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???

Advertisements

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

 

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

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

How we Measure Progress


I belong to a pro-ana Facebook group. Give or take a few girls leaving for recovery, the same 50 girls have belonged to the group for over 2 years. One of my best friends there asked how I was doing because I hadn’t posted in a while. I told them about school, coming out, and my weight. The overwhelming response?

“WOW, you’re doing so well!”

Not surprising from a bunch of eating disordered girls. But it got me thinking about priorities. Is this, our weight, really the most important measure of our worth or success? I would like to say no.Fringe_its all just nubmers

It makes me sad that we put so much emphasis on our appearance. Let’s see… I almost killed myself more than once last semester, I cried – a lot, I was almost involuntarily hospitalized, I barely passed my classes, I rarely attended class or read material, and I lost my scholarship…but WOW, you lost a lot of weight in an unhealthy amount of time!!

Why does it always have to be about looks

Maybe it is because we hate everything about ourselves and our weight is at least something we can change, whereas other things are relatively immutable like intelligence.

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

Use Your Words


You know how you tell a 2 year old to “use your words” when they start a tantrum? Apparently, this lesson didn’t go much past age 2 in my family. The other night I had a random thought. BDSM involves lots of overt, clear verbal communication. In contrast, my family is the opposite. My mom wanted to spend time just as our nuclear family (Mom, Dad, Brother, Sister-in-law, and I) before they left town, but my uncle and grandparents wanted to spend part of their last day with them to. I tried and failed to encourage my mom to express her wants about spending some time as our nuclear family; I even pointed out she spent $100,000+ on hospitalizations to teach me to use my words to express emotions. She refused, saying it wasn’t important. This is a stretch, but maybe my brother and I’s mutual interest in BDSM is partially due to the clear verbal communication, since we grew up in a family that encouraged not expressing your wants, needs, or feelings. Obviously, a lot more would go into anyone’s predilections; it is just an interesting observation.