a brief update

so i guess the world fell apart, huh

things have been very very bad here, actually. i am actually incredibly depressed and lonely and the thought of doing anything or being anything is just – hard. it’s so hard. i was getting to the point of being okay and then All Of This happened, and now i just am not doing well. even the hobbies i have, i get halfway through and just – why bother? why try? everything is just bad forever? which is not the right way to think about it, but – everything just seems so pitifully useless.

anyway. i hope you’re all doing better than i am.

mortifying: local human desires romance and affection

had a really embarrassing therapy session where i admitted that i actually DO want romance and love

the whole time i thought i was a girl, i was always aiming for “good enough” — i definitely had in the back of my head at all times that love between two men was probably the pinnacle of romance, and anything i could possibly come up with was going to inherently be not as good in some fundamental way — it’s less specifically gay love, i think, because i do genuinely think i’m bi now, but more a relationship where i would be seen as a man, which was not possible in any imagined hetero relationship for me. so with hetero relationships, finding someone who didn’t make me actively want to off myself was good enough, finding a lesbian relationship that was pretty okay was good enough, anything that was okay enough/better than being alone was the only thing i could ever really hope for

and now that i don’t feel trapped in my body — i want to be Romanced, with a capital R? i want someone to seek me out and woo me? i want some big sweeping drama? i thought i didn’t! i thought it was good enough to have someone you didn’t hate being around, but — turns out, the thought of (for example) a public proposal is still embarrassing but almost nice embarrassing? the idea of someone embarrassing himself out of love for me is — nice?? christ, what do i even do with that?

(the terrible second half, that i’m letting myself feel because not feeling your feelings, turns out, is bad for you and i’m trying to hit the happy medium of feeling feelings and not feeling bad i’ve had a feeling at all, is that — i’ve missed out on so much of my life by being in denial, huh? i mean, life isn’t over obv, but — i’ll never have a high school romance, or a college romance, or any of that. which, many people do not, but i’m also going to let myself mourn that a little, that i missed so much possibility by being closeted/crazy/traumatized.)

it’s deeply embarrassing to me to want to be loved, and (typing this out, i am cringing in shame and embarrassment) wanting to be desired. i thought i didn’t want any of this, and wanting it at all feels deeply embarrassing.

an update, part 1 of 2

hi blog, long time no write – here’s a brief update on my life, in two parts because it got long

the good:

i’m starting to feel better at work. i’m starting to actively make connections with people again. i’m getting fitter and stronger, which is nice. korean is hard, and i study a lot, but i’m getting stronger at that too.

what’s really helped is that i’ve figured out at least a few ways to work with myself instead of against myself — for example, i am functionally incapable of telling how much soup i’m going to make at any given time. instead of eating nothing but soup and feeling guilty and terrible when i throw the last bit out… what if, get this, what if i froze it and ate it later?? making my life better now and also further along the road? what if that’s a viable thing, instead of beating myself up about not being normal about goddamn soup?

the bad:

i tend towards maladaptive daydreaming and friends: it’s been a rough several months, honestly, for it. i keep imagining a reality in which someone who is similar to me but better and funnier and hotter and sexier has relationships with someone who chooses them first, because it’s so much easier than actually going out and trying? and then i feel broken and stupid, so i do it more, so i feel broken and stupid, so i etc etc etc, and — admitting it is humiliating. i admitted it to my therapist.

the thing is, not doing it also feels like a loss? like, it’s beautiful and fun and makes me feel briefly better than i am, which is part of why it’s been so hard to stop, which leads to…

the ugly:

…getting better is fucking hard, but it’s also just — not fun. i feel like that’s something people don’t talk about a lot — that it’s a loss that’s good for you, but it’s still kind of a loss to lose, for example, the ability to retreat into a lovely daydream. i actually ran up against this in a pretty fucked up way a while ago, where i tried to self-injure and it just — didn’t make me feel better? which is cosmically good, but a weird, weird feeling, and genuinely felt like a constriction in a way i wasn’t expecting.

plus, too — being crazy and sad is such a good excuse for certain things? like, “oh, it’s fine i’m lagging behind all my peers*, it’s because i’m ~depressed~”, and losing that excuse feels TERRIFYING, for someone as neurotically achievement focused as me.

…on the plus side, we’re getting there. at least i like — can tell the bad stuff is a problem, you know? like, five years ago, i would not have put “i actively avoid connections with other people” together with “i am actively sad all the time”, so like — that’s something, isn’t it?

* i know, i know this isn’t how it works, but boy it sure feels that way a LOT of the time

books: “trick mirror” by jia tolentino, “nine perfect strangers” by liane moriarty, “ghost wall” by sarah moss

trick mirror

ugh jia tolentino is such a good writer tbh, when i got my new yorker subscription the first thing i did was read her entire backlog in like two nights. i’ve been following her work since jezebel and it’s really exciting tbh!

anyway i really enjoyed this book of essays, and i liked how much ambiguity is in it, including tolentino’s own pov — it’s interesting to see someone write about internet feminism and her mixed feelings about it from someone who is an internet feminist and who acknowledges that she’s doing in many ways the same thing she’s criticizing.

i think my favorite bit was the part talking about the current spate of celebrity feminism, where difficulty in women becomes laudable in and of itself, and how much that refracts and warps feminism to suit the aims of the speaker. it’s something i struggle with a lot, actually! i have seen some very talented writers who i mostly like and want to agree with like — i’ve seen a straight-up defense of monstrous mothers and how it’s feminism, actually, to not love your children, and how unfair criticism of abusive mothers is since motherhood is a trap, and i cannot overstate how much it fucks me up to see that and how much it hurts to have my own abuse dismissed as not, like, REAL problems because a REAL feminist would Understand.

anyway: good.

nine perfect strangers

this was — fine, i guess. i thought the central conflict would be something less utterly, cataclysmically stupid, and — maybe i’m still startled from the whole sarah dessen thing, but i’m super unimpressed with the really meanspirited “and the DUMB WOMAN who called me UNFEMINIST loses ALL HER MONEY AND DIES ALONE” thing

ghost wall

i really liked this; captures that abuse “god stop antagonizing them” feeling admirably. i — am not Arty and wish there were quotation marks anywhere, but i still really liked this a lot.

book reviews: the witness wore red, the ballad of black tom, transcription, lot, provenance, the raven tower, wilder girls

long time no write, blog. things have been weird and difficult recently and updating this has seemed literally insurmountably hard, but i also didn’t stop reading in that time, so we’ve got a backlog — reviews under the cut.

Continue reading “book reviews: the witness wore red, the ballad of black tom, transcription, lot, provenance, the raven tower, wilder girls”

too much

a big part of why i’ve been quiet on here recently is i’ve been trying to figure out how much i should or shouldn’t speak or have hobbies or interests in public

recently someone said something that really made me realize i need to stop boring everyone by posting dumb shit i’ve made, which — i mean, sucks to hear, but also at least i know now instead of just humiliating myself over and over again, you know? because that’s what i’ve been doing, posting things i’m proud of or want to show to people and then just getting absolutely no response, which — i guess “nobody is responding or engaging with you in any way” is a clear and obvious sign you probably should shut up, but i’m real fucking stupid. but now i know! i can maybe even fix myself this time!

it — kind of sucks because i know i like a lot of stuff that is embarrassing or bad, that’s a consistent trait about me as a person, i find things that are not good and then care about them too much. expecting anybody to not talk shit in front of me about objectively stupid, liking bad things makes me a shitty person; i just can’t turn it off, though.

ah, well. you’d think at some point i’d stop liking stupid shit nobody cares about or i’d learn at LEAST how to not talk about them, and yet…! things would be much easier for me if i could just be normal and not Like This, but if i knew how to not be this person, i wouldn’t be, you know?

real sad dumbass hours

i’ve been having the feeling on and off for the last two-ish months that, if i vanished tomorrow, most people would be better off. this is a lie for a variety of reasons, and talking about it is hard because it makes people feel bad about it, but — it’s been a lot of just sticking my foot in my mouth and tripping over myself and things i thought were innocuous not being innocuous, and i’m clearly doing SOMETHING wrong but i’m not sure what

i know the things i like are dumb, and the feelings i feel are stupid, and my behavior is generally speaking: bad, and wanting anything from other people or to be treated a certain way is inherently abusive, and normally i’m a little more on top of not doing all the things i do when i forget myself, but — idk! idk. i’m sad and tired and not rolling with things as well as i normally do, and it feels bad. i have been told i can lean on my friends, but i’m never not going to be preparing for that to blow up in my face, you know?

book review: “her body and other parties” by carmen maria machado, “the memory police” by yoko ogawa, and “the white book” by han kang

things are really hard right now. more details when i feel up to it, but in the mean time: here are three excellent books i read.

“her body and other parties” is a series of short stories. many of them are horror, and also many of them made me laugh. the weakest i think was the one about law and order (the tv show), mostly because i know very little about law and order and have never been particularly moved to see it. otherwise, a lot of genuinely creepy and fucked up shit, with — i guess it makes sense, considering machado has a wife, queer* characters as ordinary and unremarkable.

i tore through “the memory police” in like two sittings. the plot is about an island where things are disappearing; most of the citizens forget the objects that have disappeared, but some people don’t. the main character forgets, and she and an old man collude to hide someone who remembers. this may not sound like a compliment but is: the book felt like it was feeling out the edges of something very large and difficult while being really satisfying in and of itself. i enjoyed this immensely.

“the white book” is by han kang. i — don’t think i disliked “the vegetarian” for entirely fair reasons; i’d been pitched a very, very different book than i got. this one i went into with way fewer expectations and — again, this isn’t going to sound like a compliment but totally is; i felt physically cold during this book. it’s about the narrator’s older sister, who was born prematurely and died soon after birth; the whole thing is the imagined perspective of the older sister, set during winter.

* re queer: i am still working on my feelings on this tbh. this was a go-to slur for close family members; honestly that fucked me up less than the endless #discourse about — yes, it is fucked up to tell someone else they can’t identify as queer, but also the amount of “how dare you imply calling people ‘queer’ as an umbrella term is not always great, only terfs have a problem with queer, it’s not a slur and also simultaneously it’s Powerful” (i am 0% exaggerating; i have had people imply heavily i must be misremembering or bad at reading or something. i am not.) is honestly the thing that made me really reluctant to use it for a long, LONG time — nothing like being told explicitly my life experiences are wrong to make me thoroughly uncomfortable, you know? ambiguity is one thing; the absolutely ott insane lashing out towards those of us who have absolutely experienced it as a slur fucking sucked. i don’t really know how i feel about it still, but actively avoiding (i.e., blocking lol) the Extremely Online who refuse to believe anybody would ever call someone “a fucking queer” has made me a lot more receptive to it.

i’m also coming up recently against certain limits of language and getting frustrated with it; i could really use some ambiguous or hidden or obscured language right now. “queer” seems to be the — i guess least not what i don’t want? i don’t know.

…anyway that’s sort of a whole weird backdoor into some of the Unfun Shit that’s been going on, so, you know.

food stuff: stuff with food

(tw disordered eating, food talk)

i went off brain meds, which has been a really weird and confusing trip; a big thing is that i don’t… quite know what my appetite is doing, actually.

i accidentally tripped a food tripwire i didn’t know i had and started restricting really weirdly, so i’ve been trying ~intuitive eating~ and trying really really hard not to worry about exact numbers. somewhere between maybe T levels chilling out a little and possibly the brain medz and maybe exercise or what i’ve been eating? means that my usual level of appetite has lessened in a weird way — i still get hungry all the time, but i get full much more quickly, and i’m still adjusting.

honestly, eating is a huge pain in the ass. being able to just subside off of nutrient slurries would be ideal, but also super wouldn’t be, so — guess i’ll eat as best i can and hope for the best 8′)

misc housekeeping

(tw: suicidality and self harm ment)

so like — it’s super melodramatic to talk about deleting posts on the internet as even vaguely related to suicidality, but honestly it’s not not related.

a lot of my suicidal tendencies are not like — i don’t want to kill myself, that’s violent and punishing (and lol what self harm is for), i want to stop existing, which is much more passive and peaceful. in the worst throes of it, it’s not so much that i wanted to hurt or punish myself or anything, i wanted to remove myself from other people’s concern — if all you do is hurt people by existing, then probably it is for the best to hurt everyone a bunch once and never have to worry about it again!

(as a side note, i put a lot of effort into coming up with a plan that would inconvenience or shock as few people as possible; tbh i’m still kind of proud of it, i think it was a pretty solid one.)

erasing posts isn’t — sometimes it’s shame, but honestly a lot of it is the same self-negating tendency, down at its core. i’ve experimented on and off with not doing that, and i’m — gonna try, i guess, even though i feel guilty about leaving things up, too? bluh being a person is fucking hard work and i hate it.