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Posts posted by Licorice

  1. I think if anything it's a little of both, because even when things were truly good I often haven't felt quite right. For the most part, though, I just struggle with things like anxiety, loneliness, and a poor upbringing.

    Anxiety is decreasing for me and I'm no longer ashamed of the way I was treated as a child, because it was my parents' failing - not mine. No child deserves to be hit, left alone for a week, or left alone with people who have an unhealthy interest in children.

    But, I'm still lonely and that often leaves me unmotivated, isolated, and struggling to enjoy or feel at home in the things I do. I've spent many, many years trying to improve myself socially so that I could better get along with and understand others, with little success. I actually had more success when I was young and bratty than I'm having now when I feel bad because a client felt stupid because he had trouble understanding some papers, when really he was just very new to English. Younger me wouldn't have empathized or tried to defuse the situation.

    I can even do what many can't and deal with rejection gracefully, always picking myself up to try again and never hating, grudging, or obsessing. Once in awhile I don't react well, but for the most part I let it go and let people have their opinions. And I am still not good enough? Most people have to do zero self-improvement to be likable to at least a small selection of people who'll notice and be drawn to them, no matter their flaws.
  2. Sometimes a lack of response isn't personal.

    Sometimes when I'm responded to I just feel like, "What's the point in talking? I'm weird and distant. There won't be a connection, and it's so tiring to just keep talking about my feelings and being vulnerable when it always fails." I've even had topics on here that weren't responded to at all despite the fact that I post significantly more in response to others, which only adds to the feeling that I'm just not relevant to others.

    People in pain who've been hurt when they reached out in the past are shy about reaching out even in small ways, but I'm sorry people have taken their frustrations out on you directly.

  3. This is a phrase uttered by people who've never really experienced struggle... they can't imagine the source of someone's pain being anything more than a broken iPhone, an argument with a friend, or not getting the job they want. To them, it's easy to just "be happy" because there have never been any obstacles that couldn't be overcome by taking their mind off it or trying something new.

    Cultivating a better mindset is a thing, but it's not something you just do. It's a matter of things like learning to understand yourself better, challenging needless self-criticism, inspecting problems in a detached way, and being able to redirect your thoughts away from obsessive negativity.

  4. Start small and aim for things you can actually do that move you in the right direction. Compose a few songs, learn to play a few songs, or pick up a couple new techniques. Some people know right away. Others learn as they go.

    In defense of this, I'm significantly happier and more confident since spending a chunk of my free time working on personal pursuits than I ever was when I used it for an extra couple hours of television and gaming. There needs to be downtime, but I think people overestimate the value of relaxing for people who don't come home tired at the end of the day. If you're not working or going to school full-time, there needs to be something with substance in your life or a way to use all your energy in a way that adds to your life long-term. Even if it's work, and even if it gives you identity and pride more than enjoyment.

    I think a big reason a lot of people are unhappy and self-medicate with material possessions, food, alcohol, sex, video games, Facebook updates, and more is because they don't do anything they actually value and need to imitate the highs gained from success with things like social, creative, family, spiritual, or career aspects.

    I want to have a solid side income as a writer. This is not fun, but it is better for me mentally and emotionally as I progress than playing video games or just relaxing. It means I have to do things which are not enjoyable to get to my rewards, like working even when I neither want nor have to or facing rejection from publishers. But having a good piece to show for it, extra money, and praise is all worth it.

  5. This is something that always plagues me: the natural downs.

    I suspect it may just have something to do with the seasons or the natural ups and downs, but every time I find myself questioning my recent life choices and wondering if I've made all the wrong ones. The wrong pastimes, the wrong company, the wrong home decor...

    Usually this comes after a high period, such as being infatuated with someone and then parting ways, but I'm so eager to keep my head above the water that I'm always looking for something. More time working, more time procrastinating, more meditation, more splurging, a change in outfit. Just trying to find that spot that doesn't have me worried about my ability to handle things and feeling a sense of dullness inside, holding on to feeling like things are okay. It was only this spring that I was considering myself lucky to have two days a week where I legitimately felt good at all, and it hasn't been that way all summer.

    I feel like this can sabotage friendships and new relationships, because eventually the scrutiny turns to them. Do I just not like them very much that I still feel this way around them? Should I be looking for someone who really ignites my passion, even knowing that passion is fleeting? Am I short-changing them by not being as enthusiastic?

  6. I have enough trouble with people in general. I tend to attract those who care more about what I can do for them than about me, such as people who need stuff fixed or someone to vent to. Several times in my life I've made a new friend, started listening to them about some personal problems... and then wound up doing it for hours a day, with the friendship faltering when I finally put my foot down. I can't imagine most men I meet online would have much better intentions for me, perhaps just wanting some woman to pay attention and be nice to them - without the specific woman mattering very much.

    I feel like I'm the only person in my age group who doesn't like casual sex or casual dating, and who's waiting on someone who really fits into my life and can understand the things that are important to me. Thus, most people aren't really that compatible with me. People who "like reading", but don't make time for reading. People who are "nerds", but only care about video games and anime. People who "like writing", but haven't done any lately and don't know when they will again. I don't want one of those lukewarm relationships where people struggle to understand each other's vastly different perspectives, and eventually my friends understand my values and passions more than the person I'm living and raising children with.


    If I respond simply to tell someone I'm not interested, it's likely that I'll receive threats or insults in return and be argued with. If I don't respond, then I'm a stuck-up Biotch who's too good for everyone despite not being that pretty (as if that's what this is all about).

  7. I don't know... I've never viewed being sensitive towards others as a particularly positive trait for me to have. Great for others, bad for me. The only benefit it's brought me is being thoughtful about my writing and catching on quickly to the motivations of others when I can stand back and take a good look at them.

    Sensitivity has made me a free therapist. Sensitivity has made me that friend that you go to only to vent, without you needing to catch yourself if you openly trash talk groups they're part of. Sensitivity has made me that person who has to say "no" when friends say "yes" and be ostracized for it. Sensitivity has made me that person that broken people try to latch onto for stability, often becoming the target of their anger and dysfunction.

    Over 10 years of personal work, and I can stand up for myself but not repel it entirely.

    It just feels like a token pat on the back. "Hey, at least you're a nice, soft mat for when others walk all over you."

  8. You see, mum, this is why your children don’t talk to you much. You waste time, you’re dishonest, you’re tardy, you flake, you don’t communicate, and you don’t have ethics. I’m sorry – I know this is “disrespecting elders” – but it’s true. On dozens of occasions throughout my life we’ve made plans and I have set aside time in my day for it, and then the time passes – an hour passes – and I cannot get ahold of you.

    You have never put us first. Not when you were teaching us to lie to child services. Not when you were putting us in multiple dysfunctional homes with your drunk, angry men. Not even when we are simply arranging an event do we matter.

  9. I've struggled with that a lot myself... and I think a lot of the purpose and romance doesn't appear as a grand adventure, but is a process towards something. It's easy to say "I'd be happy if I was famous like Stephen King", but right now what I have is "I write with a good work ethic and fill a fun niche".

    Other things I'm having trouble staying motivated in. I picked up The Well-Grounded Rubyist to broaden my programming knowledge and general technical skill pool, but to what end? I don't know how welcome I really feel in these fields, and I know I'm no Bill Gates.

  10. I'm starting to suspect that the reason there aren't many women in STEM is because of women. This is a college where I've seen only fantastic and respected male instructors, and only one such woman instructor for my field. The other two have been terrible. So terrible in fact that when one sat down to substitute the class I honestly did not think she was in STEM until she mentioned taking certain certifications (she went on to demonstrate absolutely no knowledge or initiative in helping us whatsoever). By comparison, none of the men have done a bad job of it.

    I can't imagine these women got in on the same merit as their male counterparts (if they're the best there was, where are the equivalents?! some of these men are seriously smart and competent in front of a class), and it's incredibly disheartening to me to look at this male-dominated field and feel like it's just another valley girl hangout in the little niche where there are people of my gender. It was supposed to be for women like me. Serious, introverted, nerdy, detail-obsessed women. Not extroverted women who blab about themselves in front of the class while people are trying to ask about a problem with the material, skim over the slides, and can't answer any questions. I show more initiative in helping the students here than that one did, and I am not a graduate or a professional. I was supposed to come here to see obviously intelligent, competent women that I would want to be like.

    Is that what I'm going to have to be like to make it? Where are the women like me going? Why would women look to instructors like that as role models and encouragements to love science and technology?

  11. Everyone's pathway to happiness and recovery is different, but I do think it's a possibility for everyone - eventually. For some people it's very straightforward: see a doctor, take your meds, and whammo! you're better. Others have to spend much more time developing coping mechanisms and inner strength to power through the darker periods as well as prevent themselves from falling down again.

    It's easy to oversimplify by pointing to individual pathways as the route to success when that can't be predicted. Really the only "if I can, you can" that I give out to people is that their emotions are to be managed primarily by themselves or their healthcare provider, not me.

  12. That's an immense amount of stuff for anyone to deal with. I'm not surprised it's a struggle.

    Working 40 hours a week might be a pleasure under normal circumstances, but normal circumstances assume your energy, willpower, and peace of mind isn't being drained elsewhere. If you can find the time, take up something like jogging, meditation, or journaling to try to ease your mind depending on your preferences. I used to live in a noisy, dysfunctional household and headphones (good ones, like earbuds that block outside sounds) pretty much saved my life. I'd always have some shows on hand that I could watch, or when I was too young to have my own computer it was a CD player.

  13. I've done the vacuum thing. I think past a point it can become a matter of habit. You always see it there and mentally write it off until it becomes automatic, even in a mood where you might otherwise move it. I know I'll neglect to clean out the fridge once in awhile just because I'm tired and crabby, and eventually I stop thinking "wow, I should clean this" when I look in.

    Except when I'm on my way out, of course.

  14. Depends on the specifics, I guess. My work involves people but also language, technology, and academics, so I can drag myself through it in a cold, mechanical fashion if I'm just not feeling the social aspects. Same for classes. I'm happy to get out of bed to learn about technology. It's the most stimulating human contact I get.

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