Revelations

Sunday, December 4th, 2011 12:49 pm
faevii: (happiness)
Yesterday afternoon I had three good ideas. One was to call my mother and tell her about the Daniel situation (I apologise for the reference to a locked post in a public one), because she seemed like a safe person to talk to about it. I mean, he's probably never going to find out that I told her unless I admit it myself, so ... no harm done, right? I just needed to tell someone. We didn't continue our discussion from the last time we talked, but that was alright, too. It's still in the back of my head and I'm going to bring it up again sooner or later.

Incidentally, another of the ideas was related to that. I'd been unsure of what exactly to say to her and then it suddenly came to me. (This was before I called her, I think - or was it? I don't remember, but it wouldn't have made a difference. There wasn't enough time for both topics because she had stuff to do.) It's very simple: I am going to use the example that if you take two equally ambitious people and give them the exact same goal (which they are equally enthusiastic about) as well as the exact same obstacle to overcome in order to reach it, there is still a chance that one will succeed and one won't. Now, exchange the obstacle for a different one and maybe this time their roles will be reversed. Because it's not about motivation! People have unique strengths and weaknesses and if your problem happens to be something that you're bad at dealing with, it doesn't matter how much you want to overcome it. You will need time or help at the very least, if not both, and perhaps you'll have to change goals entirely. There. Try to argue with that. :P

(I get ridiculously excited when I discover a new way to explain something. I like to think of people who don't understand things as puzzles to solve. Getting closer to solving them is even more fun than finding the solution to an actual problem! Oh gods I just used my brain and it worked oh gods I can still be smart sometimes alert the fucking media I feel amazing oh gods.)

((This is exactly why my mother once suggested I become a lawyer.))

(((I do not wish to become a lawyer. I'd rather solve puzzles that don't involve arbitrary human-made laws, thanks.)))

third idea cut for overall post length; sleep schedule stuff )

So I set my alarm to 8, went to bed at 6, needed to hit the "snooze" button three times despite having slept for 14 hours, and finally crawled out of bed feeling terrible physically but extremely pleased with myself. :D
faevii: "I sacrificed a bathtub for this!" (sacrifice)
My mother and I may agree on a lot more things these days than we used to, which is great, but there are still some themes popping up in our conversations on a regular basis that make me want to bash my palm against my forehead repeatedly.

We just had another one of those If You Would Only Try Harder moments. It's not that she necessarily blames me for my problems or actually says that I could solve them all by myself if I made a bigger effort - she understands now that something is probably "broken" in my actual body* and that my mental issues are more complex than she thought, too. I only get this impression from her when we are discussing an isolated incident rather than the whole picture, such as an appointment that I missed. She remains convinced that I could "make an exception" for those if I really put my mind to it, that I should at least be able to "overcome" my difficulties occasionally because other people occasionally go to work in spite of having the flu as well, and that sort of thing should be perfectly possible for everyone as long as it doesn't happen too often. >_<

I can see the logic behind that, honestly. It's like, if you usually don't get up until 8 am and then one day you suddenly need to catch a plane at 6, of course you will grit your teeth and "just do it" this one time. There's no question about it, that's how life works. So I totally get why she thinks that this should translate to my situation faultlessly, but no amount of logic will make an untrue thing true.

She has a couple of catch phrases relating to this, you know. "Don't try, just act" is perhaps the most infuriating one - only Yoda gets to say anything like that, okay?! If you're not Yoda, then freaking forget about it. THERE IS NO DIFFERENCE BETWEEN TRYING AND DOING IF YOU LITERALLY TRY AS HARD AS YOU CAN, ARGH. No matter from which direction you look at it. "I did it" means that you tried and succeeded, whether you use the word or not - what makes it so hard to imagine that the exact same process could sometimes result in failure??

It's important to be aware of one's own limitations in order to be open to the possibility of working around them. A slightly more reasonable person recently said that she was impressed with my dedication to finding such alternatives. "[Forcing yourself to stay awake the second-to-last night before an appointment] is an awfully huge sacrifice to make," she went on, "you certainly can't be accused of lacking motivation." And you know what? She is right. I never thought of it that way before, but in fact I go out of my way to achieve success through unconventional means. If I didn't do that - if I only ever applied my motivation the traditional way due to believing in some ridiculous, idealistic Jedi crap - then I'd be wasting my life running headfirst into walls all of the time.

Not that it doesn't still happen, mind you. And try as I might, I cannot find a way around every single wall that presents itself to me, either. Motivation isn't magic! They should teach that in schools.

*I don't like to use the word "broken" under normal circumstances, but in this case it's the perfect fit due to the nature of her attitude ...

[A/N: The tag "they do exist" does not refer to Jedis. :P Amusingly, "mrs exasperation" also doesn't refer to my mother. I swear it all makes sense! Most of the time.]

Finally.

Thursday, November 10th, 2011 06:31 am
faevii: "I sacrificed a bathtub for this!" (sacrifice)
There is a topic that I've been meaning to talk about for a while, but getting into writing mode has been difficult lately. The topic is ... romance, again, although I'm going for a different angle than last time.

One day while I was thinking about names, I suddenly started to wonder what would have happened if Daniel and I had managed to actually get married instead of just planning to do so and then never getting around to it. To my own surprise, I got this strong feeling that I wouldn't have regretted it, and then I thought, "You're not making sense. Married or not, you're not together anymore. How could you not regret a marriage that failed?!" But the feeling wouldn't budge, and my thoughts kept returning to how special our relationship was, how he's my best friend now ... and how nobody even batted an eyelash when I announced that he would always be family, as if that were a perfectly normal thing to say about one's ex. Evidently the unique nature of our connection is visible to other people, too. I still kind of think we were made for each other, just not in the way that we initially assumed.

Now, in Homestuck there is this alien race called trolls (yeah ... IKR) who have a much more complex idea of romance than us humans. I won't go into detail, but the gist of it is that there are four different types of romantic relationships, some of which actually appear to be platonic at first glance. One is similar to human romantic love, one is a kind of romantic hate, or rivalry (come to think of it, the "rivalmances" in Dragon Age II are a lot like this, too), the third could perhaps be compared to a romantic relationship between asexual people, and the last one - which is simultaneously the most complicated and the least interesting - is like a sexless, toned down version of the rivalry one. I'm sure you'll be relieved to find out that I only want to talk about one of these. :P

cut for length )

So all of these things put together kind of changed my internal definition of romance forever. I never would have expected that from a silly webcomic.
faevii: (Default)
Realised that I can still eat dark chocolate. Face, meet palm. I never liked it all that much on its own, but lots of things that happen to be coated with dark chocolate have just become an option again.

Also, I recently discovered how easy to use downloadable subtitles are. I thought I'd have to learn how to install them first and was never in the mood to go looking for a tutorial, so I told myself that it was totally okay if I only understood 60% of what I was watching sometimes. Except it obviously wasn't. This is why I am very happy to have accidentally downloaded a torrent that already included the subtitles for all files, which then turned out to be all simple and self-explanatory! If you use VLC, that is - I don't know about other players.

It was about time I figured that out, too. How did I even make it through five seasons of Doctor Who without subtitles?! There was a point, somewhere along the way, when I asked myself if watching things in English was really worth this much trouble. I very nearly started to consider (LOL) downloading German dubs instead, if available.

Then I realised that I don't actually understand German much better. Haha. I mean, of course there is a difference. I've had 24 years to get used to this language, to identify patterns and become relatively good at guessing what someone might have said if I didn't properly catch it - with English I just don't have that. Still, I've seen things in German that I didn't understand more than maybe 75% of, either. Come to think of it, I've had conversations of which I understood less than that. It's all a question of luck.

So basically, all those times I tried to watch something in English without subtitles because after all I didn't "need" subtitles for German, either? I should have considered the option that maybe I do. The stress I could have been avoiding! >_<

Can't decide what it was that fucked me over: lack of information, internalised ableism or pride. Possibly a combination of all three.
faevii: (slice of brain)
I'm beginning to get tired of saying this, but I had another lightbulb moment. ;D Don't you just love it when something very spontaneously starts to make sense? As in, you're innocently walking towards the bathroom sink, minding your own business - and all of a sudden the SENSE attacks you out of nowhere?! D: (Okay, apparently I think I'm funny today. I do that sometimes.)

Anyway, you might remember that I've written about the word "crazy" before, and that I said I had trouble understanding why some people found it offensive. Although I recognised that it was more of a personal thing based on unusual connotations, I also had a logical argument to offer: namely that it hasn't been an official term for quite some time now and thus no longer even refers to actual mental illness - or shouldn't, at least.

Here's the thing, though. I just remembered something. I remembered that when I was a child, long before I ever heard of the various types of mental illness that exist, I thought there was a condition called "craziness". I thought that "crazy" people were extremely confused, scary and sometimes dangerous. Most importantly, I was convinced that it was impossible for a crazy person to be aware of their own craziness. That is not okay.

I don't think I picked up this notion anywhere in particular - I probably didn't have to. I mean, what are children supposed to think? What is a five-year-old supposed to think upon hearing someone joke, "if you think you're going crazy, chances are you're not"?

And it's not like I magically stopped thinking this way as soon as I learned about depression and anxiety. I was only surprised, for a moment, that there were mental illnesses that didn't make you properly crazy. Schizophrenia, though? Surely, that must be the "real" craziness! I believe I was a teenager by the time I reached this point, and fortunately I never stopped learning. Others get stuck somewhere along the way, and THAT'S why it's a problem. Lo and behold, I get it now!

Of course we're not all spreading harmful misinformation every single time we use the word. "I'm crazy busy!" or "That was a crazy party!" hardly tell children anything about its meaning. However, those phrases do distract from the fact that it has a meaning, and don't do anything to counteract the misinformation that's already circulating. "You'd have to be crazy in order to think that!" or "What a crazy bitch!" confirm that it must mean something bad, though, and reinforce actual bigots in their thinking.

That's the crucial point: We, the people who can make it through an entire post about this topic, are hardly the problem. We just accidentally encourage those who are and make it harder for anyone to identify them - we unknowingly provide them with cover and ammunition.

I refuse to participate in any of that. I won't use the word anymore unless I'm calling myself crazy in a value-neutral way. :) It's not about being "politically correct" or never wanting to piss anyone off, ever - I just really dislike misinformation. Also, plz to not be teaching the next generation that people like me are all monsters.

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faevii: (Default)
Lin

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