I got too High

I have been meaning to write a post lately, but I never have the energy to write anything good. Fortunately, I am now quite high, and am very ok with writing something bad!

I got high because today was very stressful. And yesterday was stressful. And the day before that was stressful. And tomorrow will be stressful. So it has been a lot this week. I had the flu so I’m getting caught up and it’s too much. Not school alone; I mean everything. I need to ask my mom for money so I can pay December rent because I fucked up budgeting. I’m applying to grad school. I have a new trauma issue that is very scary.  I need to be doing better in school. I am meeting my dad for coffee tomorrow! It is too much. So am high.

I am really trying to get my thoughts out into the world. That’s what I want more than anything; to have someone completely understand me? I don’t know if this is making any sense. Probably not.

I keep getting reminders of my eating disorder, and it’s making me want to go back. I’m romanticizing it right now. I also lost a bit of weight having the flu, and it’s been triggering in that regard.

Oh. Also. My body is falling apart? It started with my knee, where the kneecap was shifting around when I would walk. It didn’t hurt, but it was unsettling and made me worried I would completely dislocate my knee. Then my hip started feeling weird, like I feel like it’s inflamed and the abductor or whatever is moving over something while I swing my leg forward? I’ve had bursitis in my hip before, and it felt like this when it was starting. Then my ankle starting hurting out of the blue. A lot. Then I hurt something around my ribs/side by breathing too hard. (The flu made my asthma bad.) And then my back started hurting. Now my hip is not just feeling weird but painful. A bunch of not important things, but together, it’s strange. But my girlfriend has a physical disability that causes them a lot of pain, so I feel bad complaining about things like this. They are actually calling me in ten minutes, so I’ll have to wrap this up soon. Maybe I will do this now.

Sarah

Advertisements

Today, We Will be Sad Quietly

This will be short post, but I need to share this intention with the world so I might actually stick to it.

Yesterday, I had a meltdown of sorts. And it was sloppy, and embarrassing, and likely annoying. They always are. I’ve always wanted to be one of those people who become quiet when they are upset; instead, I whine and complain and metaphorically flail at everybody. And I’ve had enough therapy that I “know” there is nothing wrong with this. That’s the correct answer. I’m allowed to express my feelings or something. But allowed or not, it leaves me hating myself.

So today, I endeavour to spend a single day being sad quietly. I know my thinking behind this almost certainly isn’t healthy, but one day isn’t going to kill me, and it might make me like myself a little better.

Maybe I’ll report back later on how this went. Maybe I will list every negative feeling or event that occurred because my suffering only feels valid when somebody else knows about it.

But right now, I shall begin my day with the almost certainly misguided intention to suck it up and keep it together and mainly, to be sad quietly.

Sarah

Just Kidding: We are Blogging Again

I recently made the announcement that I would stop using this site and would instead use my time writing political posts on thepoliticalpessimist.wordpress.com. I have since changed my mind.

The internal crisis surrounding my perceived lack of accomplishments continues, and I have found myself increasingly drawn to the idea of putting more effort into writing.

I love writing. I have loved it since the second grade. And my dream for the last little while has been to get a steady, “real” job, then pursue writing on the side until it becomes a viable way to support myself. But in the meantime, I have been doing nothing to strengthen my writing skills or to use writing as a creative outlet to the extent that I would like to. So I am back here. Hello darkness, my old friend.

I know I haven’t made it clear how returning to blogging will fit into my goal of accomplishing literally anything, and that’s because I am not really sure of the answer. But it’s something.

 

Sarah

Falling Behind

I recently started dating someone (by which I mean we went on one date and have a second one planned, but they’re perfect and I’m feeling really hopeful).  They’ve written a few articles for various publications, and the other day I thought it would be fun to google their name and read them. Now, you might be assuming that I found out something terrible about this person. That is not the case. Essentially, I found out that they’re even more impressive than I thought, and now I feel like shit about myself.

This person (let’s call them S) shares my passions for politics and social justice. But unlike myself, S has been acting on these passions for years. They have been volunteering and writing and contributing in other tangible ways.

I yell at politicians through my computer screen.

I plan to earn a Masters in Public Policy after I graduate this year. But you wouldn’t know it by reading my CV. I’m in Honours Math and Stats, and have held zero volunteer or employment positions in the field of public policy. I will be taking one or two political science courses this year, but that’s the extent of my formal education in this area. I have friends who have written articles about social issues and who have drafted policies for the university and who have volunteered with political campaigns for years. Who the fuck am I?

I was a very different person in first year. I was a Christian who planned to major in Religious Studies. I had very unsavoury opinions on many social issues. I was not remotely interested in politics. In second year I was no longer a Christian, but a depressed Bulimic. I had no direction for my life and didn’t care enough to figure it out. Then I took a year off school for eating disorder treatment, and had no energy or drive for anything that wasn’t losing weight. Around this time, I decided I wanted to become a Public Policy Analyst, but I did nothing about it. I figured I would change my mind soon enough, so there was no use in forging that path for myself. The year I returned to school, I was still recovering mentally from my eating disorder, and I had my first relationship with a woman. I had a lot going on, so it didn’t even occur to me to get involved. This past year was marked by heartbreak and severe depression, and while volunteering would have probably been good for me, I had no desire to do it.

But this year, I am choosing my final courses, and narrowing down the list of grad schools where I intend to apply. I am surrounded by people with years of experience related to politics, policy, and social justice. And I am just me. The current plan is to do as much as I can this year, but I’ll never catch up to my peers.  I spent my undergrad being sick and disabled, instead of preparing for my future and living my values. But I now know multiple people who did both. So what’s my excuse?

I guess preparing to apply to grad schools and dating someone new has made me consider how others might view me. And I don’t like what I see. I wish I could end this post with an optimistic conclusion (when have I don’t that ever?), but I can’t, and partially because I don’t think my thoughts are wrong. So there’s that.

Sarah

Bleh.

This will actually be a short post, because I’m lying in bed on 1mg of Ativan, so energy isn’t a thing. Life is going really well objectively; have second date with crush, etc it’s all wonderful. But I had a bad afternoon today, so I’m in a bad place.

I had plans with crush and friends that I was looking forward to. I’ve been feeling depressed for no reason lately, and thought this would help. It had to be cancelled for reasons that are nobody’s fault, but I can’t handle changes of plan. I know it’s irrational, but I essentially have a panic attack every time. Today was the same. Not only do I feel these irrational feelings, but I also hate myself for reacting this way, and I don’t see myself ever functioning well in the future. And nobody understands. It’s awful. I honestly keep thinking I want to die, but I know this feeling is temporary.

I’ve probably been drinking too much recently, and that’s why I’ve been feeling so low despite amazing circumstances. Who knows? This is where I’m at, though.

Sarah

Psychoanalyzing my Dad

Recently, my dad has done a shitty thing. He’s always been selfish and unreliable, but this was a new low. While speaking with my counsellor about this recently, he asked if I knew why my dad might be like this. I know this wasn’t the intention, but his question prompted me to begin a process of internet searches and unprofessional diagnoses in an effort to understand my dad for the first time in my life.

I recently wrote a post about my childhood, and a lot of that content involved my dad, so there will be some overlap. Just a heads up.

My dad has been what he is for as long as I can remember. At a young age, I accepted that he would never change. I never had language that described my dad succinctly; when it came up, I could only say that my dad was my dad. He was different. And not in a good way. To explain the problem, I would have to explain everything. And I hardly have the language to do that. But language is the vehicle I am currently using to communicate this story, so I’m going to have to try.

The Story:

I don’t remember my dad being an especially unique parent until his divorce from my mom. He briefly lived in a townhouse where my sister and I stayed part-time, then we moved in with his girlfriend. I’m increasingly convinced that household was abusive, but I still can’t explain why. My sister has more specific memories, but I just remember how I felt. There were countless little things that all culminated in a shitty situation. When they broke up a couple years later, we quickly moved in with his next girlfriend. My dad asked if I thought it was too soon; I said it was; it happened anyway. After that relationship ended, my dad, my sister, and I lived in a townhouse. My dad promised me he wouldn’t move in with another girlfriend until I graduated high school. But six months later, we moved in with his next girlfriend. (Throughout this time, my sister and I lived part-time with our mom) Eventually they got married, but last year they divorced. My dad lives alone now (with my sister still visiting part-time) but he has a new girlfriend.

Then there were the broken promises. For years on end, my dad would claim we would take a family vacation in the Summer, and it never happened. At one point, we were going to get a dog. Nope. My dad would promise me a ride, or say my sister and I would get home at a certain time. No. These might sound petty, but the consistent inconsistency was frustrating.

But again, it was mostly the little things. Never being able to visit my friends. Being looked at like a brat when I asked to turn up the heat because I was cold. Having my dad scream at me if I got upset about any of this. When he got married without inviting my sister and I, I never expressed my sadness because I knew he would get mad. We always had to be happy for him. We always had to forgive him.

And I’ve always loved him. He’s my dad. I’ve been convinced that he loves me, because he makes a point of saying it every once in a while. That he loves me and I’m the reason he’s gotten through everything. And he gets incredibly clingy when I don’t live with him. But after some research and reflection, I’m not sure of these things anymore.

Current Thoughts:

I’ve become somewhat convinced that my dad has Narcissistic Personality Disorder, or some undiagnosable level of narcissistic traits.

I have thought this in the past, but I forgot about it, since my dad is not the person I picture when I think “narcissist”. He doesn’t seem to have an inflated ego, and doesn’t go around bragging about how great he is. But he has so many other features, and exhibits these traits in subtler ways. Yesterday, my mom said something about my dad thinking he’s the centre of the universe and everyone else is just a satellite, and it made me think there’s something to this theory of mine.

My dad is selfish; this has always been obvious. His needs come first, and everyone else is an afterthought. But what’s always struck me as more pathological is the way my dad reacts to other peoples’ emotions. He seems GENUINELY confused. He doesn’t just seem angry when his actions impact other people; he seems surprised. Like it never occurred to him. That can’t just be regular selfishness. To this point, one symptom of NPD is “Having an inability or unwillingness to recognize the needs and feelings of others.”

Further, as I said, criticizing my dad in any way is futile. He gets extremely angry. Though not a diagnostic criterion, it is a feature of NPD to react with disproportionate anger and hostility to anything threatening one’s ego.

Many of the diagnostic criteria involve an inflated sense of self-worth, which I never saw in my dad. But on reflection, there is something there. He owns a soccer academy and thinks he’s going to fundamentally change Soccer in North America, maybe leading to international success for the men’s team. That’s a bit much. He also had trouble working with others before he was self-employed, as he doesn’t like taking orders. And he’s done well in the business world, which is apparently correlated with NPD diagnosis.

I might be grasping at straws, but in some areas, this assessment makes so much sense. My dad has always lived in his own world, disconnected from the thoughts and feelings of others. He has made countless decisions with little or no regard to anyone but himself.

When I began reading about narcissistic parents, what I found disturbed me. It is claimed that narcissists have children, not to care for the child, but to have someone they can control and someone who will love them. Essentially, they don’t love the child; they want to fill their own emotional needs. And when I look at my childhood, this kind of makes sense. Whenever my dad has told me how much he loves me and that I’ve gotten him through so much, it’s possible that he’s trying to make me feel guilty enough to stick around. Maybe he ignores me when I live with him but gets clingy when I move out because he wants to control me. Looking back, I think he’s only really expressed affection when he’s in danger of losing me. So there’s that.

I’ve also read that children of narcissistic parents often learn to view their own needs as selfishness, and thus have trouble expressing them. This has been a huge issue for me. It feels nearly impossible for me to ask for anything, because it feels so selfish and inappropriate. I shouldn’t need anything from other people. I can’t inconvenience them.

Maybe I’m reading too much into things that aren’t there. But a lot of what I am reading makes sense, and whether this diagnosis is true or not, framing my dad’s personality in terms of narcissism makes a lot of things make sense. He’s always been an unpredictable enigma, but this helps me understand him a little better. Of course, what I’m reading suggests that my dad doesn’t love me, but there’s not a whole lot of evidence to dispute that either. So I don’t know. That’s all I have for right now.

I’ll also quickly mention that my dad grew up during the violence and terrorism going on in Northern Ireland, so that’s another possible cause to look into. I know internet-diagnosing people with mental disorders is one of the most unbearable things a person can do, but it’s helping me understand myself, so I think it’s okay?

Sarah