Moments of Permanence

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With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world... Jun. 8th, 2009 @ 10:30 pm
Tonight I baked chicken drumsticks, for foods purposes, in two attempts because the first time I took them out they came out underdone.

In other news, I talked to both Chas and Dean today. It turns out they'd read all the comments on a recent post, which I hadn't expected (to the extent that I thought about it, since I was answering comments while quite upset), and had gathered alarming hints about how I've been doing. Soooo, all my dedicated efforts to keep them from knowing anything about how I've been managing in the last week have come to naught, but on the bright side, we're all fine.

And since this means I am no longer carefully dodging the possibility of them finding out what's been happening, I can talk about it here.

My reasons for doing so are mixed - partly for my own benefit, since this is my own damn journal, partly for the informational benefit of people who care about me, partly because I know sometimes it will be surprisingly helpful to a stranger to know that other people deal with this kind of thing too.

I've been struggling to hold things together in the last week. All the strains that were there before the wedding are still around, only now my brother and my best friend are far away and out of reach. My dear friend Oliver has been helping, trying to take care of me, and housemate.Dave cares, but it's not the same, and I've been having trouble.

My psychologist has been taking the angle of reminding me that this is my great chance to work on being able to deal with things independently, without help, but it turns out I'm not entirely ready for that yet.

Oh, I'm better enough not to be totally dependent any more, but... Ideally, I think, even if I moved out and was living alone, say, I would still be in frequent contact, by e-mail/IM/phone/etc, with my family. (By which I mean my brother-out-law Chas and my sister-out-in-law/BFF Dean.) Feeling cut off and isolated is bad for me - my actual, real breakdowns while they've been gone have both taken place when (first time) everyone I tried to call wasn't answering, or (second time) I was feeling like I couldn't call on anyone at all.

First time I mostly held it together until Dave came home.

Second time is cut for the squeamish. )
Linkin Park. I bleed it out digging deeper just to throw it away, just to throw it away, I bleed it out...

I've always had this feeling like everything would be okay if I could just get the blood to run.

The only thing that seems to have bled out with it is that. Blood won't help. The cut will hurt and the blood will be in sight, and I'll be distracted from my pain by hating myself for the weakness that cutting represents, but it won't make it all better.

I know I've been told this, many times, but I could never feel it.

But I have enough self-inflicted scars, and I've seen my life pooling on the floor, and I want to believe I can let this all go now. If two sutures is what I needed to be able to put this behind me, I'll take it. I want to be past this. I want to feel like I don't have to be afraid I'll lose myself, like I don't have to be terrified that depression is an illness that will kill me.

Current Mood: tired
Current Music: Cobra Starship - Guilty Pleasure

The revelatory effect of very simple games May. 30th, 2009 @ 10:05 am
So, I'm working on building my new website. It's nowhere near finished, not even ready to be linked, and there are going to be limits to how strongly I want to associate it with this journal, I think, because the website is "official" and this journal, in theory, is fandom.

New website includes my Very Serious Blog, which so far has all of two entries, neither of them serious, but: the VSB is for stuff that can be linked to my "real" name (which will, in time, become my actual legal name). I have kept a bunch of blogs and journals over the years, and I intend, over time, to add the better posts from all of them to the VSB.

Going through the archives of one of my older blogs, I came across Fly the Copter, possibly the simplest game in history, in terms of controls: hold down button to go up, release to go down. It's oddly addictive.

It's also an amazing demonstration of the effect of ADHD medication. Because playing it requires focus. Seven years ago, when I first found this and was playing it, I couldn't get my score past the 300s, despite a lot of time trying; today, in the course of a few minutes, I've gone past 1000. A game where loss of focus will kill you really shows the difference.

In which Sami experiences a paradigm shift Apr. 27th, 2009 @ 12:47 pm
So, I have a lot of work to do. Which I should endeavour to get done during my medicated hours.

The problem? While I have breakfast and just after, before my meds kick in, is when I catch up on LJ and DW. Which often leads to links that are interesting. And sometimes leads to discovering things, like The Yuletide Archive by Fandom which I could easily lose the whole day to.

So, as an exercise in willpower, I've delicioused a couple that I already had open in tabs with an "unread" tag, bookmarked the archive, and closed those tabs so I can do my essay work.

But I want to read fiiiiiic. (I have today off, due to uni's Accidental Holiday, and have no history reading to do at all this week! The urge to slack off is strong but my essay is due in THREE AND A HALF WEEKS and I have ridiculous amounts of reading to do on it. Later, I may be making a collation of my notes and ideas so far, which I may post to [community profile] history.)

Things I have discovered: I am weirded out by Bible fanfic. It is the first fanfic I have encountered that truly weirded me out on a fundamental level. I, just... no, okay? Religion is not for fic. And yet, I have no problem with fiction that includes religious figures as, well, religious figures, divine intervention, magic, what have you, even the kind that reinterprets theology and mythology in dark and interesting ways.

I'm not sure where the dividing line is. It's partly on the basis of currency of myth - like, Tom Holt's books featuring the Greek/Roman/Norse pantheons, fine, something similar featuring the Hindu pantheon, not fine. Jesus Christ Superstar, fine, Anne Rice's Jesus fanfic novel, not fine. Gaiman style entangled mythologies and reinvention, fine, apostle slash, not fine. It's such an "I know it when I see it" thing and I don't have time to think about it, argh.

Also, I'd need resources. One of the things I've realised recently, in the course of tripping over my word usage and really upsetting someone, is that when it comes to Big Deal Personal Issues, I can only handle thinking about it so long as I can think about it on a theoretical level, and can access a more comprehensive theory and/or philosophy about it. I can make conclusions about feminism and how I relate to it in life because I have resources on that. I was able to handle defining my sexuality when I was frequently engaging with queer theory, but since I haven't been looking at that in years I'm now unable to do so at all.

Apparently on some level I process through abstraction. Which is fine for me, but can cause issues for other people when I say I'm interested on a theoretical level - to me, that means that I want to engage with the theory of it, want to understand the ramifications of it, beyond my own subjective experiences, which are of course suspect for universal applicability.

To other people, it seems, this can come across as: "I can talk about this so long as you don't expect me to actually deal with it or anyone like it or anything."

Which, you know... ouch, wrong. Not what I meant, just what I said.

The thing that is non-obvious here being that I am an academic by mindset, and I have always - since I learned to talk, apparently - sought objective understanding of things, as much as is possible. (Often it isn't, obviously.) Which means that, to me, if I want to understand race, and racism, that means I'm interested in it on a theoretical level - that is, I want to learn the theory, I want to learn how race has been analysed and deconstructed and reconstructed, how it functions, how and why racism is manifested, how race affects individual experience. I want to understand race on a level that cannot be anything but theoretical to me - I cannot know the subjective experience of being other than white, but I can engage with the abstractions of it, the theory. And thereby, I can try to understand why people do what they do, feel what they feel, act as they do.

I suspect it's a byproduct of the mechanisms I've developed over a lifetime of undiagnosed ADHD - combined, of course, with the effects of a seriously dysfunctional family. I grew up not understanding how people functioned, why people acted the way they do. I grew up not understanding relationships, or behaviours, that seemed to be obvious to other people.

So I analyse. I read theory. I construct a philosophical framework into which things fit, and make sense to me. (This is actually why I'm good at history, I think - I'm good at building conceptual frameworks even when my data is incomplete, with "insufficient data" as an available option that lets me hold a space in my conceptualisation to fill in later.) On the one hand, once I understand something, I'm good at working on those lines on an ongoing basis; on the other hand, until I understand something, I have trouble engaging with it, and "I don't know enough about this to deal with it" can come across as "... and I don't want to and don't care".

Plus, even if it's something that applies to my direct subjective experience, I need an abstract conceptual framework to work in, and if I don't have one, I just can't deal.

I think this may be an important revelation. Worthy of the half hour of medicated time I just spent writing this post.
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