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I’m Not Sure Who I Am

Thursday, September 27th, 2007

I’m so full of anger. And I have no patience. Everything that anybody does irritates me, and I’m constantly impatient. I wonder if maybe some part of me thinks if I can hurry things up I’ll get to ‘the good part’ – the one that doesn’t actually exist.

Do you wonder about yourself in the third person? About your mental state? I do it constantly. I’ve always felt like I’m simply an observer to my own being/thoughts. That’s why, so often, I say ‘I wonder if I think’ or ‘I wonder if some part of me thinks’. I analyse my own reactions, actions, moods, and feelings to get a grasp of what mental state I’m in, what my mind is doing behind my back. Or behind my brain. That’s really the only way I can gauge myself. Is that normal? It never occurred to me that it might not be, but I realised that I don’t usually hear other people say the above two phrases nearly as often as I say them myself.

I bring this up now because I’m rather afraid. I know the inner me, the one I watch – I mean, hell, I’ve been an observer for 21 years now. But I’m not behaving or reacting like past experience dictates that I should. And I’m kind of scared. I can’t explain why, and I don’t know why. I’m empty, cold, and angry. Every single person I interact with, from acquaintances (ok, I’m lying, make that singular) at school to a girl sitting near me in the library to the cashier at the store, infuriates me. Thankfully I’ve enough self control to keep my cool and behave as normally as possible.
But all that anger.

I don’t let myself think of anything. Anything but L&O; and hw. I deny myself thoughts of anything else. Repress, hold in, dismiss. Any of you who know me well, know this isn’t normal. No, no – I’m the one who argued with my psychiatrist so strongly last year that I couldn’t take anti-depressants because then I wouldn’t feel things fully, as I believe everyone should – because then you learn best and recover best. I’ve read psychology books. Repression = bad. = Crazy. = Mass murderers and such.

I think I might be on a quest to become a non-person. Watch tv, do homework. Watch tv, do homework. One – neither of those things infuriates me, like people do right now. Two – neither of those things are likely to fail me. If I can simplify my life down to that, then I need not worry about anything more.

As long as I’m busy, I can be a robot – albeit one that feels like it’s inner cogs are slipping and something is very, very wrong. When I’m not busy, I’m bottomlessly depressed and out of hope – living for tv and homework isn’t much to live for.

I wish I would go ahead and go crazy, or go dead. Head explosion, maybe. I need something to break, or something to change. Because right now I might be on the path to becoming dangerous.

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Evolving Emma

Wednesday, September 5th, 2007

Ever have those moments in life when you realise you’ve changed in a very specific way? Most of the time when you look back over a time period, you can identify that you’ve changed in some way or another, since usually that’s what life’s about, but I can’t say I’ve ever, before now, had the experience to be in a situation and actually realise “I am reacting very differently now with little concious effort than I would have in the past.”

But that’s happened to me twice recently. In one trying situation I won’t delve into, I’ve surprised myself by remaining calm and collected. While I’d like to say that I’ve been able to do that for years now, it’d be a lie. When I get upset, I usually go a little crazy.

The other example is my birthday party, which was two weeks ago Friday. As those of you who were there might know, things didn’t quite go according to plan – we ran late, had to move the restaurant reservation, and lost the bar reservation. In the past, this would have flustered me, and I would have hassled people to hurry up, stick to schedule, and try and make up for lost time. But instead, without even making the effort, I simply shrugged and went with the flow. So we have to move the reservation. Not the end of the world. Then, instead of trying to rush to the bar, let’s take a vote and see what most people want to do. So we missed the reservation at the bar. We had fun, that’s what matters.

I guess to many people this might seem fairly obvious. But for me, getting easily flustered, especially about things like time, has always been a problem. I can’t promise it’ll never happen again, but somehow, without my concious awareness, I apparently unwound a notch. And I’m glad, I’m happy. It’s been a goal of mine for a long time to target that problem, and apparently it worked on itself while I wasn’t looking. I hope this is a sign of better things to come in how I live my life.

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Emma Went Crazy with her Hair

Sunday, December 31st, 2006

Yea, she did. Amazing I know. When my mom saw it she said ‘wow’. For those of you who don’t know, I’ve worn my hair the same way since I was old enough to tell my mom ‘I want to grow my hair out long’ – that would be when I was about 3. So for the first time in my life, I’ve done something different with it, for better or worse.

I’m horribly depressed at the moment. Of course, I spend most of my time depressed, so that’s not unusual. A lot of things have gone right in my life in the past few days. For a 24-hour period, it seemed almost like God was trying to make up for 3 months of suck. And I am grateful for that, and it probably has lessened my depression some. But, I still see myself as worthless, a fool, stupid, incompetent, a waste of space, time, and air. How do you change how you see yourself? I have a lot of issues. I honestly believe that I’m not worthy of friends, and that the limited contact I get to have with my friends (probably for no other reason than that they’re busy people with lives of their own) is a reflection that I am not worth hanging around or spending time with. I see the lack of people wanting to hang out with me as proof that I am worthless. And so I believe I’m worthless. And really I probably am. I don’t contribute much to this world anymore except a body that puts UK-made-money into the US economy – so I suppose to the government I’m not useless. Yippee.

I’ve realised that this isn’t going to change. I don’t know how to think more of myself. Sometimes I really do want to, I’m pretty sick of being borderline-suicidal, you know. Honestly I am. But how do you convince yourself you’re worth something. I try and seek friendship, to prove to myself that see, someone does like to talk to you, someone does want to talk to you of their own free will, and spend time with you of their own free will, so they must see something in you, so you must be worth something. But so far that is backfiring. People would probably say that I can’t depend on friends for that, but I don’t know how else to do it. How do you just… have worth. If anyone has any suggestions I’d be happy to hear them, really.

The problem is, I let everyone have a say over who I am but me. Someone says ‘you’re a fool,’ and I completely and totally believe it. The solution sounds easy, right? Just stop believing what other people say. But I can’t. You can’t when you have no self-esteem. When in your mind, it makes perfect sense, and you take a step back, and look at yourself, and say ‘They’re right. I am a fool.’ Except, instead of going ‘I will change that,’ I think ‘Thus, I am worthless, and always will be, because I never manage to change enough, always fail, and so will continue to be a fool forever.’ I don’t know. I look at all this scribbling and I tell myself I’m pathetic for writing it. Why burden people with my own problems, right? I can’t seem to stop doing it, so it just makes me more of a fool, more worthless. Honestly, there is no value in a friendship with me. I can tell by the way people look at me, talk to me. Paranoid, I know.

Is it possible to get rid of yourself? I’ve contemplated it often. The brain is an amazing and fucked-up thing. Would it be possible, if I tried hard enough, to completely de-root Emma, and replace her with some new person? Someone who didn’t hurt, and was probably a complete bitch, but could handle the situation I’m in? Who would throw the shit back in the faces of the shitter, instead of following societal rules that everyone else seems to ignore? I really hate being myself. I want to be someone whom I actually like. Maybe that’s why I cut my hair, and am now looking into other ways to try and erase the Emma that’s been around for years, at least physically. It will probably just end up fucking me up more, but whatever. I don’t know what else to do.

My continued wish is that I’d stop bothering people. Stop causing people to have to continue to deal with me. Stop making everyone miserable. I should just go away. I have considered just disappearing, but I am too weak. People would get all mad about suicide, and upset, but people can’t really get upset if you just make a choice to, you know, concentrate on your studies, decrease contact with peoples. Stop making people miserable through ceasing contact. But, like I said, I’m too weak. It would end badly. So, I probably won’t even try. I feel horribly guilty for continuing to bother people that I do. But I am so full of empty, so full of pain, and think so little of myself, I don’t know what else to sustain my existence on but people. That’s not fair to them, though. Let them go and sustain yourself, say people, but I’m not strong enough for that, because I honestly don’t believe I’m worth sustaining.

Accident rate triples on New Year’s Eve, and the plan of the people I’m apparently going to be with includes a good amount of driving. So, tonight I might die or be permanently disabled. But, the odds are still against that, so I will probably be fine.

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People, People, People…

Monday, October 16th, 2006

I think it’s interesting how many articles of the public jump so quickly to blaming anorexia and bulimia on advertising and fashion. Now, I’m not going to say that ads and fashion are blame-free as far as self-image problems in today’s world, but I really think that so many articles miss some main reasons.

One thing I was always told about anorexia and bulimia is that it’s a control issue. The person doesn’t feel they have enough control in their lives, so they take control over their bodies and their weight, feeling pride in having control over something. Maybe this is the case for some, but from what I’ve seen (and though my experience is by no means extensive, I’ve ducked into these dark corners many times over the last four or five years) anorexics and bulimics coldly celebrate in the lack of control they have over their condition.

If you look through pro-’ana and mia’ website and xangas there’s a common theme of being completely out of control to ‘Ana’ or ‘Mia’. It’s sadly said, with tones of despair and helplessness, but reading it, you know it’s that kind of hurt and pain that comes with that full-heart feeling, that good feeling, that nothing is your fault anymore, that you can’t do anything about anything anymore. It’s a comforting feeling, because all you can do is give in and give up. Your life is no longer yours, so you can no longer be held accountable.

Obviously anorexia and bulimia are also linked to huge self-confidence problems. Many sites I have seen blatantly invite (even encourage) visitors to ‘walk all over’ them. Again, many are going to turn to ads/fashion to how they got these self-image problems, but I think it’s too far simplifying the picture. While ads/fashion may play a part, and maybe it is key, it’s more than just that, much more. My primary guess is something in the family. Doesn’t have to be a bad family – a mother who tells you to diet, an alcoholic father (though that’s definitely going to lead to it, too). Just a family where something isn’t quite right. Kids are fragile, so very fragile. Maybe there’s just a few too many arguments. Maybe just a few too many times the less-achieving kid was compared to the other sibling. It seems so small, nothing that should last (‘toughen up!), but it does. Kids save it up, bit by bit, and dole it out on themselves.

I don’t know where I’m going with this. I just wanted to make a generic post on what I’ve seen today in my wanderings. And point out that I think we jump too quickly to ads/fashion as the source of anorexia and bulimia. It’s an easy culprit. Faceless, large, corporate controlled. (If it wasn’t for them) Nice to imagine that if we could just change some policies in some modeling agencies we’d solve the problem. But honestly, it’s not ‘fashion’ these girls (and guys) are after. They’re after acceptance, solutions, escape, ablution, and self-punishment.

The thing that always bugged (infuriated) me the most about anorexia, bulimia, cutting, and other things of such nature is the blatant denial that anyone matters but themselves. They crow ‘Well, I never asked for anyone to care about me!’ in defense, and to that, I say tough. You never asked gravity to pull you down, either, but it does, so plan your actions accordingly. People are going to care. People are going to hurt. People are going to spend money and time on you, change plans and dynamics for you, whether you like it or not. People are going to spend love on you, spend care on you, spend tears on you, and spend worry on you. Even if they try not to, they can’t help it. They’re condemned to loving you forever. So instead of looking at your actions from a selfish, one-sided perspective, think to yourself, ‘do these people really deserve the hurt I’m about to deliver?’

Anyway, that’s all for now. Just a ramble.

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I Apologise in Advance

Monday, September 11th, 2006

Hello everybody. Long time no chat, eh? Sorry about that. Everything has been so hectic and crazy. Going to try and post more often now that things have settled down some.

So! 9-11 once again, eh? Unfortunately I didn’t have my blog back then, so I can’t look back and see what I wrote 5 years ago today. Too bad, because that would be interesting. If my memory serves me right, I started my blog just before we declared war on Iraq, though I can’t be bothered to look up a date for that. No posts about that, either, though. Hm. I should try more to post about current events, maybe, so I can look back and see my reactions of the past. Did I post on July 7th last year? Oh yes. I mentioned it briefly. I guess that I decided my posting was enough to confirm I was alive, though, despite getting lots of concern from people at the time.

Well anyway. I can’t help it. It’s the question of the day, isn’t it? It’s all over the papers, the internet, the forums. Where were you five years ago today? Well I know where I was. I was in a chemistry test! Yep. Sophomore chemistry with Mrs. Hill. Oh joy. I was probably failing badly. I remember looking at the clock and thinking ‘shit’ because I didn’t have much time yet, but since it was a test and Mrs. Hill had isolated us from the world, we were all oblivious. Until we exited the class, of course, when the halls were abuzz with all these rumours. Until lunch time I was — Whoa!
Ok. Backtrack. I’m wrong! My memory just flashed back! I was in dance class when I first heard about it, not chemistry. Then I went to chemistry. Since we didn’t have a tv or computer (we used to practice on the stage) only our teacher, Mrs Woods could offer a little info, which was, if I remember right, that a plane crashed into a building. Or, at least, that’s what came across in my head. I didn’t think much of it at the time. I didn’t know what the ‘World Trade Center’ was, being Emma, as usual, and didn’t know it was in New York city. When people said ‘plane’ I was thinking biplane, crop duster, personal plane, little jet. So some trade building has a small-plane sized hole. Well, that’s sad. Probably some people died. And on with the dancing.

In chemistry, now I have to wonder to myself, did Mrs. Hill know or not? I don’t remember anybody saying anything, though people might have exchanged thoughts similar to mine… A complete underestimate of the situation. Nobody seemed worried. If Mrs Hill knew, I guess she didn’t want to say anything so that she wouldn’t have to reschedule the test. Man. I totally should have gone back and said that the trauma of the day made me do badly. Maybe I wouldn’t have done so miserably in that class. Anyway, if anyone was in that sophomore chem class (I guess it started around 9?) and remembers if Mrs Hill said something, I’d like to know.

Man, now I’m really confused, because I was definitely a sophomore in Sept 2001, but I could swear I took dance as a freshman. My memory is crap. But I could swear Mrs. Woods told me about the plane. Oh well. If anyone knows my schedule from soph year, I’d love to hear from you.

Well, one thing I know for sure is that it was at lunch that I started getting worried, because that’s when I met with my friends in Gym C (remember those old days??!) and they explained the real situation. That the planes (now there were 2) were big, and what the World Trade Center was. I remember Bryan and Cameron discussing the probability of DFW getting some kind of attack, and I remember Cameron saying that if there was an attack, he and his boy scout troop were going to volunteer to provide first-aid, which I immediately said I’d do, too. I remember feeling bad for a few days after that because though I didn’t want DFW to be hit, the idea of doing some crazy-rescue first-aid was pretty exciting.

Next thing I remember was that in orchestra Mrs. Todd gave us permission to go home (I guess this came from a higher authority) if we wanted to and our parents were available to pick us up. I remember suddenly remembering that my dad was flying London to Brazil that day and getting worried, since I didn’t know anything about these planes that’d run into the buildings. This was before I got a cell phone, so I got permission to use the phone in the orchestra office to call my mom, who assured me that they were AA planes on domestic flights, not BA on international. I think I remember Tina Sosa being very upset, but I don’t know why, or if I fabricated that.

Anyway, that’s my memories (and non-memories, and confusions) of 9-11 five years ago. I thought that some teacher made me write down about what I was doing at the time later on (you know, for therapy), but if I did, I don’t know what happened to it, which is a shame, because now I’m curious about when I took dance. OH! I guess it was sophomore year. Ok. Well, that clears that up.

One thing that always comes to mind is a thought I had that day. I remember remembering that in 3rd grade we an assignment to go home and ask our parents and our grandparents what they were doing when John F Kennedy was assassinated. On Sept 11, 2001 I wondered if one day, if I was living in America, my kids would come home to ask me what I was doing when the planes hit the buildings and America went crazy. Well, I guess they’ll get a jumbled mess of an answer, just like you got. ; )

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Top of the Pops

Sunday, July 30th, 2006

Today was the end of an era. Today the last episode of Top of the Pops was aired.

My dad watched this show when he was Kenneth’s age. I watched it even before I knew what it was – before my parents divorced, even. I can remember excitedly being told it was on (wasn’t quite old enough to keep track of the days of the week and know it came on on Thursdays) and dragging all the pots and pans out of the kitchen, along with a few wooden spoons, so I could ‘play along.’ Then, as I grew up, all summer long I’d rush in excitely on a Thursday night from playing outside on bikes, often with Melissa, Lewis, Alistair, Gavin, and Eugene, to see what this weeks number one was, and watch the singers perform. Oh the excitement. The fun. The countdown, and the final annoucement of who ruled the charts this week. Every summer. For over 14 years.

Every year. For 42 years. Top of the Pops has been the show to get on if you’re interested in making fame in the UK. Even the US artists know it. If you’re on Top of the Pops, you’ll make it. At least with this song. No guarantees about the rest of your career – that’s in your hands.

So tonight we sat gathered around the TV to watch the last ever Top of the Pops. Watching highlights of the last 42 years, including lots of the Nintys and (as they called it) Noughties (2000s) that I remember. Spice Girls first hit – Wannabe – brought back memories, as well as Robbie William’s first single hit, Let me Entertain you, and all those other people now well known. Britney Spears, Coldplay, Eminem, Destiny’s Child, All Saints. And the more recent of course, including the first ever British number 1 from downloads alone, some guy who sings a song called ‘Crazy’. He’s number one on my Now 64.

And finally, we watched the last ever ToTP top 10. The last number one ever on ToTP was announced. Quite a name to hold, really. It was (AJ will be happy here) Shakira, with Hips Don’t Lie.

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This is How it Seems: (and I can Only Tell You How it Seems)

Thursday, June 22nd, 2006

I am watching so many people’s lives fill out with experiences, hopes, and dreams accomplished. See them flexing their newly-built muscles as their life-plans unfold with opportunities abounding right on schedule. See their lives fleshing out as they make headway right on course to their aspirations.

Unfortunately, my life has developed a fatal strain of leprosy. Every day, bits of it are

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