Thick in the head

I feel all thick in the head today.

It makes it hard to think, let alone write. I was around 200 words in to a piece about the anti-freedom reactions people are having to the incident in Charlottesville when I realized that I was totally lost and could not get the words out, so I started over.

Dunno why I feel this way. I know it’s not lack of sleep. I’ve had lots. Too much, maybe.

It’s probably a sinus thing. I just took a Reactine Sinus and Allergy. Let’s hope that does the trick. Because I am really hating this mental fog.

It’s so much worse than my usual mental fog.

What’s worse is that I am feeling very depressed right now. At least physically. I am feeling a very strong urge to crawl back into bed and hide from reality right now. I feel tense and anxious and very vulnerable. I feel tiny and scared and completely overwhelmed by damn near everything.

I mean, here it is, in the middle of the afternoon in middle of August, and I am shivering. I actually feel cold. That’s how ratched up and raw my nerves are right now.

Hopefully things will improve once I get the sinus thing resolved. I can endure this mental state for a while if I think relief is in sight.

Let’s check a few more things. I know it’s not low blood sugar because I ate a substantial meal two hours ago.

Although…. low blood sugar does often leave me feeling cold and shaky. Hmmm. Maybe I should drink a small amount of apple juice and see if it helps.

And I know it’s not a question of medication, because I took my full suite of morning meds with my meal. So I have plenty of Paxil and Wellbutrin in my bloodstream.

In theory, that means that my chemicals should be in balance. But that is clearly not the case, given how I feel.

Reminder : I feel like shit.

In fact, right at this second, I feel so delicate and vulnerable that all it would take is a light touch and I would crumble into dust like an ancient book.

I think the sinus meds are helping, though. I feel calmer than before.

Maybe the nap I took after eating lunch was a bad idea. For some reason, sleeping at that particular time often leads to me waking up feeling a lot worse than when I went to sleep. Perhaps it’s the afternoon heat.

But the alternative is to try to force myself to stay awake despite feeling very, very sleepy And that can be very stressful, and also not good for my mood.

So it’s catch-22 yet again. No good options. No way out.

But whatever. This too shall pass. Writing about it helps. Pathological anxiety comes from unresolved energies trying to find a way to express themselves.

Simply giving those energies a way out does wonders for the mood. All it takes is a little patience and focus to get the process started.

And the self-knowledge to know that the depression and/or anxiety will make releasing the energy seem terrifying. It will try to convince you that if you open up even a tiny bit, the whole system will explode like an overfilled balloon.

But it doesn’t have to be that way. Slow release is possible. You can let the air out of the balloon in a controlled and healthy way.

You just have to be patient and willing to do the emotional work it takes to get to the point where you find your emotional release valve and ease it open.

Everyone needs an outlet.

The good thing about being an experienced depressed and/or anxious person is that I know not to panic just because I am panicking. I am sufficiently detached from the random fluctuations of my goddamned chemicals to be able to sit outside them and say “Oh, it’s this again. I will do what I can to fix it, but if that fails, I’ll just wait it out. ”

It doesn’t make these periods of instability any more fun, but it makes them a lot more endurable. I know that, emotionally speaking, the rains will end and the sun will come out again and all I have to do is keep it together till that happens.

Beforte this evolution in my metaconscious mind, the state of my chemicals was the state of the universe, subjectively speaking. And living in so unstable a universe is a scary scary thing.

Imagine how bad it is for schizophrenics. Their reality is even more subject to their chemical instability than mine.

When I say I feel like a light touch would make me fall to pieces, I know that I am speaking metaphorically. A schizophrenic might believe it to be literally true.

It’s a terrifying thought.

Sometimes I wish I could just get comfortable in my bed, let my mind defocus, and open all my emotional floodgates so that everything can finally resolve itself and the slow dance of recovery would be resolved in one huge apocalyptic cataclysm.

Sure, it would be absolutely horrible while it was happening, but should I survive, I would feel so much cleaner and lighter afterwards.

Instead, I am stuck trying to learn to be content with the steady slow drip of release I get from the process of recovery, and the larger (but still a tiny proportion of the mass) releases I get from writing in this blog and, occasionally, therapy.

At least I have learned to treasure and encourage my restlessness. I used to quash it ands quash it HARD, treating it like it was some alien agent causing me nothing but pain when all I wanted was to be left alone.

Now I know that my restlessness comes from my life force trying to express itself. It’s the part of me capable of overcoming my lack of motivation. In fact, it’s where motivation lives. I want ot learn to let the spirit move me, so to speak.

But first… I have to let go of my current life and world.

And that scares mne.

I will talk to you nice people again tomorrow.

 

 

Nice guys finish last

Had this song on my mind lately.

 

That’s totally not the video I downloaded the song from, but I can’t find that one, so here ya go.

Love the guy’s douchey expression.

Anyhow, I love that song because it does such a great job of expressing how a lot of lonely straight dudes feel. To me, it is crystal clear that the attitudes being expressed in the verses are not being endorsed. They are, in fact, being shown in all their horror and brutality. I get the feeling that everything in there is something that the songwriter(s) has experienced and was so horrified by it they could not process it.

If so, then this song would act as their way of dealing with these unacceptable, indigestible memories. That’s how art works sometimes : a way for the artist to regurgitate their bad memories and send them back into the world, and thus, be rid of them at last.

It’s quite the neat trick, when you think about it.

Anyhow, this “nice guys finish last” sentiment comes from a very real place in the straight male psyche. Society teaches us that woman want men to behave a certain way, and that if they behave that way, women will like them.

Then they see someone who breaks all those rules and treats women like shit and the women lap it up and beg for more, and they feel betrayed.

Part of the problem is that the “nice guy” mentality makes it hard to recognize the other parts of the equation of attraction. Niceness alone will never be enough to win the heart of the fair maiden… or the fair lass.

There’s so many other factors. Physical attraction. Respect. Compatibility. Similar interests. Chemistry. Your respective moods. And so forth and so on.

Of all those factors, respect is probably the largest contributor, and it’s the one where the “angry nice guy” is most likely to fail. Sure, the ladies (or laddies) want someone with whom they get along, but they also want someone they can respect.

And being servile and eager to please and willing to change to be whatever the other person wants to you makes you nearly impossible to respect.

In fact, it engenders contempt, and if you try to put yourself in the other person’s position, you will understand why.

People want to deal with people who are their own person. Someone real, with a personality and limits and their own likes and dislikes. They are not looking for the most “user friendly” person around.

Also, the “angry nice guy” tends to be the sort of guy who internalizes a set of rules as to how to get the girl and then gets very frustrated when they follow all those rules and still don’t get the girl.

Life doesn’t work like that, fellas. Thi sisn’t school.  You don’t get the girl by having the highest marks in the dating class.

In fact, the whole “get the girl” mentality is fundamentally flawed, because it suggests that there is a way to “earn” the girl, and the truth is that there just plain isn’t.

People either click or they don’t. Individual merit often plays very little part in it. The right person for you will come along and you will click with them. All the others were just bit players in your love story.

Like I have said many times before, the only dating advice worth a damn is “meet lots of people”. That increases your odds of meeting the right person for you. Everything else is secondary, and futile if you are not meeting new people.

I’m not saying meeting new people is easy – I sure as hell can’t manage it. But it is good advice nevertheless, despite that.

This advice might seem harsh and it is definitely unromantic to look at love as a lottery where the idea is to buy as many tickets as you can and hope to get lucky. A lot of people will reject the entire notion due to how unpalatable it is.

But when you think about it, it’s also very freeing, because it means that merit is no longer the primary factor and that therefore rejection is not a reflection of your lack of merit. It has nothing to do with whether you are “good enough” for the person.

All it means is that this was not the right person. That was not a winning ticket. You failed at nothing.

That doesn’t mean you should give up if it doesn’t work out right away; Persistence is also a good thing to have when you really feel strongly attracted to someone in a way that is beyond desperately wanting to bone them.

A lot of the time, there’s a lot of psychological garbage that you have to wade through in order to really connect with someone. You could find the objectively perfect person for you and you still have to jump through hoops because of trust issues, the ghosts of previous relationships, weird parental issues, or whatever.

That’s why I get annoyed when people say they are not interested in “playing games” in relationships any more. Yeah right. Those “games” exist for a reason. They are the many ways in which people navigate the dangerous terrain between being attracted and being intimate. The rules are always the same – drawing closer to the other person while not risking getting hurt – and so the whole complex dance of love is not exactly something you can just get rid of.

You can, however, remove a lot of unnecessary steps.

Anyhow. I guess the main point I wanted to make toiday was that nice guys only finish last when they persist in believing that niceness alone should be enough to get them the girl of their dreams.

It’s a great asset, but it’s not enough on its own. Like a certain cracked.com columnist said. if all you have is niceness to give to the world, you’re like a product whose main selling point is that it’s nontoxic.

Yeah, but what does it actually DO?

Ask yourself the same thing, and you will be enlightened.

I will talk to you nice people again tomorrow.

 

 

The restart button

Let me tell you something about my with and in Skyrim.

I have LOT of mods. And they all do something fun. So, like I have said before, I tend to keep adding mods until the damn thing breaks, then hit restart (which in this case means the “disable all mods” button in Nexus Mod Manager) and start over from scratch, as it were.

And for a while, I was doing this literally once a day. Which is totally crazytown. And it got me thinking about my relationship to the restart button, both in video games and what I am pleased to my real life.

At least one half of “real life” is probably true. But sometimes it’s hard to tell.

Anyhoo, the urge to restart has pecked away at me for a long time. It’s even making me want to start a new character, even though my current one, an Argonian (aka lizard man) warrior who specializes in fighting with a sword in each hand, has tons of experience and I’ve done huge swathes of the game with him and invested many many hours in developing him.

So why would I want to start over, and throw that all away?

It’s this kind of thing that brings out an inherent problem in my astrological chart. I won’t bore you with too many details, but basically my Sun sign, the primary sign of my personality, is Taurus.

And we Taurus bulls like things like reliability, permanence, investing hard work in things that are worthwhile, and things that last.

So far so good. The problem arises when you look at the rest of my chart, which is nearly all mutable signs and mutable signs hate things like permanence, hard work, and things that last.

Mutable signs need the freedom to switch from one thing to the next when they get bored or restless. They have to be able to change the channel in life or they will start to feel trapped and anxious.

That is, more or less, the exact opposite of being a Taurus.

So I have this conflict where part of me is sensible, practical, and reliable, and part of me is a freedom and autonomy loving restless soul who never wants to be tied down by things like responsibility and commitment/.

It makes it hard to know who I really am.

The Taurus in me finds the idea of starting over before I have completed the game with my current character absolutely insane. Total madness. I have accumulated so much value in this character. Why would I throw that all away to start over? That would be like stopping your car 100 meters from the finish line at the Indy 500.

The thing to do is see things through to the end. Only then do you ponder starting over.

And that is perfectly logical and sensible. But I can’t totally agree with it either.

Because the rest of me really wants to start over with a fresh slate, free of prior history and ready to explore anew. It would let me try a different kind of character (probably sneaky archer) and a different race (one of the sneakier types of elf), and it would renew my interest in the game, which has been flagging lately.

And it’s been flagging precisely because I have accumulated so many quests and so much loot and a whole gang of followers and I long to be free and fresh and unattached and uncommitted again.

It’s the desire for renewal, basically, and I should not dismiss it out of hand. I have a real problem with renewal in the spiritual sense. It’s a chronic issue with us Taurus types. We tend to hold on to things and keep trudging ever forward with giving ourselves the chance to refresh and renew ourselves.

In fact, we often violently resist our own renewal because we can only view it as sudden change, and we hate sudden change.

Even if it’s a super positive change.

It’s kind of tragic, really.

But now I am wondering what would be so bad about starting over. I mean, this is a game I play for fun, so whatever makes it more fun should be fine, right?

It’s not like I have promised someone I would finish the game with this character. I don’t owe it to the game to stick with one  character till the end. Starting over certainly isn’t a crime even if it isn’t “necessary” and it wouldn’t mean I was some horrible kind of person who can’t see anything through.

All it would me is that I got bored of being a hand to hand fighter and decided that I wanted to try being a sneaky sniper type.

And what’s wrong with that?

And my current character would not cease to exist. He’d still be there, in the save game,s ready to resume his adventure any time I wanted.

And yet, when I think about starting over, I get this stab of guilt. A stab that feels suspiciously like being gored by a bull.

So I dunno. It’s crazy in here, that’s all I can say.

I probably will end up starting a new character. One as different from my current one as I can get, more or less. And who knows, after playing her for a while, I might get bored and frustrated and go right back to my current guy and his awesome stats and gear.

I know there’s one thing I have to try first : taming a dragon. There’s this one quest where you can acquire your very own dragon by using your “tame beast” spell, and I have tried to complete it many times but the dragon always completely kicks my ass.

And the thing is, acquiring this dragon works by Pokemon rules, namely that you have to beat the shit out of the critter before you can capture it.

So I have been diligently working towards being able to lay a pounding on the thing until I can force it to love me. I have been building up my own power and strength, and equipping my followers with the best of the gear I have acquired, and hopefully I will soon be ready to take on the dragon and win.

SO I have to do that, anyhow.

But after that, who knows? No if only there was a reset button for life…

I will talk to you nice people again tomorrow.

 

And I say “bleh”.

First, an update :

I still haven’t written that thing I went  on and about in yesterday’s post. I chickened out.  I started thinking about all the heavy social fallout I might have unleashed with it, and how it would hurt everyone I know and care for, and I chickened out.

I still plan on writing it. I have to, the words need to get out. And I still might post it where I planned on posting it. But not before reading everything I can get my hands on about how to do things with total anonymity in this day and age.

I wish it didn’t have to be this way. I wish I could post it under my own name and let the chips fall where they may. And if the only one who could be hurt by it was me, I would go right ahead and do it.

I relish the thought of being a lightning rod for my people. The one who dares to come out of the closet and into people’s faces with the message that we are people too, and the things you believe to be true about us are rank prejudice.

Being the public face of my people would suit me. I have the right skills. I’m highly articulate, very intelligent, a dragon level master at arguing, and I have the right combination of stubbornness and charisma to put my points across in the face of massive opposition from a society that has been fed the message that we are the absolute worst kind of people for decades and does not want to even think about what I will be talking about and thus would have a huge allergic reaction to my message.

To be honest… I think I would really enjoy that role. I suppose that'[s the trickster in me. Like I have said, the trickster’s highest role is to make people think about things they don’t want to think about and thus advance the conversation and bring about change.

Or something like that. I am still working on that definition.

Plus I have a very combative side to my personality that has lain dormant for over twenty years because I realized that other people aren’t there to be my intellectual sparring partners and I should really stop picking verbal fights just to feel the thrill of mind to mind combat.

I will still argue my position sometimes, but when I do so, I am acutely aware of how those with whom I argue are feeling and I am always ready to back off and disconnect if I think people are going to get hurt.

There is a lot of power in this bruised and broken brain of mine, and it’s up to me to make sure that power is used responsibly.

However, were I the public face of an extremely unpopular group of people, I would have lots and lots of opportunities to use my powers for good, so to speak. The whole world would be my sparring partner then, and I would have a nearly infinite challenge ahead of me that would let me truly explore my powers.

And what can I say….. I love to fight. Maybe that means I am crazy. I don’t know.

But I can tell you this : the times when I am passionately arguing my position in the face of massive opposition are the times in my life when I have felt the most truly alive.

It’s like I am an intellectual Klingon.

So if it was just me that could get hurt – and I mean hurt as in assassinated, my views would be that unpopular – I would go’er and never look back.

But it’s not just me that could suffer and that is something I really have to think about.

It makes me wonder how the families of other passionate articulators felt about them. surely they must have, in private at least, wished their loved one had never opened their big fat mouths and that their lives could go back to normal.

Surely some of them even got ostracized big most or all of their family for their views both as a moral reaction to them and as a pragmatic measure for keeping themselves from getting sucked into the social black hole said articulators would be generating.

Public statements of disavowal, disapproval, and distance most likely were made. And I wouldn’t blame people for doing it. They never asked to go on this crazy trip with you.

It makes sense that they would feel the need make that really, really clear.

And yet, these heroes of mine, like Martin Luther and Nelson Mandela, still went through with it. They had the courage to speak up for their group and call the lightning down on their heads because they knew that things had to change.

I don’t have that courage yet. I hope to have it some day, preferably sooner rather than later as I ain’t getting any younger and it will be a very long road to acceptance for my people and their needs.

A road I might not survive. Kinda gotta keep that in mind. I would sure as hell get a fuckton of death threats and threats of grievous personal harm.

You might think I am making too big of a deal of this, but I know what I am talking about. There are lines you just don’t cross because society holds certain things to be sacred and beyond argument, and I would be challenging one of the deepest of said things.

Often these topics are referred to as “third rail” topics because, like the third rail of a subway or light rail service, to touch it would be fatal and once you touched it, you would be locked into it till you die. [1]

Well my message would walk right up to one of the biggest of third rails and French kiss it with gusto.

And that’s something I am going to have to think about before I pull the trigger.

I will talk to you nice people again tomorrow.

Tomorrow is Back to Work day!

 

Footnotes    (↵ returns to text)

  1. For you science buffs, that happens because the third rail run on DC, not AC, and DC causes your muscles to lock in place, not spasm in the way we normally associate with electric shock.  So there’s no chance that you will shake loose of the connection.

This thing I am going to write

I apologize for the vagueness which will permeate what I am about to say, but the sad truth is that it”s completely necessary.

There is a document I need to write. I need to write it because I am the only one who can do it and it definitely needs to be done. In that sense, I don’t feel like I have a choice in the matter.

Man’s gotta do, etc.

But I am scared. This document could get me in a lot of trouble. And not just me. Everyone who knows me. My family. My friends. My therapist. Everyone.

Because to say the views I will express in this document will be extremely unpopular is an understatement along the lines of referring to a nuclear submarine as a “little boat” or referring to the Grand Canyon as “that little hole over there”.

Words cannot do it justice, really.

These views fly in the face of all popular opinion and force people to think about something they really don’t want to think about., and hopefully shock them out of their comfortable hate and force them to consider the group these view represent in a new light, as human beings.

A group to which I belong. It’s one of the most hated groups that exist today despite the fact that nobody chooses to be in it and nobody in it can choose to leave, either.

Some things, once set, stay set. Forever.

My group is such an easy target that politicians of all stripes have no problem advocating for harsher treatment of the members of said group despite the fact that said group is mostly harmless and isn’t hurting anyone.

But the group, being weak and powerless and so shunned by society that nobody dares speak up for them when they are forced into ghettos, or subject to blatantly unethical “medical” treatments, or even when the good, normal, decent folk of the world have no problem playing a fun game where they take turns describing all the truly horrific and inhumane things they would do to one of us if they “caught” us.

All because we violate a very deep taboo, one that possibly part of our very DNA. It’s such a powerful taboo that much well-intended harm is done by people reacting blindly to it and lashing out without thought to the consequences.

You know I’m not talking about being gay, right? That battle’s over.

My group is so hated that people go to great lengths to avoid any possible action that even suggest they might belong to the group. The sheer paranoia about this taboo is astounding. At all times, people feel they must make it absolutely and abundantly clear that they are normal and safe and not part of my group at all.

Activities that were once considered completely normal and safe are now considered taboo. The white hot glare of narrow minded suspicion passes over every person who matches even the vaguest of criteria for membership in my group.

The ferocity of this taboo is only matched by how unexamined it is and the degree to which none of its basic assumptions make a lick of sense and are merely word noise put in place to meet the very minimal requirements necessary to make this taboo seem like it has something to do with reason and compassion.

It has nothing to do with either, but that’s ever stopped people before.

Absolutely nobody outside this group of mine will ever stick up for us. That’s rock solid certain. Nobody wants to be even remotely associated with us and heaven forbid that anyone express any human concern for us because everyone agrees that we are the lowest of the low and even so much as expressing the opinion that we are human beings and that means we probably have at least a few rights would instantly mark someone as a “sympathizer” and they would be ostracized almost as brutally as if they had confessed to being part of this group themselves.

And all to defend people everyone already agrees is less than worthless? People who could not possibly have a lower social status than they do now?

What kind of person would risk everything for THAT kind of person?

And so the only way any progress will be made is if we stick up for ourselves. That’s pretty hard to do when none of us – even those of us born to wealth and power and privilege – dare admit to membership in the group at all.

Including me. I am going to write this document and I am going to post it to a community I know to be a haven for people like me. Hopefully, others of my group will read what I have written and take comfort and hope from my words.

These words will be written for them first, the world second. If the world gets wind of the document, and the right (wrong) people catch the salacious scent of a truly epic social massacre in the offering, then the fertilizer with truly strike the air conditioning and all Hades will break loose, especially if the document can be traced back to me.

And the press seems to be awfully good at that type of thing lately. Perhaps because they can call upon the internet hivemind to do distributed research that is funneled into a central clearinghouse for integration and synthesis.

And yet, I feel like it’s something I have to do. I am the one with the skills, the courage, and the will to articulate the pain and injustice of my group, my people. For me, not doing it is no longer an option.

The words are in me and they have to come out or I will go crazy. That’s the selfish part of the equation. Part of my job in this life is to speak for those who cannot speak for themselves. And wow, is that true for my group.

So I will take all due caution to post my document as anonymously as I and the Internet know how to do it.

But ti has to be done.

It is my destiny.

And just so you know, those who love and cherish me, that if the shit really goes down and I become the most hated person in the world, I will understand if you no longer feel that you can afford to be associated with me.

It will hurt, but I will understand.

And what the hell. What I do tends to get ignored anyhow.

Might as well get it off my chest.

I will talk to you nice people again tomorrow.

 

 

 

 

Two balls, and an alibi

Currently stuck in my head :

 

It’s a great album. Tells the story of a poor little rich boy. Here’s the song I really identify with, or at least, with the chorus :

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I know how you feel, man. When I was a kid, I envied (without being able to articulate it) the poor kids with stable, loving families. I would have traded all my middle class stuff for parents and siblings who wanted me around.

The sort of family my babysitter Betty had. They were poor, and everything in their house was cheap, and growing up she’d had to share a bedroom with two other siblings, and so forth and so on.

But when I was there, I could feel the love and the bond between them, and often wished I could stay.

In those days, her family paid a lot more attention to me than my own. And they seemed to care if I was happy, too. With them, I felt like I was being cared for.

As opposed to at home, where I felt like I was barely being tolerated, and to get that I had to be completely accommodating, never ask for anything, and “understand” when my needs got utterly neglected or something I cared about was withdrawn in favour of the comfort and convenience of others.

No matter what, they knew I would “understand”.

It was a very cold childhood. Perhaps that’s because I come from a family of chilly intellectuals, I don’t know. I’ve talked here before about how cerebral a family we turned out to be.

And we also all turned out to have mental health issues. Way to go, Mother and Father. You successfully raised a crop of brilliant kids with fucked up heads.

And of the four of us, I got the biggest dose of both of those things.

My siblings have their issues, true. But they also had friends when we were growing up. I did not. And it’s not like I was going to get the necessary emotional and social stimulation from my icebox of a family.

As a result, I was a depressed kids in an area when nobody knew that was even a thing that could happen. I withdrew hard into my little world of TV and books and video games. A world I still live in to this very day.

Obviously, I am pretty bitter about all that.

But what can I do? It’s in the past. It’s far too late to get mad about how I was treated forty years ago.

Nevertheless, I am pretty pissed off about it. My childhood burned its lessons about my place in the world into my so deeply that I was in my early thirties before I even realized how badly I had been raised.

It’s a staggeringly sobering thing to realize that despite your brilliant mind, you have been completely blind to profoundly important truths about your life for as long as you can remember, all the way back to your early childhood.

Every childhood is normal, I guess, until you compare it to others and realize what exactly you should have had.

As you patient readers know, I am still working through all this emotional garbage from my childhood. It’s taking such a long time, I suspect, because of that heavy dose of icy intellectualism I got from my family.

That left me without the emotional tools to deal with my problems directly. I have to work through them intellectually, which takes a hell of a lot longer.

I mean, I didn’t even have a relationship with a deity who loved and cared about me. No religion in my childhood.

No religion, no friends, no family to rely on, nothing.

Just long days of loneliness, boredom, and fear. Like all emotionally neglected kids, I learned to entertain myself.

And never really learned to do anything else.

Perhaps my highly developed verbal skills come from my (highly intellectualized) attempts to express what I did not know how to express as a child.

Or rather, I suppose, what I was too scared to express. It was very hard for me to articulate my needs because I got such a strong “you don’t matter” vibe from my family that I felt like I had no right to ask for anything, ever.

All that was left was for me to be grateful for whatever fell from the sky into my life. You know, those rare moments when someone noticed me enough to be nice to me.

There was nothing I could do to bring them on, and I had better be grateful for what I did get because I sure as heck didn’t deserve it.

Sometimes I sit and wonder : did I even stand a chance?

Because it’s easy to come up with a million “if only” scenarios. If only I had stood up for myself. If only I had demanded proper treatment from the world instead of passive absorbing whatever happened to me. If only I had used my winning combination of articulacy, passion, and stubbornness to raise a fuss and get myself what I need.

Etcetera, ad nauseum, infinits.

But the fact that there are things now that I wish I had done back then does not mean that I actually could have done them back then. They would have been alien to my nature at the time. I was a product of my environment and felt very little sense of agency or self-determination.

I just adapted to whatever happened without a single thought in my head of having an alternative way of dealing with it.

Just like I had no idea that changing myself in order to fit in was an option. So I never learned to do that, either. I just got lucky and found a group of nerdy friends who would never ask that of me.

We nerds are cool like that.

Come to think of it, my family never demanded that of me either.

That would have involved noticing me and, worse, actually thinking about me and my needs and well-being.

And they sure as hell weren’t going to do that.

I will talk to you nice people again tomorrow.

 

 

Root beer is not cola

And yet, my body keeps wishing it was and trying to convince me it is.

See, normally, I have cola with supper on days when I have nothing going on in the evening but work and/or blogging. I have my caffeine fix with my evening meal and then I go use that energy to make the words happen.

But I am out of cola. What I have is root beer. [1] And there are a lot of similarities between the two. They are almost the same color, they have roughly the same density, and they have parts of their flavour profile in common.

So my poor caffeine craving body practically whimpers every time I take a drink of what turns out not to be cola.

I’m starting to wonder if I am developing a serious cola habit.

The Keys to the Kingdom

Hey look, section headings.

Finally got my new keyboard today. Typing on it to write these very words.

And of course, it feels weird and wrong and my fingers are not happy with it. That’s to be expected. I spent a long time typing on a very old and worn-in keyboard where the keys had been typed on so much that some of the letters had worn off.

I had to find my N and my M by dead reckoning.

Going from that thoroughly broken in (and broken down) old thing to a new keyboard with new springs and clear and bright letters is bound to be a shock.

Plus, I feel like this keyboard is smaller than my previous one, which is odd because you would think that sort of thing would be standard.

But I suppose  you can always shove the keys a tiny bit closer to each other, I guess.

What I really need is an oversized keyboard for my oversized hands.  Regular keyboards are slightly too small for me. I think a keyboard around 18 percent bigger than the norm, with proportionately larger keys, would be ideal for me.

But I looked at oversized keyboards before I bought this bare-basics model, and holy geez are they expensive. Basically, imagine what you would pay for a normal keyboard, double it, then add a hundred bucks.

American, not Canadian.

So I will make do, as I always do.

Luckily, my incredibly strong need to communicate will easily pull me through the breaking in period for this keyboard

What I Must Write

In therapy today, a story idea came up and I think now is the time that I should finally write it. It has a point that needs to be made and I feel like I am the one to make it.

But god damn is it going to be hell to write it.

It will be hell because I have to get in the lion’s cage of some of the worst things that ever happened to me and get those ferocious pussies to put on a play I wrote.

Oh yeah. I decided it would work best as a short play instead of a short story. It’s all dialogue anyway. And it’s perfect for licensing to small, local theater company who wants to put on something with a lot of impact but a small budget.

Simple setup. Front desk at a police station.Easily depicted with a table on a riser.  One cop, one kid, and a few other characters. A little background noise and you are ready to go with minimal fuss.

It’s about bullying. That’s all I will say about it. I have to keep the energy contained until I actually write the fucking thing.

It will not be fun to write. But I will feel much better once I am done.

I swear, sometimes writing can be like passing a stone.

Still Rimming the Sky

And boy, does it taste good. Talk about tasting the rainbow! *laugh track*

I told my therapist about my decision to stop beating myself up over what I am doing in my life and simply accept that I have an enjoyable hobby and good friends and my own creative output and that’s enough for me right now.

Viewed that way, I have a pretty sweet life. Lots of time to have fun and goof around. A game I love to play. Cash in the bank, which helps a whole hell of a lot to improve my mood and make me feel less vulnerable in the world.

Let me tell you of a highly typical bit of mental buffoonery. For nearly a month, I had been wondering why my bank balance hadn’t changed in a while. Was I still getting paid? Whaddy Fug?

It took until a couple of days ago for me to remember that I had sent the money I was getting to Paypal, but I had forgotten to move it from Paypal to my bank. D’oh!

So by the time I got around to it, there was $180 in there. American. That turned into around $225 when converted into Canadian currency.

So I am doing just fine. In fact, I dunno what I am going to do with the money.

Maybe I will get that fancy Serta office chair on which to lower my gigantic buttocks. I spend most of my day sitting here at the computer. Might as well be comfortable.

Maybe I will feed my addiction to Skyrim by buying myself a copy of Skyrim Special Edition, aka SSE. It’s the same game but with souped up graphics and sound and so on. Something for slightly closer to modern computers.

A graphical upgrade for the game could be pretty nice. But I am not going to tocuh it until I know all my favorite mods will work with it.

No mods, no deal.

Heck, maybe I will even buy one of those expensive oversized keyboards.

The possibilities are endless!

Functionally, not literally.

But you probably already figured that out.

I will talk to you nice people again tomorrow.

Footnotes    (↵ returns to text)

  1. Diet, of course. I will eat a lot of bad stuff but I am never drinking a sugared drink again in my life because I do not want to die. The only circumstance under which I will drink a sugared drink is if a medical professional tells me to because my blood sugars are way too low.

Write to life

Been thinking the heavy thoughts about the id again.

There’s a fundamental flaw in Western thinking that I think causes a lot of our problems : we make an enemy in our own mind.

We declare war on our primitive selves when we accept the idea that “higher” emotions are good and “lower” emotions are the enemy and the root of all evil. We lock our id away in a deep dark closet and only let it out when it behaves itself and we feel that it is a safe environment to do so.

This mental bifurcation is extremely destructive because we are not our egos OR our ids. We are both. We are monkeys with big brains, animals that can think,  the beast that walks on two legs.

And that means that our ids are as much a part of us as the rest. Trying to punish one part of the mind and lock it away because we identify it with evil is like choosing to be paralyzed on one side of your body because it’s the “evil” side.

The only way we can be happy beasts is if we see ourselves as a complex blend of animal and savant. In fact, the distinction is not really worth making.

Eastern thought, from what I have seen, does not fall prey to that particular absurdity. They avoid that type of moral dualism. This can be very hard for the Western mind to understand because we’ve been raised on such a steady diet of the battle between good and evil that we can’t help but see things in terms of whether the “right” side won or not. Did good triumph over evil? Did the good guys win?

We don’t really understand the sense of balance that a more Eastern point of view embraces. In fact, we’re liable to interpret a story where both sides come together to live in peace and harmony as a partial loss at best, and the good being forced to swallow the poison that is the Bad Guys at the worst.

I had my mind blown open on this subject at an early age by a little known  movie called the Dark Crystal.

(Apologies to those of you who have already heard this story. )

Spoiler alert on a movie from  1982 : I am going to reveal the ending.

In most of said movie, which I saw when I was 9 years old, the moral equation is really simple : our hero, the Gelfling, is the pure and innocent orphan raised by deep, wise, and benevolent creatures called the Mystics, and the Skeksis, a race of vulture-like beings, are evil.

Really, really fucking evil.

Like just…. SO evil.

Words cannot describe how much I hated the Skeksis when I saw that movie in the theater when only 9 years old. They were horrible, filthy beings who had nothing but evil motivations and lived in a society filled with deceit, backstabbing, boot-licking, and every other unpleasant and horrible aspect of human life.

And remember, I had been raised on (mostly) American cartoons that had very clear heroes and villains and there wasn’t a heck of a lot of moral ambiguity.

Throughout the movie, in the background of the main plot, the Mystics are slowly walking to the place where the Skeksis live, and I truly believed that when they got there, the Shit was going to Go Down and the evil Skeksis would be exploded into tiny pieces very painfully.

I am not exaggerating. That is exactly what I wanted to happen at the end. I was visualizing that quite vividly as a way to handle the loathing I felt for the Skeksis, which at times was so intense I almost asked my father if we could leave.

In fact, I think I might have done so once. But he gently declined and told me to hang on, which was quite good parenting and exactly what the father is supposed to do in the nuclear family : encourage their kids to take risks and get stronger.

Anyhow, at the end of the movie, the Mystics finally reach the Skeksis stronghold, and the epic and brutal battle I was counting on… never happened.

Instead, the Mystics merged with the Skeksis, and became a higher form of being of the transcending the flesh type. [1]

And I just couldn’t handle that kind of ending at the tender age of nine. My mind was blown to pieces by it. The bad guys had won, right? I mean, why should evil creatures like them get to be higher beings now? That’s not fair! That’s not right!

Thus, I was introduced to the idea of balance being the key, not victory.

It’s obvious to me now that the Mystics were the ego and the Skeksis were the id. And there is no peace without bringing those into balance.

And the thing is, our idiotic Zoroastrian world-view blinds us to the fact that all our “higher” feelings come from the id as well. Love, compassion, nobility, the quest for knowledge, you name it. They all come from our social instincts just like the messy stuff, and that means that you can’t just take some of those instincts and label them good and the rest bad.

It’s all just instincts. Our higher brains simply do what those instincts say.

And I am not saying that we should all act on our emotions all the time. That idea is, in fact, a product of the very false dualism that I am talking about. Like one side has to win and rout the other side.

Self-mastery comes from embracing ourselves in our entirety and negotiating a peace treaty between ego and id that relieves our tension and lets the two sides of the equation work together as easily and fluently as our hands do.

After all, you need both. Right? Right.

I feel like this seeking of balance is my road to travel now. Like most intellectuals, I have let the ego side of things dominate and choke the life out of the id with fear and restrictions and vastly overgeneralized rules.

All the while complaining of feeling unmotivated, tired, and weak.

But now, I know that the id is the source of all motivation and that true self-mastery and spiritual growth comes from harnessing the id’s power, not suppressing it.

Every day, I work to hook more of that motherfucking id power supply to the rest of my psyche, and slowly, one by one, parts of me that were in the dark for decades suddenly power on and start working.

Maybe I am a lot more like my fellow human beings than I thought.

And there’s nothing wrong with that.

I will talk to you nice people again tomorrow.

 

Footnotes    (↵ returns to text)

  1. Rarely are higher forms of being made of meat like the rest of us. That tells you all you need to know about transcendentalism.

That was easy

I finally got around to hopping onto Amazon.ca support live chat[1], and the net effect is that they are shipping me my order again.

So things are cool between me and the Mighty Amazon for now. And they will stay that way… provided the damned thing actually gets delivered this time.

Last time, as you may remember, Purolator tried a maximum of one times to deliver the thing then stuck a sticker on the door of the apartment complex saying I had to go pick the damned thing up at some godforsaken depot out by the airport.

That ended up not happening. I could not pull it off. I looked it up and I could have gotten there by transit. The Canada Line’s airport spur would have gotten me to within about a kilometer of it. And I can walk that far when needed.

But it would have meant having to find my way from the Skytrain to this place, and I have done fairly poorly at that task lately. And it would have meant going to somewhere completely unknown to me, which ups the ante on the social anxiety considerably. And I would have had to carry the thing home myself.

And I was pissed off about the whole thing, which was a factor. I can understand them missing us once. But according to the email from Amazon, they were going to try again next business day, which was the next Monday.

But no. Sticker on door, job over, come and get it, fuck you. Makes me wonder how much Amazon knows about how Purolator is dicking people around.

Well they know more now, because as it turns out, it shows up on Amazon’s side as “lost in transit”, so they think Purolator lost the shipment.

As far as I am concerned, they did.

I tried to arrange a ride to go pick it up, but that was not an option. Felicity was too busy and the depot closes at 7:30 pm, and Joe usually gets home at around 7:15 pm these days, so that wasn’t going to cut it either.

I will meet the forces that be half way by making sure someone is awake and around for the entire business day on Thursday, which is the guaranteed delivery date. That way,  I can be absolutely sure that if it does not arrived, it was not delivered. It wasn’t that they “missed” us. It was that they didn’t even fucking try.

I wouldn’t get my keyboard under that circumstance, I’d get vindication for my dark suspicions about the state of courier delivery these days, and that’s almost as good.

Better, in some ways. Not healthy ways. But ways.

It will be a big load off my mind when that problem is solved. I have had a number of very scary moments lately where I thought this keyboard had died for good and I had a genuine crisis on my hands, but luckily I have been able to coax it back to life so far.

I really hope that somewhere, somehow, Purolator will get in shit for fucking this whole thing up. Customer complaints mean more today than they ever have before because they can be acted upon so swiftly and we live in a world where the reputation of a business is paramount.

You don’t want to get on the internet’s bad guy list, and have people shun your company because you are now seen as a corporate villain and part of all that’s wrong with the world today. That can cost a company millions of bucks in a matter of minutes.

Other than that, things are fairly decent in my life. I have decided to stop beating myself up for my current dissolute lifestyle of pretty much nothing but Skyrim.

So what if it seems like I am wasting my life? It’s mine to waste. And I am spending my days doing something I enjoy, and that means I am pretty happy a lot of the time.

And that is quite the accomplishment in my life.

Most importantly, beating myself up over it accomplishes nothing. Worse than that, it makes me want to escape reality even more and hence pushing me deeper into the arms of my addiction.

While I am Skyrimming (ha!), I am deeply absorbed and quite happy. I am not worried about my life and the time passes easily.

That might not be the life I envision when I graduated from VFS, but spending your days doing something you enjoy is not the worst fate in the world.

Eventually, my Skyrim obsession will fade away (might take a while, but it will) and ambition and discontent will re-emerge naturally and organically.

Over and over again, I must learn the lesson that I am far, far better off working from the inside out – from motivation to acting on said motivation and thus rewarding it with result – rather than from the “outside” in as my fractured and malformed metaconscious tries to enforce its preconceived ideas on my fragile id.

Fuck self-control as we define it in the West, like it’s a thing we impose on ourselves as an act of will as opposed to something which flows naturally from one’s desires for a better future with better outcomes for oneself.

As long as it relies on the mythological substance known as willpower, self-control is doomed to fail. In a sense, that’s the definition of the tragedy of modern life, or at least one of them.

Real self-control flows from within and comes from doing the emotional work necessary to find the part of you that desires the improvement increased self-control will give.

Then it becomes an issue of choosing between two things you want, not a matter of not getting what you want.

And that’s a way easier equation to solve.

I will talk to you nice people again tomorrow.

 

Footnotes    (↵ returns to text)

  1. I love those. They are perfect for people like me because they are as immediate and direct as the phone but not nearly as challenging to my social phobia and general difficulty advocating for myself.

I’m not quite human

And not just in the sense of being a furry.

No, I am talking about something deeper and more emotional than that.I am talking about how, despite my efforts to be a warm and personable person, I can also be quite chilly and alienating and even downright severe I can be. I am talking about how there are times when I can feel myself trying to feel the right thing but the line is dead and so what I get instead is a the silent scream of the void within me that lies where my warmer and more human emotions should be.

I am talking about my broken antenna, and everything that comes with it.

There are parts of my soul that are simply… dead. Inert. Nothing but necrotic scar tissue where healthy flesh should be.

And as it is with the body when its signals aren’t getting through (like when your hand or foot falls asleep), the mind knows that there is a great wrongness to this condition and panics in order to drive to you rectify the situation.

But unlike when the damage is to the body, there is no straightforward approach to fixing a psychological injury.

Doctor : Can you tell me where it hurts? 
Me : ……………………..the space where my feelings should be? 

I think I have known about this deadness inside me for a long time, but never quite on a conscious level because when I came anywhere near recognizing it, my mind would bury it in aggressive distraction and deflection.

It’s easy to see why, because the knowledge of it is absolutely horrifying. It’s one thing to know you are damaged and crazy on an abstract and/or intellectual level, and quite another thing to feel said damage on about as intimate level as is possible.

But now I get it. I know how deeply injured I am on a deep psychological level. All that social isolation really did a number on me, as did my vast unmet need for nurturing. I did not get the right emotional nutrients at a very critical time, and that made me the cripple I am today.

And the first step to fixing the damage is becoming aware of it. After all, you can’t fix problems you deny exist. You have to look your demons in the eye and tell them that you know who they are and now, the fight is on.

I think it’s this damage that leads to some of my feelings of emotional coldness. A cold wind blows from the holes in my soul, and howls across the tundra within like the shrieks of a thousand lonely and frightened ghosts.

For me, poetry happens spontaneously as I try to put things into words.

This inner deadness is also the source of all my talk about wanting to be a real person some day. I don’t really feel like I am part of the human race on anything but the obvious physical and biological sense.

I have the body of a human being. But that’s about it.

And it’s because I can’t feel other people except as dim shadows, as if emotionally speaking I was mostly blind. The signals are out there but my busted antenna keeps most of them from getting through.

As a result, I can come across as quite cold in some situations. The lack of emotional context for my life leaves me with only the cold circuit of logic, calculation, and the pursuit of abstract ideals to motivate me.

For instance, a lot of people would find my at times ruthless pragmatism to be emotionally cold and alienating. Ditto for the moral equivalent of said pragmatism, my deep utilitarianism. What matters is results. Outcomes. That which actually happens.

Everything else is bullshit.

That sort of thing comes from a very deep part of me that seeks to focus in on what truly matters and tune out irrelevancies in order to arrive at solutions. And logically speaking, both positions are hard to argue with.

But that doesn’t mean they represent the entire truth, either. There are limits to language and logic, and sometimes the truth – the real, important, spiritual truth – lies beyond those limits.

I realize how these positions of pragmatism and utility can make me seem inhuman. And that’s not an entirely wrong impression, either. They come from that brutal truth machine part of my mind that relentlessly pursues the truth, and that part of me can be terrifying to behold, even to me.

So sometimes I end up feeling like I am a nice person with a Terminator inside him. And while the Terminator is extremely efficient and effective, it is also brutal and cold.

And yet I can’t simply remove or isolate that side of me. It’s too deeply ingrained on an emotional level, and too damned useful on a personal level. That’s the side of me that sees the truth within the lies and illusions and there is enormous power in that, especially when backed by a considerable intellect finely honed, like mine.

And honestly, I like the feeling of power it gives me. It makes me feel more safe. Like I am not, in fact, entirely abandoned and helpless and vulnerable. I have the Terminator to protect me. I have enormous intellectual power to use like a wizard uses his spells. I have the force of personality that comes from intellectual confidence combined with a certain degree of charisma. I have a mind that is swift and sure and potent.

That means I can fight back.

But none of that matters if the soul within the machine is weak and the connection to the power supply of the id can’t handle the voltage required.

So the temptation is always there to simply surrender all control to that terrifying android and become a ruthless and calculating monster.

At least I would get things done.

But I could never live in a world so cold.

I will talk to you nice people again tomorrow.

(Sorry there was no blog entry yesterday, Sunday, the 6th of August. There was a security issue with my web-hosting account and I did not leave myself enough time to deal with it and then blog. So I did neither. Everything’s hunky dory now, though.)