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Hotaru last won the day on January 27 2014

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    Drawing, Cooking, Music

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  1. Hotaru


    I might be able to help you with the recipes, if you'd like any help with ideas! What do you like to eat? :)
  2. I hear you both. "Get a support system!" is the throwaway solution of the week, it seems. Some of us, despite our best efforts to try - CAN'T find the right people to confide in. Sure, we can meet people and make friends, but it can take a long time before you trust someone enough to get the idea that they might want to be there for you if you need them. It's quite a jump, and not something that just happens overnight (at least not that I've ever experienced, at least). I want to gnash my teeth down to nubs when I hear people preaching the gospel of support groups magically changing them, too. I'm unable to find such a group, since I live in a country where fellow foreigners like me shun each other or go to the bar to drown their sorrows in alcoholism, and the local people are still unable to accept mental illness and depression are things that should not be ignored or brushed under the rug. That's not even to mention the problem with anxiety disorders that can stop people who need to reach out from doing it because they're too terrified to. I am one of these. It's all fine and well to tell someone to "be proactive", but for those of us with crippling anxiety, it just can't happen. People who haven't experienced it will never be able to empathize, and when they set to start impatiently lecturing you about how you're just "not trying hard enough"...yeah, that's when I tune out. Getting tired of people minimizing it. I wish I had the answer. I have no idea how to get a support system together. I have always tried to follow the golden rule of making good friends by being a good friend, but it usually lands me getting used and taken advantage of by the person I spend time trying to be a good friend to. So much for taking the initiative there. Here's hoping we can all get through this together. *hugs*
  3. Yes. I struggle on and off with FB all the time. I'm not one of those people who gets comments all the time on my posts, though it seems everyone else I see posting does, and that has always gotten to me. It makes me feel more lonely than I would normally. It's so easy to actively ignore people through FB, and you can really feel it when you're the one being ignored. I joined FB because I moved to a different country, and thought it would be a wonderful venue to keep in touch with what my friends and family were doing, but instead, it sometimes makes me feel more isolated. I spent about a year away from it after having become fed up with none of my "friends" caring about anything I posted (and no, it wasn't all depressive, negative, downer stuff people who aren't depressed refuse to tolerate), on top of the fact that I went out of my way to LIKE and comment on many of their posts because I valued them and did not want us to lose touch. I felt like I was overextending myself for people who just plain didn't care...yadda yadda, vicious cycle, etc. I have trouble with expecting people to treat me the way I treat them, though, so that's a big part of my problem. Still haven't figured out how to lower my expectations and STILL not feel cheated when giving.
  4. Thanks, you guys, and to those of you who PMed me. I really appreciate your reaching out to me. I will get back to you as soon as I can. This morning I took the opportunity to get out for a long walk to a local festival, to see if it would help me feel any better. As soon as I cool off and get rid of this sunstroke headache, I can start writing back. Thanks again for your kindness. Just taking it moment by moment at this rate.
  5. My summer funk is striking early, and I have nobody to talk to. I'm alone all day, and though I have students that I tutor, and enjoy my time with them very much, it's the times in between that are becoming unbearable. I've been weepy all day today, anxious, fearing the future, feeling completely helpless - and that's because I am. I live in a country that doesn't want to accept things like depression, so it's very difficult to find someone to help. There's also a language barrier, and those who can speak English and offer private practice are far away and cost a fortune, which I cannot under any circumstances afford. I can't do anything to get myself treatment, so I'm just living with and trying to deal with this from day to day as best I can. Just wondered if there was anyone out here on the forum who'd like to message or chat or anything. I can't get anyone around here to act as though they care much about me, and all I really need - even though it's so sad to have to admit - is a good hug, and someone to sit with me for a while and just listen and talk until I don't feel so alone and panicky. It's a very scary time, the last few days, and looks to get worse as I implode further. I promise I'm not a vampire. I talk AND listen. And care.
  6. Thanks, Hertz! I think you're right, but I just wish it wouldn't affect me so much. I've been hypersensitive to the tiniest things in the last few weeks...like even more than usual...and it's really driving me crazy. I'll try to post more here! :)
  7. Sorry about that. I started a blog, and also naturally kind of perked up as soon as the weather became good enough for me to get my ass outside and start walking again, so that's what I've been up to. I'm back here because....welllll.....I guess because I just feel sort of slobbery. I feel exhausted and sleepy and very sad. And nostalgic. This always seems to happen at this point in summer. Matsuri season means a few days of getting together with a bunch of people in my neighborhood and participating in the annual summer festival. I managed to ride it out the entire time, for both days this year, so I'm really happy about that. The thing is, it's such a downer once it's over... I don't know what my problem is with it, but I find that I tend to just become sad once our matsuri has ended. Like tearful and weepy, as if I'll never have the chance to do it again. Does that even make sense to anyone who might be reading? All of the signs that there was a cheerful festival start to disappear slowly in the days afterward. The banners come down. The signs come down. The lanterns are taken away. The offerings at the shrine disappear. The danjiri is put away, and the mikoshi are disassembled and stored for next year. I did walk by the shrine today and saw that the lanterns are still all up there, but they're gone from our neighborhood and the little satellite shrine nearby. It's as if a happy parade went by, and while it was passing, it filled me with so much joy, but then it started to fade off into the distance, leaving me feeling alone in a quiet I can't really figure out how to deal with. A LOT of anticipation comes with the start of summer here. At least for me. From about April, May, when it starts getting warm, I start looking forward to the events of summer. I mean, it's not QUITE over yet, as we have our last major matsuri in the city coming up next week...but I guess I'm getting the blues prematurely. One of the feelings i noticed was of being overcome with emotion at the kindness of our neighborhood leaders, who make sure the matsuri actually happens every year. They seemed really weary this time around, and I really felt for them. I know it can't be easy as the years go by, and nobody else seems to be stepping up to be groomed for the task, allowing them to eventually be able to retire from running it all. They just grin and bear it every year, no matter what, even in this miserable heat and humidity. I don't know...It feels like....some person who absolutely touches my soul comes to visit me for a few days. That person knows everything about who I am, and loves me anyway. They are kind and cheerful and show me a happy time. And when they leave, it's so sad, and I miss them so much...The sucking void left only amplifies how lonely I feel on a daily basis just to begin with. Meh....Hope I can get through this soon. It's really sapping my energy.
  8. Thanks, all of you, for your kind and helpful replies. I'm sorry I didn't respond sooner! Everything you've all said makes sense, and I really appreciate you reaching out to me like this. I've had a few days off from lessons, and I've got two difficult ones coming up tomorrow. I don't want to quit, and I've come up with a way to work around a few of the problematic things, so here's hoping it'll actually work when I try to do it. I definitely own that I didn't firmly put my foot down when my time was up the last few times with one of my students. That's on me, I know. I've just got to be firmer about it and actually start packing up as soon as the timer goes off. I have to remember not to order a drink at the place we meet at, too, since having half a drink left was part of the problem one of the times. Just a donut, and be done with it. :) The friendly guy thing is solved, too, just as an update. I had a lesson with him a few hours after I posted this, and things were made a lot less ambiguous. It will be a solid teacher/student relationship, with no extracurricular hanging out. It's not the strangest thing in the world to become friends with a student or a teacher around here, though, so I hope I didn't give the impression that I was some kind of creepy predator. I think he might just have been saying things that came across as overly friendly (like: "We should go do this together! We should see this movie!" etc.) without realizing it sounded a bit more inviting than he had probably intended. It's a relief to know where we stand, and I'm fine with that! Thanks again for all of the kind replies! I'll continue on and see if things start to feel any better as I become more comfortable with my current students. :)
  9. A few weeks ago when I started teaching private students, I was in an up phase, feeling confident, and doing quite well with it. Starting about the beginning of last week, I crashed, most likely brought on by hormones, and I'm still feeling awful. Just depressed, anti-social, exhausted, my skin is broken out and I'm anxious about how I look. This job is about 80% to do with your appearance (yes, people are shallow), and I hate having to slather the concealer on - especially in this heat and humidity, where it tends to look greasy - to cover up my breakout. I've had a prospective student already take advantage of me and screw me over (that's the nature of the game - the only way you get any bites is to offer up a whole lot of potential for abuse - and just hope you get a few honest people here and there, I'm learning), another is a royal pain in the ass because she wants to learn, but can't be bothered making an effort to help herself...Not sure how exactly she expects me to just open her skull up and pour the knowledge into her memory bank...and another, while I enjoy chatting with him, manages to burn 3 hours with me, while only paying for one. I'm not sure how I feel about that yet, because he's a nice guy, but I'd almost rather just stop the student/teacher relationship with him and be friends if we're going to...well, be FRIENDLY. I'm on the fence about it, and it's driving me crazy. I'm just really triggered for reasons I can't put my finger on yet, by the apprehension about being taken advantage of and used. Especially by people I've only just met. When I signed up for this job, I had no idea these feelings would surface, so I'm trying my best to deal with them from day to day in a meaningful way. It's a terrible struggle, and I've felt like just canceling on all but one of my students, who is smart, doesn't push my boundaries, and actually works with me on our material so he can get ahead. But I can't. I can't just give up. I've only been doing it going on 2 months now. I'm supposed to be enjoying it, and the idea was to get out and actually be around people, rather than hiding in the house and being miserable. It's the very reason I signed up for the job! To meet and have contact with other people and try to feel as if I were actually worth something in the meantime, rather than just sitting on my ass being useless. I don't know when this low point is going to lift, or IF it will. I'm worried that I'll end up destroying the situation entirely, and drop back into just being alone with nobody to talk to again. I really love doing the teaching. It's just that right now I'm feeling terribly insecure and incapable. I don't know how to mentally push myself past it, EVEN THOUGH I know that it's just my depression trying to scam me and drag me back down into the pit I was in before. Does anyone have any ideas of how to push through this horrible time and just continue to meet all of my students and just DEAL until I feel better about myself...or even if I never do? I hate it so much. How dare I do this to myself after beginning so well??
  10. Hi Scatter, I hope you'll pop up and say HI some day soon. :) Miss you!

  11. I've been in a bad way. Hazy, lethargic, unable to feel joy, afraid, depressed, feeling pathetic and totally useless. All of the rest of them are speeding past me, all of them better than I am. I can't catch up. I'll always be behind. People don't connect anymore. Optimistic deniers who tell you what they think will shut you up, with a smile on their faces. They need someday to truly have something bad happen to them, which will wipe that smug bulls*** clean off them. Tired of feeling isolated, and every effort I have made to change that has not worked. Facebook is, confirmed yet again, full of a******s. It's all you scratch my back over there. Actual friendship has nothing to do with the way people communicate with each other, that I've experienced. Perhaps the rest of you all have better quality "friends" and family members than I do. I don't want to talk about it. No. I do, but I don't have the energy to go into it right now. I just wish someone cared. I hate it.
  12. I hope you have a great day :)

  13. QUICK UPDATE: After taking the last few months to cool off, spend time away doing other things, and just generally get over my negative feelings about what happened, I saw my old friend again this week for the first time since Thanksgiving. It was a nice reunion. It helped that we both had a lot going on in the meantime, and we could talk about those things together. We both apologized to each other wholeheartedly after such a long time. I really missed the good times I used to have with her, and I really meant it when I apologized for my part in it. I knew she was sincere too. We had a nice lunch together, and it really felt good to have her back in my life. I think we'll just start off slowly, and I'll refrain from inviting her to the house for any major events for a while, until we're comfortable with each other again. That said, there wasn't any strange feeling of resistance or awkwardness when we met up again - it was just like old times. I just don't want to create a chance for something like this to happen again. We've vowed that we'd both communicate more clearly from now on, so there'd be no question what was going to be expected, eliminating the possibility of disappointment if something went wrong. I think it's a good solution. I'm a very sensitive person, and I often find that I'm parting ways with friends after being hurt and unable to resolve it, so I'm glad I hung in there, took it a step at a time, and have been able to work this out with her. It also helped that she's a forgiving person who doesn't drop friendships in an instant as soon as there's a little trouble. I think people do that more and more nowadays, just adding to the general feeling of apathy between each other. We were both willing to persevere and put the whole thing behind us, and I'm really happy we did.
  14. It is, mostly for men, but that's because so little is expected of women. There's all kinds of messed up (mostly having to do with the attitudes of some Japanese wives, who have no empathy whatsoever for the situation their husbands are in) with that dynamic, too, but they'll never change it. I'm working out the coffee shop issue! I did go this last time and just got a tea and sat there knitting. As long as I've got some remnant of an order on my table while I'm spending hours and hours there, it's ok. I think I just couldn't really get past the idea of going to Starbucks only to order....tea. XD There's the issue of overcrowding to consider, too, though, and I'm pretty sensitive to it. Sometimes those places get really crowded, but there are people who will sit there for hours with no order at all, just gabbing mindlessly and taking up space, not giving anyone else a chance to sit with their own order and enjoy themselves. I don't want to be That Guy. Or girl, to be specific. XD I feel that I need to at least order something, and if it starts to get busy and I've already been there a few hours, I'll pack it up. I think it would be different if there were more public places to sit and relax. They don't really have benches around this city. You have to make sure you go out to a park for that, and that can be inconvenient, not to mention exposing you to the elements - and that's not something you want 3/4 of the year around here. ;)
  15. Maybe I'm just my toughest critic. I often feel like I've let myself just sit here, mouldering away for the last 6 years, even though when I reach certain points of rock bottom, I do manage to pull myself up by the bootstraps (provided at least minimal support - as in, not having my life or place to live imminently threatened) and take action. On the fly yesterday, a friend helped me set up an interview at a grocery store. I had told her about how desperate I was to try to find appropriate work for myself, and what was holding me back from applying to our local grocery chain. She picked up the phone and waved me off, confident that my worries for for naught, and the next thing I knew, I had an interview set up for today at 4pm. I was scared to death all through the rest of yesterday and most of today, but I still got my hair cut, dyed, picked out something to wear, got some eyeliner that works, read up on, found a template for, printed up and filled out an actual Japanese resume (first time I'd had to do that). I'd even picked out two books, giving tips on the interview process, and how to use keigo (uber-polite, business Japanese used by underlings to speak to bosses and other higher ups), and picked out what I knew I'd need from them as quickly as I could. I ironed my outfit, hung it up and went on to search the internet for more interview techniques. Found some really helpful phrases, actually, that I can use in daily life, too, so that was helpful. I got to the interview early, and was whisked away to the back room without even a chance to properly introduce myself the way I had been practicing. I sensed he was in a rush, so we sat down and I whipped out my resume and handed it to him in the expected way. From the start, he gave off a doubtful vibe, which made me feel even more nervous than I was to begin with, but I did my best to answer his questions. It's just plain difficult when you're coming out of a career, and then applying for an entry level, minimum wage position in an entirely different field. He was clearly puzzled by how my resume didn't have years of history working in retail of any kind, but instead, every other kind of job that was unrelated. Can't say I blame him, but it was disheartening to realize that he was not in the mood to give me a chance anyway. Then he spotted my tattoo. It was the most convenient excuse to quickly end the interview, since tattoos (among the older generation, at least) are associated with the mafia, here. Even though I look like someone's sweet little old aunty. Even though I was dressed nicely, spoke softly, was well groomed and was on my best, most proper interview behavior. I could somehow be mistaken for a mafia member....Right. Well, that's Japan for you, isn't it. My tattoo, by the way, is of a small branch of plum blossoms on the top of my left hand. It's the only tattoo I have, and I got it while still working as an artist, shortly after my mother died, in her honor. It wasn't just a spur of the moment kewl kid whim when I got it. I've been complimented on it by plenty of Japanese in the years I've lived here, and it's never caused anyone to gasp in fear or run away from me. I guess because it's a forbidden fruit in this culture, it holds some fascination with some people. I learned for sure, this time, though, that it's bad for anyone trying to get into the retail business. In my heart of hearts, I knew this was coming, so it wasn't a huge shock, but I politely reacted as though I was a bit surprised that it would be an issue, and as if I had no idea about the stigma of tattoos in some circles here. The reason he gave was this: The chain I applied to is regional, and the stores are small and generally placed in the middle of residential neighborhoods. They like to project the image of being safe and family oriented, so if some old biddy regular or some kid happened to see my tattoo and complain to management that they saw a full on gangster working for their store, it would obviously be a very bad thing....Y'know, seeing as how I look about as vicious and bloodthirsty as a 3 week old kitten. Old ladies and housewives around here can sometimes be gossipy shrews, with nothing better to do but poke their nose into the business of others, too, so I can definitely understand how this could very well happen. I was quickly ushered out through the back of the store after the sight of the tattoo shut the interview down, and I made my way back home. Like I said, I've been warned before that my little tattoo might be an issue, so I knew going in that it was a possibility, but I wanted to see for myself. I wanted to continue in my systematic (if slow) process of leaving no stone unturned where looking for work is concerned, here. I have had jobs in this country before, so tattoos aren't a problem in ALL fields, but you really have to run into the right opportunity to have it overlooked. That's really rare. Especially for someone who doesn't get out and socialize much. It just depresses me now to think that my only work option might very well be things revolving around selling myself as a foreigner. Tattoos are ok, apparently, in a situation where foreigner = cultural diversity, and that's what someone is there to experience. Problem is, I've had some experience teaching English before, and hated it. I'm doing my best to avoid it as much as I can, unless I could luck into a job teaching adults. I hate kids for the most part, so I'd rather do anything else before submitting to that. So I'm feeling around as best I can. It's a disappointment, even though I knew what might happen. I can't help but feel down about it. Yeah yeah, at least I tried. I was so drained when I got home, I had to take a quick disco nap before starting dinner tonight. I feel like I might even retreat to my bed and not come out for the next few days, feeling defeated. It can really suck to be judged as a Bad Person based on an accessory. I feel terrible for all Japanese men, if you don't mind my going into a semi-related rant. Remember I mentioned buying a few books to help my business speaking? Even though they're pretty accessible manga essays, there are images of salarymen and office ladies in one of the books, presented in different situations. Some of those situations include how to cope with being screamed at, disciplined and abused by your boss. ALL of the situations involve properly kissing ass. What little boy who is born in this country imagines as a 7 year old that they're going to go on to filter through this kind of life? Some of the drawings in the book actually make me want to cry when I see them. Especially the ones depicting shame and anxiety on the part of the poor employee who dun fokked up and is either anticipating being berated, or is in the middle of it. Most of the rest of them depict the new hire as akin to a little puppy, following the boss around, and acting interested in every word they say. It would be one thing if all bosses were worthy of that kind of respect, but I know for a fact that some of them ARE NOT. They climb the ladder after dealing with years of the power abuse of the system, and then go on to dole it out tenfold on their new charges. It's disgusting how a man has to humiliate himself to survive in business here. And if you don't become yet another salaryman cog in the wheel, you can go be a cog in a factory - which is about as civilized as the workhouses of the Victorian era. I'm not exaggerating. There's a reason Japanese have a reputation for working themselves to death. Human rights are seriously lacking in the workplace, here. You conform and agree to be a slave for your company - or go be homeless. Like I've said before, I'm not at all surprised at how many people throw themselves in front of trains nearly each week in this country. Who the hell wants to live this way??
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