Fear and Sickness

I am going to New York City in two weeks. Exactly two weeks from today. And for the past few days, I have been in inundated with headaches and nausea. Nausea that grasps the back of the throat and does not let go. For awhile, I thought it was because of my phobia of taking medication, but I know it’s my travel fright. Ha! Travel fright. I think that should be a thing. Unless it’s already taken?

I feel guilty a bit because I just bought a plane ticket a few weeks ago and didn’t tell my parents. If you remember the horrid time I had in Paris, then you know I have bad luck. And since the trip to Paris and England (That Time I Got Lost And Had Several Seizures, Not In That Order), I’ve felt my family thinks I’m irresponsible in traveling and can’t take care of myself. I had this big fantasy when I bought the airplane ticket to go quietly to NYC, have an awesome time, and then reveal my successful journey to my fam later. They would be so surprised and impressed. Never would they say I was a bad traveler!

But it seems I already think I’m a bad traveler because I feel horrible.

My trip secret only lasted two days. I asked my brother to come with me, and he spilled the beans to my parents. Ugh, brothers. But after a lot of fighting, my brother gets to come to NY with me! So I won’t go alone. Because I was originally very scared to go alone. You must understand my mother, though–she is apprehensive when it comes to me traveling. True story: I was going to DC and it appeared my flight would land in Baltimore. I get a text twenty minutes after I told her. baltimore is the 32nd unsafest city in the united states

She kind of freaked out when I said I was thinking of living in the Big Apple after college for publishing.

So I am writing about my Travel Fright in hopes of curing it. Or postponing it. And so far, it’s worked.

More Updates That You Probably Don’t Care About

  • I’m off Facebook because the fucking politically correct feminazis pissed me off too much. And I just realized I cared too much what they and others thought of me.  Now I’m on Instagram and Pinterest. And Snapchat. Wow. Still too much SM.
  • Still single af. But not quite as bad. Actually went on two dates last week, but they both went terribly. My fault.
  • My pill phobia is worse.
  • I’m campaigning for Bernie Sanders, but kinda like Hillary Clinton. I bought a suit and it has shoulder pads and I love it. I feel like her when I wear it.

A Look at Depression & Suicide

A few days ago, I was on an online chat forum. Often times, people will just spout out random things and tidbits. That day, a friend said, “A girl from my university tried to commit suicide by stabbing herself in the head. But she lived. LOL, so stupid.”

And thus commenced the eruption.

I was horrified. Why would he ever joke about that? I can understand making a joke privately to a friend you know well, but saying that online is horrible. I told him that. A girl who publicly made it known to everyone that she was chronically depressed jumped in to say she found his comment offensive. Another guy jumped in and supported the OP.

They kept saying stuff like, “Suicide is selfish,” “Killing yourself is cowardly,” “It’s stupid to off yourself.” I kept defending my opinion until I was exhausted. “These people are mentally ill, they need your support.” I got in the shower, and looked at my phone again after I got out.

DXXX: Depression is the latest fad (w/link)

Unbidden, all these horrible thoughts and feelings came back, and I started crying. He had posted that link long after people had told him to stop talking about the subject. How could people be so cruel? Where was the empathy?

The truth is that I am not an unbiased person at all. I come from a family full of unhappy people, spanning generations. My grandmother ate and smoked herself to death, threatened to commit suicide, tried to kill a family member, and was bipolar. My parents have had their share of unhappiness, which I am not permitted to discuss because they are still living and would be mad at me. And I myself was put on anti-depressants when I was 4 or 5, and have never fully been taken off. I was committed to a psychiatric facility for a week when I was 14 because I wanted to kill myself.

“Suicide is selfish, yada yada yada” argument

Even though I feel much better now, I find something lurking in that edge of my mind sometimes. That’s why their words really hurt me. Their argument was the same argument my leading doctor used in the psych ward. The thing is, it worked beautifully—at first. What the “suicide is selfish and you’re a coward and a wimp” does is instill enough guilt to prevent you from killing yourself. But as you think about it, you become so ashamed that you confirm your worst fears—that you are a horrible, worthless person. And you don’t really want to live after that, do you? It’s really bad for your soul and leads you to destructive thoughts. If you’ve ever said this to someone, shame on you! Unless they’re about to jump from a roof, try a different approach.

All that damn sympathy

I once went to a shrink that always, always, always had a puppy-dog look on his face. “And that must have hurt,” he would say after I told him something. Goodness, he was a lovely person but a dim bulb, I would say. He never questioned my judgment or implied I was at fault. Please, if you are ever in a therapist’s room (and I hope you go once) and they do this to you, walk away. Your money has been ill spent. Don’t get me wrong, sympathy is lovely. It’s needed. But not all the time. Don’t be friends with your therapist or call them by their first name. You are a buyer of a service. Most importantly, don’t play the victim. This constant “pat-on-the-back” nonsense only victimizes people more, and makes them feel like they are not responsible for their behavior, that it’s always someone else’s fault.

It’s a tricky road

Be careful when dealing with someone suffering from depression and/or suicidal thoughts. Even though I think the term is cliché, it is apt. They really do suffer, and what you say may help. It might hurt as well, but don’t blame yourself if something turns sour. Depressed people are people are people. Don’t put them on a victimized pedestal; they are often pretty smart, manipulative, desperate for affection or attention, and highly sensitive. They can lash out. Don’t take it personal.

Some tips:

  1. Try to talk to them about their feelings/behaviors. If they admit to feeling down or engaging in destructive behaviors such as cutting themselves, they are ready to get help. If not, a good thing to do would be talking to someone close to them (IF THEY ARE PHYSICALLY IN DANGER. If they’re feeling a little blue, maybe let it be.)
  2. Listen. Just hear what they are saying. Letting them discuss problems and issues may take a weight off their shoulders. And if you don’t know what to say, ask the 5 W’s + H. For instance, “Why do you feel that way? When did this happen? What are you doing to fight this?”
  3. Suggest that they join activities or support groups, or see a psychiatrist. Exercise is really great for alleviating stress and sadness. Here are some exercise tips.
  4. Don’t let a friend’s depression engulf your life and time. You can’t always be there for them, and you have to take care of yourself. There is only so much you can do—the rest is up to them.

Maybe you think me a little contradictory, harsh, etc… However, I think it’s important to be a wide-eyed sympathetic. In other words, don’t be blind. If someone keeps making excuses, they aren’t ready to get better. If they keep making destructive choices despite everything, they don’t care about themselves—and you need to let them come to a decision on their own. But if they ask for help, it’s your moral duty to try.

They always tell me god is an entity

I like to ask people what god looks like
and they always say the same thing—
God is an entity.

Not a man or woman but a thing that nurtures and surrounds us.
He—no, it is calm and complacent—
No! Not complacent…

Powerful. Powerful and benevolent and merciful. Never-changing.
They hold onto their breath before telling me this.

A boy (he was very smug as he looked at me) said Absolute Truths lead humanity.
Don’t you believe no one should be killed? That murder is wrong?
Some people say—
But what do you believe?
I don’t know! I don’t know! Does it matter? I am one
pot on a balcony that could overlook an amazon or an alley.
I need water and sun, and then we can talk about your Absolute Truths.

Worries

I worry all the time, it seems. Or lament about my failures. Why am I not in a relationship? What is wrong with me? What type of person does this stuff? I’m stupid and ridiculous. I’m tired of it.

There’s this inner tension inside my heart—have sex, even if it’s meaningless, or be celibate and look for a relationship? I’ve had…maybe one ‘relationship.’ I was 17 and he was 25. It lasted a month after I realized I was not what he needed right now (which was a therapist.) I still miss our talks, though, and sometimes I wonder if I made the right decision. But as my mother says, “Do something right, or don’t do it at all.”

I started dating this guy in March, and I was into him. I loved the intimacy and the way he looked at me. I wasn’t crazy about him, though. I kind of knew it wouldn’t work because he and I are so different. He’s in a whole different sphere of creation; music. And I need someone who understands and appreciates my creativity. No, who urges my creativity and supports it. We need to have a shared passion. I remember going to Julianna Baggott’s reading a few years ago, and she said something so inspiring, something like this:

My husband doesn’t just tolerate my writing; he says, “Go write, you need to write.” He understands that I need to be creative, and that’s the man that I fell in love with, that I am still in love with.

I need that. I need someone creative, intelligent, adventurous. I want to dive and climb and eat and race.

In all the time I’ve worried about this stuff, I could have been on adventures. I could have written novels. I could have gotten to a better place and fallen in love.

Even though I know he doesn’t care about me, that our small connection has trickled and vanished… I’m still hurt. I cared about us together, even if I didn’t really like him in a deep way. If you like someone, you

  • ***brag about them***
  • reference them randomly
  • in fact, make excuses to talk about them
  • or see them
  • think of them and smile
  • love the stupid things they do
  • ***value their opinion***
  • tease them
  • get nervous around them

This is just a bit of stuff I came up with on the fly. Thinking about this stuff, I realize I did tease him. I did get really nervous. I did always want to talk about him, because I was happy in those few weeks we saw each other. But that was before I knew him better. Sometimes it just happens that way—it’s not that they’re a bad person or they deceived you. It’s just not a good fit.

And I think that’s why I’m hurt. Because I miss the intimacy and vulnerability (nothing is so sexy as vulnerability. It’s so wonderful when someone opens themselves up to you). No one’s ever held my hand like it was natural, like they wanted to. No one’s ever kissed me in public before.

I don’t know why I’m sharing this with you, readers. I guess it’s a comfort that there are so few of you out there and I may rant as I please. I’ll leave you with some Jane Austen:

“The last few hours were certainly very painful,” replied Anne: “but when pain is over, the remembrance of it often becomes a pleasure. One does not love a place the less for having suffered in it, unless it has been all suffering, nothing but suffering.” Persuasion

My Last Day; Or, Reflections of a Glorified Babysitter

Friday was my final shift at the Catholic lower school, where I have worked at for six months. And now I can breathe. It’s not that the work was very difficult (though it tried my patience quite a few times). It’s that when you work with children, your viewpoint of the world shifts dramatically, and you begin to reevaluate your whole life. Working with kids can be stressful, joyous, agonizing and freeing. But most importantly, that position of caretaker will open your eyes.

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Becoming a Glorified Babysitter

I first started in September, when–after arriving for an interview–I was hired on the spot and asked to help right then and there. I had this wonderful, beautiful idea about how children behaved, and though I didn’t kid myself about their less-than-angelic dispositions, I was not quite aware of their capacities. I quickly learned how draining it could be. A certain group of boys would always hit and berate other children, and some girls just couldn’t stop teasing their fellow classmates. A five-year-old once said to me, “I like getting hurt.” Even from a young age, children can develop startling characteristics.

“Princesses” and “Villains”

It is often said that boys are the troublemakers in the classroom, and I certainly understand how it seems that way. Boys are often the villains–rambunctious, bossy, aggressive, and rebellious. By contrast, the girls mainly keep to themselves; they are “perfect princesses.” But it is simply not true that boys are harder to raise or teach than girls. I think the reason young girls seem so docile is that they have so many role models. The lower education system is run by females, and a majority of boys don’t relate to them on the same level. Female teachers actively engage in the same activities girls in their class participate. If they had more male teachers in primary schools, perhaps boys would feel they could channel their negative emotions into more productive outlets.

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Bullies are Being Bullied

I used to jokingly call this little boy the Anti-Christ to my family and friends. He was always hitting and shoving and calling people names. One day he was in a particularly bad mood, and he hit two people within five minutes. The teacher sent him to time-out, and then left with the other kids to go outside. And this little boy, no more than eight years old, balled his eyes out. I was astonished.

Kneeling down to speak to him, I said, “What’s wrong? Why did you hit that boy? I didn’t see what happened.”

He wouldn’t look at me for a long time, but finally said, “He made fun of me because of my beanie hat. They all said it was stupid, and it was a girl’s hat.” He added, “And you never see them making fun of me, you only see me, and then I get in trouble and it’s unfair!”

It wasn’t stupid, I said, and they shouldn’t have made fun of him. I promised I would look out for him. And since then, he has always treated me and others better.

A common viewpoint stemming from the Nature versus Nurture debate is that people are born bad. This is the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever heard, and if you are around children long enough, you’ll realize this is so. Though true evil is very rare, the ones that are evil have gone through such horrible abuse and trauma as to make them almost irreparable. Evil is not biological, it is learned. Young children are incredibly vulnerable, and it is a teacher’s job to staunch their wounds instead of causing them.

Bittersweet

I was in the campus Starbucks with my mom one day, and the cashier commented on her being with me. “I’m here for my daughter,” she said. “She is my little girl. There’s nothing like children.”

“I don’t like children,” he said.

My mother couldn’t understand this. “But a child will always love you. It is the greatest thing you can have. You don’t understand what love is, how deeply you can feel, until you have a child.”

Hispanic Mom Baby

As I don’t have children, I cannot fathom this love. But I can tell you that the first part is true; I don’t think I could ever stop loving my parents. There isn’t a day that I don’t feel deeply about them, whether I’m happy or upset or amused. I think what people mean when they say they dislike children is that they dislike the relationship parents and children have. They only see:

  • the responsibility
  • the stinking diapers
  • the money
  • the problems

They don’t see:

  • the hugging
  • the stories
  • the devotion
  • the love

They’re manipulative, they’re quirky, they’re angry, they’re insightful, they are human. As I leave this job and go to the next, I will remember this. Children are just adults in fun-sized disguise.