morethanthese: (Default)
Remember how I said I'd work out some of the details of the Mind Palace today? (Well, it was yesterday when I said it, but I'm saying it again now.) Well, I found myself needing to go to it because I was having a dialogue with myself about writing and the reasons I write, and I realized this would be a good conversation to have with Dr. L in the Mind Palace.

So I went to my room (I wasn't there when I had the thought), lay down on my bed, covered myself with my shock blanket, closed my eyes, and went there. (I find that being on my bed, lying down, with the shock blanket over me, tends to be the conditions under which I'm best able to go to the Mind Palace, though I can go there when I'm in other places.) When I got there, Dr. L was standing on the upper level, starting to verbally review the subject we were going over. For some reason, I realized that I had never been on the upper level, so I climbed up the ladder to join Dr. L. We talked about my writing (we concluded that, while I don't like writing overall, there are some ways in which writing helps me - not the least of these ways is the fact that I can use it to put forth ideas and characters that I think help me and that I am not finding in other media - and the smaller aspects of writing combine and are big enough to be good reasons to keep writing).

After we had that talk, I went to sort out some of the physical specifications of the Therapy Room. There were four chairs in each corner, I determined, and there were four doors in each wall. In the middle of each wall, I noticed. I decided to go through the door that I face directly every time I appear in the room to see what was behind it. Dr. L asked me if I wanted to go with him. I said no, thank you. He was cool with that.

I went through the door and found myself in a very vague-looking room that had an upper level like the Therapy Room had, only it was much higher up from the floor, and the ceiling was much higher. I explored it a little bit and realized it looked very much like the interior of a restaurant my family and I have gone to sometimes. (The restaurant is called the Old Spaghetti Factory; there's awesome lights and lamps in it and there's giant stairs that lead up to an upper level and stuff's made of wood and it looks old and awesome. That's an awful description but I suppose you can look it up online. A Google search would yield some images.)

Anyway, I walked along the upper level, looking at things. I hadn't meant for the place to be the restaurant, but some of the details of the restaurant started filling in, including the sound of people talking and eating. Then I realized I could turn it off if I wanted to, which was great because I'm not too keen on sounds like that. (They're just...not fun, you know how that is?) But I found I could also turn it on again if I wanted to.

I ran down the upper level to find its end or some stairs down, only to realize that it would go on forever if I didn't make some stairs. So I made some, and for some reason, the part in Frozen where Elsa makes the stairs that lead up to her ice palace came to mind. It was at this point that I realized I could change and make things in this room, and I got VERY excited about all this. I felt a lot like Elsa building her ice palace during "Let It Go", really, and that was awesome.

It was at this point that something interesting occurred. I've determined that my perceptions in my Mind Palace are a lot like my perceptions during dreams. I tend to dream in the third person - that is, I control my own actions, but I see myself as though I'm watching a movie and I happen to be able to control the actions of one of the characters. Also, I'm not always myself in my dreams. Sometimes I'm a character from something I'm already familiar with, or sometimes I'm a character of mine, or sometimes I'm a character who exists only in the dream. In the Therapy Room, I look like Will Graham from Hannibal (don't worry, nothing creepy occurs between Dr. L and I, it's just that it's convenient for me to envision myself as this person, especially since I can't see my actual self from the outside but I can see fictional characters from the outside, especially if they're from a film medium. Sometimes in my Mind Palace, I switch between first and third person. That is, sometimes I'm looking at things as though I'm really there, and sometimes I'm looking at me-as-my-character doing things in there.

So anyway, I'd previously been exploring this new room in first-person, but when I made the Frozen connection, I started seeing myself in third person as Elsa, and I thought that was awesome. It was shortly after that that Dr. L appeared beside me (I wanted him to). He told me he liked what I had created, and he liked that I would continue to create in here. This room would be a new adventure, he said, and while the basic shape was formed, there were details I'd be able to fill out.

We briefly went to...oh no, I can't remember if it was the upper level or the lower level (I'll check next time I go there). But some part of it, some part where, in real life, there's a bar where you can get alcoholic beverages. Actually, it was on the opposite floor where the bar is in real life (if my memory of the location is accurate). We went there, and I saw a shadowy bartender cleaning glasses and stuff.

"You can make him someone you know, if you want," said Dr. L. ("Someone you know" here meant "a familiar person or character" as opposed to "real life person you have met".)

"I don't want to make him anybody yet," I said. I was still trying to get used to the place itself and I didn't feel comfortable putting anyone else in it yet.

"That's valid," said Dr. L. (He says that a lot.)

We then discussed the fact that, if I wanted to, I could sit down at the bar and I could order something that I drink in real life (that is, tea or soda or something - something that wasn't alcohol). To add to the atmosphere of the place, Dr. L said.

I didn't think about it at the time, but Dr. L and I had a conversation where he said that my other facets might come back as people in certain rooms of my Mind Palace. I had one facet called Tea (ah, he was a joy. I might talk about him later) whom I sort of miss and whom one would very easily find in a location that was associated with beverages of any kind. I wonder if he'll turn out to be the bartender there. I don't know. I'm not there yet. I'm not sure if he's what I want in a location like that. I'll see what I want out of the place.

Well, anyway, we have a new room in the Mind Palace, and I'm going to have a fun time exploring it and building in it and finding out what it's for.
morethanthese: (tea 1)
I've been trying to build my Mind Palace.

I tried building my Mind Palace before but it didn't really "stick" because I think I was trying it just to try it and not building it from something that was already going on in my head. You see, during my "sessions" with Dr. L, I realized that in some cases (where envisioning myself in a different place was beneficial), I saw us in a particular room a lot.

The walls of that room were deep red (kind of burgundy) and there was a long dark table taking up the center of the room. There was also an upper level of the room, which started about two-thirds of the way up the room and was built projecting from the walls. There was a rail around it, and a ladder leading up to it. There were also what I assumed were bookcases lining the walls of the upper part.

I described it to someone later and they said it seemed "VERY Hannibal-inspired". I then explained to them the thing about Dr. L modeling himself after Hannibal Lecter and all that, so the fact that my mind automatically set it in a Hannibal-like room made perfect sense. (It was specifically modeled after the room where the infamous "Did you just smell me?" scene takes places, incidentally.)

Yesterday, Dr. L and I went to the Mind Palace to figure out what exactly I was imagining and to see if we couldn't make it a little more specific. He was standing in the upper level, watching me as I paced slowly around the room trying to figure out what to make it look like.

We started with the table. I had previously made this assumption that it was a pool table, and we questioned that assumption. I realized that the only reason I had assumed it was a pool table was because pool tables tend to be large and found in the center of rooms. We determined I saw the table there because I liked the evenness and the balance. It helped me, Dr. L said. We therefore decided that it's just a table (though...weirdly absent of chairs, and I didn't realize that until literally just now), but it can turn into a pool table if, for whatever reason, I want to see Dr. L playing pool (because we decided that, in some cases, it would be beneficial for me to come in seeing Dr. L doing something casually, like I was just walking in on him and not arranging a therapy session or whatever).

As for the upper level, we decided that the things lining the walls are indeed bookshelves, and all the books are either books I own, or books I've read but don't own, or books I want to read/own, or the sort of books I'd read/own. None of them are my copies, though, in that they're copies someone else owns. (As in, if I looked at them, I would not go, "Oh, that's my specific copy of [insert title here]".)

At this point, we realized that there was nothing in the room that belonged to me. And maybe it was because we really hadn't gotten the furnishings and stuff down yet (maybe some stuff of mine will appear there later), but the fact remained that none of the stuff there was anything I identified as my own. Which was odd, given that very often, having my own stuff around helps me psychologically. Dr. L made a box that contains in it some of my things (my knitting, my headphones, my blanket, my stuffed animals, etc.) He tossed me a few of them from where he was on the upper level, and I noticed after I was back in reality that they didn't fall in an arc (like things do when you throw them in the real world) but instead came to me in a straight line. I also realized after returning to reality that at one point, Dr. L came down from the upper level by standing next to the ladder and just sort of...falling down to the floor. Like, say, in poorly-done video game graphics or something. I didn't question it at the time. Like you wouldn't question it in a dream.

Today, we were in it briefly, mostly because I just wanted to be in it for a bit. Dr. L was playing pool (because I wanted to walk in seeing him doing something there already, which he was alright with). When he noticed me, the surface of the table became a normal table and not a pool table. We talked a little bit and then tried to figure out if there were chairs in the room. We decided there were at least four chairs in the room, one in each corner. That was basically what we did; I had trouble properly being in my Mind Palace that time 'round but that made sense because I was just killing time while waiting for something.

Next time I go there, I'm going to make it a point to work on:
* The chairs
* Small tables separating bookcases
* The walls, floor, and ceiling
* Adding other furniture
* Doors

This is just one room of the Mind Palace and we don't have a name for it yet. We've been calling it "The Therapy Room", knowing full well that's not necessarily what I want to accomplish with it. (I think I want to do things in it that aren't actually therapy. Hence the arrangement that I can walk in on Dr. L doing something casual without the intention to have a therapy session.) However, I'm going to refer to it as "the Mind Palace" with the stipulation that I just mean one room of it. I'm going to explore some more rooms later, but only once I've got this one somewhat more solidified in my mind.
morethanthese: (Default)
Also, even though no one reads my journal (or if they do, they don't say anything), and even though no one who is LIKELY to read this sort of journal is likely to make the following accusation:

I don't spend too much time in my head, and I am not disconnected from reality. I deal with my external reality on a very regular basis, and I am able to function in it perfectly well. I am perhaps a LITTLE less invested in it than I should be, but I don't think this involves a total disconnect.

The reason I seem to only talk about the things that go on in my head (that some people may very well discount as fake, crazy, imaginary, self-induced, or inconsequential) is because I'm using this space largely for that purpose. There are few times I can conveniently or safely talk about these things in my external reality (where "safely" means "without fear of being judged or viewed as different in a way that could negatively effect how people treated me"), so I use the internet. And even on some sites on the internet, I don't talk about these things because that's not how I want to typically use that particular space.

You're getting a part of my life and thoughts, not all of them. Kind of like how someone who, say, has a wine cellar doesn't necessarily subsist entirely on alcohol. Even if you've never seen any part of their dwelling other than the wine cellar, you've still only seen the part that was set aside for that particular purpose.

So yeah. I just thought it would be nice to clear that up.
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I was gone for a bit and a series of events happened.

Among other things, my facets returned (well, some of them did - two new ones appeared, too). They stayed for a while and while they're apparently/probably all here, the most-recently appearing facet (and the only one who was not in my system in any way until now) seems to have become the main facet now.

He calls himself Dr. L and he's a psychologist. He identifies himself as a part of my mind (specifically my capacity for reason and solving my own problems and helping myself) that has been given (by me, or so was the implication) the ability to talk to me as though it were another person.

We've been having "sessions" after a fashion in a room in what I call my Mind Palace (that is, I imagine I'm in a particular place, and he's there too, and we talk in it whenever I need to go over something and it can't be done when he's just a voice in my head). We're currently in the process of exploring my Mind Palace. If/when I make more posts, I'll post about that.

Also, I'm writing another novel and I might post about that as well. And I've gotten into the TV show Hannibal, which I would say is giving me a crisis (much like OFF did) but it's not causing me any sort of distress, so I can't properly call it a crisis. It's interesting though. (And for those who are wondering - yes, Dr. L has modeled himself after Dr. Lecter. But he claims he isn't actually Hannibal Lecter but has merely taken on "the accidents of Dr. Lecter" - he's using "accidents" in the sense of "the physical aspects of that don't inherently make the thing what it is".)

So yeah. That's happening. That's what I might talk about if I continue to talk about things.
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My dad and sister were at a swim meet between 11 and 5, and I had the house all to myself. I thought, a bit sadly, "Six hours all to myself, and I'm going to spend them on the internet."

This turned out not to be the case. I went on a very productive series of errands with my aunt - the one with the kids - in which I got hamster food that I noticed I needed earlier today and a whole bunch of presents I'm going to give to my queerplatonic partner for her birthday. (I'm putting loads of stuff in a box and giving it to her. Inspired by something the best friend of a friend of mine did.)

I am having inordinate amounts of fun putting her presents in the box. Here's the thing: I think everyone has some fairly random, very specific thing that gives them great pleasure, and mine is selecting enjoyable things to put in containers and figuring out how they should all fit together. Like I really really enjoy that. So I'm having a brilliant time filling Sofya's box full of stuff and arranging it all.

I'm so glad my day turned out the way it did. It was a little crummy and stressful earlier (I had to facilitate some communication at church, and I was worried my dad would be upset about something), but it got much better. I find that, much of the time, days that start awfully for me turn out much better, and this was one such day.
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So I found a post on Tumblr about how to visualize one's "mind palace" (here's a link) and I decided to give it a try.

I'm getting the impression my mind palace is actually a bunch of connected locations. I visualized two of them today. One of them is the Art Room, which is blue and brown and gold and has one wall that's all books and another wall that's fleur-de-lys wallpaper, and in one corner is a desk with art supplies and a lamp and in another is a giant grand piano at which I can sit down and play absolutely anything. There's pillows and blankets and a table in the middle, and at one end is that sort of thing where it's like a bench with cushions but there's a window. The window looks out on a sort of overcast beach, the kind they have in Northern California. (I've been on a number of vacations that took me for short spans of time to the shores of Northern California, and they were really really nice wow and that's probably how that happened.)

The post suggested putting someone in your mind palace - a fictional character you connect to, or someone of your own making, someone who helps you fulfill the purpose of the mind palace - and there weren't any fictional characters who were really doing it for me, so I visualized someone who looks kind of like a character of mine called J but who isn't him. (He hasn't got a proper name but I got the distinct sensation that it's appropriate to call him "Ghost".) I drew the room and Ghost specifically, and on the drawing of him, I wrote, "He looks like a composite of different musician. Hair like he's from the Smiths, nose like he's from the Who, cheekbones like David Bowie, dresses like he's from Nirvana". He plays the piano, and something about him makes me with of Masada from Yume Nikki.

The other place was the Beach, which is the beach I can see from outside the Art Room. It's as I described previously, and I walked along it for a while. I've had dreams of the Beach before, so it was easy for me to visualize it. I don't remember how I got from the Art Room to the Beach - it's like in movies, how there's just a cut to another scene, or dreams, where you find yourself somewhere and you don't remember how you got there.

I'm going to be exploring more of it soon.
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I would like to go on the record to say that I do not deserve my queerplatonic partner.

If you're like me and you treat a person the way I treat my queerplatonic partner, you don't deserve that person. And I'm not saying I treat her badly. I don't. It's just...

You don't deserve someone who you view as an emotional resource. You don't deserve someone whose relationship with you you describe as symbiosis. You don't deserve someone who knows you're a narcissist. You don't deserve someone to whom you've said - and this is as near a direct quote as I can pull from my memory - "I don't have empathy, but sometimes I get attached to people and they become an extension of me, like they're something of mine, so their emotions are my emotions and any harm done to them is like, 'Don't do that to my person!'".

You bloody don't deserve someone you know views you like an animate object, who has repeatedly told you this, and whose kindness, abundant though it is, will never erase the fact that they view you and everyone else as a lesser or even just different form of life.

You don't deserve someone like that. Hell, if you're anything like I just described, you don't deserve anyone.

Yet I've described myself, and I have someone, and I do not deserve this person or anyone else, and I have someone, and I have her, and it's a strange, astounding fact of the universe that I do.
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It's been getting better, not having my facets. There are a few regards in which I'm better off now, really.

Firstly, I can take credit for everything my body does. In the past, it used to be that one of my facets would do something helpful or good and people would thank me, and I'd accept the thanks but feel bad about it because it wasn't really me, it was Martin or the Doctor or whoever. But now, since everything I do is actually done by me, I can take all the credit. I'm more accountable for everything I do, and in my case, this is a good thing.

Also, for the facets of mine who were fictives (and most of them were fictives), I can now watch/read/listen to their source material without them having problems with it. I've been listening to a lot of Welcome to Night Vale lately because I realized that Cecil didn't like it when I listened to it (something about hearing it made him really self-consciously uncomfortable, like having to stare into a mirror for twenty-five minutes and contemplate the fact that you're looking at yourself). Now that no one in my head is going to be bothered by it, I can listen to it as much as I like.

I don't have anyone in my head making silly or dumb decisions that we think is a good idea at the time but turns out not to be. I don't have to deal with disrupting my conversations or anything. I don't have to deal with anyone's thoughts infringing upon my own. Possibly best of all, all my memory is my own. I don't have to have other people's memory taking up my own memory, and I've been able to really remember things lately. My short-term memory has improved, and that's amazing, because I used to have terrible short-term memory.

You know, in a way, it's almost like being free.
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I -

Something happened recently and it's been bothering me.

My facets are gone.

I don't know what happened, but there was a certain point at which I realized they weren't in my head anymore. I began to suspect it on the sixth of this month. January 6 is Sherlock Holmes's birthday, and given that he's one of my facets, I tried to summon him to celebrate it with me (since I had already been making plans to celebrate it as the birthday of a beloved fictional character and had totally forgotten that one of the residents of my head shared this character's identity and birthday). But I couldn't wake him up. I supposed that he just didn't want to be out, so I left it at that.

But a few days after that, I realized that my head had been empty for quite some time. There was usually a sort of "background noise" of sorts when my facets were still - occasional appearances made by them, little thoughts that were their own and not mine, comments on what I was doing - and it was entirely quiet. I hadn't noticed it but I noticed it now, and I think they really are gone.

A few people to whom I explained this problem told me that maybe they hadn't "disappeared" but instead became closer to me, or are really quiet. I don't think it's the latter. I think I would still feel the presence of more people than myself in my head. I do think they've become closer to me, but it's in the sense that their personalities and skills have all merged onto my own. They're still not here. They've just become me. Becoming someone doesn't mean they're still there with you.

True, it does mean that all the things they helped me do, I can do on my own now. I can be nice without Timothy. I can be responsible without Martin. I can appreciate my family without Loki. I can speak without Cecil.

But it still isn't the same. They were sort of like friends to me, and some of the things they did actually affected the external world, and it's so weird for these presences that did things that translated into the world outside their own to just not exist anymore.

There are some good things about not having them anymore. I don't have anyone else whose existence has to go unknown to most of the people I know. I can do things on my own, like I said before. And since my brain doesn't have to be taken up with their memories and thoughts, I think there's more room for my own. (Today, I read a very short factual book about a subject that interested me. Before, I probably would have remembered and retained about a third of it. This time, I retained everything except for a few anecdotes that were difficult for me to visualize. (It also taught me an interesting thing about how I learn: whenever I read something, I play it out like a film in my head. This I knew. But apparently I learn better when the film is clearer or easier to visualize. This is likely because, when I have to refer to the information, it's easier for me to do so. This could also be why it's so hard for me to remember science facts, even though science is really interesting to me.)

I still miss them, though. They were like friends, and it's going to be hard for me. I know this would seem so, so stupid to practically anyone else, but it's a bit important to me, and while I know it's probably for the best, it's not going to be very easy. Likely I'll miss all of them dearly, and probably one-by-one. I'll probably be doing things and think, "Arthur would have come out while I was doing this thing, and we'd have enjoyed it together" or "Loki would have been so happy to see my sister so happy". I'm certain I'll find it much harder to do certain things because I don't have someone in my head to call up to help me do it.

Just because it's for the best doesn't mean it feels good.
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There's this cat that lives in my grandparents' back yard (well. She comes to the back yard for food and stuff and she's there a lot. There are a number of feral/outdoors cats where my grandparents live, and they put out food for them.) We call her Sagwa because there's this cartoon about a cat called Sagwa and she looks exactly like the cat from the cartoon.

She's taken to doing some really silly stuff lately; I just saw her run across the yard as though in search of something, stop because there wasn't anything, and run to the other side of the yard and chase her tail in circles for a bit. This makes me very happy because I'm unable to have a cat since I'm horribly allergic, and watching a cat do silly cat stuff in my grandparents' back yard is the closest I'll ever come to watching a cat of my own doing silly at stuff.
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I deserve a bit of a medal.

I sat through dinner with my family, which was okay, and I sat through after-dinner conversation, which was even more okay, because we talked about interesting and often amusing things.

But at some point, I started getting really anxious and I needed to be alone. I needed to not be around people. Maybe it's because I've sort of been around people all day, maybe it was a legit mental illness thing (I don't know anymore), but I needed to go. But I couldn't. My dad was talking, and there was zero way I could get out of the conversation. And every time I thought he was done, he wasn't, and I bravely sat through it even though my head was screaming at me and I wanted to cry and hyperventilate somewhere.

The conversation finally ended, but then my sister wanted to show us some YouTube video. Well, there was zero way I could get out of THAT, either, and I followed them and watched the video. Fortunately, it was only a minute long, but it was a minute more than I thought I could stand being around people.

Finally I got out and finally I'm here and I have no idea what's going on with me or what I'm doing. I do know that I will probably get to actually be by myself, though, so whatever's going on, I can work through it. I'm making myself a giant pot of tea, which is difficult because I've sort of lost motor control and stuff like that right now. I wish I knew why. That'd be nice.
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The other day, I found out an interesting and helpful fact about my Sherlock facet.

He is extremely good with organizing things and staying focused while doing so.

I'd spent about a full week away from home, and when I returned, I found all my presents from Christmas, still in my room in the relative disarray in which I left them. I had to put them all somewhere, and I didn't want to do it.

Then, bam, Sherlock facet comes out and takes over. He analyzed the situation, determined where to put certain things, and he put them there. He was so keen on organizing things that he straightened up and put away some objects that weren't even part of the Christmas aftermath. (For example, he cleaned up and got rid of a lot of stuff in the bathroom drawer in which I keep my toothbrush. He threw away the things in there that I didn't need and reorganized the things that I did. Likewise, he cleaned up much of what's on my desk.)

Sherlock hasn't been out for a while, but when he does come out, he's really helpful and I get a lot done.
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I talked to my queerplatonic partner about my probable narcissism. Because I've determined that I may well have narcissistic personality disorder. I've decided I'm not really going to tell many people about my narcissism, even if it's confirmed/diagnosed (which I hope it isn't; it would make getting a job really hard, I bet). Most people don't need to know, and it doesn't really help them help me or forewarn them about behaviors I might engage in, it just explains a lot of things I already do and think. (That is, my tendency to think of everything in relation to myself, my grandiose expectations of myself, which I cannot get rid of, my obsession with being noticed and appreciated, my constant need for appreciation, and of course my lack of empathy.)

I explained to her that my psychologist told me that I view people as animate objects and that said psychologist was probably correct. I see people as animate objects with needs and desires, which I often help fill due to moral obligation (because of my upbringing), but objects nonetheless. I do not really experience empathy towards people. I thought I experienced empathy towards them, but with the revelation that I might be a narcissist, I realized I just care about some people's reactions more than others. That is, sometimes, I seem like I'm genuinely interested in making people happy, but I like seeing them happy because the stimuli they produce when happy is interesting and pleasing to me. That is, I don't care about people, I care about their reactions and behaviors.

I explained this to her, telling her that I thought I experienced actual empathy towards her, but no, I just care about her reactions and stuff more than I care about other people's. When I help her when she's upset, it's not because I feel for her, it's because her being unhappy makes me personally unhappy and I would like to get rid of it.

I then explained to her that this doesn't mean that, when I offer emotional support, it's just because I'm trying to get rid of a stimulus I don't like (like why most people try to make babies stop crying). I am personally attached to her for some reason or another, so when I can to get rid of her upset, it's not just because seeing her upset annoys or bothers me, it's because I don't like seeing HER specifically upset, and it's actually related individually to her.

This led me to explain that I view her in a way that many people might consider possessive but that isn't supposed to be. I view her as MINE, as MY person. There it is, my tendency to make everything relate to me in some way. That is, if she is unhappy, it's not "I have to make this person not-unhappy", it's more like "I have to make my person not-unhappy". Like I view her as my responsibility because I like/am attached to her, but I also view her as something connected to me. It's not just because she's a person or because I like her, it's because she's MY person. Apparently she sees people in a similar way (she told me so) and this might be a common person thing, or it might be a little quirk unrelated to narcissism, or it could be something that relates to narcissism but that can also appear in otherwise non-narcissistic people.

After we got this stuff out of the way, I told her one more unpleasant thing, which was that a lot of the time, I view her emotional support as a resource that I can easily get when I want it or need it. I'm not trying to manipulate her or anything, I just recognize that when I am unhappy and want emotional support form another person, her emotional support tends to work for me, and it is relatively easy for me to get it. I didn't really have a good defense for this, but I justified it by saying that it's like a mutualistic symbiotic relationship, where both parties benefit from each other in some way. She's a resource of emotional support, and she's told me before that she likes me and I'm apparently beneficial to her (I don't even remember how, which is unusual, me not remembering information that relates to myself). Furthermore, there's a sense of respect and attachment between us that transcends a mere symbiotic relationship, and then I became an awkward mess of words trying to explain what it was exactly between us. I'm rubbish at explaining emotions and stuff, I really am.

She was apparently okay, though, with how my probable narcissism factors into our relationship and the things I do and how I perceive and treat her. She thanked me for telling her, and I told her she deserved to know.

I'm really glad this person is my queerplatonic partner because I'm pretty sure I don't know anyone else who would be a tenth as okay with hearing someone say they view them as an animate object with needs and desires and that they look after their emotions not out of empathy but because they do not like that that particular reason is upset and that most of this is all because they view the person as THEIR person, in a possessive/self-related sense, and that this is all basically a big symbiotic relationship like in biology.
morethanthese: (Default)
Hello. It's 2014 now. 2013 was a total sod, so I'm glad that 2014 is happening now. I started 2014 by watching "The Time of the Doctor" (the Doctor Who episode where Eleven regenerates - I hadn't seen it yet, hadn't had the chance) and I think the Doctor's views towards regenerating were pretty good for me to know. He said it was okay to become a new person, because that's how life is, as long as you don't forget who you were in the past. Maybe this year I'll become a new person. I'll become someone who's not a whiny self-pitying sod with a god complex and a co-dependent need to identify with whatever group of person is easiest for me to be part of. That would be nice.

Now, today started out brilliant (I drank three wineglasses full of tea, did a fiction submission, watched Doctor Who with my Aunt Dee-Dee, Uncle Gary, and Becky - my sister and I spent the night at our aunt and uncle's on New Years Eve - I ate a waffle with whipped cream for lunch), and then I...well, I went home to talk to my dad about things (namely how I was going to my grandparents' house today to spend the night - I'd had his permission). I didn't make him angry per se, but I did do something that got an irritated reaction from him and he's not listening to things that my sister and aunt are saying, by which I mean he's misinterpreting them through not properly hearing or comprehending some things they're saying. It's not a big deal (well, not to me, because I'm not at my house right now) but it is business as usual for me, and I don't like that this is business as usual, especially since, for most of the end of December, it wasn't business as usual and I just wish it weren't business as usual.

I'm at my grandparents' house and I'm going to sleep here and I'm just avoiding things now.

I had a conversation with my aunt Suzanne wherein she suggested that I might be a miracle - that is, my very existence might be a miracle, much like, say, in Doctor Who, some of the characters' very existences are time paradoxes - because I'm able to do a lot of things that I simply shouldn't be able to do. (I pick up skills and become good at them in a ridiculously short amount of time, I can do most of my school by getting by on BS skills, I do a number of disordered behaviors that I should have repercussions for but don't). I didn't feel comfortable with that because 1. I don't believe legit God-given miracles are very common and not lengthy enough events to cover the lifetime - no, the existence - of another person, and 2. the only person whose existence I believe was a literal miracle was Jesus Christ, and...well, I do not think it is my place to be put on a comparable level to that of the savior of mankind and all.

It's a real shame I had to refute the idea that my existence is a miracle (as in, a literal one, not a figurative one - not like how Gamzee calls things miracles or anything). I refuted it on basis of the fact that I don't think real miracles work like that. It would be really nice to let someone think I am a literal miracle, but you can't think things based on how nice they seem on a metaphorical level. You can't treat metaphors like they're reality.

No one had ever called me a miracle before and now I'm sad I had to explain to her that I wasn't.

I apologize for how rambly this thing was. Due to anxiety due to the thing with my father, I took one of my anti-anxiety pills, and they calm me down but they make my head go all funny, and yeah.


Dec. 28th, 2013 01:13 pm
morethanthese: (Default)
Every so often, my brain undergoes a "reset" about certain information. It tends to be following some sort of trauma or negative experience, and the information tends to be at least tangentially related to the bad thing that happened. "Reset" might perhaps be the wrong word, as I don't forget that things exist, but I do fail to understand them personally anymore. After graduating from my old school (probably the most traumatic thing I've ever had to endure), I underwent a reset about empathy. This was rather difficult and I've still had trouble getting my ability to empathize back. Sometime after my mother died, I inexplicably underwent a reset about hugging - that is, I forgot how to properly give people hugs. (The fact that I am touch aversive does not help matters.)

This year, I underwent a reset about Christmas. I remembered what Christmas was, its history and meaning (that is, an observation and celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ), and how people celebrate it in my country (that is, with Christmas trees and presents and hanging up stockings). But it was the customs I failed to understand on a personal level. I saw everything as though I were not a foreigner who didn't celebrate Christmas so much as an alien who didn't even understand holidays.

If you think about it, a lot of things we do at Christmas are a bit strange. We put socks near our fireplaces, we put trees in our house, we put decorations on the tree, we put lights on the tree, we put lights on our houses, we put lights on many things, we sing songs we don't sing any other time of year, we give people presents regardless of whether or not we like them and we expect the same of them. I have a penchant for realizing the strangeness in things everyone else takes for granted, and this year, this penchant extended to Christmas.

I watched The Nightmare Before Christmas this year (I couldn't remember the last time I'd seen it since then), and I related perfectly to Jack Skellington in Christmastown singing "What's This". I was delightfully puzzled by the things we do for Christmas and how we seem to do them in mass numbers, like some madness takes us all in December and we act upon it. It wasn't a bad thing. I actually really liked it, because like Jack Skellington, I was discovering something new and being perfectly enchanted by it. I like Christmas and I always have, and it was strangely enjoyable to do all these things that didn't make sense to me but that were fun nonetheless.

Around the time Christmas Day rolled around, I had fully internalized the Christmas traditions we collectively do, and I thought they were "normal" enough for me to have a normal Christmas with everyone else.

Well, I thought I was having a normal Christmas. My dad and sister and I opened presents on Christmas morning, like we've done in years past, and we went to our Aunt Suzanne's house to meet with other family members like we've done in years past. It all felt normal, and since I couldn't really remember what other Christmases felt like, I went along with it.

However, when we came home, my dad told us that, since this is our first Christmas without our mother, we don't really know what a "normal" Christmas is like, so we did our best under the circumstances, and we did pretty well.

I agree with him that we did well, but with that statement, I understood why I had undergone a reset about Christmas. I understood why I didn't personally understand Christmas traditions and why my memory had purged itself of the feelings of Christmases past and why I didn't recall what a normal Christmas was. It was the same reason people's memories often purge themselves of traumatic incidents. It was a self-defense mechanism.

It was because, if I had remembered, I would remember that my mother wasn't around for this Christmas, and given that she was always so involved with us during this holiday, I wouldn't have been able to deal with that.

I spent the rest of the night (not that there was a whole lot of it) feeling kind of traumatized and not actually covering myself with a blanket and rocking back and forth in the corner but definitely feeling like that on the inside. I stayed like this long after my family had gone to bed (I often stay up later than them, and I don't know why), and after a while, I realized I had to go to bed, too, despite the fact that my feelings hadn't gone away.

It was a shame. It really was. Because I had enjoyed my confusion over Christmas until then. It made the holiday season whimsical and interesting, and on Christmas Day itself, I had to go and realize it was for a very unhappy reason.
morethanthese: (Default)
Soooo, I suspect you all want to know how it worked out yesterday, asking that friend of mine to be my queerplatonic partner and whether or not I thought it was a good idea. Well, no, that's silly; no one reads these, so naturally no one really cares, but! I'm going to talk about it anyway!

I thought I wasn't going to be able to do it, but I did it! It would have been very difficult for me to say it verbally, but fortunately, shortly before I decided to ask her, we got each other holiday presents at the Barnes and Noble we were hanging out at, and she gave me a notebook. We were sitting together and I was writing in the notebook (working on my novel) and she was reading Les Miserables, and I realized I could just write out my proposal on paper.

I tore out a page; she didn't notice. I started writing on it; she didn't notice. I wrote frantically and shakily and breathing became increasingly difficult and for the first time in my life, I knew what it was like to feel one's heart beating harder and faster; she didn't notice.

I put it in front of her, and when I tapped her book with the pen, she finally noticed. I told her to read the thing I wrote. She set down the book and read it. The panic was gone somewhat, because getting the words out was the worst part. She read it, and she got to the end. At the end, after I had explained once again what queerplatonicism was, I asked her whether or not she wanted to be my queerplatonic partner, with "y/n" written at the bottom. She gave it back to me with "y" circled.

A high-five ensued, as did a little conversation about it. I explained that I'd been stressing out over it previously and that my nervousness today was the explanation for some unusual behavior previously. We then made some jokes about the new status of our relationship (one of them including her saying, "Relationship upgrade accomplished"), and we went back to doing what we were doing.

It worked. I decided it was the advisable thing to do in the end, she said yes, and now we describe our relationship in a new way, and everything's good. Two days before Christmas, I got a queerplatonic partner, and I suspect that's as good a Christmas present as any.

I'm legitimately happy.
morethanthese: (off)
On Saturday, we - by which I mean my sister, cousin Hannah, and I - did something with our grandma which we now call "Gramie Day". (Gramie is what we call our grandma.) We used to call it "the Black Friday Thing", but we don't really do it on Black Friday anymore. What it is is our grandma takes the three of us shopping for stuff sometime between Black Friday and Christmas and, while she's at it, takes us out to lunch and to see a movie. It's a really fun thing and we do it every year and it's fantastic.

This is the first time we called it Gramie Day. I came up with the term (and I may or may not have modeled it after "Birling Day" as in from Cabin Pressure whoops that's exactly what I did). My Arthur Shappey facet was all excited and he kept singing "Get Dressed, You Merry Gentlemen" and "Happy Birling Day To Us" but with "Gramie" replacing the words "Christmas" and "Birling" respectively. Loki was also out for a bit, because Becky was there and it makes him happy to see her happy. Also, Charlie was out when I went to certain shops because there were things he liked. (Mostly it was in the Disney Store and this shop that sold Japanese/anime-type stuff because he likes those sorts of things.) The facets don't come into this story much, though.

Anyway, what happened was this. Gramie picked us up (and brought Hannah with her) and we started off doing a few errands Becky and I needed to do, then going off for the fun stuff. We went to a shop where Hannah and Becky got some dresses and shirts and stuff and where I got a sweater that basically looks like the off-white cable-knit jumper John from BBC Sherlock wears, only it's burgundy. (Even Becky, who told me, "You don't need any more sweaters!" was pleased.) We then did some Christmas shopping for other people/ourselves. Funnily enough, I got a Christmas present for my four-year-old cousin at Hot Topic, of all places. It was a My Little Pony grab bag type thing, where you open up the bag and it has a random My Little Pony figurine in it. I figured my Ponies-obsessed little cousin would like it. I got a similar thing for myself, only mine contained a Lego-like version of one of the eleven Doctors.

I don't remember what Becky and Hannah got after that, but I got three boxes of tea and a black plaid flannel shirt. It looks really nice with the jumper and I'm actually wearing them together even as I type. I also wore them together when we went to lunch, immediately after leaving the shop at which I got the shirt. I imagine Becky and Hannah were a tad embarrassed by my changing out of the shirt I'd previously been wearing, while I sat in the front seat, with everyone around able to see me. But I didn't care.

It was at lunch that I opened up my Doctor Who thing. I'd purposefully been saving it because I knew it would be more exciting if I waited. And this was correct. It was more exciting for my having waited. The Doctor I got was the First Doctor, which was pretty awesome. I set him on the table and immediately pulled out a Lego Bilbo Baggins I'd acquired the previous day. (It's a keychain, actually, but for all intents and purposes, it's Lego Bilbo Baggins.) I started playing with them; I've decided that Bilbo Baggins was walking along in the Shire one day when he found a strange blue box that contained a man who Bilbo thought could be a wizard, though he'd never seen a wizard wear such strange clothes. The man in the box decided that Bilbo had seen his box and therefore knew too much and had to be kidnapped like he kidnapped those two teachers who followed his granddaughter home. They later ended up finding a planet made entirely of tea. Then our food came and I had to eat like a civilized person who doesn't play with Legos at the table whilst being a college student.

We had to take Hannah home soon thereafter, but my grandma still wanted to have fun with Becky and me. She asked us if there was a movie we wanted to see. The conclusion was reached that she would take us to see Catching Fire, a decision that both Becky and I questioned (an old grandma seeing The Hunger Games when she can barely stand some of the content of Les Miserables? When she hasn't even seen or read the first one?) Well, she took us there, and on the way, we summarized the plot of the first book/movie. She seemed to follow pretty well (sometimes she doesn't), and we got to the theater. The film had already started but it wasn't too far along, and Gramie kept up fairly well. It was Becky's third time seeing the film and my second. Gramie didn't like some of the violence, but she liked the characters and story, and she told us that she wants to see the third Hunger Games movie when it comes out. We have corrupted her into liking the Hunger Games. Ehehehehe yesssss.

I spent most of today at my grandparents' house. Mostly I helped them put up Christmas decorations (my family's been so behind this year) and did chores for them. I like doing those things, actually. I like helping my grandparents. I also spent a lot of time writing (I got my typical 1000 words in!) and playing Ib. It's an RPG Maker game and it's pretty scary (or at least it makes me jump a lot) but I like playing it. I have to play it in broad daylight when no one's around me, though, and I could achieve these things in a back room at my grandparents' house. I think I'm becoming an RPG Maker game fan. I've only played two RPG Maker games before Ib (they were Pom Gets Wi-Fi and OFF) but I like the format of these games, and I got people on Tumblr to recommend some games, and I have many of them downloaded on my computer. When I'm done with Ib, I'm going to play Yume Nikki.

Tomorrow, I'm going to...well, I'm going to do a bit of an interesting, exciting thing. First, a bit of backstory: I've got this friend who's been my friend for about two years now, I think (though I've technically known her a lot longer). She's the only person from my old school I still talk to (and leaving my old school and the friends I had there...well, let's just say it's probably the most traumatic thing I've ever experienced and I've experienced a few other things in life.) She came into my life during a very important part of it, and I think that's part of what makes our relationship so amazing.

At the time I met her, I was questioning my sexual/romantic orientation for what has so far been the last time. I used to think I was a panromantic asexual; a series of events made me realize that I was really an aromantic in denial, and I now realize I am (at least for now) an aromantic asexual. Discovering what aromanticism was really like, I discovered some of the terms associated, such as "queerplatonic partner". I have always liked the concept and I've sort of wished I had a queerplatonic partner, but I understand queerplatonicism about as much as I understand love - that is, hardly.

But. Uh. I think if I were to have a queerplatonic partner, I'd want it to be her. And since I'm seeing her tomorrow, I think I'm going to ask her to be mine. I, uh, I'm actually really very nervous about this not because I'm afraid she'll say no (I'm reasonably sure she'd say yes, though the last time I thought someone would say yes to this sort of thing, they said no and that's a story I might tell in the future). It's because I'm not sure this is a good idea. What if it doesn't work? What if we were better as friends and that does something bad to our relationship? What if we break up and - oh, I don't know, a bunch of bad situations. (This is what living with general anxiety disorder does to you, I suppose.)

I shouldn't be scared at all. I shouldn't be nervous. And I definitely shouldn't be contemplating taking one of my anxiety pills because of this. I'm not going to take a pill. But I'm going to have trouble asking her tomorrow, certainly.

My Eleven facet came out once he noticed I was freaking out inside my head, and he asked me what was wrong. He thought he could help. I explained. He realized he couldn't help me with this and he proceeded to run around headspace, yelling and waving his hands and knocking into stuff. That was actually pretty entertaining.

Well, everything's alright for the time being. I did something fun yesterday! And I'm going to do something exciting tomorrow! That'll probably be good. Yes. Good.
morethanthese: (Default)
I've been having these really bizarre moments of self-awareness lately. And it's not pleasant self-awareness. It's the sort of thing where you realize that you exist and everything you're doing and have done have happened to an actual person and that person is you and everything gets existential for a bit and you can't quite get over it for a while.

The first incident was on Tuesday. It was night, and I was at my grandparents' house like I usually am on Tuesday nights. My grandparents were asleep, and I went to the bathroom and noticed myself in the mirror. Maybe it's because they have a lot of mirrors in their bathrooms so I saw myself reflected more times there than I'd see myself reflected in most bathrooms, but I saw myself in the mirror and thought, "This is me. This is the body I pilot. I am looking at a human's body, and it is my own. It is the one associated with me. This is me. I see actually me in the mirror." And it was one of those moments and I had to leave the room and just sort of calm down for a bit.

The second incident was on Wednesday. I was in a bathroom again and I saw myself in a mirror again, and the same thing happened. Not quite as intensely, but it happened.

The third incident was on Thursday. I was trying to wake up my Arthur Shappey facet, because we were finally going to do a "cookie party" at my aunt and uncle's house that I had promised Arthur we'd do (he likes Christmas and I asked him if he wanted to do "Christmas stuff" with me, and this was the most appealing "Christmas thing"). He was sort of there but not entirely, and I wanted him to be there to enjoy it, but it just wasn't working. And then I realized how weird it is I have people in my head and how they're not really associated with my body, they're associated with my mind. And it was just so weird and I realized the surreality and weird layer of existence associated with them.

There was a bit more about Thursday than just that, though. It was also on Thursday that I realized, after two days of writing-related difficulty, that my characters didn't feel real to me and never quite had. There's a certain extent to which I'm willing to stretch my definition of "reality". I accept the world around me as real in the sense of physical reality. I accept the things in my head, like my facets, as reality in my head - you might call it head-reality. I accept religious things like God and angels as real in not just a physical sense (in that they are things that exist not just in my head) but also in a surpassingly-physical sense - like a super-reality, one might say. I accept stories and fiction as reality in their own contexts - not like I actually think things like A Wrinkle in Time or The Great Gatsby or Doctor Who happened with real people, but I accept them as having a sort of continuity that makes them "real" in their own contexts. There's different kinds of real.

Anyway, I'd been having trouble with my writing. I didn't feel motivated to write, and I didn't care about the story. I kept productive during those two days by writing some details about one character's backstory (or rather, things he did before the story's start) that would help me further the story's point if they actually appeared in the story, but I don't think I'm going to be able to conveniently work them into the story. I don't think that's what made me come to my realization, but I did realize that I hadn't been able to see my characters as real. I was invested in them and their relationships, but I didn't feel like they were real. I didn't believe in them. And as a writer, you have to believe in your characters and you have to think they're real on some level. It just wasn't working for me.

I told all my grandpa about this today while I was hanging out with him. He asked me how I was going to deal with it. I thought about it for a moment and said, "I'm going to stay away from mirrors." He laughed. I went on.

"I think I'm going to dissociate for a bit," I said. "I live in pretty much a constant state of dissociation - just doing things and not really thinking that it's me who's doing them. Just doing them. I think the reason other people don't think about these things like I do is because they're busy doing their own lives and not thinking about the fact that they're the ones doing them, that they're actually them, doing things in their bodies, in this reality. So I'm going to distance myself from the fact that I exist and just think about other stuff. Which is kind of the exact opposite of my problem. It's kind of ironic."

(My grandpa thought this was all quite interesting, and he said something to the effect that this is why he likes talking to me. We can get curiously philosophical together.)

That's been my experience with realizing that I'm real and that I exist and I pilot a body in the physical world and weird stuff like that. Interesting stuff to think about, as long as you don't have to think about it for too long.

My day

Dec. 20th, 2013 09:27 pm
morethanthese: (Default)
Today, I got a Christmas tree with my grandpa, did chores for my grandma, learned what to do when I want to have a nice, relaxing time at my grandparents and young cousins won't let me because they're loud (I barricade myself in the room I sleep in at their house, that room without internet), did some unexpected Christmas shopping, got some rad stuff for my cousins and figured out what I'm going to give Ashley and Rebecca, got a small Lego Bilbo Baggins on a keychain for myself, started playing Ib, and opened the contents of a Christmas cracker that one of my dad's employees gave him.

It's been a cool day.
morethanthese: (Default)
I just got back from a dinner with my family. My dad brought home tacos as well as some food his music students gave him. My Aunt Suzanne was there and my dad told us interesting and awesome stories about his childhood and his adventures as a professional musician.

Before that, I was at an event at my library where they showed The Nightmare Before Christmas for the teenagers (I go to many of the teen events despite being in my second year of college; no one needs to know how old I am). I'd seen the movie a few times before but it had been years since I last saw it and wow was I struck with how it works on a really deep symbolic, almost allegorical, level. I might write a review of it where I explain that. But watching it was a really enjoyable experience.

Tomorrow, I'm going to a "cookie party" with my sister at my aunt and uncle's house. My aunt's not going to be there, but my uncle is. My uncle's fantastic. He's a really funny guy and he appreciates everything my sister and I say. We're going to make Christmas cookies, and I've announced my intent to make "gingerbread Doctors" - that is, I'm going to decorate gingerbread men so they resemble various versions of the Doctor. Then we're going Christmas shopping together.

The day after, I might do some more Christmas things with my aunt Suzanne. If we do stuff, we're going to get a Christmas tree for her house and we're going to wrap some presents and quite likely do some other stuff. Also, my dad confirmed that we're getting a Christmas tree this year. I thought at first that we weren't getting a tree, but we're getting one! I don’t know when, but we're getting it! And we get to decorate it! (Sorry, this makes me really happy. It doesn't feel like Christmas until you’ve got the tree, and we're actually going to have one this year, when I thought we wouldn't!)

It's finally beginning to feel like Christmas, and stuff's going well with my family, and this is essentially all I need out of life right now.


morethanthese: (Default)

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