Saturday, March 03, 2007

What do you do when the worst critic in the world, the worst bully you've ever had won't leave you alone - and is inside you?

Taunting, second guessing, putting down, reprimanding, punishing - all the things that the mean little brats in junior high would do to you, the heart of a faceless authority figure. A never ending stream of chatter. "Why couldn't you have just/well, that was stupid/you should know better/now you're in trouble/it's your fault...." etc etc etc.

I know this voice all too well - and am able to pick it out now as it picks at me. That doesn't fix things, just being able to pick it out, but at least I know who I'm listening to.

The point is to make it stop. It can't say ANYTHING nice. And it never follows the rule if you can't say anything nice than don't say anything at all. It's like a movie critic who doesn't even like the movie in the first place, let alone being a movie critic and just pans the film without really watching it or caring.

In psychology, this thing is called the shadow. I'm very familiar with its unwanted antics, and I know what faces it has. I know what it sounds like. I know what it does to me. And I'm ready to lop its head off.

Lopping its head off is not really the point though, as much as I want to kick its dark little whiny ass. The shadow is all that balled up stuff that nobody wants and nobody loves. It's all the things you get yelled at for by adults when you're little, all the things the kids in school taunt you about, all the mistakes you've made, and all the things you should never want to be so you deny it. every last bit. You pretend its not there. It's the monster in the corner.

It doesn't like you for what you've done. And it has every right to. It's relentless. Years of negativity that get internalized come right back at you when you least expect it. It's like when the mob buries bodies in a shallow grave and the rain washes away the dirt and exposes nasty bloated corpses.

It's angry for being denied. It's angry for being buried. The reason that bullies become bullies in the first place is that they were not loved or accepted when they should have been - they have been improperly taught and treated even worse. No one abuses someone else without having been abused themselves in some way. It gets to be a vicious cycle.

So as much as I wish I could take an axe to my shadow and shout obscenities at it to make it pay for what it's done, that method is not going to improve matters.

The shadow is one's nemesis - anyone who's seen the matrix movies can understand this concept. Neo created his own nemesis - Agent Smith, and not Smith is hell bent on destroying him and infecting everything. He doesn't like where he's at any better than Neo does, but he's all violence and hate. There's this scene where there are about 5 million agent smiths coming at Neo who is fending off all of them and sending them flying in all directions.

That's where i'm at.

The thing is, at the end of this movie, there's this big battle between the two of them. Neo looks like he's giving up - but it's not the case. Smith is just about to pound the life out of him -Neo simply accepts him; what he is and what he wants. As a result, the two are reconciled and the entire movie series comes to an end.

It's not fun. Certainly not. Necessary, sure. But how to go about it - that's what I'm pondering. I have plenty of ideas.

I'm at the point of fed up with taking the crap from myself. It's a difficult knot to untie, but i'm starting to see a loose string I can pull. This is one of those times where I'm glad I'm an artist, because this would be a lot harder to do otherwise.

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

So, until I can make myself a new journal - which perhaps i should work on today, I'll be spewing more into here. Let's face it - therapy is brutal.

I was all knotted up inside, so i decided to get vicious with some egg cartons i was collecting for paper making....and shredding the hell out of them while projecting all the crap that's been bugging me onto them was terribly therapeutic.

We could have, and perhaps should have voted yesterday, but didn't make it to the polls in time. looks at the tallies though, it didn't seem that we would have made much of a difference. Our intent with voting at all was to vote all the incumbents out, because we're sick of the monarchy.
So, either a lot of people feel just as disenfranchised as us and didn't bother or forget, or Daley must have bought some new palm grease.

It becomes so apparent to me that people are terrified of change - whether it's personal or political. So one wants to interrupt the apparent comfort and stability - least of all do those in power want to upset their status quo. So, on top of a grwoing mountain of festering dung, this grand palace facade gets built, and it gets added on to. And everyone pretends that no one smells the garbage underneath that continues to grow in size, and everyone ignores the fact that the trash problem is coming straight from the palace.

once again, facades.
Untangling the knots of a big chained necklace - you think you have part of it unraveled, only to find knots in other places. you are in fact undoing the mess, but it certainly doesn't feel like it. It's a fight almost, and sometimes you want to give up. But you want to wear the damn necklace, so you have to undo the mess you have made.

People don't want to really see themselves, because they are terrified that what they have made themselves to be is completely false - and they'd be right. there's nothing worse than realizing you're not who you thought you were, who others think you are, but when it comes down to it, it's better that you find that out so you can dump it and figure out who you actually are. if no one can accept you for your actual self, then they are not worth your time, and they have their own demon in the mirror to confront.

I woke up today after having slept well, with actual joy and contentment and hope.
At the moment I'm a little angry, a little anxious. But that's nothing that a little exercise and healthy venting can't deal with.

I'm tired of the pilot light getting blown out. If I have to have a warrior mentality for a while to keep it lit, than so be it.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

The theme for the present is better out than in. Some of this is not new spew, but if you come here to read this anyway, you already know that. And the fact that anyone reads this is not even the point.

I like my job. I can't say i will ever "love" it, because it's a job and by nature, it does not love me in return. But I like it. it's been working for me.

I do get tired of hearing the same sentiment over and over though. I realize just how much our society is concerned with appearance and facade by reading entries every day. I know that i am reading the thoughts of one person at a time about another or others, and that their view is not a complete picture. Even if i was to read every entry in someone's guestbook I would not really know the person, not even with a picture and a long obituary.

But the things that set me off are the same things all the time. The deceased always had a smile on their face. No one ever sees them not smiling. Even when they feel bad they smile. Even when they don't want to they are smiling.

Now, it's one thing to be optimistic. It's quite another to "smile" all the time if your feelings don't warrant it. As someone who has worked retail and done theatre, I understand the reality and sometimes even the importance of masks. In fact, the scariest kind of masks to me are the ones with a permanent smile. It's an ingrained thing almost - for an unmoving never changing smile to be creepy. A smile that does not change is not genuine, it's a ruse and an illusion and a danger even because there is no telling what is really behind it.

To say that someone smiles all the time doesn't make me think of healthy behaviour. I've had to smile so many times when I was miserable or angry because that's what was expected of me. I was not allowed to just feel what I was feeling because I would be judged by others, or others would feel the need to cheer me up simply because I was down, or because it would be bad for business. I've had to pretend so often - more often that I ever did when I was onstage in high school to the point that I don't even know what I'm feeling anymore because I'm too busy fumbling to keep my mask on. I distracted my emotions with thoughts- this became a filter through which I could express them without having to distress others around me or fit in. The problem became however, that by not expressing what I need to that everything got buried. In my thoughts. in my actions. I made more and more masks and they were layered so thickly that every time I take one off i still can't breathe because I've got another one on that i need to remove. The emotions affected my physical self as well. During the most stressful times of my life I learned how to not sleep properly, how to eat poorly and gain weight, how to get sick with high frequency when in my childhood was never sick a day - even when wished I could be just to stay to talk down to myself for these behaviours, feeding a vicious cycle that only led deeper to more negative emotions.

The result of this? A dislike of one's body, ones self as a person, one's lack of faith in one's own faculties and abilities. Doubt, criticism, blame, shame, guilt and fear. if that was a poker hand of dysfunction, I'd have the whole pot.

All this, because of a mask, a facade of a smile that didn't really exist. When i I wanted was to cry or throw things or scream for five minutes straight or at the very least not pretend that I was something i was not.

So when I hear someone always smiled, I cringe. Sure, it's possible they could have been a happy person. but no one, NO ONE smiles every minute of the day. And even if you see them that way, that does not represent what could be on the inside. No one wants to be drowned by anothers emotions, surely. But to deny that they are there, to deny that there are other emotions, especially the negative ones- the ones that need most to set free is unsafe and insane. No one should have to compromise their emotional health to please others. When people ask how are you half the time, they don't really want to hear the true answer. They expect "fine" or "good". They don't want to hear if you've had a bad day, or that you're not feeling quite right. Honesty is not valued the way it should be in the realm of emotions.

Another thing I tend to hear a lot in my readings is how someone thoughtof other before themselves, or they took care of others needs before their own, or they cared more for others than themselves.

At first glance, most people would think this is a noble sentiment, and perhaps most times it is meant as such. The statements are meant to read as "this person cared and served others." I would much rather hear that, because the implications of what people usually say, turn my stomach and once again make me shake my head at what society values.

To always put others needs, wants and emotions before one's self, and to care more about others than one's self is basically a form of self denial and hatred. if someone really does go around trying to help and please others, and is doing it because they want to be well thought of, or because it is what is expected, and thinks that to do anything for themselves is selfish and to be looked down upon, then they have some severe problems.

The posts upset me because it sounds like these people are denying themselves, denying the value of their own lives. That they have to drop everything for anyone who calls without thinking twice about the fact at they might be hungry, tired, sad, or need help themselves. How on earth can any person help another without first being a stable, individual? You can't truly help another person with their problems when you are burnt out, denying your own emotions, burying baggage, and trying to please everyone who asks something of you. The idea thatto love oneself is to be selfish is deplorable and very very wrong. the whole idea of love thy neighbor as yourself means that first of all, you have to LOVE YOURSELF and feel that your life has meaning and value, that your needs and wants are important. the idea is to treat others as you want to be treated, not run yourself ragged trying to make sure everyone else is happy before you even consider how you are feeling.

People who truly don't care about themselves are the ones who wind up depressed, suicidal or worse. they not only don't care for themselves, but they think that no one else does or even should and that their very existence is a burden on others.

it's like whack- a-mole. You can't possibly have time to think because you're too busy with the damn hammer, and if you think for one second that as soon as you have everyone else taken care of that you'll have time for yourself- you'll see another mole pop up.

It just seems like people have this idea that total self sacrifice is noble and expected. Sure, it's all good to give of ourselves, but not to our own exclusion. We are the ones who spend the most time with us every day and if we don't have the energy or care for ourselves, then our acts towards others lose their nobility. it's like the mom who sacrifices her dreams to have a family and support them, then pushes her kids to succeed so she can live vicariously through them then wondering why she stills feels empty and why her kids are annoyed with her.

I know the things that people type aren't always literal, but I see the same things so often that I can't help thinking "do people actually buy this crap?"

I've been trying to take out my own trash, and i'm all to easily seeing that other people's cans are overloaded with garbage.

I tired of the pervasive idea that the individual does not matter. Our world is made of many individuals, and if it was true that the individual was unimportant, then our whole society would break down piece by piece. I'm sick of the "there's no I in team atttude" which is demeaning, belittling and only contributing to the general self loathing that seems to be widely permitted.

A team only functions if all it's members are in tact.

How does one undo years of bad conditioning and negative programming fed by an unhealthy society/media/childhood experience?

Slowly and painfully. And one step at a time.

Monday, February 26, 2007

I don't even want to blog. I don't see the point at the moment. I feel that I'm both rehashing old ground, and at the same time treading into territory that I am not ready to explain. it's more than just the weather, which has gotten an unceasingly tight hold on my moods and state of mind. It's more than the personal pain of strangers that i have to deal with everyday. It's definitely being cooped up and feeling trapped, but that's merely the microcosm of the situation.

I can't even blame it on the pervasive "monthly dilemna", because in truth it only makes apparent what is already there.

I'm beyond restless. I'm soaked through with a vicious melancholy that is hell bent on making as large a portion of my waking time seem useless. I'm renting a room to this brooding sadness that refuses to pack its baggage and go. I get angry, to the point of daydreams of mental violence against both of my unwanted guests.

If this was a dream, I'd will myself to become lucid and say fuck this. But in a dream this would be far easier. I have been able to do just that, but the doorway has been through action and anger and motivation - motivation and action being the hardest commodity to not be skived off with by the pantry mice.

I might as well be Hamlet. For in death what dreams may come. Action action action.
From the outside, I should be happy with what I have, and I am not saying that I am not pleased to be employed in the comfort of my home and that I am not content with doing artwork whenever I please and starting my own business. That's something I'd always wanted.

I have a level of comfort and security that is, well, comfortable and secure but fails on another level. it's not even that I need things to worry about and am looking for them (I know I'm also good at this, but this is not the case. I've got a case of shiftless discontent that has little to do with the progress I have made in the outside world.

The usual things piss me off - humanity behaving in a less than human manner, vapid soul sucking consumer culture, ignorance, government...blah blah blah.

But they are taking a back seat to the complete restless annoyance that has been plagueing me. I cannot seem to enjoy a large portion of my days. For a while, I thought it was the lack of human contact. Several parties later I find that I'm still socially capable and while I was cheered some by other people, that I feel more distant than ever.

I feel like many of my days are wasted by ennui. I attempt to go with the flow and note fight it - and it drowns me. it ruins my days, and while i set out to look at the landscape from the perspective of contemplation, my view eventually shifts to near depression. I try to fight against it, and with force, anger, and determination I can shove it aside for a while - days even. But the damn shadow always creeps in behind the sun again and stands waiting behind me.

I'm annoyed at best. I can't seem to enjoy just being for any length of time. I am very aware I'm not who I was but I am still me. My mind knows a lot of things, perhaps too much-but my emotions are constantly hostage to my incessant stream of thoughts. And when I do feel, it's the same old drudgery of a feeling. That stupid gnawing boo-hoo annoyance and what makes it even worse to bear is it's got this shiny speck of hope that it uses for a fucking yo-yo. Despair using hope for yo-yo tricks. this is my life.

And hear i am, fucking blogging when i don't even care to. I'm now tired, my melatonin is kicking in and i just want to sleep. That's usually been the solution to this mood. go to sleep, wake up tomorrow with a fresh take, have interesting dreams along the way. In the past, this worked because this mood was rare and never lasted very long.

I just want to scrap eveything sometimes. just pitch it all. I've been doing a lot of introspection and diggin up old bones to try and heal. I knew full well that this kind of thing could happen, but now that it's here I have all i can do to say fuck it. But I can't go back. it's like seeing the fedex arrow - you see it once, you can never stop seeing it.

I know I'm on the mirror side of the one way glass being observed, and I know perfectly well that's not a mirror I'm looking into, but I can't seem to change what I'm doing. Knowing is half the battle, sure. But the other half is far harder.

I just want to not feel like a wet rag. I want to be able to have a string of days where I can be content with life for no good reason. I want to feel like my time here isn't wasted. I want to stop drowning, either that or just drown and be done with it already.