Tuesday, July 30, 2002

What does it say about me that I feel more like a genuinely grown up fully functioning person now that I own a complete set of pots and pans? Well, ok, not a comprehensiveset, but more than a lone skillet and a crepe pan (of all the things to buy before I even own a toaster). All hail the stainless steel and black silicon wonder of snazzy cooking equipment.

Many things have been on my mind recently, unfortunately most of them just go with the whole independent existance thingy. Stuff like what I want to do with my life, and when, and how...is my car going to die in the forseeable future (define "forseeable" first)...what will I do if it does die (besides panic of course)...will I be able to afford a computer this year (probably not)...why is my belly-button fluff green when I don't WEAR green???

Regarding the previous entry: culmination of many pressures, worries, tensions, and unresolved questions in my life, plus hormones, plus it hadn't happened for a long time so I guess I had it coming. Natural mood cycles and whatnot. Even at the absolute pit of it I wasn't anywhere near as bad as I've been in the past. The main difference is that the unhappiness feels false now, whereas before it was happiness that felt like a lie.

Good God Higgins, I think she's got it!

Wednesday, July 24, 2002

I've got that taste in my mouth again.

Tears and cigarette smoke, too much coffee and not enough sleep.

This is so pathetic. I can barely do my JOBproperly with all this bullshit. It's gone beyond reason and I'm just upset with the unfairness of this miscommunication, and the fact that I know there isn't any solution to the unfairness other than leaving, which I can't do. It's like all my energy is being sucked in just by keeping on my feet and remembering to breath, not blubbering at my desk is an optional bonus. I'm left with nothing to spare to be genial, let alone supportive to any of my friends, I'm left with very little of ME remaining.

Yet again I am being penalized because I stand out, sure I step on some toes, everyone does, but I know that I don't step on them to any extent that can justify this utter rage from someone I barely know and barely ever see.

So what can I do? Stop being me? I tried that before, unacceptable option.

The last time I was caught in this kind of situation I only had to hold out for a couple of weeks. This is a lot longer than that. But I also have much more support than I did then. It seems that I'm to be taught not to run from a bad situation to a haven that has been offered, but to walk calmly away and build my own damn haven. If I build it myself no one can take it from me.

Countdown to Edinburgh: 20 weeks.

Monday, July 22, 2002

Heh heh heh. Innertubing down river rapids...

Much more fun than skidding down on your knees. *ouchie*

Very odd weekend, lots of fun, and a couple of really important realizations mixed in. I found another pattern and I'm working on it.

Friday, July 19, 2002

Have you noticed that everyone needs to hear a slightly different thing when they're upset?

For some, they just need to be told that everything will work out ok. That doesn't do me much good, because I knowthings will work out, I'm an optimist after all. It makes it worse to be told that when I'm unhappy because it merely emphasizes what's going on in my head: you fucking idiot, what the hell are you crying for? There's NOTHING WRONG…are you such a pathetic little freak that you can't even let yourself be happy any more?

Even though I know it's counterproductive, I still fight it, even though I know it's a part of me, and that it will go away: I 'm still learning to ride it out. Knowing that it willgo away makes me want it to be gone, right now, no loitering, no excuses. If it's going to go anyway, why does it need to happen at all?

It seems horribly calculated that I know exactly what goes on in my head when I have a crying jag, or anxiety attack, or whatever you want to call it, and yet I can't talk myself down. It makes me feel as though I'm putting it on. If I really wanted to I could just damn well stop blubbering. But of course, its' exactly that mentality that makes them worse.

So how would you take it if I walk up to you perfectly calmly and said "it would probably help if you knew this: I get these anxiety attacks sometimes, I might shake, I'll almost certainly cry, and I won't really be able to tell you what's going on…the best thing you can do is hold me really tight and tell me it's ok to be upset, tell me to relax, tell me to let it out, tell me you understand, but don't tell me there's nothing to worry about, because that's part of the problem…"?

Is it just my paranoia that tells me most people would respond to that by thinking I'm angling for sympathy? I know a couple of people have responded to something similar by telling me I’m fucking crazy and why don't I just snap out of it?

I'm still learning to ride it out.

Hold on tight.

Just. Ride. It. Out.

Wednesday, July 17, 2002

Yesterday was both my Dad's and Mikey's birthday. I called my Dad before going to work in the morning, and got the voicemail, so I left a message and reminded him that Matt and I were going to take him (and Mum) up to the mountains and feed them buffalo burger and apple pie the next time they were in California. That took care of the 61-year-old…now for the 19-year-old…

After work I made a cake (from a box) and went over to Matt's place, with an obnoxious helium balloon and a present, to throw said cake at Mikey and sing him happy birthday. He didn't deserve it. But he deserved even less to be ignored on his birthday.

On Monday night Matt had found yet more food missing, he exercised great self-restraint and talkedto Mikey about it, as yelling at him would only make him switch off his ears (and brain) even faster. When I heard about the incident Matt was hopeful that something had actually sunk in... Until he came home from work last night and found yet more food gone...and we had cake and presents and had to sing to him like he was the star of the show. It wasn't fake, we both wanted him to have a happy birthday, but even more than that we both want him to grow the fuck up,for everyone's sake. My refrigerator is chock-full of food that doesn't belong to me, there are probably a couple of things that are mine that I've left uneaten because I'm not sure if they're mine or not. Just how difficult is it to not eat something? Just don't open your mouth. Don't open the sodding refrigerator if that makes it easier.

It's really hard to watch how stressed this is making Matt, he's banging his head against a brick wall, and he can't bring himself to send Mike home early, because he knows "home" isn't there any more. Especially if Mike's sent home early for bad behavior, his Mom will kick him out ASAP, because her boyfriend presented her with a "him or me" choice and she chose the one she didn't give birth to. So Matt is putting up with him breaking the rules and continually stealing food (food that Matt can't really afford to replace) in the hopes of being able to convince the Mom that there's been some improvement so that Mikey will have a place to stay back in PA for a month or so. Of course, if he gets the month grace period he'll spend it sleeping in the basement, eating all the food and sampling the grandfather's old booze stash that he discovered down there, and when the time is up he won't have any more of a plan than he does now. He'll storm and rave and rail against the unfairness of it all...and he'll be right, but he won't be righteous.

Because it really isn't fair, but it's not going to change, and he is doing absolutely nothing to improve his situation. He won't be able to change things much at home, but he would be able to change them enough to give himself a start if he just got his head out of his ass.

I'm half tempted to drive over there right after karate and corner Mikey on my own, and see if I can wallop (verbally) some sense into him, but I know it won't do any good. He'll switch off his ears, and give me a dopey grin and a shrug because he doesn't get just how thoroughly he's screwing himself over. He may never get it. Nor does he realize how much I really do understand, because I've beenthere and pulled myself through. He doesn't seem to see anyone as a real person, we're just two dimensional game constructs that make a lot of noise at him: I'm the nice lady who made him a cake, I'm the nice lady who understands his depression, I'm the nice lady who keeps trying to talk like his mom, but he can ignore that because I've got the accent, so he can just listen to that and look blankly at me.

This boy thinks I'm an ally, he'll tell me he's eaten some of Matt's food with a "naughty little me" chuckle, and I'm supposed to giggle along or something. This boy doesn't understand that someone can be your ally, and want the best for you, and still tell you off for being an idiot. He doesn't understand that we can genuinely want him to have a happy birthday, give him cake and a gift certificate and a half-tacky Hawaiian shirt with palm trees on it…and still be mad at him.

I guess thats it, he just doesn’t understand, he doesn't take the time to think about anything,so of course he doesn't understand.

There isn't going to be a resolution, some people just can't be helped, they've got to come to it in their own time or not at all.

I just hope it doesn't turn out to be not at all.

Tuesday, July 16, 2002

Mondays suck, but Tuesdays seem to drag on forever.

I've run an acrylamide gel, failed to locate the DNA pellet in a centrifuge tube because the plastic is cloudy and thus hard to see through...set up the finished gel to transfer overnight...done the dishes...kicked my heels...

Time to go home?

Not for an hour or more.

Thursday, July 11, 2002

All the anger management stuff in blogland is extremely interesting to me. Mostly because it has frequently boiled down to people saying either that anger is "good" or "bad". This seems to me to miss the really important point: anger is so what are we going to do about it?

The thing is, we don't really have a choice about feeling anger or not, it's there, so why fuss about being a bad person for feeling anger? For feeling anything for that matter? There are no truly negative emotions, but there are most certainly negative behaviors. What is important is not what you feel, but what you do about it. Even hate can be positive as long as you recognize that it is hate, and as such is probably a slightly irrational emotion, and then direct the energy into a positive thing. Even if the positive thing is merely avoiding the person you hate so that you don't end up fighting with them.

There are emotions that have more of a tendency than others to lead to negative behaviors, and anger is one of them, but without anger, or fear, or contentedness (or the lack thereof) many of us would have trouble telling when something is wrong, or if they're being hurt. If I find I am inexplicably angry at something or someone I will try to figure out WHY I'm so angry: is it the specific situation, or is it that it reminds me of something else that angered or hurt me in the past? Usually it's a combination, and I can work from there.

There are a lot of people who will beat themselves up for having this or that emotion, saying it's not right to feel that way, that they're weak for having such feelings…but they're emotions. Ya know? From the subconscious? The Id? NOT DIRECTLY CONTROLLABLE BY THE CONCIOUS MIND.

That's another thing. "control yourself woman, don't let your emotions run you" When we talk about "controlling ourselves" we can't possibly control what we feel to the extent that seems required; it's actually controlling how we act on emotions that's important, and through controlling our actions we will end up with some small level of control over our emotions. I've found over and over again that it serves me better to question an unwelcome emotion and figure out what's causing it than to immediately attempt to quash it. Quashing it will only result in it popping back up in a less controllable manner later on. I am learning to listen to my emotions, because they are there for a reason. They are my early warning system that things might not be going as I think they are, my instincts.

We need only look at the many interesting neurobiological case studies where people have lost their ability to experience emotion, either through strokes or injury, to see that we were not designed to function without emotions. People with no emotional responses whatsoever, do not learn from their mistakes, because there is no negative feeling associated with things going wrong. They can lose their shirt gambling, then go out and to it again, because it didn't bother them the last time they were broke, even if they will state that they don't want to lose their money. It's exactly like someone who cannot feel physical pain, they will end up damaging themselves in the extreme because it doesn't hurt.

Pain. Happiness. Lust. Fear. Love. Anger. All of these are hardwired into our brains, you cannot separate emotions from logical thought, they are processed by the same thing, our brains. Our minds are made up of the combination of analytical information processing and emotional response, that is not something we have a choice about.

Wednesday, July 10, 2002

Interesting debates on the legitimacy of anger going on, linked through the ovaltine decoder ring [>], if I get a chance I'll put up my thoughts.

I couldn't link to the exact post, permanent links and archives and such seem to be messing up. It's in the July 9th postings somewhere...

Friday, July 05, 2002

Eight terminations on Wednesday. We get tissue samples shipped to us automatically. Eight little slivers of chicken breast floating in pink lemonade gone flat and syrupy, masquerading as something scientific like cell growth media. Eight little pancreases in a row. All we get to see of the lives that won't happen now, lives that maybe never would have been anyway. They might have miscarried, been stillborn. Been left to drown in the bathtub while mommy entertained.

Eight women recuperating on the 4th of July. Independence Day. Independence of thought, word, and action. Independence. Not something you can have with a child, not really. Well, you can, but baby can't. Baby needs changed. Baby needs burped. Baby needs fed. Baby barely has the motor control to suck on her own big toe. Design flaw there I suspect: making us all start out so utterly helpless, dependant on an unknown being for almost everything short of breathing.

Eight lives irrevocably altered by this procedure (ever the medical euphemisms, typical doctors)

I wonder if the fathers knew. If they agonized with their lovers, held her hand, paid for the taxi...made them do it?

What if it was me? Would it feel like murder? Even though I know it's just a ball of cells; a highly organized growth; a semi benign tumor: my beliefs make it difficult to forget that everything has a spirit, makes it harder to think of them as tissue samples. How many tissue samples have the potential for independent life? Independence. There's that word again. Independence to write a sonata; paint a landscape; paint your toenails cherry red white and blue, get a tattoo. (Nice little rhyme that)

Eight tissue samples standing on the wall… and if one tissue sample should accidentally fall…there'll be a biological hazard spill kit on hand to clean it up.

Free flow free flowSPLAT. Got distracted, my boy walked in.

*sigh* No babies here please. It would go the way of the tissue sample; and I can't be sure I wouldn't hate myself for it. I'll serve medical science for now by processing other people's split condoms and missed pills. Tissue sample. Tiny scrap of flesh in a tube. Not a person. Trouble is: none of us really knows when that transition occurs, though I'd like to think I've progressed past the stage of being merely a benign growth. Lord and Lady let it not be a progression to being a malignant one.

Tuesday, July 02, 2002

Brain overload has been dealt with.

Yet again I was falling foul of the beastie that tells me I'm tainted/damaged. Yeah, yeah, I know, its' a pile of poop, but it's a hard thing to shake when you've been told it for over 5 years by the words and actions of various different "friends".

9 hours solid of sleep helped too.

Now it's time for a workout! I'm testing for the next level in karate next week!

Monday, July 01, 2002


I have a lot to think about.

I have nothing to worry about.

That's why I have a lot to think about.

Sometimes it scares me how much more grown up than me he is, even when he's using me as a free weight for leg presses. Not quitewhat I meant when I said we should work out together...


Suddenly it's all ok, I am loved. And it makes me want to cry.