Afraid of Growing Up Stereotype


I fit so many stereotypes for eating disordered people; it hurts.

  • White
  • High socioeconomic status
  • Afraid of growing up
  • Female
  • Relapse-Recovery-Relapse-Recovery-Relapse
  • Emotionally dysregulated
  • Cutter
  • Selfish
  • Emotionally immature and childish
  • Co-morbid mood and personality disorders (I remember joking with a friend that once we turned 18, if we still had an ED we’d be diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder because it seemed like everyone we knew from treatment over 18 had that Dx. Surprise! We both have that diagnosis. My most recent treatment team disagrees, but nonetheless, one person diagnosed me with Borderline Personality Disorder)
  • Distorted body image
  • Control issue
  • Perfectionist

Today I argued with my mom about doing my fair share of the chores around the house. Perhaps argued is not the right word. We weren’t yelling. My mom was perfectly nice about it, until I started getting defensive. I cried. The argument I had with my dad yesterday was about taking responsibility for myself (Ex. getting my headlight fixed, making doctor appointments, waking up at reasonable hours). I’m avoiding all those things for specific reasons. The headlight- money, doctor’s appointments – I’m afraid of the results, and sleeping is just more peaceful than being awake.

There was no reason for me to cry while talking to my mom. As I said, she was nice and reasonable. She didn’t understand why I started crying and I didn’t want to admit the real reason. So, I was just a jerk.

I cried because I am afraid of growing  up. That entails so much. I’m afraid I can’t handle living on my own. I’m afraid my depression and eating disorder will consume me so completely that I won’t function at all and I’ll lose my job. Losing my job means losing health insurance and income. If I’m not making money, I can’t pay bills. All the responsibilities of living on my own and financial independence seem overwhelming. I don’t want to try and then fail. I’d rather let my ED handicap me, so that I never have to try. If I never have to try, I never have to face failure.

Yesterday, my first inclination was to dive so far into my ED that no one expects anything from me. Today, I wanted to cut enough to wind up in the ER. If I’m in the ER for psychiatric reasons, no one would pressure me about school or being a fully functional adult.

Clearly I'm not handling this well_Xander_Buffy

I feel like a pathetic, weak piece of shit admitting this function of my ED and I don’t know how to get over it.

 

Jealousy


A co-worker, in another program, posted some PECs (pictures non-verbal kids point to in order to communicate) she made online and the speech therapist, occupational therapist, and my boss all *liked* her picture and commented. Granted we don’t report to the therapists and my boss isn’t her boss… but I’m still jealous and angry and paranoid because she is coming over to our program soon.

…AND I sound like a petty bitch again. The funny thing is I like the girl. I’m just so damn insecure that any “threat” to what little I do feel I contribute to the team is a huge deal to  me. I remember when the assistant behaviorist was hired I was jealous before I even knew her because I felt listened to and I felt that my opinions were valued because my boss and others asked for my opinions on potential behavioral interventions. I feared my opinions and ideas wouldn’t matter anymore because someone more qualified was joining us. It turned out OKAY. I like her and I feel like people, including her, still care about my ideas and thoughts…I used to feel more needed and wanted for other reasons too.

Damn that voice in my head. I can’t turn it off. “No one likes you. No one cares about the tokens or coping skill crap you make. She is better at crafty things and she is in school. You can’t hack school. She is better than you. You don’t belong there. You’re useless.”

Idk how to explain the feelings I get when I’m jealous (which is honestly fear). It is like… Buffy_Dawn rejection so obvious you don't want me around

I can see the future and I can see I’ll be unwanted.

I am a FAILURE


Supernatural_Dean_90 percent crap - Copy

NO NO NO NO NO NO NO!!! I didn’t make it to work. 😥 I’m furious at myself and sad and disappointed. I haven’t slept in almost 24 hours. I don’t know why I’ve been up this long. I just couldn’t sleep. I hate myself. I hate myself, so fucking much! I feel like I’m letting everyone down (even though I simultaneously feel like they don’t need me, lol). However, even if I am not important, they were counting on me as a staff person today. FUCK ME.

 

EDIT:

It is officially over 24 hours. I’ve never had this problem before. The only times I’ve stayed up this long was pulling all-nighters in college. I have some sleeping issues; occasionally, I struggle falling asleep. Usually my sleeping problems are more like this:

pretend I have insomnia inadequate respect for tomorrow

AND SO it has come to a pathetic point indeed… I am about to log off and play Brahms’ Lullaby, hoping it will lull me to sleep.

 

When you feel like no one cares


buffy_faith_no one wants to be alone we all want someone who cares

I feel hurt because my friend read my message and has ignored it for over a day. It was an unimportant message… I guess I’m hurt because I was trying to be normal, ya know? NOT go to her in an emotional crisis. So, I just asked how her trip was… This is beyond stupid and petty. I know. I’m still anxious about work tomorrow and I don’t deal well with rejection. Part of me doesn’t want to go to work.

I wish I could make this part of my brain shut up! I take any insignificant thing and latch onto it as proof that the voice in my head is right. “See?? She doesn’t like you! No one likes you! You’re useless. No one needs you at work. No one wants you. You’re pointless. They’ be better off without you, the kids would be too.”

All anyone says is that I”m being stupid, which I know is true, but that doesn’t help. 😦

 

EDIT: YAY! My persistence paid off! She replied and we talked about normal stuff, also she noticed my drop off in negative emotional communication and appreciates it. I pointed it out and explained that I was consciously making an effort to be less emotionally draining because I wanted her to know I was trying. *does happy calorie burning dance* 😀

Electroconvulsive therapy


My mom wants me to consider Electroconvulsive Therapy.

yuck jack sparrow pirates

 

I’m extremely suicidal, but some things are better. I have a job; I’m working with mentally ill kids (irony!!). I’m still isolating myself from everyone. Most conversations with my mom involve screaming and crying. Some depression symptoms have gotten worse. I’ve had a flat affect lately.

*sigh* At least, I’m posting something

Clearly, it isn’t Monday


dean supernatural laughs then gets serious

Oops. As usual…failure on my part.

I’m actually feeling up to writing a little bit, yay! There are some long stories involved, but for now, I’m just going to run down the litany of changes in my life over the past 2-ish months.

1. Took a medical leave from law school because passing was impossible with how far behind I was and I really don’t know what I want to do…

2. Looking for a full-time psychology job to try to determine if that is what I want to pursue. Since I only have a Bachelor’s degree, my job options are limited to Mental Health Technician (glorified baby-sitter) or entry level research tech. I’ve applied for about 10 of those positions around town. I’ve had 2 interviews, but no job offers.

3. I broke up with the Doc. Honestly, of all the people I’ve dated or even had a crush on, I liked him the best. I clicked with him on a different level. I’m not sure how to describe it. I broke it off because he couldn’t accept my limits. For example, he didn’t want to use safe words.

4. I’ve had lots of suicidal ideation and I’m still struggling with basic things on most days, but despite threats, no hospital yet.

5. My family is disappointed and angry because I’m ruining my life, I want to fail, I can do so much better, I’m just a personality-disordered mess, etc.

6. I’m still giving dating a shot. Since breaking it off with the Doc, I’ve had 2 dates. I skipped one (with a plausible lie because I was freaking out too much). They were with different men. The one I didn’t skip was fine. (Given #4, I find even 1 date is miraculous)

7. I’m making a concerted effort to rekindle friendships and familial relationships that I’ve damaged through isolating

8. I told my mom about IT and… her reaction was surprising and I wish I hadn’t told her. She wasn’t angry and she didn’t blame me, but she won’t let it go.

 

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Just so you know I AM ALIVE


Life is just crazy. Things are in upheaval and my depression is awful (like stay in bed all day, don’t shower for days on end bad). I’ll update more by Monday. Sorry I disappeared. It was/is a bad stretch.

 

Depression is like:

no friends

I’m working to reach out to all my family and friends (including you) that I’ve isolated myself from.

 

white tulip fring walter

Forgive me?

Awful Morning


I’m not really sure what is wrong, but my self-talk is atrocious. “I hate you” “You suck” “You’re evil” “You’re pathetic” “You deserve to die” “You should quit law school because you’re hopeless.” “You’re worthless” “You’re stupid” “You’re lazy” “No one will ever love you.” “No one likes you”

Supernatural_Dean_i am crap

That is my usual self-talk, but it is more frequent or louder. I have that heavy anxiety feeling in my chest and I feel sad. I have plenty of academic stuff due before spring break, but it isn’t impossible. I have an email summary due Friday (it’s like a mini draft), an oral argument tomorrow, and an assignment I never turned in.

I was cold called yesterday and I didn’t know the answer. I was cold called in the same course last class. I had a bad afternoon yesterday because of that, but I thought I got over it.

I started having minor suicidal thoughts this morning and they’re getting worse. The only thing stopping me (as usual) is the tremendous hurt I know it would cause. I feel like I’m about to cry.

I know part of the problem is I keep focusing on all my shortcomings and failures, instead of focusing on how to fix the problem.

Also, I’m seriously considering having sex and I think that makes me feel guilty. Ah, so much fear and shame.

It probably didn’t help that my mom keeps praising me for things I’m lying about (working diligently, eating well, etc.). I don’t take praise and compliments well in general. So, compliments about things I’m doing right, which I’m really failing at, but lying to appease her makes me feel guilty.

*Correction: Now I am crying

You Already Have Too Many Labels


I broached the topic of Avoidant and Dependent personality disorders with my psychiatrist and he agreed with me! In fact on some of the criteria I said I wasn’t sure whether they fit, he laughed and gave examples! dean supernatural facepalm

So, then I asked him why he never told me. He said some people are simple and they only have a personality disorder (or 2) and in that case he would diagnose them with a personality disorder. However, when there are multiple issues that need to be addressed, such as my eating disorder and depression, he diagnoses people with them because insurance doesn’t pay for personality disorder treatment. Plus, there is a lot of stigma around personality disorders, worse than other mental illnesses. So, it is better not to have it in my medical charts. I didn’t ask him about depressive or masochistic personality disorders because the DSM no longer uses them as diagnoses.

Also, I brought it up with my mom because psychoanalysis is not exactly the standard treatment for personality disorders. She didn’t care about it, but suggested I could bring up seeing a CBT therapist on the side. The interesting thing is she thinks my dad is avoidant. So, maybe it is genetic or learned. However, she also pointed out that I was gregarious until I was 4 years old and then something changed. She said anxiety dampens my personality, which makes her sad. She also said she knew the ability to be confident and outgoing was inside me, I just lost it somehow and became scared of people.

Meh just a self-loathing day


I’m on edge today. I almost didn’t go to class because I skipped this class yesterday and I felt awkward. I know the longer I skip a class, the more awkward the return will be. Thankfully, I did go. However, I felt like cutting not long into class because the professor emphasized the importance of turning in polished work that is the product of multiple drafts. I never do more than one draft (hence, my C+ last semester). I feel guilty for procrastinating to such an awful degree.

I feel pathetic because I had a dream where I looked at myself in a mirror and said over and over, “You’re fat.” Wow, you know something is deep-seated when you dream about it! I used to have dreams about treatment. Also, while fasting I had dreams about eating and I always woke up terrified that I’d binged at night!

I might be going out to dinner with the doctor. However, he hasn’t replied about when or where. I’m sure that is making me more anxious. I rarely wear make-up, but I’m wearing it today and I forgot lipstick. HAHAHA, I know in the scheme of things, even the scheme of things within my ordinary life, that is a very small problem. I don’t know, I just feel fat. Granted, I’m on my period, but that also makes me feel fat! Thanks to ED, I rarely have periods more than 2 or 3 times a year. So, periods make me feel fat both because they cause bloat and because it proves I’m “bad” aka not malnourished enough for my body to decide attempting to carry a child is fruitless. Ironically, it is Nation Eating Disorder Awareness Week. I don’t like awareness campaigns. First of all, I don’t want anyone around me who doesn’t know about ED to get suspicious. Second, I think they rarely help. Most articles about EDs inadvertently give tips or expose people to new behaviors.

annoyed buffy

Yeah, sorry there is no real point to this post. I’m just especially self-hating today. And *laughs bitterly* I’m supposed to go eat dinner with someone I like! OH and I forgot to change my earrings. So, I’m wearing mismatching studs.

I want someone to hurt me. Another form of self-injury? Yes. However, I think there is more to it. The idea just occurred to me: if someone is non-consensually hurting me, I am a better person than they are…So, maybe consensual S&M causes a similar feeling? I know I feel proud of the amount of physical pain I can endure. Similarly, I feel superior to other “weak” people when I starve because I can starve myself and they are greedy pigs. (I am well aware this is disordered!) Cutting doesn’t hold any superiority complex. I think, for me, masochism is a self-esteem booster, just like ED. I don’t like all the parallels I’m seeing. Perhaps I’m making them up. Perhaps as everyone keeps saying I should just let my fears go and let myself enjoy what I like… The problem is I’m scared. When I’m sick, I like my eating disorder. So, liking BDSM is not proof that it is not sick for me. At the same time, when I switch from one symptom (ED, SI, BDSM) to another, the other 2 fade away. Maybe BDSM is the lesser of 3 evils? ED kills you and makes you unable to function. SI causes scars and potentially death. Giving someone else control of pain is probably less damaging than my self-inflicted wounds. In fact, I’m positive the harm I do to myself in anger, sadness, or anxiety is worse than what any non-psychopathic sadist would sanely do. I say sanely because the things I’ve done to myself could and have ended in hospital stays. The law here is that people cannot consent to “serious physical injury”, which  means physical injury that creates a substantial risk of death or that causes serious disfigurement or protracted loss or impairment of the function of any part of the body. A number of things I’ve done to myself are in that category. Therefore, a safe and sane sadist would most likely do less damage than I do to myself.

Plus, EDs make relationships almost impossible, with BDSM I can have a trusting, loving relationship. SI is addictive. I suppose BDSM maybe addictive in the same way, but I I’m not in control, that won’t matter.

but, but, but…If it is a maladaptive coping mechanism or another expression of self-hate, can that ever be healthy?

*SCREAMS INTERNALLY* I know I keep asking the same question over and over again. That is because it all boils down to the same problem. Can I ever answer it???

Criminal Minds: Today I Do s6e15


This criminal minds episode hits WAY TOO CLOSE TO HOME! Jane, a former Anorexic, now Bulimic, likes dominance. Her boyfriend is into micro-management. After he breaks her jaw, she breaks up with him. Sometime later she moves in with dominant friend. The friend helps her “recover” through taking complete control. They must have talked about sexual fantasies at some point because as soon as Jane sees her friend, after waking up chained to a bed, she stops freaking out. The friend asks why she was freaking out. Jane says,  “I thought I’d been kidnapped by a psychopath. I haven’t done this before. How was I supposed to react?”

jane CM

After that things start going crazy. Jane stops playing the game and asks to go home and this makes the Domme very, very unhappy. So, she reenacts that awful hobbling scene from Misery (1990). The friend is a serial killer. Her previous victim was severely depressed.

Rossi: “Your daughter is specifically vulnerable to this suspect because of her private emotional issues.”

Errr…..AWKWARD….

They also talk about how all these things boil down to control. Mayhap I have control issues? :p

If Masochism is Self-Hate…Now What?


I just don’t know. Tonight, I’m almost positive my masochism is just another form of self-harm. How could it not be with the depth of my self-loathing?!

If it is simply another way to express self-hate, is that unhealthy? …I think so… but maybe not…

Fringe_Olivia stressed

If it is unhealthy, where does that leave me? This curse has been inside me since I can remember. My mom suggested sex therapy, to manually learn to enjoy vanilla intimacy more than kink but… I don’t think that will work. So, now what?! A life with no sexual pleasure because intimacy is unhealthy for me because sex equals violence because I really, really, really think I deserve violence?!

 ALSO, TO GO OR NOT TO GO TOMORROW?!?!?!?!

In a Fog


Today will be interesting. I have a paper to write by midnight and I got less than 4 hours of sleep last night. THANKS insomnia and anxiety!

insomnia_fringe_olivia

 

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Papers, Always Papers


I have a paper due tomorrow at 11:59 pm. For once, I began before the day it is due! However, I’m not nearly as far as I should be. I’m trying to focus; I didn’t even go on tumblr until an hour ago, but my mind is starting to do that paralyzing anxiety thing already.

Healthy thoughts: focus

Unhelpful Self-Talk: ahahahaha no focus for you

 

Why We Choose Suicide


The 3rd leading cause of death for people ages 15 – 24 is suicide. No one commits suicide because it is not a crime; it is a symptom of mental illness. 90% of people who died by suicide had a diagnosable mental illness at the time of their death.

Supernatural_Cass_deserve to die

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Tabrett Bethell Wisdom


Do you remember Mord-Sith Wisdom? Well, it seems not only is Cara Mason wise, but the actress portraying her is wise to. 🙂

_
Via her instagram page: (Unlike the fake twitter accounts, Bridget Regan verified the instagram is really Tabrett!)

tabrett bethell wisdom personal power easyliving livinguptoyourpotential

To be honest, I was surprised to find profound things on her instagram. Most people use it for random personal pictures. The sentiment resonates with me because along with fear (anxiety), my life is dominated by guilt.

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Oops, Wrong Medication Dosage


Fun fact: The mood stabilizer I’ve been taking for the past 7 years, which I started after my last suicide attempt, has been at the wrong dose for almost a year. I’m supposed to take 200 mg; I’ve had 100 mg since April 2013.      loki_facepalm_by_foxedpeople-d56xo5a

 

Theoretically, mood stabilizers decrease the number of depressive or manic episodes and make the lows less low and the highs less high. The psych ward doctor put me on it after diagnosing me with bipolar type 2. No one else has ever agreed with the diagnosis, but no one changed the medication either. I have no idea how this happened. I didn’t notice the change because I think I figured it was the generic version of the medication. I didn’t even think to make sure it was the same dose! My doctor only figured it out because the pharmacy called him to authorize a refill and he said he was refilling 200 mg of the  medication. The pharmacist said, “She isn’t taking 200 mg. She has been on 100 mg since April.” My doctor thinks this is a contributing factor to my state in the past few months. Unfortunately it takes 5 months to reach its full effectiveness. Nonetheless, the 24 hour window of 70% tuition refund has passed. I decided to fight and stay in school.

 

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To Die or Not to Die


**TRIGGER WARNING SUICIDAL IDEATION**

That is the question. I would have killed myself last night, except if I attempt suicide again, I need to be 100% sure I won’t wake up in the hospital again and that is tough to ensure with the methods available to me on an impulse.

I talked to my mom about whether or not to quit law school. Before the conversation I was fine, during and after the conversation I was suicidal. I was not suicidal because of law school. This has never been about law school. In the end, it is about me. The urges began when Mom admitted something to me… She is frustrated and she has been frustrated for years because she is sick and tired of the crises I manufacture for myself and my enumerated character flaws. She said she was sick of me all four years of undergrad and she almost didn’t want me to go to graduate school because I’m too emotionally weak. She is tired of mental illness and seeing me shoot myself in the foot. The facts don’t bother me. I know I am weak. I know I forge the shackles that hobble me with my own mind. I know the only thing holding me back is me. I know I have plenty of character flaws. I know I sabotage my own success. Her words hurt because she is the main reason I abjure suicide. I stay because I know what my suicide would do to her. There are other reasons like the rest of my family and friends and a lingering fear of hell. However, I believe everyone else would get over it with time. I am afraid of hell for suicide or for any of the innumerable ways I fall short as a human being, but sometimes I think I deserve hell. Furthermore, a large chunk of me thinks there is no hell or God wouldn’t damn me specifically for suicide. My mom is the only person I am certain would not recover from my suicide. Everyone else would move on.

So, when she said she was frustrated and sick of me and my problems…My first thought was that I could easily remove the source of her anger. The past two times I did not write suicide notes. This time I would. In essence, I’m doing it for them, for everyone. There maybe sadness and anger, but there won’t be any more fear, worry, frustration, disappointment, sadness, or anger. That will be the end of my story. She won’t have to worry about whether I’m eating or sleeping or going to class. She can do whatever she wants because she won’t have to worry about me being alone when I’m struggling. If I finish what I started 11 years ago, everyone else will have a better life with me gone. All I do is cause hurt and chaos. Ah hell, GOD started it 23 years ago. Everyone knows I shouldn’t have survived. I contribute nothing positive, or at least not nearly enough positive things to outweigh all the negatives.

My existence only causes heartache. Could I change that? Theoretically, but as my mom said last night, what makes me think I will change? I can say I’ll do better all I want, but so far, I just keep repeating the same mistakes over and over again. Therefore, I have no logical reason to believe I will be a better person in the future. I always say I’ll do better, I’ll be better, and I’ll try harder. But I am never enough and I never will be. There is no point in prolonging their suffering.

Ironically, I don’t want to die.

Buffy_I don't want to die that is something right

Yet, I am an unwelcome burden on the people I love and I cannot abide by that. I say unwelcome because while I would feel guilty if I had ALS and my family members cared for me as my health declined, I would not be suicidal if they wanted me around, while I could still draw breath.       Buffy_Dawn rejection so obvious you don't want me around

But no one does, not really. Sure people would say flowery words, claiming they miss me, but actions speak louder than words. As I said, I admit there would be initial grief and I regret that, but everyone (except perhaps Mom) has their own, separate, vibrant, full life. Taking me out of the equation will not hinder them in the long run. They don’t need me now; so, postmortem platitudes are just that…Empty words. They’ll go back to school, work, family, loved ones, and heal. As I live, all I do is compound the pain. If I die, it would hurt them for a while, but that would be the end of their burden.

I would need to somehow assuage guilt. That is the toughest part. I am capable of killing myself (provided I am uninterrupted) for sure. The worst possible outcome would be interruption and brain damage. I can make sure I am uninterrupted though. Teenage me didn’t think about the interruption part. I expected I’d fall asleep and no one would notice until it was too late. Apparently, I stayed conscious and obviously drugged. No more mistakes. I am certain grief will heal and they’ll experience less pain overall. I have no dependents to worry about. The afterlife will be whatever it is… The only remaining problem is I know suicide makes people feel guilty and guilt can be tougher to overcome than grief. It can tear people apart and I don’t want that.

I know everything in my life, including my death, should I chose it, is my fault and if they could see it rationally they would understand they couldn’t make a difference. However, I of all people, know emotions are not rational. The only way to solve the problem is writing very thorough notes or deciding the risk of guilt is less than the continued pain caused by my presence.

Speaking of my presence, I said I didn’t want to die, but I can’t just disappear to remove my influence because then they will always wonder what happened to me. I imagine that gnawing hole would be worse than my annoyance. A dead body puts that question to rest.

This is all awful because I don’t actually want to die. As much as my loved ones try to understand, they blame me for my shortcomings.

Buffy_dou think I chose to be like this

Last night I paraphrased the above GIF saying, “Do you think I chose to be like this? Do you think I do this on purpose? Do you think I want to make the same mistakes over and over again? Do you think I want to be miserable?!?” She sort of understood what I was saying, but correctly dismissed it. They rightfully blame me. After all, I do make excuses. As my Mom said last night, my failures aren’t from some magical mental illness I can’t control; I let myself be weak and I dodge blame saying I can’t help it. That isn’t true. I can help it, but I won’t. There is something wrong with me because I don’t have the willpower to do things for myself. I’m motivated by pleasing others. I will go through hell for other people, but getting out of bed in the morning for my own gratification feels impossible. I am capable of it, but unless someone else has the expectation that I get out of bed and they’ll know if I don’t get out of bed, and I care about them, I will stay in bed all day.

Buffy_it's hard it's painful and it's everyday

I tried to tell her that while technically I made choices, which led to outcomes I disliked, and technically I have the ability to make different choices, things are not so black and white. Buffy_not that simple

Why would anyone chose this? They would not!! At the same time… she is right. The simple truth is: I am too weak. I could / would / should do a lot…but I’m too weak emotionally.

Buffy_no control just pain

It feels like internal chaos. In reality, I hold the reigns; I can do better. I am simply not strong enough.

Buffy_sleepwalk through life

She said there is no point in doing the bare minimum again and barely passing. It is a waste of time, effort, anguish, and money. That is so true. Nonetheless, part of me holds out hope that I can finish the semester and give new classes a chance. She is correct. I’m foolish. As always, I’m telling myself what I want to hear, but doing nothing to create change.
Buffy_too much for me want it to be over

*breathes deeply* I cried while typing this, big surprise… *sigh* For now I’m trying to persevere. Buffy_moment by moment

But then I think… I’m just kidding myself. I am nothing. I am no one. I am a moment in eternity. I am a red dwarf in a sky full of blazing suns. I could better myself, but I don’t have the energy, the willpower. At least if I died in the next 24 hours, my mom would get 70% of this semester’s tuition back.

I can’t withdraw because that admits defeat and stagnation. Also, as I already said, as boring as I find the material, this all comes down to me and nothing about my circumstances. Plus, quitting dooms me to a lifetime of worrying other people. So, I stay and pass or I kill myself. Doing it sooner rather than later means my family gets some money. So, am I reducing the value of my life to about $9,500? I guess so. That seems callous, but I believe it is worth less than that.

*laughs bitterly* Now I am frustrated! I still don’t want to die. There are places I want to see and things I want to experience, but they come at the cost of other people’s happiness. I feel sad; my heart is heavy.

I won’t kill myself, unless on impulse because some small part of me knows even though I can’t fathom it at the moment, my suicide would hurt the people I care about more than I can imagine.

Here is to spending the next 2 hours reading for a class I think I may have already failed because I missed too much class. I may have miscalculated the number of allowed absences because I forgot to take the credit hour change into account. Although my classes are all the same as last semester, their respective number of hours changed this semester and the maximum allowed absences is a function of how many hours a class is worth.

I guess in the interim, I’ll make do with imagining violence happening to me. (…which is why I fear masochism is an outlet of self-loathing…but then it is the only way I am aroused…but then this is clearly related…Ugh, FAIL…)

Dean_Supernatural_stabbing you in my mind

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The (AWFUL) Reasons I’m Staying in Law School


I’m 97% sure I’m going to slog through the rest of the semester. It seems I hate law school with more passion than most of my peers, but I am staying. Here is why:

  1. To prove I can
  2. To make my professor’s proud
  3. In the hope that I will like law school/the practice of law later

(To prove I can) Objectively this makes no sense. I already passed last semester while battling depression. There is nothing to prove…except, to prove to the scholarship committee that I am capable of getting good grades. This should not matter at all, if I’m planning on quitting law school at the end of this semester. It matters to me because what positive views I hold about myself come from outside sources (IQ tests, scholarships, grades). Losing the scholarship by .07 of a GPA point makes me angry at myself. I feel the need to prove I can get great grades in law school, even if I’m not finishing.

boromir facepalmFyi, this is Ned Stark in The Game of Thrones (note the Hand of the King pin on his vest), not Boromir from Lord of the Rings

(To make my professors proud) This makes no sense either. I’ve spoken to 2 out of my 3 professors and they both said they were impressed that I got the grades I got last semester with my lack of class attendance and procrastination. They both also said I should have higher grades in their class based on raw ability. Lastly, they both expressed concern about my health, saying I am more than capable of being at the top of my class, but maybe not right now. They both suggested a leave of absence. On one hand, despite my failings, they think I’m smart and they both said they were proud. On the other hand, they both think I can’t do it. Well, I’ve proven I can get straight Cs in law school with depression. They mean they think straight Cs are no indicative of my potential and I should take time off to get healthy before coming back and kicking ass. I want to prove I can get As and Bs with depression. I suppose that is idiotic. Why does it matter that I can still pull off good grades while mentally ill? That is like someone saying, “I want to prove I can still get straight As while undergoing cancer treatment.” It matters because if I am as smart as they think I am, I should be able to get good grades in spite of depression. I want to prove them wrong in a good way. They think I’m intelligent, I want them to be happy when they think of me, not sad or disappointed. If I get the grades I “deserve“, they’ll be happy.

(In the hope that I will like law school/the practice of law later) I still hold hope that I can find a niche in the law, but as of now, I’ve only taken 3 classes because the classes I’m taking right now are continuations of last semester. If I can just struggle through the next 3 months and pass, I’ll be able to try classes I might actually enjoy. I’m scared of regrets. If I can make it through this semester and at least try some classes that align with what I believe I want to practice, I won’t have to wonder “what if…?”

In the meantime, here is my life:The Hulk_Avengers_I'm always angry

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Crying in Least Favorite Professor’s Office


*this happened two weeks ago, I’m not sure why it is in my Draft folder*

I just met with my Contract’s professor. I don’t know if I can call him my least favorite professor anymore. I was certain he hated me, but he was sweet.

He said sometimes it isn’t a question of whether you can make it in law school, but whether right now is the right time to go to law school.

He also said a C (which is literally average because they force the curve) in Contracts does not reflect my capability. Furthermore, I’m extremely smart based on my essay answers and my answers in class (WHEN I COME TO CLASS). Therefore, it makes him sad that I got a C last semester because he is sure based on raw intelligence I should be at the top of the class. In addition, he worries because I’m already struggling again and as a result of missing 5 out of 6 classes so far this semester, I am already in a hole again. He doesn’t want me to have to dig myself out of a hole.

He said I have an interesting choice. On one hand, I could quit, get better, wipe the slate clean, and get the grades I deserve. He said it was “unfair” and used words like “deserve”, but I don’t see myself as entitled to a certain grade because I’m smart. I didn’t do the work or show up to class. Of course my grades did not reflect my capability. I deserved to fail. I didn’t say any of this. I was too busy wiping tears from my face because I know he, my LRW professor, and my friend are right.

*****warning lots of cursing ahead*****

I know a C average (I got a C+, C, and C-, which equals a straight C average) does not reflect my capability. I know based on the LSAT scores of my classmates, subjective impressions of professors, and the general population bell curve (Granted it would be different in law school because theoretically only smarter people go to grad school of any type. So, most likely I wouldn’t be as high on an IQ bell curve of my law school peers versus an IQ bell curve of the general population), I should be at the top of my class. In fact, using those measures, a C equals failure…like seriously, since I’m objectively intelligent, a C is abysmal. If I’d gone to class, read for class, done homework before the night it was due, and made an attempt to study for the exams, I should have easily gotten As. I know they’re correct when they say I am not living up to my capability and my grades do not indicate my ability. The problem is I have to at least SHOW UP TO FREAKING CLASS, read for class or FOR GOD SAKES AT LEAST OPEN THE BOOK, start a research paper before FOUR FUCKING HOURS before it is due (seriously?!?! WHO DOES THAT?!?! We’re given weeks to work on it and even class time off and I start it 4 hours before it is due. WHAT THE FUCK IS WRONG WITH ME?!?!?!?!?!?!), and study for more than a FRIKING HOUR (Again, what the hell, you stupid fucking bitch?!?!?!?!?!?!?! You have no school from Thanksgiving to December 10th because they expect you to STUDY a semester’s worth of material. What does the lazy idiot do?!? NOTHING. ABSOLUTELY. NOTHING…until 1 hour before the exam begin.)

I don’t know what my fucking problem is!! I’m not lazy. Honestly, I am not. I used to be on the Dean’s List in college, what the fuck is wrong with me?! Oh I know….fucking depression. But the fucked up thing is I WASN’T DEPRESSED the summer between senior year and law school or during Winter break. Law school makes me depressed!!!!!! So, what the fuck can I do? If I quit, I believe my depression will lift. I don’t think I’ll need a higher level of care. If I begin again or take a leave of absence and start where I left off, I think the same thing will happen all over again.

Right now I am miserable. I cannot take 3 more years of this fucked up madness. I’ll go more insane. So, why stay?

Because I hold out hope that when I am interested in the course material, I’ll like law school.

He said on the other hand I could decide to stay and push through it, but if I decide to stay I need to camp out near his office and get help to make sure I understand all I’ve missed. Also, if I miss even one more class, I can’t take the exam. In other words, I fail the class.

On the bright side, I feel a little better after crying and cursing a lot while ranting. Ha, if you knew me, you’d know I rarely curse, even in anger. I’m 23 and I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve cursed at someone. Apparently, it helps to release my self-hatred.

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Aversive Stimuli: To Quit Law School


This weekend my dad and I spoke about my “demons”. (his words, not mine) Just like my mom comparing eating disorder behavior to self-control, my dad asked how I could stand to cut my arms and yet I couldn’t read a few pages in a boring book. My mom referring to restricting or purging as self-control bugs me because they aren’t displays of self-control. If anything, they’re a lack of control. She, of all people, should know that! At first, his similar question bugged me because I thought he was downplaying self-injury.

He explained himself saying the first time I cut myself it had to hurt. However, I kept doing it and the more I cut, the deeper the cuts became. I got “better” at it. I learned to withstand an increasing amount of pain, despite its aversive nature. Thinking about it, he has a point.

Why is scarring my arm easier than reading a stupid book? What is so aversive? Well, it is boring. That hardly seems like a good enough reason. I think the problem is I’m imagining a lifetime of exceedingly boring work. It isn’t just a chapter because it represents years, which scares me. Overcoming a semester or 2 of boredom would be simple, but a lifetime is different.

Why is class so aversive? Right now, I’m sitting 30 feet away from the classroom I should be in. Why is sitting through an hour and 15 minute class so awful that I can’t bother to walk 30 feet to endure it?

Supernatural_Dean_i am crap

Well, my self-concept as an intelligent person is shaky. It is one of the few things I like about myself, but for most of my life I didn’t believe it. So, the belief is easily upset. Classes confuse me because I skip most of them and don’t read. Therefore, class is aversive because it makes me feel stupid. However, logically I know if I skip, I only become more lost. So, what is really keeping me from going to class? I am more terrified of others seeing me as an imposter than discovering I’m not good enough on my own. If I don’t read, I will look stupid if I am cold called. I’ll look especially stupid; reading doesn’t guarantee a good answer.

I think my problem is I cannot face people thinking I am not good enough. Here, that means my IQ. I’d rather hide and leave the possibility that I’m intelligent. It is a vicious cycle because the more I avoid class, the more lost I feel, and the more lost I feel, the more painful class becomes. At the beginning of each day, I tell myself I’ll do the right things. I’ll read for class  and go to all my class regardless. Yet, every day I procrastinate thinking I’ll begin reading in an hour, after the next article, or after I read all my open tabs. As soon as that happens, I invent some other excuse. Since I don’t read, I feel increasingly anxious about class and true to form, I skip it. Then I feel guilty. When I get home I know I should study, but I feel awful and the mounting absences and unread pages, makes it feel overwhelming. Therefore, I avoid beginning the task and it all starts over…

Supernatural_every wrong move_Dean

How can I fix the problem? Get more real will power? I need to change how I think and/or feel. The thoughts cause the feelings. I could manually alter the feelings with my usual coping “skills”. In fact, at the moment, I very much want to cut. Yet, even though the coping mechanisms help wash the pain away, I usually still don’t want to study because all of them tire me. So, the best road is to change my thoughts, but that is a long journey. It is difficult to catch, challenge, and change all incorrect thoughts. Plus, it takes time to actually begin to believe the changed thoughts.

Is there anything I can do in the meantime? Accountability doesn’t work, at least not with my parents, because I lie to them so they aren’t disappointed. I have the next 3 days to do better. If I can’t at least read and go to every class for the next 3 days, I’m quitting. A leave of absence is pointless because law school is the environmental factor creating my depression! Other than the inevitable ego loss from failure, I think my depression will abate if I leave. The only way a leave of absence would help is if I fixed all my maladaptive thought patterns and then tried again. I don’t think I can. I think I’m stuck like this.

Supernatural_dean crying better

I don’t know what else to do that could help me do the right things in the next 3 days/ the rest of the semester.

Psychosomatic Mental Illness?!


Don’t get the stake and pitchforks yet! I’m not saying everyone imagines mental illness. I’ve seen plenty of brain scans, which show otherwise. Plus, I realize psychosomatic refers to physical symptoms arising from emotional or mental issues, not physical causes. Therefore my use of the word is technically incorrect. Nonetheless…

Despite my swing from positive to negative in minutes yesterday, apparently I was more serious than I realized. Last night I told my mom a little about my ED relapse, including that I think I should go back on a meal plan. To her credit, for once, she did not automatically suggest a higher level of care. At the moment, it is unnecessary, but usually when she learns I’m using ED behaviors she says, “Do you want to end up hospitalized?”

However, ever since I told her, I feel like crawling out of my skin! I feel 1,000x more uncomfortable in my body! Realistically, nothing changed; no matter how much “accountability” she provides, we both know she can’t stop my behaviors. Yet for some reason, that one act of defiance (of ED) is terrifying me. Logically, I know my body didn’t grow overnight, but I feel monstrous! I feel more fat and repulsive than usual. It is as if defying ED and reaching out focused my attention all the more on my body/ how I experience being inside my body.

Plus, food instantly became scarier. I struggled to eat breakfast, whereas last weekend I was fine. I’m almost always okay on weekends because even though I eat more than I want to, I know I “have to” in order to keep up appearances. However, this morning I didn’t want to eat. In fact, now I feel like crying. …Hahaha, I talk so much about crying, but I rarely break down in tears in real life >.< …

The last time I cried over eating food was as a senior in high school.  I think it was September and the school year started in August. For a few weeks I went to school in the morning and returned to treatment for lunch, PM snack, and dinner. This was my first full day back at school. I sat alone in the locker room, staring at my lunch. With a heavy sigh, I opened an applesauce cup and dipped my spoon in it. Then I started crying. It is difficult to describe the fear an eating disorder creates. We know we need food to survive. We know most people, given the opportunity, eat every day, more than once a day! But when we look at food we see all our shortcomings manifested. Taking a bite equals admitting or giving into our weakness. It means magically expanding fat cells and everyone you love turning against you because food will make you so hideous that no one can stand to be around you. Food is the enemy; it horrifies you. I literally had nightmares about eating. Eating causes a huge spike of anxiety, fear, and self-loathing. This disease is one thing you’re good at; one thing you can do right. After all, despite your teachers and parents insisting you’re smart and capable, you know the truth. You know you’re inadequate and you’re terrified if you eat, they will finally see the monster you see in the mirror. Illogical? Yes. Insane? Yes. Irrational? Of course. But the feelings and thoughts are as real to you as your grief at your grandmother’s funeral.

Right now, I’m a tight knot of dread and misgivings. I feel nauseous and bloated. I want out of my body.

And why? Just because I committed the cardinal sin, I admitted my human weakness and asked for help. There are a million eating disorder blogs on the internet; it may seem like we’re fine with expressing emotion and needs, but there is a huge difference between anonymously ranting online and using your words to ask someone in your life for help.

Now off to try to kill the other law students with studying…

willow_fake smile

…I lied, one more thing:

Remember how I said when we eat, we imagine we’ll immediately gain weight? I meant it. In my first week of inpatient treatment, I felt my clothes get tighter on my body. I saw my body getting larger in the mirror. If someone wanted to bet me that I wasn’t gaining weight, I would laugh in their face and agree to a million dollar bet. I was at “fat camp”, on a weight gain meal plan and I could see and feel the differences! However, I would be a million dollars in debt because a few days later they put me back on bathroom monitoring. Apparently, I lost weight in my first 2 weeks and they thought I purged in the bathroom. So, while I was sick, not only did my mind whisper lies in my ears and my emotions skyrocket, but also my perception of reality was skewed. My clothes felt tighter on my body and I saw myself gain weight because I believed that was what was happening.

Perhaps the fact that it is happening again is a testament to this being a real relapse? I don’t know because I call these  blips relapses, but it always gets better before I get too sick and even as my least disordered, the thoughts are still in my head. They never left. Therefore, have I ever been in recovery?

Oh, for the record, I was not purging. I was hypermetabolic, a state of increased metabolic rate, usually in response to a significant bodily injury. Sometimes when malnourished people, in starvation mode, begin re-feeding (FYI, a normal or even overweight person can be malnourished! Health is not simply calories consumed, it also quality.) their metabolism re-boots when it gets adequate calories again and it revs up before settling to a normal level. It is a terrible irony for re-feeding anorexics or underweight bulimics because the treatment team gives you a high weight gain meal plan to begin with and then your body makes it doubly hard to gain weight with hypermetabolism. I was lucky, my metabolism calmed down in a month. I knew some girls forced to eat 5,000 – 6,000 calories PER DAY for months and they still struggled to gain weight. It might sound wonderful, eat all you want and don’t gain weight! But it is hell when you’re used to only eating small amounts or throwing up larger amount of food. I remember times when I honestly thought my stomach would burst because it hurt so badly (Yes, anyone’s stomach can burst from too much consumption). Your body acclimated to less food and even got used to regurgitating after large intake. It is uncomfortable to eat and keep down a normal sized meal, much less a menu that would satisfy a 300 lbs football player! In that regard, even normal weight or overweight bulimics struggling in treatment because even though they don’t have to gain weight, they may not be used to keeping normal-sized meals down; therefore, it is physically painful.

Double Standard in Weight Loss


We all know it exists! After all, there is a huge outcry over The Biggest Loser of season 15’s weight loss. Yet, all the others did the exact same UNHEALTHY behaviors to lose as much weight as they did. No one is saying bad things about them. People only care if you’re “too thin”.

I suppose I can’t blame the average person; freaking eating disorder specialists do it!

For example, soon after I was weight restored from Anorexia, talking about going to 3 cycling classes per day would get me shrewd glare and a lecture about moderation! Conversely, if I went to the gym for 3 hours at my high weight, people would congratulate me for my will power! The Biggest Loser competitors are body-shamed, humiliated, and screamed at to get them to exercise for hours every day!

This hits close to home because last semester of school I lost 50 pounds. No one said a word for months. Until last week my mom’s only comments were compliments. It is impossible to lose the amount of weight I lost, in the time I lost it, in a healthy manner. However, since I began overweight (not morbidly obese), no one expressed concern or batted an eye lash when I skipped lunch and breakfast every day. After all, when you’re fat, losing weight is good! Right?!?! Not even the numerous people in my life who know I have a long history of diagnosed eating disorders and hospitalizations said anything. Fuck people. NOW they want me to stop losing weight? Yeah right, NOT GOING TO HAPPEN.

To clarify, I am fine that no one tried to stop me. I’d be content for them to remain silent!!

Supernatural Bobby SHHH

I am angry that they are saying something now, as though it was inconsequential at a higher weight, but now my behavior is the end of the world.

*edit* And this, folks, is why nothing changes…Minutes ago I thought, “I’ll get back on a meal plan and focus on school for a week.” I meant what I wrote in my last post; in the moment I wrote it, I was committed. Shortly after posting, my good spirits faded and I thought, “Screw this! I have to keep losing weight!

Everything You Want is on the Other Side of Fear


on the other side of fear

This is SO true for me! My life is ruled by fear. Yesterday someone on my inpatient alumni group posted this picture and it is now my desktop background. So, in an effort to see what happens when I ignore my unhelpful cognitions and behaviors, I am going to put myself back on a meal plan *shudders* with 3 meals and 3 snacks per day. Every time I catch a distorted thought like, “You’re fat”, “No one likes you”, “You’re a failure”, “Maybe you should quit law school and….”, “I’ll just do this one more thing online before starting homework *4 hours later* I’ll just do this one more…”, etc. I’m going to challenge the thought and change it, or if it is an anxiety provoking thought like quitting law school, I’ll just shut it down. I’m going to pass no judgment on my thoughts, just let them occur, but challenge the maladaptive thoughts. I’m going to wake up and go to sleep at normal times regardless of my class schedule. I’m also going to do homework/reading before the day of. Since I’m a few hundred pages behind, I may not be online much. Although, working 16 hours straight is an unreasonable expectation for law school. I think I’ll start off with a half hour of full concentration of school equals 15 minutes of free time.

 

In other words, 5 years later I’m starting to implement all those CBT and DBT skills Remuda tried to teach me.BBT_hit sheldon with pillow

MAKING yourself depressed, LETTING your eating disorder come back


Mom said those words to me. She claims I’m self-sabotaging. There might be some merit to that statement because I can see myself going downhill as behaviors increase and I do nothing to stop it. sad olivia

If I cared more I would tell my parents or my treatment team about the increase in behaviors. Failing to heed warning signs is like letting my eating disorder come back, which could be self-sabotage. Technically, I make myself depressed. My depression is almost always a result of distorted thinking, as opposed to a random chemical imbalance. While thoughts can alter brain function (For example, brain imaging shows that Cognitive Behavior Therapy, which focuses on changing problematic thought patterns, can re-wire the brain), I can sort of control my thoughts or at least work harder to catch them, challenge them, and change them. Failing to try to change irrational thought patterns is similar to making myself depressed…except, it isn’t something I consciously do. Unlike with ED, I don’t consciously ignore thoughts, they just seem natural and pass under the radar.

On the other hand, sometimes it looks like I’m not trying because I’m falling, but in reality, I am trying. She just can’t see it. Plus, I don’t want to be depressed I want to learn what it is like to wake up in the morning and not feel sad

and I don’t want to have an eating disorder (most days I don’t want ED). Often she says things like, “Ok you have an altered HPA access, what can we do to fix the behavior?” I know this is adaptive, focusing on the cause, when I can’t change the cause is pointless. However, the way she says that type of comment always comes off as blaming me for mental illness. Now, if a schizophrenic purposefully goes off their meds and has a psychotic break, can we blame them for the break? Assuming they did not go off their meds because of a thought distortion, perhaps we could blame them for a psychotic break because they knew the risk of relapse. However, I don’t think anyone should blame them for having schizophrenia. There is a difference between blaming someone for not following their treatment plan while not acutely ill (acute illness negates blaming them for not following their treatment plan because they’re not in full control) to minimize their symptoms and blaming someone for having a mental illness in the first place. Logically, when I take a step back, I know she means the former, but it always sounds like the latter.

On the subject of EDs, I got the “You need to be careful about loosing more weight; you’ll never see yourself as thin enough” lecture. Also, whenever my parents go out during dinner, she insists on making me dinner before they leave. *sigh* I knew the lies could only last so long. She wants to believe my lies and so she just looks at me with suspicion, but at the certain point the symptoms are undeniable. Plus, I swear she has superpowers; she can always tell if I’ve purged within the last week. I rarely wear makeup, so my eyes often look tired and puffy, but somehow she can always tell the difference between circles under my eyes from lack of sleep and circles under my eyes from burst blood vessels. The tiny red dots are indicative of purging, but they’re not always present.

Non-Violent Communication? Here? LOL!


Emotions are running high lately because of me.

A half hour ago…

Mom: “When are you planning on getting up?”

Me: “Soon.”

Mom: “You’ve wasted almost half the day already.”

Me: “I’m planning on getting up soon.”

Mom: *attempts to slam door* (It won’t slam because it is already broken – not by me)

Me: *sighs and starts getting up*

Meanwhile down stairs I hear thrashing, banging, pots hitting the ground, and possibly china…more things thrown on the ground…”

Fringe_Peter hit head bang

Me: “Are you throwing a temper tantrum like a child or are you trying to wake me up? I can’t decide.”

Mom: “I’m NOT trying to wake you up.”

*banging stops, so I venture downstairs*

As I eat Mom is stomping around and sighing heavily.

Me: “When I start working, can you please stop throwing things or I can leave the house.”

Mom: “Working? You’re not working.”

Me: “Yes, but when I start studying can you please stop throwing things and slamming doors?”

Mom: “Yes.”

Me: “Thank you.”

Ha, I realize I’m a tough person to deal with, but seriously?! What are you, 5 years old?I’m beginning to think the woman has anger issues outside of dealing with a mentally ill daughter. Usually I would say more mean things right back, but I’m very serene this morning. I suppose it is because I just woke up. It was sweet, I didn’t get angry feeling her anger.

I can also see more of why my brother and I developed our coping skills. Mom throws things and yells when she is upset. Dad refuses to speak to you or runs away and on rare occasion hits. My brother, I have no idea what he does! He withdraws like my dad and I, but somehow he remains calm. I guess it is because he remains detached somehow? I withdraw and hide my emotions to, but I can’t hold them in like my brother. I’m not sure why, maybe I’m weaker or maybe his detachment is real and he just doesn’t care. I get caught up in the emotions of people around me; he does not. I don’t let them see my emotions because I’m afraid of their reaction. Yet, they fester inside me and I must lance their wounds. So, I cut myself, starve, binge, purge, or let someone else hurt me to erase the emotions. (The interchangeability of these mechanism is why I fear masochism is secretly an unhealthy coping mechanism for me and not just a sexual proclivity.) It is like letting air out of a balloon that is about to burst from being too full of air, instead of letting it pop.

Family Breakfast


I couldn’t sleep last night. In order to keep myself awake while driving I ate breakfast and did not turn the heat on in the car. I didn’t feel cold. My car said it was 12 degrees outside; the radio said it was 10 degrees. I think I was ok because when I shivered at 19 degrees it was late afternoon. So, the sun was low in the sky and this morning it was shining. Also, I forgot my meds a few days last week. Today I remembered and maybe my body is no longer used to the high dose of stimulants.

Anyway, when I was sick my mom instituted “Family Breakfast” because unless someone watched me, I didn’t eat. I saw right through the “spending more time together” lie.

Fringe_toast

Today my mom ate breakfast with me. Usually I don’t eat breakfast, but also she is usually on her way to work when I am getting ready. Eating breakfast with her reminded of “Family Breakfast”, which reminded me of treatment.

In turn, it reminded of me treatment friends. Some of them are dead; others are on disability. One died at 20. I’m now 23, things aren’t perfect, but they could be much worse.

In other news: I’ve only skipped 3 classes this week. Granted, 2 of them were Contracts, meaning I’ve skipped 3 of the 4 class times we’ve had this semester. The other was Civ Pro…Oops! I plan on going to Contracts at 2 pm today. I also plan on actually doing research for the paper due Sunday before the night it is due. Then again, I always plan on studying/ catching up/ reading for class/ etc., but then sleep sounds so much more inviting. Haha, yesterday I was awake for a grand total of 8 hours.

LotS_cara eye roll

Another TED talk: Depression Stigma


He has a great point! He is absolutely right; the only way to destroy the stigma is talking openly about it.

 

However, I’m not ready to let the world know about my depression.

GoT_father told the truth

Yes, Sansa, he was an honest man and look what happened to him!

OK, that was ironic considering this is a blog, but the only people who know me IRL and have any idea this blog exists are people who already know most of this and I trust to accept me with the other stuff (I.e. masochism, bisexuality).

You Don’t have to Fight Anymore


I talked to my Legal Research and Writing Professor for an hour and a half. She is amazing! It turns out that she struggles with depression. We talked about depression, anxiety, perfectionism, medication, therapy, premature birth, support systems, and coping mechanisms. My professor asked if there was a family history of mental illness (there is a minor history, but no one as bad as me) and whether I thought my struggles were genetic or environmental. I said both, but that was why we talked about prematurity. She didn’t say anything new, but she phrased some ideas differently than other people. It was helpful.

What especially stuck with me was “Wow, no wonder you’re a fighter. You have always been a fighter…but you don’t have to fight anymore. I was proud, amazed, that you passed last semester. You’ve clearly proven you can do it and you’re smart enough. Leaving doesn’t equal failure. You need to do what makes you happy. I worry about you because law school is making you this miserable. The first year is tough, but I know many people who struggled with depression in their 3rd year. This, no degree, is worth being suicidal.

But then again, I feel like I still have something to prove. Like this: (4:44 – 5:09)

Is this what you really want? I know it is hard to know this early; if it is, maybe you should fight for it. If it’s not, the degree isn’t worth the pain you’re in. Maybe a leave of absence would help. If you’re much better out of law school that maybe your answer. Also, just because you leave, doesn’t mean you can never come back. I know students who failed their first semester, reapplied, and returned. I see no reason why you wouldn’t be accepted; you have a solid C average. You’ve proven yourself.”

She also said I can help people without a law degree. I said I wanted to do child advocacy; she said there may even be better ways to make a difference because with the law, you feel like you’re fighting unwinnable battles against this giant system. She used to be a child advocate and a juvenile defense attorney, but she became a professor because she burned out.

She said I deserve to take care of myself. I deserve to be happy. I shouldn’t do things because like her, “I (she) was the intelligent person who didn’t want to take the MCAT. It was expected because everyone said I’d made a good lawyer…and I made a great lawyer. My perfectionism worked in my favor, but I was miserable.” Also, on one hand, I am depressed and that wreaks havoc on motivation, but on the other hand, is it possible I waited until the last possible moment to do every assignment, barely read the casebooks, and skipped as many classes as possible to still pass because this is really not were I want to be?

I have a lot to think about. If I become suicidal again, I will at least take a leave of absence. Short of that, I don’t know what to do. I am inclined to stay…today.

lilah teasing smile

On stepping away from incrimination and accepting sexuality


“Love as thou wilt.” While reading Kushiel’s Chosen, it occurred to me that love cannot be evil. Sure, love can lead us to do immoral things, but the raw emotion can’t be wrong. How could it?

Perhaps it sounds cliché, but my religion is love. I badly want to believe in the God I grew up with, but I struggle. I do not think our mortal minds are capable of conceiving such grandiose things, if they are true. Therefore, how could a benevolent God punish mere humans for getting it wrong? I do not think he would. That would be like an adult punishing a 3 year old for failing to grasp theoretical physics! So, I believe if there is a God or some, any, force that is immortal and controls our access to the afterlife, he/she/they/it could not reasonably damn us for not grasping the truth of planes beyond our existence. If he is smarter than us, he is most likely wiser and more compassionate because if he is more intelligent, he would have to understand our lack of knowledge and intelligence. As a result, unless he is so far beyond us that we are tiny ants, unworthy of his concern, he would not damn us.

I believe we cannot know the truth of what lies beyond our awareness. We can cast our lot with one religion or another, but we cannot be certain until after death. So, our morals cannot come from religious precepts. Then were do they come from? I am not entirely sure, that would take another post. I do know having a positive impact on others is a good thing.

Yet, things are not so simple. One kind act could have awful implications that we could not possibly be aware of. For example, say a woman is starving and out of kindness I give her dinner. As a result, she is able to survive to get her next meal and eventually she finds her feet and prospers. Ten years later she gives birth to a daughter and twenty years after that the daughter gives birth to Adolf Hitler. Hitler, as your know, goes on to orchestrate the murder of millions of people. My one act of kindness saved a woman’s life, but in the end, brought untold suffering. We cannot know the full ripples of our actions. Therefore, how can we be judged solely on what measurable good we do in life? I do not think we can be judged that way. We could judge based on the immediate consequence of any one action, but even that could turn out poorly.

So, if not our deeds, what is left to judge our worth? I think the only thing left is our intent. If our intent is good, born of kindness, compassion, and love, I think we are good people. We may make wrong choices or we may make seemingly correct choices, which lead to catastrophe, but I think our intent is how we can judge a person’s character.

Assuming that supposition is right, how can love, gay, bi, straight, paraphilias, masochistic, or sadistic be wrong? I do not think it can be wrong! There are exceptions, when your “love” harms another person, it is not love; it is lust. For example, I believe pedophilia is wrong because a child cannot consent to sex and sexual abuse does immense harm to children. If pedophiles really loved children, they would not touch them.

However, as long as actions are between consenting adults and do not impinge on a third party’s rights, I conclude love cannot be immoral. Furthermore, if I am wrong, I cannot see how a just deity would damn me for my lack of perfect comprehension when I did not have all the facts. Faith maybe the best course of action, but we are weak; we are not omniscient. How can we be judged by standards that are beyond us?

In sum, thanks to Jacqueline Carey and Phèdre nó Delaunay de Montrève, I am another step closer to accepting this part of myself. Thanks to Deej, I accept my bisexuality. In years past, I hated my learning disability and mental illnesses. Truthfully, sometimes I still despise the mental illnesses because they make school, relationships, and life in general, much more difficult. However, I now accept my learning disability is not stupidity or a character flaw. It is a result of extreme prematurity (23 weeks gestation) and an intraventricular hemorrhage I suffered in the first 6 months of life. It is not my fault. Yes, it makes academia tougher and presents unique challenges, but I am stubborn and intelligent; I am capable of persevering. Hell, I already defied doctors’ expectations many times over. One doctor (my mom said she used to wish I’d go to medical school and become his boss in the NICU) told her: You don’t need to worry about her getting into college, or even graduating high school. She’ll be deaf, blind, and retarded. You need to worry about whether she can hold down a job, which is unlikely.

You know what? My parents are f**king right when they call me a miracle. At the time of my birth, no baby born as early as I ever survived the NICU at the hospital I was transferred to after birth. Child magazine ranked the hospital in the “top 10 best hospitals in the nation” 4 times in a row. It is considered 3rd in the nation for neonatal care according to U.S. News and World Report. Furthermore, the hospital received the nation’s highest honor for nursing excellence, the Magnet designation from the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC). To date, only 170 of almost 5,000 hospitals nationwide – 3 percent – have Magnet status. In January 2010, it was redesignated as a Magnet hospital by the ANCC Magnet Recognition Program. Only 2 percent of hospitals nationally have achieved Magnet re-designation. In other words, it is a fricking good hospital and it was good in 1990 to. So, their inability to save a baby born at 23 weeks gestation says something about the state the neonatology at the time. I’m not perfect; there are immutable challenges I must live with, but I am freaking awesome when you consider everything.

some parts of me are awesome

As for the mental illnesses, I believe they are due, in part, to my first 6 months of life. Numerous longitudinal studies show NICU graduates have higher rates of mental illness, including mood disorders like anxiety and depression. I do not know if recovery is possible for me. I know Cognitive Behavioral Therapy can literally rewire the brain, maybe I can recover. However, whether or not I can gain remission from my mental disorders, I must believe I can manage them better. I can surround myself with people who accept me for who I am, I can utilize my support systems, and I can use coping skills to the best of my ability. Managing emotions does not come readily to me. I did not learn to healthily self-sooth and perhaps my emotions will always be more intense than most people’s, but I can learn to use the coping skills therapy taught me.

I used to think I did not have a “right” to be sick. I used to believe my life was perfect, I had a good school, nice friends, a loving family, and I wanted for naught; so, I thought I had no reason to struggle. Now I realize those things, while I am blessed to have them, do not negate my internal world. For whatever reason, I have these problems; they are my burden to bear. I wish it was not so, but I am what I am. I can be no more and no less. I have a right to my feelings, even my irrational ones, but I can learn to harness them. Moreover, I have a right to love who I want and how I want, so long as I am not taking away someone else’s rights.

*edit* While I acknowledge my prematurity had am impact on my development (if nothing else, I endured surgeries until I was 16 to correct certain problems), I do not agree with psychodynamic theory. They believe the unconscious governs most, if not all, mental illness, expressing some unknown need from our forgotten childhood. In contrast, I admit neonatal trauma can physically alter brain development, for example, my stroke.

It is possible that my former therapist is correct and I am substituting masochism for self-injury or my eating disorder, maybe it is unhealthy. At the same time, it gives me peace, security, and happiness. Again, as long as I am not harming others (For example, if shooting random people made me happy, I still could not morally do it.), and it is not detrimental to me wellbeing, I ought to be able to conduct myself as I want. I do not think peace, security, and happiness can be wrong. Granted, my eating disorder gives me those things, after a fashion, but it also harms my long-term health, which when all is said and done, takes away happiness. Masochism, done safely and sanely, does none of those things.

In conclusion, there are still ways I can better myself. Everyone is capable of self-improvement. Bisexuality and masochism do not make me a lesser human being or weak. They are part of who I am. In truth, so are my mental illnesses because they’ve given me more compassion and understanding of others. They’ve shaped me. The harm of mental illnesses can go, but they are not a character flaw or weakness on my part and in a way, I am grateful for them. Bisexuality and masochism are not diseases; they are not immoral. I…I am okay; I am not bad because of them. Alt and Olive_happy to see you Fauxlivia_happy to see you

B smile2 Felicia Day_satisfied smile

Starting Fires


Fringe_Angry pyro

Yesterday my therapist/psychiatrist said, “You’re doing it again; you’re manufacturing the next catastrophe. We’ve only had short times of in-depth therapy because you divert attention from the underlying problems to the next big crisis.”

First of all, props to me for going to therapy for the first time in over a month! Second, he is right. I do create catastrophes in my life. The ironic thing is my first therapist told me that 10 years ago after seeing her for a year and a half. She said I had a habit of “starting fires (metaphorically! I’m not a pyromaniac!) to avoid the real problems.” I’ve seen my current therapist for 9 years! My mom said she switched my treatment providers because she thought I was manipulating my therapist and the therapist didn’t know it.

I don’t remember ever intentionally manipulating her. Lol, apparently she had me better figured out than my mom realized. Honestly, I don’t do this consciously. Two therapists saying the same thing about me makes it more convincing though. I’m not sure how they can tell the difference between “starting fires” and having mental illness flare ups because many people with mental illness have bouts of remission and relapse.

Then again, I do shoot myself in the foot a lot. There are certain warning signs and I often knowingly ignore them. Plus, many times I do stupid/bad things for no good reason. In other words, I do them when I’m not in the vice-grip of mental illness. So, maybe they’re both right.

I’d be less skeptical if his comment wasn’t followed by, “I realized you’re repeating what happened to you as a little girl.” …OMFG, psychoanalysis is stupid! While I can see how my birth trauma impacts me (I was born at 23 weeks gestation in 1990), I don’t think I’m unconsciously repeating the past, which I can’t even remember. Furthermore, I think that is a stupid theory.

None of you know me and I’ve only blogged for 3 months. Therefore, I know you only have a limited snapshot of me. Despite that lack of knowledge, given what you know, do you think they’re right? Either way, why? If they are correct, what do you think I can do to change the pattern?

What should I do with my life?


Ah, skipping school again. On the bright side, I took my meds today. Oh, and I’m awake before 4 pm!

sunrise

I want to help people. I want to ultimately leave the world a better place than when I left it. Am I an altruist? No. I bet this comes from the same part of me that believes I’m evil, always atoning for some nameless sin. Since my motives are less than pure, I don’t think I am doing true good works. Nonetheless, I want to make a positive impact.

I despise law school. Yesterday I said I’d wait until my meds had a chance to kick-in again, but seriously this sucks!

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Jobs that have a positive impact:

  1. Justice (Prosecutor, Child advocate, Forensic psychologist)
  2. Healer (Doctor, EMT, Nurse, ultrasound technician, MHT, Therapist)
  3. Protector (Armed Forces, FBI, CIA, Police Officer, ICE, DoD)
  4. Knowledge (Researcher – Psychological, medicine, physics)
  5. The Next Generation (Teacher)

The first thing I remember wanting to do is to work for the CIA as a spy. My parents quickly discouraged that because of the danger. All of the jobs listed above are job I’ve considered. In fact, when searching for undergrad universities I looked at teaching and nursing programs. I entered undergrad as a nursing student, but shadowing students scared me away (they were doing a microbiology lab at 10:30 on a Sunday night) and I switched to psychology before Freshman year even started. Realistically, I don’t think any of the careers I listed as protectors would accept me. Theoretically, I could work on nutrition and fitness to pass their various fitness exams, but they all require in-depth psychiatric evaluations and my dad, who dealt with government agencies in the past, says they don’t take people with depression.

A Bad Day or A Couple of ’em


I haven’t been to school since last Thursday. As a result of MLK Jr. day and my schedule that means I only really skipped 2 days, but still… I’ve spent the last 2 days in bed. I got up after 5 pm today and maybe 4:30 pm yesterday. I have homework due at midnight. I’m obviously behind in reading. I’m miserable again I hate this! I’m doing it hoping next semester will be better, hoping I’ll like the job I eventually get, and hoping the student loans will be worth it. I’m more and more convinced I should quit. Why am I doing this to myself?

At the same time, everyone says the first year sucks and it gets better. Plus, I haven’t taken my meds in a few days. We aren’t even 2 full weeks into the semester. I can still turn things around, easily! Right now I’m telling myself I won’t make a decision until I’ve been back on my meds for a few weeks and I’m caught up in school. Otherwise, I fear I’m making a rash choice out of feeling, not reason.

I had an awful nightmare. I haven’t had nightmares in a while. I was supposed to meet with a new lab for the first day of psychology grad school in L.A. Apparently, I went to UCLA in my dream? I got lost and freaked out, then I made a wrong turn onto a broken bridge. However, I didn’t realize it was broken until it was too late to decelerate. I flew through the air, a good 200 feet above the ground. I was certain I’d die, but then 20 feet from death, I stopped. My car got lodged on a beam above the ground. I sat there, paralyzed in fear, afraid any  movement would destabilize me. Paramedics got there in what seemed like over a half hour and they freed me. We rushed into the hospital and they quickly took stock of my injuries. Once I was out of danger, they wheeled me to a locked psychiatric unit, even though I swore up and down that I was really just lost, that was not a suicide attempt. They said it was an eating disorder unit because my electrolytes clearly indicated I was engaging in dangerous ED behaviors. It sucked, it was worse than any psych ward I’ve experienced or even seen (I.e. One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest, Girl, interrupted). Everyone hated me…

Controlling the Curse


I’m awash in guilt right now because I replied to a few messages on an alternative dating website. My God, this is pathetic! Why am I so convinced masochism is wrong that sending a few replies makes me feel like spilling my own blood in punishment?

Frozen_so much fear

There are many possibilities: 1. I’m broken and it is unfair to foist myself on another person

Frozen_Conceal Don't Feel

2. All I do it hurt people; it is unfair to foist myself on another person Frozen_you're not safe here

3. I’m worthless. Even if, by some miracle, someone fell in love with me, I wouldn’t deserve happiness.

Frozen_the cold never bothered me anyway

4. Masochism is simply another outlet for self-hate and therefore it is unhealthy. As a result, even considering engaging in it makes me feel guilty.

Frozen_can't be free

5. For me, masochism is “sick” and I’m a disgusting, freak for doing it. Frozen_no escaping the storm inside

6. Opening myself emotionally is dangerous and scary.

Frozen_love will thaw

7. I’m incapable of trust. 8. Premarital sex is wrong and I’m bad for considering it.

Frozen_be the good girl

9. Engaging in sadomasochistic behavior with sadists encourages abuse (I don’t think this, but a therapist told me this once, maybe deep down I believe her) 10. Once I engage in masochism again, my needs will evolve and it’ll become unsafe.

Frozen_can't control the curse

or 11. some reason I’m not thinking of…

I think it must be the masochism, not just dating in general because vanilla dating never made me feel guilty, whereas this has always been a shameful secret for me. That only leaves 3 of the above choices: 1. Masochism is simply another outlet for self-hate and therefore it is unhealthy. As a result, even considering engaging in it makes me feel guilty. 2. For me, masochism is “sick” and I’m a disgusting, freak for doing it. or 3. Engaging in sadomasochistic behavior with sadists encourages abuse (I don’t think this, but a therapist told me this once, maybe deep down I believe her). 4. Once I engage in masochism again, my needs will evolve and it’ll become unsafe.

1. Maybe it is an outlet for self-hate, but it does make me feel better. Is that so wrong? Then again, I could say my eating disorder makes me feel better and most people agree it is wrong.

2. Why would it be sick for me and not someone else? Because sometimes I think the depth of my masochism makes it pathological. I’m not sure if this has merit or not.

3. Ehh, I’m almost positive I don’t believe this.

4. I suppose this is possible, but…

I wish I had Elsa’s attitude here

Why Are Lawyers Killing Themselves?


http://www.cnn.com/2014/01/19/us/lawyer-suicides/index.html?hpt=hp_t2

Oh, CNN, THAT is a stupid question! The law is stressful. If you screw up, you may potentially ruin someone’s life. It is boring and it is cut-throat.

First Meet


later this week! I’m not nervous because I decided I’m not in the right place for a relationship, but the person is cool enough to be friends with.

Day 6: I’m grateful for friends who forgive my foibles and just pick up where we left off. I finally got in touch with a good friend, after being AWOL from everyone in my life for months.

awkward_regan

Thankfulness and Sarah Michelle Gellar


My grandma told me for years to think of something your grateful for every day. I decided to give it a try after reading “How a Year of ‘Grateful’ Facebook Posts Changed This Woman’s Life” on Yahoo. Haha, oops…

Don’t worry in the future, I’ll tack them on the end of posts. I won’t add an extra post to your dash every day!

Day 1: I’m grateful for my sister-in-law because she never treated me differently after various problems. She isn’t blood (and therefore “obligated” to deal with me), but she knows my score and accepts and loves me anyway. At their wedding reception I told her I already considered her family because she’d been through so much with me and was always….human. Not everyone is understanding and I’m lucky my brother found a compassionate, amazing, girl! Happy 1 year and 3 month anniversary guys!

buffywillowtacklehug

 

While searching for a proper hug GIF for this post, I found a GIF of Sarah Michelle Gellar at The People’s Choice Awards this year! It made me smile and it fits the theme of the post!

SMG thanks buffy fans Source: Jarett Wieselman

Art Therapy


I tried looking for my Affirmation Book (at the end of inpatient, everyone got a small journal where patients and staff wrote well wishes and encouragement) last night, instead I found a stash of art therapy pieces. In some ways, not much changed over the past 6 years. I still suck at art and I still feel the same way about myself.

This the battle for recovery symbolized by two stick figures playing tug-of-war. And look! I’m winning!

art therapy

This is the cyclone of emotions and thoughts that I used my eating disorder to silence.

MM art ed11MM art ed8MM art ed9MM art ed7

This represents my identity; without my eating disorder I am no one/nothing/nobody.

MM art ed10

This is the program for an impromptu talent show we put on. Surprisingly, they let a few of the girls do a short gymnastics routine and they did not supplement them for the lost calories. Usually, they were very strict about movement. If you were redirected more than twice about frequently shaking your leg, sitting up too straight, etc., they gave you 60 CCs Ensure.

MM art ed1

For the 4th of July we had an extra Nutrition Group, yay! The topic was managing recovery around the holidays. I also wrote some notes from my dietician. According to her, I disliked eating because it meant being around family. Oh, treatment teams and their propensity to blame others, especially family, for mental health problems!

Firefly_Saffron eye roll

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Since we weren’t allowed books, magazines, TV, radio, etc., the only things we were allowed to do when not in groups was make up silly things like the following words set to The Twelve Days of Christmas, color on Disney coloring pages the nurses printed for us, and make friendship bracelets.

MM art ed6 MM art ed4 MM art ed3

All the help I got for discharge meal planning! Haha, it didn’t matter because I went straight to PHP, but they didn’t know what my discharge plans were until the day before I left because some people thought I should stay longer.

MM art ed2

Um…I’m not sure what this is! I think it represents the confusion and chaos created by emotions.

emotions

Lol, I have no idea what the shriveled, psychedelic Eye of Sauron, afflicted with pink eye, floating on its side means!

eye

This looks like pure boredom, not an assignment. I see a green balloon that says “Happy Birthday” (I spent my 18th birthday in treatment). I also see an unhappy purple ghost (A Monster? That one purple gaseous Pokémon? Something else?)

bday

Who the hell is Stella?!?! In case you haven’t noticed, I’m not much of an artist! :p I doubt I drew this.

stella

Reflections on Buffy Episode s05e06 “Family”


I wrote this post at the same time as “Et tu Tara?!“, but I went on a long tangent; I decided to separate the topics. This is the product…

I mean, every parent threatens to beat their kids in anger. My parents spanked me as a kid, but that is not the same as abuse (hitting or beating). I’ve been hit before, but a couple of mistakes does not equal a pattern of abuse. Monsters are evil. Therefore, in essence, my dad called me evil. Blah, I make them sound awful! They aren’t bad people! They love me a lot! I love them! We get along well. People get angry, especially when they have stupid kids like young me, and say things they don’t mean. Too bad kids are impressionable and if they hear something enough, sometimes they start to believe the words. It wasn’t like they were mean to me; I just did stupid things a lot.

My brother doesn’t thinks “blood kin” are important. He thinks the emotional bonds you have with people, regardless of blood, is what makes family. I’m not sure why. In Tara’s case, when family completely rejects you, finding your own “family” makes sense. Sometimes it hurts my feelings that he doesn’t view us as important. Well, he views us as important but not necessarily important. In other words, our place in his life is replaceable. I think except in cases of out right rejection, abuse, or other extenuating circumstances, blood family always has a place in your life. Sometimes family is unhealthy to be around. For example, I know a woman recovering from her eating disorder who refuses to see her family because they trigger her so much with incessant body shaming of others, etc. That to is a different case. In my opinion, barring unhealthiness/abuse/rejection, just because you don’t care for or dislike certain members does not mean the family ceases to hold value in your life. Fyi, I like everyone in my family! I think my brother hold himself at a distance because he is afraid of true open communication and he learned as a child that voicing his needs and emotions was not okay. To be fair, non-violent communication rarely occurs in my family.

I’m not sure where he learned that. I learned it to, but differently. I attributed my interaction style to teachings that nice people go along with what others want, good people don’t make a fuss, etc. Taken to the extreme, you get children who don’t know how to express emotions because you punish them for it.

I never saw it with him. I thought it was directed at me because I was overly emotional or bad. However, it is possible that by the time I was old enough to understand these messages, it was already ingrained in him. Therefore, the stoicism I took as inner strength, which I lacked, was really a learned behavior.

Furthermore, I’m a submissive masochist, but he is a Dominant sadist! So, it would not follow that our upbringing influenced my submissive side, unless there really was a difference in their attitude towards us because I was overly emotional, bad, or female. My parents made adhere to some gender roles (nothing inherently wrong with that!) and they do treat us differently in some ways. For example, my mom told me she would disown me if I lived with someone before marriage…while my brother was living with my future sister-in-law. She explicitly said as a female, it would be worse for me to live with a man, than my brother living with his girlfriend. However, my parents never said or implied women were less than men or incapable of anything, just different. In fact, since I can remember, I’ve been told I can do anything I want in life and it is important to be able to take care of myself. Haha, I guess that means I can’t be a painter!

The problem with this theory is that we were never punished for minimal expressions of emotion. So, I’m not sure where we got the idea. I know my dad’s family does not express emotions or needs because my aunt is overbearing, temperamental, and abusive when angry. (Yes, that is right, I said abusive. I can recognize abuse even in my family. My nuclear family is not abusive though.) Therefore, the other kids learned to never express their desires for fear of setting her off. This interaction style persisted in adulthood. My mother on the other hand, has no problem expressing her desires. In fact, I’m envious of her ability to sway people’s decisions with reasoned arguments. So, maybe our dad was an example of non-adaptive communication, but our mom was not. In that case, why didn’t we learn from her? She certainly did her best to course-correct us both prior to middle school.

Maybe I am over thinking things. Maybe my emotional issues are only mine. That is perhaps no matter how I was parented, I would turn out the same way. I’m jealous of my brother. He grew up in the same home and came from the same gene pool, yet he has no diagnosable mental illness. Why am I so weak? Why could he adapt, while I could not?

Dean--WTF photo dean-annoyed.gif

I wonder how my brother views our childhoods. Does he see any maladaptive interactions? If so, what? Did they affect him? Is that why he never calls/ returns calls? Or is there another reason? Does he think we were treated differently? Regardless of our upbringing did he notice different attitudes toward gender? Did Mom or Dad ever hit him (spanking doesn’t count) or was that just me? Did they ever threaten to hurt him? Did they ever call him names?

Most of the hitting and name calling occurred after he left for college. He left for college when I was 13. I don’t remember any hitting or name calling before age 11. So, he was not around for most of it. Mostly, he stayed in his room. So, he wouldn’t be present anyway. Also, this wasn’t frequent by any measure! The hitting and name calling I speak of are isolated incidents, arising from specific behaviors on my part. In fact, the only reason I remember each time so clearly is because it was rare!

I think we were treated differently, but I think it was because he was the first child. Therefore, in general, they were tougher on him and more relaxed with me. If there were any negative messages, he heard them louder and more clearly. As a result, he should be worse off than I am, if our upbringing had anything to do with who I am. At the same time, since I was about 11, my parents said certain things about me, but only after I did inexplicable things. If it walks like a duck and talks like a duck…

Meh, I’m over thinking things again. Every family has foibles. No person, and parents are people, is perfect. My family is no better or worse than any other non-abusive, healthy family. I take that back, my parents were fricking heroic when I was born early. Family is not to blame. No one is, this is just me.

Fear of Vulnerability and Trust


I am capable of forming relationships; I’m not a sociopath. I want strong bonds. There are a few people in my life who I would die for and who I do not think could ever be replaced. I like people, but they scare the hell out of me. I’m not shy because I am arrogant, aloof, or unfeeling. The opposite it true. I feel too much, too strongly, too often. I resist letting people in because the more I let them in, the more they can hurt me.

It sucks because I want the bond everyone dreams of: The 60 year marriage, where the couple enjoys each other’s company, stands together through the storms of life, and takes care of each other to the end. Yet, I’m terrified of letting anyone in because that gives them true control.

incaoable2

The illusion of control seen in SSC (Safe, Sane, Consensual) BDSM scenes may appear scary, abusive, or coercive from the outside, but using RACK (Risk Aware Consensual Kink)/SCC guidelines the submissive is the one with the real control. She says the word and everything stops.

Emotional vulnerability is infinitely more terrifying. When you let someone know your deepest emotional pain or fears and they do the same, that person leaves an indelible mark on your heart. No matter how much time or distance separates you, a special bond remains. It is almost as if you gave part of yourself to them.

So, armed with this emotional bond and secrets, they can twist a knife in your soul. They can hurt you more than any blade, brand, or whip ever could. It may not even be intentional! I still remember the day my best friend from PHP discharged. I cried, as in hyperventilating sobs… I did not cry when I left treatment or when anyone else before or after left any of my higher levels of care. This was a girl who knew what it was like inside my mind. She knew and she still liked me. She saw greatness where I only saw mediocrity. She knew things I’d told no other human being and vice versa.

Haha, we were in the art room, sitting next to each other after one of the last groups of the day and I don’t know when it happened, but we both started crying. When it was time for dinner a nurse came into the room, saw tears running down my face and asked, “Is it about the lasagna?” I laughed through my tears and explained I was crying because my best friend was leaving that night. Staff were nice, we had name cards and they set them out before dinner at four tables. Therefore, you never got to chose who you sat with. We got to sit next to each other that night. Plus, our favorite nurse was the table monitor. I don’t remember what I ate or didn’t eat, but I do remember my friend was too upset to finish her meal, which worried everyone because not finishing your last meal before discharge is a bad sign. I’m awful at keeping up with anyone from anytime in my life, even family! If I don’t live in the same house with you, it is unlikely I will reach out on a regular basis. I feel bad about it. I think about various friends often, but somehow I never get around to writing a letter. I still send a message to her occasionally and we chat like old times, but then inevitably, I get sucked away and into some life crisis like a major depression relapse or law school exams and suddenly months have flown by. I’m going to go write her a note as soon as I finish this post.

Anyway, her therapist wrote a long letter in my goodbye book. They had a tradition of giving each patient a copy of “Oh the Places You’ll Go” with encouraging handwritten notes from staff, therapists, and other patients. Her therapist’s note took an entire page of that book! He said I helped her open up. That made me happy.

However, I still remember crying and thinking (maybe I even said it in therapy later?) while I did not regret our relationship, getting that close to anyone else in treatment and losing them again was not worth the pain.

At the time, there were only 3 teenagers in the program. The other 16+ were adults. A nurse always waited with us until our parents came to pick us up after dinner. I was still crying and my mom couldn’t understand why it mattered so much. Obviously, we were friends, but she didn’t understand how I could become so incredibly close to someone I’d known only a month. She didn’t understand what spending 10 hours/day in the same room with someone, talking about things you never said out loud before, and sharing similar thought patterns can do for a friendship.

Granted some of those thought patterns and fears were part of the disease, but I think they leave behind traces even after recovery. In my experience, eating disorders affect people with similar personalities. I don’t know if ED makes us that way or we all already had the same thoughts in our heads. I imagine it is a little of both. Nonetheless, even those who recover usually remain compassionate, intuitive, quiet, unassuming, and kind. It is almost scary how thoughts from so many people from treatment could easily come from my mind!

…Not everyone is like that…Oh drama created by malnourished, angry, terrified teenagers. Haha, actually, from the adults to…

Argh, sorry long tangent!

The point of telling the story of my friend from treatment is getting close to people yields great rewards, but at great personal risk! If I knew I would end up with the relationship I want, I would be willing to crash and burn a few times, but no matter how many people I date, I cannot guarantee I’ll find that lifelong bond.

On one side, vulnerability leads to stronger bonds. For example, I feel closer to my brother and sister-in-law than I’ve ever felt. On the other side, the fall is bone crushing.

I don’t feel lonely right now. I have friends, I have people I could go out to a movie with tonight if I wanted to. I have family. I have potential significant others. I’m afraid of winding up alone because people move on, move away, lost touch, or die. Yet, for the moment, the fear of loss and vulnerability outweighs the fear of loneliness and the loss of never feeling romantic love.

Interesting pictures I found while search for quotes:

and finally, ouch!

BDSM Promotes Emotional Bonding or Violence is Love?


In a past relationship, I let someone control when, how, and what I ate. The memory makes me laugh because a few months ago I was on an eating disorder board and someone asked whether anyone’s Dominant controlled their food and how that worked. She talked about it in a long-term manner. I said I’d never done that and it sounded like it could bring up issues because of her eating disorder. My food control experience was just a weekend and  apparently the food control did not bother me at all since I just remembered it.

Looking back, I’m extremely surprised I agreed to that. It was freshman year of college; I was not free of eating disorder behavior. I think I agreed to it because I trusted him, but also because he made me feel gorgeous and wanted. My eating disorder is not all about vanity, but it is about emotional connections and overwhelming negative emotions. I let his positive view of me, override my self-image. I saw myself through his eyes. Seeing a whole person, a good person, a pretty girl and not a broken, evil, ugly person made emotional connections seem possible and emotions less scary. For the first time, I saw why someone could want me. I had significant others before that, but they never made me feel that way.

I’m not sure what the difference is.

fight hugs

Oh God, does this mean I can’t feel like someone thinks I’m beautiful unless they hit me? In other words, they can say whatever they want, but unless there is pain, I think they’re just saying nice things…like someone hurting me shows that they want me enough to hurt me…or I don’t even know what I’m saying!

https://i1.wp.com/gifsforum.com/images/gif/confused/grand/confused-eccbc87e4b5ce2fe28308fd9f2a7baf3-2715.gif

Now that I think about it, the only relationships where I actually felt emotionally safe, like I knew what was what, and as though my partner really wanted my body, not just a body, involved sadomasochistic intimacy.

alarms

So, I equate violence with love? Great. Maybe I can work with that association in a healthy way? Maybe it isn’t awful? Argh, maybe my mom is right and masochism is sick for me.

disssected

Note: Not into the vivisection. 😛

What to Do When Non-Violent Communication Doesn’t Work?


What do you do when non-violent communication does not work in your family?!Felicia Day_don't know how to respond to that

Before school started, Mom was already constantly asking me about work habits, etc. On one hand, considering last semester, she has valid concerns. On the other hand, her constant nagging is frustrating, unhelpful, and anxiety-provoking. I attempted to express myself using the DEAR MAN cognitive behavior therapy skill, which I learned in inpatient treatment because (as I’m realizing more and more!) my family fails at communication. It helped a tiny bit for the first day, but Friday and last night she was at it again, with renewed vigor. I appreciate her advice. Also, I realize she knows more than me. However, I resent her micro-management. It is one thing to suggest I start homework on Saturday morning instead of Sunday night. It is an entirely different thing to suggest that once and then continue suggesting and/or asking how much work I completed every few hours all night! I was mad, but I tried using skills. When you ask me the same question numerous times and make the same suggestions over and over, I feel annoyed, angry, and resentful. I need you to only make a suggestion once and let me decide whether or not to heed your advice and please ask about progress less often. Fine, I did not include the “please”, but that is the essence of my plea.

It didn’t work. She just got angrier and yelled at me, hitting the table hard enough to break some fragile glass ornaments left there from Christmas. Then I started crying, yelling, and cursing. I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve cursed at my parents. I feel like a teenager! On one hand, I am living under her roof rent-free. Plus, I admit the eating disorder stunted my emotional growth because once I started using eating disordered behaviors, I stopped learning to deal with emotions healthily. Therefore, although I’ve made tremendous progress over the years, I still view myself as a little behind my peers in emotional maturity. I’ve had more than one therapist tell me this and I know my parents agreed, but no one has said it for a few years. Perhaps I am on par with other early 20-somethings now.

On the other hand, I am 23! I am not a teenager! I am old enough and capable enough to make my own mistakes. Hell, I made a ton last semester, but I am aware of that! I know what I need to do differently and just because I did not study last night, does not mean I am not fixing my mistakes!

I feel suffocated. At the moment, when I see her my first thought is: Regina_don't talk to me

It wasn’t just last night. If it was just one night of needling, I wouldn’t be angry. Even so, I don’t know if I am right to be annoyed or not. Maybe this is that whole teenage-rebellion stage coming a few years late and I should simply listen to her…BUT I am not a teenager and I should be able to make my own choices. I know I owe a lot to her, I know my parents are extremely kind to pay for my first year of grad school and let me live at home without rent. Yet, their generosity doesn’t change the fact that I am an adult.

Ha, the problem is this post feels so whiney! It IS whiney and that is characteristic of a teenager. On the other hand, sometimes people have legitimate reasons to complain.

Last night moving out sounded nice. At this point, it is not worth the extra few thousand in student loans. Inevitably, I’ll have student loans, but I can avoid ~$12,000/year by living at home until the end of school.

I know I can’t give an objective view of all our interactions, the scope, or the frequency of the interactions, but based on what little albeit biased information you have, what should I do differently? Did I do something wrong in my initial attempt to use non-violent communication skills? How can I make things go more smoothly (I.e., no fighting, yelling, screaming, hitting of tables – or people)?

Her advice has merit. In fact, I know it is the best course of action. The way she tried to change my behavior is irritating. Should I do what she says, don’t procrastinate, just to avoid conflict?

I think I’m over-reacting. Then again, I wasn’t the first one to yell, cry, etc.!

Death’s Mistress


Say hello to my mind twin, Nicci, former agent of the Keeper.https://i2.wp.com/stream1.gifsoup.com/view/568540/lots-nicci-being-fierce-o.gifnicci gets Rahl

Either Terry Goodkind dealt with depression and that  is how he is inside my mind, we did a Vulcan mind meld, or there is some other factor I am not considering.

Legend of the Seeker: http://youtu.be/zRXJiz6lVnU or

_

Book quotes I identify with (All from Faith of the Fallen by Terry Goodkind)

“The pillows were stained with her blood. It had been a long night of rare sensations experienced.

She knew she was evil, and deserved to be violated in such a brutal fashion. She could offer no moral objection to it; even in the terrible things he did to her, Jagang was nowhere near as corrupt as she. Jagang erred in simple matters of the flesh, and that could only be expected – all people were corrupt in the flesh – but because of her indifference to the suffering around her, she failed in matters of the spirit. That, she knew, was pure evil. That was why she deserved to suffer whatever he did to her. For the moment, that deep dark place within came close to being sated.” P. 420-421

^ This is the quote I was thinking of when I mentioned reading some of Nicci’s thoughts and thinking, “YES, EXACTLY!! “

Show affection for me? Bad Confessor!

“Nicci thought she understood how many of the buildings would feel if they could feel: empty, devoid of life, lacking in purpose while they waited for someone to serve; their only true value being in service to the living.” P. 287

Yes, that is what it is like.

“‘That is all you bring to others: insufferable pain. The Creator brought you into this world for no reason but to ease the misery of others, and here you bring only hurt’…That was when Nicci had first learned that she bore the indelible stain of some shadowy, nameless, unconfessed evil.” P. 211-212

I’ve had this exact thought.

“Helping others is the only way to prove your soul’s value. It’s the only true good a person can do.” P. 289

I don’t believe in religious salvation through good works. I believe in redeeming my value as a human being through good work, which do as much as possible to offset the nameless evil inside me.

“Nicci said she understood. Since she had ability, it was only right that she use it to help those in need.” P. 342

Yep, I’ve thought this as well. I don’t think the government has a right to force people to help others, but I believe people who are given more (intelligence, wealth, etc) are morally obligated to help others who cannot help themselves. I would not condemn someone for enjoying the spoils of their work. In fact, in regards to other people, obligation maybe too strong a word. I think I have an obligation to use my intelligence to do something positive for other people. Failing to do something good for others is a waste of my intelligence. Since wanton waste is bad, spending my life doing something that does not utilize my capability to help others, makes me worthless. For example, if I go back to Wal-Mart and work as a cashier forever; I am bad. Anyone else is not bad for working at Wal-Mart, but since I am capable (intellect) and able (wealth) to get more education and make a larger impact, choosing to ignore that is wrong. Here is an interesting though exercise from one of my undergrad classes: Does a heart surgeon who is the only one in the world who can perform a certain life saving surgery for sick kids have the right to retire early? If s/he retires early, all the children currently dying of X disease will die and every child born with X disease in the future will die, unless and until some other capable person is trained. I think s/he has a moral obligation to work as long as they are able and to attempt to teach someone else to do the surgery. That doesn’t mean s/he can never take a vacation or relax or even that s/he must spend 80 hours/week performing surgery. Furthermore, no one else, the government included, should force him/her to work. S/he is an independent individual and ought to be allowed to make their own choices, no matter what I or anyone else thinks. However, if I had the ability, I would not retire until I was incapable of performing the surgery because letting someone die if you can save them is the same as killing them in my book. Well, not identical, because if it was identical in my mind I would think society could force him/her to continue working. I believe we can enact laws such as punishment for murder. Therefore, if I truly believed letting someone die was the same as killing them, I would believe we could create laws forcing gifted people in certain areas like medicine to work until they were not longer able.

“Nicci’s safety with him – such as it was – lay in her very indifference to her safety. Her utter disinterest in her own life fascinated Jagang because he knew it was sincere.” P. 398

It was scary to realize I’ve had similar thoughts to the ones that she used to justify trying to end all life. I have zero intention of that. Plus, even if I did decide that was the right path (which I never ever would), in real life I don’t have the power to do what she did.

Nonetheless, it is weird. For example, she told Richard that the world of life is wrong and that is why the Keeper wants to destroy all life. In the past, I’ve considered not having children because it seems cruel to bring a soul into this world that is filled with so much pain. Ha, I’ve told my mom it is a good thing I turn my feelings inward and not out. My emotions are safer directed at me.

I identify with her so much. It is as if she is inside my mind. This fictional character was on the same path I am on. She felt the only way to redeem herself was through service to others and she felt everyone was better than her and she deserved pain. Somehow she went from wanting to help other people, to wanting to kill other people to save them the suffering.

Obviously, I realize she is a fictional character, but her mindset and thoughts are identical to mine. Honestly, in the past, I worried what would happen if I didn’t turn my emotions inward. Would I become a different kind of crazy? Would I be a mean person? Dishonest? Would I hurt others? I’m afraid of the darkness inside me. What if there is another side of it already inside? What if I become a switch?

I know sadists are not evil. I know they can have self-control. I know they can be good people. The depth of my masochism is not safe for me, I use other people’s guidelines to keep myself safe. If I were on the other side…I think that would be bad. Personally, I’ve never felt a sadistic urge, but what if, like Nicci, the monster inside me can be turned? Maybe that is why I want people to torture me, maybe somehow I know keeping the darkness sated through masochism will keep everyone safe.

Darn, this is becoming an existential issue! More than just BDSM it seems….

Related articles

My Worth or Lack Thereof


I’m feeling worthless today. I’m not really sure why. The only salient “reasons” I can think of are I overslept by 3 hours, last night I went into the study and apparently my parents still have those damn print outs of IMs from when I was 13-14, I’m considering prostitution again, I don’t feel like going to therapy even though I’ve skipped for weeks and deserve firing as a patient and I’m contemplating skipping again. Also, my fantasies literally made me sick to my stomach last night.

1. I feel guilty about oversleeping because it meant I did not respond to a message about a meeting today until 2 minutes before one of the suggested times.

2. I don’t think this was the cause because I’ve stumbled across those papers before. I didn’t even think about it until after I felt worthless and began thinking of all the possible reasons I’m a bad person. Also, I was 13 years old! That was 10 years ago! Teenagers are idiots. Their brains aren’t fully developed. Most importantly I would not impeach a friend if I learned of similar or more drastic behavior in his/her childhood. That last one has no bearing on my thought processes and self-worth because I often beat myself up over things I would tell someone else not to worry about. I’m simply attempting to justify some self-compassion here…

3. Oh dear… This really deserves its own post, but there are a myriad of distorted thoughts around prostitution. I have a friend who was a teenage prostitute because one parent died and the other was negligent as a result of their own mental illness. She was involved with DFS, but the system let her fall through the cracks. Some men are awful and don’t care whether the person they’re paying is a child and unable to consent. Abusing people who can’t stand up for themselves is the worst crime in my opinion; thinking about it makes my blood boil.

I blame 13-year-old me despite the age of consent because 13-year-old me was an idiot and had no reason for her actions, whereas my friend was trying to feed herself, stay in high school, and find a place to sleep at night.

I brought up my friend because I know it is not a pretty picture. Also, ironically, I’ve encouraged her many times not to go back to that life by outlining the dangers and drawbacks, along with reminding her of all she has accomplished/ her worth as a human being. In other words, stay in school! You have a full academic-based scholarship because you’re smart and you have a chance to graduate with a degree and do some good in the world. Also, you deserve someone who will cherish you and love you as a whole person, not an object, etc… but I can’t convincingly tell myself that.

Lastly, I know it is ironic that I’m talking about prostitution when earlier I spoke about my hang-ups about virginity. I’m a very all-or-nothing person. Yay, thought distortions! As unreasonable as it sounds, maybe I fear loosing my technical virginity because I fear the flood gates would open and I’d lose all boundaries. I might fear the same thing about my masochism. So far, despite my lack of vetting, I’ve been extraordinarily lucky to only deal with people who cared more about my wellbeing than I did. Therefore, nothing dangerous occurred. I don’t know that I could guarantee safe/sane actions if I was with someone who didn’t care about hospital visits…or dead bodies.

On one hand, few people’s sadism can match my brand of masochism. On the other hand, the people who do, tend to be dangerous. One person, I never met him, turned out to be connected with the disappearance of 2 girls and 2 women.

You see, other people get involved in police investigations because life circumstances lead them to certain behaviors. That doesn’t excuse all actions, but I am different. I come from an upper middle class family who love me and don’t abuse me. I have no excuse or reason to do the stupid things I do. I bring all the trouble in my life on myself. That is one reason why I despise myself. However, as sometimes happens with journaling, writing out my thoughts caused more reflection. I was not thinking in all this detail before sitting down to write this post. My only conscious thought was, “prostitution could work.”

Of course, living in a country where sexual contact for money is illegal almost everywhere, complicates things now that I am over 18, but that is another story.

4. Meh, I’ve done this so many times… I feel guilty, but it isn’t something that would make me feel worthless. It is wrong and unfair to my doctor and unhealthy, but I do it a lot. I doubt it contributed to feeling worthless.

5. This one was kind of new. It only happened for the first time a few nights ago. I often scare or disgust myself with my own depravity. Thank God I am a submissive/masochist, otherwise I’d have so much more cognitive dissonance! I’d probably be even more convinced I am evil and I’d probably have many more attempted suicides under my belt…If I was still here.

Anyway, two nights ago was the first time I remember feeling sick to my stomach after fantasizing. At the time I attributed it to the disturbing level of violence, but it just occurred to me that the series of scenes were the first in years that were only female. Usually, my fantasies involve only males or a combination of males and female. This night, it was only women. Maybe that is why I felt sick? To reiterate, I have no issues with other people’s sexual behavior provided it is between consenting adults. I hold myself to different, illogical, standards. Lately the violence has been bad, as in horror movie bad, as opposed to just it-would-be-smart-to-go-to-the-hospital bad. I don’t know why. This sort of goes along with my fear of crossing the SSC boundaries. The more I explore masochism in the real world, the more pain I realize I can handle, and the more dark my fantasies become. While I can draw a distinction between the type of fantasy that remains fantasy (I.e., drugs and BDSM) and the type of fantasy that I might act out, part of me fears as I explore more offline, I’ll adjust the lines in the sand. Apparently the only people who match my level of violence, or at least, who are willing to admit to even fantasizing about it are serial killers.  https://i2.wp.com/img.pandawhale.com/95182-felicia-day-cringe-reaction-gi-tbxp.gif

Note: My fantasies never involve death.

Well, I think I know what spurred the feelings of worthlessness. After writing the paragraphs on BDSM fantasies and prostitution I felt like cutting because I feel guilty. Although the other things make me feel guilty, the level of recrimination associated with the extremity of my BDSM thoughts and prostitution seems to rise to a higher level. Either I feel the need to be punished for thinking/doing bad things or I want to get rid of the feeling of guilt. Punishment would absolve me and therefore I’d feel less guilty, but the two options are dissimilar. On one hand, I’d be redeemed and “good”, whereas on the other hand, nothing would change, but cutting pushes the feelings away.

To Stay in Law School or Not To Stay?


Serious life decisions, boo…

Angel_Grr

I passed the first semester of law school despite missing 20% of the classes, reading less than 25% of the time, and seriously briefing 2 cases. I never made an outline. I spent a grand total of 3 hour studying for exams. In other words, depression and fear swallowed me whole, but I survived. That tells me I am capable of surviving law school and more than likely I can thrive. Since I gave about 10% effort, if I gave 100% of my effort, assuming most people gave close to 90% or more effort, I have no reason to believe I would be in the bottom 80% of my class.

That semester was hell. I was close more than once to a serious suicide attempt. I don’t want to go through that again.

 

I know myself well enough to know if I got straight As I would decide I “loved” law school and I’d be excited to go back. Right now I am dreading the 9th.

I was .07 GPA points away from keeping my scholarship. If I raise my GPA by .07, I can appeal to reinstate my scholarship going forward.

What do I want out of life? A stable career that I enjoy and feel helps others. Law could give me that. Even before I got the news about the scholarship, I’ve been thinking about my true love: science. I chose law over grad school because I feared the GRE more than the LSAT. The LSAT played to my strengths. Also, I feared the strange interview process PhD schools utilize. Candidates list labs they’re interested in and if the school thinks you may fit, they invite you to a mass open house weekend, where you have to hang out with the current lab students, professors, and your competition. The current students write reports about you, basically you’re on display 24/7. I dislike meeting new people, much less a bunch of smart new people who I know are judging me!

Those weren’t the only reasons, I talked to a lot of current lawyers about what I wanted out of life, my strengths, what I love, and I asked many question about their day-to-day life. I had reason to believe I would enjoy the law.

I’m scared because I still think I could enjoy law, but I won’t get a chance to experience the areas I think I may enjoy for another year. If I go on and decide I still hate it, I wasted another year and $1,000s. Yet I don’t want to quit and lost the opportunity because maybe I will love it!

https://i1.wp.com/25.media.tumblr.com/2ae0457dfc4f781a855971cc9403feff/tumblr_mghyc8sYky1qb8iico6_500.gif

I am nervous because it is an awful sign that I’m dreading going back. I shouldn’t feel like this, but I do.

please no olivia

It feels like I’m giving up and I hate that. I don’t want to give up, if there are rewards ahead, but I can’t know that at this point.

Olivia_Scared

 

https://i2.wp.com/29.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_lhhvirvMVM1qbc0rko1_500.gif

Thin-Skinned: The Truth about Some People with Eating Disorders


I disagree whole-heartedly with the other messages of this person, but the following interview excerpt is intriguing. It falls in line with my idea that “crazy” is really feeling deeply and that TedTalk “Lessons from the Mental Hospital”.

“Women who struggle with eating disorders are what I call thin-skinned and what I mean by that is they’re very emotionally sensitive and highly intuitive.

If you’re born thin-skinned into a world that values being thick-skinned which is the culture we, the Western culture we live in today that values, oh no big deal, water off a duck’s back, doesn’t bother me, then what happens is you get this idea, oh my gosh is
something wrong with me?

And so begins the process of trying to be thick-skinned when you’re not and that’s the function of the eating disorder because it blocks your awareness of very deep, intense
emotions.

So what has to happen is they have to develop the skill set for how to be a thin-skinned person in a thick-skinned world and it is a skill set. You don’t need to change your DNA, anybody can learn it, but it does take practice and it does take being able to go some place where it’s taught.”

This is true for me and true for every girl I’ve known in treatment. It means sometimes we are oversensitive, but it also means we’ll do anything for the people that stick by us. I can’t change who I am, but maybe I can find a way to turn my character traits into positive aspects.

SometimesbecauseFringe_feelints

First Semester of Law School as told by Felicia Day


Before the semester starts you’re excited! You think you’re opening the doors to a solid pay check and a great way to help people.

Felicia Day_satisfied smile

 

As the first day draws near, anxiety creeps in, but you remain relatively confident. After all, you’ve never really had to work hard in school.Felicia Day_start with a smile

 

After the first day, you’re upset; you’re already overwhelmed.Felicia Day_smarter than me

 

Two weeks in and things begin to unravel…

Felicia Day_don't know how to respond to that

 

But at least you have friends.

Felicia Day_it is easy to bond over hating something together

 

The weeks pass quickly. You’re getting worried. You’re further behind in reading.Felicia Day_am i a zombie now

 

Finally exams week is here! At least the end is in sight.

 

You procrastinate…

Felicia Day_i think that is why I like video games

 

then panic…

 

24 hours before exams begin you start making an effort.Things seem so pointless; you aren’t scared because you know you’ll fail.

Felicia Day_Peace out Bs

 

Right before the exam you get nervous. It turns out you do care!

Felicia Day_this is madness

 

You try to put on a brave face and take the exam.

 

You vow to study more for the next exam. You don’t. In fact, you don’t study at all.

 

Yet, you feel strangely confident before your last exam.

 

..Then you wait weeks for your grades…

 

YOU PASSED the first two classes!

 

What about the class you didn’t study for?

Felicia Day_happy danceFelicia Day_happy dance1

 

Wait, if I can pass without studying, reading, or attending 20% of the classes, what can I do if I stay on my meds and don’t give in to maladaptive behaviors?!

Welcome Back to the Roller Coaster from Hell


Yesterday was not so great. I felt like I was thrown back 7 or 8 years to paralyzing fear, emotional abuse, scarring self-injury, and suicide attempts.

Today is a wash so far. I didn’t get out of bed until 5 pm.

I’m ignoring people again (I know I need to reply to some of you); I feel guilty. When I feel any negative emotion I withdraw. I realized the reason I’m not in a relationship isn’t a lack of interest or ugliness, it is because I push people away.

I also realized in order to give a relationship a chance, I need to let go of my eating disorder. The idea scared the hell out of me and I’m not so sure I’m ready to do that.

Will I be ready to let go at 114 lbs? I doubt it. I know from experience once I reach x weight, the acceptable goal weight lowers again.

Anger and sadness swirl in my heart, but right now they’re veiled by exhaustion-fueled apathy.

Ha, that reminds me, yesterday my mom said, “Are you going to be some weird hermit?” …Um…maybe, but when she asked the question I just spent a week with family and a night with high school friends.

Also, 1 hour until my law school grades are posted!

Emotional Incest


2014 started out wonderfully with flashbacks of my early teen years. The times when Dad would disappear for days or months at a time without a word. I never felt safe. Things could appear normal for long stretches and then seemingly out of nowhere, Mom would come home with puffy eyes, screaming about Dad and his whore again. Last night I heard some of the same phrases I used to hear, “I’d never in a million, no billion, years want you to marry a man like your father” or “If it weren’t for you and your brother, I’d have left years ago.” Images of slamming doors, yelling, and sliding to the kitchen floor in tears after Dad stormed out of the house, raced through my mind last night…memories I thought were in the past. The things he did to her, not just cheating, are unconscionable and inexcusable. I thought I quelled the anger, but since hearing my mom last night, it’s bubbled up inside me again.

Faith_hurt the showerFaith_hurt the shower

On one hand, I told my mom years ago she had my blessing if she wanted a divorce, even if that meant years later when things seemed “okay” because I knew what he had done to her. On the other hand, over the past few years, I let the anger and fear slip out of my grasp. I let my guard down. I thought things were healing between them. So, I am sad.

Worse still, I fear the revolving door…Every time he was emotionally manipulative and/or abusive or she caught him cheating, she would swear it was the last time, this time they would get divorced. Yet, a few weeks or months later, before the final divorce papers were signed, he would come back, apologizing and promising to do better. And around and around we go… I fear the cycle restarting more than I fear their divorce.

Maybe this is why my brother never talks to us. 😦

I also fear her pain. My mom and I are close. Doctors use the word “enmeshed”. Yet, just like instances of alleged physical or verbal abuse, things are never simple. In a house with 4 bathrooms, we’ve shared a bathroom since I was 11. The change happened when they realized I was purging. For a time, we shared a bed. That is not as disturbing as it sounds. She made me sleep in her bed for a few months because she was afraid I’d hurt myself at night. I only went back to my own bed when my dad came home. Coincidentally, my most recent suicide attempt was a few weeks after my dad returned from “business” and my brother returned from school for the holidays.

The definition of emotional incest:

“Other scholars have used the term ‘enmeshment,’ ‘co-dependency,’ and ’emotional abuse’ is another related concept as well. For the sake of this short series of posts, I will use the term ’emotional incest’ because I think that if you can get past the ‘ick’ factor of the word incest, this construction is actually very descriptive.

Emotional incest involves an unhealthy relationship between parent and child in which the child serves as a sort of emotional ‘spouse’ to the parent. This can be mother/daughter, father/daughter, mother/son, or father/son. Here are a couple definitions, some using the term ‘covert incest’ and others using the term ’emotional incest.’

Covert incest occurs when a child plays the role of a surrogate husband or wife to a lonely, needy parent. The parent’s need for companionship is met through the child.  The child is bound to the parent by excessive feelings of responsibility for the welfare of the parent. The demand for loyalty to the lonely, needy parent overwhelms the child and becomes the major organizing experience in the child’s development.

 

Covert emotional incest begins when a person perceives and responds to a family member as a replacement or substitute for a partner.

 

This form of incest is described as a relationship where a parent turns a child into a partner or confidante that is inappropriate to the child’s age and life experience. Or to put it another way, when a child is manipulated into the role of a surrogate wife or husband by a needy parent. While some refer to this as covert incest, others refer to it as emotional incest.

You get the idea. Emotional incest takes place when the (emotional, not sexual) relationship between a parent and a child becomes like that between two spouses, except that given the immaturity of the child the relationship is one-sided and the parent feeds off the child emotionally while the child ends up feeling responsible for the well-being of the parent.” via patheos.com

Yep. That was us. I still feel responsible for her well-being. In fact, thinking about it, I remember feeling jealous, even resentful, that my brother did not feel responsible for her.

Is it still emotional incest now? Back then I was 15 – 17 years old, now I’m 23. I am an adult.

 

Trying a Different Type of New Year’s Resolution


Usually, my resolutions involve grades or weight. This year I’m shying away from external measures of “success”.

My New Year’s Resolution: Accept myself (the limits of my IQ – potentially crushing 😦 – , struggles with mental illness – eating disorder, anxiety, depression – , kink, bisexuality, appearance, even *gasp* weight)

I need to come up with ways to facilitate this. I cannot remember a time I liked or accepted myself. So far, talking and blogging about my insecurities yields a surprising amount of revelations. I think it forces me to elaborate my thoughts to clarify them for others, exposing fallacies. It also helps limit rumination, which only perpetuates negative emotions and does not lead to solutions. However, I don’t know what else I can do to foster self-acceptance.

What things do you think I should do to encourage self-acceptance?