Note : think of blog entry title

Being freshly awoken, I have zero idea of what to write about today. To be honest, my brain is just not there yet.

But I am eating and drinking Diet Coke, and that should help.

Until then, here goes whatever.

My toilet overflowed a little. And then it overflowed a little more when I stuck the plunger in there to clear the clog.  I must have done something highly uncharacteristic and walked away from a toilet as it flushes without waiting to see how it goes.

When you have the toilet-clogging history I do – I have to unclog my toilet once a day, minimum – you learn never to turn your back on a flushing toilet because that can lead to disaster. You must stand ready and alert because you might need to jiggle the handle to stop the flow then grab the plunger and prepare to do battle.

Pooping away from home can be very nerve-wracking for me for this very reason.

Cleaning up the spillage exceeds my modest life-competency capacities, so I have enlisted Joe’s help. Once more, I need Joe to rescue me from my own misfortunes.

And the fact that it is something toilet-related sets off all kinds of fucked up Freudian shame issues for me, but luckily I am not yet awake enough for that to have much effect on my mood.

Thank goodness all that was in there was pee.

Been having trouble staying focused lately. I keep drifting off into reverie. It’s happened three times already as I have been typing this. Woops, there goes number four.

This is usually a sign that I need more sleep. It’s like a microdose form of the microsleeps that come from extreme sleep deprivation. I don’t actually fall asleep, I just slip into a line of thinking and free association and end up just sitting here, lost in thought, and then have to drag myself back to the present.

It’s not unpleasant. In fact, the reverie itself is kind of pleasant. A dreamer’s paradise, I suppose, being able to go entirely into our own minds without losing contact with reality and plunging into the dark and unclean waters of the subconscious mind.

Makes it damned frustrating to try to get anything done, though. Such as blogging.

Playing another large-ish quest mod. This one is called the Grey Cowl of Nocturnal. 

So far it’s very puzzle-heavy, without a lot of combat. Normally I would find that frustrating, but the puzzles and the level designs are interesting and challenging enough that I don’t find myself spoiling for a fight very often.

Only had to peek at a walkthrough twice, both times minor. I don’t feel too bad aboyut that because I solved a hell of a lot of tricky puzzles all my myself, and so my batting average is quite high.

Still, it rankles my gamer’s pride. Esp[ecially because the two times I had to do it were for things I totally could have figured out myself if I had given myself more time.

In my defense, I was burning through a hell of a lot of brain calories and mentally tired.

If only mental activity was as good as physical activity when it came to promoting health. I’d be positively aglow with wholesomeness.

Mental activity does burn actual, non-metaphorical calories, though. So I suppose I would be even fatter if I didn’t spend all day working my very metaphorical brain muscles through media consumption.

I am way past the point where such things are optional. Like a star athlete, my mental workout are mandatory because my “muscles” demand it.

If I was in a situation where I had no books and no access to video games and no other suitable substitutes, I think I would go crazy.

In fact, I might go semi-catatonic because all I would end up doing would be lying or sitting down and dreaming my life away in that exact same kind of reverie I talked about earlier in this post.

And I would get really, really good at masturbating.

Of course, all that presupposes that I can’t write. If I can write, then that is what I would do most of the time. I imagine I would be like one of those loonies that filss binder after binder with tales of the life he wishes he was living.

Plus the usual obvious psychmacheas, bizarre psychosexual fantasies, Book of Revelations-level spritual journeys, and grandiose pontifications.

Doesn’t sound half bad, actually. I will consider it my backup plan.

Like I have said in this space before, I would love to go somewhere, say for a long weekend, where it is nice and quiet and away from it all, with only a computer with no internet capabilities and only a text editor installed.

Base on past experiences with internet outages, my mind would soon be bursting with inspiration and I would end up wrting like hell the whole time.

Dunno if any of it would be any good – going into that feverish state of mind is a lot like an acid trip in that I have no idea whether it would be a good trip or a bad trip – but it would probably do me a lot of good.

It would relieve a lot of that word pressure in my head and hopefully clear my mind and let me work out some of my issues via writing.

That’s not going to happen in my current world of distractions, but my dream getaway would be the ideal conditions for it.

That’s more or less what was happening with last November’s NaNoWriMo novel. It wasn’t quite as unhinged and psychedelic (sp?) as I had planned, but it still helped me a lot because I got some ideas oyut of my head and onto the page.

Plus, of course, lots of smutty stuff. Mostly implied rather than described, but implies so heavily that even a Mormon child would figure it out.

I really should give porn writing a try. I am sure. I could write some amazing stuff.

And what the hell, people might actually pay for that kinda stuff.

Money. What a concept.

I will talk to you nice people again tomorrow.

 

 

First, brown the beef

My brain feels like ground beef that has been turned over a few times in the frying pan so that it is brown on the outside – browned – but not fully cooked.

I have spent the day wrangling with a very tough and very long Skyrim quest I downloaded, and while it was quite good in terms of art direction, special effects, voice acting,  script, and other important artistic arenas, two of the dungeons were insanely and absurdly long and left me with the feeling of being rather put upon by the thing.

It’s almost like they know that once I start something like a quest and found I like it, I will be mercilessly driven to complete it by my inner compulsions and so from that point on, I am their bitch.

And the more they throw at me, the harder I will work, because on some level. I take it as a challenge to my determination and I refuse to lose that kind of challenge.

I can lose all kind of contests and be no more disappointed than the next guy.

But I do not lose contests of will. Period.  To the point where it is quite clearly insane. I can easily imagine being in a scenario where the only sane, logical, and sensible thing to do would be to give up and let my opponent win, and I would ignore all that and keep hanging on no matter what.

And all the while the crazy part of my brain would be shouting things in a Patrick Warburton voice voice. Thing like ‘MY WILL IS ABSOLUTE’ and “I WILL NOT BE DENIED” and “ARGBARGLE TIN SNIP MAKE OTTER POPS ELECTRIC!”

Told you it waxs crazy.

So yeah. Kinda psycho in that department. The good side of it is that it gices me the potential for extraordinary determination in getting things done. If it’s a task I understand and know how to do and the only missing ingredient is effort, I am your guy. I enjoy taking on large amounts of work and conquering them through will and determination.

To me, that’s fun.

Of course, the odds are pretty good that, somewhere along the line, I will find the most efficient way for me to do said task. That’s just part of who I am. I optimize. I improve efficiency. I zero in on wasted effort or wasted resources and redesign them out of the system with a vengeance.

I think that is part of the phenomenon I call my “alacrity”. It’s my ability to do some tasks faster – sometimes WAY faster – than most people.

Actually, all three of the things I have already mentioned – crazy levels of determination, a love of the challenge of a large task, and my need to optimize – probably all contribute to the phenomenon.

Plus another thing – my ability to deep focus on a task. When I am doing something repetitive that has a bit of process to it – addressing and stamping a stack of envelopes, say – I get into the zone.

It’s like all that unfocused energy of mine is now harnessed into the task and drives me forward like I am steam powered and the process does not disengage until I am done.

I suppose that means that I could burn myself out with overwork in the right situation. I tend to associate burnout with type-A personality types who wear themselves out with all the energy and ambition and end up with ulcers and heart attacks.

But I could easily end up in the same boat purely from love of the work I am doing or at least from the joy I get from conquering large tasks.

I’ve had this scenario in my mind for a long time where I am the new guy at the office and happily volunteer to take on all the dirty gruntwork that people hate having to do.

And to others, it might seem like I am making a doormat of myself, but in reality it is all a product of my Machiavellian genius. To wit :

  1. It would be a way to instantly make people happy I am around and make a good impression on all my co-workers and my boss.
  2. By taking on these tasks, I learn a lot about the business from the bottom up.
  3. Most importantly, by reliving people of these tasks, I make them dependent on me In fact, I make myself indispensible and increase my work value in the eyes of my immediate boss.
  4. Oh, and I prove I am not just a team player, I am the best team player in the whole office and, by example, make the others look lazy and slow.

All while they pat me on the back and tell me how happy they are to have me around.

Of course, I would have to avoid becoming an actual doormat to people, so now and then I would have to subtly remind people of the Time Before when they had to do all their own grunt work.

And they will never, ever want to go back to that. Why? Because the tasks they delegated to me will be low status tasks and therefore going back to doing them will be percieved as a loss of status.

And people will do damned near anything to prevent a loss of status.

I should be on one of those reality shows. I would totally be the nice guy who turns out to be a total mastermind who has been pulling the strings all along.

It would be like being a supervillain but with lower overhead costs.

If executed properly, my little plan could arrange things so neatly around my own needs that all I would have to do is look a little sad or get sick for one day and suddenly everyone would be showering me with attention and good vibes.

The problem comes when you try to get promoted, I suppose.

Nobody will want you to leave!

I will talk to you nice people again tomorrow.

 

 

Mental Illness Update!

The news kind, not the my personal hell kind. Actually, probably a mix of both.

But yes, tonight’s blog entry is brought to you by, for, and about mental illness.

First of, there is this little number which blew my mind when I read it :

Your mouse pointer feels good on my screen

It’s so obvious!

 

The second I read that, it clicked with me. It’s one of those brilliant ideas that seems blindly obvious once you hear it.

Of course this would work! Saying “I can’t” sets up a tension with your sense of identity. There is you, the person who wants the thing, and then there is your superego (also you, natch) depriving you of that thing.

That is a tension that cannot last and sooner or later the superego, like a tired parent worn down by a determined toddler, will give in and let id-you have what you want… knowing that it will punish you after, when the reward-need[1] craving has been satiated and the higher brain functions can resume functioning.

And as you alert readers know, I believe that anything that conflicts with your sense of identity is doomed to failure because identity always wins. Maintaining one’s identity always has the topmost priority because your identity is the overarching structure that keeps the whole psyche together and on which are installed things like memory, lust, opinions, and all that other jazz.

So until you are willing to change your idea of who you are, you will fail over and over again to change anything else.

That’s what “I don’t” does. Instead of “I’m not that kind of person who resists junk food but I am forcing myself to do it anyway”, which is, like I said, doomed to fail, it instead says “I already am the sort of person who resists junk food and therefore doing it is no big deal for me. It’s part of who I am. ”

This is not normally an easy adjustment to make because our high-priority sense of identity resists change by default, and and most people are not self-aware or informed enough to realize that they themselves have to change on a deep deep level if they want to achieve their goals.

There is no spoon. It is you that bends.

Myself, I have always had a somewhat fluid sense of identity. Not in the sense of not having an identity (I defeated that delusion a long time ago) but in having little problem shifting form to suit the situation.

And it might well seem to someone who doesn’t know me well that I am different people in different settings based on what “mode” I was in at the time.

But I am not any of my shapes. I’m the shapeshifter. I am always the same person inside, I just switch modes.

There are both good and bad things about being able to take the form of whatever container you are in.

But it’s always the same ol puddle deep down.

The other thing that blew me away was this video :

In fact, that video did far more than blow my mind. It changed everything. A lot of things I had been thinking for a long time suddenly slid into place and went CLICK. ! felt like my entire consciousness had just leveled up.

First I will tackle the “depression is just a chemical imbalance” part of it. Mind = blown.

Of course it’s a not simply a chemical imbalance that some people mysteriously have for no reason. It’s so obvious to me now. Treating depression as merely a chemical imbalance in the brain is like… well like this.


Nurse : I’ve noticed that we have a lot of people come in with giant glowing holes in their necks lately.

Doctor : I suppose so.

Nurse : Well what are we going to do about it?

Doctor : Give them Nexafix. Clears it right up.

Nurse : That’s great, but why do the people have holes in their necks ?

Doctor : I dunno. Some people just get neck holes. Some people are just neck-hole prone and sooner or later they end up with neck-holes. So we give them Nexafix.

Nurse : But where are the holes coming from?

Doctor : Glowing Neck Hole Syndrome.

Nurse : That doesn’t answer the question!

Doctor : It does for me. Besides, writing prescriptions is a lot easier than actually learning about the patient’s life. And the faster I get fees – I mean, patients, in and out of my office, the more money I make. Add the kickbacks I get from the makers of Nexafix and you can see why I feel absolutely no compulsion to look any further into it.

Nurse : Oh come on, nobody actually talks like that!


I wonder if there is some sort of template I could get that would format my little dramas properly in WordPress.

But of course, the real bombshell is the social treatment stuff. Of course depression is a social problem. It’s only our excessively individualistic culture that blinds us to the idea.

The root problem is that the depressive is socially isolated and incapacitated. Myself, for example. Sure, my meds have kept me alive, and therapy has helped me a lot, but do you know what would really help me?

A job. Something I could do. A job would do a hell of a lot to improve my self-esteem, ease my feeling of worthlessness and uselessness, give me a place in society. get my involved in the flow of life, give me a peer group, structure my time, rescue me from the dead calm seas of the unemployed life, and give me cash to spend on things I want instead of my constantly being on the outside looking into the toy shop at things I want but know I can never have.

That would be my “buy me a cow”. Give me a job.

And true, a doctor can’t write me a prescription for a job, but the whole point of this is thatg this is not a medical issue. It’s a social issue.

We need to bring back the days when the government took an active interest in making sure people had the right job for them and that employers got the employees they needed. Whatever happened to that?

Oh right, the barbarians who call themsleves conservatives (ha!) cut it because they can’t stand the very thought of being nice to somebody.

Well fuck that shit. Bring back the good old days.

I bet, dinars to donuts, that if that happened, both the unemployment rate and the depression rate would go way down.

I will talk to you nice people again tomorrow.

Footnotes    (↵ returns to text)

  1. Mein Gott, I’m starting to sound like badly translated Nietsche.

Don’t goddamned argue with me

Therapy did not go smoothly for me today, so I am now forced – forced, I tell you – to rehash it all here so I can process it.

At first things were fine. I told him about the dog story and my recent revelations about just how badly my parents fucked me up when they took me and my brother out of university, when he said the thing he promised he wouldn’t say any more.

He said “Okay, but that was then and this is now, so what are you going to do about it?”

Or something very similar.

I could have sworn that I had blogged about this subject bu I can’t find it so whatever.

Anyhoo, that set me off because just recently my therapist and I had a big discussion about this where I told him how it makes me feel like I am being judged and challenged when I am pouring my heart out to him and he demands an action plan.

I am REALLY sure I wrote about this already and I STILL can’t find it.

And I know what he is trying to do when he asks this, He’s trying to move to concrete steps from just talking things out because I’ve been going to him for like five years and feel frustrated by my lack of apparent process (you know, besides a year at Kwantlen and a full degree from VFS) and wants to get things moving.

But that’s his problem. Not mine. And when he says things like that, it makes me feel like he’s telling me that I am not recovering fast enough for his convenience and that if I don’t get better faster, he will give up on me.

Anyhow. You get the idea. My point is, he had agreed nt to say this thing which hurts and angers me every time he said it, and today, he said it anyhow.

And then made it worse by brushing it off by saying “Hey, I’m not perfect. ”

Well that’s just plain not good enough, Doctor Costin. It has taken all the years of therapy we have done so far for me to be able to open up about these deep hurts of mine to anyone whatsoever. It was a major breakthrough for me when, with your help, I realized that I had been hiding my negative emotions from everyone including you because I thought that if I let anyone see them, they would run away screaming.

And I finally got to place where I felt comfortable confronting him about how this asking what to do about it made me feel and he promised not to do it again, and then he did it again, and so I got mad.

And after I had raked him over the coals a bit, he was contrite, and apologized, and so we moved on. I was still somewhat annoyed with him but it was fading fast.

But later one, I was telling him about the profound coldness I feel when I am talking about these deep things (hence all my ice imagery here) and he interrupts me to say “Oh It’s not coldness. ”

What the FUCK? Here I am in the most emotionally exposed state that I have ever been in in my entire life and he has the nerve to argue with me about how I feel?

It’s sure as fuck is coldness. It’s always coldness. You people know this. I talk about it all the fucking time. When I was telling him all these things I felt cold throughout my torso like there was a full force arctic gale going on in there. I was releasing this coldness into the world by talking about the thing I used to hide and intellectualize. And he has the nerve to argue with me about it!

So then i really hit the roof. I mean, how fucking dare he. Then he lamely tried to cover his ass by saying he wasn’t arguing with me but merely reinterpreting what I said.

Well guess what? When you reinterpret things I say, you are saying my interpretation is WRONG and that means you are ARGUING.

Then there was some pointless semantic wrangling, which I also hatre and which is also not therapy and then I told him how things like this where he contradicts me or seizes on a word choice and goes off on an entirely irrelevent tangent about it when I am puring my heart out to him makes me feel like he is not really listening.

That he is, indeed, just doing what everyone else does : getting overwhelmed by the intensity of what I am saying and start lunging for the nearest exit door instead of just staying with me in the moment and helping me through it.

Well as long as he’s happy, I guess everything is fine.

And the session ended without us really being able to resolve anything (and with him still insisting he wasn’t arguing with me), and so I am still pretty pissed off about the whole thing. I told him that the whole thing makes me feel like there is no point telling him anything because he won’t really be taking it in, and as far as I am concerned, that’s a pretty damning statement about one’s therapist and he KNOWS THAT.

And it only reinforces my dark suspicions that sometimes he nitpicks or argues not for therapeutic reasons but because I make him feel intellectually inadequate (or otherwise lesser in some way) on some level and he feels like he has to prove he is smart too.

I’ve attracted that sort of thing my whole life, and it stinks.

But it is particularly odious coming from someone whom I am trying my best to trust enough to really open up to about that which I keep hidden from all.

Oh, and I almost forgot – he also said that my coldness was the mask for how I really feel and that is completely, totally, and precisely wrong.

The mask is the happy cute funny harmless entertaining me and it is there to hide all the darkness and pain and anger and bitterness that I fear will make people shun me so I keep it locked deep inside and pretend it isn’t there.

And like I’ve said, it took years of therapy to get me to the point where I could truly lower that mask and share the real me with him.

And he has the nerve to fucking argue with me about it.

So damn right I am pissed off.

Now if you will excuse me, I am going to go kill the fuck out of some orcs.

I will talk to you nice people again tomorrow.

 

The beast that lurks below

Tonight’s topic and/or jumping off point and/or random cosmic ray that hit my brain and made me say things is : my bloodthirstiness.

Because here’s the thing : I really do love to fight. For as long as I can remember, I have had this desire to grapple with others in a way that lets me express my power fully without having to worry about holding back for fear of destroying my opponent.

When I was young and dumb and full of myself, I sought this out by taking any chance I could to argue with people. Words are, after all, my weapons, and I was eager to test myself against others and find out what I am capable of and what I am made of.

As patient readers know,. I had not had much in the way of challenge in my life and, not being a born go-getter [1], it did not occur to me to go out and look for challenge, let alone cop an attitude and get all up in people’s faces in order to force them to deal with me and hopefully fight with me.

Kind of wish I had thought of it, really. I mean, I was already unpopular in school. At least if I had been a cocky teenager who thought he was the smartest guy in the world and dared people to prove him wrong, I would have been able to respect myself.

And yeah, I could do that now, but I know too much. I would know exactly what I was doing and why I was doing it, and it would be hard to escape my own judgment.

I envy people who can act on emotion without hating themselves after.

Anyhow, I had some people take me aside and teach me that there is such a thing as verbal and intellectual bullying and that I was being obnoxious and, and this is the crucial one, my desire for an argument doesn’t morally justify dragging someone else, someone who does not have my gifts, into a sparring match with me.

Even in a forum where debate is encouraged, like a college philosophy class, I have to restrain myself or be responsible for trampling over others just because, in the schoolyard of debate. I am way bigger and stronger than them.

And I am so glad I listened. I was on the verge of being really obnoxious. I had taken my first sips of the elitist Kool-aid, thinking that I was just being “honest” and “expressing myself” and that if people couldn’t take it, tough.

It’s a very seductive line of reasoning if you are someone who has been helpless at the bottom of the totem pole all your life and you are only now beginning to realize that there are realms in which you wield enormous power.

Learning the truth of my situation saved me from becoming a real asshole. And that made my ego and superego very happy.

But it made my id very sad. It had to go back into its box again. It had been denied the opportunity to express itself and grow stronger and I think that had a lot to do with the depressioin I fell into when my parents yanked me out of school.

I had just started to truly blossom – I was mid-blossom, really – when I got yanked out of the sunshine and thrown into a life where I was once more powerless and hopeless when I was in no way ready to face the real world.

How could I be when I thought I had two more years to get there?

And I think that was the gross and catastrophic injury from which I have not yet recovered. Being yanked out of school pulled me out of the flow of life and put me literally and figuratively back where I had started : living with my parents in Summerside, with no job skills and no social skills and with a depression so crippling that I was genuinely insane there for a while.

It was far more than hypochondria. I had tactile hallucinations where I felt germs crawling all over me. I had filter hallucinations where everything seemed black or red or glowing at the edges. I washed my hands ten or twelve times a day, often for five to ten minutes or more, because the moment I stopped washing them, I could feel them start to get dirty again and it felt like I was being physically violated.

I honestly should have been in the psych ward. And yet, I bet it never even occurred to my parents that it was all their fault for taking me out of universiry just so my father could retire a few years early.

All he had to do was hang in there at work for two more years and my brother and I would have gotten the degrees we’d been promised our whole lives, the degrees our sisters Anne and Catherine got. the ones that let them go on to lives far more successful than what my brother and I ended up with.

But no, he was too rotten and selfish for that. Plus, I think he wanted us back under his thumb because he wasn’t content only abusing my mother.

Not that I’m bitter.

Oh, and of course, it was only after all four of us kids were out of the house and my father only had my mom to pick on that she found the strength to divoice him.

Clearly, the safety of her four children she gave birth to was not enough. He verbally abused us on a daily basis and she didn’t do a goddamned thing to stop him.

But when it was all directed at her, well, that was different. Now it was affecting her and clearly that could not be tolerated.

How do you think that makes us feel, Mom?

If your answer was “pretty awful”, you are right.

But I bet I am the only one willing to say it.

I will talk to you nice people again tomorrow..

 

 

 

 

Footnotes    (↵ returns to text)

  1. More of a “stay-here-and-do-without-er, really.

Scared monkeys and the primal social damage that causes them

I thought of something earlier that could be pretty big, and so I thought I should get it down in writing (well, text) before I forget it.

First, a very quick summary of the monkey thing. Studies (evil ones) have shown that if you raise a monkey away from the rest of the monkeys, when that monkey is introduced to its fellow monkeys, the other monkeys will reject it, it will freak out and attack the other monkeys, and then said monkey will run away to the corner futhest away from the other monkeys and turn away from them and ignore them with a vengeance.

That pretty much summarizes my elementary school years too.

Oh, and fun fact, there is little to no chance that scared monkey will ever be able to socially integrate with other monkeys or otherwise have a happy, functional monkey life.

What has been done cannot be undone.

What occurred to me today was that for us poor little scared monkeys, the primal event is negative experience coupled with the activation of our social empathy circuit.

Therefore, the entire horrible outcome is based on a very deep negative association. The socially injured individual has come to associate that circuit coming on that says “there are other people around” with social pain, and thus an aversion is formed.

And we all know what happens next when we’re the monkeys. The initial social damage makes the individua becomes quite mistrustful of any information coming in via that damaged social circuit, and instead relies on the other circuit, the “cold” circuit of the mind that handles things like abstract reasoning, quantitative thinking, and so on, in order to deal with reality.

Thus, they are intellectually gifted by the standards of modern society, but socially awkward because they are trying to use their well developed cold circuit minds to solve problems that require hot circuit thinking.

And thus, they feel they are in a world where others mysterious “get” what is going on and magically “know” things that are utterly opaque to them.

It’s like being blind in the world where nobody knows it is even possible to not be able to see and are left wondering why you keep bumping into things.

And I think this effect, which I will call the Scared Monkey Effect because I don’t want to slow down long enough tothink of something with dignity, is present all through the Bertrand Extended Austism Spectrum Toast[1], from “Somewhat Nerdy” all the way into the deepest level of Aspergers and possibly even into the non neurological damaged based forms of autism itself.

This is grim stuff, I know, especially because the outlook is not too great for us scared monkeys. Our social damage invites rejection by the group because they sense that we don’t send out the right signals and therefore cannot be trusted to behave properly within the complex social matrix in which they live.

How could we? We don’t even see it.

And so our initial social damage causes more social damage which makes us even more awkward and prone to yet more social damage until we are total outcasts or, if we are lucky, find other scared monkeys and form a tribe with them.

And this is  why so many of us retreat into the twin comforts of misanthropy (or “people suck!”) and elitism (aka “they’re just jealous and/or can’t handle my awesomeness’).

From the scared monkey’s point of view, there are no other ways to cope.

The misanthropy is easy to compare to the thrice damned monkey experiments. The socially crippled monkey hates the other monkeys because all it associates with them is pain, confusion, and humiliation. To that poor monkey, people equal pain, and like any animal, it wants to get as far away from the source of pain as possible.

In us grown up beach monkeys, this takes the form of misanthropy in its various shades, colors, and flavours. Whether it’s racism, sexism, religious intolerance, or any of the other ways people express their hate for and fear of their fellow human beings, the message is always fundamentally the same : people are bad.

But that’s not enough to balance the equation. Sure, they are bad, but they say we are bad, and that makes us feel bad.

That is where elitism comes in. It too takes many forms, but it’s always the same thing : we are not bad, we are good, and the bad people only say we are bad because they are jealous of how good we are and want to destroy the source of their pain.

Remember that. You will never find a form of elitism that does not also include the notion of persecution by the supposed inferior people. That only makes sense if you understand the phenomenon as a reaction to social fears which may or not even be related to the issue around which the elitist beliefs revolve.

Otherwise, elitists would be happy to be better than everyone else without having tpo worry that anyone will mind.

And the thing is, there is just enough truth to the elitist’s concerns to keep it justified. I have been the target of the jealousy of others in my life and it’s not hard to see why.

School was always super easy for me, and I was not exactly modest about that. Not that I went around telling people how much smarter than them I was[2] or in any other way behaved as though I thought myself superior.

But I did nothing to conceal the contempt I had for the schoolwork that did nothing to challenge me in the slightest and was light years away from having any sense that this would make people hate me.

I get it now. I am still not inclined to pretend things are harder for me than they really are, but I at least get it.

So I get that sometimes jealousy can sometimes lead people to want to tear someone down and thus end the bad feeling of jealousy, inferiority, and so on.

But elitist are never content to leave it at that. They tend to blame all their negative social interactions on this jealousy, and that is literally never the case. There is always some other factor involved, even if it’s mere social maladjustment.

It’s not just them. It’s you as well. Sorry.

To sum up (ha), my basic idea is that all us nerds had early negative experiences that we associated with the activation of our social circuitry and it was all downhill from there for us scared little monkey.

Oh, and something about how, when us monkeys grow up without anything (or at least, not enough) stimulating our social circuitry, when it finally turns on, it feels like an invading thought, as thought these other monkeys just barged into our minds and we have no idea how to deal with that.

Okay, I think that’s it, or at least, all I have the mental energy to get out there.

Now either all I just wrote is mere mental effluvia, or I am crazy smart.

And I am not sure which I would prefer.

I will talk to you nice people again tomorrow.

 

 

 

Footnotes    (↵ returns to text)

  1. Or BEAST. Okay, so I couldn’t think of a proper word that starts with T.
  2. Although that might be fun in the short term, just to see their reactions

On the precipice

The Barnacled Hermit (human) sat at the tip of a long promintory of rock and gazed into the abyss between his precarious position and the grey stone valley floor thousands of feet below his danging feet.

And the Hermit spoke the words that would come to define reality for all his worshippers, and through them everyone else, for aeons to come.

He said “No, but seriously, what the fuck is it with this shit?”

He then cleared his throat, blew his nose, and took a sip of his Diet Coke.

“What am I even doing here? I feel like I am in a plane that eternally circles the airport without ever being able to land. Forever waiting for clearance.”

The Hermit watched a pebble roll down the mountainside, bounce of a boulder, and fall into the dark abyss.

He envied it a little. At least it had a direction in life.

And it didn’t even have to invest any more energy in pursuing it.

“Or maybe I’m a pet forgotten at a bus sation who has been there for so long he has forgotten that he is even waiting for someone in particular, he just knows how to wait.

Waiting is. It’s what he does. It’s all he knows. It doesn’t even feel like waiting any more. It’s the new normal It’s all he knows any more.

If his family showed up now, he might not even remember why he is so happy to see these particular humans over the thousands of others he sees every day.

The shock might kill him.

But there’s no risk of that, because his family has forgotten all about to him. They realized they had left him behind almost immediately, .but by then they were walready halfway to their destination, and when they got there, they were all having too much fun to want to go all the way back to get him, and when tghey got back from their vacation they told each other that they would go get him right away, but then there was school, and work, and life, and somehow they never actually got around to it.

And when they realized this, they panicked and felt guilty, but then told themselves that it was probably too late now anyway, and he’d probably found a good home by now.

Meanwhile, at the station, their pet was tolerated as long as he didn’t call too much attention to himself. He was the same happy friendly critter he had always been, but with nobody to take care of him, his fur had gotten progressively more matted and filthy, and digging for food in garbage cans for so long had given him a powerful stench that announced his presence long before his arrival.

So he didn’t know why, but the humans, who had been so nice at first, had gotten more and more mad at him and mean to him over the years until his present state, where he skulked in the shadows and fled at the sound of human voices.

He wished he knew what he’d done wrong so he could fix it.

He had dreams where people were nice to him again, petting him and telling him he’s a good boy and giving him plenty of toys and treats.

Those dreams always left him whimpering. ”

The Hermit sighed a long, guilty sigh, took another sip of Diet Coke, and said  “Sorry folks…. that was really fucking dark. ”

He wiggled a little on his perch to get the circulation back in his enormous buttocks. At least that’s what he told himself.

But it also made him feel better to get that tiny bit closer to the edge.

“And what the fuck is with this setup, anyway? Why does being literally on the edge of death make me feel…. safe? Why did I need to do this just to feel safe enough to express how I feel? What went fundamentally wrong in my head to make me feel safer and more secure when I am anything but? ”

He sighed. “Is it the proximity to escape? I’ve always been drawn to death and I am honest enough with myself to realize that my history of suicidal tendencies is connected to that on a deep level.

Death is, after all, the ulitmate escape, and I am nothing if not a hardcore escapist. I spend my every waking hours escaping, and I don’t even know what I am escaping any more. Having to deal with reality, I guess.

44 years old, and I am still not readfy. I’m still too damaged.inside. I work hard at birthing my pain – writing stuff like the dog thing helps – and I am far, far healthier now than I have been in the past – schooling notwithstanding.

But healing takes time, and in the meantime, I lie suspended in the ice cold aspic of the life of a victim of Failure to Launch Syndrome.

I suppose I might be bettter off if I lacked ambition and was content to simply make it through the day any way I can.

But that’s not an option. I would rather die than be that dead inside. I feel my power and my strength and the incredible potency of my magic spells and I know deep down that I could make a real splash in the world if I coud only escape my cage.

And I know the cage will vanish the second I don’t need it any more. I might hate the cage a lot but it’s my life support system that gives me the rigid container I will need until I can finally generate my own structure and have it stick.

So when I say I want to escape my cage, take it in the same vein that you would take a parapalegic saying they want to escape their wheelchair.

In both cases, what we really want is to be healthy again.

Someday, I swear,. I will be strong enough to walk on my own.

Until then, all I can do is keep up with my physical therapy and do whatever it takes to make it through another day. ”

By now, the Hermit was standing, fist raised to the sky, and his very form was limned in righteous fire and the glow of purpose.

But the fire soon dimmed, and he returned to his gazing into the abyss.

After a while, he fell asleep.

I will talk to you nice people again tomorrow.

 

 

Another day in South Limbo

That’s the part of Limbo that is closest to Hell.

At first, I was going to say I was in purgatory, but that would imply hope of of future release when I am done purging.

And while that does describe my situation, I have been purging for a long time and it’s hard to see when it will end.

I’ve not been well lately, as you know. There’s the hunger stuff I talked about yesterday. Things look a little brighter on that front because I realized that I haven’t been taking one of my meds, Trajenta (aka Linagliptin, which sounds like a wish-granting gnome),  and therefore hopefully when I get back on it, I will feel better.

Or at least less bad.

Because that’s the thing. I feel pretty crappy most of the time. I’m almost always a little dizzy due to fluid in my ears from my sinus bullshit. I think blood pressure variations and blood pooling due to being so sedentary also plays a part in that. I’ve been living with that for so long that it’s hard for me to remember that it is not normal.

For as long as I can remember there have been times when it felt like reality was rushing away from me and it gets so hard to stay focused in the here and now and I feel like I am stuggling to be heard over a roaring wind only I can hear.

That’s probably not normal. I am really quite unstable. This inner neighborhood of mine is a pretty fucked up place. There’s a lot of invisible chaos going on all the time and I have, as a defense mechanism, learned to hunker in my  bunker and tune it all out by burying myself in my distractions.

In such a fix, the last thing I want to do is add to the chaos by increasing external stimulation. Sometimes outer stimulation actually subtracts from the chaos by pulling me out of myself, but that’s only when I can relax in the situation and that seems nearly impossible lately.

Instead, I tend to go around in a shark-cage of anxiety and chaos that is awful to experience but which cuts me off from the world and thus produces the “desired” effect of damping down the terrifying stimulation levels.

It’s a complicated system.

I’m also a little nauseous nearly all the time. That’s also normal for me. There is nearly always somethuing a-bubblin’ down below. That’s just part of having IBS, at least for me. Plus I think the dizziness is a factor in that as well. like I always have a touch of motion sickness just for moving around when I am all dizzy.

This leads to a feeling of constant disorientation, and that’s been with me for a long time too. I often feel overwhelmed by ordinary things and feel lost in a icy sea of numb confusion as I try to deal with the world while chaotic madness screams in my ear.

No wonder I isolate from the world. Anyone would, if they had to deal with what I have to deal with. It’s like living in a war zone to be me. So much sturm und drang to deal with that I can do little but withdraw into the mental stimulation that is the only thing I know that offers me some kind of shelter from the storm.

Of course, living like that is probably how things got so bad in the first place.

Then there is the random sleepiness. That makes it hard to deal with life too. I assume that my sleep apnea is the main player in that issue. It’s untreated and probably killing me right along with my lousy-ish diet and my semi-treated diabetes and my being really fucking fat. I never know when a wave of sleepiness will hit me and therefore I get nervous when I have to be away from my bed for too long.

As long as I live like an urban hermit, I can nap whenever I like. Like I have said before, I can go from sitting in my computer chair to lying down in bed without even getting up. That’s how close the chair is to my big white elephant of a king sized bed.

I’m more queen-sized.

I just roll out of the chair and I am there. Which is handy from an “efficient sloth” point of view, but probably not good for me in the long run.

I would probably be better off if some things in my life took a little more effort. IT wold encourage me to invest more energy into life instead of holding back all the time out of some inane sense of conservation.

But bodily energy and wherewithal are not like money. You can’t hoard it. You can’t save it up. There is no benefit to being frugal with it.

What it CAN do, however, is make you miserable for not letting it out so it can express and expend itself. Like a large dog made neurotic through lack of exercise, unexpressed personal energy can really mess up your life.

It might even make your inner life a chaotic storm of war and confusion.

Food for thought.

And under all the other unpleasant sensations is a deep ache like my nerves are being filed down with an icicle. It’s the silent scream that slowly vents my internal pressures by very weakly expressing then, and I suppose if it wasn’t there. things might be worse.

But then they might get better. Sometimes i wonder if I would be better off if I cut myself off from all my existing outlets so that the pressure had to either force me to act or build to the point where the whole stupid broken fucked up system explodes, and afterward I can pick up the piece and try to put together some version of myself that works.

It would take a lot of strength. And I don’t have a lot of strength.

But I do have a lot of gall and a kind of kamikaze fatalism that can substitute.

I will talk to your nice people again tomorrow.

 

Almost somewhat sideways together

And the band plays on.

Feeling pretty random and stressed today. Had one of my extreme hunger attacks, the kind that a full healthy lunch does not satisfy, nor does a hearty snack in midafternoon.

In fact, it’s only slackened right about now, when it’s dark, and my pizza just arrived.

PErhaps it is merely temporarily stunned by the presence of a fair bit of food. I dunno.

But this shit is really stressing me out, dawg. Being that hungry really raises the adrenaline levels and I can’t handle that shit right now.

It’s bad enough that I am sleepy all the damned time.

Well, I bit the bullet and looked up the connection between diabetes and extreme hunger, and as I suspected, the news is rather grim.

I mean, there was no way this was going to have a happy ending.

“Congratulations! Extreme hunger means you are not diabetec any more and can eat whatever the fuck you want for the rest of your life!”.

Yeah. Not gonna happen.

It turns out the answer is simple,. logical, and terrifying. The reason I get so goddamned hungry that I want to scream is that the insulin in my body is performing so poorly that the energy in the food I eat is not making it into the cells and therefore I really am starving in that sense.

Fat and starving. Lovely.

So far, I see no direct solutions online. Just “control your diabetes!”.

Well duh. I thought I was. Obviously not.

Exercising might help. Or make things worse. Obviously,. it is the insulin resistance that is the acting mechanism of my Type 2 Diabetes which is the problem.

I must be resistant as hell right now.

And I don’t know what to do about that. I am taking drugs to lower my resistence but obviously they are not keeping up. I fucked myself up pretty bad when I went without mneds for like a month because I was too depressed to even make the appointment to see the doctor. let alone get there.

So this might be the thing that finally puts me in the real danger zone. I’ve been watching the brick wall of my failing health approach me for so long that I find it hard to believe it has finally arrived, but here it is.

It’s been clear to me for a long time that I am going to die young. The trend is obvious from myt point of view. My depression prevents me from taking proper care of my complex physical health issues and therefore they will continue to get worse until I end up in the hospital if I am lucky and a pine box if I am not.

Suicide is not the only way depression can kill you.

For one thing, it can make you so numb to life that mortal danger doesn’t mean anything to you. I feel, in a very literal sense, fatalistic about the whole thing. I know, intellectually, that if anything should be able to motivate a person. life-threatening illness should be it. but oh well.

None of that actually repairs my motivational circuits. I don’t want to die – I have at least some that far. And I very much fear ending up with a far worse quality of life than I have right now. I have nightmares where I wake up in the hospital full of tubes and strapped to the bed, unable to move and screaming my head off.

But somewhere between the emotion that should motivate action and actual action, shit breaks down, and nothing happens.

I wish I could check myself into the hospital preventatively. Tell the admitting nurse that I am a danger to myself due to my depression and that I seriously need immediate medical intervention because my cells are dying of starvation.

But it doesn’t work that way. They don’t prevent problems. They treat them. “Come back when you’re in a coma!”, they would say.

Can’t I just have the coma now, and save everyone the expense of an ambulance ride?

Still no idea what to do about the hunger. I certainly can’t start eating tons more. For one, I can’t afford it, and for two, that would probably kill me.

And for three, eating all the goddamned time would be too damned depressing.

And I can’t add high-density glucose to my diet in order to overcome the resistance because that would be sugary foods and those are goddamned poison to me.

That does explain why I have been craving the sweet stuff lately, though. My body is trying to get the glucose into my muscles etc any way it can and it is not worried about the long term consequences.

But that road is deadly to me and so I resist. It’s not easy. I really had to struggle with myself when I was ordering the pizza in order to stop myself from adding one of Pizza Hut’s deadly delights along with my meal.

I just kept repeating, “I don’t want to hurt myself. ” until I was in control again. And that’s good because it means I am getting back to where I recognize that the evil sweet stuff causes me not just harm but pain. After I eat it, I feel sick.

And so it’s just not worth it. Sure, the pleasure/reward jolt is great for my mood, and having that to look forward to helps as well, but bottom line. it is just plain not worth it.

I can get the same pleasure/reward jolt from sugar free desserts. And I can afford them. So it’s just a matter of getting myself some.

And that involves not being so sticker-shock prone when it comes to buying stuff online. I have to remember that I have money now and can afford to splurge now and then.

I could have something dessert-like with every meal if I got my poop in a group.

But that’s the almight If, isn’t it? The crippling contingency.

It’s not that I am never going to do Thing X.  It’s that I can’t do thing X because first I have to do Thing Y.

And I am never going to do Thing Y.

But I am totally doing to do Thing X some day!

I will talk to you nice people again tomorrow.

 

 

 

At the Monster Party

Well dressed and well groomed yet somehow still looking disheveled, I greeted the guests at the door.

The first was my Social Anxiety. Always the showboat, that one. He’s tghe biggest and strongest of them and has had the biggest effect on my life. and he knows it. It would have killed him to have anyone else be first through the door.

Might have been worth it.

I greeted him like an old friend. After all, we’ve been together since I was a child. I remember when he was just a tendency towards nervous shyness.

Those were the days.

True to form, he showed off for the crowd, duing his signature bringing and covering his face and pretending to flee into the shadows. The crowd ate it up.

I knew what was expected of me.

“I’m working hard to get rid of you! ” I said with exaggerated exasperation, shaking my fist at him.  “Some day I am going to leave you behind forever!”

“Yeah yeah. ” he said loud enough for the crowd of onlookers and papparazzi outside my door to hear. “You keep saying that but I’m still here and I am still in charge. ”

“You know I am going to win. I have time on my side. You can’t hold out forever!”

“I don’t have to. ” he replied. “I only have to last until the day you die, and that’s like, what, four years away at most? ”

“Touche’. ” I said. “You look good, by the way. Have you lost weight?”

That cut him to the quick. Because we both knew he was a lot smaller than he had been in his heydey, when he had me all to himself. I might not have him on the ropes but the trend clearly favored his doom, and he knew it.

He really should have seen that coming. After all, he is part of the mind that planned it. But that’s the thing about fears :

They’re really quite stupid.

“Whatever. ” he retorted lamely, and swept into my home.

Next in line was my Claustrophobia. I noticed how badly his clothes fit, and felt a little pang of guilt. After all, it was my own mental instability that caused him to change size all the time.

“Sorry about your clothes. ” I said.

“What?” he said distractedly as he looked all around as if measuring every surface and using it to judge volume.  “Oh, right. They’re fine. Listen, your house… it’s pretty big, right? On the inside?”

I had anticipated this. “Yes, Claus. It’s as big on the inside as it is on the outside. The hallways are spacious and wide, and the balloom has room for three hundred and I’ve only invited my biggest issues, so there shouldn’t be more than 24 or so of us. ”

He smiled in gratitude and shame, but added “It’s just that,. when parties get too crowded I start freaking out and it doesn’t matter if I am having a wonderful time, I have to leave, and… ”

“Shhhh. ” I said. “This is me, remember? I understand. You don’t have to justify yourself to me. Just go on in and if you start to get uncomfortable. one of my servants will show you the shortest route out of the building immediately. ”

He smiled with great relief, and went inside.

The next guest bristled with resentment and paranoia. No, he wasn’t my Rage… he’s far too big and malevolent to fit in any home.

It was my Social Damage, and I knew he’d make things difficult for me.

“So this is a real party?” he asked.

“Yes, SD. ” I replied. I’d anticipated this too. “It’s a real party with people who came here to have a harmless and peaceful good time. ”

“Who’s here?” he said. “There better not be anyone who wants to beat me up. ”

“Trust me. ” I reassured him. “The guest list is very small and I only invited guests I trust to be able to control themselves for an evening. I guarantee that you will be safe inside, and if anyone gets out of line, they will have to answer to ME, and this is MY party inside MY mind, and nobody is going to spoil everything by being mean tonight or they will face my wrath. 

He pondered that for a couple of minutes. “So you’re saying that you will beat up anyone who tries to hurt me?

“Absolutely. ” I said with rock-solid. certainty. ”

“Well okay. I guess I’ll go in. ” And, glowering, he cautiously went inside.

Next up was my Inner Accountant. “How much is this costing us? ”

“Nothing. ” I replied. “It’s all in my head. All it is doing is stretching my imagination a little more than my usual blog posts. ”

He scowled. “Are you sure we can afford that? ”

“Positive. ” I said. ” We’re running at a substantial surplus, remember?”

“Still. ” he said crakily. “Must I remind you that everything in the universe is finite and there’s never enough of anything and to waste any amount of anything ever is the worst sin possible and means you are a big stupid idiot who doesn’t deserve anything?”

I rolled my eyes. “No, you don’t need to remind me, because you have never stopped telling me for twenty years!”.

“Well when I stop, you forget!” he said accusingly, wagging a finger at me.

“God forbid. Now please, go inside. I’ve got plenty of optimization exercise inside to keep you busy for a while. ”

“Really? Wonder what the optimal way to solve them is…. ” he said, and entered.

And so it went, guest after guest. There was the kaleidoscopic shimmerimng mist that was my Mental Instability, the emaciated child that represents my Lack of Nurturing, the over-friendly horrifying  insectoid that is my Alienation, the frazzled hen that was my Overdeveloped Sense Of Responsibility (screaming “Their PAIN is all your FAULT!” like usual. “: and all the rest.

In fact, I was just about to go inside and shut the door when a quiet yet bonechilling voice said “Haven’t you forgotten someone?”

Slowly, I turned around and looked down at a five foot man dressed in simple black and wearing enormous mirrored sunglasses that, for some reason, I was too scared to look into for more than a second.

I glanced at my guest list, then at him. “I’m sorry, and you are…?”

“You know who I am. ” he said, in a voice as cold as the tomb. “I’m you. I’m your fear of yourself. Your power. Your strength. Your vision. Your intellect. I am the part of you that knows how much damage you can do unless you are very, very careful all the time. ”

“I see. ” I said. “I don’t recall inviting you. ”

“Since when do I need an invitation? ” he asked.

And we locked eyes for a long, long minute.

But eventually, I turned away and let him inside.