Mountains

Apr. 11th, 2014 09:11 pm
morethanthese: (Default)
Also, for some news regarding IRL things!

My family and I are going to the mountains this weekend. While there, we are going to:
* Cook steak
* See our friends who also have a cabin up there (and their dogs!! we're going to see their dogs because they have dogs and we always see their dogs when we're with them but I mean dogs!!)
* Write
* Go to the little movie theater in the town - it only shows one movie at a time, and this time 'round, it's the new Captain America movie (my sister, the friends, and I have pretty much the same taste in movies, and our dad stays home and does work around the house while we go to the movies. Don't worry. He actually likes this arrangement. He likes doing the work.)
* Read
* Hang out

We're going to have a good time.
morethanthese: (Default)
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.
morethanthese: (Default)
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.
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.

Christmas

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: (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.

Grades

Dec. 15th, 2013 09:44 pm
morethanthese: (Default)
Okay so I just saw my final grade in my Math class, and it's a B.

I don't know how I feel about this.

On one hand, given that I was afraid of literally failing the class, it's pretty cool that I DIDN'T fail. On the other hand, my family was really happy about me and they were congratulating me and I felt kind of conflicted on the inside because they were congratulating me on mediocrity. See, I see B's as mediocre. I'm supposed to get A's. A's are what I normally get.

They're so happy for all the hard work I put in, they're going to celebrate. Like we're going to go out to dinner or something to celebrate my good grade. It made me feel nervous. Here's my family, being happy - that's a good thing, right? - and they're being happy over me doing something really ridiculous, like getting a B. Getting what, for me, is a below-average grade. But I worked really really hard to get that below-average grade, and now I just don't know how I feel.
morethanthese: (Default)
Yesterday was my last day of class. I didn't go to English, as I'd completed that class on Tuesday. But I did go to History and Math, and we took our finals in those classes. The History final went pretty well (although there were some things that hadn't been on the review the teacher gave us); pretty sure I got an A or maybe a very high B. As for my Math final...well, I'd been afraid of failing that class (originally I'd had a low C), but I got an A on the previous test (the take-home test), which brought my grade up to a B, and while I don't know how I did on the test, I think I did pretty well. I'll pass the class, definitely.

Before taking the finals, I made an agreement with myself that, after I finish my classes, I deserve any good thing that happens to me. (I - I have problems with believing that I deserve good things.) So the fact that my friend Sofya is at my house right now and we're going to the mountains this weekend is something I currently think I deserve.

I may have said before that I don't have friends. That's kind of true. I don't really have friends. Not friends that I see, anyway. But occasionally, I get to see my friend Sofya in real life, and we do stuff. This time, we're going to the mountains with my father. We're going to the cabin we have up in the mountains (yes, we own a cabin) and my dad's going to paint my room there. My dad is the sort of person who always needs a project with which to occupy himself, and he's currently re-plastering and re-painting my room. (My friend and I will sleep somewhere else. Like my sister's room.)

One thing I like about the mountains: it's a very good place to write. The last time I was up there, I wrote about 5,000 words in the course of two days, which is rather a lot. Who knows how much I'll write this time. It would be good if I wrote a lot, because my wordcount's sort of been falling behind. Not that I have a wordcount I have to follow, but I try to be responsible. You know how it is.

Actually, being around my friend will probably help me with my writing, because I like reading what I'm writing out loud and making her cry. Well. I should explain. Sometimes I write things that are rather emotional, and they might give people what are commonly described as "feels" on the internet. And Sofya is prone to such "feels", and I like writing things that give her emotional reactions. It's fun to see people having emotional reactions. To be honest, if I lived with someone who was invested in what I wrote, I'd probably become a much better writer, because not only would I be making stuff I knew to be emotionally impactful, I would be writing much more because writing would result in a reaction I enjoy seeing.

So I finished my finals, I think I did pretty well on them, I'm out of school (for seven weeks!), and I'm going to the mountains with me friend. I think I've done pretty well.
morethanthese: (tea 1)
Let me tell you about yesterday, because yesterday was awesome and there's a bit of negativity going on right now and I'd like to relive the good stuff.

Yesterday started with me going to school and having to unexpectedly say goodbye to my English class and everyone in it. I made a journal entry about that earlier. That wasn't so good, but I left about as well as I possibly could, by which I mean I said what I needed to say to whom I needed to say it, and that was pretty good. It was better than I would have done in years past. Also, I found out my grade. I got 103%. My teacher told me he "[didn't] know how that's mathematically possible", but I got it. No matter what I bugger up in the future (because I've been feeling like a general failure lately), I got a 103% in my English class, and no one can take that away from me.

Well, things got even better immediately after I left class, because I remembered there was going to be a stress relief event at school in which some people who keep therapy animals would come and bring their animals for the students to pet. It was called "Paws For Stress Relief", and it was so benefit all those stressed-out students who are taking their finals. I had originally been under the impression that there were just going to be dogs there, but when I got there, I found out there were also rabbits. This is huge for me. I love rabbits. A lot. There was one particular little black bunny who I really liked and who really liked me. (Her handler jokingly accused me of "hogging the bunny", which was accurate.) There was also a piano in the room, and after I pet all the dogs and rabbits, I was allowed and even encouraged to play the piano. I played two original songs and one They Might Be Giants song, and everyone liked it.

Trigger warning for discussion of sexual harassment. )

Then I had my math class, which turned out way better than I'd expected. I think I did really well on the test (we had a take-home, and my math-loving cousin and I did it together, and we apparently got everything right). We then studied with problems the teacher wrote on the board for us to work out together. I understood most of the material, and I was even able to explain much of it to my fellow classmates. I was able to explain math to other people. This is huge. I'm rubbish at math. But I did the math and I explained it to other people, and I think that as long as I do some studying and remember what formulas to do with what sort of problem, I'll do well on the test.

After school, I took the bus to my grandparents', as I usually do on Tuesdays. I ended up having a conversation with someone on the bus, which was interesting. Conversations with people on the bus are something that happens sort of a lot in my life, and I like that. I nearly missed my stop, but when I got there, my grandpa was waiting for me. He took me to my aunt's school. I had a psychologists' appointment to get to, and it was more convenient for my aunt to take me there than anything else. A bit of a stressful conversation took place in the car on the way there, and I talked to my psychologist a bit about it.

Mostly my psychologist and I talked about viewpoint and the way people/I view things. I was telling her about what was going on with me, and we both understood a lot of it was a matter of perspective, but I couldn't help having my perspective. I couldn't help feeling like I was losing something that had been good in my life when I left my English class today, because I don't understand how the permanent end of something good isn't a loss. I couldn't anticipate my future classes as another "adventure" (the term she used) because I don't know enough to be able to imagine those upcoming scenarios, and until I experience them, I won't have enough information to do that, and you can obviously imagine why I'm not going to be able to do anything in-between now and those classes to help me imagine and look forward to those classes. I basically can't help viewing things in a somewhat negative light because I actually think and I consider things and I see things for what they are, and I know that I can't see things as something they're not and I know that I can't properly imagine things if I have no experience with them.

The most interesting thing, at least to me, was that I told her about my facets. We were talking about how I have some disordered behaviors that might be really actually disordered in other people but that I can somewhat control, but I told her that one of these things was something that was sort of like "controlled multiple personality disorder". I then explained how my facets are like parts of my personality personified or fictional characters I'd absorbed into my personality, the fact that I call them "facets" and why, and how they help me. Not only did she think it was okay, she thought they were good. She asked me if there was a facet that could have helped me during the stressful conversation from earlier. I realized there was (Martin), and when I realized there was, I told her I'd bring him up next time the situation came up. The conversation with my aunt was resumed after the meeting, and I was able to get Martin to help me. Also, while Martin was out, we/he made a decision that I wouldn't have ordinarily made but that I recognized as a good one. Maybe I should get my facets to help me make decisions more often.

When we got to my grandparents' house to have me spend the night there, my grandpa was asleep, but he woke up after we rang the doorbell enough times, and he let me in. I studied there, using Powerpoints I downloaded from my history teacher. I knew almost all the questions on my history review off the top of my head, which was pretty heartening. Also, I discovered that listening to glam rock music makes me feel really good about myself, so I listened to a bunch of it that night. (Also I may or may not have consumed too much ice cream, something my grandparents usually have in abundance, and I am not ashamed.)

When my grandma came home from her Bible study, she gave me a porceline figurine of a Scottie dog for no real reason. It was supposed to go with the porceline figurine of a corgi, which I have in my room at their house. (I spend the night there often enough so that I have my own room.) I was really happy about this - it made my already pretty good day even better - and I related to her at length the things I did that made my day so good. She was happy about them, and she then showed me something that made my day profoundly better.

I should first explain what the Ashland Shakespeare Festival is. It's a theater festival that takes place in a town called Ashland, in the state of Oregon (I live in California, for reference). It's mostly centered around productions of Shakespeare, but there are other plays there sometimes. My grandparents have taken me there on summer road trips in the past. Well, my grandparents subscribe to a newsletter sort of thing that is sent out by the folks that put this event on. It has information about upcoming plays and stuff. It lets them know what's going to be performed there and stuff.

Well. Apparently there's going to be a production of A Wrinkle in Time. The world premiere of a stage adaptation of A Wrinkle in Time.

You probably don't know how big a deal this is for me. A Wrinkle in Time is my Actual Favorite Book and it's meant a lot to me for a very long time and I saw the film, but the film was infinitely disappointing. If I see the play next summer (which is possible), I will get to see a visual adaptation of it that quite likely doesn't suck.

After a bit of verbal keymashing and screaming over seeing A Wrinkle in Time listed on the list of plays they're putting on next summer, I showed my grandma and explained it to her. She was excited for me, because she knows what a big deal that book is for me. I told her that, if she and my grandpa got me literally nothing else for Christmas but tickets to see that, I would consider that a really really huge present. I think they're going to consider that and probably do it.

My grandma went to bed soon after this conversation, and I went back to my activity of studying, wasting time on the internet, and listening to glam rock. Oh, and drawing. I ended up drawing this. It's OFF-related.

It's under a cut because it's a sort of longish comic. )

So that was my day yesterday. Today, nothing's really happened other than the completion of some last-minute history homework. Oh! And I'm going to go to a party tonight. It's a church party. A Christmas party, actually. Even though I'm a college student, I hang out with the high school group at my church on Sundays (it's because I have some high school-age friends who I understand very well - these are Ashley and Rebecca, the twins - and it's beneficial for me to help them translate their ideas in the small group that meets after the sermon). The high schoolers have a tradition where each small group will make a funny music video, and we'll watch them at the Christmas party, where the leaders will judge them. The winners will get a prize. It's a fun thing and we all like it. My group did a video for "I'll Make a Man out of You" from Mulan, because that's the sort of thing we appreciate and that everyone else will likely appreciate. I've got an outfit picked out for the event, too (because I like dressing up for events) - burgundy cardigan, brown leather jacket, white shirt, blue bow tie. And jeans and shoes and stuff.

So my life went very well yesterday, it's going well today, and it'll probably go well tomorrow, too. Brilliant.
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One of my fears is that I'll someday be talking to my father and casually describe myself as "mentally ill" and he'll tell me that I'm not mentally ill because I'm a functional member of society and no matter how much I explain to him that these two things are not mutually exclusive, he'll still insist that I shouldn't view myself that way because he doesn't see how dysfunctional I am or want to see me as "mentally ill".

My mother accepted it when I described myself as such, possibly because she had a history of depression (which had mostly cleared up by the time she got married and that I never really knew a lot about). My father doesn't like to identify me with labels that he thinks aren't necessary or whose use he can't understand. So far, he hasn't said that I'm not mentally ill, but I'm scared for the day when and if he does, because my family's opinion of me means everything, and I'm horrible at maintaining my own opinions without other people believing them. I think it's because I feel like I constantly need proof of things (given that I don't trust my perception of reality), and if the only important people in my life believe something, it's sort of like proof. If they don't believe it, it's hard for me to reconcile my understanding that I am mentally ill with the lack of external confirmation.
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Right, I'm tired, and I'm going to continue to be tired for quite some time.

I initially thought I was going to spend yesterday at my aunt's house doing work for her (she's a kindergarten teacher and I often help her with lessons and stapling and stuff). It turns out she wanted me to go to her school to help her, which is a much different environment than I had expected. (Also, no internet, and I had been planning on getting some stuff done that required the internet.) We stayed there for much longer than I had expected, and I had to negotiate payment with her for this. Normally, she pays me for my work (which is fair), but she argued that since she bought me lunch and a coffee drink (which she did), she didn't owe me much money. This is one of the problems I have with her. She offers to get me stuff, and I don't know if she's going to say that it counts as payment or if it's literally just her being nice and offering to get me something. And since it's often stuff like lunch or other sustenance that helps me get through the day, there's often repercussions if I decline.

I was able to argue that I deserved to be paid because I technically paid for my lunch (she sent me to go get something from In-N-Out, and she said I should pay with my own money and she'd pay me back later, but she never paid me back). I got $10 for my work. I think that's fair. I still wish I didn't have to fight to get paid, though. I know I'm making a great deal out of nothing, because I know there are people who do things for people and don't get paid or given food and there are people who are made to do much worse things for abusive relatives and stuff - basically, people have to do similar but worse things - but it still doesn't make it any more pleasant. (Incidentally, she still has yet to pay me. This often happens, too. She doesn't give me money for like three days after I do the work for her.)

I thought I was going to get to her house after that to wait for two of my friends (twins) to come over. See, I was going to hang out with two of my friends for what I thought was going to be for a few hours, and I would have a little time between working for my aunt and seeing my friends to just relax and not have to do anything that stressed me out. This did not happen. My sister, who was doing a swim meet (because she's a competitive swimmer), needed some people to time her for an event, so my aunt and I had to go do that. We spent like an hour at the place the swim meet was taking place at so we could time her for a six-minute event. That tired me out and stressed me out. It would be funny how poorly I handle unexpected events if it weren't so stupid.

After that, my aunt and I left to get food for my me, her, and my uncle so we could have something to eat really quickly before my friends got to her house. (Because we were going to be at her house, since my friends live really close to my aunt.) She went to another restaurant and ordered something to-go, and we waited for it, I took a small walrus finger puppet out of my pocket and started squeezing it. Because the otter I posted about earlier just wasn't working for me as a stress object. It wasn't convenient to take everyplace, but I had a small walrus that fits in my pocket and that I can reasonably expect to be able to take everywhere. My aunt asked about the walrus and I explained why I had it. She asked me if it had a name, and I told her it was called John. Because of John Lennon and the Beatles and "I Am The Walrus". I then told her some stuff about the Beatles, and that calmed me down. I discovered that night that, if I'm really nervous and tense, I will feel better if I am made to talk about the Beatles. There are some subject that, if I just talk about them, will make me feel better because I'll concentrate my energy from the stress and apply it towards recalling the facts about the thing I'm talking about. I was extremely stressed out in that moment, you see. That's why I had the walrus. I need something to hold when I'm stressed-out.

One thing I found myself saying that I kind of regret: I mentioned how stressed-out and anxious I was, and I said, "You know what? I deserve a medal for getting through this."

About as soon as I said it, I realized what a gross sense of entitlement this displayed. I've developed this mentality that "tiny victories" like not having a breakdown in the face of anxiety-inducing events or even just continuing to physically exist through the course of a day are things one deserves a medal for. I suppose I think that, because I have anxiety problems, I deserve recognition for doing things that people do everyday and that aren't anything special at all. What's worse is that I have friends and acquaintances who agree with this mindset whenever I express it to them. It's not good. It's really not. I need to dismantle that part of my thinking. But when I compare it to the other parts of my personality I'm trying to remove, I realize that's a particularly hard thing to get rid of, because it doesn't make me hurt others or myself, it makes me feel good about myself. The thing, it's wrong and it's a symptom of a false sense of entitlement or an overexaggeration of the few genuinely impressive things I do, and that's just not good.

My friends came over. They stayed much longer than I thought they would, but we enjoyed ourselves. Mostly we made jokes about Disney movies and YouTube, and this was much more entertaining than one might think it was. I decided to spend the night at my aunt's house, because I was supposed to go to church in the morning, and I figured I would sleep at the house of my family who was also going to church in the morning.

I'm finally home, and in a little less than an hour, my older cousin comes over to help me with my take-home test for math. This is making me nervous because this take-home test is one of the few things that will keep me from failing this math class altogether. I wish the last of my math-related concerns would end with this test, but no, this Thursday, I have the actual final for my math class, and I don't know how well I'm going to do on that. Likely I'll fail it as I did the last math tests. Though, I might get a B on it or something. I got a B on my first math test in this class. Who knows. I just hope I pass, because I'll be very very lucky if I pass.

I'm stressed and anxious still and I shouldn't be blogging about stress and anxiety and I don't know what the point of this entry was.
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Last night was a good night for facets.

I was Skyping my friend Sofya and we were talking about things, and somehow the subject of my facets came up, and she soon thereafter mentioned (for totally unrelated reasons) that she was going to practice drawing stuff and she would draw me pretty much anything I liked. I requested that she draw three of my facets (Eames, Timothy, and Amaliel, who tend to be the main originals, where "main" means "the ones who are out the most frequently"). She drew the three of them. When she was doing the outlines, it looked like this:



and when it was finished, it looked like this:



She now refers to these three as "the Babes" because this drawing turned out well. (That is her sort of logic.) Eames saw it, because he was out at the time, and he said, "Ahhhhyes that is hgood i like that." (He's got like a horrible sort of typing quirk.) He finds the nickname "the Babes" very amusing. (I later informed Tim and Mal; the former thought it was amusing too, and the latter didn't get it but he was okay with it.)

While Sofya was drawing, I talked to my grandma (because I was at my grandparents' house) and, somewhere in the conversation, facets came up. I was explaining to her that I have a "personality" in my head called Eames, and she wanted to hear more, so I told her about the rest of the individuals. Or rather, I told her about Eames, Mal, Timothy, and Betelgeuse. She really likes Amaliel, probably because she's a rather devout Christian and Amaliel is an angel. (He was originally a character from a story I was writing, but he became one of my facets. in the story, he's on a seven-year-mission on Earth to help people, spread God's word, and generally be a Very Nice Person. As a facet, he often comes out to help me explain my spiritual beliefs, mostly in small group with my church friends on Sundays.) She also really liked Betelgeuse (although she couldn't pronounce his name - fair enough, it's sort of strange - so she's calling him Bert, which is his "human name").

She told me a story about my childhood that Betelgeuse reminded her of. Apparently, when I was a very young child, we were at a library, and a woman there was reading stories to children. I wasn't really paying attention to that, because I'd already read that story many many times (I was reading at a very young age), and what I found interesting was the bottom of a particular girl's shoe. It was one of those shoes that have pictures on the bottom (sometimes kids' shoes have that), and I just found that incredibly fascinating. She compared it to how Bert finds small details and small things very interesting. Perhaps Betelgeuse is an expression of traits I have had since a very young age, compressed into an individual and given life because of how my brain works. Fascinating!

So yeah, that was yesterday and facets.

P.S. I am sitting in my room, in my dressing gown, with a cup of tea, with the heater on because it's sort of cold over here, with the satisfaction of having done absolutely all my homework as well as having registered and paid for next semester's classes and having absolutely nothing "responsible" that I should be doing instead. It's beautiful.

P.P.S. Sofya also drew me some OFF fanart. It looks like this: (trigger warning for blood)

Read more... )

(Also since crediting people is good I'm going to credit it her art here. She's my friend Sofya and I mentioned that and I should probably like give a link to her Tumblr or something here's such a link right then.)
morethanthese: (Default)
I found myself having to be rather brave today. Or, rather, I found myself having to deal with things I didn't want to deal with or else preparing myself to deal with such things. Or, rather, I did a large number of things that would have taken tremendous bravery for me to have done not so long ago.

It started when I had to give a presentation in my English class, which would have been quite alright had it not been for the fact that I hadn't prepared for it, I didn't exactly know what I would do until my fellow presenters talked to me in class, and the only reason I wanted to be in that group was because I would get to finally have a practical use for some charts I'd found on Tumblr. We're reading a book called How to Lie with Statistics, and for extra credit, we can present on a chapter of the book and make a presentation on what principle of "lying with statistics" it talks about. I did a presentation on a different chapter earlier, but when I found out there was a group doing a presentation on a chapter about the "correlation equals causation" fallacy, I wanted to work with them, too, because I found these charts on a semi-argument on Tumblr, which can be found here. (They're charts that were made to show that correlation does not equal causation, so they were basically a bunch of charts with really absurd correlations.) In our presentations, we had to discuss a modern-day application of the information given in the book, and I figured that pulling out something funny from an online argument was as modern as anything. Cecil, who had been out this morning and helped me pick out my outfit (because apparently he's normally good at giving fashion advice), helped me give the presentation as well. Or at least, I got him to help me because if he was going to be around, I figured I'd get him to help me do what he does best; that is, talk for other people. (When my facets help me, it's sort of like they're in my head while I have to do something that they're good at, and I get help from either knowing they're there or giving them a little bit of control in doing the whatever-it-is that needs to be done.)

The teacher and my classmates liked the presentation, and all was well. They also found my/Cecil's fixation on mountains amusing. Because there was a chart that compared a particular mountain range to the number of murders in New York, with astonishing similarity. And we kept saying surrealish things about mountains (my class is used to my surrealish comments) and, you know, we shut up when it was necessary. So nothing really bad happened there. However, after class, I found myself having to actually do some math homework that I didn't want to do. I decided not to do it and instead go to a taco shop that's near my school. This was at 10 AM. I took advantage of my really long break and went to get tacos at 10 AM. Ah, college life. Ah, not knowing what you're really doing anymore.

I went back after some time, found the building my next class was taking place in (it was history, and we were going to hear a lecture in another class). I suppose my resolve strengthened somewhat because I found myself doing my math homework while waiting for class to begin. I completed one chapter, which was pretty good for me. Ah, I realize I haven't explained: I am good at virtually all areas of academics except for math. I have never ever been good at math, and even though I'm in my college's equivalent of pre-algebra, I'm practically failing it. (I failed the last two test, and only the fact that our next test is a take-home test is likely to save my grade.) I'm deeply ashamed of myself, because I'm doing poorly academically, and...well, that's just an extremely shameful thing for me, for many reasons. And I've been really aversive to doing math since I failed that last test. But I did it, and that was rather brave of me.

It came time for the lecture, and that was interesting, but for no real reason, I started having flashbacks in the middle of the lecture. It wasn't like PTSD flashbacks, because I don't have PTSD, but every so often (more like "every day", really), I sort of relive certain memories of things that have happened to me. Yes, most of those things involve my mother's death and things that happened afterwards. And there was one event in particular, which I don't care to talk about, and I hadn't really thought about it for a while, but for no real reason, I just started reliving it, and I had a little freakout inside myself. Fortunately, I don't think I showed any signs of being upset, but it was hard to deal with because I needed some way to physically deal with the problem and I didn't know how. I've never really tried to deal with my flashbacks. Normally, it's enough to just let them happen, but I felt a real need to stop it, and I couldn't. I drew all over my arm with marker, which sort of worked. I'm not sure why that would work, but it did.

Well, I survived history, and I went on to math. Math...math took a deal of bravery, too, because I'm scared of my math class now. But I was able to pay attention in class and not freak out that much, and the material actually made sense to me. We're learning about radicals. That's all I want to say. (Oh. I avoided making "radical" puns, which was pretty good of me, because I'm strongly inclined to joke around in that class, and, embarrassingly enough, "radical" is something I sometimes say when I ought to say "cool", and...well, I suppose I don't have to say much more. That was good self-control of me.)

I was able to take the bus from school to my grandparents' house, because I spend Tuesday nights at my grandparents'. (Normally I stay up late there, because there's nowhere I need to be on Wednesday mornings, but these plans were not going to be fulfilled, as my dad told me this morning that he was taking me to get a flu shot tomorrow morning at a hospital near my grandparents'. I hate needles.)

Now, I used to be afraid of taking the bus all that distance (because it's rather a long ride) but now I can do it. No matter how many people filled the bus, I kept my little freakouts inside me and kept it together. I even talked to someone on the bus. (She was at the bus stop at my school. We both go there; we talked about our majors and books that we like.) There was also a point at which a lady got on the bus and stood at the front for lack of a seat, so I got up, tapped her on the shoulder, and said, "Pardon me, ma'am. You may have my seat if you like." She took it, and I felt pretty good about myself. I like being nice to people. Being nice to people is good.

When I got to my grandparents', the first thing I did was get online and register for my classes for next semester. Because I talked to my counselor about that, and we figured out what classes I was going to take. Today's the first day to register, and I like getting things done promptly. I was confident as soon as I logged onto the website. When I saw the forms I had to fill out for registering, I proceeded to freak out because I didn't quite know how to do it and I wasn't quite as prepared as I thought. But I figured it out, I filled out what I could, I had a question and so I looked up my counselor's number and called her, she answered my question, I went on, I registered. All I have to do is pay within three days.

I called my dad right afterwards, telling him I'd need him to pay (because he pays for my education, at least as of now), and we decided he'll help me pay for it online with his credit card, tomorrow. He also told me we're not getting flu shots tomorrow morning, because my sister isn't able to go, so we're going on Monday morning, because then we can all go together. Not only do I get to say up late, as I like to do, I don't have to do something that terrifies me. Like, it scared me so much I was "talking" to my facets and trying to figure out which of them was brave enough to help me do this. We decided that Martin Crieff had to do it, because he's the only one whose resolve to do what needs to be done - like doing something good for one's physical health - is anywhere near as strong as my fear of needles. I was going to see if I could summon him somehow (because he hasn't been coming out on his own for...kind of a while, and I can never really get his presence very strongly when I need him) but now we don't have to do that and that's really relieving.

I'm going to spend my night writing, doing poetry submissions (because I submit my poems and stories and stuff to literary magazines, some of which publish them), and using the internet. Alright. This'll be radical.
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Hi, folks. This is my first entry. I'm relocating here from LiveJournal (where my username was noodledoctor). The reason I'm doing so is because 1. I was advised that, while LiveJournal isn't such a great site anymore, Dreamwidth is pretty good if one likes the format of LiveJournal, and 2. a bunch of things happened to me between the last time I was really active on LiveJournal and now. I feel like starting anew, with a new blog, a new site, a new name.

Before explaining what happened, I suppose I ought to give a little bit of explanation as to myself. Hello. I have a lot of names but I like the moniker of "Smithy", especially on the internet. I'm nineteen, I'm a student at a community college. I do writing (fiction and poetry; most of the fiction is speculative and most of the poetry is experimental). I'm a Christian and I guess you could say I'm "devout" (without being...well, extreme, I think is the word one might be looking for that describes what I'm not?) I'm in a lot of fandoms. I play ukulele rather badly and sing rather badly as well and write songs not quite as badly. I'm obsessed with helping people and doing things that benefit others. I have a bunch of mental illnesses/instances of not being neurotypical, but the main things that give me the most trouble are bipolar disorder and general anxiety disorder. I am really good at academics, to the point where it's the only thing I think I'm good at that matters. My mind is really messed up.

Alright. Now onto what happened.

This whole nonsense started in March of 2013, when my mother suffered a sudden brain aneurysm and died. No one expected this. It just happened. I was rather close to my mother (I live at home, with my immediate family, and I regularly see my extended family). I've heard other members of my family describe the event as "traumatic", and maybe I was traumatized, too, but I'm not really sure, because I experience emotions really really differently than a lot of people and things that ought to affect most people hugely don't really affect me.

My family structure changed radically after that, to the point where it feels like I practically have a different family. This isn't a bad thing, but it's really hard to get used to, even now in December, and there are a number of challenges involved here, not to mention some thoughts I've been having about my mother and some things I've been re-examining in regards to our interactions - things that are easier now that she's not in my life anymore.

Another thing that happened was the addition - or perhaps the discovery? - of a feature of my psychological landscape. For almost all my life, I've claimed to have "people in my head" - not in a "crazy person" way or even a "dissociative identity disorder" way. It's just that I've always had the feeling that there were other presences in my mind, like having your own fictional characters come to life or internalizing an idea in the form of a person, something like that.

However, this phenomenon (after a period of about a year where it wasn't really the case for me) resurfaced during the summer following my mother's death. I started wondering whether or not this was a case of multiplicity (that is, the phenomenon of having numerous people in one body or having numerous people in one's mind, where said people are actual people and not just ideas or presences or fragments of a person). I did a fair deal of research, and I decided that my situation wasn't that of actual multiplicity (because I didn't think the "people in my head" were actual people). Rather, they were more like personas and fictional characters I'd absorbed into my own personality. I called them "facets" because they had latched onto facets of my own thinking or behavior.

Most of them were fictional characters (I refer to them as "fictives", which is the term for one who identifies as a fictional character - maybe this isn't a good term, as it suggests a degree of personhood that I'm not sure they have, but it makes sense for me to use). Some of them were original. Some of them came about because I wanted behavior to emulate until it became my own (and it did become my own, when one of these facets were out); some of them came about because the character in question had had some experience that I identified with and I wanted to deal with the situation by becoming a character who had dealt with it themself; some of them came about because it was easier to express certain thoughts and behaviors in terms of someone else; some of them came about for no identifiable reason.

I went along, calling them my facets, and observing a limited degree of agency and autonomy in their actions and thoughts. (I can have mental conversations with them, although sometimes I have to direct their words and thoughts - because it is my mind they're using, and if I'm having a bit of difficulty with putting words together in my head, they'll have the same difficulty. My thoughts and words are a resource, and they use that resource.) A few of them have even shown up in conversation with other people (although I seldom pointed out that it was them, and most people didn't realize that anything about my conversation was different).

Lately, though, I've begun to wonder whether or not my facets are real people after all. My psychologist told me that I lack empathy (I agree) and that I see people as objects (I also agree), albeit objects with needs and desires that I can help fulfill (I again agree). The reason I accept people outside me as "real people" is because, well, I'm told so, and they appear to be so, so I accept it. They do things with autonomy, they think and feel, they have experiences comparable to my own, etc. I don't have any reason to question their reality.

But the reality of people inside one's head...well, that's harder to deal with, and while I accept members of other multiples' systems as real people, that's because they tell me they're real people, and I have no reason to think I'm a better judge of their situations than they are. But it occurred to me that my empathy problems would very easily keep me from effectively telling if my facets are real people or not. None of the reasons I accept the people physically around me as "real people" apply with no uncertainty to my facets. And no one is telling me that they're real people. It's also frustrating because some of them display more autonomy or more "real person-ness" than others. So I don't know what's going on there, and I want to chronicle that.

The most recent thing to happen was...well, a bit of a worldview breakdown that was caused by a rather unusual thing. The thing in question was my playing a computer game called OFF, and I will later write a whole entry about it and how it affected me. Maybe if you've played that game, you'll understand how this could happen. But anyway, playing that game made me realize a very bad thing about the way I think, and that made me realize more bad things about the way I think, and as I tried to correct those things, it made me realize even more bad things about the way I think. I want to fix this. I want to change myself. But it takes work, and it works the best for me if I can express it externally in some way, like talking about it or writing about it.

And now I've come to the reason I'm keeping this journal. I need to express things. I'm one of those people who's best at "thinking out loud" and who works well when they can express things through visuals and rephrasing. For some reason or another, expressing things makes them more real to me. You know how they say, "Pictures or it didn't happen?" For me, it's "Verbal expression or it isn't fully real". And storing them in a format like an online journal makes it easy for me to look at what happened and what I talked about and look back on it when I have to or want to.

Why am I posting it online instead of writing it in a journal, then? Well...I'm not sure why, other than that maybe people will find it, and maybe people will have interesting things to say about it, and maybe I can open up a dialogue about this stuff. And even if that doesn't happen, even if communication doesn't happen, even if no one looks at this journal during the time I need to keep it, maybe someone will find it later and read it and find some sort of value in it. Maybe that'll happen.

That's my hope, anyway.

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January 2015

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