Saturday, July 30, 2016

Better in Comparison

When I look back at all the toxic friendships I've had throughout my life, all the friends who didn't validate my feelings, didn't respect my boundaries, didn't accept me without trying to change me, and pushed me to do things that I did not want to do, they all have one thing in common - they were better in comparison. Better in comparison to my other choices, better in comparison to people who had treated me worse in the past. They weren't good friends to me. They didn't have the qualities that I need in a friend, but they were better in comparison:

At my K-8 school, some (not all) of my "friends" were pushy and did not accept me or respect my boundaries AT ALL. Some of my "friends" were constantly making fun of me or pressuring me every single day to things that I said I did not want to do, such as cutting my hair. My "friends" even pulled an intervention on me, which is not acceptable AT ALL. (The fact that I had an intervention pulled on me once is part of why I'm still scared that it might happen again). But with it being such a small school, I had to sit with someone at lunch. We only had two cliques in our class - the in crowd and the out crowd. I was part of the out crowd, and my only alternative would be to try to hang out with the in crowd that was even meaner. My "friends" were better in comparison to my choice of hanging out with a meaner group.

In high school, there were definitely people who didn't respect my boundaries and were always trying to change me, although they were much more friendly and subtle about it than my K-8 school friends. But most of my high school friends weren't like that, and I was just so thrilled to be out of my K-8 school that I didn't fully recognize this lack of respecting boundaries as the red flag that it was.

In college, ABSOLUTELY NO ONE validated my feelings or respected my boundaries, and EVERYONE pressured me to be something I wasn't and to do things I didn't want to do. (My friend Eli is the one exception to this, but we didn't meet until my senior year). But I was stuck. I was living in a dorm and basically had to be on good terms with people whom I truly did not want to be around. That was freshman year. Sophomore year I got with a group that clearly didn't want me and made me feel horrible, but it was better compared to having to live in a dorm with a bunch of social people. Junior year I broke away from that group and found friends who did want me around, but they still never validated my feelings and were constantly pressuring me to do things I didn't want to do. Constantly as in every time we saw each other. But they liked me. They actually called me to go to dinner together which was such an improvement over hanging out with people who clearly didn't want me. Again, better in comparison. And senior year, when one of my former close friends flat-out ignored me all year because she only cared about her girlfriend and would never let me talk to her without her girlfriend there and didn't even check in with me when she knew I was feeling suicidal? I didn't call her on it, because the one or two times we actually saw each other, she was a good friend, and I couldn't lose that because I literally had absolutely no one else. Again, better in comparison.

After college, when I met my boyfriend, he was also never truly validating and was always subtly pressuring me to be someone I wasn't (and subtle pressure sucks because it's not obvious. I'm getting better at spotting it, but I'd rather someone be upfront about being pushy so I know to stay far away from them). But I thought he was super validating. I thought he was non-pressuring. I thought those things because he just so much better in comparison to everyone I met at college. Same with his family and his friends. Just so much better than college.

There's this proverb where a farmer goes to a sage and complains that his house is too small. The sage tells him to go home and put all of his farm animals in the house. Then he goes back to the sage and says that now he *really* has no room in his house. The sage tells him to remove the animals from the house, so the farmer does it and says, "Wow! My house is bigger now! It's a miracle!" This story is meant to teach you about perspective and being happy with what you have and all that, but the takeaway message really should be that horrible situations can cause you to lower your standards, to accept things that are hurting you. Everyone acts like if something bad happens, it will give you perspective and make you appreciate what you have, and maybe that works with things you have that are already good, but it can also make you keep people in your life who are truly making you unhappy, because they're just better in comparison. I know that I never would have put up with my ex-boyfriend's behavior if we had met when I was right out of high school. Never. Because I had higher standards then than I did right after college.

Real friends should RAISE your standards, not lower them. When I first started hanging out with Eli senior year of college, my first thought was, "Why did I EVER take the crap that I was taking from people when I could have been hanging around with YOU?" I had sunk into this hole where I thought I would never meet anyone who treated me with the respect that I wanted to be treated with. I thought I had to settle. Until I met Eli.

When I got really close with one of my other best friends at that coffee shop back in 2013, that was when I started to question whether my boyfriend was really giving me the validation that I was looking for. That was when I started realizing that it wasn't working. I thought I had to settle for someone just not being horrible to me. I thought I could never find the validation that I was truly seeking, until my friend gave it to me.

If you're in toxic friendships, you don't need to settle for them. It's okay to walk away. It's okay to have higher standards. The longer you stay in a horrible situation, the better you're going to feel about less toxic - but still toxic - situations. All of my close friends have raised my standards and helped me to walk out of toxic situations. I hope that I can be the kind of friend who helps other people walk out of toxic situations as well, so that none of us have to settle for toxic but better in comparison.

Friday, July 22, 2016

How to Hide a Crush in 4 Easy Steps!

When I was in high school, I had a crush on a someone, and I didn't want my parents to know about it. I don't want to get into the reasons for that right now (although I may someday), but I do want to share what I did about it. And to be clear, I'm not saying that you shouldn't be yourself and act how you feel and tell everyone about your crush if you're fine with people knowing about your crush. This is only a guide for when you personally want to keep your crush a secret.

Now, the most obvious way to not let someone know that you have a crush on someone is to just not talk about them at all, but if you're like me, and you like to tell certain people everything, then it may be harder not to mention your crush at all. I always told my parents almost everything until I got to college, I still tell them quite a bit, so I had formulated a 4-step plan for myself to make sure that I didn't reveal my crush to my parents. I'd like to share that plan with you now, for anyone else who needs to keep this kind of a secret:

1. Try not to talk too much about your crush exclusively. Mix in stories about lots of people, so that the crush stories just blend in. The person I had this crush on in high school was really funny and was always doing wild things to make people laugh, things that I would normally tell my parents about at the end of the day. I made an extra effort to be sure that I wasn't just talking about this person, but I also told plenty of other fun stories about other people. Every time this person did something funny or interesting that I wanted to tell my parents about, I would think to myself, "Okay, who else has done something funny at school recently? What other funny things have happened that I can talk about, so that it doesn't seem like I'm giving this person a lot of attention?"

Also, don't talk about things that are old news unless you would normally do that. For instance, the person I had a crush on was so talented in singing, dancing, and acting that it wasn't any big shock to anyone when they gave an outstanding performance. At a certain point, saying, "This person sang their solo really well today!" was like saying, "The sky is blue!" When I didn't have a crush on anyone, I was much more likely to tell my parents what an awesome job someone did at rehearsal when I had not yet seen that person's skills. I was careful not to overdo talking about how great my crush was. Additionally, I tried to make sure that I told my parents how awesome other people were so that it wouldn't look like I was giving my crush too much attention.

2. Ask yourself if what you want to share about the person is really that funny or interesting, or if it only excites you because of your crush. Like I said, this person I liked was really funny and did lots of things to get laughs, and they were also very talented. But I made a point to stop and ask myself, "Is this a case where this person has actually done something really cool and exciting, or am I only excited because I like them?" The litmus test I used was, "If someone else in class did the exact same thing, would I be telling my parents about it?" If the answer was no, then I wouldn't tell them that my crush did it either.

3. Take the opportunity to pretend that you're not obsessed with your crush by speaking casually about things that actually excite you. There was one year that my crush joined a club that I was in. This really surprised me because I had no idea that they were interested in the club (I'm pretty sure that they joined to put the club on their resume, based on the way that they talked about it). I made a special point to mention it to my parents causally, like, "Huh, that's strange, I wasn't expecting them to join this club," while writing about how thrilled I was in my journal. In the past, when I had crushes on people and made it obvious that I did, I would have been jumping and screaming over the fact that someone I liked joined a club that I was in. Acting more casual about it gave my parents the message that I wasn't obsessed with this person. I'm normally pretty obvious about it when I'm obsessed. Another time, this person had to take over someone else's part in a play that I was in when the other person had to quit at the last minute. Even though I was psyched about getting to work with my crush, I informed my parents as casually as I could that my crush was taking over, and I even said that I wished the other person could have stayed in the play because they would have done a better job. That wasn't necessarily true, but it was a way of solidifying "I don't have a crush on this person" in my parents' minds, because I would normally be thrilled to work closely with someone I liked.

4. When you are excited about something involving your crush, try, if you can, to attribute that excitement to something other than your crush. When I got to sell tickets with my crush, I talked about being psyched to sell the tickets and focused exclusively on that, not the fact that I was selling them with my crush. When I talked about how I was going to to dress that day and do my nails, it was all about getting to sell the tickets, rather than being with my crush. (Note: It was normal for me to be this excited about selling tickets. Only use this technique if it will sound normal coming from you).

Again, this is not to say that you need to hide your crush - this is only advice on what to do when you don't want to share your crush with people.

Monday, July 11, 2016

Stop Pushing People to Do Shit!!!

I love this girl!!!! Seriously, she's like my soul sister, I am EXACTLY like her, except that I don't have kids and ain't ever gonna, but if I did have kids, I would absolutely be living the way she's living! How dare this fucking supernanny lady come in their house and start pushing this girl to function and do shit and expect her to lift a finger. Heck, I've never lifted a finger in my life either and I don't ever plan to start!

What really upsets me though is that this girl has a fucking job and they all treat that like shit. They treat it like she's doing no work at all when she has a fucking job. Now, I'm not saying she needs to have a job, I'd still like her just as much if she didn't and was just leaching off the parents, but they act as if she's not doing anything at all when having a job is doing something!!!! Seriously, if I were ever treated this way while I had a job, I would quit my job, spend all my time lying on my parents' couch eating their food and watching TV, and let them see what doing nothing *really* means.

I would NEVER get up earlier than I had to in order to do work or tend to anyone or anything. Fuck supernanny for even suggesting that!

Oh, and I'd spit in that supernanny's face if she ever tried to confront me about my behavior. Go fuck a porcupine.



Sunday, July 10, 2016

August 6th

At the beginning of August 2014, I decided I wasn't gonna take shit from anyone anymore. I was gonna beat the crap out of anyone who messed with me. I was gonna go out into the world and do all the bad things I could do. I was never going to be a civilized, socialized human being again. I was Amelia Untamble and I would do whatever the fuck I wanted and no one could stop me. No one.

I posted a lot on Facebook about my plans to do horrible things that would make your blood run cold and leave you waking up at 3:00 AM with cold sweats and not even remembering what it once felt like to get a good night sleep. (Seriously, I wish you didn't have to be dead to become a ghost. If I could have any superpower, I'd be able to turn into a ghost at will and haunt people's dreams forever). This ex-pretending-to-be-my-friend person posted lots of stuff about badness being bad in response to me, and I just kept right at it, posting darker and scarier stuff, posting further and further affirmations that I had not a drop of good intention left inside me and I planned to reek total havoc on society.

I didn't write anything nice during this time. I was going through a transformation. I was still only a few months away from the breakup so I was in a crisis, and my crisis was just as valid as anyone else's. When I'm feeling this way, I'm not gonna like stuff I don't actually like out of politeness and I'm not gonna say nice things that I don't mean because all I really wanted to do that week was beat the crap out of people I hated, and shut out anyone who would try to pull me away from that pressure me to focus on positive things. Anything nice I would have said during this time would have been insincere and out of pure obligation, and that ain't a game I'm gonna play.

I went to this event where I met this guy who was everything I wanted to be. Everything. I mean, it really felt like a dream come true the moment I met him. He took 110 mph joyrides on the highway. He managed 2-hour drives in a half hour. Remember all that bragging I did about how fast I drove to shorten my commute? That amounted to nothing. This guy knew how it was done. He also liked to pick locks and break into buildings just for the fun of it. He and his friends would go into these abandoned buildings and hang out on the roof and this guy had a friend in the police so he'd just call in a favor so they wouldn't get in trouble. He was the definition of untamable. I told him how much I desperately wanted to be like him and go on these kinds of thrill adventures. I mean seriously, picking locks? Breaking into buildings? Driving 110 mph? It was everything I had been screaming that I desperately wanted to do. He was a dream come true. We were gonna connect again. I was gonna go on his next adventure. I was gonna have a chance to do break ins and joyrides and all the illegal stuff I wanted to do. 

But I didn't. I never got to that point. I stopped heading down that path and lost contact with him, and I doubt I'll ever run into that guy or get an opportunity like that again. Opportunities like that don't come up very often. Not in my social circles anyway. I wonder if I'll ever meet someone like that again in my entire life.

I had an awesome profile pic. It was me wearing a black t-shirt with rolled up sleeves, showing off my arm muscles and looking angry. It was basically a pic that would make people think I was gonna beat them up. I have strong arm muscles now from lifting weights, I worked hard for them, and I didn't do all that work to not be able to show them off. 

But no one even saw that picture. No one saw the picture that I actually came home on my lunch break to take, that I wanted to leave up for a long time to freak everyone out and let them know who they were dealing with.

All of this went nowhere because it all came crashing down. I stopped everything. I went back to being Nikki and didn't demand that people call me Amelia until December. December! That's more than four months of going by a name I didn't want to use! I basically halted my entire transition because it was making other people worry about me and feel bad. That was the worst decision I ever made.

After that, I felt like I was trapped in a cage like a fucking animal. I couldn't grieve. I couldn't be angry. I couldn't write whatever the fuck I wanted on my own blog and my own FB page. I was trapped in a fucking cage and everyone thought I was doing it out of kindness but I wasn't. I was doing out of fear because I'm a fucking chicken and I curl up into a little ball when people tell me that I'm upsetting them and I ended up putting everyone else's needs ahead of my own. I didn't get to write about my feelings anymore. I didn't really start writing everything I wanted again until December, when I hit another major conflict, and which, AGAIN, I get people expecting me to drop my own crisis for them.

If you think I was actually saying what I wanted in those months, that's because you're only reading your newsfeed but you're not inside my brain seeing all the stuff I wanted to post and didn't.

I *liked* things I didn't really feel like liking. I wrote nice comments that I didn't mean because I just wasn't in a sincerely nice mood during those months. I was just too chicken to NOT like stuff and write nice comments when I didn't want to. It was horrible. It makes me sick just to think about it.

This August 6th, I need to do something MAJOR to show everyone that I'm never ever ever gonna drop my own crisis again to make other people feel better, no matter how bad I'm making them feel. This August 6th, I don't know exactly what I'm gonna do, but it's gotta be even wilder, even freakier, even more likely to make everyone upset and worry about me than what I was doing in 2014. I'm not going to be satisfied until I do something like that and prove to everyone that I'll do whatever the fuck I want and no one will mess with me ever again.

Wild

August 6th this year is gonna be WILD! It's gonna go a little something like this...


Friday, July 8, 2016

Bad

You are NOT allowed to make me feel bad about doing bad things. Have I not made it clear that I only want to feel good doing bad shit and will never ever ever take responsibility for my actions or let anyone confront me? Confrontations are not okay with me. I just want to be coddled and feel good and I EXPECT people to coddle me or else. Yeah, I mean it.