to go online. And no one better say one fucking word to me.

Late Night Part Two: The Latest Night

I don’t know why I put myself around people. I honestly don’t.

I get lonely often, but I never crave for others to be around me to erase the loneliness, I just want someone to listen to how lonely I am.

I find that odd.

I’m not a people person. I’m content weekend after weekend hiding in my room with my music, my computer, and my writings; it’s what I enjoy. That’s my Saturday night and I love it. But whenever someone contacts me and I’m suddenly pulled into their social world and the outcome ends with me not feeling satisfied, I get even more lonely and spend the rest of the night wallowing in bed which is exactly what I don’t like to do.

I feel like I’m a needy person. At night I need someone around me to talk to me, or hug me, or assure me that I shouldn’t be scared of the dark (which I am deathly wary of) because at night is when I get anxious about the days to come, or enter a state of depression about what state I’m in, or get scared by the lonely silence in my room. I hate night time. Night time is the only time I crave the attention of people. Well . . . maybe one or two people, but no more than that. I need to be social at these times, it comforts me.

But in the day time they can just all go to hell. Let me hide in my room and be the happy hermit I am and just keep me out of the sunlight.

I might just be a vampire. Hmm.

I feel completely unwanted . . . which is odd because I only have one or two people I know. I feel like my social anxiety gets in the way of those people enjoying their time with me, and I feel like my depressions keep me from enjoying my time with them . . . or any time at all. I feel as though if someone feels they’re hurting my feelings, of which I can barely sort out myself half the time, I either get defensive and scare them off or I assure them they’re not so they don’t feel bad. I can never think of myself in these situations. If some manager disrespects me at a job I don’t hesitate to walk away and I’ll shove a couple middle fingers in their face while I’m at it, but if one of my peers or “friends” hurts me on a personal level I don’t think twice about it. I let them do it and I don’t tell them it hurts because. . . I don’t know why. I can’t express myself in spoken word and writing it all down to them just seems fucking weird. Just weird.

I have a feeling my obsession with power has something to do with it. If the person is above me I don’t really believe they deserve to be above me, so when they disrespect me I’ll get in their face. But if the person is on the same level as me, maybe I believe I deserve to be below them and therefore don’t care how much they degrade me.

Low self-esteem maybe? I can’t tell. I’m stuck between the issue of thinking I’m the shit and simultaneously a waste of space. I don’t know how that works, but it’s really causing a tug of war in my brain.

I guess this is why I get told I contradict myself a lot. I’m a living contradiction.

The low self-esteem stems from the social anxiety, that’s a no brainer. When I’m around people who have jobs and still go to school and have friends and all that, I feel less than them and I feel like they know I’m less than them. When people ask me if I work and I have to shake my head, I feel like they’re already calling me a loser without even knowing my name.

The other side of me doesn’t really give a flying fuck. It says: who cares if society thinks you should have a job or friends or any of that bullshit? Do what you want. Do what makes you comfortable.

Of course I have to work for money, it’s not an argument of necessity here, it’s an argument of whether or not I should view myself as a complete failure because I can’t easily do the things everyone else can, because I don’t want to make money in conventional ways, because if a manager asks me to do something I’m liable to tell them to fuck off if it I feel like they’re abusing their power.

I’m confused. I go through periods where I think I know who I am and then it gets completely shattered. There’s so many fragments of my self scattered along my brain and I don’t have the patience for a 500 piece puzzle. I jump back and forth between worthless, confident, arrogant, and just plain asshole and I don’t know which one is really me. I know I enjoy psychology, I know I enjoy writing, I know I enjoy music, I know I enjoy thinking, but I still don’t know who I am.

Right now it’s night time, it’s late, and I’m very lonely. I hate night time. I hate that sleeping isn’t comfortable, I hate feeling like I’m empty all the time, I hate never being satisfied with anyone, I hate having to remind myself all the time that I probably expect too much from people and then argue with myself that no, you’re being treated wrong, say something, and then argue again that no, you’re overreacting like always, let it be . . . I don’t know what thought to believe. I can’t ever tell if what I’m feeling or thinking is appropriate or not.

When it comes to social situations I’m at a complete loss. I can’t believe anything anyone says, I’m always asking for reassurance of them, I can’t ever tell someone that I feel hurt by them, I can’t ever understand why I prefer to be alone during the day but comforted at night, I don’t understand how people have conversations for hours about literally nothing, I don’t want to understand how they have conversations for hours about literally nothing, and I’m sick of feel so disconnected from anyone. I’ve never related to anyone I’ve ever met and I feel like I’m incapable of meeting anyone I can relate to on that deep of a level. Every person I’ve ever met I either feel is better than me (in which I cower), or worse than me (in which I exploit) and I’m not sure if I want to put in the effort of trying to understand people anymore.

Every person I meet I’m constantly searching for qualities that would make them better or worse than me. I’ve only recently realized this, so that’s all the insight I’ve got on it.

Even when I meet people in classes, I end up hoping I can develop a class buddy who won’t leave me for someone else, but they always do. I’m always a loner in classes. Everyone meets each other, becomes friends with each other, laughs with each other, relates with each other, and I’m stuck looking for the answer to the algorithm they seem to follow. It’s always the same. Always.

I don’t want to make friends, not entirely. I’d just like to appear normal.

I write a whole bunch on how “normal” doesn’t exist, and it doesn’t. But regardless, there are some days I wish I was just normal. That’s it. Just normal. Like everyone else.

The only thing that comforts me is the fact that I do like who I am, I like what I like, I like that I can watch everyone interact and take pretty accurate guesses at their personality, at their lives, at everything about them without ever having to speak with them. I like things about myself. I don’t like how I have to feel because of the fact that I like myself.

Maybe I haven’t accepted myself like I thought I had.

Or maybe everyone else is an asshole.

There’s only two options here, people.

Where Did All The Empathy Go?

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What would life be without contradictions? Probably pretty peaceful, like that early morning tide up above. But even the ocean has it’s violent swells.

I fancy looking at an obvious contradiction in human behavior: emotions versus rationality. People say humans base their reason on their emotion, that emotions make us human; they allow us to connect with each other, love with each other, fight with each other, and grow with each other. People value things, activities, livelihoods, based on the quality of emotion they feel. You love your job therefore you put high value on your position. You love your children, your family, your friends, and therefore place high value on their lives and their happiness. An exuberant amount of value is placed on money since the rise and spread of capitalist type monetary systems mostly because of the items you can acquire. As a result, the more money you have, the higher you’re valued in society. Don’t agree? How many celebrities do you know to have stayed in jail longer than the booking process for drug offenses other people get life in prison for?

I call emotional standings and rationality a contradiction because for a society that bases their entire communicative foundation on understanding emotions, we seem to use them sparingly in regards to other people. We detach ourselves and instead base our interpretation of other’s troubles on pure, unadulterated reason. The homeless man is homeless because he’s a lazy drug addict. Certainly a logic reason, right? Following such linear thought is often rational. This pattern of rationality, and reason in general according to Hume, doesn’t tell us what we value, but helps us pursue what we value. In other words, reasoning the homeless man is an inept member of society because of problems we won’t empathize with reminds us of the value we place on things like financial stability. We pursue that stability, we pursue the infamous, often unobtainable “American Dream” because we value it and because those we see as valueless become our motivational tools.

But the simple fact is we are emotional beings. Our decisions are dictated by them. We know just how powerful they are, that’s why we use reason as means of escape. Why feel horrid understanding other’s suffering when you can feel satisfied knowing it’s not your problem? In the United States individualism is our centerpiece–work for yourself, fend for yourself, muscle through, work hard and you’ll achieve all you could dream for. But what is an individual without a cluster of other individuals? Lonely. Confined. Disorientated. Hopeless. Whether we like it or not, we are not born into this world understanding social customs, human rights, or morality, they are taught to us through observation of culture, of family, of peers, of media. We develop our self identity through others, so where then is the rationality in individualizing pain? We wouldn’t be who we are without each other and this is coming from someone 15 years deep in agoraphobia and social anxiety disorder.

Hume theorizes our reason overrides common feelings like sympathy and empathy, feelings that merge other’s pain with ours. The lack of such results in those individuals committing inhumane acts. Reason, in its purest form, could justify anything like a manipulative teenager. No one wants one of those in charge. Then we’d all be forced to listen to Nicki Minaj and twerk as the only form of acceptable exercise.

I say all of this not out of anger but out of hurt. No one dare invalidate my paranoid or nightmares of killing, being killed, or committing suicide. No one even dare mouth off about my mood swings or deficit in anger management. But the moment I mention anxiety is the moment I’m a fraud. My explanations aren’t met with encouraging phrases or helpful hints, only stories of someone else’s achievements, a sort of standard I’m expected to match, like that time in middle school she got through the class presentation by taking a deep breath and “just doing it” or that time he “just ignored it all”.

It’s often seen as my choice, just as it’s every homeless man and woman’s choice to be homeless. I’m just lazy. I’m weak. But i’m not lazy. I barely leave my room because I’m tired of dealing with the agony of stepping over the threshold of the front door. It’s not fun knowing everyone can see the uncomfortable perspiration on the tip of my nose, or the racing thoughts of “they’re laughing at me, they hate me, they’re giving me that stare because they know i’m odd, they despise my demeanor, they think I’m being rude, am I being rude? I must be being rude; i’m freaking out, they’re talking about me over there, he’s telling his wife I sound ignorant”. I’m not weak either; anyone who fights themselves every waking second of their life and manages to keep themselves alive is stronger than any steroid injecting, acne covered, small-balled bodybuilder. It takes a special person to cope with any mental illness, no matter how small.

And the reason many of us get these carefree answers like we do isn’t because we’re explaining anything wrong or because people don’t “understand”. They do understand, rationally, but lack some major skills in empathetic understanding. We learn as children when our buddy falls on his face and skins his knee of all things, he is hurting. We comfort him because we remember the time we skinned our knee or we see the red, oozing wound and deduce it as painful. However, a skill, a real talent, a true internal beauty must be nurtured and grown to comfort people in the same manner who experience pains unlike anything we’ve ever felt. If someone can muster a “that must be very difficult for you” or a “that sounds incredibly horrible” they may sound like some cheesy therapist fresh out of undergraduate school with their bachelor degree plastered over their eyes, but they’re giving a go at putting themselves in your shoes and I see hope in that. I see no hope in replies like “that sucks” or “Oh, sorry”.

People aren’t bad. Most aren’t cold-hearted, or reptilian, or deplorable but I’m a firm believer our priorities as individuals have led humanity astray much farther than ever intended. We value paper currency over human lives and use loose reason to justify it–that’s not a good sign. It’s rather ironic, isn’t it, seeing as none of that is rational in the slightest. Is it the irony we value? Or the stupidity? Do we even value the value we place on things? What the hell are we doing?