FEELINGS AND SHIT

Why I'm self-centered 

Bare with me. I have not reverted back to complete self-loathing. In fact I experienced quite a release after my last entry. I cry often, almost every day, but talking about those things was extremely cathartic for me and I felt relieved of significant emotional congestion after posting it. But as these things go, it didn't take very long for my mind to begin exploring other parts of myself that could use work.

I explicitly remember a period of time where someone wrongly called me selfish and from that point on it became my mission to disprove that theory. Up until now I think I truly believed I wasn't self-centered. The truth, however, is that while I may not move through each day with the sole intention of serving myself, there is definitely a large part of my mental space that believes that I need to make up for the lack of care/affection/attention from others. And because of that I have become an awful gift giver. Yes, this is what has been on my mind lately. I suck ass at giving gifts, remembering holidays and birthdays, donating to charities, putting thought toward people and organizations I care for and making them feel special.

The hang up I face when it comes down to the wire is spending money. If you and I have ever spoken about astrology you've probably heard me say something to the affect of "I'm not a big astrology person, but I am DEFINITELY a Capricorn". It's true. I'm always hustling, working my ass off to get paid. I'd even go as far as calling myself a bit money hungry, though I feel I don't have much to show for it.

I think it's also important to acknowledge the opposite end of this. Receiving gifts. There's a specific instance that has been weighing on me lately. My dad and stepmom gave me a comforter a year or two back and my cat shit really bad on it in two areas. Did I clean it? No. I threw it away. It was one of those expensive comforters that had duck feathers in it or something. Literally, for the past week I have stayed awake in bed thinking about how I should have washed the comforter instead of throwing the whole thing away. That thought sent me snowballing into other examples of my carelessness. The obliteration of many phones in fits of rage, totaling a new car (that a family member got a great discount on for me) because I didn't add oil when I was told to, asking my grandparents for money in exchange for a future photo shoot that I never redeemed for them (because the truth is I was just desperate for money). The few things of value that I are still in tact are my iMac, laptop, phone, and my truck which were all gifts (minus the phone). OH! I can't forget my camera and my college education that I barely use (thanks parents and also apparently fuck you!). The most priceless gift I've abused is my own body. I cut my arm and leg up pretty badly, banged my head against walls, choked myself with objects, and hit myself repeatedly.

OK, I think that's a sufficient purge of mind junk. So now I pose myself with the question How do I get better? It's time for me to explore the answers.

There are two parts of gift giving that give me major anxiety. Advanced preparation and spending. So, maybe the part I should experiment with is actually organization. What is definitely UNTRUE is that I don't give a fuck about people. I do. I fuck with my people so hard. I love my team so much and draw all my inspiration to become a better human because of them.

There are a couple of stigmas wrapped around one another too: Giving takes away from caring for myself and my gift will be inadequate, therefore I am inadequate. As I'm letting these thoughts flow out of me I wonder when I will start feeling the relief I did from my last post. I feel more discomfort now than I did before starting this entry. But maybe that's because I'm touching a nerve that I'm afraid of exploring.

 

Let me set an intention as I begin the first phase of this giving experiment.

  • I intend to give something away in order to spread my love.
  • People deserve my love.
  • Showing love through gift giving does not equate to taking away from myself.
  • I am adequate.
  • Others deserve the gifts I have to share with them.
  • Expensive does not necessarily mean valuable.
  • I am capable of holding myself accountable.
  • I am not my past self. I recognize my mistakes and will work on making small improvements
  • I have SO MUCH LOVE TO GIVE!!!!

 

There it is. Relief. Updates on this experiment soon.

-lady chops

Mother 

Today is hard for me. I see everyone making beautiful posts about their mothers and I attempt to squash a bitter feeling inside me. While my mom and I used to be best friends when I was little, the relationship drastically changed over the years. Our evolution is deeply saddening to me. I've tried to continue on the slow and steady trajectory of growth to become a responsible, healthy adult, while dragging my parents baggage behind me along the way. While I do not accept the responsibility of her current situation, I still feel responsible because I carry the weight. Parts of her pain have become permanently part of me. Parts I am currently challenging myself to heal.

 

Mom, why are you homeless? Why are you poor? Why are you unhealthy? Why did you hurt me? How could you let this happen to you? To us?

I still see all your strongest qualities in me. Your sense of humor, your laugh, your creativity, your handwriting... also your sadness, jealousy, and anger. 

I think about you all the time and try to shove away the pain of the most recent years. I make a real effort to remember the things you’ve done for me, the sacrifices you made, your presence and love. Those moments have a hard time shining through, though.

I have faced the thought about what it would be like if you died. I have wondered if I would feel worse or better. You'd be free of your misfortune and pain, but would I? Would the void grow larger or would you take it in death.

I wish that you took healing more seriously. I wish that you were patient enough to open up and trust your family. To know who's really on your team. To make sacrifices again. To love yourself again. To witness MY pain in your absence.

 

As I write and reread this I see such a selfish perspective. Perhaps the reader thinks it's wrong for a daughter to be upset at her mother on mother’s day or to not recognize other mother figures. But I don’t wish for a perfect relationship and I would be lying if I said other mother figures could take the place of my real mom. I don't even want a perfect relationship with her. I would settle for just vulnerability or a reciprocation of feelings. I don't want just love, I so badly want healing. I have missed out on the feeling of my mom being genuinely interested or worried about me. And unfortunately no one else could fill that particular hole in me. The hole has existed for a long time. 

My grandmother was my mom’s adopted mom, and their relationship also had a tear. The kind of hole that only adopted children feel. I believe my grandmother did everything she was supposed to, but I suspect there was much healing to do that neither my mom nor grandma knew how to address. It created a special dynamic where my mom never emotionally matured and long after her adulthood my grandmother remained the caretaker. She became my mother figure and I reminded my mom of this when we would get into fights. I believe my mom's heart is a cloth with many tears that grew wider and wider. Her relationships have always had unspoken/unknown high expectations and toxic forms of communication. Without getting too into detail, this would eventually lead to her current state. Sick, poor, homeless. 

The obvious question is Couldn’t you help her? You’re her family. But I cant fill her void. I have tried to help without becoming financially involved (because that’s not possible for me). Inviting her to live with me would be detrimental to my own mental and emotional health. Our relationship is, sadly, beyond repair. The only thing that would help is if she genuinely WANTED to get better... that takes actual work like being vulnerable, admitting fault, apologizing. More than anything in the world I want her to have the chance to really heal.

My heart aches. I’ve cried a lot today. I just want the best for you mom. I do love you, I promise. 

 

-lady chops

Maps 

Hello The Internet™,

After 30 years my emotional map has become somewhat predictable. You'd think I'd get the hang of it by now, but not so much. I tend to forget how to navigate some particularly hard feelings, but from time to time a profound bit of enlightenment will stick to me. It's like repeatedly driving over potholes; eventually I'll begin anticipating them and rerouting. And it sucks that I have to be miserable just to learn a lesson, but writing down the process serves as a useful reminder. I'm pleased to report that I've been in a productive headspace lately as I've been able to unknot some of those pesky anxieties. I've been able to identify some of those recurring themes as comparing my identity to other identities>feeling insecure about my action/non-action>not liking myself>feeling unstable in my relationships>feeling useless>ruminating on the big picture. They're all interlinked and it begins with the belief I'm unworthy of love (in the simplest of terms). WHEW, recognizing that pain as my TRUTH is a hard pill to swallow and just typing it out made my eyes sting. So I've observed and contemplated this state of mind and after much deliberating I've decided to begin the process of shedding that skin.

I just want to note that it has taken a grueling amount of time to reason with myself and consider LOVING MYSELF as a viable option. "Is it even possible?" I think to myself. Yes, with some sacrifices. I have to let go of the old pattern of holding onto my in-case-I-fail excuses. If I procrastinate or do a bad job on something I can no longer chalk it up to simply not being good enough. And I must admit that even writing "I'm not good enough" feels like a warm security blanket. It's easy to let the walls go up and explain all my shortcomings in 4 words. But, much like the 12 steps for addicts, the steps to recover from self sabotage require acceptance, forgiveness, openness to change, sharing the process, and doing it all over again.

Here are some of my current goals:

  • Be freely creative
  • Feel like ME no matter who's around
  • Redirect nervous energy
  • Be healthier, active, meditative, scheduled
  • Be financially stable
  • Know my boundaries
  • Control the things I can and nothing else
  • Expand my reach with creative projects, aiming to inspire hope and recognize pieces of the self that live within all beings
  • Use this body as a unique vehicle and decorate it
  • Don't look at the big picture, just focus on today
  • Allow myself to feel inspired and hopeful
  • Remember that I'm capable of change, growth, and enlightenment
  • Recognize and appreciate the people who are on my team
    • Nick, Chris, my parents, aunts, grandparents, Lindsay, Hannah, Aubrey, Trey, Anton, Montana
  • LET GO.

I can stand in a crowd with all humans and belong while still being unapologetically myself. I am different and I belong.

 

-lady chops

I'm alive 

Hello The Internet™,

I recently made free writing a daily ritual for me. It seems to be the one thing that doesn't feel like a total drag. As you know the pandemic has kept much of the world inside and my house has become something like a petri dish of sadness or a little demon chia pet. My spirit has become pretty dank (and I'm not just referring to the reefer lul); dark, foggy, humid-- overall pretty uncomfortable. Anyway, writing seems to be the only thing I do consistently these days and I'm grateful that it doesn't feel like a chore the way music, making food, and getting out of bed has felt lately. I still do those things because I feel its my responsibility to do so, but the emptiness seems so vast and my efforts seem so small.

Funny enough, in the midst of all my existential dread the depression gods have presented me with some great content to help cope. At the top of my list: The Midnight Gospel by Duncan Trussell and Pendleton Ward. I began watching it in the middle of a Tuesday and finished it at around 6am on Wednesday. The main character Clancy is a spacecaster who lives on The Chromatic Ribbon. Every day he sticks his head into a vulva shaped space simulator that shoots him out of a boob into other planets to interview its creatures who are on the verge of experiencing their apocalypse. It's definitely my flavor of weird. The conversations seem organic and get really deep but are paired with an absurd storyline in the animation. At one point Clancy and a deer dog (Annie) are on a conveyor belt discussing the concept of letting go, and just as soon as he grasps the message, they are ground up into meat mush--and that's not even how the episode ends! I'm really looking forward to going back and rewatching some prominent episodes again and hope that others are finding it as oddly comforting as I have.

As a result of watching the show I went down a Duncan Trussell rabbit hole only to discover his actual podcast and an episode where he honestly addressed his depressive state. My takeaway from the episode was to speak up and take action despite the deep discomfort . Today I did not follow that advice. I woke up with suicidal thoughts and even acted on some self harm. I'm not proud of this and am experiencing a mixture of residual numbness and guilt, but honestly I understand my state of mind as well. It's a constant work in progress to identify my quilt of moods and really eMbRacE tHeM... eye roll. I have a hard time wanting to open up about my inner darkness to others. I'm afraid there's a threshold that the unassuming people in my immediate surroundings can withstand. I am already exhausted thinking about it; the idea of explaining to someone and potentially getting unwarranted/unhelpful advice is.... more exhausting. Which is whYyyyyy I spontaneously decided to start a blog.

This is the one thing I will throw out my expectations for. It feels fucking good.

 

-lady chops