Processing Things

In the shower this morning I found a piece of anger within me that I have yet to fully eradicate.

The thing about dealing with mental health problems is that you will always have days you feel like you can manage, and you will have days you feel like you can’t manage. Sometimes the days you can’t manage are consecutive and go on for months, maybe even years. And the shitty thing about that, other than the fact that you are struggling managing life, is that other people will not understand that.

Everyone has their own pain that they deal with and everyone deals with it differently. Some people can breeze through a truama and choose to put it out of their head while others develop Post Traumatic Stress and dissociation issues. I don’t think there’s a right way to deal with trauma, but generally what works is facing it and working through it. Sometimes when you do that, it takes a while and it takes a lot of pain. And that pain can shut you down for a while, maybe some weeks, months, years even.

For me, learning more about myself and what goes on in my head is proving to take some months, coming up on a year now. And for the past year it is true that I have been withdrawn and I have avoided other people, mainly because I’m struggling believing people have respectable motives towards me. I feel that they’re against me, and that if they say they aren’t, they’re lying.

Trying to explain this to someone who doesn’t experience it is almost impossible.

And I feel that since this was a part of the conditions of my recent breakup, that I should address this on this blog so I can also process it for myself.

Last November was a tough time for me going into the hospital and losing touch with a lot of reality. When I came out of the hospital, I didn’t really have anywhere to turn, at least that’s what it felt like. I still struggle with reaching out when I need some kind of support because it seems like whenever I do, it’s never enough. That’s my own issue I need to work on.

But knowing what I’ve been through, knowing what I’ve gone though, it should go without saying that It’s going to take me years to really get to a point where I feel comfortable “being outgoing” again. Unless I stop this infernal medication and go manic.

I just don’t feel like any part of me was understood in this break up. It was another trauma, because I’ve never had anyone so close to me misunderstand me so entirely.

And I respect his decision, and I respect that this has been an issue between us for a while. I don’t have any problem with someone making a decision that’s best for them. I just wish it wasn’t because of my mental health. I finally understand that saying: if someone can’t handle you at your worst, they don’t deserve you at your best. 

And I will be back to my best, I will return to myself. And it hurts me that I couldn’t have someone I love walk that journey with me. I guess it’s something I need to walk by myself. Maybe that’s just how it’s meant to be, and that’s fine too. I can’t control everything.

I also know there are people out there who WOULD walk that journey with me, who would research what they don’t understand, who would offer support in a way that will help me grow and get back to myself. And those are the people I need to surround myself with. I’m not quite sure where or when I will find them, but I will find them and I will latch onto them.

It seems like it’s a lot to ask of someone, but I would do the same for them. If they suddenly woke up in the midst of psychosis and ended up in the hospital, I would learn all I could about their experiences. I would be with them in their experiences and I would support their confidence until their confidence could support itself. Sometimes we need someone to do that for us, and it seems like if you truly love someone, that wouldn’t be too hard of a thing to do.

I had a great four years in my relationship. It was great fun, and there were times where I was supported by no one else but him. I acknowledge that. And maybe that was too much of a burden. Maybe it’s difficult for some people to hold that kind of pain and confusion with someone else. I tend to think it’s a rather simple thing because that’s what I do at work at all the time. I also acknowledge it’s different when you’re around it 24/7, or at least more often than three days a week.

So, these are things to be aware of going into my next relationship, whenever that may be. But I never felt like I overburdened him with my problems. I never sat there and complained about myself all day and all night, and I never demanded support. I only talked about my problems when they became overwhelming and I really did try and get out and do things.

I’ve been told all my life I’m not outgoing enough. I’m sick of hearing it. And you know what? I don’t give a fuck anymore. I’m done giving a fuck. Don’t like it? Not my problem anymore. I was ready to put effort into saving the relationship and that was cut off. So I’m not going to try to put anymore effort. I’m not going to try to win you back. I’m not going to bother you all the time. I’m just going to do me. I’m going to move and I”m going to try starting over. This town, Santa Cruz, has nothing left for me. And that’s okay. Everyone has to move on some time.

And that’s today’s Mental Truth.

Isolation Damnation

I was requested to write a post about isolation and how it makes my mind change and feel. So here, my friends, is my probably less than mediocre attempt (the fault of my insufferable writing skills) at fulfilling said request.

I’ve been an introvert since before therapists started calling me one.

I’ve been an introvert since before I knew how to spell my name (and I learned a lot of words before I could finish memorizing a french last name that I later learned doesn’t belong to my bloodline).

I’ve been an introvert since before I knew that I had legs and when I discovered them, I’m sure I was more than pleased–yet, still introverted, so they didn’t get used outside much. I wonder how they feel about that.

I digress.

MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERAThere are days I feel it is my calling to be as such, that Locke’s idea of being born with a “Tabula Rasa” (blank slate) in terms of personality, in terms of possibilities, emotions, and other advantages (or disadvantages depending on how full your cup is) is just a load of horse shit. I was an introvert in the womb. I was an introvert when half of me was in an egg and the other half in a sperm.

My point (finally)?

Isolation is my closest friend. It came at me from both sides: it forced itself upon me as a result of my severe social anxiety that eventually resulted in agoraphobia, and it gently caressed my skin as a result of my complete and utter personal choice to be alone with myself.

There are times when it is tough. Where are times when I’m lying on the floor bleeding from a self-inflicted wound or banging my head against the wall, or ready to leap from a cliff because I just can’t handle the floods of thoughts in my head, and I have no one to lie on the floor with me.

reaching-outEven when I make an attempt to reach out, I struggle in describing my experience because I’ve never been fully open with anyone but myself. There’s a disadvantage: I’ve so utterly disconnected with the idea of “sharing emotionally” that I’m not even sure I could define it properly. Perhaps it’s because I don’t have the option of speaking with people who share my experiences and thoughts, or perhaps it’s because I am essentially socially inept and wouldn’t possibly know where to start to go about finding these kind of people.

School days were plagued with feeling inadequate matched up to my socially successful classmates, and being mixed race in a school of mostly Caucasian and Hispanic students didn’t go over well–I didn’t act or talk “white” and everyone I came in contact thought I was Hispanic, including the teachers who would give me papers in Spanish without asking. There we’rent enough African American students to even form a group, so that wasn’t an option either.

Race, social anxiety, and my own need to be in my head kept me isolated.

The students in the advanced classes I took were Caucasian and talked all the time about their trips to Greece and Spain over the summer. So socioeconomic status played a part as well.

I skipped a lot of high school. It’s a waste of time anyway, at least in America.

Oh uh, bold statement, I might have just lost a reader or two.

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But it’s not all bad. For some reason a transition from a sheltered “kid” of 17 who was still legally unable to do anything really significant to an 18 year old “adult” signaled a time in my life where I realized how valuable my isolation is to me.

It leaves me a spot in my head where I am absolutely and utterly safe. There is no noise, no distraction, just the ocean of my own thoughts crashing on shore. Sometimes they roar and move swift in a storm, other times they creep onto the sand and only slightly lick the tip of my toes. But no matter their temperament, isolation has allowed me to feel them completely and wholly, with myself, by myself.

I wasn’t subjected to peer pressure. I was on the inside of myself looking out, observing, patterns of typical teenaged behavior and I didn’t like what I saw. I didn’t care to move with the crowd: did I need them to live? I didn’t care to go to the mall and get the latest fashion trend: who am I giving my money to when I buy this shirt? I didn’t care if I looked like a loner: I mind my business, they mind theirs. Simple.

The one friend I did have got sucked up into peer pressure; it became a need for her to do as they did; she absorbed anyone’s personality if she stood near them, and took on their attitude, mannerisms, and imitated their actions.

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She did it to me multiple times when we were alone together. In a group, if I wasn’t the dominant vocal member, she would find who was and suck up to them.

This has resulted in her forcing herself to lose her virginity before we turned 18 (we’re both 21 now) just to say she did it, it’s resulted in her hanging out with 15 year olds at the age of 21 because the majority of people we have gone to high school with have alright jobs, party only occasionally, and grew up a bit. It’s resulted in her crashing a 12 thousand dollar car her grandparents gifted her within a month of her receiving it, only to get in another car crash a month later, a 1000 dollar ticket, and now a warrant for her arrest as a result of the unpaid fine.

She lives her life for the approval of other people; she has yet to find herself.

I was lucky. I knew myself before I knew knowing myself was a thing to be had. Who did I have to impress but myself? Who did I have to look up to but myself? Who did I have to listen to but myself?

 

While it results in me feeling overwhelmingly alone at times, while it results in me feeling jealous of those who can socialize, those who have friends to leave the house with every Friday night, while it results in me feeling like a freak compared to the social normality of my boyfriend, while it results in my feeling inadequate on many levels, it also results in me having a connection with myself I don’t think many 21 year olds have.

Isolation has ruined my life.

And it’s given it so many gifts.

I wish I could say more on how it changes things, but I have no personal experience with going from “not isolated” to “isolated”. So perhaps that makes my view biased.

While there are times I need a friend or some human contact, I don’t fish for it. I don’t need it to live or breathe or eat or even enjoy myself.

I enjoy making people laugh. I even would go so far as saying I enjoy entertaining, whether it be writing, videos, or just general group humor. But after all that is said and done, after I let the anxiety settle in my system, there’s nothing greater I appreciate than a good solid week in my room with minimal contact, and the title of a vampire.

In many ways I feel isolation is just a bitter sweet result of my many mental health quirks that have freed me from the disadvantages of sanity.

 

 

Can You Repeat Yourself On Paper Please?

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My view, at this current moment.

Ignore my frantic scrambles and scribbles of disemboweled equations on the papers in front of me. As you can see, I work with pen. When you don’t have an IQ in the 200’s, using pen with math is essentially like engraving (and paying for) “Swag, Swag, Swag” on your headstone when you’re sixteen and not rationally competent enough to see that when you’re 90 and coughing blood in the hospital, the last thing you want family, friends, and strangers to remember you by is some clip from a Justin Bieber Music Video.

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Unless you really adore Justin Bieber and the concept of “swag”. In which case . . .

Explain. In the comments below. Explain it.

And I want concrete details to prove your point.

I’m sitting in what we call “study rooms”. Technically groups of 2 or more have priority, but if you know anything about timid, frantic college students, it’s that they would much rather sit off privately than dare open my door and create conflict over the fact that I am only one human.

As I speak, a girl peeked into the giant windows to see if someone was in the room. Our eyes met briefly. She scrambled away.

That’s right. Run. 

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Very rarely do I study in groups. I reject the premise that you “learn better” with group work. Perhaps you learn better if you have the stellar ability to comprehend conversation without struggle. I, however, do not posses that skill.

Tutors intimidate me. They speak very quickly (on the account that they have to get to so many people here) and they’re more likely to explain a concept to you in the way that they understand it rather than having ample amount of time and training to figure out the way you understand things.

When it comes to math, I am a visual learner. I’d rather someone just show me how to do the problem. If they talk me through it I get thoroughly confused.

My friend wanted to sign up for a tutor for our math class for him, me and another one of our math buddies but I declined. The group wouldn’t just be us three, it would be up to 8 other people. Too many people talking, too many questions, too much pressure. My anxiety would distract me and I’d focus more on what everyone else is doing and what they’re struggling with rather than my own questions.

Google, Wolfram Alfa, and a solutions manual are my tutors. They’ve never failed me. I never feel insecure around them; I feel like I can ask them anything and they’ll provide an answer I can understand. I can look at each step and identify what I’m having trouble with, note it for later, and try other problems that cause me to use the new skill I just learned.

Tutors are people.

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They lean over your shoulder and drool on your paper and if you get stuck with an arrogant one, they spew their arrogance all over you in some kind of weird, auto-erotic smart-person ritual.

At least, some of them here do.

I’ve been a tutor before and I don’t mind helping people who learn better with someone by their side. I am not one of those people.

I get overwhelmed when one person says hi to me and another says hi a second later; how the hell am I going to be able to focus when I’m stuck in a noisy ass room where tens of people are talking and laughing and the tutor is over my shoulder trying to say words I can’t comprehend.

If I had a private tutor in a library setting, perhaps that would work. But even then, they’d have to be committed to me because I don’t learn like the average person.

I’m the slowest, faster learner I know.

Let me give you a visual of my brain.

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Looks a lot like yours, I’m willing to bet. Although . . . the hell is that hole? The fuck? Is that why speech is so hard for me to understand?

Imagine the little squiggles on that brain (I’m not claiming that brain anymore, it’s got holes man) is a motorway. Imagine there are hundreds of thousands of tiny little cars with four wheel drive speeding around those turns and up all the mountain ridges and expelling exhaust like all cars do. Imagine there are little people road raging, and little people driving the speed limit and little people parking and little people cursing at the sky (my skull) because of the little parking ticket on their little car window they found after coming out of the little cafe with their little cup of coffee.

The little cars and the little people are my thoughts. They’re all over the place. Some are faster than others, some like to sleep during the day and wake during night and spend the dark hours speeding down the motorway and making donuts in vacant parking lots just to hear me complain.

They know I’m not a merciful God, and they know I can’t physically get rid of them, so they like to fuck with me.

Little bastards.

At any rate, they help me make decisions. Some of them are in charge of doing this math for me. The smart, wise, elders are in the back of my brain in the medulla and other such areas, controlling my breathing and heart rate and all that important stuff. They don’t really concern themselves with all ruckus of the rest of my brain.

The loose, edgy, punk rock “FREEDOM!!!” shouters all cram in my frontal cortex and they do 66549618cb2f797cc13dae370dd74d5edoughnuts in the middle of the day and laugh while they run from the little brain police.

I don’t know what all the middle guys are doing. Fucking around, probably.

But when I am confronted by someone, somewhere a little car slams on its little brakes and four other little cars slam on their little brakes and suddenly all the little cars slam on their little brakes. Some vagabond road ragers jump out into the street, but freeze upon being confronted by the booming voice of whoever I’m talking to.

They slowly move little debris to the side of the road and slowly repair their cars and slowly drive along the motorway again. But it takes a lot to get their little cars going. Some of them just stay in the middle of the road and cause an ever larger jam for the few little cars that can move.

As a result, it’s hard for me to understand verbal words. They muck up my brain. I can handle general conversation, unless that person talks fast and then I get overwhelmed and sit out of the conversation. My ideas don’t spurt as quickly as they do when I have paper in front of me. It happens when I’m anxious and it happens when I’m not anxious.

Sometimes I choose not to talk simply because I can’t keep track of the conversation. I can’t come up with ideas as fast as everyone else. In order for me to process a conversation, I have to write it down.

Speaking is also a challenge. I have to drag the words through sludge to get them off my tongue.

It’s why I thrive in college. The majority of lectures are: this person talks, you write what you understand.

High School was: work in groups and figure it out together.

It’s a criticism I have of public education. It’s catered to one specific type of person and it tries to mold you into that specific type of person.

That didn’t work. I just ditched all my classes that required I learn that way. And I still graduated. With about 50 or 60 unaccounted for absences in my senior year alone.

I remember laughing about it.

If you ace all your tests, you’re home free.

Because that’s all they really care about.

 

 

 

 

Ideas Galore

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This New Year has initiated some kind of new way of thinking about myself, as you can probably tell from my last few posts.

And the funny thing is, I feel so much more content with myself.

I feel so much more content knowing that I’m trying hard to be someone I’m not in the public, and that this self that I spend so much time alone with is my true self. That’s good because I like my true self.

I don’t mind my public self because it gets me through school and interviews and all that.

plate-1Today I’ve really noticed how content I feel, however. I’ve been so stuck on the subject for the last week that I keep forgetting to eat again. This happens a lot. If I go on a writing binge (which is often) I might skip breakfast, lunch, and dinner and not eat until four the next morning when I finally figure I’ve had enough. Then I’ll wake up the next day and start the cycle all over again. I’ve inadvertently lost weight in the past doing that and when I noticed I’d dropped ten pounds I started eating again.

I did eat today because I was at my boyfriend’s house when they made dinner. There was food all over the place and I was instructed to eat so I did so. I was already hungry anyway, but I didn’t really care if I was hungry or not. Not until there was a bowl in front of me and my tastebuds started tingling.

I slurped that shit down like a hog eating slop.

I’m hungry right now (I’m telling you, I haven’t been eating) but it’s 1:34 in the morning, it’s too much energy to go make food and I’m too busy in my head.

All the possibilities.

There are so many.

I won’t go as far as to say I feel comfortable going outside.

But now that I see I actually do interact with the world differently than most people and I’m not just some social weirdo incapable of “normality” I feel more comfortable with myself in public.

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I always say I don’t care what people think about me when I’m out in public. That obviously seems like a contradiction when social anxiety disorder is all about caring what other people think about you.

But as I’ve stated, mine is a little different. I’m more worried I’m doing something socially unconventional–a weird tone, the wrong facial expression (too exaggerated? monotone? angry?) or blurting something random in an attempt to keep conversation flowing which, obviously, never works–and that’s where the bulk of the worrying about their opinion comes from.

I also worry about the usual things like “I look shitty today” or “that group laughing over there is laughing at me because I’m walking like an idiot” and I have the tendency to bend over my paper like a reincarnation of Gollum pounces on The Ring from Lord Of The Rings. I cover my writing because I hate people reading my stuff.

writing20raw20logoMy writing is my true self. It’s raw and unarmored. I don’t like people seeing that squishy, fleshy part of me. At least not people I have to see every day. I feel violated.

I’m a private person. I like my solitude.

I do wish I could express my emotions a little more though. It’s really hard for me to formulate them verbally. They just lodge themselves in the pit of my stomach and the back of my brain and only release when I have a pen in my hand or a keyboard on my lap. I have no other release.

It’s not that I don’t want people to know how I’m feeling, it’s not that I don’t trust them with my feelings, it’s that I physically can’t do it. I don’t know how else to explain it. It’s just too hard to put into words the feeling and whenever I’ve tried, it didn’t come out how I wanted to.

In order for me to say what I’m really feeling, people would have to ask me pretty specific questions and even then it’s going to be a struggle getting it out of me. Sometimes I wish they would so I could at least make an attempt, but how are they going to know what to ask?

However, when I say I don’t care what people think about me, I really mean it. I’m not terrified of them like it seems, and if they don’t like me I really don’t give a shit because I prefer being by myself anyway.

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But the fact that I need to blend in and be one of them in order to get where I want to be on this Earth makes me stress over being socially proper. Stressing over being socially proper makes me 2x more socially anxious than I already was.

I still don’t care what people think.

What I learned this semester was invaluable, however. A month or so back, I ranted and raved over how proud  I was that I spoke up one night and interacted with the group. What I did not say was how the interaction really went.

Yes, it was a huge success. However, having a conversation with me sometimes is like starting at point A, leaping to point G, sliding into point C, and then launching to point Z. I’m all over the place. I don’t really understand how to carry a conversation unless the other person leads, so the majority of the time I just throw out irrelevant ideas to see if something hooks.

I’ve learned, over the course of my life, not to interrupt people with random things.

I also learned that night how to appropriate and weave through the sentences floating through my head.

Sometimes I want to say something but I’m not sure if it’s good enough to say, or right, or if it fits, so it just kind of sits there on my tongue.

So I listened closely to the subject my group was discussing and I had to search through all those random sentences floating in my head and tried to find one that related to whatever the hell they were talking about. I used them as practice and they didn’t even know it. They were my test subjects.

Poor fools.

light-bulb-idea-head-idea_bulbSo when they were talking about where they lived, a great idea popped into my head! Talk about the nasty ass swap that smells like rotting eggs every time it rains just three minutes from my apartment!

It might have been disgusting to think about but it was related to their conversation: it was near where I lived. I described the street I’m on and I was kind of part of the conversation and it kind of worked.

That night took a lot of energy out of me, though. Two hours of pressuring yourself not to be a complete dingus is difficult.

And I drove them in a lot of crazy directions. We went from talking about vegan food to “What’s with that weird language sign on the wall; look at that one in the corner!” in a matter of seconds.

My doing, of course.

They didn’t seem to mind. But how the fuck would I know.

The next time I tried it, one of the other girls was a psych major and happened to mention one of my favorite psych professors at my college. That sent me off on a tangent. Mention psychology and your ears are done. I’ll tell you my whole life story and link it to every possible thing I’ve learned in psychology thus far.

And I’ve been hitting the textbooks and research books and living the life style for way longer than I’ve been in college. Who needs college to learn?

So you better have your facts straight with me if you want to talk psychology. I have a tendency to be very aggressive with my knowledge.

I do try. I have to really analyze a situation and solve it like a puzzle, but at least I make attempts.

It zaps my energy just thinking about it.

 

To Dorm Or Not To Dorm, That Is The Question

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I often get overly excited.

What do I mean?

Say there’s a writing contest. I put some effort into making a submission and the only reason I do is because I’m convinced I’m going to win.

Confidence? Not always.

9aedcc109bd77477f891be956d46de0af181954fMore like I’ve convinced myself in some weird fantasy world that I’m the absolute winner. I’m the Kanye West of competitions. Something like that.

It fills me up with a bunch of nice feelings and I think about grand prizes and I start planning what I’m going to do with the money. I spend days like this.

If I don’t win, I’m not crushed, I’m just confused: who the fuck turns down Kanye West? 

It happens with everything. And there’s only one thing that can stomp and squeeze and ravage the good feeling right out of me: my own brain.

I’m not getting any younger over here people, and with only one class left to finish my degree I’m going to be transferring soon.

Assuming I can even start that class without having a mental breakdown.

I haven’t taken any “Communication” classes, or any Economics, so State School applications are pretty much a no-go. I did that on purpose. 1) because there was no way in hell my social anxiety would let me get through a speech class without me having a break down and 2) I don’t want to go to a state school.

I’m not trying to sound snobby. There are some really good ones in my area, I’ve just always had my eyes set on a few private universities. I like the class sizes and the personal attention you get. Everyone says “holly hell, that’s going to 40k how are you going to pay for that?”

I tell them I don’t know.

They stare at me like they’ve just caught me banging their mother on their childhood bed.

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There are always ways to make things happen. Always. I will eventually get through that last psych class. I will eventually take some sort of speech class, or at least a class with a lot of speeches in it. I can and I will. Can I do it right now? I don’t feel ready for it. I also don’t feel ready to pay 40k to a school.

But everything always works out. I’ve never lived through anything so horrible that I haven’t bounced back from it, that I haven’t found a way to solve the problem. I usually have several solutions. I give thanks to my anxiety and hyper-vigilance for that.

brain_locked_up_md_wmI am my worst enemy. I tear myself down more often than anyone. I often feel my brain and I are separate people, and we communicate as such. We’re disconnected until we’re in moments where we need to be connected. He works with me when he’s in jeopardy, I should say. He’s a pretty selfish thing. He’ll lie to give excuses for the things the anxiety  or depression made him avoid, the things people needed him for. And then he puts the guilt on my shoulders because his are already smothered in it.

What he forgets is that guilt isn’t a bad thing. It’s telling you that you can do something better, it’s telling you there’s more you can do than just wallow in it.

Today I was thinking a lot about my future. I was thinking about life after the college I attend now and how it will all go down with my boyfriend. He’s planning on attending one of the better state Uni’s in the area. The University I want to attend is 13 minutes away from his, by car. What a coincidence.

Anyway, these are things you have to think about at some point. Where to live? A room in a house? A studio apartment? Dorms?

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Hit up San Francisco State and These Are Your Dorms. I’ve Done A Tour. I Went Into A Dorm For Four Students . . . Couldn’t Walk Through It Without Turning To The Side. It was Literally Room For Four Beds And A Clock.

Anyone been to Cal Poly San Luis Obisbo? DAAAAAAAMN their apartments are FIRE SON. Better than most ones I’ve lived in. I was jealous when I went there.

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I probably won’t do dorms. They’re already getting 40k from me (by me I mean the government and banks) just so I can sit in a fucking classroom for this chapter of 2 or 3 years before moving on to Med School which is going to require my left arm, my right ear, my left leg up to my knee, plus another 50k, there’s no way in hell I’m giving them money to live on their campus.

My boyfriend and I haven’t talked about living together indefinitely, which is a good thing, no one needs to be rushed into something we might not be ready for.

Regardless of whether we do or not, I’m going to need a job up there. Which means I’m going to need some work experience down here. Because, um, I can’t be earning minimum wage part time and expect to pay rent, utilities, and food. I’m either going to have to starve in the dark under a roof, or have no roof but have food while

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Obviously I’ve been looking, and I’ve filled out a lot of applications and now that Christmas is over, I’m expecting at least one person to call me back.

But I get to fantasizing. I get to thinking how awesome it’s going to be for once in my life to be out of this house and worrying more about myself than my parents. I’ll have a crazy amount of freedom. I’ll be working with my own money and have my amazing boyfriend (unless he decides he’s sick of me) and be taking classes that lead me towards medical school and I’ll be geeking out in science and spending my little free time writing and enjoying my life how I want to.

It feels so nice to think about it.

Then my brain reminds me I’m not like everyone else.

Having a job, going to school, and dealing with all the personal responsibilities that come with living on your own is really going to tax my system. I’m an introvert. I can’t handle a lot of time around people. Being in a movie theater and then walking around downtown for maybe an hour or two is enough to hold me off from needing interaction with the outside world for the next five days. Maybe even a week.

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I know getting control of my anxiety will help me tolerate people longer, but that’s more work than I can handle while simultaneously attending classrooms and doing internships and projects and working and socializing.

It’s always going to be there: that’s what my brain is telling me. I might get more comfortable with people as time goes on, but I’m never going to be carefree like other people. I’m okay with that. Life might not be. It’s going push me hard. It’s going to throw a burlap sack over my head, tighten a rope around my neck, tie a cement weight to my ankles and toss me in the river.

'I'm thinkin' this sleeping with the fishes option ain't best practices.'

Some how I’m going to have to swim to the surface.

Doing therapy, pushing myself in social situations, getting out of the house–this is my way of preparing for the up and coming war.

The anxiety doesn’t worry me as much as my depression in this situation. If I feel like I’ve failed, that old buddy is always there to comfort me, put a cold arm around my shoulders and convince me the pain I feel is loyal.

That’s not a lie, it is loyal. It just really impedes my life.

We all know living on your own at first is tough. I’m expecting that. I’m expecting it to feel awkward and weird but relieved and validated. I’m expecting to be stressed trying to juggle work and school. All of that is a given.

But add the terror that is my brain to the equation and it’s a hell the majority of my coworkers and “friends” and classmates will never understand.

It’s hard when you know how difficult you struggle but no one else seems to give you acknowledgement for it. You acknowledge them when they make accomplishments, you’re proud of them and pat them on the back and say way-to-go.

C'mon it's not that hard!But if you do something like go into a grocery store or talk on the phone or start a conversation with a random person on the street or not cut yourself or not burn your self or not or not blow your head off or not panic or whatever, no one says way to go! Awesome! Because they don’t get that it’s hard. It’s not hard for them, why should it be hard for anyone else?

So be proud of yourself. Be proud of what you make it through. That’s how I’m choosing to talk to my brain tonight. He’s been hounding on me a lot lately, particularly today about how the problems I have now are never going to be completely erased, it’s going to be easy to fall back into old habits and it’s even going to feel good. He tells me I should stop fantasizing about what life will be like in the next year or so, leaving home and being on my own without any real tools, but he’s just trying to rob me of looking forward to something, of having a goal, of feeling some type of raw happiness. That’s all he ever does. 

I understand. He doesn’t want to lose his best friend to a life of her own.

I choose to ignore his advice. He gives horrible advice. He’s like that one kid at your high school who sat underneath the bleachers in his faux leather jacket and Elvis hair cut, rolling a joint and always pressuring you for a hit.

That being said, this song explains our thoughts much better:

Oh, before I go.

I‘d also like to give a shout out to the dumb motherfucker who tried jimmying the lock on my car. Now when I turn the key it sounds like metal against metal and I have to jerk it to the left to unlock the door.

Never parking on the street again.

Just a month ago one man bought a new car, had to park it on the street because there’s no parking in this complex, and that night it was stolen.

A word of advice to this stupid fuck, the one who messed with my car. NEVER try and rob a naturally paranoid person. 

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I already have my eyes set on security cameras with wifi capability, motion sensitivity, and apps so I can keep track of it on my phone. I told my mother the moment I hear the alert on my phone, I’m running out in the street with my hair fluffed, my clothes on backward, and my crossbow and I’m going say very calmly “you have five seconds to get the fuck away from my car”.

Then when he’s running, I’m going to shoot him in the back. 

They’re rubber tipped, chill.

 

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I’ll Be Watching. Sleep Tight.

A Classic Christmas Ending

You know that moment when you think Christmas is pretty much over and you’re alright with everything that went down? And then your boyfriend comes over and the PS4 he bought you and you get zapped into another dimension fighting alien bird things like what the fuck just happened?

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I did not expect that.

I love it. I mean, I didn’t know how to feel when I saw it.

That’s some money right there.

I spent well over a hundred on his but that’s nothing compared to the system brand new.  That’s one thing that’s hard about Christmas: when someone gives you a gift that’s worth a couple hundred more than yours and you’re like shit, I owe you a two hundred dollar gift now.

For someone like me, who’s inclined to believe she does everything wrong, it makes me feel like I’ve done something horribly wrong.

I know I haven’t. I know it’s the thought that counts. I know I have to personalize all my gifts and that’s why I spent eight hours working on the photos that went into the gift I got.

But it still feels like I didn’t do enough, not compared to a PS4.

I absolutely love this gift, it’s the best thing I’ve gotten for Christmas since I got my PS3.

But accepting it is hard. It’s hard for me to accept when people give me nice things. I don’t think there’s any way in hell I deserve any part of it. I end up thinking there’s nothing I can do to repay for my mistakes I mean . . . there just isn’t.

I get this from my dad and my depressive nature. He does the same things sometimes. He never buys anything for us during Christmas, mostly because he has no money, so when we give him things he sometimes goes into a rage. This Christmas he didn’t. No drinking, no anything, and when I presented him with the hand made drum I bought him he was ecstatic. At least I did one thing right today.

Of course I’m happy. Today has been amazing and it still is amazing.

But I feel so guilty. And like a complete idiot.

I mean obviously you can’t predict people’s gifts–well, I guess you can, every other year my mother buys me socks, but that’s besides the point.

This year was one of those years. I got a packet of socks. And this Chromebook.

But I can’t deny I needed socks. Every other year I’m completely out because I’ve lost them all. Where the hell do they go? I have no idea.

The point is, I’m an idiot who knows she’s not an idiot but feels like a complete jackass idiot.

I just suck at doing things right, I think. I don’t mean for this to be a whiny post, although I can feel a bit of a rant coming. I’m just trying to tell the truth. I try to do things right but then I end up fucking up and making myself look stupid and sometimes I wish I could read people’s minds just so I’m absolutely sure everyone’s talking shit about me and my stupidity.

At least then I’ll know for sure. I’d always rather know for sure than to have to teeter back and forth between “yes, they’re thinking good things!” to “no, oh my God, you made an ass of yourself, they’re laughing at you” every other minute.

I’m probably not going to be able to sleep tonight.

And it’s not going to be because I’m playing video games.

Alright, it might partially be because I’m playing video games.

But it’s also because I just suck. I do. Sometimes I feel like I act like such an idiot and do the most stupidest things that I should just stick a gun to my head for being so damn dumb. Like . . . that’s the punishment. You’re so stupid, you just need to shoot yourself. Your stupidity is overwhelming the rest of society.

That’s just how it feels when I convince myself I’m doing everything wrong.

Obviously if I was going to shoot myself in the head, I would have done it by now.

I don’t even know how to get a gun.

They got airsoft guns at Big 5 but I don’t think that’ll do the job.

It’s good to get this kind of stuff out of yourself before it mucks up your senses. I know I’m not a horrible person, even though I feel like it, and I know I’m not stupid, even though I feel like it. It’s just a feeling. And tomorrow it might still be here, and the next day and the next and it might even stay until I give him something of equal or more value.

But when you think about it, it really comes down to money. I put a lot of thought and time into my gift–so did the people who assembled it–so hopefully that makes up for the extra two hundred, three hundred dollars that he spent over me.

I just don’t think I deserve it, that’s the main problem. I mean, what have I done? What do I do besides sit behind my computer and fill out applications no one ever takes me serious on? I don’t leave my house because it’s hard, I don’t shop for myself because it’s hard, I don’t like to be around people because it’s hard (and exhausting). i mean really, what do I do to deserve anything decent at all? Literally nothing.

That’s why I think people call me a loser, because I kind of am one. It’s probably a subconscious thought floating around my head.

Then I think about shooting myself in the head because I feel like I’ve been a cheap jerk even though–hey, it wasn’t cheap alright. That was most of my budget. But regardless of the money, I feel cheap and stupid and it makes me want to shoot myself even though I’m so happy with what I’ve got and how today has went. I mean, that’s the hallmark of a loser, right?

Ugh.

Calling yourself a loser is something a loser does as well. So I mean, I prove my point pretty fiercely.

If anything, he deserves the whole world and a lot better than me. 

Tell me how much of a loser I am in the comments.

No, really, I’m not being sarcastic. I need to know it. Maybe it’ll motivate me to not be a loser.

Who am I kidding? HA!!!!!!!!!!! Once a loser, always a loser.

There are days and times I’m just overwhelmed with the amount of things that hold me back–the anxiety, the depression, the introverted nature that makes me want to ignore the real world and live in my head, and I know they come with disadvantages and I know those disadvantages are why I consider myself a loser. It all makes perfect sense. It’s a full circle.

I’m working on them but it’s not going to be instantaneous. It’s going to be months, years. Honest to God, even though I’m not religiously affiliated, I think–I know–my boyfriend deserves much better than me. It’s not because of tonight. It’s just because of everything.

I’m just a fuck-up.

I thought it was a lie when people said it’s hard to love someone else when you don’t love yourself. It really is. How are you supposed to accept them and love them and let them in when you can’t do any of that to yourself?

I don’t ever want to leave him. But I don’t know why he doesn’t want to leave me. What is so special about me? I’m funny yeah, but I’m a loser! I just don’t get it. I’m really, genuinely shocked.

On another note, at least I don’t fuck up on games. Speaking of which, this one looks fun as shit. I am the happiest, saddest girl on earth right now. I’m going to murder fools in this game like no fools have ever been murdered in a game before.

L.O.L at these downloads though. Had to do a system update, except, with the internet speed of my phone, it would have taken nine hours. So I download it for PC. With the internet speed from my phone it would have taken 4 hours. So I had to get another free hour of Gay ass Xfinity Wifi from Comcast to download the Ps4 update, put it on my flashdrive, upload the update to the PS4 through the flashdrive, and then let it restart.

Even my new toy is telling me I’m fucking up tonight.

I just can’t stand myself sometimes. I should probably change that since, you know, I have to live with myself for the rest of my life.

 

The Unacceptable Apology

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It’s been very apparent to me, since the age my awareness of myself developed enough that I could form a better understanding of the world, that I don’t belong here.

I’m positive there’s another universe or galaxy or planet out there waiting for me to return.

I’m sure many introverts feel this.

The thing about having Social Anxiety disorder, in which I often want to engage with people but 1) don’t know how, 2) am usually thwarted by anxiety flooding my brain and hindering my usual witty comebacks and original ideas, and being an introvert in which I appreciate time by myself or with one or two other people and prefer to be away from most people, even the ones who I adore, is that neither of them are accepted or understood by other people.

I’m not the girl with social anxiety or the introvert, I’m the weirdo.

I’m the quiet weirdo.

I’m the quiet weirdo you should most likely ignore because, hey, you don’t talk anyway.

I’m the quiet weirdo you should most likely ignore and you should talk about after I leave whatever establishment I’ve accompanied you in.

I get it; I do. I’ve been in situations around people who have “stranger” behavior than myself and your first instinct is judge. We’re only human, after all.

However, I’ve noticed most of my mental pain caused by large social situations is never directed at myself intentionally. I call myself an idiot for not being able to be like them, I cuss myself out in my head, I cry for about two or three hours after I get home, but the reality of the situation is that I’m angry who I am isn’t someone people can easily accept.

My idea of fun is writing a short story or taking my camera out for the some one on one time with nature. My idea of fun is sitting right here at this computer in this room, contemplating whatever thought drills itself into my skull. That’s my idea of fun and it doesn’t seem to be anyone else’s.

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It’s not that I crave acceptance from everyone, because that’s a fairy tale lie. Id’ just like to, for once, sit in a room of people and feel welcomed. I’ve been the outcast my whole life and I can’t figure out if it’s my fault or everyone else’s.

It’s probably a little of both: their lack of understanding, my lack of social skills. That’s just a north pole and a north pole running towards each other.

I try my hardest in every situation I’m thrown into. I always go in with anxiety and I always try and make the best of it, no matter what my brain tells me–and people can’t see that. They take my silence as rudeness or idiocy and return the favor accordingly. But every moment I’m around someone, I’m trying hard. I have my few successes and I have my many failures.

Everything is a learning experience, I know this. I know that I get ridiculously emotional after any day where I’ve spent the majority of it in social situations and I ride that emotion because I know it’s healthy. I used to fight it because, shit, who likes feeling like a failure? But that only led to self-harm.

Now I cry and I let the wave of depression pass, the wave of feeling hopeless, and I let the little assholes in my head replay all the stupid things I did that night and I sit back and wait for it to stop because eventually it does stop. And when it does, I get a chance to see things clearly. I get a chance to breathe and tell myself I’m probably overreacting to a lot of things.

'Okay, I take it back, you don't over-react!'That’s the majority of my problem–overreacting. If you sit me in a room of people I’m never worried about them staring at me (unless I’m in a classroom), I’m only ever obsessed with whether or not they’re talking about me in their heads or talking about me in their whispers.

I take that back–it’s not a “Whether or not” type of situation, I’m 100% positive people talk about me when I leave or talk about me while I’m in their company, or think about me when I’m in their company, and I’m 100% positive it’s about how odd I am. I’ve heard my name whispered in countless situations and I hear people whispering and I know I’m being talked about. It’s not like I base these assumptions purely on my brain.

I see the expressions on their face plan as day. I see the awkwardness in their eyes and I see them look me up and down and I see them stare blankly when they say something and I don’t know what to say back because my conversation skills are often at the level of a one year old. It’s not that I don’t have things to say, it’s that I have no idea what’s appropriate to say where. I don’t know how to continue conversations and I don’t know how to start conversations. If you meet me in person you’ll notice that I jump around from subject to subject because those are the way thoughts run in my brain.

I put myself in situations that push me to my limit so I can hopefully, one day, get comfortable enough that I’m not up at one in the morning writing like this.

But I’m never going to change who I am. I love who I am. I love my hobbies, I love my likes and my goals and my personality.

I’m never going to be the person to get close to people. I’m not going to be the one to have six or seven close friends. I’m not going to be the one able to entertain a whole room. That’s just not me.

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For most things, it’s not a matter of “getting used to it”. That kind of thing applies to speaking in class. It applies to giving presentations and running experiments. It applies to asking questions when I need answers or forming friendly relationships with people in the workplace or school.

I’m not going to be the one who enjoys parties or mobs of people or socialization. I literally don’t enjoy it. 98% of the time.

Every once in a while I need some company, but that usually includes one or two people at the most. Any more than that and the anxiety and paranoia kicks in and I’m convinced everyone hates me, is ready to get rid of me, are talking shit about me and laughing about me in their head. I’m studying their expressions and their eyes and their tone of voice and I believe it accurate in the moment and I shrink into my shell because of all the hatred and disgust. The worst part is I can’t trust my eyes or my ears.

Even the people closest to me, who hear my mouth every day and laugh at my jokes and enjoy my company have no idea that I couldn’t tell them my true feelings if I tried. I can’t have conversation freely with even them. And I don’t have an explanation for why.

So I like being with myself. I know myself. I can talk to myself and listen to myself and know that I’m being truthful. I can retreat in the world in my head without worrying about someone snapping their fingers in my face asking if I spaced out.

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It Made Me Giggle So I had To Share It

My biggest fear? That all of this will ruin my relationship. I’m never going to be like everyone else and talkative and “fun” and bouncy and bubbly, and I’m never going to like to have a “girl’s night out” or whatever the fuck people say women do (trip to the salon, mani, pedi, whatever; all that shit, I hate it), I’m never going to look at my eventual coworkers as more than coworkers, and I’m never going to have a problem with any of that. I like myself.

But the real world isn’t built for introverts, it hardly even appreciates us.

It’s their loss.

It’s going to be my loss if all of this fucks up the first real connection I’ve ever had with someone of the opposite sex.

Am I even meant to be in a relationship?

Regardless, I’m an introvert and I have social anxiety and I’m not going to fucking apologize for it. I’d rather be an outcast crying in bed each night than ever pretend to be someone I’m not.

 

 

The Advantage Of Social Anxiety Disorder and Controlling Your Hoe

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The Comcast company is not very smart. If they use their “WiFi access passes” as a way to show you their WiFi is one of the fastest, most brilliant WiFi channel out there (not that they have much competition in my area besides phone companies which are equally horrid and probably more expensive), they’re not doing a very good job. I paid for a week and half the time the WiFi is at full strength and I still can’t get a connection. It’s not my computer, I’ve used their WiFi on old and new computers and it’s always wonky as hell.

Back and forth, back and forth. I’m just saying; if you want to build customers, than impress us, the little guys, rather than shooting only for high paying customers. They’ve got enough money to go anywhere. Us little guys? We’re loyal. Once we find something we like, something we can depend on, we’ll stick with it for years. People with no sense of appreciation and bills flowing from their pocket don’t understand loyalty in terms of respect, only in terms of business. They’ll eventually leave you.

Even when we rented their router and paid for their internet, it was still all over the place. I guess you have to be a business to get strong WiFi in this day and age. Although I don’t know how they think they own something that’s all around us.

Well, I take that back . . . people think they have the right to own land because they supported that white dude, John Locke, and his philosophy that private property was essential for liberty. Half of these people who talk about liberty in terms of freedom obviously don’t know what freedom even means. If freedom means believing you have the right to tell people “we own this dirt and you can’t live on our land because you’re not a citizen” than I guess I’ve been living in la-la land all my life. I wasn’t aware the land gave a shit about citizenship.

No one cares to ask the land what it thinks about all this, that’s the problem.

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If there’s one thing I adore about having social anxiety, it’s that I have absolutely no problem with sitting back and just observing people. There’s so much you can learn, so much you can see, and even though I struggle with regular tasks like grocery shopping or hanging out with friends or making friends or speaking without blubbering like a fool, or walking down the street without thinking every person who passes me in a car is laughing at me or seeing how uncomfortable I am outside, or engaging with my boyfriend’s family like a “normal” person, or even engaging with my own family like a “normal” person, I wouldn’t trade any of it away.

Because I’ll tell you what: in this day and age, the ability to observe and listen and understand is a rare quality.

I have an ear tuned to a frequency most others don’t. That’s not being egotistical, that’s just the truth. Sure, humans are social creatures, and there are times I crave company–aaaaaaaaaaand my internet literally just went out. I swear to God Comcast, if I was a terrorist with murderous intention, you’d be the first place on my list next to the tobacco companies. I hope someone obscure googles “Comcast Internet Speeds” and finds this article and thinks twice about their purchase.

Anyway, as I was saying,  there are times I crave company. But I see so many people subject their identity to that of their “group” of their “homies” of their “peers” and I see them get lost and it bothers me. I’d rather be by myself than apart of a group. And that’s okay. Just because human’s are social creatures doesn’t mean we all have to be social twenty four seven.

Sometimes I hear the wrong tone in someone’s voice and I realize it’s my perception that’s wrong and that they aren’t really disgusted by me like my brain wants me to think. But other times, when I’m not so intimidated by the world, I can hear their voice and I know more about them than they think I do.

Literally and figuratively. Your voice says a lot about you. Tones have been the basis of language since the dawn of creation–in a lot of cultures sound created creation. It’s why if you learn Chinese from a woman and you’re a man, the men will laugh at you–you’ll sound like a woman just from the tones you use.

likeomgThere’s a woman who is a friend of my friend. She is our age and has a child and I remember going through junior high and high school with her. We were never friends, but I was thoroughly aware of her. I didn’t like her voice. I didn’t like the way she looked at people and I was (and am) wary of her presence. I hold no grudge against her for her early pregnancy or her marijuana usage or her laziness, but I do hold a grudge against her character. She has that high pitched tone that makes her rock her head with every word she says and when someone says something she agrees with she says “seeeerrrrrrriousssly” and stretches the word out longer than time itself.

We call these people Valley Girls. Just google it if you don’t know what I’m talking about. Regardless, I’ve met plenty of people with her voice who I liked. I got good vibes from. They were intelligent and witty and often underestimated because of their perceived “Valley Girl” attitude.

But people like this woman are the reason we diss people from the Valley around here. She talks in your face and then screams behind your back. She’s two-faced, she’s a player, she’s a liar, and her voice gives it all away.

I probably sound paranoid but from a young age I was taught to pay attention to the feeling in your gut about everything in life. So I pay attention to that uneasiness and that disgust I feel when I’m around her. I’ve felt it since Junior High. She’s never done a thing to me besides talk shit about my driving one night when a group of five of us were heading out to a Halloween Event. I was being slightly cautious, as I was using my mother’s car which had been having mechanical issues recently and had literally just came from the shop hours before. This girl sat in the back seat and kept commenting on the routes I took and how long it was taking and muttered things passive-aggressively under her breath and when I finally said “what the fuck you say?” she glanced up with big eyes and said “Huh? Oh, what?” innocently. My other friend told me to stop and I gave her a deathly stare and said control your hoe before I need to.

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I didn’t actually say that, but I was thinking it. I was a way angrier person back then than I am now (surprisingly) and would have easily pulled that car over and beat her face in.

That would be ruthless and horrible and I probably would have got a kick out if. Don’t ever underestimate the quiet ones.

Even still, I can’t call her a bad person, I can only say the negative feeling she gives me is unwavering.

She gossips with my friend on an unending basis, and when my friend is around her, she changes. My friend says what she needs to in order to comply with this woman’s beliefs and she imitates this woman’s voice even. Their conversations never had substance to them and it’s why I’ve distanced myself from many of my old “friends”.

I’m different than a lot of people. I like to feel things and day dream and spend a record amount of alone time just thinking about life and that freaks people out. They don’t like the fact that I’m willing to think about my integrity when I apply for a job. They don’t like the fact that I talk shit about the world and corporations and just stupidity in general and that’s okay; they can keep their eyes closed and their tail tucked if they so please. Like I said, I’m a feisty socially anxious person.

If there’s one thing social anxiety has given me in return for all the suffering it’s caused, it’s sight and it’s sound. It’s like Ben Underwood who heard what we could never hear and used echolocation to get around. It’s like Derek Paravincini, the musical savant, who could replay every note of an orchestra piece on a piano after hearing it just once.

People feel bad for me when I say I have trouble holding a job and making friends, I know this because they always say “I’m sorry”. What they don’t know is that I grieve much more for them than I do for myself. I have my moments, we all do, but I’ve been given a gift through this pain and I wouldn’t trade it for the world.

Yes, I have a lot to work on.

But they have a lot more to work on and they don’t even realize it.