Oct. 12th, 2016 06:40 pm
greenstorm: (Default)
Well now, here I am again, and so soon.

I guess I have some things to say.

I guess I have some work to do.

I'm at one of those places in my life where everything is pointing me to working through something, making some mindful decisions, but where I'm scared because I don't think I can get what I want and I'd hate to choose a thing mindfully and then be left bereft.

Going to school was a risk like that, where I knew I could take my life up in my hands and shape it to get the things I wanted: a home, a permanent garden, some assurance for the future that wasn't dependent on friends liking me and thusly being supportive. I went back to school. I started going away for the summers. I did these things to further my own life. As happens when I work strongly on my life, other things changed. A relationship ended because there was no future for it with this new plan of mine. I met someone else. I met another someone else. And I have met another someone else.


What can I do with this, and what do I want to do with this?

The most recent someone is a conversationalist. We talk, we overanalyse, we pick things apart. In short, we do a lot of that internal work that I can only do if I'm writing or talking. I haven't been writing lately, but I have been talking. I've been poking around in there.

He posted something the other day about his wife, a fragment of poetry by Elsse Matthessen

"Only another fifty years,"
I say, "and then I promise
to let you go."

It has undone me. It's a couple words that have brought me to the heart of a thing that's been ravelling for awhile.

I have people who have been around for a long time, but the people who have been around forever have moved on, and the people that I meet recently come near and then drift away again, or sometimes are forcibly ejected. Either way, I have not found continuity in relationships. I have not found a relationship that could be made to fit actual-me forward into the future, one where I would not need to make myself smaller or resentful to maintain closeness. I have loved a lot of people; I still do. I enjoy time with people. I like knowing them deeply. But.


I've always wanted someone who knows my context; someone with whom I share my day-to-day until the patterns come clear to both of us; someone I learn to read and who reads me, and who can communicate volumes with a glance across a crowded room with that knowledge. I want... daily routine, not every day but often enough, and mutual caretaking, and the kind of trust that's built on years. I want that, and I thought I had it with Kynnin when I was fourteen, and many of my relationships since I've been hopeful about it.

I am well loved right now. I am so well loved. It feels impossible to turn down a gift like that, and yet I think it's what's giving me the space here to think about what I want.

Maybe thinking about what I want isn't good. I can think it to pieces, after all, and I *want* everything: Josh and our greenhouses and making a pizza oven and a still together and that lovely house (but not Josh who doesn't want other people in his space and cares for me very much but just cannot say yes unless he's sure of logistics when I want someone who is willing to bend logistics for me the way I do for other people?), James who loves me so much and a supportive, nourishing home full of the feeling of family and kindness (but not James who is dependent on me as his whole support network in a northern town and who prefers to background in the world rather than reaching his power out into it when I want someone who proactively creates their life and with whom I perhaps do not share so many activities as all that?), Tucker and who knows what yet with words and poetry and his way of catching the nuances of my meaning and his interest in opening up my insides (but not Tucker who is otherwise committed to his wife and life in Vancouver and who, well, honestly is so new to me I don't even know what else yet but that is a pretty big start). I want someone who takes joy in my poly-ness and who can communicate their needs in a household. I want someone I can hook into for a long time and who puts just as much shoulder against the universe, who pushes hard enough to change it, just like I do: but I want them to do it for me.

And I am not willing to give so much of myself up now as I was, so maybe the cracks will show sooner now, or at least I can't put as much hope in any on thing as I did. I am not willing to take a terrible job I dislike. I am not willing to give up my other loves. I am not willing to sacrifice a home that is open, hospitable, and welcoming. I am not willing to sacrifice my land where I plant trees from which I will, in my lifetime, harvest the fruit. These things are me, and to be permanently partnered would require these things to be loved *as* me, to be accepted as extensions of my actual-self.

I don't know. I mean, I do know. I'm that person for myself, I am my own person. Other people come and go but I am my own heart. I suppose that's sad and huge all at once. I know I haven't met anyone else who would have been as fully up to the task as I have been.

There's more work to be done on this, but this is as far as I can go for now.

it had something to do
with death . . . it had something
to do with love.
-Li-Young Lee
greenstorm: (Default)
So I'm definitely neck-deep in school right now, and I'm remembering which specific issues I have that clash with the university model.

Pretty much, when I set my goals as "getting approval from distant and arbitrary authority figures" I have trouble with my life. School, especially UBC, is 100% under that category, especially when I'm trying for scholarships or particular grades.

My parents were extremely arbitrary and pretty distant authority figures: mom because of depression and other needier kids, dad because of his underlying issue of whateverthefuck. It's pretty easy for me to be triggered into the passive, desperate obedience required of a dependent in that situation since the behaviour was gauged so deeply into my head for so many years.

I dealt with this in high school by getting good grades, accepting the grades-as-approval-structure and excelling in it.

I dealt with it at BCIT by, eventually, getting to know my teachers, being friends with them and thus getting away from the idea of them as authority figures, and also by learning their criteria and styles so they weren't really so arbitrary. I developed a group of friends at BCIT who were all going through the same work as I was. Those friendships affirmed that we were all awesome people aside from marks. I had ultra supportive partners who loved me. Basically, I had other sets of external validation.

Over the years, my source of validation has been shifting from external to internal. This had partly occurred when I was at BCIT, but it has definitely become stronger since then. (As part of becoming acceptable to academia I'm training myself out of the trades talk I trained myself into: less concise but more 'correct'). So when I hit UBC this time I was almost entirely internally-validated. I had a great set of checks and balances to deal with moods, hormones, and other events. A lot of those were actually developed through this journal.

Part of being at UBC is submitting yourself for approval over and over. Yes, I know, it's submitting your *stuff* for approval, but-- at this level, in classes of over a hundred people, where everything is marked by TAs, pretty much a number and a sentence is what you get. So it's pretty hard to frame as submitting my stuff for feedback; to get feedback I need to make an appointment with the teacher by email, go in, bring the thing in that they haven't seen before, and we talk. That's feedback. The other is arbitrary (poorly-defined beforehand, not enough assignments to get a feel for it) approval on my work in an institutionally-enforced absolute sort of sense. By this I mean it's not a matter of taste, it's a matter of me having done it /wrong/.

So I'd kind of... sloughed off a lot of my external approval mechanisms, in favour of internal stuff (no one else really thinks my brewing or organising my house or caring about local farming is SO COOL like I do). And now I'm submitting myself for approval by this arbitrary body, and I don't have counterbalances. I can't just pull my validation back inside, because I need to care enough to do the stuff, even when the class is poorly organised and the information is easy to look up when I need it and so not necessary to memorize or whatever. I *cannot* use my judgement in this, so I cannot trust my judgement.

So I'm doing really poorly. Compounding everything is the way I have no time or money to do things that self-validate, because I'm working enough to eat into basically all my free time but not enough to have extraneous funds (tradespeak: extra cash).

Making friends at school helps SO MUCH. They are also having trouble this time of year, it's hard, just being assured that it IS hard and often arbitrary helps. But... I don't really have time to make friends, with work.

Talking to profs about assignments helps SO MUCH but. It got me through the assignment angst, but it can't get me through not knowing what my midterms tomorrow are going to be like, how they're going to be marked. 'A university-type answer' doesn't really tell me what's up with marking (I think tradespeak is more expressive there).

Brewing helps SO MUCH but. Money. I swear I need a patreon or a friends group at school that will pay me for beer.

Writing this, figuring out the issue, helps but. It's started me reorienting my validation to an internal source, and I know I'll pass things, so it drains my ability to shoot higher (I need to hit certain grade targets for both co-op and scholarships, and those are fiddlier than 'I know I'll pass things').

Long-term goal is to get student loans so I have time to have friends and do cool stuff. In the meantime, O suppose I can only be mindful of seeking validation in good places. When my friends are dicks about being critical of a thing, I tend to feel bad in myself because I place myself on the receiving end of it even if I'm not normally part of that thing.

I probably need to seek out friends who are especially kind, empathetic generally, and not given to vitriol. This will most certainly help me both short and long term.

Funny to think how things have changed. Fifteen years ago I was so into jerks.

It's also interesting to think about me, in school fifteen years ago, with all these things happening to me without my knowledge of what was happening in my head. I guess that's the growth of self-knowledge.

greenstorm: (Default)
Oh livejournal, I only come to you when I can't find peace. I've been so quiet, that's been a good sign? I've been busy and it's been mostly good if a little overwhelming. But now...

I'm mourning the death of my normality today. Some things have happened. I need to tell you about them.

I read an article about the game Cards Against Humanity this morning. I learned someone I knew relatively distantly, but who'd knit a scarf I own and smiled a lot, died very recently. And my boyfriend doesn't want me to tell his family I'm poly or to go to pride with them (they're in town from the maritimes).

After I reposted that article someone said, 'me too'. And the only thing I'd heard said about it before? 'No one could feel that way'. Well, I feel that way. When you think something that I am or could be is innately hilarious and laugh about it when I'm in the room you hurt me and you lose my trust. Likewise, when you're ashamed of something that I am, when you're hiding it from people, not for my protection or on my say-so but because you don't want to be tarred with the same brush? You hurt me and you lose my trust. That's not a negotiable sentiment. That's the feeling of it.

I feel like I'll never be in a room where people aren't rejecting something that is me with half of their thoughts. I feel (as always, I suppose) that people love the abstraction of how forthright and open and honest I am about myself but don't want the consequences of being that way themselves and want me to hide myself just for them. I feel like I'm inconvenient to everyone except when I'm a symbol or entertainment. I feel like I can't trust very many people to be ok with my being who I am.

Thing is, I'm too invested in being myself at this point to stop. Thing is, you can't love me without loving those other parts of me; I don't know what you're loving then, but it is not me. I'm at a loss for how you could *like* me without being somewhat in line.

The song I'm listening to says 'what if I was made that way?'. I am made this way. I made myself this way if nothing else.

And I'm tired of it, but I can't put who I am away. I can't put it away and I don't want to, because I can trust myself to stand up for myself when I need, to protect myself when I need, and clearly I cannot trust other folks to do that for me. So this is what I get, tired but one foot in front of the other. Forever.

I've spent parts of my life wishing things were "worse" so I could feel like my emotions were legitimate. Dad was horrifyingly emotionally abusive: he ignored me, he said terrible things, he denied my feelings in all cases. I spent years wishing he'd hit me so my feelings that he was doing something wrong would be justified. Poly, sex, gender, orientation, nudism: I'm invisibled, the butt of the joke that friends laugh at, not mentioned, not on the list of choices given me, nothing that's done is a big deal. So I wish sometimes that people would say something truly awful, hit me, attack me so that it would be justified. Because being denied as a human, because not being included, because recieving defensiveness rather than empathy doesn't seem bad enough to justify my feelings.

Except it is. I feel these things, so it is.

And today I'm tired, but I can do nothing about it but go spend a couple days on the ocean with my mom who at the least does not do these things to me, who believes I'm worthy of love as I am, and hope she stays around for a very long time.


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