Hola amigos. It has been quite a long time since I have clicked away at my keyboard, much to the annoyance of the dog, and discussed my personal affairs with you. But, here I am, back again, for another go around. There is something indescribably therapeutic about not having a face to express all of my emotions, problems, and innermost thoughts to. Don’t get me wrong, Allister is the best therapist on the planet (and will remain so until I finish school to claim my rightful place atop the pyramid! :P), but the anonymity of posting here, explaining things that I’m not quite brave enough to say aloud is perfect. It’s exactly what I need as I am draped across my armchair, typing this by the light of the antique lamp that has returned home to my grandmother’s house. My mom is here; the powerwashing company and the landscapers are coming tomorrow and I have class so she agreed to babysit them. It’s a bit of a funny thought: my mom, this tiny woman, ordering husky, buff men around as they rip up the plants and trees we simply refused to. Most of the work that needs to be done around here…wait, did I even explain this to you all? I moved into my grandmother’s house in March, as the tenant found a new place of residence (oddly enough, just up the road). The Trust (with a capital T as it contains 3 people of extreme importance) thought having someone remain in the house until it was sold was the best idea, so things don’t go to rot and ruin. So here I sit, eerily reminiscent of when I was a small child, curled up underneath my grandmother’s needlepoint. She would send the needle down, and I would send it back through. That is one of my most favorite memories. I enjoy living here. The independence and solitude is exactly what I wanted. I have the dog, a faithful companion through all of the scary trips to the basement, and Brendan visits only when I ask him. The situation is nice…but. Always hanging over my head is the thought that I am not doing enough. I don’t have a job, and am forced to return home almost every weekend for money. I feel shamed and worthless when I do so, like I was somehow irresponsible in my spending. I usually buy groceries and gas, sometimes paying for the finer things in life, like Starbucks, but only on occasion. It’s just that when I have to bring up money, I feel like Marley from A Christmas Carol, saddled with the chains of my spending habits past. I don’t steal money, I don’t lie about what I buy, but the guilt is still there. Some of it lies in the fact that I am not pulling in my own income. I don’t have a job and have been completely and utterly unsuccessful at being hired either here, or in my hometown. I’m not sure what I’m doing wrong, but it has been consistent throughout my applications. And I am active, in applying. It’s not like I only do it once a year, and then complain the rest of the time that I’m not being hired. I apply to many places and many positions, with no luck. And it ends up reflecting back on me. People think I’m lazy, spoiled and usually, rather pretentious. I try not to care what people think, but in the end, I always do. I see how my classmates look at me with confusion and mild disgust. I know what I look like when I walk in with food, or coffee, and appear to be stuffing my face. I can feel all of that and it hurts. It cuts really deep. There’s a girl in my class, for example, and because we sit in opposite corners of the room, our eyes lock pretty often. And the rays of contempt coming off of her are almost palpable. I haven’t ever spoken to her, or attended previous classes with her, but her disdain for me grows with each eye-lock. For some reason, I want nothing more than to be her friend. I want her to like me, to want to be around me, and it has masterfully backfired. That’s always what it comes down to with people. I want to be liked. I want to be that person in someone’s life that truly, and utterly makes a difference. I want to have profound and provocative thoughts that shake people to their core, but instead, I say “like” and “whatever” a lot like I’m some idiot from the Valley. I complain, criticize and am overall judgmental, rather than kind and compassionate. I am a bully. And it hurts me, but I can’t, or rather don’t know how, to change it. I have hurt many people that I love, but am praised for my harsh critiques at the same time. This conversation took a turn that I didn’t think would happen. I was thinking about it almost all day, but didn’t know it shook me this deeply until now. I guess Allister and I need to have a talk. And I won’t be claiming that title from him as soon as I had hoped…
I have this horrible habit of only writing when things are really in the shitter. I mean, that’s the only time I seem to be able to step back and ponder the true questions of the universe: is there an afterlife? Does God exist? Will I ever get over this? Is world peace possible? What happened at the end of The Sopranos? When things are going well, the turquoise-tinted (my favorite color, and a beautiful stone. Rose is so over done!) glasses come on and there isn’t a single problem. Even things that would normally upset and cause an issue become nonchalant; tiny little molehills compared to the mountain of delight you’re feeling. On Easter, I got really sick. Hospital, surgery, the whole shebang! Afterwards, I felt much better. So much better in fact, that things seemed…good. I use that word so tentatively but that’s the best way to describe it. Things were good. I was in a good mood, the weather was nice (except for those horrible rainstorms), I was busy with appointments, friends and family. I was in a pleasant place. But it sort of happens like a bubble. You create this beautiful, color, vivid thing but it’s so fragile, so breakable that the slightest touch can pop it. This little bubble of suitability popped. I was doing fine when things got a little dicey. Because of my surgery (and even prior to it), I wasn’t eating well. But now? Well, now it’s a problem. I’ve become a little obsessive with it. I admitted it to Dr. Glover earlier and immediately regretted it. Now, I’m being roped into seeing a nutritionist. I haven’t seen/talked to Allister about all of this. I’m just freaking out. And of course, there was no way I was going to tell my parents. This is all happening so fast. My little bubble of contentment was so perfect and great. I was thriving and doing well. I was looking for volunteer positions, medical assistant jobs, hell, I got accepted to a school to finish my bachelor’s degree! (Okay, that process was started long before this little bubble was created but getting the news sure did help keep it afloat!) And now, it’s unraveling and it’s all my fault. I’ve always been tempted by loose threads. You have one on your shirt and, as you get older you know what’s going to happen, but you pull it anyway. You watch the hem come undone, then the first layer and so on and so forth, until you’re standing in a city square, topless, wondering who the hell stole your favorite sweater. Well, silly, it was you. You did it. A little while ago, as I was falling asleep, I got one of those Earth-shattering ideas. The kind that makes you wonder why you’re even bothering to fall asleep because you could so totally cure cancer right now. I was wondering why people get offended when they’re called “normal.” Everyone wants to fit in with the curve, be the same, swim up the same river, go with the flow but as soon as you suggest that they’ve succeeded in this attempt, they draw back and refute any evidence. They get upset and declare that they are the king of freaks, that there is no one who is further from normal than they are. But when that sort of thing happens, it changes the normal. “Everyone’s special…which is another way of saying no one is.” I’ve been searching for the “normal” in my life. A job, a degree, some semblance of what society deems acceptable so that I can continue in my life. But when I stop and think about it, all of those things aren’t going to change anything. People are so dependent on material to make them happy and I do not want to be that type of person. I think about death a lot. Just out of habit. And I often wonder what people will be remembered for. What will I be remembered for? Coloring in the lines and being so mainstream that I fade away without even a puff of smoke to celebrate my existence? Not cool. If this whole eating situation becomes something, it becomes something but I am not going to let it define me. I refuse to be my diagnosis. I refuse to identify as the person who’s always sick, the one who is teetering on the edge of hospitalization (no matter the kind). That won’t be me. I like Doctor Who and I want to be able to say that I could be his companion. Before I always denied it. I always said there was no way it would happen. There was no way I could leave this routine, leave my medication, leave my family but you know what? I need a dose of adventure. I need something in my life that is going to change me for the better, not add extra weight to the cinder blocks that are already on my feet. Sometimes, I feel bad for people that don’t experience emotions the way we do because it’s not as intense. It’s not as powerful and they can’t express it as…effectively. Alright, alright, the way I express my emotions isn’t necessarily effective but you get what I mean. They’re soda cans under pressure, waiting to explode and I’m sitting over here like a bottle of water that’s been spilled. Everything is out and flowing. And as of right now, that’s okay. That’s okay.
*quote paraphrased from The Incredibles…love this movie!
I was in Sociology 101 today discussing the subject of deviance. After assigning us a project to do in small groups (talk more about this later), my teacher gave his PowerPoint on deviance. I was half-listening, doodling and picking my fingers all at the same time when something caught my ears. He was talking about strain theory by Robert Merton. Strain theory, he said, is when people try to conform through institutionalized means and fail. Those same people turn to deviance. Now, he went on to explain the four outcomes of this theory (innovation, ritualism, retreatism and rebellion). I’m not interested in giving you a Sociology lesson (though I kind of already have). What I’m interested in is the last bit of strain theory. Rebellion. We’ve all seen rebels, whether they be Confederate flag-wavers or decked-out-in-head-to-toe black-wearers. Rebels, according to my Sociology teacher, replace cultural goals with new, “deviant” ones. They aren’t rebels trying to stir up trouble and create a scene, or protest and storm the Bastille. They’re revolutionaries. They’ve rejected society’s objectives for them and replaced them with their personalized plans. Out with the Old World Order and in with the New!
Of course, I had to relate it back to mental illness (hey, isn’t that what they’re always encouraging you to do in college anyway? Relate it back to something you can understand and apply your own thoughts and ideas to it? That’s why we write papers for crying out loud!) for the lovely people here. I mean, society tells us from an early age to be happy, right? Well, some people (albeit me!) are broken and can’t seem to grasp the concept of being happy. It’s not that I don’t want to, it’s just that I feel it’s setting the bar a little too high. I want to be happy, I really do, but what if I settle for contentment instead? What if I set myself up so that I can succeed, so that I know I have 100% success rate, whereas I would only have, say, a 50% chance of being truly happy? By rejecting society’s goal for me (remember: happiness) and replacing it with my own (somewhere in the land of contentment), I’m not being mentally ill. I’m not being sick, I’m not shouldering the burden of the Shadows or Borderline Personality Disorder. I’m being a rebel. And let’s be honest, how many of us have always wanted to be that? We’ve wanted the respect from our peers, the level of coolness that only comes with breaking the rules a bit and playing outside of our comfort zone. Viewing myself as a rebel doesn’t deny my mental illness or its severity, it doesn’t minimize my BPD or the work that comes with doing Dialectical Behavioral Therapy. No, it doesn’t do any of that. It simply holds up a new frame, a pretty one with gilded golden edges and a bit of antique charm. This theory provides me with the perfect way to accept who I am and what I have. I know, I’ve been talking about that a lot lately and I apologize, but I don’t think I can convey how big a rock this was (and still kind of is) in my path to living a better life. I think I’ve finally found what’s going to work for me. Ah! This is so huge! I feel like I can’t wipe the grin off my face. Speaking of my face, I busted my lip pretty bad yesterday. No, I didn’t do it on purpose. It was a funny little accident. I went to get a filling replaced (actually, I went in for a cleaning but ending talking myself into getting my filling replaced) and she had to shoot me up with Novocaine twice so my mouth (and lip) was extra numb when I went home. On the drive, I had my mouth hanging open, I know, such an unattractive thing to do, so I closed it, but chomped down my lip. I had to get stitches to make it stop bleeding. It looks worse than it actually feels. But I’m so elated with my little trick to accept myself that I don’t even care! Ha!