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  1. Do we all have our own crap...well, yes. And of course there's always someone who has things harder, and someone who has things easier. Somewhere in the world there's someone who's ready to jump off a bridge because her hairdresser messed up her hair and she got laughed at by her classmates. And somewhere else in the world there's someone who can't walk and who has a hideous wasting disease wishing her only problem were hair. And these two extremes could even be the SAME PERSON at different times of his/her life. Is either really better or worse than the other, considering all extenuating circumstances? Pain is pain, right,? Yes, we all deal with crap, no matter how big or little people see that crap as being, and it affects us deeply. How we deal with things is partly in our nature, but OTOH, aren't we born with that nature/tendency? For example, when my parents divorced, my mother, sister and I moved around constantly. I hated it and withdrew into my own shell, and was deeply traumatized. It only got worse with each move. My sister LOVED it, she loved meeting new people. We have, biologically, the same two parents and had exactly the same upbringing. You could say I "could have had my sister's attitude," but could I have, really? I wanted to. Even if I hadn't wanted to, and I had wanted to wallow in my own self-pity, wouldn't it have been inherent in my nature to want that in the first place? To an extent we have control over our own decisions. To another extent, we can't say we "would have" performed better or worse if we'd had, say, different upbringings. So for example, even if my parents had been great I believe I'd still be prone to anxiety. And even if we'd grown up in the Gulag I believe my sister would have figured out some way or other to decide that was totally cool. Does that mean my sister has a "better attitude"? Yes. Is that because she's just a better person who feels like trying harder? Hell no, for her it's no effort at all. I've seen it in action, I know. Meanwhile, I've weirdly enough always been the brave one when it came to self-care and arranging things. I've always made myself do what I needed to do in order to survive. I remember my sister being in shock that I found my way around an airport, rented a car and came to get her "all by myself." She said, "I'd NEVER have known how to do all that." I laughed and said, "Neither did I, so I found out how!" She went, "You're so BRAVE." She was being for real. Does that mean I'm so brave and fabulous and she's such a wimp? No, because it was in my nature not to even question that I was supposed to handle that stuff myself, and it was in my nature to know how to (and even enjoy) doing research. Sorry if these answers were all a jumbled mess...I saw two basic questions in the OP so I tried to answer both.
  2. YES! Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes. My husband is quiet and low-key. Thank God. I couldn't deal with a partier or an "everybody look at me!!!" guy. I'M quiet. Why would I want a loud guy? As for assertive, same thing. I mean, standing up for oneself is one thing (even I manage to do that at times, LOL). But the pushiness, the "I'm an Alpha male" thing literally makes my panties dry up like overcooked toast...just no. Ick.
  3. How true this is. My middle son is autistic and intellectually delayed. Now that he's adult-sized, we no longer really get this because it all really stands out, but when he was younger I got more glares and muttered comments than you can imagine. I even had a woman come up to me in the grocery store to scream "You call yourself a mother?" I went home sobbing. This is no New Millennium faux DX, my son will never drive a car, never get his high school diploma (he will get a completion certificate instead), never be able to live alone. He will never grow up. This isn't mild. It's serious, lifelong and he will never be able to care for himself. My son "looks normal." (Urghhhh.) In fact, he looks gorgeous. He has stunning good looks, and I'm not saying that because I'm his mother. Just standing there, not speaking (he talks very much like a preschooler in pronunciation and grammar), literally I see girls lathering over him. Then he moves and puts his hands in an odd way or claps hard or speaks and the illusion is shattered. But until that point, if he's just a little "off" I still occasionally will get the glares. It's basically nothing compared to the old days, though. He "looked okay" so he must "be" okay and I must be a horrible mother and we caught hell for years, literally. I spent so much time secretly crying when my son was younger.
  4. I think you really like this girl. I think you should reach out once more, just really casually. No need to jump forward to worrying about a date...just say hey.
  5. I do believe in trying to stay positive but on the days you just can't, it's pretty cruel for people to say "smile more" or whatever. We all need to try to have hope but you wouldn't yell at a person with a broken leg to go run a mile because he can't just "sit there and be sad" about his leg. KWIM? This is a real illness, and it expresses itself in the brain and mind. You can't pick on a person with some other neuro issue - say, Alzheimer's - for not acting like other people because she just isn't trying to be positive. To an extent, yes, being very negative and not trying can make illness worse, but the illness IS there. And sometimes it just hurts too much to grin.
  6. I hear you. "There are starving people in the world. But YOU can't be happy?" I can't be happy like other people who are very sick (in certain ways) can't be smiling all the time. Yes, there are exceptions but ask a person with cancer to smile more and be more energetic and just watch the look of horror spread across his face. And watch all your friends dump you for being such a callous sh*t. Just because our illness doesn't "show" on the outside (or when it does, it's still considered behavioral - "why can't she dress better and make an effort with her hair?") doesn't mean we aren't in pain 24/7 and TRYING to smile, for God's sake. This illness is cruel in more ways than one.
  7. I love shy guys! I don't see it as weak, I see it as lots of emotion simmering under the surface. It's super-hot. I'm not discounting your fears, OP. I know what it is to be crippled by fear. Literally unable to act. That's real. I'm just saying, don't imagine you know what this girl is thinking. You're putting your own beliefs about yourself off on someone else. And yes, I know the feeling of "why are things so easy for other people?" I actually do believe life literally is easier for some people. Same in the non-human animal kingdom. Some creatures perform "better" in the context of their clan or their way of life. I don't know what to make of that but it's a belief I have. In a way it's freeing to know I "couldn't" have become some awesome, social winning-career person. We are sold a bill of goods in the Western world that we can "be anything we want to be." That puts TREMENDOUS pressure on those of us who WANT to be a certain way and literally can't. I think it's a fallacy. There's this song right now..."Mama said don't give up..." He always had high hopes "for a living"...and now he's succeeded. I HATE that song, LOL. Because if what his Mama said was true why isn't SHE some rich, famous person? She gave him a truism (according to the song, I don't know if the songwriter's actual mother literally said that) that holds true for some lucky people. That means it doesn't have validity. Panic at the Disco (I love that group, BTW, LOL...usually) - collectively, because I don't know which of them wrote the song - happened to have a musical talent that they were able to build on (v. the average person of average talent who can only build on that), happened to hit upon a pop-ish sound that was going to just happen to become super popular at this exact moment in time, and voila, success. It WASN'T because of a positive attitude although the reverse probably is true - if they hadn't had ANY hope they wouldn't have gotten anywhere. But think about all the *chance* and *inborn* things that had to happen *before* the drive and ambition in order to put them on top...at least for now. Tomorrow they could be on the bottom again. It's just not true that everyone can achieve, all the time, with a little elbow grease and a positive attitude. It isn't even true of legitimately talented people. Think of all the artists throughout history who weren't even recognized until well after they were dead. *We are not all born equal and we do not all have an equal chance* and even when there is talent there in some way, socially, career, art, whatever, it *still* has to coincide *exactly* with what the greater population happens to want at that exact time in order for us to be "on top." So how can anyone imagine life is equal? It isn't even equal for an identical personality born in a different generation. If that makes sense. Sometimes I wonder what it would feel like to not feel continuous guilt that I must be somehow "underperforming" (despite a lifetime of hard work getting nowhere) because I'm not at the level of the luckier people, or the more genetically healthy (particularly neurologically). Then I think: isn't that like a person in a wheelchair wondering why she isn't winning foot races, and blaming herself for underperforming?
  8. It depends. I worked outside the home full time in very stressful careers for 20 years and granted it was hell, but I managed it. But could the next person? I don't know. I don't think I could handle it today, whereas the next depressed person might actually be better at all this by my age and capable. I really don't know. One thing that depresses me to the lowest point (you all know what I mean) is not bringing in any money/not having a career at all. I'm at home now but I work part-time as a freelance writer. It wouldn't sustain me, though. If I weren't married I'd need to be on disability. I'd never survive on what I'm making now, yet I AM able to do at least this much. So I think it's different for different people, at various times of their lives.
  9. I wonder whether we should stop trying to get others to love us, and just start doing whatever the f*ck we want.
  10. I can relate. My mother definitely didn't want me. She wanted another baby but she wanted it to be a normal baby. She didn't want this weird kid with no friends who cried too much. She told me more than once, "You are the cancer of the family, and sometimes a cancer must be cut out in order to spare the healthy parts of the body." She told me, "If you were to have a tragic accident and die, even if they suspected me, all I'd have to do would be to quietly tell the police about you and they'd just dismiss the case. They'd say they felt sorry for me being your mother and they didn't know how I managed to hold back as long as I did." A large part of what was "bad" about me was that I put up a fuss about my stepfather molesting me. She'd say, "if you don't like him touching you, then you don't like being touched, period, and that means you're frigid. 'Frigid' means you can't function sexually. Men leave women like that and then the women have nobody to take care of them and they starve." (She started telling me that when I was 11.) My mother is dead now. Thank God.
  11. But how can this be true? Plus, there are lots of poor, ugly people. I'm not pretty and I'm aging, and although my husband makes money, I only manage about $500-600/month. That's not even groceries. Why would only pretty people deserve life? I know some really awful pretty people and some really awful rich people. And great people who are rich...and the reverse...I can't say any one of these scenarios deserves life more than anyone else does. Do any of us deserve life, technically?
  12. There's a common thread here. Most or all of us (I have to re-read, my brain is kind of mush today) are saying we were weird and/or had parents with serious issues. I wonder if there's a neuro tie-in? Depression and being different socially? It doesn't necessarily sound like all of us are depressed BECAUSE we don't fit in, or at least initially that that wasn't the case. It feels like that now and we see evidence of it but many of us started out feeling different. Just from the very beginning. I wonder?
  13. Wrote an article for a client. Wrote just a little bit more in my book (about half a page). Normal cleaning, dishes, laundry, etc. Took care of my children.
  14. I really, really feel for you. I am so very glad you're getting your dog back.
  15. I understand. I always feel this way. I think we think so little of ourselves and see our own darkness so thoroughly that we can't believe anyone else can like us. But what if those people really did like you? What if it wouldn't have been the same without you there? We see our own (perceived) deficits much more than other people see them in us.
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