12.05.2015

Tiny Actions in a Great Big Scary World

I'm feeling a bit powerless about a lot of the ignorance and fear going on around me. People are afraid of things they can't control right now, so they need to focus on something they feel they CAN control- which is one of thee reasons targeted hate and scapegoating happens.

I am doing what I can. I am trying to talk about, share and promote positive stories and experiences. Where, despite the unknown, the tense national atmosphere- people try to reach out to each other, try to increase communication and decrease mistrust, fear, ignorance, hate.

For myself, all I can really do is be the person I always try to be, someone I feel good about.

It has been hard lately because I feel this this strong atmosphere of tension, fear, frustration as well.

But here is what I try so hard to do: more than ever now, I try very hard to be aware of my surroundings in public. I pay attention to people. I try to more often put my damn phone down and just watch outside if I'm on the bus. If I am on the subway, I read the ads, try to lightly flit my eyes across people's faces and if I catch someone's eyes I smile.

I try to let people go before me if they are in a rush and I am not. I say thank you to bus drivers, cashiers, every one I can. I'm trying to make it ok, at least IN MY SPACE- to be friendly and warm a gain.  This is all I feel I can do right now.

I'm not superhuman- I am still cranky like whoa when I get into a debate online, I still grumble and moan. I catch myself sometimes saying or doing things that are probably not really necessary. Also I swear like a sailor [but I don't really consider that a bad thing ha]

I do try to treat those around me, with whom I have brief interaction, as though maybe if we had time it would be nice to sit down and have a coffee and chat.
Because these are strangers, and it just costs a smile, a minute or two of my time, a "thank you" or "have a good night"- it's not a lot of personal energy.

It's not silly to think small acts can inspire larger ones.
These are small acts, I know.
I'm hoping it's at least a start.

9.22.2015

H. F-ing. Sh-

I don't even know what to say anymore.

At this point, whenever I have a decent day or a good time or feel joyful? It just reminds me how awful things are normally. I just put on this stupid ass face and and it's like I'm just a lie.

I'm not telling the lie- I AM THE LIE. I am kind of afraid that eventually it's going to just make sense to die and there will be NO push back.

I don't think there is any kind of medical fix for this except fucking knocking me out.  I just literally feel like I can't do this anymore. THIS meaning fucking existing.

I'm supposed to be "recovered" to do anything meaningful. I can't be "recovered" unless I feel like life and anything I do is meaningful.

SO PRETTY MUCH IT JUST MAKES SENSE TO DISAPPEAR. There is no "fix" other than changing my life.
I FUCKING CAN'T.
I have never encountered a literal "can't" before and there is no fucking way I'll change it to a CAN.

I. CAN NOT. JUST. CHANGE THINGS.
SO FUCK YOU IF YOU THINK I AM JUST NOT DOING IT RIGHT.
FUCK YOU.

9.08.2015

This thing I wrote.

I wrote this elsewhere but I'm trying to deal with this shit now and framing in a sort of FML, tongue-in-cheek, slightly morbidly funny way helps. 
---

On OCD:
One of my compulsions is avoidance- betcha didn't know that could be a compulsion, I sure didn't! ...also to clean and clean and organize and catalog and list and count and document and, and, and...

Playing the constant What If Game when your go to for stopping obsessions and fear is avoidance and a runner up is to clean and organize and straighten and create things to clean organize and straighten? Exercise in absurdity.

Then there's the repetition of "Don't Do That Wrong Thing You Are About To Do"- where you get caught in something like the inevitable Consequences of Time-Travel decisions loop, only its in your head and it's for real because you don't actually know if shutting the door half way is better than shutting it a third of the way ["leave it ajar"] while in your mind what you decide could actually affect the fate of your first born.

OCD: an entirely different type of "logic".

8.22.2015

My heart hurts.


I didn't really completely understand this phrase- I always thought it was a simplification or possibly a glossing over of some deeply complex, in describable inner turmoil that we distill down to the phrasing of a five year old.

I try not to embrace anger at this point- it's incredibly difficult lately in particular when it comes to being angry at myself. When I was in my teens and early 20s anger was a driving force- it helped me accomplish much where I thought being sad or lonely or disappointed wouldn't. To a point I was right, but it did nothing to close this gap I always feel between me an other people. It would really just harden me. But I needed to be hard.


I don't need to now but dealing with new feelings and ways of coping with them as an adult, when the brain and mind have kind of already made plans for themselves is really freaking hard. I had found that the next best thing to anger was shutting down and pulling away- preemptively, often. ...I don't actually think this is the best course of action. It's likely counterproductive on many levels in most situations.

For me, OCD often comes into play- I have major issues with scrupulosity. How it plays out with me is that, essentially, I hold myself to a higher standard than i hold others, and a higher standard than anyone else could possibly expect of me either. That's not the "why" of it, but that's what it can look like.

Telling people this, they interpret it as a "type A" personality- someone who works exceptionally hard, committed to whatever they do possibly slightly obsessively, a perfectionist.

-No, that's not it exactly. It means that I understand that anything I do or say will have repercussions, and likely a negative repercussion on someone else. The OCD is that everyone else comes first, I can't hurt anyone, I can't harm anyone- and pretty much everything can constitute hurt or harm.

The ME in here is that often i should come first- I need to be ok for those I care about to be ok. I understand there are going to be consequences to every decision and action and you can't go through life without harming anyone at all in any manner. it's impossible.
These two battle it out. The OCD versus the ME.

II often becomes a point in my mind that if I tell anyone how I am feeling, then I am hurting them because it makes them worry about me or feel bad or some other thing.

I realized at some point: My OCD is obsessive about itself.
If you are following along at home, it's pretty easy to see how scrupulosity can affect relationships even a little.You are constantly worried about what harm you might cause- even by tiny things you have or have not done, said or have not said. You obsess about something that would normally be a logical course of action.
Eventually you just start avoiding people, or avoiding talking about certain things, or doing strange things. You ask odd questions, you look for people to ask for "clarification"- but it doesn't matter what they actually say. It's a compulsion.

The avoidance, disengagement, checking [with people], steering a conversation toward a topic so you can make sure you know you didn't harm them in the past- it's all compulsion.

Eventually it alienates. There IS no way to live with out leaving a mark- and that is the center of my OCD a good deal of the time.
i don't want to leave a mark somewhere because it might "be upsetting". Hallmark of OCD? That it is contradictory to ones base personality or tendencies.

As a person, in my mind apart from the OCD? Of course I want to "leave my mark". I want people to notice some of the things i accomplish, I want them to hear what I say. I want to be heard.

My OCD tells me that if I'm not invisible it's harmful. And if I am not striving for a perfect resolution to any given problem [minus my own needs, because "I can handle it" of course] then I am a bad person. And if I don't actually reach that resolution, am a bad person.
If i don't prevent potential harm, I'm a bad person. If I don't forsee potential harm, even in a situation that does not directly involve me, I'm a bad person. So, right. Totally screws with how I can or can not interact like a "normal person" on any given day.


---
"My heart hurts."

Three words.
boom.

6.12.2015

Choosing a Soap Box.

This is a result of interaction with many many people, by the way:

It's pretty absurd to face these mini-manifestos all over the place consisting of this pseudo education regarding subjugation of the american people, abuse and violence against both foreign and american civilians, inhumane treatment of the poor, decry racism, etc etc etc...

I then may see some of these same individuals encourage an increase in SNAP benefits for the "working poor"- which is a horrid horrid concept. [People should be able to make a living wage if they are working full time, but are not able to. Evidence of a broken system.]

Some of these same individuals post things that perpetuate and support a violent rape culture, intolerance in general of a particular group, often are completely disrespectful and hateful of and toward various religions- with absolutely no point. So it's not a "challenge" it's just blatant disregard and hate.

  All of these things perpetuate a broken system of hate, corruption, systemic racism, terror, abuse and both subtle and not so subtle violence.

I get that we can't all live our lives on soapboxes- I do understand that. I sure as heck can't. I am not the first person to claim political correctness. I don't actually think halting one type of pervasive violence might be important over the other- everyone is hurt by all of the above and I have to say... what we do and say in our consistent behavior has an effect.

But hey, just joking, right? Nothing to see here.

What personal information?



Some of the more interesting parts of the Jeb Bush email debacle are the commentary on the necessity of speedy psychological aid that we must immediately ship to the survivors of the massive tsunami that happened in Indonesia, late December, 2004. [thus far- I haven't dug through a whole lot]

...it's interesting to see people who run that kind of show discuss their tactics.

Something else-
They have since taken down the actual files and put this up:
"This page previously included raw .PST data files provided by the Florida Department of State. We were informed that some personal information was available in the raw data so we removed these files. Please contact the Florida Department of State with any questions or public records request. You may still read these emails on the email calendar link, where we have redacted personal information we have been able to locate."

Only, if you look at the individual email texts, which you can totally still do if you browse through them on the site, the vast majority of them still quite clearly contain personal information. An argument is that this is the stupidity of the people sending their own phone numbers/contact information when their is a privacy clause.

Problem with that is that I'm not quite clear on when the privacy clause is evident. It's never in the initial email, and the emails going in [that are initiated from people other than Jeb Bush, even those of other officials] don't have a clause. It is apparent on those coming from his account.

The other issue is that there is often, in MANY of the emails I have viewed, personal information being shared belonging to third parties.

In the note i quoted above, it states "we have redacted personal information we have been able to locate". I think i saw maybe two emails where someone MAY have scrambled an email address- but it didn't matter because it was still evident in the rest of the conversation thread.

Personal information is any information that can be used to identify a unique individual. It's all over those emails.

5.30.2015

Thanks OCD!

Now's the time for that hat trick where my brain gets so stupidly convoluted with the non-logic that I have huge problems talking about psychiatry, psychology and/or neurology without having a freaking mental breakdown.

‪#‎ThanksOCD‬ ...because that's one of the things I really enjoy.

4.15.2015

Mental Health Awareness Week. Trust me it affects you.




Please take a moment to promote, comment on or at least think about ‪Mental Illness Awareness Week 2014,‬ October 5-11th. Given the large number of violent events in recent memory in this country, there have been growing concerns about the nation's mental health system.

My response is: "What mental health system?" 
The reality is there is little to no coordinated care to ensure individual's have adequate support throughout various stages of their lives, that incorporates all of their needs. In the few areas where this may be found, these programs only address a very tiny fraction of the individuals who truly need these types of supports in various manners due to extremely stringent acceptance policies.

I don't agree that many of these outbreaks of violence are actually associated with those who are struggling with typical manifestations of mental health problems or even any kind of legitimate mental health issue at all. I do think that some of the questions that have been brought to the forefront, including questions regarding college mental health supports, screenings in teenagers and middle schoolers, depression screenings in primary care, equal coverage for mental health [which is STILL not a thing, even if it appears that way] are much more to do with mental health system faults than individuals with mental illness actually being "more dangerous" than the average person.

They are not.
Get that? NOPE.


it is really really important that we don't just take the national lip-service and have it stop right there. Mental health is extremely important, and it is essential that these services are provided fully for individuals who need them. When mental illness is a primary concern, is is a pervasive disruption in an individual's life- meaning they also end up having physical illnesses, financial problems and social difficulties. This is why so many of our homeless can be clearly diagnosed with some kind of mental health concern, and our prisons are very quickly becoming mental hospitals- only without the necessary knowledgeable medical staff. Please please PLEASE take just a few moments this week to talk to someone, read one enlightening article, seek out a blog, call up your local ‪NAMI‬ chapter or search for local support groups or resources, click on the ‪#‎MentalIllnessAwarenessWeek‬ or ‪‎MentalHealthAwarenessWeek‬ hashtag. Even better: ask someone you know if you can give them a hand, or how you've been ignorant.  You likely have been in some way.

Call a local politician and tell them you believe we need greater resources for those who experience mental health issues to be health and independent and productive- on the local, regional and national level. People need help, not fear. I say this as someone who identifies as a person with years of experiences in peer support; since I also identify as someone diagnosed with OCD and bipolar and as someone with high functioning autism. Cory Booker is the ONE politician I tend to follow because I find he engages and 'sticks his neck out'. Though I am not in Jersey now, I was born there and would be willing to "back him up" if I had the opportunity politically.. I hope at some point he can continue to explore this as a serious issue. I also hope this doesn't get taken down in two seconds flat. This is truly a Big Deal and is truly relevent, as everyone knows someone, and everyone is affected somehow.

Thanks.

3.23.2015

My OCD is a mogwai.

I was talking to a friend who also has OCD. More recently I tend to try to explain the OCD in a way that establishes that it is separate from me. It sort of helps in that it helps me cope with it better. The symptoms don't go away but I retain my sense of self and feel a bit more able to cope with the stress that the symptoms create ON TOP of dealing with the symptoms themselves. So this friend said she kind of sees my OCD as a sort of Oscar the Grouch type character.

I actually agreed but then modified it.
I am seeing it a little more like a mogwai. There are certain things that you can do to make it more likely that it will stay quiet and manageable. A cute little cooing fuzz ball, right??
Keep it out of sunlight.
Don't get it wet.
Don't feed it after midnight.

THESE ARE SIMPLE RULES, PEOPLE.

But then some idiot friend comes over and knocks a glass of water all over your OCD Mogwai, and suddenly it gets bigger or multiplies. Your clock is broken, so you start being late to things, and feed your now overwhelming OCD hoard after midnight. Now you are just screwed because over a period of like 48 hours your cute little cooing OCD fuzzball has become a snarling mob of scaly, crazy OCD fears.

So, yeah. My OCD is a mogwai. But my brain is wired to not take care of mogwais, which is why it's OCD and not "occasional weird thoughts that just drift through and are forgotten about".

This is why my brain can't have nice things.

2.25.2015

And it's time for another "choose your own punctuation!"


IAMNOWHERE

---
I'm truly losing any ability to communicate because it takes so much energy. It's a slow process, but it is happening. Words have never been completely adequate but they've been enough. It takes a lot of energy to translate though, and no one even realizes that. It's not exact translation.

I'm just not really able to even do it anymore. Most of the things I want to talk about or feel like I really need to express- that I'm feeling, that are tearing me down every minute... I can't get them through. So I just don't. It's all this crap. Writing about what I can't really write about.
So people see me as surly and lazy and angry.
I'm really just tired and sad and I feel defeated.
Then I edit again. and again.

2.17.2015

You keep editing and cropping 
your goals 
and hopes 
and dreams 
to fit your reality.

At some point 
you wonder 
if it is worth 
the constant heartache 
to have them at all.

2.06.2015

Trying to get back to it?

I've been trying to get back to my art but with some of my pain issues it's been difficult. Hoping maybe posting some stuff and going through it- putting it up and just knowing other people could potentially look at it [even though no one leaves comments- WHICH IS TOTALLY OK! NO PRESSURE! haha]... it may help me just work through some of those pain issues. But yeah this is kind of a "throwaway post" in that sense. I am working on something though.






1.22.2015

Fish Eye.

I was wandering about the internet, as I sometimes do and happened upon an article that discussed importance of lure choice when fishing. 

Do I even fish? Not anymore.

I used to fish all the time with my grandfather. What really gave me pause here is the discussion in the article of light/color and how fish are able to see the lure color which might compare differently to what we assume they can see as the lay person. 

Not much from me today but I wanted to share the geek. 
If you are interested in color and/or human sight I included a few related links at the bottom as well.

---
View From Below
Does Lure Color Matter Underwater?

Most keen anglers have a favorite lure or fly color, and swear that their choice will out-perform all other offerings. But just how important is color when it comes to lure and fly selection? Well, according to science, not very important at all!

Water progressively absorbs or blocks light of different wavelengths, meaning that colors effectively “vanish” one after another as “white” sunlight travels through the water column. The overall intensity or brightness of visible light also diminishes rapidly underwater... 









































































---

Related:
How does the brain interpret color? [seeing color]
What light reaches the eye? [the visible spectrum]
The Brain From Top to Bottom:[photoreceptors beginner] [photoreceptors advanced]
[I always recommend looking at The Brain From Top to Bottom, for anyone]

1.15.2015

If everything were backward.


A great acrobat,
after walking his cat
Would stand on his feet [not his head]
After a speech we would write it all out
Then read the words we had said.


After the beach, we'd pick feet from our tar
and shake all the suits from our sand.
And once we were clean 
we'd ride home on the car.
Then think up the things we had planned.
[~oct. '08]
I'm sitting in front of the television watching Ghostbusters II. And you are sitting in front of your computer reading about me watching Ghostbusters II.




Beautiful.


[c. 3/17/07]

1.11.2015

You need to stop.

I really need people to stop commenting on things like:
My "social skills"
The fact that I use make up [what?]
The fact that I have sex [DOUBLE WHAT]

Other things that demonstrate either you don't know me or don't REALLY know what you are talking about re: autism, to support the idea that I am not autistic.

hint 1: My "social skills" are this grab bag of some kind of bullshit that are often some kind of desperate effort save by the fact that I tend to follow some kind of script that works at most parties if you have a drink in your hand that you keep only one-quarter full OR keep someone beside you who will cover for you and laugh at the weird things you say and will make other people feel stupid for NOT laughing at the weird stuff you say.

Also- there are enough short scripts or simple things you can do to fake that you know what you are doing. All else fails, fall back on very basic psychology theories combined with the fact that people just want to be heard and appreciated. I don't actually know when I've said something wrong or that what I'm about to say is subtly offensive. I often actually have a problem offending people when I try. I have yet to figure that out.

hint 2: WTF with the makeup. Yes I wear fucking make up. I'm not even going to address this.

hint 3: I have genitals. I like it when they feel good. Some people who aren't autistic don't like sex. Some people who are autistic don't like sex and it has nothing to do with being autistic. Some people who are autistic are in poly relationships [and it has nothing to do with being autistic]. Some people who aren't autistic are in poly relationships and it has nothing to do with not being autistic. SOME PEOPLE LIKE SEX AND SOME DON'T.

Another thing? Autism is not just about "fitting in". It's simply not. I have some distinct neurological shit that has nothing to do with 'fitting in', but it affects how I interact with the world because it affects how I perceive it and understand it. That is part of being autistic.

You don't get to tell me I am not autistic because I wear eyeliner and I can make two minutes of conversation at a cocktail party. There is way the hell more to it, and you don't know how much effort and energy that two minutes takes.


1.10.2015

After a 2-3 day reprieve...

Pretty sure I'm sick again.

No surprise there.

...
6:19 PM
Through deep conversation with the boyfriend, I have decided that I want a pet.
A very small one.

I actually think I found him online:



His name is Explicity.
As in, when he is being mischievous and won't put down the game controller for the fifth time "Explicity, I don't really give a shit about Animal Crossing right now, we have to discuss this questionable utility bill. Then we can even go to PetCo for the ENTIRE afternoon- I swear."