Sunday, September 3, 2023

Setbacks

Going back to work ruined everything.

There was something about being too sick to focus on anything, resulting in me having nothing to do but "think" for about five days straight.

It's like after a period of thinking, my thoughts became clear. Especially after that first night when I couldn't sleep and I was up for 24 hours straight. The first 12-16 hours were garbage thoughts mostly, white noise that didn't amount to much. But then after that it was like the noise had cleared up and I was able to really think about things.

When I went back to work and had to spend an entire workday focused on shit I don't care about, I found that my thoughts really got muddled.

I realized that when I'm forced to focus on work, then the time I spend not working is either spent thinking about work or decidedly not thinking about work but taking part in some kind of a leisure activity that uses up my brain in a different way.

When I was sick, I didn't have the energy or focus to dedicate to a leisure activity (e.g., reading, playing games, watching stuff) so instead, I spent it thinking.

And it was the best thing for me.

Right now I don't have the energy or focus to think that way. I feel like my time is crunched because any day now I'll have to go back to work.

Instead I want to spend time doing things that comfort me. I need to be comforted, so I spend time comforting myself.

It does feel like a bit of a setback. I felt like I was making real progress before, working through some heavy shit.

Now I'm just trying to survive again.

What is comforting me right now: watching Breaking Bad, playing Night in the Woods, messing around with astrology/birth chart stuff, eagerly anticipating cozy autumn season.

Monday, August 28, 2023

Clarity

Every day, things become a little more clear.

I saw a tweet yesterday that said:

Sometimes I think about how teenage girls are reviled and everything they love is deemed silly and frivolous and yet teenage girls are so deeply sexualized in our culture and it's like the misogyny dial is turned up... and then those girls become women recovering from being teens.

It really struck me as popping up at exactly the right time, considering everything I've been mulling over the last couple of weeks.

I think my core of shame and embarrassment is directly related to my former life as a Teenage Girl.

There is so much that life doesn't prepare us for. I was thinking about how my teenage experience could never be on a TV show, because too much super fucked up stuff happened that could never be aired to millions of people.

It's really true that society in general absolutely abhors teenage girls. I'm not sure if it's gotten any better - it seems like it has, but I can't really judge because I'm not in that space anymore.

I know growing up in the early 00s was extremely rough. The misogyny was at an all-time-high. In retrospect, I'm amazed that I didn't shy away from continuing to identify as a girl/woman due to how much everyone around me seemed to be absolutely disgusted by our existence.

One thing stands out.

There was an exceptionally disturbing dynamic between me and an older guy I liked that I think made a very intense impression on my developing mind which lingers even today.

There was a dynamic between us (as well as an age gap - I was 16 and he was in his early 20s) where he would put down absolutely anything and everything I liked. Whether it was a music, a movie, it didn't matter - if I liked it, it was bad. It was bad because it was girly, or weeby, or anything like that.

After he was done putting me down, telling me that I had terrible taste, sometimes even in the same breath, he'd say I was hot and half-jokingly tell me to take my clothes off, always with an "lol" tagged onto the end.

I hated it. It made me feel disgusting. But somehow I never really thought of the consequences of tagging those two things together. I guess it sounds a lot like 'negging' now that I think about it. But I think it made me associate being seen as lesser, as an embarrassment, with being seen as attractive, or a sexual object (which I have always shrank away from in disgust). How could this not fuck up my self-image?

When I think about feeling disgusting, or feeling like I'm worthless or should be ashamed of myself, that experience/relationship what I think about.

I think my relationship with this guy kind of encapsulates what so many teenage girls go through. Maybe not to this extreme, or maybe to an even worse one.

I don't think this experience explains it all - why I am the way I am now - but it definitely helps me to understand at least a piece of it.

Sometimes when I think about my lack of self-confidence, I feel a little exasperated. Like "This again?! Why can't you just get over this and move on." I don't feel patient, like taking the time to understand anything because I've already spent so, so much time trying to understand.

I think I know now that this feeling of mine didn't come out of nowhere. It was carefully cultivated - by the society I grew up in and the people I grew up around. This isn't something I can just will myself to get over or move past. This is intertwined too deeply with how I became an adult, and how I became the person I am today.

 

Sunday, August 27, 2023

Remembering?

Google has announced that they will be deleting accounts which have been inactive for more than two years.

This prompted me to log in to some of my old accounts to make sure there's nothing in there I wouldn't want to lose forever.

I came across a years-old email from Facebook that was basically a notification that I had received a DM from someone. The email had a copy of the DM in it.

It was a correspondence from someone who I don't speak to anymore. I was probably 19 or 20 when I received it. Strangely enough, of all of the DMs, this was one that encapsulated everything that I probably should have stayed the hell away from.

The first half of the message was a profession of love to me, essentially a marriage proposal, and a formal invitation to join an existing relationship as a "third".

It was sickly-sweet and over-the-top, the exact kind of thing that would have made 19/20-year-old me swoon.

The second half of the message was a calculated judgement on something I had mentioned in an online journal a few months beforehand - that I had used marijuana and drank alcohol. It's clear this part of the message was meant to make me feel guilty, and to let me know that if I ever chose to partake in either of those things again, that I would be effectively cut off and discarded.

The dissonance between the two parts of the message were chilling.

When I logged onto this old email account, I didn't go looking for this type of thing, because as much as I like to look back upon the past, this wasn't a particularly nice part of it that I might like to think about. But since I stumbled upon it anyway, it got me thinking.

Throughout the years when I thought about the things that happened at this period in my life, I often wondered if I was dramaticizing it a bit, or blowing things out of proporation. Because even when I spoke about what happened from memory, it seemed like a lot, like stranger-than-fiction kind of stuff. However, seeing some written proof of something sent to me like this gave me chills. Not only wasn't I exaggerating it, but it was perhaps even worse than I gave it credit for.

Reading this also reinforced what I have mentioned before, that looking back on things is strangely helpful, if only because I can see specifically how I've grown and changed, and how I can be reassured that I am not making the same mistakes as I always have.

I am worlds apart from the person I was at that time. I know now that if I cringe and flinch at who I was before, that's a sign of growth.

Saturday, August 26, 2023

COVID-19 extravaganza!

It's been a wild last couple of days.

On Tuesday, I woke up at 2:30AM and could not fall back asleep. I thought it was because I had too much on my mind (which I kind of did) but it's so unlike me to just Not fall back asleep for hours and hours like that.

By Wednesday morning I had a very uncomfortable sore throat. I called off work because I hadn't slept, and I figured I would pass out right around 9AM (spoiler alert: I didn't). I stayed up the whole day, feeling sleep-deprived and scratchy-throated.

Wednesday night, I woke up in the middle of the night with chills. I covered up with a large blanket and then woke up a few hours later sweating. I got up to check my temp and it was 101.5 (F), probably coming down by then.

Thursday I spent feeling hot and feverish as my fever slowly came down for the remainder of the day. I called off again, worried my fever may come back. I slept for a majority of the day, alternating between feeling cold and hot, but I confirmed by the end of the day that my fever was gone for good.

Friday I tried working again but I decided to call off because I still felt pretty awful. I had a nasty cough, a different kind of sore throat, and talking was difficult.

Now it's Saturday, and as of this morning I have no sense of taste or smell. It happened suddenly and unexpectedly. The tea I'm drinking tastes like hot water. I stuck my face in Milkshake's food and smelled nothing. Until now I figured that I just had a really bad cold, maybe a regular flu, but this new symptom makes me think for sure it's Covid-19.

I hope this doesn't last for very long. It's one thing to feel shitty because I'm sick, but to not be able to taste is kind of like rendering one of my main coping mechanisms null and void...

Tuesday, August 22, 2023

Thoughts

Not feeling super capable of stringing together words so here are some things on my mind today:

  • Last night I dreamed I kept pulling dead mice out of my mouth.
  • I have a stiff neck for the first time in a while.
  • I have been listening to the album A Gradual Decline In Morale on repeat and this is the first album I've enjoyed all the way through in a very long time.
  • I'm excited that it's almost spooky season!!!
  • It has almost been one year since I lost one of my cats so that's been on my mind a lot lately :(
  • I don't feel ready to start monitoring everything I eat again... yet.
  • I want to make a habit of reading a little every day again.
  • I also want to make a habit of studying a little spanish vocab every day again.
  • But I don't know if I feel mentally ready for building habits just yet?
  • I feel a lil guilty thinking of all of the things I should be doing, but don't feel ready to do yet.
  • Maybe I'll edit this and write more later.