i’m writing this from a hotel in quebec city. im here for a conference that starts tomorrow, but my beautiful, fabulous cousins came to visit me for a night. I love them. i miss them. it hurts my heart.
there are very very few people on earth that i dont feel completely terrible around. its not even a conscious feeling, its so present and so constant i feel like that is normal, like its part of being awake. hating myself. feeling like i should shrink and be small; less. take up less space. be less present. be more useful to make up for my incredible lack, and otherwise be imperceptible. its hard, to function like this. at a constant deficit. having to work to compensate for your presence.
is that a thing for other people? i always thought that was how everyone operated, except the stupid and incredibly conceited. my whole family operates this way, to varying degrees, and possibly for varying reasons. i dont think my mom or brother think of it as a need to disappear, so much as a baseline for being polite, or human, to put everyone else first. as a unit, we all function because we all look out for each others best interest. it seems fine.
and then every so often there these moments where that stops. where i can just be. i only truly realized this for that brief period when they added wellbutrin to my bipolar meds, and things lifted for a few months. things lifted and my hands shook. constantly. i couldnt really draw and had a hard time cutting things or using knives. i couldnt use any form of touch screen. i felt like i was going to vomit most of the time. id swell and have horrible dizzy spells. all of the side effects. all of the side effects that were so so so so so so worth it. because for a couple months, this feeling went away.
i will lose everything else. i will give up drawing. i will give up cooking. i will give up cell phones and ipads. i will take the vomiting, the fainting, the being constantly starred at and asked if i have parkinson’s. for just a little relief from this constant pressing weight of inadequacy. i would do anything to just deal with life. just life without the sinking. i would give anything for that to come back.
my cousins give me that. that intake of air. i desperately need that.
it got a little ruined by the people im in QC with, for this conference. and thats not their fault, thats mine.
actually fuck it, its at least partly theirs. i have 16 hours with my cousins who i see once a year. dont bitch and complain you dont want to do what we’re doing and completely fucking interrupt and ruin everything because its “boring” and you just want to go party and get bombed. you were perfectly free to LEAVE. just.. fuck. we are in QC for a week. you can function without me. give me 12 hours with my best friends.
the thing about shrinking. about taking up less space. about being imperceptible while appearing present… its in the small things: always agree to things. state opinions about things, but always be the person who compromises. laugh, smile, act like it is fine no matter what. dont complain about anything the people near you could control, fix or otherwise change (it will make them feel something negative. you will be a burden). dress better than the people near you to compensate for being ugly, so you balance out to less humiliating to be around. dress to suit the crowd (fashion clothes around the designers. plain but stylish clothes around the others). never correct people when you can tell what they are trying to say, even if they dont make sense. if you know someone is wrong, state what you know to be correct in such a way that makes it sound like you’re probably dumb but you thought something else. relate with stories to other peoples struggles, downfalls, or inability to do things (eg always late, that tests are hard, etc) even when they aren’t really that relatable, because it makes people feel better. never, ever, let them catch on to the fact you have an iq over 50+ points higher than theirs because that makes them feel weird. Always help explain things that are confusing when you can, but act like you also didnt get them at first (you did.)
its stupid. socially, i feel like i owe everyone an apology for breathing. like im bringing down the caliber of a group because im so big and take up so much space. so unacceptable. drawing too much attention with all my inadequacy. academically and/or employee wise, i know i am superior. I know i am the ideal. its why every test of intelligence causes me so much anxiety. its like my entire worth as a person is on the line because i dont have anything else.
my weight has always been the only visible symptom i’ve ever had. this explosion of something i cant get under control. the judgement i know everyone has about it. the lack of will power i know they all assume i have. the one area i give myself, the one space. the only thing i allow myself to not obsessively control. to knowingly fail. and i know i will never stop feeling like this until i fix it. i know that. but i cant moderate. its this, or anorexia. neither fixes the problem.
there’s something strangely freeing about knowing you’re completely undesirable. im an emotionally crippled, dissociating, possibly bipolar, horribly anxious, depressed, occasionally suicidal, fat girl with a history of drug abuse and getting raped. there is nothing about me that is easy, or manageable, or that i could expect someone else to put up with. there are things about me that are useful. so: i don’t have to worry about trying to find someone to be with, to love me, to be good enough for. because i know that wont happen. and even if it did i could never put that on someone else. so this is it. my value to the world is only my intelligence. i can do something worth while with that. i will change something. and i can leave that. and the rest, i’m letting go of. all these other parts, these connections other people make. these emotional entanglements that everyone else sees as the core of life… i don’t know how to do that. i don’t know how to balance. im making some improvements, but its been years. and i know it will be at least another decade of work to get to a place where that will be possible. so i think, im just going to opt out. i’m just going to keep working. and people can keep calling me a workaholic and can keep thinking its the work that causes all the stress. i’m ok with that.
i can shrink enough to have friends, i can be an amazing friend for people. i will support them through all of their things. and ill just keep the rest.
i know. i know this is fucked up. i know this is such a horrible way to think. i do. but i believe it anyway. i know the culture, i know the research. i know exactly the percentage of people who dont believe people like me shouldn’t be allowed in classrooms, i know exactly how many people equate my problems with being worse than being homeless or addicted to coke. I know. its the beauty of doing research for a living. and you cant argue with statistics.
i spend all of my time, all of my mental energy trying to be mentally healthy. it takes everything i have to be alive. everything i have, everyday. there’s no room for anything else. i just need to make life smaller, so that its enough. so that this, what i have, what i can do, can be enough. i need to cognitively shift, as they say. this could be enough. if i were stronger, this would be enough.
i would edit this. i would write more. i would be more coherent. but everyone just came back in my room, and now i need to be fine.