Friday, May 29, 2015

An Every Day Need

I talk a lot about how I'm the neediest person you'll ever meet and that I need lots of cuddles and attention and talking about feelings every single day. I'm always saying that I'm not willing to function without those things. Sometimes I've felt guilty saying how much I need cuddles when I've done nice things with my friends recently. I don't want to feel that way anymore, and I don't want anyone to think that I'm not grateful for all the things they've done for me, so I found an analogy to clarify my emotional needs:

Someone says to you, "I didn't eat anything today and I am soooo hungry! I have a headache, I feel dizzy, I can't function unless I get some food." Now, would it ever occur to you to say to the person, "But you had something to eat yesterday! Wasn't that good enough? How can you need food again today?" Most likely, you would not say this because you accept that fact that people need food every day.

When I say that I need lots of cuddles and attention and talking about feelings every day, I mean every day, and I mean a large supply of it, the same as any other resource that humans needs every day. You would never say, "Well, I had more than enough food, water, and sleep yesterday, so I'll be perfectly content having none of those things today." You wouldn't say that because you would still be miserable going a day without these things, no matter what you had done yesterday. This is what I mean when I say that I need cuddles every day. I feel like when I do get lots of cuddles and talking and fun with friends, I'm expected to live on that for a long time. I'm expected to be okay without it for a few days because I already had it. That's not how it works for me. Cuddles with friends are an everyday need for me, just like any other need. Even if you eat a week's worth of calories in one day, you still can't go the rest of the week not eating without feeling miserable. That's not how our bodies work. You could survive the rest of the week without food, but you would most likely feel really bad and not be up for doing all of the things that you can normally do.

Last Sunday, my friends and I had a 13-hour beach party. It was awesome! It was way longer than I normally spend with my friends in one day, and we had a blast! I got home and texted my mom, telling her how much fun the party was. She was glad we had a good time, and asked if it was okay if she and my dad didn't stop by on Monday (which I had off for Memorial Day) like they had planned because the traffic would be really heavy. I said that was fine, I was exhausted and would probably want to relax on Monday anyway.

I woke up Monday morning feeling incredibly lonely. I wanted someone to cuddle with and I had no one. There was no one in bed with me to curl up next to. I woke up at 7:30 AM, and my friend who lives close to me wouldn't be awaking up till 1:30 PM to even let me know if they were coming over, which I had a feeling they weren't. I needed lots of cuddles and friends and attention that day, and I didn't have it. I felt like there was a hole inside my heart, sort of like it felt when my ex first broke up with me, or when my parents used to leave me at college and not come back for a long time (I never actually *wanted* to be away from my parents for very long. College was a horrible decision). I was pretty miserable for the first half of the day until I decided to go visit my parents at their house.

For a while, I kept wondering how I could possibly feel so lonely when I had just had so much fun with my friends. I had refrained from calling any friends or writing about how bad I felt because I didn't want people to think that I was not grateful for the time we spent together or that it wasn't good enough. But the more I thought about it, the more I realized that how I felt on Monday had nothing to do with what happened on Sunday. It wasn't because Sunday wasn't good enough. Our party on Sunday was absolutely awesome and will always be a happy memory for me. But cuddles are an everyday need for me, and having plenty of them on Sunday didn't change how I would feel on Monday, the same way that if you ate a big feast one day, you'd still wake up the next morning hungry for breakfast. Last I checked, people still eat food the day after Thanksgiving. Last I checked, no one was ever expected to go without food on that day and just be satisfied with the memory of eating on Thanksgiving Day. Memories are special, but they don't change your every day needs.

If someone cooks you a meal, you can be very grateful for it, but you'll still be hungry for food again the next day. Maybe even later the same day. It doesn't mean that the food wasn't good enough or that the person who made it for you did anything wrong. It means that one meal, no matter how good it is, just isn't going to last someone a whole week. It means that remembering how awesome the meal was yesterday doesn't stop you from being hungry again today.

I want to make it clear that when I say I need cuddles, attention, and talking about feelings and I'm not getting enough of that, it does not mean that I'm not grateful for the cuddles that people have already given me. It does not mean that I've forgotten what we've already done, or that anything we've done wasn't good enough. It just means that cuddles truly are an every day need for me, and it's a new day.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

When I Say I'm the Neediest Person You'll Ever Meet, I MEAN IT!!!

So today marks 4 months since I last touched my validation book. I have no intention of picking it up again until I have an external reason to. I had to LIVE for THREE DAYS with someone who completely trashed my project and I am NEVER returning to the project until I have a three-day intensive session of being surrounded only by people who think my book is fucking awesome and are constantly validating me about it and giving me lots and lots and lots of positive attention for it. And no, one conversation will not cut it. One conversation will not undo the effects of three full days of living and sleeping with someone who was constantly trashing my project. I am looking to have a three day session of validation that is the same length and the same intensity as the invalidating session. And it has to be ALL validation and talking about how awesome I am and how awesome my book is going to be. Going out and doing something fun while not talking about it doesn't cut it. And there can be absolutely no invalidation during this three day session because I had no validation at all during my three day invalidation session. Even when I emailed people and begged them for validation, the only response I got was a sad face. Only when I have this validating session that is equal to the invalidating session will I continue writing the book. And that goes for my personality quiz book as well, because I also had those goals invalidated.

Today is also 2 months since I wrote the unschooling post, and I have yet to get any kind of response to it. This is the biggest and most important blog post I've done since The Unencrypted Truth. I have been thinking about this project for YEARS but just didn't have the means to do it because I couldn't find another place to take that personality test once the Facebook app glitched out. I was feeling really passionate and in my element when I wrote it, but I got no response. No shock value at all to all the extremely shocking differences that I uncovered. I don't think it was just a repeat of The Unencrypted Truth because this included stuff before college and I used an entirely different angle that showed literal proof that I've been damaged and that I should have been unschooled. The reason I haven't worked on my supplementary post, or my supplement to The Unencrypted Truth is because the last time I got really passionate and excited about a blog post, it ended with absolutely no response and I didn't even get to go out and celebrate my achievement because everyone was busy and it was old news by the time everyone wasn't busy.

So yeah, I'm not moving forward, I have not been working on projects, and I don't ever plan to until I'm getting all of the attention and validation and warm fuzzy cuddles that I desire.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Writing, Mushrooms, and Salad Dressing

When I was in 6th grade, we had to write a recipe for a salad. It wasn't a big project - just our weekly one-paragraph composition topic in our spelling books. It was meant to be writing practice and use some of the spelling words. The day that we worked on this assignment in class, we had a substitute teacher - we'll call her Ms. Andersen - and she advised us all to write what we knew. Ms. Andersen defined writing what you know as writing about what you like. She gave us the example that she didn't like mushrooms, so she wouldn't put mushrooms in her salad recipe even though a lot of people do like mushrooms on salad.

Now, I don't think that writing only about things you like is the best writing advice. It might be good starting advice, if you're just getting into writing and don't know what to say. But when you're writing fictional stories, you don't really want to be limited to only writing characters who like things that you like. You'd run out of story possibilities pretty fast.

But let's just say that in this case, I did want to follow her advice. I couldn't. Why? Because her advice came from the point of view of someone who liked the most basic ingredients of salad, who could write a recipe for salad that she liked and that other people would like. Ms. Andersen said that a lot of people like mushrooms in salad, but the fact is, mushrooms are not a basic ingredient that you find in almost every salad - they are not on the level of lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, or onions. You don't always find mushrooms at salad bars, and I have rarely seen restaurant salads that contain mushrooms. (Of course, this happened 15 years ago, so perhaps mushrooms were more of a trend back then). When you dislike a salad ingredient like mushrooms, it's easy enough to leave them out. It's easy enough to act like everyone can do that with the things they don't like.

Shortly after Mrs. Andersen gave us the "write about what you know" advice, she added,"And don't forget to include a salad dressing." Huh. This was where my problem came in. I do not like salad dressing. Any kind of salad dressing. I will never touch a salad that has dressing on it, and that includes pasta salad, potato salad, and coleslaw as well. And yet our teacher who just told us to invent a salad that we personally would enjoy was telling us that we had to include a salad dressing. She mentioned the salad dressing in a "Cross your t's and dot your i's" tone, as if the dressing was a detail that we might forget, as if leaving out the dressing would simply mean that we had been careless rather than purposely not including it the way that she wouldn't have included mushrooms. It was literally impossible for me to follow both pieces of advice.

Now, not having dressing would have made the salad edible for me, but even then, I really just didn't like salad at all. I've never really liked salad, but especially not when I was younger. I basically only liked the "extra" stuff on top of the salad - cheese, meat, chickpeas, and croutons - and that was basically all I ate when we had salad. In terms of the basic salad ingredients, the only things I really liked were cherry tomatoes. Sometimes I'd eat a few cucumber slices and bites of lettuce (provided it was plain iceberg lettuce), but I wasn't really into it. The only way for me to truly construct a salad that I liked would be to make one that wasn't really a salad at all.

I thought about fruit salad. That was the only kind of salad I liked. I knew it would be a risk because our regular English teacher was pretty strict. But I was seriously tempted because of Mrs. Andersen's whole "Write what you know" lecture and her example about the mushrooms. If Mrs. Andersen had been grading the papers, I might have taken that risk, because I could always tell her that I hated salad and was doing the assignment the way that she recommended. But Ms. Andersen wasn't in charge, and when our regular teacher came back, she would never know about the "write what you know" advice and might give me a zero for not doing what the assignment asked.

So I wrote about a boring salad with just the basics and topped it with Italian dressing because it was a dressing I had heard of and could spell. I got a low grade on the assignment and my teacher wrote "Not creative" on it. It wasn't a comment I normally got on my work. I wasn't upset because I didn't care about the assignment, but I found it interesting that she could see right through my writing and knew that I didn't care about a single word.

I started to wonder what would have happened if I had taken the grade risk and written about fruit salad instead. I could have come with something much more creative. One year my mom made a fruit salad that used half of a watermelon as the bowl, so I could have included that. Fruit salad would have been the way to go.

What I took away from this experience was this:

The advice you give will not always be advice that other people can follow. The example of not including mushrooms works for certain people - people who like salad and who are generally non-picky eaters, but have one or two vegetables that they don't enjoy. It does not work for people who dislike "basic" ingredients of a salad, such as leafy greens and dressing. It does not work for people who just don't like salad at all. It does not acknowledge the fact that some of the people you're giving the advice to might be much more different from you than you're imagining.

If you're asked to throw together some weird concoction of foods you hate, you're going to end up combining things that most people wouldn't like together, like peanut butter on tuna fish. When you're forced to work with all ingredients that are icky to you, there is no way of knowing what "most" people will find appealing. If you want to learn what other people like, you can survey them and come up with a recipe that you think they will like, but you should not be expected to just know these things. You should not be expected to like the same foods everyone else likes, or to put together a good-tasting meal comprised of ingredients that you hate.

A salad without mushrooms is still a perfectly socially acceptable salad. But an expansion on the concept of "salad" to include fruit salad, jello salad, and even candy salad...that would have been good writing advice.

Friday, May 22, 2015

Very Upsetting

(Suicide Content)

A student killed himself at Colby:

http://www.pressherald.com/2015/04/27/colby-college-mourns-death-of-cronkites-grandson/

ALL of the article and every other article I've found about this is about accomplishments. All just fucking socially desirable accomplishments! That's IT!!!! Not one word about what might have been wrong or why he might have killed himself ANYWHERE. Every news article I've found about this is exactly the same - they talk about him as if he died of natural causes or something and hardly mention the fact that he killed himself.

Oh, except for that one teensy-weensy comment about, "watch out for one another and seek support for yourself as needed."  HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA OMG That's a good one!!! Let's see, I'm trying to think of a time that someone at Colby College supported me when I told how miserable I was....yeah, I got nothing.

And this makes me absolutely SICK:

http://www.colby.edu/counselingservices/2015/04/28/letter/

They push people to return to their normal activities, when that is NOT RIGHT FOR EVERYONE and some of us need fucking time off!!!!!!

But more importantly, THEY ENCOURAGE EVERYONE TO NOT THINK ABOUT THIS SPECIFIC EVENT!!!! They literally tell everyone to focus on their own healing and not to think about the details about the actually suicide or why he might have done it, even though that information is FUCKING IMPORTANT.

If I ever kill myself, PLEASE THINK ABOUT THE DETAILS, please do not listen to anyone who tries to brainwash you into thinking that these things just happen and nothing can be done, and please do not think for a second that the actual event does not matter and only getting better matters. If any of my friends ever kill themselves, I will want to know absolutely every detail there is to know about the situation and I will want to know what I missed and what I should have done for them so that I never ever ever let it happen again. The Colby counselors are just going to brainwash everyone into not thinking about what actually happened and returning to their normal lives. I would NEVER return to my normal life after that, and if I killed myself, I would never want other people to return to their normal lives either.

"If you are struggling with emotional concerns or suicidal feelings, please let us help you"  Ummmm....when I talked to a Colby counselor about jumping off the library tower, she told me I shouldn't do that because it might affect her career. I've also heard of several students who were kicked off campus against their will because they said that they were suicidal, even in cases where they said that all of their support was at Colby and going home would be worse. So yeah....

And as for the "information" about suicide prevention that they claim was made available, it was all about referring someone to counseling services. There was never any information about actually being a good friend and listening and not invalidating people's experiences - it was all about convincing your friend to seek "professional" help which would most likely lead to them being kicked off campus.

Oh, and that group that the counselors mention called "Active Minds?" Yeah, they started up when I was a senior and said they were having a first meeting. I was so excited to finally have a support group where I could talk about my feelings and how no one at Colby would ever listen to feelings that weren't positive or political. When I got to the Active Minds group where I wanted to talk about my feelings, it was literally, "We're having an event where anyone who knows someone with a mental illness can stick a ribbon onto the student union wall." That's it. That's all the group was doing. No talking about our feelings, just an "awareness" event. And it wasn't even if *you* had a mental illness, it was if you *knew* someone who had a mental illness, because everyone knows that Colby kids aren't like that. So yeah...don't actually talk about your feelings with anyone, just join a group that sticks ribbons on walls.

I just think it's completely disrespectful to this student to not talk about what was actually wrong, to just play up the fact that he had "everything" going for him and this came out of nowhere. These things don't come out of nowhere. I would not be surprised if he left a note that explained things and the school is just being all hush hush about it. Not at all.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

"Because I'm Not"

I've heard a lot of straight people say that they don't want to do certain things because people might think they're gay. When I've asked them what's wrong with being gay, or when I've pointed out that there's nothing wrong with being gay, they would claim that they don't think there's anything wrong with being gay, they just don't want people to think that about them because it's not true. I hear this most often when it comes to being gay, but I've also heard people say, "I don't want people to think I'm autistic," "I don't want people to think I have ADHD," and a number of other things that they deem undesirable. I've heard guys say that they don't want people to think they do something that's "just for girls." I've had long conversations about this, where I'd keep saying, "But what would be wrong with that?" and the people would just keep insisting that they have nothing at all against people who are that way, but they simply don't want anyone to think that about them because it's not true.

Okay, imagine that you and your friend share a locker at school. Your friend is heading back to your locker and you ask her if while she's there, she could drop off your chemistry book for you. Your friend exclaims, "I can't carry a chemistry textbook in public! People might think I take chemistry!"
You ask your friend, "What would be wrong with that?"
Your friend simply replies, "Because I don't."
Would this make any sense to you? Would you believe that your friend really just doesn't want anyone to mistake her for a chemistry student because they would be misinformed? Or does your friend clearly think that being a chemistry student is undesirable?

I've heard people use the excuse that they don't want anyone to think they're gay because people of the opposite gender might not approach them. So, what if your friend's explanation was that she didn't want anyone to run up to her and start asking about chemistry when she didn't know anything about it? Would you believe her? Or would you wonder why she couldn't just tell people that she didn't actually take chemistry? In any case, if someone reacted this way about carrying your book through the hall, you would know that they thought something was wrong with taking that subject.

I learned this from talking to my friends about how much I hate it when people assume that I'm a goody-goody, a good hardworking citizen, someone who follows the rules and respects authority, or a mature and responsible adult. For a long time, I kept giving everyone the reason of, "Because I'm not," but really, it's because I despise all of those things that I don't want people to see me that way.

If you're part of a marginalized group and you hate it when people assume you're in the privileged majority because that's what people assume about everyone, that is totally understandable. But if you're part of the privileged group and don't want someone to think you're part of the marginalized group, then you clearly consider that trait to be undesirable. 

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Yuck.

I'm sooooooooo sick of this fucking food poisoning. I threw up at work on Monday and I've been eating all boring food for three days now and my stomach STILL won't calm down, I even ate a whole banana today even though I hate bananas just to help my stomach. Everything I actually like to eat either has cheese or is too spicy. I skipped the falafel and hummus at the cafeteria today to have plain chicken and plain rice and it still hasn't gone away. This better go away fast because I've got some serious partying to do this weekend. >:-(

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Beware of People Like Me!

This morning I was innocently browsing at a bookstore when I came across a book about avoiding people who will try to take advantage of you. When I flipped through the book, it talked about four personality types that you should avoid, and one of them was my personality type - someone who is emotionally needy and needs constant care, attention, validation, and affirmation. You think you're just doing something nice for them once and then they'll be able to stand on their own two feet again, but you soon realize that the need for constant emotional care never ends. This person is extremely clingy and will latch onto you like a limpet and never let go. This describes me perfectly. This is not the first time I've seen a self-help book or a psychologist advising people to stay away from people like me, or worse, to cut people like me out of their lives.

It's funny - people claim that if you think the whole world is out to get out, you must be "crazy" or paranoid, but in my case, it's actually true. I cannot tell you how many times I've heard people saying to stay away from emotionally needy people like me. It's something you'll find in self-help books and blogs. Anytime there is a book or blog about finding inner peace and cutting negative people out of your life, I am one of the personality types that you are told to never associate with. It's something that a lot of psychologists - including popular people like Dr. Phil - will advise you. Heck, when I had a friend in college who was just as emotionally needy as I was, my parents advised me to stay away from her because she was going to take advantage of me, even though I knew that I would be acting the exact same way she was acting if I had been in her situation.

I am able to pass as someone who is emotionally stable when I'm at work, mainly because I'm in constant email and text contact with friends I can tell anything to while I am at work. If I did not have that support system, I would not be liked as much at work because everyone would get very tired of me telling them my troubles constantly, which I would be doing. I also am skilled enough at my job that I can still do it reasonable well even when I'm not willing to step up and function. When I talked to my mom about not being willing to function, she told me that in the case of my job, my 80% is better than most people's 100%. I don't really think that's true, but she said that even when I'm not feeling well, not giving my best effort, and kind of coasting along, I'm still doing well enough to be doing my job and no one really notices that anything is wrong. Now, this would definitely not be true if I had a different type of job, but with my current job, I am very lucky in this area. If I were less skilled at my job, or if I worked in a different industry, I would probably not be able to hold down a job because I just would not feel well enough to do the work as often as my company would want me to do it.

There have been other times in my life where I was able to pass as emotionally stable simply because things were going really well for me at the time, such as in high school. I've also gone through periods of not sharing as much about what I'm really like because I wanted to make friends. I'm not planning to do that again. I don't want to lure anyone in only for them to discover who they're really dealing with.

I wanted to let everyone know once and for all that I AM the emotionally unstable personality type that everyone tells you that you should avoid. I am emotionally needy and I need constant validation, attention, affirmation, emotional support, and cuddles. I am extremely clingy, and I will latch onto you like a limpet and never let go. Anything supportive that you do for me is not just a one-time thing. I'm never going to just get up and say, "Okay, now that you've supported me, I'm better now. I won't drain your emotional resources anymore." I am a very needy person, and this is how life with me is always going to be. I'm telling you this now so that you all can break out of your sweet little cognitive-dissonance worlds where you keep telling yourselves that I'm not really like that. I am really like this. It is NOT OKAY if you disbelieve what I say and stick around for years until you learn firsthand what I'm like, or until you read a self-help book or talk to a counselor who advises you to ditch me. I'm telling you now so that you can walk away now or make a decision now not to get any closer to me.

I'm the one that everyone will tell you to avoid. I have no respect for books, blogs, or doctors who advise people to stay away from people like me, who think it's okay turn the world into a place where people like me won't have any friends as long as all the emotionally stable people get to have less stress in their lives. You people do NOT have more of a right to have friends and support than I do. I don't want people in my life who refuse to believe what I'm really like. If you're really my friend, you'll believe what I say and flat-out reject the advice of everyone who tells you to stay away from my personality type, even if they have a PhD.