Superiority Complex

I’m finding I have trouble knowing when to stand up for myself and when to quiet down. This is mostly problematic with working. After I get through a period of learning at my jobs and I start to get a bit of confidence I start not letting peoples words slide over my conscience. They start to burrow and affect me because I feel I’ve worked up to  certain point and when that’s threatened I fly into defensive mode. Sometimes I can’t distinguish gaslighting from correcting. I understand sometimes it’s about the delivery, but sometimes I argue for clarity and it is the met.

So how do I let things go? How do I allow bosses and superiors to correct me without feeling degraded when it’s not done in much of a suitable fashion? How do I keep myself from cycling over words that frustrate me because they aren’t delivered very well? How do I still keep confidence and take pleasure in things that are continually wrong under someone else?

It’s difficult to feel like an asset when you never feel appreciate or even know what you are doing correctly. It’s difficult for me to not get stuck on people’s words and start cycling when all I seem to have are vague thoughts in my head that tell me I’m good at something. I know I always have something to learn, I can accept that. I just don’t always feel like I’m given room to learn.

Maybe that’s why I’m frustrated.

For the love of Space.

When I first moved to San Diego it was the first time I’d been given enough space to spread out a creative place to make jewelry and take photography. I had a whole room just for art. And it felt amazing. I loved having all the space I could have hoped. A place for everything. So organized and neat. Giving that up was difficult. Jewelry was very hard to make in any of the rooms I lived in after except my last room in the community I lived in. I was paying for a bigger roomy AND extra space outside of it just so I could make jewelry again. But I wasn’t in it with enough time to even unpack.

I thought I might have room in my current place. I tried. But my inventory of supplies out weighted any space and was too disorganized for me to have any energy for. I’m finally looking into a space that will have enough roomoney and I’m ecstatic. To have room for animals AND craft. Both huge anti anxieties and loves of my life. I’m floored.

To have anyone see this and not understand how beautiful a transition this is does not truly know me. Never until now have I been unrestrained in my care and keeping of animals and able to explore my craft at the same time. Even when I’ve had room for jewelry in the past, the people and environments I’ve lived in would not permit me to keep or care for as many animals as I have now. My ex husband fought me even to have one hamster with my one cat. He fought me on adopting a stray that gorgeous caught in our apartment. Who is now a big part of my life.

I feel like most of my life has been fighting to be allowed to follow what my heart desires. The older I get the stronger my conviction for my heart becomes.

Anger and Avoidance: 101

I have anger problems. I know I do. I have some ideas where it stems from but sometimes I still feel at a loss. Instead of learning how to manage I’ve realised I’ve just learned to avoid being angry instead of working with the anger that happens.

My partner recently admitted something tricky with our relationship which is when I shut down about a topic that triggers anger. In my mind I needed cool down time. But I rarely approach the topic again…

Agoraphobia helps me feel more comfortable avoiding triggering monuments than dealing with anything. And until recently it seemed healthy to me.

I feel like I’m back to square one. Events when I was 18 threw my mental illnesses into full spring and I’ve been struggling since then. And I’m struggling again. To feel like a person. To not be constantly angry. To not constantly be reminded. To have the energy to get through a day, a week, the rest of the month.

Life is a constant stressor I haven’t learned to deal with. I’m a master at avoiding as its kept me alive this long. But I don’t think that’s the key to life. It can’t be, because I’m still struggling so much. Because I’m still not comfortable with anything. I’m not even comfortable with comfort and happiness.  Because I’m  not comfortable with myself.

Unconditional Conditioning.

I don’t know how to accept unconditional love. I don’t know how to accept love. I still don’t understand why anyone would, most of the time. I don’t think people quite understand the depth of cruelty my own mind puts me through. I numb myself in order to not be constantly in mental pain. But the numbness seeps out and makes happiness, love, security… feel absent or unacknowledgable. I don’t know how to recognize it. I’m so tainted I can only seem to see potential pain and regret. And it feels more normal to me than happiness.

Trigger Warning: Defining Rape

Watching a documentary about rape in colleges has me unfortunately rethinking about the first time I was raped. It’s so very SAD that the feelings I’ve felt are so wildly felt by so many women, and I’m not just talking about the rape itself. But the feelings of doubt and wonder. The beginnings of unknowing PTSD coming on like a storm crashing through your life. And the fact that so many are mostly by friends.

I was between 18 and 19. The time between 17 and 21 blurs together mostly. He was one of my best friends at the time. An ex boyfriend from high school one of my good friends was very close with had but a lot of effort into helping me. It was a torrential time. I was desperately trying to break away from my family. He was always around for anything.

One night my roommate (our mutual close friend) and I were staying at his place. She’d gone to bed early, leaving us to watch a movie. He had his arm around me. I should have seen it. The way he got close when no one was around and quickly moved away when someone was around, because he had a girlfriend. Before I knew it he was inside me. Through my pajama bottoms and underwear. Any noise I made he shushed. And when he was done I crumpled into the couch. He threw a blanket at me as I held back tears. I tried to wake my roommate up to take me home. But she wouldn’t wake. So I slept next to her, in his bed, and in the morning I acted like everything was fine, and for five hours helped clean his father’s house like I said I would.

There was no intense violence. I felt helpless and yet I felt like I let it happen. I felt violated and yet tried to convince myself that wasn’t the case because he was my friend. My second rape was slightly more horrifying and yet this one haunts me more. I didn’t see it as rape for a long time even though it haunted and disgusted me. For years after he would regularly message me apologies saying he had a sex addiction. As if somehow that would make it right?

I wish someone had told me growing up if it doesn’t feel right, it’s not. Every time I engaged in sex after I felt violated all over again. It would take a long time before that wasn’t the case or before I really understood why. I usually couldn’t engage in sex unless I was very intoxicated.

I feel like society instilled me with the idea that if I engage in any sexual contact, if I kiss or touch anyone romantically, it means I wanted or have to have sex with them. As a result kissing and snuggling makes me very uncomfortable and I usually shy away. Affection of any kind terrifies me. So many times men have taken these as a signal I want to engage in sex. So many times I’ve felt violated because of it.

Crab Cares.

So its been a while since I’ve posted anything about animals or my hobbies. Life has a way of taking off with you. I admit my hobbies have mostly fallen to the past. I have no space for caterpillars however much I miss them. My jewelry and craft center has turned into piles of disorganized clutter thrown into boxes. I have acquired a few more additions to my living loves (a snake and a terrarium of carnivorous plants) but have little space and time to elaborate on them.

I’m trying. I know I need it. For my sanity and happiness.

I did mention a few blogs ago that I was going to start teach 2nd and 3rd graders about hermit crabs. My tank is pretty outrageous and still in progress. I made up a 20 gal and took 5 crabs from my large tank and have been teaching the kids with a portion of my colony, which is now about 25 crabs large (I say about because I rescued two in very bad health and am still seeing if they live). I was wary a bit about teaching children but this class has given me so much to look forward to during my week. And I’m so passionate and enthusiastic about these little critters that it brings me so much joy to find willing and happy listeners.

I also finally made time to catch up on my homemade food for my hermit crabs. The only things I buy for them pre-made are dried seafood and other things I can’t do myself. It really gives me so much happiness to do things for my animals. Eventually I even want to be making my own cat food.

Discovery.

We are thrust into this world with heavy expectations waiting for us. How many people can say they were a purposeful pregnancy? Or the expected and even wanted gender?

I was always soft. Impressions left marks on me that saturated my personality, my likes, my ideas… I know I followed much more than I led. Most of my life I just wanted people to be happy with me. I never recognized the pain of individualism until I had no one left to impress upon me.

I hid a lot of the small weird intricacies of myself in journals and loose leaf sheets of paper that gathered in folders and scattered around my room and bags. I hid my real interests and passions unless they seemed acceptable. I dressed like the people around me. I did like the people around me. Its not uncommon to do so. I imagine most animals, especially humans, feel a need for inclusion and so do what is necessary to be accepted into the herd. Unfortunately mental health is a monstrous issue, and herding often encroachs upon you and leaves you defenseless.

Every time I got to my worst I broke out of the herd. A rather chaotic and dangerous way but habits are hard to break. I do not look lightly upon my suicidal tendencies and psychotic breaks, but I understand I needed them, in a way, to forcibly break myself out of my own prison.

Over the years the more myself I am the less my brain yells at me. Suicidal thoughts and feelings happen less and less. Anxiety dissipates quicker. I am starting to become my own safe place.

I think I’ve always known my tastes and interests were obtuse. That I would likely outcast myself to a much much tinier herd, if even there was one for me, by pursuing my passions. Or by wearing what makes me comfortable. By looking how I’d like. That even my thoughts and feelings may not be “normal”. I will not be accepted or be seen as a valued human being by all. A majority of people will bring judgement before they’ve even laid eyes on you. And I’ve long since grown tired of figthing against those heavy expectations I was born to.

I will be me. More and more. Androgynous creature loving thing that I am.

“Be who you are and say what you mean. For those who mind don’t matter, and those who matter won’t mind.”