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 lifeblog, shady life choices + introspection
XANDER
 Posted: Oct 22 2017, 11:44 AM
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a series of quotes whose literal accuracy is questionable but whose spiritual accuracy is high


QUOTE
me: everything is the worst
me: i've clearly made the wrong decision and will never be happy
universe: have you considered that change is hard
universe: or that your sleep schedule is off
universe: or that you're lonely
me: LA LA LA I CAN'T HEAR YOU

QUOTE
me: everything is the worst
me: [meditates for the first time in 6 weeks]
me: ...well this is awkward

QUOTE
dude: there's this thing... that i don't tell... ANYONE!!!
me, a stranger: but you're about to tell me right now
dude: yes
dude 2: me next

QUOTE
me: we're gonna talk about your abuse now
dad: [hangs up]
LATER
me: we're gonna talk about your abuse now
dad: WHAT IS YOUR PROBLEM
me: i'm so glad you asked

QUOTE
guy friend: men and women can't be friends, it's science
me: what's it like to be an idiot
guy friend: i don't need this negativity in my life
guy friend: [continues to talk to me]
ONE YEAR LATER
guy friend: hey do you wanna go to this jazz thing with me, i don't want to go with a random off tinder
me: i will go and also casually explain how gender and socialization work

QUOTE
me: did you know that gender is a lie and an invention of class
friend: you are invalidating my identity stop talking to me
ONE WEEK LATER
friend: did you know that gender is a lie and an invention of class
me: i had not heard

QUOTE
friend: [talks about problem]
me: [advice]
friend: WHY ARE YOU ALWAYS GIVING ME ADVICE I'M NOT AN IDIOT
me: i will not give you advice
TWO DAYS LATER
friend: [talks about problem]
me: i am
me: not going to give you advice!
friend: thank you!
friend: ...
friend: ...nevermind, advise me

QUOTE
me: i don't believe in giving up
friend: i can't tell if this is admirable or pathological
me: are we scoring that by frequency of analysis or by the word count of my persistent emails

QUOTE
me: but you see, i have experienced real love, no one else knows what i'm talking about
friend: whether you are right or wrong, you are still insufferable every time you point this out
me: i am angst daddy

QUOTE
me: i don't believe in giving up
friend: easy for you to say, your brain and life aren't broken
me: mostly i just decided i wasn't going to let a broken life and brain ruin my human experience
me: it's like showing up to prom in a thrift store dress with the determination to outdance everyone anyways

QUOTE
me: why do therapists avoid talking about trauma with their patients
my therapist: because it scares them
my therapist: and if patients never heal from their original traumas they will go to therapy forever
me: cool

QUOTE
me: dad, just consider this, okay-
dad: STOP TRYING TO BE A THERAPIST ON ME
me: dad i am already everyone else's therapist
me: don't be the holdout


addition:

QUOTE
me: going through my old writing and conversations are bad, because they cause me to transpose the past onto the future, and the majority of content i stumble across is positive, and thus i am sad
also me: [daydreams about old writing]
also me: [goes to find specific thread]
also me: [cannot find the thread i want]
also me: WHERE - THE FUCK - IS IT????
also me: FUCK ME IT'S NOT IN FUCKING WHATSAPP IS IT?????
also me: IT'S NOT, WHAT THE FUCK
also me: well fuck me then
universe: you have brain problems
also me: my lifestyle demands it
also me: ...BUT FOR REAL WHERE THE FUCK IS IT

universe: you know you're one of those people who would go into virtual reality and die there right
also me: i already tried and i got so close

universe: is now a good time for facebook to give you memories from 2 years ago
also me: i swear to fucking god

also me: i download a google chrome extension to export my entire facebook message history
also me: so i could search it and confirm i wasn't crazy and i hadn't made this entire thread up in my mind
universe:  are you proud of yourself
also me: incredibly

also me: so i searched through 10,000 facebook messages
also me:  using the key word 'piano'
also me:  could not find what i wanted
also me:  went into the whatsapp logs
also me:  whatsapp dates don't match up
also me:  i am inconsolable
also me:  and then i discovered
also me: it was a separate google doc
also me: in its own unique folder
also me: what the fuck, past me
also me:  but i found it
also me:  i spent a whole hour putting clues together to find one butterfly in my butterfly collection because i daydreamed about the reflective qualities of its wings
universe:  you know when your therapist refers to the 'passion in your voice' have you considered that she is hinting that you are a little crazy
also me: this is my accomplishment of the year, right here

also me: i'm starting to suspect everything i ever wrote is secretly a meditation on trauma and forgiveness
universe: """""secretly"""""

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XANDER
 Posted: Oct 31 2017, 01:44 AM
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Posts: 1142
Joined: 21-February 11

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QUOTE
me, writing a sad email to my ex: do you really hate me so much?
my high school ex: i think you are the reason i ended up dating my two most abusive and traumatizing boyfriends
my high school ex: even compared to them you are still the worst
me, rereading email: has the universe answered my question???


QUOTE
universe: there's a word for you
me: charming?
universe: destabilizing
me: is it my fault people are so attached to the fabric of their reality
universe: most people did not solve their attachment problem by abstaining from reality in large doses
me: best way to kick the habit


QUOTE
co-worker: blah blah blah, something something sasha
co-worker: sasha just doesn't care
other co-worker: no, no she doesn't
me: i have been here 7 weeks


QUOTE
universe: do you have some sort of low-key addiction for spelunking into the darkest caves of people's emotions and dragging them out into the daylight
me: well i don't see anyone else going into the cave after them
universe: have you considered there's a reason for that
me: is the reason that everyone else is a twerp
universe: the reason is that most people reserve this level of energy for themselves and themselves alone
me: ...so i'm right


QUOTE
universe: you know you can stop
universe: taking all this shit on
universe: you can just opt out and watch netflix documentaries
universe: go for walks
universe: comment opaquely on every problem people discuss in your presence
me: if people didn't want to talk to a priest they wouldn't sit in the confessional now would they
universe: who told you to be a priest
me: if the cassock fits
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XANDER
 Posted: Nov 6 2017, 11:20 AM
Quote

local advice god
Group: Admin
Posts: 1142
Joined: 21-February 11

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it's that time again folks



QUOTE
And I will still be here, stargazing
I'll still look up, look up
Look up for love
Stars don't disappear, they keep blazing
Even when the night is over


*

"you need to learn to live in the real world," my dad told me when i was 11, as he kept me up late at night to bitch and moan about his loneliness and my mother's supposed infidelity. "you need to learn how the world really works." conscripted into the role of therapist, i was raised into the conclusion that knowing how the world really works meant knowing how people worked - something i already knew i didn't understand, being the outcast of elementary school. the real world was defined not by existing within its sensory limits, but by taking the back off the watch and knowing how the gears moved. you need to learn to live in the real world.

so i learned.

16 years later, i am so good at living in the real world that i have a particular knack for disrupting the real worlds of other people. i have believed for the better part of my life in taking the backs off watches, though people passionately prefer to not have you know how they work; they themselves prefer not to understand. when you know how someone works, you have power over them, because you know which cogs will grind the machine to a halt. people are harder to stop than watches; stopping them requires a great bit more time, effort, and skill; but the knowing presupposes that you'll do something with it, that you wouldn't have gone to the trouble of taking the back off the watch if you weren't intending to remove or replace a gear. no one is entirely safe from this habit of mine, including myself. i am teased for my love of self-help and psychology books, for my love of manuals of human gears. to speak too much in the language of gears is to become incomprehensible to the sensory world, the world of origin, and yet, i persist. there are gears yet unnamed, misunderstood. there are things within me that could still do with replacing.

between now and then, there have been greater and lesser catastrophes of gear tinkering. the one that comes to mind now is my high school ex-girlfriend, an on-off relationship of three years that truly debuted my passion for knowing how the world worked. almost ten years after our high school graduation, as we discussed her bitterness and despair over her dearth of romantic opportunities, she told me i had been the worst of all her relationships - the worst, worse that the fiance who had assaulted her, worse than the boyfriend who had abused and stalked her. i was the worst because i had set her up for those kinds of people, had made them appealing, even. the worst. that was the truth.

why then? why was i the worst? because i had been a disruptor of reality, of sexuality and love and friendship and promises and what it means to be loyal, to be committed, to say what you feel and follow through with it. i took this accusation in stride, that i was the worst, because, if that was her perspective, well, maybe then i was. step one of living in the real world is accepting the things that people tell you, listening to them with an open mind, weighing their words and stepping into their shoes. maybe that's true, i told her, and if it is, that's the issue you need to work through, if you want to stop dating assholes you select for their weaker personalities. start with the feelings that made those mealy-mouthed dipshits look so appealing. i was willing to accept the premise that i had been a monster, if that was what made her tick.

it was only after going to sleep and waking up the next day, and reviewing the situation with friends, that i reconsidered. was i a monster? had her torment been all my design? that is one world i lived in for a very long time, the world where i was a monster, unlike other people not only in manner but in thoughts, and in blood. i was a ticking time bomb, a stick of dynamite with a burning fuse, a werewolf burdened with the knowledge that the moon would rise and i would wake in tattered clothes with the taste of iron on my teeth. this was another thing my dad had convinced me of. "manipulative," he called me. "selfish." i was supposed to exist only for him, only for his sadness, his anger, his loneliness, his power, and when i grew old enough to take a more serious interest in myself, he made sure to punish me for it. monster. it was an easy costume to slip into, after years of bullying in elementary and middle school, after years of my father's cruelty and bitterness. monster. at 15, at the mercy of a life-threatening illness, thinking i might die with a broken heart, it felt like at least a monster would have some kind of power. people respect monsters, if only because they fear them. for a few months, i showed my ex my best impression of a monster, after she broke up with me for the first - but not the last - time.

but what was the truth? what was the real world? the next rule of seeing the real world is taking what people feel and cross-referencing it to what they do, what they've done. the real world was that i forgave my ex-girlfriend's trespasses, that i fought to forgive her, over and over, as she betrayed my trust, sent me mixed messages, held me hostage because of her confused sexuality, ignored me, shouted at me. the real world was that i was distant because i didn't know how to trust, not her, not anyone, and that she never really tried to understand why. the real world was that she chose to date boring, shitty men because she was afraid of being gay and she hated me for making her afraid. the truth between her words and her deeds was that she lost out on the best of all her choices, that she played herself. i told her so. she said nothing.

'savage,' one of my friends said. 'by which i mean, honest.'

*

i have been having arguments with my father. i have decided that i can't take one more day of not telling the truth, of not living in the real world. living in the real world means that i must open up the catalogue of his sins and indicate each one; i must admit that they happened to me. i must admit what i couldn't even begin to imagine - that he changed me, that he made me, and the making of myself now is the unmaking of the self he orchestrated. i wrote him a long letter and emailed it. did you ever consider why i was the kind of teenager that i was? that it was your fault for making me that way? it hurt to say, but it hurt even more to not say it. it hurt to lie every time i picked up the phone, to pretend like every conversation we had wasn't held in a graveyard.

at first he simply denied what happened. then, he told me it was my problem, that he didn't have to deal with it. then, when i told him he would either talk about it, or we wouldn't talk at all, he shouted. he yelled and he yelled and he yelled and why didn't i care about him, about how he felt, why wasn't i accountable? and yet in the midst of this shouting he also said, you would have been better off if i hadn't been your father. maybe that's true, but even writing that now my heart is filled with agonizing pity. my father has this much in common with my ex-girlfriend: although he hurt me terribly, although he never had any intention of making me better, in the end, i won. i did get away, i did make something of myself. like my ex-girlfriend, my father is left alone with his failed decisions, with his loneliness, with knowing he almost destroyed one of the best things in his life, and that now he is in the awful position of needing forgiveness. like my ex-girlfriend, he is sad and alone and lost, and it is me, his victim, who comes to set him free.

this past week, our conversation was different. he said he read his letter to my therapist, who talked more about it with him. for the first time, my father asked me what i needed. when i answered, he admitted that he has spent his whole life justifying things, over-explaining, not listening to what it is people need. i listened to him puzzle through the simplest ideas, that other people's feelings are their own, that you don't own them, that you have to listen to them and not try to change them. i listened to him admit to being wrong without yelling, without raising his voice, without hearkening back for the thousandth time to his own abusive childhood. and he said to me, the other day, i finally felt like i was at peace - like i didn't need to rush to go anywhere, or do anything. i think it was the feeling of not running from the truth anymore. i think it was the feeling of living in the real world.

to live in the real world, we must often times be shattered. the stories we tell ourselves about who we are - what's unfixable about us, what's incurable, what we're worth or not worth, what our destinies are - allow us to deceive ourselves about who we really are, what we really want. we must return to the same questions again and again, digging deeper into them, exploring the territories, drawing the maps. we must listen and we must weigh. we must be heard and weighed in turn.

i told my father and my ex both that i had never held a gun to their heads, that i had never forced them to do one thing or another. i told them that they had opportunities to be different, and that over and over, they made their own decisions. i told them it was easier for them to focus on my making them feel bad, rather than the fact that they are ashamed of their choices. and i told them that there will be no peace, no freedom, no love, no clarity, until they can live in the real world, where they must shoulder the weight of their own consequences. i told them i forgive them. it is simply that mental health is a commitment to reality at any cost.

that was one thing my dad was right about. you've got to live in the real world.
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XANDER
 Posted: Dec 1 2017, 10:39 PM
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"you have extra bone in your mouth," the dental assistant told me, offering me a mirror. "and you produce extra minerals around your teeth. you probably have really strong bones. have you ever broken a bone?"

"only a finger, one time," i answered, which is true. i broke a finger after rolling an SUV into a ditch going 50 miles per hour, without a seatbelt. i totaled the car on a friday. on monday, when i went back to work with a bruise on my forehead, i told my coworker i fell while i was running.

my therapist keeps something in her office called a 'trauma egg', which is basically a laundry list of all the worst things that have ever happened to me. she tells me that most people have four or five on theirs, at most; i have easily cleared twenty. the overlapping scales prompted me to draw a small dragon in the corner, and to dub it 'the dragon egg'. whenever i look at the dragon egg, i feel a nagging sense of unease, a lack of knowing. i'm looking at the kinds of things that destroy people. i'm looking at the kinds of things people never get past. why not me?

you probably have really strong bones.

my latest pitch to my therapist involved an analysis of why some people don't get past things like depression and anxiety - because they integrate their mental health struggles into their identities via their beliefs about the world, and giving up their beliefs - believing they can get better, and working on it - would demand a restructure of reality. you have to let go of what you're convinced is true in order for another world to become possible. you have to let go of your old self to become your new self, even when you have no idea who your new self is going to be. you have to go out and meet them.

as i explained this, i had a nagging feeling again: the feeling that i'm a hypocrite. any person who gives advice is a hypocrite by default, but in this area in particular, i felt i had an advantage - except for one thing. just one thing. just... one. what could it be? and could i let it go?

only a finger, one time.

i didn't want to give up my relationship with Ω. i fought until the very bitter end - her, and myself. even after the end, i kept fighting, through my words and pictures and emails and my highly visible public displays of emotion. i couldn't stop fighting, because stopping meant i was the kind of person who gave up, and i wasn't like her. i would not give up. i would not lay down and die. and to that end, i grasped onto whatever beliefs were required to armor that identity.

i'm sure she still cares.

i know she's out there.

she never wanted me to give up before.

i could still fix this.

i can become someone she'd come back to.


i'm a mean fighter, reader. this isn't the first war i've fought. i don't scare easily; i've got a high pain tolerance. with every argument, every paranoid observation, every philosophical interrogation, i confirmed to myself, i'm fighting for the truth. i looked up into the sky, filled with darkness, and picked out the stars, constellating a story about what was true, what had to be true, because... because otherwise, what? life is bullshit? people run out of love? things go to shit and people give up? she lied when she said, 'talk to you soon'? and if that was the real truth - well, that meant i was pathetic. and i was most certainly not pathetic.

i managed to be not-pathetic in other areas. i made more friends; i got better at picking them, making them, spending time with them. i started being nicer to the friends i did have. i learned how to tell the truth, how to be vulnerable, how to disagree without being hijacked by insecurities and doubts. i went new places. i got into better shape; i dyed my hair. i read a lot of fucking books. but all these good things were forced into the employ of the not-truth: that i was not pathetic. if i did all these things, surely my insane persistence was not a fruitless quest. surely my success in other areas confirmed i was not deluded.



but still, in that moment in therapy, i had to finally admit - i was full of shit. i was pathetic after all. as sincere as my feelings were - as deep as the connection in my relationship had been - i still amounted to an unromantic idiot who wouldn't get the real messages. the real messages were -

i don't want to talk to you.

i don't want you in my life.

it's over.

i'm not coming back.


the messages were painted in bright red paint, and i papered over them with fortune cookie sayings like, 'is it wrong to hope?' and 'love never really dies.' the truth was as clear as day, when i was brave enough to look at it. there it was! there it was!

there it was. there it is.

so why tell you this story, reader? because it's time to tell the truth. because it's time to confront the last reality i've been avoiding. because it's time to finally dismantle this part of my identity, central as it has been. it is time to read every breakup book. it is time to tell myself at least two times a day, I GET TO LEAVE. my dumb ass waited with the drawbridge down for two years, and I GET TO FUCKING LEAVE NOW.

it was hard to give up, because i really am not a quitter. that is why i end up actually keeping friends for really long periods of time; that is why i can call my dad month after month and make him own up to child abuse; that is why i stuck with years of my mom's alcoholism until she got into a program. there really is a part of me that can exert some extraordinary will in the face of daunting circumstances, but the difference is, the universe has been on my side. i had to fight, but i didn't have to force. this? this the universe has slapped my hand every step of the way. it has ignored begging, pleading, shooting stars, and all levels of bargaining. it has hit me over the head with a hammer, over and over, because it is not going to let me do something i'm not supposed to do. it's not supposed to happen! it knows better! it knows that after a train wreck, you don't get back on the train. it's me who kept standing by the tracks.

there are things worth fighting for in life - lots of things. and then there are times where people don't want you to fight for them. they don't want to be on your team. they don't want to make nice, or make right, or make whatever it is you want to make. all the best fighting isn't worth anything to them, because it's your fighting. when they tell you not to fight for them - in their words, actions, or lack thereof - listen.

reader, i apologize it took me so long to listen.

what does this mean for you? it means the end of this blog, unfortunately! this whole thing was part of the pageant, the anger and the crying and the gnashing of teeth and the forgiveness and the resolve. it was a portrait of myself, both as i was and as i wanted to believe i was. i hung it all up for her, for her, to keep the door open, to keep the drawbridge down. i can't trust that any further updates wouldn't somehow be tied to that. i can't guarantee that they wouldn't play into the pathetic voice in my head that wants me to turn on one more sad song and reminisce. that's being honest with myself.

so thank you, reader! thank you for putting up with this shitshow for the three years i've been screaming into this box. it helped to know that people were reading, that i was at least interesting (albeit pathetic); it helped to feel listened to. thank you for your silent support in the form of your occasional pageview. i am sorry if i am depriving you of future absurdities, but this is for the best. this is growing up.

i went out to sushi with a new friend a few weeks ago. i told him about this relationship, how deeply i felt, how so many people don't understand, how their lack of understanding is tangible to me. how do i care about their hills - which they think are mountains - when i've been to the real mountains? when they don't know about real mountains? "you take them there," he told me. "you take what you've learned and you teach someone new about the mountains." and i thought, that's nice. i can do that.

by way of parting, here's the last batch of soundtracks. someone's gonna love these some day, don't you think?

Tap Your Foot To Optimism

On The Porch Of Our Burnt Down House

The Anniversary Of The Day The World Ended

Electric Sunrise On A New World

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