Thoughts on Crushes

It’s rare that I get a crush on someone. So, when I do, I examine it.

I always crush on someone who I consider to be very intelligent, compassionate, and playful. Those traits are what I look for in a partner.

It’s always on someone whom is about 15-20 years older than me. There is a sense of maturity and safety around them.

They tend to be very self aware and healthy.

I think maybe, I want to have these traits myself. I am then attracted to these traits in others, because it inspires me to be a better version of myself.

I’m not sure about the age gap. They tend to look about 10 years younger than they are because of good health / genes, but usually old enough to be my parents. (My parents were only 18 when I was born). 

Maybe that is my unconscious wanting healthy, intelligent, compassionate, playful parents. Freud?? 

They are also always not an option for me, so that means I don’t even attempt to go for them.

I’m being more open to the idea of love. I guess I ought to be less dismissive of my crushes.

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Approach to Difficult Past

As I’ve been reaching out more, I realize that some good people in my life are gone.

I have fond memories of car rides with my grandmother to visit my great-grandmother. I would sit quietly and observe how they interacted, sometimes I’d even ask questions for clarification.

They would share their experiences and sometimes emotions. Mom-Mom would listen to her mother and always respond compassionately, no matter how negative she’d be.

If her mom showed frustration, she’d show understanding. If her mom was angry, she’d be tender. If her mom was sad, she’d be there to help lighten the burden.

I practiced this in my own life, with my own mom. 

There was a turning point after a few years of being institutionalized, where I realized that my mom had never responded to my needs with love. 

I began listening more to what she was saying. She often spoke ill of me to others. By this time, she was working on her second divorce, and I was a huge part of her sob story at local bars.

There was anger, confusion, and hurt, from realizing she had never been on my side. Even in childhood, I was made to feel as though her circumstances were my fault. No decent man would date a single mother, she’d say. She couldn’t go to college, because she had to look after me and she had to work dead end jobs so she could support me. I believed all of this for a long time.

When I was institutionalized, it was because my mom didn’t know what to do with me. Or so I thought.

The truth is, she is incapable of thinking of anyone other than herself. She’s never been motherly. She doesn’t know how to have a healthy relationship with another person, in any capacity. She just didn’t want to deal with my reaction to her toxic relationships, addiction, and cruelty. 

She had it ingrained in me since I was very young, that I was the problem. My feelings, thoughts, and experiences have always been invalidated by her.

So when I opened up to the therapist, she would just deny everything, and point at my emotions as being the problem. She had the staff at the institutions convinced that I was just spoiled and that I was lying for attention.

Rather than getting the help I needed, I was misdiagnosed, mismedicated, and spent much of my adolescence inpatient or in partial hospitalization programs.

I was dehumanized regularly. Strip searches after intake assessment, four point restraints used daily for months on end, being drugged to the point of pissing myself at night and being unable to follow even simple conversations and instructions. 

My hair was falling out, I had gained 100 lbs, all I could do was eat and sleep. I was totally dead inside for years like this. 

Rather than developing skills to live in the real world, I was just trying to survive each day. I can’t even describe the amount of sadness and loneliness I endured during this period of my life. It was like my soul was being murdered in slow motion and there was nothing I could do about it. I could only comply or be made to comply.

On my 18th Birthday, I had a nice party with family. All of the people I cared about were there: my half sister, half brother, cousin, and grandmother. 

Before the party, I had decided that this was going to be my last gathering. I was done suffering and done being a burden, and clearly no medication was helping. I had been on roughly 35 different psych meds at this point.

I made sure to spend time with each person and have a genuinely good time. I wanted a happy memory for them to remember me by.

That night, I wrote a suicide note and I overdosed on my psych meds and cut my wrists.

I was resuscitated, was in a brief coma, and awoke in the ICU.

Every cell in my body was writhing with pain. I had been in complete peace when I was unconscious, only to discover I was still among the living.

My mom visited me in the hospital to tell me that I had ruined her life and I needed to find another place to live. 

Before she even gave me a chance to say anything, she walked out that door.

I stood to call after her, and wound up getting my face smashed into the floor by a rent-a-cop. 

I spent the next few months at the state psychiatric hospital. They actually didn’t restrain me there, so I am happy I can say that much.

There were people I met throughout my hospitalizations who tried to tell me I wasn’t crazy. There was the nurse who pointed out I had many signs of early childhood abuse. There was the occupational therapist who said I wasn’t crazy, just fucked up from circumstances. The mental health worker who knew I just needed to blow off steam and would let me without calling a code.

It wasn’t until I moved out, that I was able to start sorting my mom’s problems from my problems.

As it turns out, I was just reacting in a normal way to bad circumstances all along. None of the doctors saw that, because they were treating symptoms and not me as a human being.

I’ve been very lucky in that a few people went out of their way to let me know I’m not crazy. I didn’t take it in then, but through a lot of hard work, and the help of a couple of great therapists, I’ve been able to rediscover myself.

So rather than focusing just on the bad things, I am taking in that there are good people who care. I’m taking it in that I am not broken beyond repair. And I’m also taking in the sadness and the anger, because there is so much that I’ve held in my whole life.

I feel like this is a wholesome approach to look at Life, to accept who I am, and where I am right now. To be well. And just to be.

Neurodivergence and Perspective

Perspective makes all the difference in how you experience yourself.

If a person is told how they experience themselves is wrong and they need to be medicated, that person is being invalidated.

I’m not saying we have to respect a person’s delusions or hallucinations, I’m saying we need to respect all people and allow them space to be themselves. 

Not all people labeled with mental illness are shamanic or genius, but they all share similar traits. They think differently and are often misunderstood.

The difference is when a person is recognized to be able to benefit others with their way of thinking, they are nurtured and encouraged to explore their gifts. That doesn’t happen with the stigma of being different.

If we can change our perspective on what it means to think differently, then it would change the outcome for the person experiencing the divergence.

Neurodivergence is a part of evolution.

Institution of Man

In earlier posts, I established that most of our problems are imaginary. 

Boundaries, laws, governments, currency, our infrastructure, all of it is entirely man made.

I’ll call the government: institution. The institution which keeps society going, no longer serves society. It’s been such a battle for basic things, like decent roads and an educational system that works, and equal rights.

In an enlightened society, no one should have to lobby for cancer research or to stop a company from fracking. No one should have to fight to be treated equally.

Our institution should be a reflection of society’s interests: good health, quality of life, sustainability, and progress. This means investing in healthier foods and lifestyles, investing in education, investing in society.

The institution is only self interested, and rather than care for society’s needs, it expects society to bend to its will.

The system is an outdated, man-made construct, THAT WE CAN CHANGE ANY TIME WE WANT. Never forget that society is evolving and society has the final say.

Patterns

I’ve been breaking out of patterns of thinking as of late. I’ve been really assessing what I want and what I need. 

With the human condition, I need meaningful relationships in my life. I need to be around people who build each other up rather than tear each other down. I need to be able to relate to someone who knows me.

I’ve been reaching out more to people in general. I keep getting glimpses of human connection, then start feeling disconnected in other ways. It’s the only time I really feel alone in the world, when I’m disconnected from the people I’m with.

Typically, this is when I start to isolate. I am working on rewiring my response. So for now, I keep pushing myself to maintain relationships.

Balance and Evolution

Do you think our evolution stopped with opposable thumbs? Think again.

Genetic diversity plus the influencing variables (experience, environment, diet, lifestyle, etc.) means that genes are always switching on and off, and new combinations of genes are always coming into being, with every birth.

The longer a species exists, the more it begins to change. The environment is always changing and if a species ceases to adapt, it ceases to exist.

Every major social change is prompted by a change in the thought process. For example, the smoking ban in public places is a matter of decency and health, the passing of marriage equality is about decency and recognition of equal rights. 

When ideas no longer work for society, because society is changing, we change the institution.

What happens when the institution resists? You see presidential races like the US 2016 race. You see the government taking money from big businesses and jeopardizing our health, happiness, and habitat. You see people with extraordinary minds fail out of the educational system.

The fact is, humans are still evolving. Many people suffer because the institution has not caught up with our evolving views and evolving minds (and evolving needs).

Like in any species, when there is a divergence from the “norm”, there is misunderstanding and resulting fear.

Those in power and stuck in the old ways of thought feel threatened. So they label those who are different as bad, mentally ill, disabled, and treat them as though they are somehow less valuable to society. They treat divergent folks as a threat, rather than a different genetic variation. How long will this rouse last, before people realize we aren’t supposed to all fit in the same mold, or any mold for that matter?

Humanity will be evolving as long as our species exists, for if we were to stop evolving, we would die, as 99.9% of species typically do.

We must stop fighting the process of evolution and change our institutions to reflect our growing awareness, knowledge, and responsibility. I fear we have no future if we do not act in our self interest presently.

Anger

This is probably the area I need to work on the most (for right now).

Although my experience with psychiatry has been the bane of my existence for some time, it was a psychiatrist who told me my history was not of someone with mental illness, but rather of someone who is very intelligent and very angry. 

At the time, I did not believe him. I was still hooked onto the idea that my brain was broken and I was a lost cause. After all, I had been on more than 40 psychotropic prescriptions at that point, with no relief.

I’ve had more time to experience myself since then, and I agree with him.

I don’t think typically. I think big. And I have a lot to be angry about.

Dealing with anger seems almost like a mystical process to me. I don’t know what to do with it and there’s just so much.

I’ve been working with my fear the last several months, and a part of that is accepting and feeling this anger.

Anger has always provoked fear in me. When I was little, anger meant getting stuffed into a small space where I could scarcely breathe. Anger meant getting joints pulled out of place. And if I were to show my own anger, that was punishable even more so than me just being me.

So, yeah… There’s a strong link between anger and terror for me. 

I know my own anger is not like that. But I know that anger has that potential. There’s acknowledgement of both sides.

What are healthy ways to feel and express anger? 

I feel like maybe all of those base emotions are the same, in that, I must embrace them. Feel what I feel, and let it out in bursts when I’m on my own.