I do not hope to turn again

[walled-garden. Please don’t talk about this outside of here.]

Because I know that time is always time
And place is always and only place
And what is actual is actual only for one time
And only for one place
I rejoice that things are as they are and
I renounce the blessèd face
And renounce the voice
Because I cannot hope to turn again

T.S. Eliot, “Ash Wednesday

I haven’t felt much like writing lately. Just been in my own personal hell, where it’s difficult to say anything, and the things to say are just…well, they seem pointless. And I’m scared to death of anybody figuring it out. But I’ve got to write this down or I think I’m going to explode.

In therapy, we’ve figured out a large chunk of the problem. I don’t see anything good about myself.

This might be confusing, so let’s take an example. I have a master’s degree from UC Berkeley — most of you know this. Objective fact. However, I see it as a nice little pat on the head and a ‘thanks for trying!’ sort of parting gift, because I feel like I failed in my master’s program. I know that some of this is depression talking. However, I also screwed up my relationship with my advisor (in all fairness, he shouldn’t have been my advisor, but he was a new prof and they had to give him some advisees, and I thought he was closely aligned with my interests, when the fact was that he wasn’t) and spent my time not managing to piece together a coherent program — so I know a little about several different things in information management, but I don’t know any one thing good enough to be hired for it. So there. Master’s degree? Well, yeah, but FAIL.

This then feeds into a resume, and why I get terrified any time I’m called on to write my bio. How do I pimp myself when I’m absolutely fucking convinced I’m not worth anybody’s time or effort? How do I get a better job when I’m sure nobody will want me?

This is where I am right now, and it’s leading to one hell of an existential crisis. And unfortunately, it’s not one of the cool ones with candles and epic works of art. The point of it? I don’t know what to do, and I don’t know how to fix it. My therapist suggests faking it until I make it, but that feels like lying, and well, I’m semi-convinced people can see that I’m faking it. You know, because I’m an epic failure.

…and I know this is kinda disjointed, and I know, logically, that I’m worth a whole lot more than I give myself credit for. But I can’t seem to get the two pieces to connect. I know they’ve got to, somewhere, but no matter which way I rotate the pieces…

Yeah, so any advice you can give me would be listened to. Of course, I’m kinda lost in a depressive state at the moment, so being very careful to steer clear of stuff that looks like “Think happy thoughts and you’ll get over it!” because that just suceeds in (a) pissing me off and (b) making me more depressed.

Anyway. Sorry about the disjointed rambly nature of this post. I just…yeah. I’m lost, lonely, and broken, and I don’t know where to go or what to do.

burning my bridges while I’m on them.


Welcome to the Walled Garden. Yeah, that’s what I’m calling this particular space, because it’s just private enough. If you’re seeing this, you’ve either commented on one of my last two posts or you’re somebody whom I trust implicitly anyway (or whom I talk about this stuff on another media).

Anyway, I was going to start working towards the pragmatic ‘what I need to do to get out of here’ tonight, but that’s kinda changed. You see, I got my grades, and I ended up with a D in a class due to some extraordinary bad luck when it came to the final. The first was that I was just a minute late getting it in — I thought I was on time, but my clock is slow.

The second was that, in trying to email it to him on my second chance, I somehow emailed it to the wrong address. Instead of a bounce, I ended up with dead air, so I assumed it went through. So, you can imagine my shock when I saw the D when I was expecting a C.

And this is the fucking story of my life. It doesn’t matter what I’m doing, I’ll always find a way to burn the bridge down while I’m on it. It’s almost like I don’t want myself to succeed. I’m not entirely sure why this is the case, but it’s why I have very few people to write me letters of recommendation or otherwise help me along. Because I’m very very good at ending up being a flake despite my best intentions.

I know some of it is the illness. I hate being bipolar; I hate the fact that, out of nowhere, I’ll suddenly be eaten by a grue. Despite having a flashlight. That is, the depression beast will come out of nowhere and rob me of my motivation and focus, and once again I burn the bridge and fall in the ravine. Then I have to claw myself out again. It gets *old* after a while.

This is getting old. But I don’t know what to do about it.

I think I’m going to go take one of my anti-anxiety pills and go to bed. It’s better than sitting here in the spin cycle. Maybe tomorrow I’ll feel well enough and together enough to be pragmatic, but it’s not happening tonight.

I just really could use some good luck right about now, though.

logic has no place in matters of the heart


[this got long. plz read.]

So, I’ve had a lot of interesting responses to last night’s question. The addendum I seem to be pondering is thus: Does the answer to the question change if it’s mental and/or emotional abuse?

You know, screw it. I think I’ll just stop beating around the bushes and actually let y’all into my head. This verges on dangerous territory for me — I went and left this “friends only”, but that’s still a large chunk of people, and any of y’all could use this to hurt me. That’s part of the reason I’ve been somewhat hesitant to write at all, and why the writing has come in this closet space instead of out in the open. I hate the fact I’m putting this on the Internet at all — but I need to have other thoughts on what I’m thinking to make sure that I’m not seeing this through my personal cracked windshield.

So here’s the story. A lot of you know that I’ve had troubles with Mom before. A lot of you also know that I’m THIRTY-ONE FRICKIN YEARS old and still live with my parents. I’ve had several people comment on how much happier I seem to be when I’m away from my parents, and that probably should have been the first clue…

But besides the point. Here’s the deal. My mom likes to pull a little stunt that annoys me to no end. If something is not *exactly* as she wants it, she pouts and pulls a guilt trip. Like the other day, I’m at home and she starts bugging me about lunch. Okay, says I, I can take a bit of time to nuke Mom a frozen pizza if it keeps her away from where I’m goofing off. But no, she wants an artichoke. Now, at the main grocery store we go to, they don’t have artichokes and I knew that’s where my sister had gone to buy groceries the night before. So I tell her we don’t have any. She immediately starts ranting at me that my sister’s an ungrateful selfish person who didn’t go out of her way to buy the artichokes, and I’m suddenly trying to defend the kid. And she ends with what I can only call a flounce, and says “I won’t eat anything at all.”

*sigh* Okay, did I mention that Mom’s a diabetic, and she knows damn good and well that if she doesn’t eat, her blood sugar is going to go plummeting through the floor? And then *that* becomes my problem. And it’s just this sort of passive-aggressive bullshit that is driving me absolutely bonkers — and I’ve come to the realization she’s done it for years.

But on the other hand, I also know Mom’s living in the all-depression-all-the-time channel due to a rather fucked-up childhood. Quick bit — mom’s the product of a teenage pregnancy, and my biological grandfather was just nowhere near being ready to take on the role of being in charge of a family. They divorced. Did I point out that it’s 1958 here? Add in the fact that Nanny favored Mom’s little brother over her — yeah, boys have always meant more to Nanny than girls, but that’s its own complicated sordid story. So really, it’s no wonder Mom’s fucked up.

Nanny is an extraordinary control freak and cares way too much about appearances. She’s also the youngest of seven siblings, with a relatively large gap between her and her next oldest sibling. Add in the fact that her father was an alcoholic and they never had much money. Also, something I didn’t find out until the last few years, my great-grandmother was not my great-grandfather’s first wife. He had a whole ‘nother family out there that my nanny only vaguely knew about.

It’s the tale of the sins of the father being visited upon the sons. And so logically, I understand why mom is the way she is, and I even understand that she probably didn’t mean it. I believe with all my heart she didn’t mean it — she tried to be the best parent she could. And yet…

And yet, here we are, where I sit and contemplate horrible things. That’s why I said when I knew the answer was yes, I wasn’t sure how I was going to deal with it. Other than the occasional spanking (when I was younger), I’ve never been hit by either of my parents. I know it could have been much worse. Which is why I’ve probably been hesitant to think of it as abuse. Who am I to blow against the wind?

But I think it boils down to this: the thing a kid tries to do most of all is to make their parents happy. And in my case, my dad was never around and my mom was never happy. That’s not really an environment prone to making a well-adjusted adult, so it really shouldn’t be a surprise I’m as fucked up as I am.

It’s not that dad was out boozing around or anything. He just works insane hours. We joke that he’s married to his job and Mom’s the extramarital affair. (Although, in the last few weeks, I’ve wondered if he’s that way because it keeps him from having to deal with Mom’s harping.) I’ll write more about Dad in the next few days — it’s probably important.

Again, the question is probably irrelevant. As I said, the matter of what needs to happen now is the same as it was yesterday. More on that tomorrow, because I think I just about emotionally exhausted myself writing this.

…I’m also beginning to think that even a general friends-only filter might be too broad. So if you want to hear my attempting to figure out and integrate stuff, please let me know. If I decide to go with the filter option, that’ll be what determines who ends up there.

But yeah, comments are welcome. I’ll reply to some comments on the other thread after I’ve slept a bit, although I think I answered some of them here.

Protected: in the quiet spaces

This content is password protected. To view it please enter your password below: