Category Archives: General Musing

The Me I Could Be/The Me I Could Never Be

Wow, I can’t believe I haven’t updated in so long. I really had no idea how much time had passed. Time keeps drifting through my fingers. I’m sorry that I’ve been a crappy blogging friend and haven’t been around.

I’m okay. I’ve remained cocooned in a bubble of self-isolation. My emotions seem to be a yo-yo, though.

The week before last, I visited my family. A week ago, I went back to work. For some reason, my anxiety was working overtime, and I kept thinking I was on the verge of a panic attack. I thought I could feel everyone hating me. Then I had this conversation that seemed to insinuate people there liked me. And for the rest of the week, I noticed other small signs that appeared to indicate that idea.

I went to therapy, and we talked about how I wasn’t content with the status quo in my part-time job situation. We were discussing this job I’m thinking of applying for. I doubt I would get it, but I was thinking of applying as practice. My therapist thought that would be good because I would put less pressure on myself with that goal.

Anyway, after the session, something clicked. I had this vision of the me I could be. Of what I used to be like before the big break, my competitive, success-driven self. My self that strives for competence and always achieves it. (Well, except for the pesky social anxiety, which was ten times worse in the past. I think even though I don’t take medication that strictly addresses social anxiety, it helps. Of course, I think all my problems are tied together and influence each other, but that’s a subject for another post.)

I felt this understanding that my perception of what people think of me is sharply different from reality. That if I feigned competence, people would believe it. (Because really, half the time I feel like I have no idea what I’m doing.) That I could hold a higher position and do well at it.

But then something in me flipped. I knew that this vision of the me I could be was actually the me I could never be. Every time I imagined myself succeeding, I imagined myself failing spectacularly afterward. Making stupid and costly mistakes. Anytime a person wants to talk to me at work, my first thought is always I’m in trouble or didn’t do a good job. I feel like that result is inevitable. I also had urges to sabotage any success I may have. Like I can’t let myself succeed ever. Because I don’t deserve it. Because I’m always panicking, and I’m gonna choke.  I might as well prevent the future disappointment by sabotaging myself first.

Then I started thinking that if anyone who likes me really knew what I’m like inside, the terrible person I am, the messed-up person I am, they’d be revolted.

It’s just really no one’s ever liked me. For much of my life, I had no friends. I have only one now. The idea of people liking me doesn’t compute. I’m overly sensitive to it. My therapist and I once talked about my biggest trigger, rejection. Perceived rejection. I can see little things as rejection. In general, I’m just much too sensitive, like easily shattered glass.

After I realized that the me I could be was the me I could never be, all I wanted to do was cower in a corner. I can’t go through the big break again. I don’t think I could make it through another one. For the past three years, my life has revolved around laying low, my priority being to prevent any repeat of the big break. Three freakin’ years. I’m pathetic.

Even after all that time, my will is a crushed feather. I’m all uncertainty and indecision.

I’m too broken. Thus, the me I could never be.

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My Mind Is Bound to Ramble

I can’t believe how long it’s been since my last post. Time has been going by much too quickly.

I finished Season 8 of Supernatural. I loved the finale, but there are a few thoughts I had about it . . . but I won’t waste space here rambling about something most readers don’t know about. Plus, if you ever do watch the show, I don’t want to spoil it too much.

I’ve been working a lot on my Supernatural fanfiction story. I have actually posted it online somewhere, but it’s a bit embarrassing, so I’m not going to link to it or anything. Funny thing is that this story has helped me get my creative energy back, while my short stories didn’t. With the latter, I’d struggle with what to say. Part of it could be because I’m not as concerned about the quality of the fanfiction. Don’t get me wrong, I have a standard to maintain, but the other stories require more attention to polishing, especially if I want to try to submit them somewhere. Except I don’t even know who the audience could be for my latest short stories. I’ll keep pondering the matter, though.

I’ve finally started editing my novel, working on a chapter a day. That pace might change once I get further into the story because the chapters get longer. Well, toward the very end they get almost ridiculously short. So far, most of my editing has consisted of deleting things that are irrelevant or rewriting sentence that don’t make sense. I have a hard copy I wrote notes on, and I follow along with it, but I also go with my instinct at the moment. I’ll read a few paragraphs then look at what I wrote on the hard copy. Oftentimes, the phrasing I want to change is the same. What I want to change it to is as well. I like reading both copies as I go through the story, getting two perspectives (current and past) on the initial draft.

There have been some things I’ve been meaning to write about, like therapy, or Asperger’s, or empathy. Maybe one day I’ll get the motivation to write those posts.

Speaking of therapy, my therapist is moving to another practice. Luckily, I get to follow her. Problem is, that practice is at least 30 minutes away. But I really do think she’s the best therapist I’ve had so far, which is why I’ve been meaning to write about sessions with her. I don’t want to gamble anymore with the therapist bin; it could be years until I find another one I like, if ever. So that’s why I’m going to continue to see her.

When she told me she was leaving the place I currently go to, I teared up because the news was unexpected. More so because I didn’t want to look for another therapist. She asked how I was feeling about the situation, and I said I just felt like I wanted to give up rather than do another search. My one thought was to ask if I could see her at the other practice, but bringing up the idea made me nervous, almost shaky with panic. After me talking about how anxious I felt about what I wanted to say, I eventually made the request. I don’t know why bringing up the idea made me that panicky. I’ve revealed other things before that should’ve been more likely to induce anxiety. It probably goes back to my fear of rejection and blah blah blah.

Anyway, at the current place, she had to make sure I could get approved for meds only. Because apparently they don’t like you seeing a pdoc there if you’re not seeing one of their therapists. I was afraid of how things would go, but it seems they’re working out on that front.

Well, that concludes today’s ramble.

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Hey-O

I’ve been back home for a few days now. My summer class got canceled, which is sad. I’m going to be bored . . . not to mention the loss of income. But I guess I should be doing things like looking at jobs and working on my writing.

I haven’t come back here right away because I’ve been working on my writing. I haven’t gotten around to editing my novel yet, but hopefully I will after I finish revising this short story I’ve been editing. I’ve also got a short story idea I haven’t started working on yet, and another one that I just finished. The latter is rather dark . . . It would make people wonder at the screwed-up things that go on in my head. I’m not sure what I can do with this story. I’m not sure what I can do with the story I’ve been revising, either. I find it amusing, but I don’t think anyone other than me would. I think the idea is clever, though. I just don’t feel like people would get it.

Then there’s the obsession I’ve referred to before . . . Supernatural. I started writing a fanfiction story because I just couldn’t get it out of my head. I don’t know what I’m going to do with it, though. It’s rather embarrassing; I don’t want to go into detail about the story itself. Well, I guess it’ll all just be for my own entertainment.

I’ve finally reached the eighth season of Supernatural, so I’ll probably be spending most of my free time watching that. Since I’m so obsessed and all. It’s bad. Half the time things remind me of little moments in Supernatural. I don’t know what’s wrong with me, lol.

And now we come to some heavy news.

While I was home, my dad almost had a heart attack.

I’m serious. It’s shocking and scary. One morning, he wasn’t feeling well, so he had my stepmom take him to the ER. No one thought it would be anything too bad; after all, he almost passed a stress test. But then they found that he had 100% blockage in his coronary artery. If my dad didn’t go to the hospital when he did, well . . . not something I want to think about.

My reaction to this event makes me think I’ve been lying to myself. I like to think I’m this sensitive, caring, and empathetic person, but I’m not.

I woke up late that morning, and based on certain cues in the house, I could tell something was up. However, unlike what I’d usually do in such a situation, I didn’t call to find out what it was. I didn’t want to, so I didn’t find out about my dad going to the ER until a couple of hours later. At that point, the doctors still hadn’t discovered how bad the situation was.

Then as the truth slowly came out, I felt emotionless. Complacent, even, like of course things turned out okay, because the alternative doesn’t happen in real life. Logically, that’s stupid.

I continued to feel emotionless. I didn’t even see why I should be otherwise. Everyone was concerned and worried, and there I was, a callous person.

It seems I have only two modes sometimes–being callous or being overly emotional. Perhaps that has something to do with my reaction.

The whole thing even seemed funny to me, and I occasionally had to restrain short laughs.

I’ve noticed, though, that sometimes I laugh when I’d normally cry.

But I don’t think that was one of the situations, because as I said, I felt nothing.

Only a few days later, as my mind sifted through the implications of the event, did I get weepy.

I don’t like what my reaction says about my character.

My dad’s fine now; he’s resting.

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Little Anomalies

I was going to write about how I experience empathy, but I’m suddenly tired and unable to think. That’ll have to be for some other time, like in a couple of weeks.

I’m going to visit my family tomorrow, and I’ll be there for about two weeks. So, I probably won’t be on here. Not that I’ve been on here much lately, anyway. I haven’t been very good at keeping up with blogging lately. But my summer shouldn’t be too busy, so perhaps I’ll be on more regularly in June.

A couple of odd things lately:

I’ve started experiencing intense smells in my dreams. I thought there weren’t supposed to be smells in dreams? And that if were are smells, those smells were intruding from real life. But these smells are most definitely not from my sleeping surroundings. I smell things that couldn’t possibly be there. All sorts of things. Cake. Mud.

I’m curious as to why this is. I’ve never had a keen sense of smell to begin with. Why would I suddenly begin smelling things in my dreams?

I’m also someone who usually sleeps curled up, as scrunched into myself as possible. If I’m on my back, which I am often, I lie rigid with my arms around a stuffed animal, behind the pillow, or alongside my body. My legs are then crossed at the ankles or just stretched out straight right next to each other.

But lately, I’ve begun to sprawl out in my sleep. Consistently. I have to be sprawled out to fall asleep, often, too. Why would my sleep position suddenly change so dramatically?

**********

I think I’ve figured out why Supernatural resonates with me so much. For some reason, it puts me in an artistic mood, the same mood that impels me to write my stories. I’m not sure how to explain what this mood feels like. It’s got ingredients of inspiration, flashes of emotions and tableaus, bursts of creative energy. Then when I write, it’s like I go into a half-trance, like I’m here but also placing myself in another place. Occasionally I have to pause and sit there, perhaps close my eyes, until the right mood arrives for the part I’m writing. Like something in my brain has to percolate and I have to wait for it to finish until I can fully articulate it.

This artistic mindset explains the weird impulse I’ve been having to write fanfiction. That is not something I do. I don’t want to write any of those novel-length types, just really short pieces. I keep getting glimpses of imagined emotional moments that I feel like writing. I’m not silly enough to have acted on the impulse (so far?), thank goodness. Fanfiction is not a world I wish to deeply involve myself in . . .

I’ve also gotten snippets of an idea for a non-fanfiction short story; it revolves around thoughts about God and angels.

*********

I’ve been thinking about my lack of ambition again. I’m afraid to strive for anything because of the big break.

Today, I described it to my therapist as a “pretend breakdown.” She asked why I called it a pretend breakdown, and I explained it’s because I wasn’t truly non-functional. Wouldn’t I be non-functional if I had a breakdown? Problem is, it’s hard for me to tell, since blending in and not drawing attention to myself are big motivators for me. The therapist didn’t say much in response to that, so I assume she agreed with me. I kept getting irritated during therapy today and thought she was acting like she was bored. Logically, I know she wasn’t, but I wanted to start cursing and getting angry and telling her to fucking pay attention and that if I was boring her maybe I should just leave. Luckily, I reined in those impulses. See, these are the sorts of instincts I have, and with very little justification, and that’s why I feel I’m a bad person.

Then I talked about how hollow I felt, and she asked if I’d ever found anything fulfilling. I said writing, but then I’d sometimes begin thinking it was pointless and lose that fulfillment. She said she thought I could talk myself out of feeling fulfilled. That could perhaps be true. She asked if the point could possibly just be the fulfillment itself. But I can’t fully buy into that, because why should the point just be to make myself satisfied? If it doesn’t serve some other purpose, if all my writing does is sit around and no one ever reads it, what’s the use? It’s a lot of work for very little.

Anyway, back to the big break. I’m afraid. I’m afraid if I have any ambition, reach for anything, I’ll have another big break, and I’m not strong enough to go again through whatever that was.

For some reason, toward the end of the session, I started feeling emotional. We were talking about my upcoming visit to my family, and suddenly a rapid montage of the past played in my mind. I remembered everyone not getting along. Then I imagined lots of shouting and me inwardly cowering and wanting to run away and not get involved. Brief feelings that everyone hated me, intense feelings of self-worthlessness. I didn’t explain all that, though.

If you read my blog at the beginning, you might dimly remember when I used to whine about my childhood. All of that just briefly took over. That’s not a can of worms I’m going to open right now, ha.

Now, my family never hated me; I just felt that way. If anything, these days there are moments when I can almost feel their love radiating off them. This has to do with what I wanted to say about empathy–sometimes I feel as if I can perceive people’s emotions radiating off them when they speak. Maybe that’s absurd. I don’t know.

Oh, gosh, I can’t believe I wrote so much. I’m done with my random rambling.

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Is It God?

First, I want to post this short clip from Supernatural, from an episode I watched last night. In it, Castiel has just told Sam and Dean that he’s going to try to find God. Dean makes a joke about hearing God was on a tortilla, and Castiel responds that God isn’t on any flatbread. This part makes me laugh so much. Misha Collins, who plays Castiel, has such a straight face, and for a second it’s clear that Castiel’s considering the possibility. The moment is just great.

A couple of thoughts about God did occur to me earlier today. I don’t wish to get into any theological or religious debates, but I want to document this train of thought.

Earlier today, I was thinking, I wish I could feel as if someone loved me unconditionally, that there was an everlasting force of warm love surrounding me. It seems as if that feeling could help me with some of my troubles. Maybe even fill the hollowness that I sometimes feel is engulfing me.

Then I remembered, that’s precisely what I thought when I was fourteen. (Have I really changed so little?) That’s when I went through my religious phase. I firmly believed in God, and for a couple of years, I believed that a feeling of fulfillment was coming. But it never came. That’s one reason I turned away from religion. That, and I’m not much of a fan of organized religion in the first place. I feel like it keeps people from thinking for themselves. Why should I believe something about the Bible just because an “authority figure” tells me that’s the right interpretation? Why can’t I interpret it myself? This is actually how Protestantism formed, the idea that the common person should be able to read the Bible for himself or herself, not have a third party as a medium (i.e., the Catholic church). Plus, some of the most hypocritical people I’ve met have been the most fervently religious. But I’ve known many wonderful religious people, too, and I admire them.

Then of course there’s my whole personal background, what with my parents being of different religions and so not raising us with much of either one. I can’t accept the idea that there is only one true path to God. There are many paths, and the path can be different for everyone. People might believe contradictory things, and that can still be right since God is ineffable.

Well, I mostly believe in God. I say “mostly” because I can’t prove God exists for sure, so I’m slightly agnostic. It’s a character trait of mine; I can’t commit to something unless I’m 100% sure. There are also some principles I believe in, and they go along with my beliefs about God, but I don’t want to go into that topic right now.

Anyway, I was driving, and I was wondering–if I give myself to God, accept the idea that God unconditionally loves me, accept it fully, 100%, would I feel that warm love? Would it help me?

But is that possible, or would I be deluding myself? Would I be thinking something is true merely because I want it to be true? I don’t want to commit myself to a lie. I can’t be 100% sure unless I have tangible proof, and if I can’t be 100% sure, my mind won’t fully commit to an idea. (This aspect of myself is what has frustrated most therapists I’ve seen, but I can’t change it. I’ve tried.)

This might not make any sense, and it’s probably a passing fancy, anyway. At least, this angle is not something I’ve thought about much before.

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Are you there, God? It’s Me, Mrs. Dean Winchester.

Again, another Supernatural post that probably won’t appeal to anyone out there who’s reading. But Supernatural has kindled some impressions I’d like to explore. If you haven’t watched Supernatural and plan to some day, you might want to look away now, as what follows will contain spoilers. If you’re someone who regularly watches Supernatural, please don’t leave a comment with spoilers about what happens later in the show; I like discovering it on my own.

I don’t know why I love this show as much as I do. For some reason, it emotionally resonates with me. Big time.

I want to watch the show slowly so I can savor it. At the same time, I want to tear through it madly because I enjoy it so much.

Last night, I watched Episode 2 in Season 4, “Are You There God? It’s Me, Dean Winchester.” The night before, I watched the Season 4 premiere, “Lazarus Rising.” Those were big mistakes. The Season 4 premiere was so good that I craved more, but luckily I reined myself in from pulling a Supernatural all-nighter. Then last night I couldn‘t sleep because my mind wouldn’t stop thinking about Supernatural.

The biggest bombshell in the first episode is the introduction of the angel Castiel, played by Misha Collins. (For the audience, more male eye candy.) Here’s the scene:

I love Jensen’s body language and facial expressions here. Castiel says, “Good things do happen, Dean.” Dean replies, “Not in my experience.” At the moment, there’s a sort of resigned despair and hopelessness in Jensen’s air. It seems as if he’s feeling anguished, but he’s adopted a stance of tense self-possession to hide the pain inside.

In both this and the next episode, I love how the show is going for an Old Testament interpretation of angels. Their nature is so overwhelming that humans are physically incapable of digesting their true form. When Castiel appears, there are flickering lights, and the way the scene is filmed conveys that idea of sheer power.

What I like about this scene (and Supernatural in general) is that the camera often focuses on the faces of the main characters. It gives you a true glimpse at the leads’ wonderful acting. You can see the emotions flicker across their faces, their eyes, and it’s all very convincing. In the above scene, the close-ups of Misha’s face reveal a steeliness in his eyes, and this greatly enhances the scene’s effect.

Then there’s the second episode. Its title gave me the hope that there’d be more exploration of God and His role in the world, but in hindsight, there are some thought-provoking religious discussions. It’s a gutsy move for a TV show, and I appreciate it very much.

Near the beginning, there’s a moment in which Dean asks why God would save him from hell. Sam says, “Apparently, you’re a regular guy that’s important to the main upstairs.” Dean replies, “Well, that creeps me out. I don’t like getting singled out at birthday parties, much less by God.” I cracked up at the “creeps me out” comment. I’d never thought about God in that light, and it was an interesting way to frame the idea of God caring. I can see the logic in the sentiment, and I liked being exposed to it.

Then later Dean is wondering why God doesn’t do more to help humanity if He exists. Classic argument, right? Castiel tells Dean, “You think the armies of Heaven should just follow you around? There’s a bigger picture here,” and he also mentions that there aren’t an infinite number of angels. That’s another idea I’ve never thought about, and it makes sense to me.

But then that notion raises the question: If there’s only so much God and His angels can do, then can God be omnipotent? Those two concepts conflict. So, maybe God isn’t omnipotent, just really, really powerful, with the ability to create humanity and whatnot. And God, the universe’s arch-good, is waging a war against Lucifer, the universe’s arch-evil.

In the episode, there are also spirits/”witnesses” that are killing hunters. They are the spirits of those the hunters were unable to save. There seems to be a clear parallel between that plot and the discussion about angels not being able to be everywhere all the time. Like angels, hunters work to fight evil, and like them, there are battles they’ll lose, people they can’t save. Dean asks, “Where the hell is He [God] while all these decent people are getting torn to shreds? How does He live with Himself?”

Maybe, as with the hunters, God does experience guilt at what He wasn’t able to stop in time.

Earlier in the series, the show brought other questions to my mind.

There’s the plotline in which it was apparently intended that Sam should lead a demon army, and Sam of course is not up for this plan. This made me wonder, what if the Antichrist refuses to be the Antichrist?

Then there’s Ruby, a demon, who seems to be helping Sam. (I don’t know whether Ruby is “good” or not; I’ll just have to wait and see.) Then I thought about the nature of good and evil. What if a demon does decide to help the “good guys”? Would that redeem the demon? Can people be redeemed even in the afterlife?

I’m not sure if I believe in angels and demons or not, but I do enjoy thinking about these questions. I love that Supernatural is provoking such thoughts for me even as it greatly entertains and amuses me on a surface level.

And yes, obviously I’m in love with Dean Winchester. I did mention that before.

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Spending Time with Those Winchester Boys

I’m about halfway through Season Three of Supernatural, and I started watching it a little over a month ago. I think I have become seriously addicted, ha. I think it might be one of my favorite shows ever. (Confession: I don’t watch many TV shows to begin with.) It’s got everything: great humor, emotionally wrenching moments, cool music, fun cultural references, and yes, hot guys.  For those of you who don’t know, the basic premise is that Dean (Jensen Ackles) and Sam (Jared Padalecki) Winchester are brothers who are “hunters,” fighting bad supernatural creatures. This post probably won’t be interesting to anyone but me, but I wanted to lay out some of the moments in the show I’ve found most amusing so far. I actually rewound to watch these moments several times, and I could watch them over and over again without getting tired of them.

“Bad Day at Black Rock”: Dean’s “I’m Batman” is just so random here that it makes me laugh so much.

“Red Sky at Morning”: Dean–“Can I shoot her?” Sam–“Not in public.” Sam’s seriousness in his reply is what gets me.

I love Dean’s awkwardness before he says, “Don’t objectify me.”

“Folsom Prison Blues”: Agent Henriksen–“You think you’re funny.” Dean–“I think I’m adorable.” I just love the way Dean says that line! This whole episode is great fun . . . the boys go to prison.

“Hollywood Babylon”–This whole episode is really great. The boys are on a Hollywood tour and drive by the Gilmore Girls set. Sam’s reaction is priceless. (Jared Padalecki was on several seasons of Gilmore Girls.)

In this episode, not long afterward, there’s this exchange:

Dean–Sam, check it out, it’s Matt Damon.

Sam–Yeah, pretty sure that’s not Matt Damon.

I couldn’t find a clip of this scene, but Dean’s mannerisms here are just so great.

“Croatoan”: The rapid dialogue exchange is what especially gets me. That, and Dean’s reaction to the guy’s neighbor’s name being “Mr. Rogers.”

Another great exchange that I couldn’t find a clip of:

Sam–Did you pay any attention to history class at all?

Dean–Yeah, shot heard round the world, how a bill becomes a law. . .

Sam–That’s not school; that’s Schoolhouse Rock!

I love Sam’s incredulity with that last line.

Another awesome one I couldn’t find the clip for, from “The Usual Suspects”:

Dean: So, Scully, what do you think?

Sam: I’m not Scully, you’re Scully!

Dean: Nah, I’m Mulder . . . You’re a red-haired woman.

And I think I’m in love with Dean Winchester. A fictional character. Should I be worried, lol? I think I just relate to how vulnerable and broken he is even as he tries to put up a front.

I’ve apparently unleashed my inner fangirl. I’ve never watched a show so quickly before.

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