February 2017
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icon: "bluestocking (photo of a book lying open on a table with a bright window in the background, overlaid with a yellow fractal that looks like the sun shining through dust motes)"


[media imbibed in 2016]

Stars are for re-watches

SHOWS:
Switched at Birth (finished season 4)
New Girl season 4
Grey's Anatomy* (seasons 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, )
Lost Girl* (all seasons [with a few skips])
Last Tango in Halifax (seasons 1-3)
Better Off Ted*
Witches of East End*
Love (season 1)
Wentworth* (seasons 1-2 rewatch, plus 3)
IT Crowd* (all seasons)
Cristela (season 1)
Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt (season 2)
The Messengers (part of season 1)
How to Get Away with Murder (season 2)
Grace and Frankie (season 2)
Bitten (seasons 1-3)
Zoo (season 1)
Lady Dynamite (season 1)
The Lizzie Borden Chronicles (complete)
Baby Daddy (seasons 4-5)
Good Witch (part of season 1)
Scandal (season 5)
Orange is the New Black (season 4)



FILMS (small screen):
Guidance
Jenny's Wedding
Revenge of the Bridesmaids
I Give It a Year
The Decoy Bride (wtf with all these wedding-themed movies)



FILMS (theatre):
Through the Looking Glass (Topaz treated me)



BOOKS:




ALBUMS:
Seinabo Sey -- "Pretend"



CONCERTS:




ARTICLES:



[icon descriptions]


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LJI fav reads list, week 8
icon: "garrulous (a photo of my lips with the skin greyed out and the lips overlaid with a green and blue fractal pattern)"

list of recs!Collapse )


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mental illness as a personal monster: being a responsible monster-keeper
icon: "disassociative (a digital painting of a stylized person in profile with wide open screaming mouth and arms up with palms spread wide. Head and hands flow into strands like blood vessels)"

When you have a mental illness, it's like you have an amorphous monster that follows you everywhere. If it's depression, it can sit on you like a lead onesie a lot of the time and make it damn hard to move, and it can cover your head and make everything dark and drab. If it's anxiety, it can whisper nasty things to you and sometimes shout them so loud you can't pay attention to anything else. If you have trauma flashbacks it can cover your whole body and force you to watch videos and listen to sound of awful things, and even if you can see through it, you can't stop it and you can't escape it. If you have a different illness I'm sure it does other things, but I can only speak about the ones I've experienced.

It can be awful to have this monster, especially when it contains multiple varieties of mental illness. But it can also be fucking awful to be around someone else who has a monster. It can be torture; at its worst it can be abuse. So people have a responsibility to manage their monster as best as they can to keep it from attacking other people. Just like if you have a pet who will attack people -- it's not your fault if they attack someone, but you need to do your best to care for them, train them on how to interact, and keep them on a leash when they're out. And if you know what sets them off, you need to warn people so that they don't end up getting bitten when it could have been avoided.

I have known people who have the most massive, powerful monsters and yet they keep that thing on a leash and it almost never bites anyone. It will blob over them and scream at them from every direction, and they will quietly tug on the leash and pull it away from people so that no one is hurt. They know that it lies and so when it tells them "that person doesn't like you" they don't accept this and they ask the person. They know it predicts things that won't happen and so they refuse to believe it. When their monster is incontinent they take it outside, and if it makes a mess they clean it up. Their monsters are not dainty or polite, but the way those people handle them you might think they are. Some people I know have monsters three stories tall yet I've barely heard a peep out of them.

And then I've known people who don't bother leashing their monster at all. Who will sit and watch while their monster rips someone to shreds, and later say "it wasn't me" or worse yet, have no comment and try to pretend that it didn't happen. I've known people who let the monster shit anxiety all over people, instead of taking it outside to poop -- and then complain when the person takes time away to go shower! I've known people who refuse to feed their monster and let it climb all over other people desperately begging for food. I've known people who get angry when someone who has been feeding their monster stops, because now the monster is grumpy and loud again and is turning to them for food when they had gotten used to ignoring it. I have been most of these people, as well. Sometimes I slack off in training and my monster starts getting rude and gross again.

It's never your fault when you have a monster like this attached to you. But it is your responsibility and no one else's. It's your job to feed and tame your monster so that it is as respectful and kind as possible. It's your job to take it to excrete waste away from other people, or perhaps with the attention of a monster vet. It's your job to keep it from attacking people with words or deeds.

If you have someone who has offered to help you tame your monster, that's awesome! Just don't try to leave it with them. It's not 'help' if the other person is fighting your monster while you do nothing. Just like a rowdy pet, if you don't train it, it will get worse and worse no matter what people try to do from outside. You have to tell it no. Every single time. And when your monster damages other people? That's on you. You are the only one who is responsible for your monster. It's shitty because nobody signed up to be a monster-keeper, but it's yours now. And if someone who usually helps is not up for it, don't complain to them about it and don't make them feel bad. Your monster is NEVER someone else's responsibility.

You can have terrible monsters without those monsters constantly hurting others. Training monsters is a learning process and no one does it right all the time, but if you don't do your personal best to keep your monster from hurting others, then you are just as guilty when it does. I'm not suggesting that you avoid all people if you have an unmanageable monster. I'm suggesting you use every tool you have to tame it, and in the meantime you warn people about how the monster sometimes acts, and when the monster does make a mess or cause damage, you do the cleaning up. On what is possible for any given person or situation, I cannot guess and certainly cannot comment; only the monster-keeper knows if they are doing their best.

I don't think I'd feel fully at ease around someone who had no monster at all, simply because I think it would be hard for them to understand monster-keeping which is always a pretty big part of my life. But I also know that my monster is very suggestible and if I spend too much time with someone who has an out-of-control monster, mine will get increasingly difficult to handle. And despite not having physical form, these monsters can kill. So for me, it doesn't matter the size or type of monster; I feel safest with people who have a monster, but keep it in line most of the time.


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phonetalk with Evelyn: resolving past hurts, setting intentions/goals for future interactions
icon: "osculant (photo of Hannah and I lying on our sides facing each other, our legs and shoulders slanted toward each other and the floor, so that our bodies together make the shape of a heart: our outstretched arms are the point and our bums are the two curves)"

I talked on the phone with Evelyn last night, impulsively, when I almost never talk on the phone. It was an intuitive instinct that I just followed, and I'm so glad I did. When I heard their voice my heart started glowing (by which I mean, I felt a sensation of radiating heat where I feel my heart energy center) and I felt unexpectedly overwhelmed with joy. We talked about stuff that we had been discussing via email, mostly affirming and clarifying things that had already been said. I felt relieved when they expressed that they had finally internalized (taken in as truth) the facts that 1) it is not a loving act to ignore one's own needs but rather is detrimental to oneself and those one loves and 2) it's not useful or loving to hide things from someone to protect them. I feel like denial/rejection of these facts was the core problem we were having last year, so I feel hopeful now. They apologized for hurting me, acknowledged that it was shitty and that I deserve honesty, openness, and kindness and said they'd do their best. And later that evening they shared with me a story that illustrated how they're working to put honesty first.

At one point they mentioned "you've forgiven me" just offhandedly, which pleased me to my core because it is usually very difficult or impossible for people to accept that my forgiveness has already happened. I usually end up feeling like I have to prove my love again. Which I know is not about me, but I can't help but feel a bit distrusted when that happens.

I referenced how they said they wanted to be in my life and asked what that looked like, and they said it looks like spending time together in person. Last year they were really impossible to plan with and I sort of expected a "not now, but sometime, eventually..." which would never actually happen, but they didn't make any backing out disclaimer-y comments! they seemed quite certain of what they wanted! and we made a plan to spend time together. Tomorrow.

I'm excited to be reconnecting with someone that I have a spirit connection with. When I say spirit connection, I mean I can feel what they are feeling. When they tell me something they don't mean, I can feel the truth anyway. When they're upset, I feel it as if it were my own emotion many times even if I'm not involved in the situation at all. When they're thinking of me, I can feel it. It works whenever I am open to it whether we're around each other or not. I have this kind of connection with Topaz and I have had it with Hannah and Kylei and I had moments of it with others. Having this kind of magic in my life really matters to me and I always grow by leaps and bounds through being close to someone who is my spirit kin. And it is just such a relief to be with someone who I have both strong intuitive understanding of through a spirit connection AND strong logical understanding of through a mind connection. That has only happened before with Topaz and Hannah. I usually have to work so hard to understand people and I'm constantly second-guessing. Such a relief to just know.

I know some of y'all are like "why are you like this!? will you ever learn?? you silly creature tsk tsk" and to that I answer magic is rare and I'm gonna suffer anyway because this world is an endless crawl over broken glass and acidic shit. *shrugs* if I'm gonna survive I have to take magic where I can find it.


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still thinking about Evelyn
icon: "disassociative (a digital painting of a stylized person in profile with wide open screaming mouth and arms up with palms spread wide. Head and hands flow into strands like blood vessels)"

Latest email from Evelyn had the mildest pushback and my immediate urge (which I resisted, for the most part) was to throw all my needs out the window and be like "nevermind I don't need anything I just want to be with you let's pretend everything is rainbows and I'm a superhuman who never feels pain and can give endlessly without replenishing" god I fucking hate that. I also hate that I can't stop thinking about this. Arrrgghhh what is wrong with me. STOP GETTING YOUR HOPES UP, SELF.


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LJI fav reads list, week 7
icon: "garrulous(a photo of my lips with the skin greyed out and the lips overlaid with a green and blue fractal pattern)"

list of recs!Collapse )


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LJI topic 7, "where I'm from": I am from the Internet, from a little city called Livejournal.
icon: "oneness (the characters Keenan and Joan from "Playing By Heart," sitting very close together, both looking off to the side and laughing)"

My country is the internet; my state is the mid-90s to the mid-00s, and my city is Livejournal, though I have lived in other cities for short periods of time, and I visit other cities often.

[the early years: wandering in the wilderness, before I found a home]
My experience with the internet began with AOL on Windows 95. I used the internet to download midi files of music I liked, endlessly search for info on my favorite musical artists, and find people to chat eagerly with about music or about God (my two obsessions at the time). I made some pretty intense friendships, one with a white guy in Canada, and one with a black guy somewhere in the Midwest. I didn't seek out guys, I don't think, but there just weren't any girls my age that I could find (and at that point I didn't know that nonbinary people existed). My friendships with those two highly ethical and thoughtful people allowed me to create healthy expectations of male behavior, rather than accepting selfishness and disrespect as 'normal' which would have been the case if I did not have access to the internet.

During the early days of my interaction with the internet, my use was limited to chatting, searching for information, and exploring the Anotherworld MUD. Then at age 20 I took an intro computer course which was utter shit but one of the assignments changed my life: we had to make a simple webpage with the most basic coding. I found this really fun and started teaching myself HTML, building two websites from bare code. I probably spent more than 200 hours on them over the course of the next three years. No one I knew ever cared much about this project, but I loved it so much I didn't need external interest to keep it going. I did get interesting and meaningful responses in the guestbook of my site, particularly about my anti-racist stance. This is where I developed my ethic of content creation and self-education: I shared what I made, and when I wanted to do something I trained myself on how to do it. This was no small feat, because how-to resources were still scanty at the time.


At the same time, Allison (who is now my oldest friendship) introduced me to LiveJournal. I joined first as a way to stay in touch with Allison and it quickly took on an important role in my life. I met new people through add-me communities and through shared-interest communities. This is where I developed my norm for getting to know people: if I thought they were interesting I added them to my friends list and consumed their online content. If the interest was mutual and they added me back, I would respond to their posts and have turn-based conversations. I rarely had any direct interaction at first -- I only commented if they required it before adding them, and most of the time if they required that I just didn't add them.

That is how I would prefer to be able to get to know anyone; indirectly and not in real time but with intensely intimate levels of sharing. It's a strong enough norm for me that I can rarely have a lasting or nourishing connection with someone who doesn't share intimacies indirectly. It's usually too hard for me to sync up in real time, but I need that level of intense sharing to feel nourished and to maintain investment. But I've realized that in most places, getting to know someone indirectly first is considered 'weird' at best and people often refer to it as 'stalking' which I find utterly baffling. I accept that it's taboo and I don't talk about it to out-of-towners, but where I'm from, that's just how you do it! (obviously I don't look at anything that's not set to 'public' because that's creepy)

Also at this intense time of change, I started going to group therapy. Through the group therapy I started learning to be vulnerable with others, and within a few months I dedicated my journal to openness and honesty. It was a difficult project for a long time, because only a few months into my LJ life I started having flashbacks to childhood sexual abuse (sparked by having consensual penetrative sex for the first time). I began going to therapy weekly, and it got worse before it got better.

So for about two years I could not leave my house without someone by my side, and I had no local friends so I rarely went out. The internet saved me: I built real friendships to a depth I never had before. For the first time in my life, people sharing freely with me happened on a daily basis instead of once or twice a year. This was the first time in my life I truly felt like I belonged and like I understood how to interact in a way that would be appreciated. I rapidly dismantled my inner barriers to openness, and what I didn't dismantle was destroyed for me. It became important to me to share my own story in a public way, because I knew I was not the only one dealing with recovery from abuse. That built my immunity to trolling because when people mock you for being an abuse victim, there's not much lower they can go.

[Learning to love myself in a body-positive commune]
In late 2004 I also came across a community celebrating hourglass shapes and when the owner deleted it due to fighting over what counted, I decided to make a better version. I created a body-positive community with the idea of it being for medium people, like I was at the time (size 10) since there were fat positive communities but they had a minimum size requirement. But as people much smaller and larger than me joined, my idea rapidly changed, because the idea of excluding people for being 'too much' or 'not enough' was not okay to me. Within a few months, it was for anyone who self-identified as curvy, regardless of size or gender. This community was like a commune, a gathering of people who I mostly didn't know but who all were working together on the same beautiful project. It was home and work and family all at once; I took it from one person to more than 1,300, and it remained a thriving community for about four years.

That community was where I learned to love myself, and I got to watch lots of others do it too. It also brought me and Hannah together, which was a whole new experience because for the first time I met someone who was better at questioning and being open than I was. Hannah and I would regularly spend 9+ hours talking and sharing: we'd write on LJ and read each others' writing, we'd explore deviantart and share favorite works with each other, and just talk endlessly on gchat.


[my brief dwellings in DeviantArt and Twitter]
Deviantart was, for a time, almost as important as LJ to me. It's where I shared my artistic nudes and developed immunity about people expressing disgust toward my body. I also experienced so many people thanking me for sharing and telling me that it helped them to see their own beauty. DeviantArt is the town where I developed myself as a public artist, and I had some celebrity for a short time, but now my style has evolved so much that no one recognizes it as mine when I put up a new piece. It's a place I visit once in a blue moon to look at my old work on the walls, but all the artists I loved there moved away so even the nostalgia is dusty. I can't bring myself to stay long enough to get invested in the art circles there anymore.

Twitter was paramount for about a year in 2011; I kept up daily and interacted often. I was put off by the lack of reciprocity: I was following and interacting with people who never read my tweets and it felt cliquish. I learned a lot from the feminists there, esp the trans and WOC feminists, but it was more like a newspaper than like a social space. In a lot of ways it reminds me of my college experience: no matter how much effort I put in, no one wanted to connect at more than a surface level. Twitter is a city I drive through almost every day but never stop anymore; the roads where people live are confusing and parking is fucking torture, so I just go on through.


[Facebook is the city where I work]
I got a facebook initially due to curiosity, kept it because of its value at organizing gathers, and slowly began spending more time there as my local activist network developed. Over the past two years it has become a more real space for me, as people have begun interacting with me more, but it still feels somewhat alien. Facebook feels like the building where I work: I go there often, but always in costume while leaving my more scandalous self at home. Without ever consciously deciding to, I had developed a habit of restricted my sharing on fb because fb culture is so pro-judgement. Once I realized this, I began working to bring more of myself into my facebook life because I don't actually want to make it more difficult to get to know me. Facebook will never be home, but I am making it into a workplace where I can be more of myself.


There were several shakeups here on LJ over the years and I lost friends to vox, wordpress, blogger, dreamwidth, and even facebook, but still I remain here. My LJ friends list is like a neighborhood where every single house is owned by a friend of mine. The idea of moving is absurd and always will be unless most of my friends move away. Even when it was mostly empty for a few years, I stayed in the hopes people would return, and eventually filled up those houses with new friends. Now, I have a small handful of friends who returned but most of my neighborhood is people I have met within the past three years (and I have been on LJ for more than 13 years).

I get so excited when I meet someone who is also from the internet, and even more so when I meet someone from livejournal. I imagine it is how other people feel when they live far from a hometown that they love, and then they meet someone from there. I might not get along with everyone from LJ, but if they have lived here a while, I immediately know we share similar values in a lot of ways. Especially if they love it here as much as I do.


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LJI fav reads list, week 6
icon: "challenging (photo of me lifting one eyebrow and slightly squinting my eyes, wearing "Red Queen" makeup: searingly red lips, darkened pointed eyebrows, black eyeliner, deep red & black eyeshadow accented with gold & silver, and black-outlined silver hearts & diamonds with red shadows on my cheeks)"

list of recs!Collapse )


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LJI topic 6, "heel turn": my unlucky feet, how I first heard Godde, & how I perceive that moment now
icon: "gamine (a photo of me as a seven-year-old child, freckled with frizzy hair and a solemn expression, leaning against a tree)"

My feet have always been the most unlucky part of me. I pulled a tendon in my foot so badly that I had to wear a cast; part of my heel got deeply scraped on a shell at the beach; the head of a nail made a hole in my heel when I was running down a boardwalk; I cut open the top of my foot falling down wooden stairs; and I almost sliced off my big big toe and second toe on the bottom of a broken bottle. But that last experience was the opposite of what you might think.

I was about 12 and my parents had taken me and my siblings to a park that had a waterfall and then a wide stretch of flat river. My dad made me give my water shoes to my brother because he was more accident prone (clearly they hadn't noticed the trend of my feet being unlucky) and so I was clambering around the rocks, barefoot. At one point I went to step on a mossy rock and I got a very strong internal "no" but having never experienced that before I ignored it and stepped. My foot slid right down into a hole between several rocks and I stumbled and realized that I had been cut. I called out to my parents, who were quite freaked out by the amount of blood gushing from my left foot, but I could only feel the small scrape on my right foot -- I think I was in shock.

As my dad carried me to the car and we drove to the nearest hospital (with the aid of a paper map), I was not thinking about the cuts at all. I was completely preoccupied with marveling that I had heard Godde's voice! I felt embarrassed that I hadn't listened, but I felt that I had been given proof that Godde loved me, not just generally but me in particular.

I have a very different perspective on that moment now, 22 years later. I can see a variety of alternate possibilities: my eyes took in information that I didn't consciously notice, and my subconscious sent a warning; nature spirits in the area knew of the danger and warned me; someone else had slipped there before and their pain had left an imprint that I subconsciously picked up on (this one I consider the most likely). Whatever the case, some being (even if it was just my self) was watching out for me and trying to communicate with me.

It still feels like a magical moment, and looking back I can see that it had a profound effect on my sense of self and the way that I perceived the world. Back then, it caused me to believe that Godde wanted to spare me pain because they loved me uniquely, and that I could listen on a deep level to get information that would keep me safe. As a kid who never felt safe or secure, that was something I really needed. I no longer believe in a singular, all-powerful deity who will magically keep me from harm, but I was able to believe in that throughout the most unsafe, unloved years of my life, and I'm very glad I had that experience.


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quick question
icon: "curious (my face, looking straight forward with one eyebrow up and a sideways smile, head tilted down a little)"

What name do you want me to use if I refer to you on my LJ? if you don't want me to do that at all, put "don't."



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LJI fav reads list, week 5
icon: "challenging (photo of me lifting one eyebrow and slightly squinting my eyes, wearing "Red Queen" makeup: searingly red lips, darkened pointed eyebrows, black eyeliner, deep red & black eyeshadow accented with gold & silver, and black-outlined silver hearts & diamonds with red shadows on my cheeks)"

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LJI topic 5, "fear is the heart of love": love and the fear-spark, creating intimate focus energy
icon: "polyamorous relationship anarchist (a rainbow-colored heart with the 'anarchy' capital letter A cutting through it, over a brick texture that suggests the heart is graffiti)"

In Catholic school as vicious as Roman rule
I got my knuckles bruised by a lady in black
And I held my tongue as she told me,
"Son, fear is the heart of love."

- Death Cab For Cutie

There's this phenomenon most people experience when they first fall in love with someone; everything is more intense. One's lover seems like the best person ever to live. Just being in their presence is exciting and their touch feels magical. All conversations are filled with meaning and all shared experiences are filled with beauty. One craves the attention and time of one's lover; parting is difficult and reunions are joyous. Monogamous people call it "the honeymoon phase." Polyamorous people call it "new relationship energy" or NRE. Both sets of people assume that these feelings are a natural part of the beginning of a relationship but not a part of a mature relationship, as you can tell from the way they name it.

I call this experience "intimate focus energy" or IFE, and I know that it ends in most relationships not due to inevitable biology as the pop culture story goes, but due to a lack of understanding of what created that in the first place. At the beginning of any relationship there is what I call the fear-spark -- anxieties and fears that cause people to focus very intensely on each other. People worry that the other person won't like them, or that they will make a mistake, or that the other person will leave, and because of these fears they observe each other intently. It is this focus (when mutual), that allows for intensely intimate experiences.

But usually, when the fear-spark fades, people stop paying close attention. They stop noticing all the small things that make the other person a glorious creature; they stop being careful to be kind all the time; they stop watching for small signs of distress that they could soothe. And the IFE evaporates. Since they don't realize that it is their actions that have caused this, they can do nothing about it. Since they think it is natural for it to disappear, they let it stay gone.

People crave intimate focus energy and will do wild things to get it. They will induce fear in their lover in order for a fear-spark to create IFE again; they'll cheat, or try to make the other person jealous, or withdraw emotionally, or threaten to leave, or shove their anxieties on to the other person, or belittle, or invalidate, or make dangerous personal choices. I think most of the time they don't realize they're doing this -- they just have learned on some level that these behaviors can create the potential for IFE again through the fear-spark. Personally, I think the fear-spark is the worst possible way to build intimacy, especially when people are creating it through harmful behaviors.

I prefer to skip the fear-spark altogether. I know that I am more likely to get continued attention if I allow the other person to wonder about my intentions and desires, but that attention is not pure because it is motivated in part by fear. So I let people know my intentions, my desires, and my level of investment as soon as possible so that they don't have unknowns causing fear in those areas. I also do my best to avoid causing unnecessary fear in the other person. Sometimes this causes me to lose people, because they don't know how to maintain intimacy without the fear-spark, or they don't have enough desire in them to make up for the loss of the fear-spark. But it also means that the connections I do have can start out with a more mature and complete love, and that I can build positive IFE habits with them from the beginning.

There is no fear in love. On the contrary,
love that has achieved its goal gets rid of fear,
because fear has to do with punishment;
the person who keeps fearing
has not been brought to maturity in regard to love.

- 1 John 4:18


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LJI fav reads list, week 4
icon: "challenging (photo of me lifting one eyebrow and slightly squinting my eyes, wearing "Red Queen" makeup: searingly red lips, darkened pointed eyebrows, black eyeliner, deep red & black eyeshadow accented with gold & silver, and black-outlined silver hearts & diamonds with red shadows on my cheeks)"

list of recs!Collapse )


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LJI topic 4: successful prediction requires elimination of unlikely possibilities, which I can't do.
icon: "Ma'at (a photo of one side of a brass balance scale, with a feather inside the bowl. The background is sky blue. On the bottom of the image, below the photo, is the word "Ma'at")"

Some people can predict the future, at least a little bit, because they're good at recognizing the factors that come together for a result, and they can dismiss the unlikely ones and be confident in the most likely outcome. I'm not, mainly because I don't experience a sense of weighted likelihood. I can plan to be somewhere and be pretty sure I'll get there, but my car might break down or I might have some kind of emergency -- I can't know that that won't happen. (And of course there's being neuroatypical and having mental issues like depression and anxiety. I can't predict when I'm going to be suddenly wiped out and unable to function socially -- I just try to leave enough slack that when that happens it doesn't fuck up too much of my life.) I can sometimes give you 99.99% certainty but I'll never be 100% sure of anything -- yeah I mean literally anything. I'm not 100% sure that I exist.

So I almost never say "I will do this thing" I just say "I'm planning to do this thing" or "I'll do my best to do this thing." If there is something that could happen at any time outside of my control, I can't count that out just because it's unlikely. Other people get frustrated with my block about ruling out the unlikely, but my brain just doesn't work that way. I have to consider all possibilities, even the ones I know to be hugely unlikely. This makes it difficult for me to ever think about the future or plan more than a month out, especially since there has been no real stability in my life for years -- anything could happen.

I have been practicing acceptance of impermanence/cycling in my relationships for about a decade now. The person I've now been with for more than four years is someone I started dating thinking that it would end within the month. I had this expectation for the first two years of our relationship, because they warned me when we started that they hadn't done much long-term romance and they couldn't imagine it working for them. I think now that we're likely to continue for a while yet, and we have committed to friendship indefinitely but I can't predict how long we will be romantic and I wouldn't try.

Honestly I don't wanna know the future at all when it comes to the development of my connections. I want to decide each day on that, and not have any external false sense of security but rather the real security of knowing that no one is with me because they feel obligated or not up to the work of disentangling or nostalgic about the past, but only because they want to be with me right now. I would like to know how long it will be before I fall in love again but no one can tell me that.

Part of me would really like to have such a secure life that I can be like "Next year I'm going to ____." But every year for me has looked so different from what I would have guessed that I can't even imagine that.

For 2016, I never would have guessed that I would have this job, or that it would be handed to me like it was. I never would have guessed that I'd fall in love with someone who was spirit-kin with me and even less would I have guessed that that person would completely detach and break my heart. I never would have guessed that a spontaneous offer to someone in need would bring me one of my most cherished friendships, or that proximity would be the catalyst to end a friendship with someone who claimed distance as the primary reason for their lack of effort. I wouldn't have guessed that my relationship with Topaz would metamorphose into something even better than it had ever been before.

I'm never gonna be able to 'skate to where the puck is going to be' but that's okay; I'm good at going where the puck might be, and adjusting constantly with each moment. What I lack in prediction I make up for through adaptation.


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unintentional haitus? oops.
icon: "overwhelmed (the character Keenan from "Playing By Heart," with hands over their face covering their eyes and head tilted back)"

Hi friends!

I've gotten terribly behind and I miss all of you. I was unfriended by a few people, one of whom I really cared about. I don't think it was the content of the stuff I did post so much as the lack of other posts and comments on people's journals, because it's probably been at least two months since I was really keeping up. When I was working at starbux, I had no energy for anything because it took so much work to be social AND on my feet for many hours AND parsing sound constantly. I just watched netflix with my spare time, or did necessary chores or watched netflix w Topaz. My new job is amazing and I feel accomplished yet not drained at the end of the day, but it does take 52-60 hours a week including driving and time for lunch (I take a 30 min lunch). And I haven't worked 40 hours a week in like 10 years, haven't driven 10-15 hours a week in years also. So I'm still adjusting to that. It will help once work starts back up again because then I will have a set schedule -- starting in December meant having work broken up by off time since we follow the academic calendar to a certain extent. Once I am definitely working M-F I can pick time to dedicate to LJ and manage to do it.

Solstice was amazing and Xmas was relatively low-stress too, but all the hustle and bustle wore me out and I am glad to have this week to recover. I'm still emotionally exhausted and having stress dreams when I sleep, about things like writing a bunch of papers or getting trapped on the wrong floor in a giant building by someone who intended to put me in the 'playpen' which sounded epic levels of ominous.


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when being yourself is dangerous: microaggressions as brushback pitches
icon: "overwhelmed (the character Keenan from "Playing By Heart," with hands over their face covering their eyes and head tilted back)"

A brushback pitch works because the batter's subconscious screams "it's gonna hit you!" The body reacts to a close call almost the same as to actual damage, dumping adrenaline and intensifying senses, increasing heart rate and respiration. It doesn't matter that your conscious mind is telling you "they want to scare you, not actually harm you."

This is what microaggressions are like, except that they're usually accidents. Someone thinks it's funny that a man wore a dress -- they're not attacking, but they find gender-non-conforming behavior to be so alien that it is funny and you know from long experience that if someone can't relate, they can be cruel. So a giggle becomes a near blow. Or someone uses a slur to describe an upsetting situation -- they're not attacking, but they're showing a lack of understanding that also allows for cruelty. So a bit of slang becomes a near blow. It doesn't have to be physical to cause intense physical reactions which use up your physical and mental reserve energy.

I used to be such a bold and brave person, back when being myself didn't cause constant flinching. Back before I knew [TW: general mention of violence against oppressed people]how many people get fired and beaten and raped and murdered for varying from the accepted norm, not to mention being ostracized and excluded by default. Before I knew the consequences and before I knew myself to be at risk, I was free. I was just a little bit different and people thought it was quirky and interesting, not threatening and overwhelming. It's easy and safe to be yourself when who you are does not disrupt people's belief systems.

Now my system is so exhausted from the constant jolts of adrenaline I endure in day-to-day interactions with people that being myself becomes almost impossible. My body doesn't even wait for people to say stuff anymore. It just dumps adrenaline as soon as I'm doing something that exposes me to people, no matter how small and innocuous. When it's about to be my turn to talk in front of people, my body is acting like I'm about to jump out of a plane. I'm not afraid in my conscious mind but my subconscious doesn't care. I'm not shy, reserved, or introverted, but I have become anxious and on the outside that looks the same. I have become literally unable to be myself thanks to an endless series of brushback pitches.

But after many years of having no financial safety, I finally have a job where I can take care of myself. I can afford to offend biofamily. And after many years of feeling unnourished and unvalued, I have people in my life who really do love me as I am and value what I offer. I can afford to lose friends. I still get thrown brushback pitches constantly, but I'm wearing some body armor now, and I don't flinch quite so hard. I plan to make armor for others, as well as dismantling the system that creates these pitchers who give us nothing but brushback pitches.


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LJI fav reads list, week 2
Didn't think I was gonna make it in time to vote but here we go...

list of recs!Collapse )


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tweets & fb posts, November 2016
it is very longCollapse )


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LJI topic 2, that one friend: when is it over? my 5 criteria for continued friendship investment
icon: "challenging (photo of me lifting one eyebrow and slightly squinting my eyes, wearing "Red Queen" makeup: searingly red lips, darkened pointed eyebrows, black eyeliner, deep red & black eyeshadow accented with gold & silver, and black-outlined silver hearts & diamonds with red shadows on my cheeks)"

I've always been the thrifty type: can't throw it out if there might still be some good in it! I'm like this with people to an often-detrimental extreme. I have a very hard time giving up and mostly can't manage to do it unless the other person already has. I was thinking about this tendency recently and asked myself "if I had no memory of this person before this year, would I put effort into connecting with them?" and realized that for one friend in particular the answer is "hell no." Then I tried to remember the last time there was a long stretch of them being a nourishing friend for me and realized that it had been years. I'm pretty sure they started thinking of me as "someone they used to be friends with" a long time ago -- while I was still trying to be their friend.

I might have more good people in my life if I hadn't spent so much time and energy trying to resurrect this friendship. I need a better cut-off point where I don't let literal years go by of me waiting for them to start being my friend in earnest. But what should the limit be? I know people go through hard times and I don't want to end a friendship because someone went through a period of low energy. I also don't want to continue one where the other person doesn't actually bother. I need criteria for me continuing to invest, and I need to actually and honestly evaluate where I am spending my energy. So tonight I am creating criteria:
1) nourishment: interacting with them is net-positive at least half of the time. (net-positive means I leave an interaction more nourished than drained).
2) shared effort: they put forth at least 1/3rd of the total effort for us to connect (I'm willing to adjust to meet them).
3) fair expectations: they don't expect me to do more than half of the emotional labor or more than half of the logistics labor.
4) building together: we have shared goals, and I can see actual evidence of this in their behavior and in where they devote their resources.
5) evidence of care: they take action to show that they care about my feelings and (without prompting) express a desire to help meet my needs.
If none of these criteria are true for more than three months, I should discuss this with the person and if nothing can be done to improve the situation, I should take a break from the person.

If I had used these criteria to evaluate my relationship with this one friend, I would have recognized that the relationship showed
1) lack of nourishment: it almost always was way more draining than nourishing.
2) lack of effort: they did less than 1/3rd of the total effort to connect us, probably less than 1/4th.
3) unfair expectations: they expected me to do way more than half and expected me to accommodate all their needs while they didn't do anything for mine.
4) minuscule building together: I saw very little evidence that they cared about what mattered to me.
5) no evidence of care: they never checked in about how their actions affected me, reacted defensively every time I tried to discuss it, and showed absolute disinterest in helping to meet my needs.

In contrast, my three closest people at the moment share these qualities:
1) nourishment: time together is net-positive way more than half of the time.
2) shared effort: they do way more than a third of connecting us (one of them actually does more than me on a fairly regular basis!).
3) fair expectations: they don't expect me to do more than half, and they offer to take half of the burden (or even more sometimes!) if they can.
4) building together: they show they care about community, justice, self-education, etc by hosting gathers with me, participating in protests, learning new things, etc.
5) evidence of care: they check in about how their actions affect me, and they offer to help me in whatever ways they can. They try to accommodate my communication needs and express appreciation when I move outside of my comfort zone for them.

I have to learn to accept when someone is not interested in investing in me, and I have to learn to stop pouring effort into them. I only have so much and I can't build good connections if I spend all my energy on people who do not want to create a positive feedback loop with me (wanting it to magically exist without them working for it doesn't count as 'wanting to create').

This one friend I'm talking about is someone who is in my top-five most-loved human beings of my entire 33+ years. I really wanted to be able to be connected with them. But I cannot. I will accept this and allow them to recede into my past, as I have receded into theirs.


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Poll #2058480 lji 10

how do you feel about me participating in lj idol?

indifferent
17(51.5%)
positive
16(48.5%)
negative
0(0.0%)

do you plan to vote?

dunno
8(25.0%)
probably
9(28.1%)
unlikely
15(46.9%)

about the reading lists:

I'm not going to follow the links
10(30.3%)
I might read the starred ones
11(33.3%)
I'll probably read them some weeks
10(30.3%)
I'll read them all
2(6.1%)
connecting:


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could-be safety
icon: "slytherin (a closeup of the Slytherin crest: a rearing silver serpent in front of a green background patterned in stylized waves of water and plush upholstery)"


there are reasons to fear me
I am a clawed, fanged creature
with no shame
and far too much emotion
I will bite
(if you should earn it)
I'm brimming with fight
If you don't know yet
you'll learn it

but here I amCollapse )


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LJ Idol signups still open! / LJI fav reads list, week 1: I need the struggle to feel alive
icon: "intrigued (a photo of a snow leopard with ears flattened, peering intently over a log)"

Signups for LJ Idol close at Wednesday, Nov 23rd at 8pm EST, the same time the first topic is due. I would looooove to have more of my flist participate, so if you're considering it, you still have a good 16 hours to sign up and post your first entry!

favorite posts from topic 1Collapse )


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LJI topic 1, I need the struggle to feel alive: no, I feel alive despite the struggle. I seek safety
icon: "feminist (the trans-feminist fist symbol colored in a rainbow gradient, with the words "intersectional or bullshit" on top)"

I cannot relate to feeling like you need to add more danger or stress to your life in order to feel fully alive; I think you have to be damned cozy in your privilege to feel that way.* Certainly a lot of people are that cozy, which is why shit like volcano surfing exists. Some people actually get adrenaline jolts so rarely that they find them fun!? I can't imagine.

My daily life is a struggle. I struggle to maintain my identity through being constantly assigned gender and having my sexuality and relationships erased any time I am around people (other than my closest). I struggle to make enough money to feed myself and pay my bills. I struggle to maintain relationships because literally all of my people are drained constantly by oppression & other hardships. I struggle to understand what people are saying, both because of my auditory processing issues and because I am extremely literal. I struggle to feel understood and valued when the best parts of me seem to go undesired and unnoticed. I struggle to be social because it takes so much out of me and so often gives little back.

I am privileged in significant ways (being white, physically non-disabled, cis-passing, & college-educated) and yet still, I struggle every day. I don't want to struggle; the more I am struggling, the less I can give. I want my struggles to decrease so that I can give more. I want to be able to help others and not need to spend all of my resources on my own mere survival. I know that I will have to work to maintain empathy with others if/when my own struggles decrease, but I am not concerned because I am more dedicated to doing that than I am to life itself.

What makes me feel alive is not when I am wrestling with some issue. I feel most alive when I can put aside my struggles for a little while and rest in my little bubble with just my safe people who I know are going to do their best to not use slurs, infringe on consent, or enforce damaging norms. Oppressed and marginalized people don't get to feel fully alive very often. I want change this, so I create safer spaces when I organize events and I work to improve those spaces that I don't control.

---

*there are other reasons to seek out danger or the simulation of it, I know: depression for instance can be so numbing that a shock of any feeling is a relief.


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LJI fav reads list, week 0
icon: "bluestocking (photo of a book lying open on a table with a bright window in the background, overlaid with a yellow fractal that looks like the sun shining through dust motes)"

LJI week 0, Intro:

[newbie favorites]
newbie favorites:

http://alohaanna.livejournal.com/972.html
http://devilz-workshop.livejournal.com/949.html
http://marlawentmad.livejournal.com/773.html
http://n8tastrophe.livejournal.com/961.html
http://quiltingdragon.livejournal.com/257014.html
http://tabloidscully.livejournal.com/554797.html
http://tinylegacies.livejournal.com/1135617.html


[veteran favorites]
veteran favorites:
http://banana-galaxy.livejournal.com/1021.html
http://goldmourn.livejournal.com/1873556.html
http://kbr-shorts.blogspot.co.uk/2016/11/therealljidol-season-10-topic-0_7.html
http://suesniffsglue.livejournal.com/478821.html
http://j0ydivided.livejournal.com/1172.html ***
http://theun4givables.livejournal.com/259095.html
http://dreamchaser.livejournal.com/366088.html
http://lilmissmagic71.livejournal.com/89773.html
http://eternal-ot.livejournal.com/13207.html
http://bewize.livejournal.com/926230.html
http://xo-kizzy-xo.livejournal.com/1395135.html
http://fodschwazzle.livejournal.com/17113.html
http://penpusher.livejournal.com/761488.html
http://tamaraland.livejournal.com/936742.html
http://furzicle.livejournal.com/435713.html
http://deza.livejournal.com/1414341.html
http://adpaz.livejournal.com/1160706.html *
http://favoritebean.livejournal.com/46046.html
http://bunnika.livejournal.com/331546.html
http://az-starshine.livejournal.com/1035466.html
http://shanns-ljidol.livejournal.com/21953.html
http://rswndrlst.livejournal.com/10074.html
http://saintegloire.livejournal.com/1181.html
http://lapis-lazuli615.livejournal.com/214079.html *
http://impoetry.livejournal.com/233029.html
http://alycewilson.livejournal.com/669840.html
http://kfp-rawr.livejournal.com/6394.html
http://murielle.livejournal.com/294203.html *
http://tonithegreat.livejournal.com/259269.html *


Some awesome writing already! this is going to be a fantastic season.


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LJI topic 0, intro: my function is explaining, my motivation is compassion, my hope is understanding
icon: "hopeful (close-up photo of me wearing cat-eye makeup, jewels on my cheek, and a violet glitter goatee. I'm gazing off to the side with a hopeful smile.)"

I do a lot of explaining myself as a queer, demisexual, agender, trans, relationship anarchist, vegetarian, eclectic pagan Quaker with ADD-PI (attention deficit disorder - primarily inattentive) and CAPD (central auditory processing disorder). My communication methods can be alarmingly rude on accident (illustrated by my lack of understanding of why others appreciate empty words like "hi") but my goal is almost always to create the best understanding for the most people. If I have one main function, it is to explain: explain people to each other, explain systems to people, explain myself to those I care about, explain how things work to my own self, explain to others how to practice skills I've learned.

My primary motivation is compassion, and for me that is very complex. In a simple, wholesome world compassion is just being kind to the people around you. In a world of structural injustice, compassion takes much more work. It takes learning about systems and about anyone who is different from you, because otherwise you will hurt people no matter how wonderful your intentions are. So I spend a lot of time trying to learn about people who are different from me and trying to help others also learn, so that I can reduce the amount of suffering I cause and hopefully ripple out to reduce suffering in general.

I want to connect with living beings in a mutually nourishing way. I've learned that if a person wants to reduce suffering enough to do work for it, we will probably nourish each other and be great friends. My hope in life and in writing is to create more understanding that will allow for more nourishing connections.


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why/how I make people a priority
icon: "polyamorous relationship anarchist (a rainbow-colored heart with the 'anarchy' capital letter A cutting through it, over a brick texture that suggests the heart is graffiti)"

What causes me to make someone a priority is one of two things: we decided together to deliberately build a connection, or we have an energetic connection that is unusually strong.

The first kind I do on purpose obviously, the second kind happens even when the other person puts no effort in at all. I have to try to deliberately shut that one off and when it comes to people who I feel are spirit-kin, it is as impossible for me to actually remove the impulse to make them a priority as it is for average people to not make blood kin a priority. I can keep myself from acting on it, but the urge is always there.

I actually have such a bad memory that I keep a list on my phone of people who I am currently prioritizing. It has been mostly useless for the past two months as I've been just scraping by, but I'm checking it again now.

I just took several people off the list, so it's very stripped down right now. It's usually 7-9 people but I don't have the energy within or coming in to make more people a priority right now. I think this list can help me illustrate the qualities that cause me to make someone a priority.

The list currently:

Topaz - because their company nourishes me (especially mentally and physically) & we have a shared goal of learning and creating.
Serenity - because their company nourishes me (especially spiritually) & ultimately we have an intention of becoming a community hub.
Allison - because their company nourishes me (especially artistically) & and I want a stronger friendship with them.
Sande - because their company nourishes me (especially spiritually) & I want to build a connection when that becomes possible.

They all have similar values to mine, they reach back when I reach out, they make efforts to spend time with me, and they try to stay in touch with me by reading what I share on LJ. Those aren't the only things I need to make someone a priority, but they are all necessary.

I tend to take people at their word. When I ask them if they make me a priority and they say yes, I treat all situations as though they're doing their best but other things are getting in the way. At some point though, I've got to stop acting like that's true. I want all my strong connections to be priorities but I'm sick of them forgetting that I fucking exist and not making any efforts of their own volition. I'm sick of literally everything else being more important.

So I'm not gonna do that. Right now, if you can't tell, I'm feeling angry and unimportant, especially to people who I've tried with over months and sometimes years while they put all their effort into other things, other people. At some point, they're just not valuing our connection. I shouldn't pour energy out trying to keep that connection alive. Fuck it. I should do what they're doing and treat them as part of my past not my present.


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thanks for being wonderful, LJ friends / poll: where do you live?
icon: "interconnectedness (two bald purple-skinned people in the ocean: from Joan Slonczewski's "Door Into Ocean")"

Finally caught up on replying to comments today. I really do have just the sweetest friends list. In fact, overall I think my friends list right now actually has the highest number of meaningful connections that I've ever had. I really adore many of you and am excited about getting to know some of my newer friends. LJ is my beloved home and I'm pleased that we share this building *heartglow*

Speaking of home, I'm curious as to how my current readers are scattered (only I can see who chose what).
Please ONLY answer if you read my journalCollapse )


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I'm joining LJ Idol once more
Season 10


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constant caretaking without sufficient rest is damaging for caretaker, caretaken, & the relationship
icon: "Ma'at (a photo of one side of a brass balance scale, with a feather inside the bowl. The background is sky blue. On the bottom of the image, below the photo, is the word "Ma'at")"

If I could teach every empathetic person one relational/emotional skill, it would be making self-care a priority that comes first at LEAST half of the time.

Earlier this year I wrote about how loss of alone time, constant caretaking, and medication stigma almost killed me and that is one of the most important things I've ever written. This will be focusing on how constant caretaking without sufficient rest is damaging for the caretaker, the one who is being taken care of, and the relationship itself.

People who are generous and strong and good at managing emotion often end up in a caretaking habit by default. We know that even at the end of a terrible day, if someone comes to us with a need we can pull energy seemingly out of nothing in order to take care of them. The thing is, we're not pulling that energy out of nothing, we're pulling it from our cognitive/emotional reserves and our future. That's a great skill for an emergency but it is not sustainable; it cannot be a way of life.

When I was married, I spent a good half of my cognitive/emotional resources on my spouseCollapse ) All my caretaking and compromising my needs for their feelings did not help them to grow emotionally -- in fact I think it hindered their growth significantly.

Since I was able to be so intensely caretaking for someone for so long, I imagined I had no limits to the help I could give others. Then I ended up in three relationships which all took far more energy than they provided (mutually, I believe, as none of us had compatible needs & abilities at the time), which stripped me so far down that I could not get back out of the hole without medical, chemical help. Until I experienced being suicidal and reality-broken for months, I did not admit to myself that I could not give to everyone whatever they wanted and still be a healthy person. Until it almost killed me, I refused to value my needs above even the desires of others, much less over others' needs. But you know what? I'm no good to anyone if I am dead. And emotional death is real. I was absolutely useless to the world for at least six months if not a year after I ran out of energy and if I hadn't had access to free doctor visits and cheap meds through my university, it would have been a lot longer of a period. To a certain extent I am STILL recovering from that awful crash in late 2012.

And you'd think I'd have learned my lesson, but I got in a pattern of caretaking without paying attention to my needs againCollapse )

I have found that when I sacrifice my mental health for another person, eventually my survival instincts will kick in -- in ways that I really don't want them to. Either I stop being able to feel empathy for them and develop a dread for their presence or I start escaping constantly in my every spare moment and cease being an actual person, or both. These things are obviously not helpful for the other person and they can destroy a relationship. Kylei and I had no good connection for a year after we broke up because the pattern had gotten so deep that it was still there for many months afterward. Had we broken up earlier instead of staying in that sacrificing mode for each other, I am certain we would have healed much faster.

So my point in all this is that caretaking another person at the expense of your own needs is not sustainable. It will at least destroy the relationship if it continues too long and I think it can also destroy the person sacrificing, AND it is ultimately damaging for the person who is being taken care of. Coming to depend on someone for your needs and then having that ripped suddenly away when they run out of ability is profoundly destabilizing and terrifying, and it is inevitable because no one has infinite energy or the ability to give endlessly without being nourished enough to refill. If you love the person you're caretaking and you want to help them the most you can, you MUST take care of yourself. Otherwise you are setting them up for a really, really awful crash (and setting yourself up for the same).

As I said to a friend, you don't actually have the choice of caretaking someone without rest forever -- that's an illusion or maybe a delusion. The only choice you have is in what the end of the pattern looks like. It's literally impossible to continue giving while your needs are not met, while you are not taking in nourishment. I feel as sure about this as I am about the fact that you can't go endlessly without food.

The problem is that caretaking others at one's own expense is not always bad. It's only unhealthy when it is the norm, which usually happens gradually. This is why you need to know what your needs are and pay attention to whether or not they are being met. I am sure everyone's tells are different, but usually there are things people do when they are nourished that they don't do when they are drained. To know if you're nourished it's important to keep some kind of log of those things if your memory is not that great (like mine), or check in with yourself every so often.

what I need to be mentally healthy, and my tells of being drainedCollapse )


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horrible bioparents finally gone, maybe I can return to life
icon: "bloodcurdling (photo of me w wide-eyed snarling wild expression wearing "Red Queen" makeup: searingly red lips, darkened pointed eyebrows, black eyeliner, deep red & black eyeshadow accented with gold & silver, and black-outlined silver hearts & diamonds with red shadows on my cheeks)"

Despite my best efforts I've only managed to post a handful of times in the past six weeks.
I'm so far behind on LJ that I will miss things as I go to catch up -- please forgive me if I make some clueless comment or something.

Not only did I start a new job that is physically and mentally exhausting (I have to do a lot of physical labor, stand for hours at a time, and memorize many things), my parents being here really ruined my mental health. They lie, they invade, they break and ruin, and they make up utter bullshit to justify themselves.

To get through them torturing me this way for a solid month, I spent every spare moment escaping. I rewatched the entirety of Friends despite its problems, because nostalgia made it engaging enough for escape (when I was agoraphobic I watched hours of Friends on DVD every day because it gave me a sense of connection).

a little sample of the bullshitCollapse )

I'm about to try and do some clearing, kick their energy out. Hopefully soon I will be able to put my brain in order and not feel so gross.


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relationships review: Topaz, Serenity, Allison, Evelyn, Sande, Heather, Kylei, Cass, Jackie, Roger
icon: "disassociative (a digital painting of a stylized person in profile with wide open screaming mouth and arms up with palms spread wide. Head and hands flow into strands like blood vessels)"

Haven't done this since July, which is pretty much the last time I felt mentally okay. Everything has been on hold for at least two months. I'm barely managing my current levels of anxiety. It was already at unprecedented levels due to not having a job yet and then my awful parents invaded my house. Them being in town and constantly in my fucking house makes me want to rip my own brain out. They've done more stressful shit since I last wrote but I just am so sick of talking about them. I want them gone, desperately want them GONE.

I haven't done anything social at all in September, and even my texting has dropped to near-nothing, and I still feel constantly overstimulated in the worst way. I'm going through all these fucking interviews AND working in a customer service job. TOO MUCH.

I'm sorry I haven't replied to comments for a while. I keep meaning to do it but for whatever reason that is the hardest part of LJ for me (I think due to fear of making someone feel slighted by missing their comment and responding to everyone but them) and I can't manage it at the moment. It is not a lack of care though -- I do very much appreciate the care and thoughtfulness you've all shown. It means a lot.

maintaining at good w TopazCollapse )

slowly building w Serenity and AllisonCollapse )

on hold w Evelyn, Sande, Heather, Kylei, CassCollapse )

new buds w Jackie and RogerCollapse )


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recently: depressed, still job-hunting, home suddenly uncertain
icon: "tenebrous (a shadowy orange-light photo of my face, looking down, with an achingly sad expression)"

So, I guess I put off the depression as long as I could. About three weeks ago I stopped being able to fend it off. I've been completely overwhelmed.

illustrations from recent tweetsCollapse )

I feel like there are blocks on every path but an increasing pressure pushing me forward against them. It seems like an endless succession of this-week-is-more-stressful-than-last, an endless series of needing to make efforts that I can't believe in. Every day that goes by with me not having a job feels like an additional punch of hopelessness and additional proof that I will never be valued by people in power enough to make even what I need to survive. I feel a need to protect myself from more punches so that I don't get too anxious/depressed to function or live, but I have no way to do so. So every day I feel more pressure to get a job immediately, which I have no real control over.

In five months of job hunting, I have applied to so many jobs, literally hundreds. I have gotten a response from no more than five. I have had one interview -- and not for one of the jobs that will actually pay a living wage, but from a cashiering job. Hopefully I will get that and it will tide me over until I can get something that will allow me to actually use my skills, live without excessive worry, and be able to help others. I suppose the good part of it is I have become much less afraid of applying in general. Constant rejection has burned out my sensitivity to it.

Most difficult is lacking something to look forward to. If there was something I could look forward to it would help, but literally every potential joy feels blocked off by one thing or another, and money is a large part of it of course. I can't imagine the future -- it is all greyed out and I feel completely helpless.

my parents might kick me out of the house I am inCollapse )

Apologies to new friends -- it's not a great time to be meeting me, but hopefully things will take a turn for the better soon.

No advice, please, but as always you are welcome to share stories from your life.


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MASSIVE BOOK POLL. I laboriously compiled a list of my formative books. pls check what you've read!
icon: "bluestocking (photo of a book lying open on a table with a bright window in the background, overlaid with a yellow fractal that looks like the sun shining through dust motes)"

under a cut to save your flist. Please do the poll if you have read even just one of them!Collapse )


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on communication, social justice, intimacy, consent, friendship & other relationships, spirituality, gender, queerness, & dreams. Expect to find curse words, nudity, (occasionally explicit) talk of sex, and angry ranting, but NEVER slurs or sexually violent language. I use TW when I am aware of the need and on request.
Expect to find curse words, nudity, (occasionally explicit) talk of sex, and angry ranting, but NEVER slurs or sexually violent language. I use TW when I am aware of the need and on request.
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