aesmael: (tricicat)
 Yesterday I bought a packet of index cards to write projects on. The idea is that when I have some free time, I look through those cards and pick out something appealing to work on, including leisure activities like reading a book. Often I have difficulty deciding what to do, or remembering what I can do, and I'm hoping this will help me to do more things I want to do.
 
Today's big winner is cleaning up my living space. I've cleared out a path on the floor and pulled out some clothes I don't wear and other items to dispose of (for example: boxes things were shipped or purchased in). Feels like an accomplishment but also depression or something like it is nipping at my shadows, so it is difficult not to feel also hollow.
 
Another project which has been catching my attention lately is the cataloguing of my music collection and transcribing the liner notes, so that when I travel I can still have that information with me. It also gives me a push to actually read those and maybe learn something from them. Currently I have a suite of edits pending on Musicbrainz for one of the albums early on - your hundred best Piano Tunes IV - and while I'm waiting for those edits to go through I've jumped ahead a few to where the liner notes project has been laying fallow. That's partway through transcibing the booklet for The Beatles Anthology 1, the first really substantial booklet from my collection. Only one other has had more than a page of information with it, and that's the aforementioned album of piano music. Now I'm reading through the Beatles booklet to try and understand the formatting decisions of past-me, and whether I endorse them.
 
I had hoped to have the Pathfinder game started by the 23rd, which corresponds to the in-game date on which the Rise of the Runelords campaign begins, but that is looking less likely. Some players have dropped out and I haven't been able to get character sheets from any of the others. Telling myself not to worry about that because if it does work and we can play, that will be worth more than any arbitrary deadline or calendar synchronicity. And I should work at getting more encounters and NPCs prepared in advance too. For now, looking like 2 or 3 players.
aesmael: (pangolin-me)

A

Bleak feeling today tied in part to a lack of creative activity and that whatever I did make would be worthless even so. Can I and should I break free of current habits and cycles to do more? The answer is a resounding maybe.

And a partly envy of other persons who have people to spend time with in person, who seem to have fun and do things they enjoy midst even terror and a bleak desperation to survive.

B

Love is hard, and painful, and demands sacrifice.

What am I willing to give up? Not a damn thing. But I'm quiet and obliging and people think I'm worth it and without that commitment and taking risk there will inevitably come hurt run up against the sharp edges of the world. That would happen anyway but without giving something up, without fiercely and wholly how could we hope to overcome?

I'm never going to be fit for a serious relationship while I'm still this person.

aesmael: (nervous)
For a while I have been thinking about the fact the people I am emotionally close to are rather geographically dispersed, and do not seem inclined to address this error for my convenience. And it is long since I gave up my ambitions of selling my stories and being a 'successful' author. The odds are against anyone who tries, and I think the sorts of stories I want to write are not so much those liked by the science fiction or fantasy markets anyway[1].

I'm thinking more about trying to make some money from my writing in the future because it would help to have a source of income that doesn't tie me down from spending time with people I love. I can't yet write anything worth being paid for, but I'm practising again and maybe I will get there. These days even if I can't or don't sell to a traditional market there are other options, such as setting up a patreon or similar - assuming I show myself well enough that enough people like what I do enough to put some money into one. That is a lot of enough, and no guarantee it can be done even if I do improve my skill a lot and manage to produce stories on a regular basis. But if I could, even if it were not much, it might help.

I also write smut stories as well as adventure stories, and wonder whether I would be best served, or if it is even practically doable, to make those into distinct identities with their own subscribers. I don't know whether those audience-support sites let you split your work like that, but I do worry there wouldn't be much crossover in audience interest, and that the one might complicate the other. And on the topic of potential complications, I've been more interested in writing fan-fiction works the past few years but I suspect it would be inadvisable to take money for writing any such thing, so I might have to do those 'off the clock' or twist the inspirations into something I needn't worry about making available.

We'll see after I'm done with school, whether any of this can go somewhere or if it is just idle dreaming. In the meanwhile, practise and get better.

[1] Plus, and don't tell this to all the world but, they are so far not very good or interesting either.
aesmael: (writing things down)
Don't know how long I can keep this up. I'm lonely still and could expect to be for a long time to come. Wishing I had people of approximately similar timezone so I wasn't having to choose between doing things and company. Or even could have both at once?

This hurts. Everything hurts. Just gotta choose from a selection of pain? I wanted to escape watching people and being wounded by seeing them have happinesses I have not been able to have. I wanted to stop feeling worthless for what I lack, by ceasing that exposure and by seeking something of my own.

Well. I haven't been able to chase anything because I've been at work; this is my one day off out of a ten-day span so I'm just existing. And still obsessing. Maybe I just need longer to get out of it.

It hurts less, I'm sure, but I still want to tear my throat out in strips. Or feel compelled to. I don't know if I can tell the difference between desires and urges. It feels like the revolutionary, the device which was used to kill Thecla in The Shadow of the Torturer. Since first reading that I always felt it to be a good literalisation of the desire, the compulsion to destroy oneself. When one has to fight continually the subconscious motions of one's hands to do damage, to be wary of what one touches and how it might be used. But I have hope, and fear to guard me.

I realise I am going to give this up, to go back. I say it is because I am weak and maybe that is true but I just do not know. I do not understand myself. Almost I am a passenger observing this vessel. I can know sometimes what it is going to do before I consciously come to the actual decision, but the inner workings are opaque to me.

Why should I work so hard to preserve a resolution which was come to in a state of greater suffering? Was it not to hurt myself? And thereby in keeping to it am not persisting in hurting myself further? But I still believe there was wisdom in that pain and if only I could bring myself to escape, to work hard and to find something I want, to pursue it and to do and to be, and to find friendships that are not so lonely.

I don't know, I don't know, and I don't know.

It isn't going to work. Should have acknowledged that from the beginning. I am weak; I am not sufficiently driven. That is how I came to be here.

I remain confused. I don't know how to end this. Still clouded. Perhaps it was all a trick, to succeed in driving people away and leave me wanting them still. I don't know what to do. Should I go back? Keep going? Am sure that I will go back because that is what I feel in my future and have felt the whole time. Which means it was all for nothing.

I must find something. I must find something. Unfortunately I have never been real. Perhaps I cannot become real.

Perhaps if I turn to the logic of stories and tell myself that, had it been the right decision, I would have felt a clarity and a lightness. Maybe I even did at the start? Who knows - the past is a mystery. But I cannot solve myself.

At least I haven't lashed out at anyone this time. Vaguely I remember years back making an incoherent rant on my journal and cutting most people out. I think that happened; I've carried the memory a long while. Which I have refused to acknowledge - despite its whispering at the edges - that this is a cyclic collapse, despair and isolation. I should remember that I have done this even in the home of those I have pledged to marry, and it does no good. Perhaps next time I will.

But then how can I get better? How can I make it stop hurting? Just have to endure this every time? That is a dreadful prospect. At least I remain functional. But I will never... perhaps just have to last long enough to move... but no. I just established that even in a household of people who love me, and who I love, still I shred myself so.

Maybe I need to allocate more time to the therapist voice that has recently emerged, listen to her / em. Maybe I need a chemical solution. Maybe I need to- but no, we don't listen to that voice if we can help it.

aesmael: (transformation)
I don't want to be writing or posting any thing but I suppose I ought to because big and complicated things are happening and I do not understand. And because a journal is supposed to be at least in part a record of one's self and past in its significances and insignificances. Or so I would wish mine to be though for a long time it has been dreadfully sparse.

Today was complicated and busy, but not as much as I had intended it to be. Studying in the morning, short work shift before training - a formality of a shift in order to be present and paid for the training. Think most of the marks on my arms are gone now - had to dig in with nails a bit to keep focused, was surprised they lasted at all that long. Had to keep backing off after deciding to experiment with drawing blood because I lacked the courage for that much of that pain, so I expected them to be gone after a few minutes. I should have been satisfied with distracting myself into focus because now am disappointed by not being able to follow through.

Collected a package I had ordered, a gift for my sister. Filed the paperwork to get my name changed. I don't know what I am doing with that. Felt sick. Wondering. Why am I doing this? Is it right? I feel like I never analyse possible actions and come to conclusions, I just act. Without clear head or heart. When it gets back I will put it through to get my passport and driver licence, etc. updated. I don't understand what I am doing. I don't understand why. I'm just going to keep going because I am terrified of death and not living. Felt sick to be giving up my birth certificate

I feel very confused. Not the sort of thing one should be saying, for fear it would be used against, but that is not relevant. I just don't know what I am or what I want. I have no particular skills, abilities, talents. So I don't know who I am.

Trying out withdrawing from people so I have space for school, space to work on myself. Maybe get to be someone? Maybe I could learn some skills, get good at something. Learn how to exist as a person. If I can manage school maybe even try and meet some local people.

I see people having and being things I wish I could have, like social activities and identities and goals, and it hurts. It has been very difficult so far to cut off contact from the people I normally talk to, to avoid twitter. My habits are very entwined around that contact and I wish I had someone to talk things over with but my head feels quieter than it has for days, I think. Reduction in visions of killing myself (I think); I don't want to but it feels like I need to, like a pressure bearing down on me. But I don't want to and I won't. If I can hold firm then maybe I will be able to make something of myself, have something to bring back.

I don't like to leave people without explanation but I can't talk to them to explain because I know my weakness and that if we start talking I will keep talking and all my efforts will be undone. I will drift back into my social habits and lose all my days, all my focus that I am trying to capture. For now it is just dividing between works and leisure. Maybe I can keep that up. I hope so. It is hard and I want to go back to company even though that hurts too.

Everything hurts and there is no release. I remind myself that death is no freedom of pain, it is an absence of existing entirely. There will be no future lives, there will be no me to appreciate and feel that lightened relief and because I am terrified of nonexistence that helps. I have never been able to surrender my grip on this world or self so that is an anchoring incentive. There is a dangerous thought which says that is a lie planted to keep me from discovering I won't die, but will escape this world created to torment me, or have its truth revealed. But that is nonsense and anyway might be a bluff to goad me into the attempt. It is an idea to be disregarded.

I perhaps should delete the above paragraph if I am going to post this, although that may be difficult as words written have weight. But to post this has been partly the intent in writing, for as I said above I cannot talk to people without being undone. I must take care of myself but it would be cruel to abandon people without notice or information, and having realised this I must act in some way to inform or else am driving them to worry about me. I suppose they will still worry reading this, which cannot be helped from any true or even perhaps untrue account I would give, but at least with honest information people might be diverted from terrible imaginings.

I am okay. Am fairly sure the pain is less, although my thoughts still are not clear. But this is analogous to a detoxification period with many habits and recurrent topics of thought still pulling back on me. Very easy to fall back in, and I might end up doing so. It is a struggle and I have been so long without myself. I just don't know what I will do. I hope I will find something good. Something to be proud of.
aesmael: (nervous)
I do not mean a fearsome fire-breathing slayer of knights.

Rather, I mean a reclusive hoarding creature who is fond of wordplay.

“A burglar does not leave his shoeprint in the flowerbed in
order for police to find the print and prove the shoe was his. (Quite the
opposite, one suspects.) A document, such as a contract, email or a report,
was not created in order to provide historians with something to study a
century from now.”

Wanting to write a little post about this from my readings in class because interested by how it disrupts the sense I have built up for myself about how sentences and punctuation should work and be structured.

I think what bothers me mainly is that I do not regard a parenthesis as a sentence-ending marker while, although it can serve other purposes, a period does mark the end of a sentence. So I end up feeling like there are two sentences here:

  1. “A burglar does not leave his shoeprint in the flowerbed in order for police to find the print and prove the shoe was his.
  2. (Quite the opposite, one suspects.) A document, such as a contract, email or a report, was not created in order to provide historians with something to study a century from now.” 

I suppose from examining this I must also feel that most everything should be contained within sentences, as an alternative interpretation might be that

(Quite the opposite, one suspects.) 

is some sort of aside floating free of and not part of either the preceding or succeeding sentence. But I don’t like that either. If I were to rewrite this so that it ‘made sense’ to me, I would do it like so:

“A burglar does not leave his shoeprint in the flowerbed in
order for police to find the print and prove the shoe was his (quite the
opposite, one suspects). A document, such as a contract, email or a report,
was not created in order to provide historians with something to study a
century from now.” 

No period after his, lower case q in quite, period after the closing parenthesis instead of before. Now it reads to me as two separate, self-contained sentences that are not spilling over each other or otherwise provoking some sort of formatting error in my brain. Although this does not mean I am completely happy with the text itself, just that I no longer interpret it as typographically malformed - could try and remove the gendering of the hypothetical burglar, or try and edit the parenthetical into something requiring less implicit unpacking. At the moment, the first sentence and its parenthetical still pair in my mind to suggest intentionality on the part of the burglar, so if it was not left in order for police to find the print and prove identity, but was left for the opposite reason, the first interpretation is the burglar left the shoeprint intentionally in order not to be found or identified by the police - which I think we can agree is not the intended meaning of that parenthetical. Rather, I am sure we are intended to understand that, contrary to being left with the intention of being discovered and leading to capture, the burglar intended to leave no print and consequently to not be discovered. But that’s a whole different edition of Problems With Me Reading Things, and you’ll need to tune in another day for that one[1].

In case it was not clear, I want to emphasise that I do realise there is not an official set of rules of punctuation in English that everyone is required to abide by. I am talking about the idiosyncratic rules I have built up in my own mind that makes sense to me and which I strive to abide by, and how I get (hopefully amusingly) flustered when I encounter writing that does not abide by those self-set rules. I am capable of reading and making sense of considerably more disjointed or experimental expressions of English than the quoted example (although of course not infinitely so), but sometimes simple things like this throw me off and I get the urge to talk about them.

[1] I have no current intention of covering that topic.

aesmael: (tricicat)

Suspecting I don't fit with any sort of conscious queerness. Too mainstream of a person mayhaps, or some other thing doesn't fit.
Don't like the feeling that I ought to do the same sort of celebratoryness that I see others do. If I tell myself that, it is like telling myself I am an incomplete person without religion?

Feeling adrift and lost, like I don't have a home that I fit anywhere. Has led me to repeatedly wonder if the problem is that some function in my brain which would normally experience community and belongingness is not working right. Although I shouldn't dare claim immunity to associated sorts of social manipulations, as I strongly believe that's false.

It's been hurting more recently (or I think it has - one cannot always trust memory, and what feels like a crescendo of pain might actually just be one continuous chord the most of which has dropped out of awareness into the past) as if I feel like I should have found belonging and it is just not working right. That I think is an error on my part; if I don't fit I don't fit, and re-cutting a jigsaw piece to place on the board solves nothing.

I had a largeish post somewhat accidentally written about how I feel I do not belong with various communities, mainly autism and trans women, which I lost access to posting when my Windows partition decided it was tired of usually booting up correctly. I don't mean to rewrite it here; the gist is that I feel sufficiently unrepresented by the prevailing narratives and concerns as to make a qualitative difference and that although I may hold technical group membership I am sufficiently divorced from the problems so many face that it would be misleading to label and count myself among those numbers.

My suspicion is it would be better all over if I were to practice regarding only the details of immediate circumstance in whatever problem I may face. More precise, less prone to sending me off spinning like a great gyroscope of uncertain reality, and hopefully less liable to appropriation or minimisation of anyone else's life.
aesmael: (transformation)
Been reminded of, revived into. That wretched feeling when you[1] are a sort of feminine genderqueer type person and feeling good about yourself, only for some woman to catcall you in the street or make you uncomfortable while you’re at work. Because what she sees apparently some man to be made aware of her regard without consideration for whether it is appropriate or welcome.

Just cuts you right down to nothing, just like that. Anything you might be feeling good about yourself, all gone because someone wanted to use you to feel good about herself.

[1] By ‘you’ I mean ‘me’. But word-flow.
aesmael: (writing things down)
I feel like all the life and love was drained out of me long ago, and it hurts.
aesmael: (nervous)

First day without any deadline looming over my head in several months (okay, one) and of course I start it off by crying because I feel lonely.

Okay, okay, I started it off with a walk around the neighbourhood and breakfast, but then. Talked things over with one of my partners and feeling better about things for now. But since no actual circumstance is changed or readily able to be changed. So, still lonely.

Not sure there is anything to do for that unless I can somehow make some new friends. And I feel crowded enough in my life I'm not sure I even want to try and find space for more people.

One long term source of distress for me is feeling like I no longer have anything worth saying, that I can no longer contribute conversation. Partly this is probably due to my time nowadays being split between work and school and in the remainder am typically engaged in some low-effort relaxation like watching television or reading message boards, and making occasional remarks on what is going on there. Not that I think all conversation ought to be weighty and serious, but I suppose if I were able to put more focus into creative projects again I might again have more to say?

I miss myself.

aesmael: (nervous)

A thing which happens more than once is I find out at the last moment about major household stuff like impending modifications to the building or expected guests who must be prepared for, or some other such thing.

And it is distressing to me not only because unexpected impending disruption and not only because I feel I have been left out and no one saw fit to actually inform me of what was going on. But especially because when I say I did not know and have not the faintest stirring of memory on the matter, my family will insist I must have known and must have been informed, and if there is any defect of awareness it is mine.

I feel like my hold on reality is slim and my frequent fears of disconnection with the world be realised. But, if I can't trust my memory then, then what can I trust?

I don't know. I don't know.
aesmael: (nervous)
When I talk about media I am enjoying, such as in the previous post, I get worried people will think I am presenting myself as some sort of expert. Especially since my default voice tends to a sort of dry pseudo-academic.
Really, I am expert at very little, perhaps nothing. But I like liking things, I like talking about them, and trying to understand them and my reactions to them.
And, well. *lets out a large breath* Enjoying things is fun. At least as fun as getting grouchy about stuff and I love doing that.
Sooo. I’m scared of getting called out for claiming authority I don’t have. But really I am just trying to be a social person who likes some things and not likes others, and seeks understanding and is talky.
aesmael: (nervous)

Been about a month or so since I decided to quit Twitter. Took me about a week to get out of the habit of trying to check it whenever I had a moment's boredom. This did emphasise the loneliness I was already feeling with no one to talk to most of the time - I had been getting a whole lot of what social needs were met filled by friendly interactions on Twitter or even just watching people I liked doing their thing.

But it also freed up more time to waste doing other hollow things. Particularly not having to spend the 2+ hours each morning to catch up on overnight tweets every day (or, on certain workdays, only being finished catching up by bedtime). Despite the loneliness and despite not using it well I have liked having that space available again.

I don't know if I am able to participate on Twitter without committing myself to reading every tweet made by everyone I follow. For most of the past month the only tweets I have made were automated from Tumblr, or sharing from some other site without visiting Twitter itself; the only ones I have read were the mentions I received notifications for.

The past few days I have made some attempts at participating a bit more again, urged on by ami-angelwings‚Äč who said she missed me. Today I tried doing my morning catch-up again and it was a pretty miserable experience, souring my mood further and aside from that leaving me feeling I've wasted a lot of time I could have put to better use. I don't know if I will 'come back' or not, and I don't expect anyone to care, I'm just writing this because I'm able to at this time and I miss being able to write journal posts. I don't want to squander my voice when I have it lest I be filled with further regrets.

There we are.
aesmael: (haircut)
Put in my last assignment of the semester the night before last. Not best pleased with the job I did, but at least I got it done.

Now I have time to devote to other postponed life activities like enrolling in important school stuff before it is too late (hopefully it is not too late), seeking professional development opportunities and being prompt and organised for next semester's classes. Which are not showing up on the student portal yet, so I haven't yet failed on that one.

Also, making myself follow up on the offer of support services from the beginning of the semester, even though I have no idea what a disability accommodation that would actually help me might be.

Also also, entertainment stuff. Been aspiring to see more movies at the cinema and most of the recent ones I might see haven't stopped showing yet. Plus a series of concerts featuring Beethoven's piano concertos at the Opera House. I suspect these will exhaust my reserves for spending money on myself for a long while, but I've been looking forward to them for a year, so I suppose I had better try and go.

Feeling tired again just thinking about trying to do stuff.

I wrote a lot (for me) in April, but had to stop again through May because school and deadlines. Would like to do more of that again. Would be satisfying. Think there may have been more I wanted to ramble, but don't remember it now.

...

2014-03-22 23:25
aesmael: (haircut)
Feeling very stressed since I got back. I had been aspiring to get back to doing a lot of writing this year, but with school I've been feeling squeezed out. I don't have the spare mental capacity to work on the harder parts of writing, like planning or editing. I have tried to keep back the hour between 23:00 and 00:00 to myself but all I can manage is a sub-par stream of whatever comes to mind, and I write slowly at the best of times so it isn't much. I'm just hoping that later on I might be able to go back and clean up, salvage something, or at least that I might still be learning something from the process.

Around the middle of last year I started what I called a 'fast writing' story, aiming to do something of a sword and sorcery sort which did not require much work of me beyond the putting of fingers to keyboard, but I've still done nearly nothing of it past the initial burst of attention. But it is still almost the only project I can even think of continuing at the moment because it requires so little background work, and at least if I try it I can pretend to progress.

School itself may be too much for me. Even though I'm undertaking a part-time load - 2.5 classes this semester - I've only been able to focus my attention on one of those and I'm still behind on it. I am afraid that I will not be able to make a serious attempt on the first assignment for that class, let alone whatever is going on for the class I've not yet had looked at.

I am not doing well. I think I need to further curtail my activities (I've already cut out some very time-consuming things I used to make a habit of), but I need to make sure there is still room for some sort of fun self-reward or I know I will just check out.

Will see. Don't want to make dropping out of school any more of a trend for me than it already is.
aesmael: (nervous)

Having a sort of brain that responds to seeing someone enthusiastically enjoying the company of a beloved pet by thinking about the emotional devastation ey will suffer when that pet dies.

Because why would I want vicarious enjoyment of the happiness of others, apparently.

aesmael: (nervous)
  • [Me]:I'm scared of people. :(
  • [Me]:I want to be by myself where no one can get angry with me. But I don't want to be alone. Contradictory desires.
  • [Me]:Thinking about that... makes sense if I still don't see myself as an adult capable of seeing myself as on an equal footing with other adults. Seems like my way of processing interactions with other people is "they are the beings with power. I have to appease them or they will get angry with me and hurt me, physically and or emotionally".
aesmael: (haircut)

I don’t have to keep wanting ways of being or socialities which I know I would not like if I had them, but which I keep feeling I should want and strive for anyway.

aesmael: (nervous)

Had an assignment due at the end of last month. Got it in on time but since then I keep thinking of things I should have done and ways I should have presented it but of course that is all too late now.

Meanwhile I arrived in Minneapolis on Thursday, which is a different Thursday than I departed on. The flight was long and tiring, and complicated by the plane I was on departing and arriving late, meaning I most definitely missed my connection. Am lucky that got sorted by the airline and myself redirected at a two-stage flight here (instead of the direct one booked), as I was on the verge of tears and scared at what to do stranded in a foreign country far from anyone I knew and possibly out of contact with them all.

I did end up getting in contact with people, at least enough to let them know circumstances had changed and reassure that I was safe and all. Late night arrival instead of early evening.

Slept long and late, no surprise. Been perpetually tired and overloaded and probably socially overwhelmed since I have got here - frequently feeling like I need to or am about to cry. Imagine I’ve probably been snappish and difficult too.

Feel bad because I am here to be with people I love but maybe it is too much for me. Maybe I just cannot handle life.

Am looking forward to having quiet time tomorrow, hopefully I will not ruin it for myself by trying to do more than can be actually fit into a single day.

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