You’re not the only one

No matter how strange you think you are, there are others like you.

That’s the main lesson of the Internet, in my experience. Even if you have an intense fetish for sex during an earthquake, somewhere out there on the Web there’s a message board with other weirdos just like you waiting to welcome you will open arms and tips on how to turn any bed into a “magic fingers” bed with vibration power that measures on the Richter scale… and it’s cheaper than you’d think!

It adds a whole new layer to humanism. Before, the unity of humanity and the basic message that are far more alike than we are different had to be taken on faith past a certain point. But now, you can find all the evidence you need with a simple Google search. The Internet showcases both the common thread of humanity and its myriad ways to express itself on all fronts.

Genetically, we are all 98 percent identical. And that makes sense when you think about how we all have the same organs in the same places and so forth. Even if you were an alien who knew nothing of humanity, you would note that we are all the same except for minor superficial differences in skin color and the fine details of our skeletal structures.

And yet we talk of race as if that’s a real thing. Sigh.

Myself, I take some comfort in this unity. I can’t quite believe that there are others like me out there… I am too strange a creation for that. The best that I can hope for is people with whom I have a lot in common.

But as far as I can tell, on a fundamental level, I will always be a thing apart. I have given up on the idea of a community of like-minded individuals. My specifications for like-mindedness have to include my intellect and as far as I know, mine is unique.

So I will always be a giant among pygmies, even though it feels like the opposite sometimes. Even if I find the right man for me, odds are I will be substantially smarter than him. And that is something I am going to have to deal with.

I can only hope that emotional and sexual factors can overcome any intellectual gap. If I love someone dearly and with every fiber of my being and that love translates into the erotic and we make sweet sweet love together…. who cares if I have to explain myself a little more than I’d like?

And it’s not like I am utterly alone. People like my friends “get’ me. Maybe not fully, but considerably more than necessary for me to feel like I have friends.

I think about my mind sometimes and all its layers and complexities and power. I think my real goal, when I talk about wanting to put myself fully into my writing as if I was climbing into the computer with it,. is to use every single mental resource I have in the writing and thus be able to get that feeling of being fully engaged and operating at peak performance.

The Zone, as it is sometimes called.

It’s hard to reconcile the knowledge of what my mind is capable of with my low self esteem. That’s why I almost totally dismissed the knowledge of how bright I am for most of my life. It just wasn’t compatible with my self-loathing.

So I would just shrug the whole thing off as meaningless. Sure, I am smart, but what good has it ever done me? It was just a meaningless number on an IQ test somewhere. As far as I could see (at the time), all it did was isolate me from others.

I think it was my academic year at Kwantlen that reminded me, however feebly, that I have exceptional abilities. Once in a school environment, I remembered how easy school always was for me and how others didn’t’ have it that easy. That makes it hard to ignore how my life was not like those of others.

Thus began the journey to convincing myself that I had something to offer the world. That journey is still ongoing because I still feel naked and exposed and useless and like I am a liability to the world sometimes. The fact that I have paying work now helps enormously. But I still feel it now and then.

Maybe I should buy myself something nice with the money. Right now I have a bit over CDN $150 sitting on my reloadable VISA card, waiting to be spent. Another $75 will land there some time this week, and that will just keep happening for as long as my animation script lasts. I should treat myself with the money somehow so that I can really feel how I have made money.

Right now, it’s just a number on a screen, in a sense.

Of course, getting myself something nice requires being able to figure out what I want and what would actually make my life better. Tall order.

Something to make my bed more comfy could help me by making it easier to sleep and thus improve the quality of my sleep. And that could make everything easier. There is nothing in life that sleepiness cannot make harder and worse.

Or maybe I could get some kind of cushion or backrest for my office chair. Some sort of gizmo to keep my butt from getting sore or ease the strain on my back.

Honestly, anything to relax my back could rock my frigging world. There’s a lot of gizmos for that out there, but I don’t know if they would work on me. I would be willing to pay a lot for something that could handle my big bones.

I know, I will buy myself a gift-pack of coupons for massages from a professional masseur. One of those “whole body massage with full release” guys from the gay personals. That could do me good on all kinds of levels.

Maybe I just need a whole lot of sugar free candy.  It’s the simplest solution.

Regardless, I now know that I should start poking around for something that will make me happy in order to truly feel rewarded for my labour.

Know where I can buy a boyfriend?

I will talk to you nice people again tomorrow.

 

 

 

Mars in Pisces

I don’t normally talk astrology in this space – despite being somewhat of an expert in it – but I Googled one of my planets and the article I found described me so well that I just had to blog about it.

So if you are some kind of hardcore pseudo-rationalist who finds the very idea that astrology could be useful for anything at all offensive, feel free to skip this blog entry so you can retreat back into those pack of unreasoned prejudices you deign to call “reason” that assure you that you can achieve a state of reason without having to actually think about anything, have a happy life having to live with yourself till you die.

Ahem. Anyhow, on to the article.

The first line to really grab me was this one :

“They tend to go with the flow. They prefer to let life just happen to them.”

I’ve always felt like that. Like I want to just improvise my way through life and see what happens. But I have always felt intensely guilty about that feeling because it really does not jibe with my sun sign Taurus personality. Of course you can’t have anything life you want by just making things up as you go, says Taurus. You have to think and plan and work hard and make sound decisions based on the facts as they are. Pragmatically.

But in my heart of hearts, I dream of a life where all I have to do is indulge my whims and follow my feelings without a thought of the future at all.

But in my case, I would have to become very wealthy before that could happen. Or at the very least, I would have to feel far, far more secure than I do right now.

Then this passage jumped out at me :

They do well intellectually, but they may have problems dealing with physical and practical challenges.

Holy SHIT does that describe my life. I’ve got wizard level intellectual skills but the simplest of practical and physical challenges become huge obstacles in my life and I am constantly tripping over myself to get pretty simple things done.

And that is even less compatible with being a Taurus. Taurus is a sign of practicality and pragmatism and I want to be the sort of strong, competent, capable person that represents the Taurus ideal.

But that’s probably never going to happen. And I will have to learn to live with that.

It’s really the only practical choice.

They need a lot of affection. Without it, they feel sex is cold and emotionless. They need an emotional connection to their partner to be fulfilled. Even better, they are ecstatic when they also have a spiritual connection with their partner.

Amen and hallelujah. I need so much affection. Whoever wants to be my Man of Life will have to be prepared to give me lots of hugs and cuddles. I need a lot of physical reassurance. I can only hope that if I got enough physical affection, I would become more secure and trusting and therefore my appetite for snuggles would cool down to something a little more reasonable.

But right now, I am a starving man desperate for attention. I’ve been starving for affection for my entire life, even though when I was a kid, I didn’t know it. It was only when I hooked up with the online furry community and had a chance to explore myself via a furry persona that I realized that I have wanted to be touched and to touch back for my entire life.

I get the feeling that I did not get held a lot as a baby.

And lordy, do I need an emotional connection for sex. The idea of sex with no emotional connection disgusts me to the core. I kind of envy people who can have attachment-free sex with total strangers and not feel abandoned afterwards. But I need to have some kind of emotional connection or it’s just not sex to me.

It’s just glandular secretions interacting.

It need not be a really deep emotional connection, though. At least I don’t think so, I have not had the chance to explore that kind of thing yet. I can imagine myself meeting someone compatico and ended up in bed with them having fun shortly thereafter. But I would have to feel connected first. To feel like me and this person are communicating at a deep level, even if the language being spoken is that of lust.

And yeah, if there’s a spiritual connection – one that makes me feel like we’re soulmates, that we’re compatible on a deep level that includes values and understandings – the sex would be off the frigging charts good.

Because then I could surrender myself completely to the act, and achieve the kind of deep intimacy that I crave.

Because I am all about the intimacy.

They are attracted to those who need their care and compassion.

Well… yes and no.

Were I a stronger, healthier, more secure person, the answer would be hell yeah. But as I stand right now, I would be more likely to be attract to someone who can give me the care and compassion I need.

It’s true, though, that I am attracted to those who need my help. I would even go so far as to say I feel compelled to help those who need me. As in, I feel like that’s my role, my job, my purpose, and so when the time comes, everything else becomes unimportant compared to my desire to be there for someone who needs me.

In doing so, I am giving others what I wish to receive myself. What I wish I had received oh so many times in my life.

As far as I know, there is no erotic component to that, although if I feel like sex with someone who cares about them is what this person needs, I might make that part of the treatment program, so to speak.

And my need to help others runs very deep. I might just find myself falling in love along the way. I might have a hidden Florence Nightingale side after all.

Well, that’s my commentary on my Mars in Pisces self.

Who knows, that site might be just as accurate for the rest of my chart!

If so, expect sequels.

I will talk to you nice people again tomorrow.

 

The opposite shore

I don’t always know which side of the river I am on.

It comes up in my dreams a lot. Confusions between similar things, things seeming to divide and overlap on their own, not know whether I am looking at the opposite shore or whether I am there. Watching myself do things, and yet, still being the one doing them. A sense of the infinite fractal tree of possibilities of the future, where choices lead every which way into the future, and a sense of sadness that I will only ever – that I can only ever – live one path through that forest of options.

I’m only one person, after all.

One person with one life and one point of view and one trip through life. I supposed it says something about my unusual mental state that this bothers me. I want to do everything, see everything, look at things from every possible point of view.

But I can’t, so my combination of deep insight into human nature and vivid imagination will have to do.

I have never had any problem. putting myself in someone else’s shoes. At least, not since I was in Grade Four and realized that everything people do make sense to them. After that, the jump to realizing that other people have their own lives just like me but different – that every person is as valid and real a person as I am – was easy.

That’s still a fun one to contemplate – truly contemplate – when I feel like blowing my own mind. To imagine even one person’s totality as being equal to what I know to be my own is staggering. To repeat the exercise seven billion more times is nigh on impossible – but it can be fun to try now and then.

For me, that leads inexorably to humanism. The common element in all of us is our humanity. Not just in the literal biological sense. But also in the spiritual sense. Once you accept not merely the knowledge of this shared humanity but the deep down emotional truth of it, judging others becomes more difficult because you know that, like you, they are on a journey not even they truly understand and their actions are motivated by things unseen and unknown.

This effect on judgment can be hard for people to accept when they start to apply to the judgments and hatreds that are important to themselves. Judgments like “my parents did a terrible job of raising me” or “the divorce was all THEIR fault” or “it’s not my fault that my kids are lazy and badly behaved – I do the best that I can” can be incredibly important to people’s self-image and self-esteem, and I would never suggest people are somehow no good unless they rip those elements out of their psyche.

That would be far too judgmental of me.

And I am no paragon of it either. For me, it’s the direction I wish to go, but I don’t actually expect to get there. To me, that’s what it means to have ideals. They don’t provide a roadmap to an established goal.

They are just directions to self-improvement.

Anyhow, when the true acceptance of the humanity of others makes judgment more difficult, it opens the mind to truly understanding others without all that judgment in the way. Then you can see the world through eyes other than your own, spiritually speaking.

Given that unusual point of view of mine, it’s not a surprise that I have a certain amount of confusion as to who and where I am sometimes. And why I need help focusing. That’s why I am so mission oriented. When I have a clear goal in mind, I have a focal point for the kaleidoscopic scintillation of my endlessly searching mind.

My inner world is so demanding and distracting. I wish I could just empty it out and have some peace of mind now and then.  Not only would it give my poor overworked circuits time to cool off and rest, but it would make dealing with the real world so much easier.

It’s like I am always at a loud party straining to hear what the person on the phone is saying to me. It’s so exhausting.

In theory, meditation performs that function. At least, that’s my theory of it. Meditation teaches you to shut down all those background mental processes that you don’t even know are running and in doing so, lets you mind truly truly rest.

I’m saying “true” and “truly: a lot today. I wonder what I truly mean by it.

Maybe once you finally finish the task of force-quitting all those background programs and achieve a state of unified, simplified, harmonized consciousness, the relief is so profound and the sudden insight of such scale that the only word we can use is “enlightenment”.

It all sounds great on paper. But I have a lot of psychological issues which fuel the shark-like restlessness of my mind and so far in life, I have not been able to tame my monkey-mind enough to do more than lightly dabble in meditation.

I have too much of the problem meditation solves to solve it. Catch-22.

The real barrier, though, is the one that keeps me from getting exercise. I know that at least half and possibly much more of the problem is that I have all this energy that my depression, obesity, and sleep apnea get in the way.

Especially the depression. I have said before that madness is when you know for certain that doing a thing will make you happier and yet still finding yourself unable to do it.

I know damned well that if I got more exercise, I would be calmer, more focused, and a lot happier. All that excess energy demands expression and when it doesn’t get it, it turns into the energy source for anxiety and depression.

But I still can’t make myself exercise, because exercise hurts. And when I am exercising, I don’t have all my usual psychological defenses at hand and that makes me feel exposed and hounded and scared.

Or at least, that’s what I think will happen. I could be dead wrong and find that the energy release as well as muscular tension release makes me feel wonderful.

I guess I will never know.

I will talk to you nice people again tomorrow.

 

 

How I feel about the world

I feel like I have been trying to explain how I experience the world and what is going on in my head for my entire life.

I’ve talked before about how, despite me repeatedly telling you about my frosty tomb of cold circuit only emotions, in many ways. I “feel” my way through the world.

And not just when I have lost my glasses. Ba dum bum.

No, I mean it in the sense that I experience the world as very finely tuned emotions first. I experience them as sensory inputs second. The timing difference is negligible, but in terms of processing priority it’s massive.

In a sense, all I am describing is what it means to be a fundamentally intuitive person. And it’s kind of mindboggling, at least to the Western mind, to imagine that I do all my complex analysis, creative, synthesis, and all my other magic tricks via emotion, but that is seriously how it works for me.

Everything I do involves my intuition working as the powerhouse processor that it is, and my conscious mind being merely the computer operator. All that it does is enter commands and interpret results. The rest happens under the hood.

Of course, when a brain like mine, that can be a very powerful combination. It is, in fact, the only way truly powerful minds can operate. The speed and power derives at least partially from the fact that processes operate on their own, without using much of the conscious mind’s limited bandwidth, and therefore can process enormous amount of information and still produce usable results.

That’s why us INTJ types constantly compress and optimize that signature highly refined picture of the world in our heads. We can our minds to run as efficiently as possible so that the right answer or solution can be derived with the least expenditure possible.

Yes, we are efficiency fanatics even within our own minds.

And yes, this brutal efficiency of mind can make us seem coldly calculating and even inhuman sometimes. But that’s just how we solve problems. Problems we passionately want to see addressed and that we are absolutely sure can be solved given the application of enough brainpower, common sense, creativity, and the will to succeed.

I see the world as full of problems to solve. But I am not interested in solving them merely because they are interesting puzzles and it amuses me to solve them. I want to solve them because I am determined to make the world a better place by the most effective means I can find.

I want results, goddamn it. And I will ignore, override, reroute, work around, unplug, deactivate, disintegrate, and destroy whatever gets in the way.

And that makes me, in some ways, very demanding. I won’t accept inferior solutions as being the best we can do. I will demand that things be done right according to how I see it at times. I take a dim view of people who put their own petty squabbles and interpersonal BS ahead of the group endeavour. I have very high standards of self-control and lose respect big time for people who don’t pull themselves together when the time comes.

But it’s true what they say – people who are demanding of others are often even more demanding of themselves. Maybe too demanding… I’m only human, after all.

So that’s one way in which I have been trying and filing to get my point across for what seems like my whole life. So many things have clear and logical solutions to me and yet the problems just keep going on and on because there is nobody with a lick of sense in a position where they can actually do something about it.

But on the other side of the coin that is me, I have always been a heavily poetic person in that I feel a lot of things which are hard to put into words. The only way to express them is in poetic language, as opposed to linearly descriptive language, because the emotional content is too important to the message to eliminate.

So I talk about feeling like my heart is trapped under a glacier of frozen emotion and that recovery is a process of icebergs periodically breaking off the glacier with a mighty crack and plopping into the ocean of emotion, and from there to float southward and melt.

To a lot of people, including a lot of people who would (ha!) consider themselves very logical and sensible, that paragraph would be utterly incomprehensible. The language would be too figurative, too nonliteral, too “imprecise” and above all too emotional for them to be able to process.

All I can say is that it conveys how I feel in the best way I know. And like many poets before me, I still feel like I am not really saying what I am trying to say.

Poets can build entire careers out of trying to say what they really mean.

As I have mentioned, I think I might have a toe on the autism spectrum, and when I look back at my childhood, I remember being overwhelmed by all the input to my little brain. Not just the sensory stuff, but the rich stream of emotions and intuitions that came along with that sensory barrage, as well as inputs from things like my empathic understanding of what others were feeling, the part of my mind that tried to predict future events, the constant babble of semi-verbailzed thoughts that are the byproduct of all that mentation, and so forth and so on.

I think that might have been why I took refuge in the logical analytical mindset in the first place. Logic, reason, science, and so on – those counter the cacophony within and act like islands of refuge in a sea of babble.

It would makes sense, and possibly apply to everyone on the spectrum. The difference lies in severity of effect versus ability to cope, I suppose.

One more try : when I am out in the world, I feel everything I experience. I have deep envy for people who can experience in the world in a purely sensory way and enjoy every moment as it comes. To me that sounds like heaven.

Because when I am out there, I have to shut nearly everything out or all the emotions will swamp me and I will get overloaded and have a panic attack and feel like I am drowning.

Only very slowly have I been able to open my sensorium up to include more of what is happening in the world around me. The creature is responding well to the medication and is beginning to wake up and show interest in its surroundings.

So part of my walking in the sunshine at last world is to finally be able to simply experience life without all this goddamned grating echo chamber bullshit going on in my head so I can just…. be.

My mind has no off switch and no volume control.

Guess I will have to learn to do it myself.

I will talk to you nice people again tomorrow.

 

 

 

 

 

Do you feel the rain?

It’s always, fundamentally, about the cold.

Depression is cold. It numbs. It freezes. It chills. Depression is frostbitten fingers desperately fumbling for a match. It’s miles upon miles of cold dead tundra where nothing lives. It’s It’s a period of glaciation, where mountains of ice move over the land and scrape it die. It’s freezing rain that sucks the heat from your blood like a vampire. It’s a cruel frost that kills the tender bud before it can bloom. It’s being stabbed in the heart with an icicle over and over and over again.

Depression is the cold and unforgiving heart of Death.

Patient readers know my theory as to why this is. I think that the mind produces a kind of anesthetic in response to psychic trauma. This is necessary because it allows the individual to function while this  emotional trauma heals. It’s analogous to the body’s response to physical trauma via the production of endorphins.

But what happens when the emotional injury does not heal? When it is more than the mind can handle, for whatever reasons, and so the wound remains indefinitely?

Then so does the response. These unresolved traumas continue to be met with this numbing effect of which I speak, and this effect causes the mind to lose contact with the communal feeling of humanity and hence leaves the sufferer feeling utterly alone. It also makes the mind sluggish on some levels, making it hard for the individual to cope with reality. Furthermore, it drains the afflicted of energy by shutting down the connection between desire and achievement of said desire, in addition to giving the mind the feeling of being weak and overburdened and helpless.

In essence, it leaves people feeling dead inside. But they are not dead, merely sleeping. All that they were and all that they were meant to be are still there, just like our hands or feet are still there even if they fall asleep and you can’t feel them any more.

It’s especially pathological because the effects of this numbing often lead to further emotional traumas, and the patient’s mind becomes a museum of frozen and unresolved emotional issues, all of which radiate their own coldness, and before you know it, the whole psyche goes numb and you are left with a very depressed individual who can no longer feel much of anything from the outside world and is thus turning ever inward to experience the emotions left to them, namely those generated internally.

And those emotions are not going to be healthy ones, because without that external emotional input, the mind grows stagnant and rots from within.

A harsh image, to be sure, but true nevertheless.

Medications help counter some of the effects. SSRI’s like Prozac and Paxil can interfere with the ways depression operates, especially how it results in and/or from the depletion of serotonin in the bloodstream.

But that merely treats the symptom. The root cause of the problem  is the unresolved emotional issue provoking the numbing response in the first place and the individual cannot truly be free of their illness until these emotions are resolved.

Especially, presumably, the initial trauma.

Interesting how I started out poetic then went straight into clinical, isn’t it?

In my case, resolving the initial trauma is tricky because I was only three when it happened. That means both that the memory is extremely primal and vague (yet also extremely powerful) and that it’s an extremely old memory and thus hard to retrieve.

I mean, who remembers a lot of what happened to them when they were three?

Plus, it is such a profound trauma at so early an age that it is buried deep in the very structure of my psyche. I have mentioned before how between the ages of zero and five, we gain most of the brain mass we will have for the rest of our lives.

This is obvious if you compare the size of a newborn infant’s head with that of a five year old. There is simply no room for a fully functional human brain in there!

That’s why those years are so very very very important to the child’s future development. Whatever happens and whatever they learn during those precious years will get encoded into the very structure of the brain itself, and get programmed into the fundamental base code of the operating system of their mind.

If more people understood this, maybe they would understand the enormity of what is at stake in those magical early years.

And smack in the middle of those years, I was raped by a stranger.

I don’t consciously remember most of it. Which is a blessing, and probably the only benefit of having it happen at such an early age. Had it happened when I was older, the memory would have been clearer and easier to access.

But I know it’s in there. Lurking.

I do remember making the decision to “take my mind away”, like so many other victims of child rape. I did this by deliberately and desperately unfocusing my mind till everything was a soft, warm blur on every level.

And I think that became a deeply ingrained psychological defense. It’s the root of my tendency to retreat into my mind when emotionally distressed. Once I defocus from the world, I can focus on my inner life and in there, I feel safe from the horrors of the outside world. The bullying I endured in elementary school, and especially the boredom I endured in class due to my advanced intellect, only reinforced this tendency.

And that’s the source of the “inward tide”  I have mentioned before. Just to focus on the world as much as I do,  have to fight a constant battle against the pull of gravity from this black hole deep inside me. I live in a state of constant terror that I will fail to keep up and go crashing through my own event horizon.

And as we all know….

Nothing can escape the black hole after that.

Fighting my own gravity drains most of my energy, which is why I have so little left for everything else. That’s why i can seem gobsmackingly absurd when I am asked or expected to do something which is patently impossible for me.

It’s like asking a man dangling from the edge of a cliff to juggle.

But the world cannot see my inner struggle. They can’t possibly understand what it’s like for a person of me to make it through the day. They cannot conceive of the burden we depressives carry around with us or how much that drains us.

It’s like we are wearing thick heavy armor nobody can see.

It’s not hopeless, though. Therapy can disperse the mass of the black hole so that its gravitic pull lessens over time, and suddenly, you have more energy for other things.

And if, some day, I can get at that primal trauma and release its cargo…

…then I might finally be free to leave this stinking solar system and explore the univrse with all the other ships.

I will talk to you nice people again tomorrow.

 

 

 

Here we are again

(NOTE : This is an abstract discussion of my problem, so you don’t have to worry that I am once more the victim of my own incompetence. There’s no tragedy to be told. I’ve just been thinking about it today. ) 

Been thinking about the whole “I keep screwing up” thing.

I haven’t done it lately. Knock on wood. So improvement is possible, at least for a while. But I know that it’s only a matter of time before the scintillating shimmering kaleidoscope that is my mind shifts and I stop pay attention to the right variables and lo and behold, I am an idiot once again.

It’s definitely related to my state of mental health. The more depressed I am, the thicker the fog in my mind gets, and the harder it is for me to think clearly and remember things and predict future needs, and so on.

That, of course, makes my signature brand of fuckups far more likely to happen. And what happens after? I become even more depressed.

It’s a tragic cycle. Luckily, I have learned to resist it, and thus break the cycle a bit.

It helps that I have at least some tiny bit of accomplishment now. Tahnsk to my awesome script writing capabilities, I have $140 or so sitting on my reloadable visa, waiting to be used. And that’s after making a $50 payment on my delinquent cell phone bill.

And there is nothing quite like the validation one gets for being paid for one’s work. Sure, it’s not exactly a huge amount of money…. 5 scripts a week for USD $10 a script…. but with all my living expenses already covered (and with my having lived in crushing poverty for so long, it makes a huge difference.

It’s USD $200/month. That’s around  CDN $250 a month.. Compared to an income of roughly $1000/month, it’s a 25 percent increase.

Not frigging bad! And it’s only my first gig. I am being paid WAY less than industry standard. If I was a staff writer on a TV show, I would be making around USD $2800/week, which is around $3700 Canadian.

But it’s a start. Not a lot of writers get so many webisode writing credits in so short of time after graduation. Once I have done 30 or 31 of the things, I will start looking around for opportunities further up the ladder. Something in the actual TV industry, maybe. Or at least a higher level of freelance work.

I wonder how many minutes of script I need to have written before I go from a Beginner (for people who want the lowest possible price) to Intermediate (for people looking for the best combination of experience and price)?

Maybe all you have to do is change a setting in your profile. That would suck possum taint. I want to earn it. And Upwork is too well run a website for something that sloppy. They want to assure the purchasers of freelance work that they are getting what they paid for. So it’s in their best interests to make sure that is true.

Anyhow, so for once in a very long time, I feel like I have worth. Measurable worth. For a long long time, I felt like I was a permanent liability to the world. That all I could do was suck up resources without contributing at all. That I was making the world worse just by being alive in it.

That the world would be better off without me, essentially.

Luckily, I got over that, for the most part. I still have times when I feel that way, but most of the time I can remember that those feelings are the result of transient neurochemical phenomena and do not represent anything true or real about me.

Remember, kids, just because you feel like shit doesn’t me you ARE shit!

And I bounce back fairly quickly. So I feel like I have my head above water on that issue. If I am lucky, I can keep myself together long enough for this era of basic minimal competence to become something permanent.

And I know there is a job I can do well, so that’s a plus. Yay, I’m not useless! Take that, my sister Catherine in something like 1979!

It’s very weird when you realize you are haunted by people who are not even around any more. But it’s almost as weird – and in some ways weirder – to realize you are haunted by people who are still around but are not that person any more.

And that applies to most people’s childhoods. Whoever the other kids at school were, they are probably nothing like that now. Even the bullies. We victims of bullying, for good reason, tend to cast the kids responsible as villains for life. Our hate burns eternal for them and part of us still wants revenge.

But they probably are not that angry cruel person any more. That person is, effectively, dead. That does not come within twelve parsecs of justifying what they did, of course. It was still a horrible crime, and I mean a literal crime, as in something that should have been prosecuted to the full extent of the law.

But it does put the whole thing in perspective. Everyone involved were just kids who were acting on emotions. None of us had any idea what we were doing. Would any of us want to be judged by adult standards on things we did when we were that age?

I am pretty sure we would all go to jail if that were the case. Or at least totally humiliated. There’s a solid scientific reason why we do not hold children as liable for their actions as adults, and that’s because they do not yet have the mental machinery upon which our concept of personal liability rests.

I am not claiming to be a saint myself… I still hate the people who bullied me. There’s a part of me that would be glad to watch them burn in Hell for what they did.

But I hate them less and less over time. And I am happy about that. Holding on to the past can only hurt you and there is no use in carrying all that pain around just in case you ever get your chance to return it, with interest, through revenge.

So I forgive you, Lenny Mcausland. You were a nasty little shit, but I know you did it because you were jealous of me and saw a way to take me down and make yourself feel better about the differences between you and I. Me with my huge brain finding school easy then going back to my comfortable middle class home. You struggling to even pass then going home to a working class nightmare of a home. I can see why you might take every chance to “get back” at me for that.

It doesn’t justify anything you did. But I get it.

Besides, I am not forgiving you for your sake. I am forgiving you for mine, so I can let you go and get you out of my head.

Consider your ass evicted.

I wuill talk to you nice people again tomorrow.

 

Stuff just happens

Here’s another battle in the war to unlock my cage.

I’ve about trying to live a natural life. Not in the sense of eating only organic produce and such[1], but in the sense of being able to relax in my own skin and not constantly second-guess myself and try to control things with my conscious rational mind that would be far better handled by a lower down process that evolved specifically to do that kind of thing.

It’s a tricky thing to explain. I’ve tried to get my therapist to understand it but had no luck. It’s hard to describe something that operates on such a deep level of my mind – the really fundamental machine code levels of my mind.

LOL. The jackhammer outside sounds hilariously farty from here.

I will try to explain it via a story : In elementary school, I was a super clumsy kid. As in, running into walls and tripping over my own feet clumsy.

And to be honest, I never totally got over that. I just got better at avoiding doing things that required a dexterity level of “total spaz”.

But I did get better. And that’s a good thing. But the way I improved was not a good thing. I improved more or less by sheer act of will. Specifically, I did the only thing I knew how to do, which was to solve it by throwing my mind at the problem and developing an instinct to concentrating really hard on things most people do without a thought.

That means that even when merely getting through life, I am under constant strain. For the most part, it’s not conscious, but it’s always there. It’s as though life is simply twice as hard for me. I am living on a higher level of difficulty than most people. Doing something like going to the grocery store to pick up a few things involves a level of strain that most people only feel during a tough exam.

Not to mention that I am also in constant struggle with my social anxiety the whole time.

Fundamentally, the problem is one of emotions. I don’t trust mine. That goes for all the levels, like instinct, reflex, and empathy, to name a few. On a very deep level, I am terrified to let myself go and act on impulse. To my mind, that can only lead to massive failure and terrible consequences. Every impulse faces a very strict acceptability court and almost all of them get eliminated at that point.

I feel compelled to do the “smart” thing at all times, and operate on a punishing level of background anxiety. When I was a scared little kid, I hid in logic, knowledge, and the power of my mind. . It seemed like a winning solution at the time. I would use my crazy smart brain to look for the most logical answer that increased the greater good. I would avoid what I could and do what I could not avoid via intense concentration and paranoid anxiety that was on constant lookout for the next thing that was going to trip me up and embarrass and humiliate because I could not do some simple thing.

And until I convince that deep down part of myself that sometimes, emotion alone is good enough to get the job done, I will not be able to eliminate that anxiety and be able to relax in my own skin and not worry about stuff so much.

That’s the advice my uncle Sonny gave me on Facebook recently. He told me that I don’t need to analyze everything and that I should learn to just relax and enjoy life.

And he is absolutely right. I have no skill at enjoying life. Between rank poverty and crippling social anxiety, I have not had a lot of chances to go have fun out there in the real world and maybe learn enough about myself so I can fucking relax once in a while.

All I know is books, the Internet, and video games. Virtual experiences. Pale shadows of the real thing, and no good for building a life.

I know that how I live is wrong – very wrong – in terms of my spiritual health and growth. I have been stuffed into this tiny cage for a very long time and it’s led me to have a very cramped, stifled soul that years to breathe free, but is terrified of it too.

It’s all just so… unknown.  And unknowable.

I am extremely alienated from my emotions. We’re not even living under the same roof on a conscious level. I still have emotions, obviously, but I have suppressed them in order to be “rational” and see things with “clarity” for so long, I can’t imagine anything else.

And the thing is, it works. The magic is real. I have deep insight into a lot of things and “see” a lot of things that are invisible to others. This increases my mental power to an nearly un-measurable degree. My substantial intellect has a lot to work with. My power frightens me sometimes.

But none of that makes me happy. None of it enriches my soul or makes me feel good about my life. I end up feeling empty and cold a lot of the time because it’s all ice cold pleasure devoid of nutrition.

I can tell you how to defeat terrorism forever, but I don’t know how to be happy. The fear pins me in and I am locked tight in a cage without bars. I really want to escape the darkness and walk in the sun, but I am terrified of the exposure that would involve.

I wish I had the courage to say “Fuck it!”, escape, and destroy the cage so that I can never ever ever come back. Then deal with whatever consequences may come.

And maybe some day I will.

But for now, all I can do is grow a little stronger every day.

And that will have to do.

I will talk to you nice people again tomorrow.

Footnotes    (↵ returns to text)

  1. Although that’s not out of the question. Being the product of a wholesome 70’s household, I am at least willing to entertain the idea that I would feel a lot better if I cut down on all the artificial crap I eat and only ate real food made from food things.

A little about the middle class

Wrote this on Facebook, xposting it here. 
There is a tendency in the modern bourgeoisie to see the world through the prism of consumer choices. It is, after all, the battleground on which they compete. The classic middle class family is constantly trying to appear as successful and high status as possible, and the best way to do that is through spending your money on just the right things in order to get the most social bang for your buck.
 
As small a thing as a slightly greener lawn or a fancier front door can determine social victory and loss, and the implied message of the victor is always the same :
 
“I can’t believe THAT is what you chose!”
 
As petty, pointless, and pathetic as this is, the real problem comes when they are dealing with poor and/or working class people, because they view those people not as people dealing with an entirely different financial reality but as people just like them and made horrible consumer choices that make them seem way less prosperous and successful and therefore socially repulsive.
 
Ironically, the problem is that they are treating poor people as equals, in a sense, and judging them as they would judge someone with roughly the same income as them.
 
If you are not quite clear on what I am getting at (and you are middle class), imagine that you meet people who you know for a rock solid fact have big incomes and lots of savings and investments, but they live like poor people. Unkempt lawn, cars on blocks, kiddie pool in the front yard, yelling at their kids in public, you name it. The whole picture.
 
You’d think there must be something terribly wrong with them, wouldn’t you? Even though part of you knows they must be living exactly as they please? You would really want to know what the “problem” was. You’d need an explanation.
 
And deep down, a little part of you would want to punish them. Drive them out of the community, even, for the temerity of living as they please and not how society says they should live.
 
Despite the fact that being an individual on your own terms is exactly what society tells us we are supposed to do.
 
Kinda fucked up, isn’t it?
 We now return you to your regular blogging already in progress. 
…and was totally covered in unicorn sperm.
An attack of gravity
It’s been a rough afternoon so far.
After lunch, I was feeling a little sleepy. So I figured I would do what I often do, and take a little nap until around 3:30 pm and start my day then.
Bad idea. Wke up feeling awful. And worse than the usual awfulness I feel upon waking. My head felt like it was full of hot molasses and like I must have been the victim of a very greedy vampire because I felt like my blood level was at least two pints low.
So I played my game, Witcher 3, for a little while but I cpuldn’t concentrate worth 2.05 shits and so eventually, I had to succumb to the Earth’s pull and lie back down and sleep more.
I wonder would have happened iof I had decided o work through the slight sleepiness and say down to work directly after lunch. I had a big glass of Diet Coke to keep me going Maybe by now, I would have already blogged and taken a crack at my Secret Informant work too. I don’t want to leave it all for the day before the meeting, but it sure looks like that is going to happen because I will have to do my episode tonight, and if things keep going the way they are going right now, that will use up all my remaing energy.
Why must I be such a sickly thing? Is it some kinda of karmic balance thing? The price I pay for being so fucking intelligent and such? Like I am some kind of big-headed but physically weak and fragile alien species?
Afte giving in to sleep, I woke up feeling somewhat better. That’s when I sat down to blog. I still feel pretty shitty and it hard for me to concentrate and I keep nodding off at the keyboard. But I am determined to get something done before I once again to sleep’s siren call and slip once more into the icy inky depths of my smothering reverie.
Seem it’s not the sleepiness that is making me write that sort of thing.
It is, however, what is keeping me from caring. I enjoy writing these little flights of poetry and this is my blog so that is where I am going to do it.
I could never be an actual poet, though. The literary scene in general is not my idea of fun. So much pretension, so much petty politics, so much ridiculous over-analysis of works that treats authiors like gods and their books as holy writ.
Plus, there’s not exactly a living to be made from it.
But that doesn’t bother me much.. It’s the scene that does. I suppose I could be an arrogant hermit and send my poems to my publisher directly, without anyone else’s involvement, and show up for readings but ignore everyone there and leave the moment I am done. Maybe sign a few books.
In other words, I could be a poet, but only if I was a total asshole about it. It doesn’t seem to be worth it. I don’t even like reading poetry. Most of it is awful and made by people who want to do poetry and be seen to have done poetry  but have no poetry in them. They just string random thoughts together along with words they think make them seem smart and deep,, but there’s no substance to it. It’s all poses and half thoughts and self-adulation and pathetic toadying for social status.
Fuck that noise. If I was a poet, I would be a combination of Bukowski, Byron, and a snarky sarcastic teenager. A total bad boy with a limited patience for stuffy parties full of dull people trying to soak up some value and status by associating with people who actually have something to say.
So yeah. I’d be a total asshole. Like, Harlan Ellison level asshole.
Think I will stick with the TV writing. Keeps me humble.
I will talk to uyou nice people again tomorrow.

There’s got to be a morning after

Came across this marvelous song recently, and it got me thinking.

I love that song so much. It’s so full of hope and courage. It’s positive, but not in a rainbow farting reality denying hippie way. It’s a song that says “If we stand together before the night, we can make it through to dawn together. ”

That’s a kind of positive message that makes sense to me. Psychedelia never has. Don’t get me wrong – I am totally down with the whole groovy, free love, flower power vibe.

But I have never cared for the whole drug thing. The “better living through chemistry” thing. I wouldn’t deny anyone their bag or anything, but to me, it seems like it just turned a lot of people into mindless lotus-eaters who couldn’t handle reality and therefore had very little effect on it.

So to me, in a sense, the big crash after the big high that happened in the 1970’s was the best thing that could have happened to the Movement. It let people jettison the Cloud 9 con and get real. People had to leave Cloud Cuckoo Land, and that was a hell of a comedown for a lot of people. But it resulted in people having to come to grips with a lot of things that the hippie crowd just didn’t want to deal with, man.

Of course, I might be biased, because I was born in 1973. My life from birth to age 7 was in the 1970’s. I absorbed the decade on a cellular level, and anything from that era can trigger enormous waves of nostalgia in me.

It’s entirely involuntary. And not entirely unpleasant.

Not entirely pleasant either. For reasons that definitely come from Crazytown USA,. I mistrust nostalgia intensely.

For one thing, strong feelings of nostalgia give me a feeling that is too similar to one of my reality-shaking attacks of intense deja vu. I hate those. They make me so confused and I feel like I am going to loop back in time and lose everything I have gained in the intervening time, and have to live it all over again. I get dizzy and faint and nothing feels real, and that terrifies me to my core and shakes my sense of reality entirely.

And I hate that.

So there’s that. There is also the promise I made to myself while I was having a pretty shitty childhood that if I ever thought that this was the best time of my life, shoot me in the fucking head because it sucked.

And I haven’t changed my mind on that. I had a very bad childhood. Not as bad as some, but no kid should grow up as alone as I was. It’s a wonder that I came out as sane as I did. Such isolation and bullying often produces entirely unstable individuals.

Thank goodness for the entertainment industry And the stabilizing influence of a middle class upbringing. And being so god damned smart, I suppose.

The jury is still out on whether that was a good thing. On the one hand, having such a strong intellect is a huge asset when it comes to regulating your behaviour, and my extremely pragmatic mind anchored me to reality in so many ways.

On the other hand, being locked away in my ice castle did me a lot of harm, and kept out the warm emotions I needed so very badly. I am still thawing out from that. I might have been better off in the long run if I had been forced to deal with my emotions instead of freezing and studying them in order to try to make sense of the world.

Nietzsche was right when he talked about how life must be lived to be understood, instead of killed, stuffed, and studied like so many butterflies in someone’s collection.

Fascinating image, says my mind. Fuck off, Spock.

A name for part of my problem just popped into my head : detached id. The id is still there – it is our primal animal selves – but it has been disconnected from the core psyche by a retreat into pseudo-rationality in order to escape negative emotional realities.

This makes someone like me fundamentally unbalanced – polarized – by this flight from deep emotion. Nearly every deep drive is replaced by cold curiosity and frozen fascination. And they make very poor substitutes.

So what happens? The pain of this disconnection makes us retreat even further from our emotional selves and the problem gets worse and worse.

I’m on the path to recovery from this fundamental error. I can look behind me and see how far I have come from the frozen and fearful human wreckage that I was for two decades. I am far more connected than I used to be, and I am also a lot more confident.

Those two things are – not to be cute – connected.

But I can also look ahead and see how far I have to go. I am still pretty scared and fragile. I feel like I am still somewhat of a timid creature tiptoeing through life, ready to bolt and dive into his burrow at the slightest provocation. It will take some time and dedication and a concentrated effort of will to push myself into all the experiences it will take to lose the fragility, find my inner core of strength, and feel comfortable in my own skin.

And a lot of that will come from building my career as a freelancer. This weekend has shown me quite vividly how merely blogging could never be enough for me again. with no episode to write, I have way too much time on my hands and it becomes a burden, and I begin heading in the general direction of depression.

Even though I have a video game to play that I am thoroughly enjoying. It’s just not enough any more. It occupies my mind and makes the time go faster, but after a while the restlessness and dissatisfaction start creeping in and time becomes a burden.

The thing is, I have stuff I could and should be doing. I’m just not there yet. I am still stuck in the “work and play” mentality, where there are the things I have to do, and once that is done, it’s playtime.

The road out does not go in that direction. The two must become one.

Only then will I learn to truly be alive.

I will talk to you nice people again tomorrow.

 

 

After the afternoon

Cometh the night, on itth thadowy thlippers!

Or something like that.

Hi folks. After not blogging for four day, I feel like I was on a long lonely journey for that whole time and now I have come home and boy, have I missed you nice people!

I mean, you actually read what I write! Despite the very strange and sometimes extremely dark contents of my stressed and fractured  mind and my leaking them all over the electronic page in full view of the discerning public, you keep on reading, no matter where this journey of mine takes me.

And I am so very, very grateful for that.

That theme of something shameful in me needing to come out has been on my mind lately. A lot of victims of child sexual abuse have to cope with a lifetime of feeling dirty and gross and like we are some kind of horrible disgusting thing.

Violation does a lot more than merely upset us. Ask any rape victim. Regardless of the ages of the people involved, the violation of self – in both the body and the mind – leaves a terrible wound. It damages your sense of safety because it shatters your sense of control over what happens to you on the most intimate possible level.

There are some deep rules to society that we never experience consciously because they are so rarely violated. One of this most basic, yet most complex, is our sense of will – of permission. We live our lives, at least in the modern world, with the assumption that we are in control of our own destiny That people need permission to do certain things to us or with us. That even those with he most power over us will respect those boundaries because violating them simply is not done.

Rape is the most potent form of this violation because it centers around the most intimate thing people do, and that’s sex. Sex involves parts of our bodies that we cover up in public and about which we tend not to talk. Not only that, but if there’s someone else involved, it not only involves their most intimate body parts as well, but even in non-penetrative sex it involves some very intimate contact with said body parts.

And if the sex is penetrative, well…. that’s another person’s body entering your body’s most private area, whatever the orifice involved is. That’s the most intimate you can be with another human being outside of an operating room.

And even there, there’s rules.

Myself, I was violated when I was only three years old. Back then, in the Seventies, most people didn’t even know (or at least, acknowledge) that child sexual abuse was even a thing that happened. That even COULD happen.

This meant predatory pedophiles acted more or less with impunity.

I certainly wasn’t ever going to tell. I did not even have the words. And it would not have helped if I had. Odds are, it would have only made things worse, and I think I was better off without the additional trauma of having adults angrily telling me I was lying and just making up dirty things just to get attention because that kind of thing didn’t happen!

For my younger readers : people really thought like that in the bad old days. Seems crazy in this world where people are hyper-vigilant about pedophiles, but there was a time when pedophilia was so unthinkable to people that they refused to believe it existed at all.

And that meant punishing the victim. God, the past sucks.

The thing about my feeling like there is something horrible and shameful about me is that I lack the psychological apparatus of guilt to put it into a cultural context. I certainly never blamed myself for the incident. How could I? I was only three years old when it happened.

What could I possibly have done differently? Reasonably speaking?

And yet, that sense of being horrible on the inside persisted. I didn’t feel like I had sinned. I never even had the concept of sin taught to me. If something was wrong, it was because it hurt people, not because it violated a list of rules.

I’m pretty sure I was better off that way. I know for certain that I am better off without that whole “original sin” bullshit. I’m convinced that the whole concept of oiignal sin was invented by old priests worried about someone gaining power over them by “cheating” – that is to say, by actually not sinning.

But I digress.

I think my sense of something horrible, toxic, and shameful deep inside me stems from something more primal that religion or guilt or any of that crap. I think it stems from the fact that I was violated at an age when diapers were not that far behind me and I was learning the basics of how to do stuff like clean myself.

I know this because when I imagine all this stuff “coming out”, I feel exactly the kind of deep, deep shame that accompanies violation of toilet rules.

I trust that the Freudian overtones of “there’s something disgusting inside me and I have to get it out” do not need to be explicitly explained.

In those terms, I have been emotionally constipated for my whole life. This is not uncommon in British-derived cultures. Our display rules for emotions are extremely strict compared to other cultures like the French or the Spanish.

We keep it all locked away. All except that particular strain of lunatic known as “the writer”, who pushes that stuff out for the whole world to see then cries out “Love me for this!”.

Amazingly, it’s been known to work.

This subject surfaced in my mind when I tried to imagine my room being totally clean and neat and tidy. It sounds good on paper, but when I imagine it, I get this feeling like something dark and horrible and deeply shameful is rising up inside me and it’s going to COME OUT and that would be the WORST THING EVER.

And besides, if all my bad stuff came out all at once…. who would I be afterwards?

I will talk to you nice people again tomorrow.