embraceyourinnerdork: screenshot taken from Mulan 2, Princess Ting-Ting with chopsticks up her nose (Default)
[personal profile] embraceyourinnerdork
I would preface this by saying that my untreated anxiety tends to be triggered by small, often innocuous things, and cranks my self-loathing streak up to eleven - and this is not an excuse, mind you, only a warning - but then I'd be flying in the face of the point I'll try to make in this mess of an entry, now won't I? Or you wouldn't know yet, you haven't read it, but take my word for it.

The common sense thing to do when you screw up and/or wrong someone is to apologize, and to not blame it on anything/one else. Does this second part mean don't ever mention any sort of thing that might contribute to it, ever? Is it the wrongest of wrongs to treat oneself like a criminal, offering contributing factors that might help explain yet don't even attempt to vindicate?

Luckily, I take that part incredibly seriously - to the point where I don't like people even knowing there is an underlying issue, ever. I just let them think I'm a total fucking flake, because that's better than admitting my weakness. All that gets anyone is just accusations of shifting the blame, not taking responsibility for your own actions, fishing for pity.

As for the first part of the rule, well, when you're as pathologically avoidant and jackassed as I am, you learn that apologies don't fucking work. They don't do anything, in fact.

Case in point: I was commissioned for four pictures in January, yet I have nothing at this point to show for it. I promised a writing piece to someone in February, and I only have a few (terrible) paragraphs to show for that. I have been approached several times for both of these projects, inquiring about my progress, and I keep assuring them that it's coming, I'll send it, no problem. Yet nothing I come up with for these or the gazillion other projects I owe is worth even looking at myself, let alone showing or presenting to others! Somewhere in my mind, it's ingrained that it's better to turn in nothing than to turn in absolute shit - incidentally, part of what got me flunked out of college.

But I continue to feed them these bullshit reassurances, and continue not to deliver. What else am I supposed to say? If I tell them everything I'm churning out is shit, they'll insist I'm just being a typical artist, too hard on myself, and that they want to see it. Though that may well be true, that doesn't mean it's going to get past my impossibly perfectionistic standards. And I can't exactly say, welp, gotta back out, bye. Not even with all the possible ways to say 'I'm sorry" in all the world. Why does it matter what I say or don't say at all, when the end result is the same? They're just words. Who's to say I'm not lying or fishing for pity? I've certainly done it before, haven't I?

So I plug away and keep lying and keep avoiding and hope against hope that maybe, just maybe, I'll get it done today, and it will be halfway decent enough to show.

Actually, it's a good thing I don't say anything. It's better to keep quiet and be seen as just a flake, than to lay it all out and be revealed as a cold-blooded liar, a procrastinator, a master manipulator, and basically unstable and fucked in the head.

This isn't even the first time I've done this to someone on the internet - I put off entries for a community exchange, and serially lied to the maintainer that it would be soon. Soon was running late, of course, and I got notes that the entries were due, a week past due, a month past due, and I gave up the lying - I avoided her altogether. The notifications piled up. They were nice as could be, and offered extensions, amnesty, anything if I just told her. But of course I didn't know that, because I was avoiding the hell out of her, thinking maybe this would all go away and she wouldn't rip me a new asshole. This got me banned from all activities in that community for six months. (For what it's worth, I did finish those entries.)

Hilariously enough, I know what's wrong. I can pinpoint my actions and the issues under them more often than not. So why don't I fix them, then? That's the point of mistakes, right, to learn and fix things about yourself? Well, that's all fine and dandy, but I don't know how to. Painting class was the bane of my existence for a few weeks for this reason - the students and the teacher took glee in pointing out the flaws in my work. Well, yes, I see that too, I'm not blind, and it's been bugging the hell out of me, how do I fix it? And then they disappear, assuming I'll just figure it out on my own. I'm gifted, why shouldn't I figure everything out on my own, right?

It's the same with my neuroses, or whatever the hell they are. My take-a-zero-over-turning-in-crap brand of perfectionism, my check-the-assignment-a-million-times-and-still-be-convinced-I'll-write-the-totally-wrong-paper paranoia, my pathological lying to avoid confrontations, my outright phobia of asking for help lest I be seen as stupid and weak and useless. See, I can pick these things out. I'm not blind. But how do I fix it? Not on my own, that's for damn sure. Not with help from teachers, who have assumed I know it all or otherwise that I'm failing on purpose to make their lives hell. Not with help from my parents, who have three other kids and their own mental instabilities to contend with. Not with help from my friends, who need me to be the strong one for them and couldn't possibly handle reciprocation - but I'll get to that in a moment. And, strangely, not with help from my therapists, who make me pay them to listen to me ramble and let me come to conclusions about myself on my own, but don't offer even hints about how to change these things, yet inform me that I need to work on this (on my own, of course, somehow) and that they'll be keeping tabs and basically looming over me and adding to the pressure on me, which quite frankly I don't need, since I put enough pressure on myself to crack at regular intervals - haha, like right now.

In any case, just bringing up any shortcomings, as a warning or explanation or vindication (because aren't they all the same?) is a stupid idea, because someone always has it worse than you, and they don't ever bring it up. I've had my entire life to learn that one. I have always been a magnet, somehow, for the most troubled kids. I've had friends who have been raped (and one who got pregnant from it), who have been in life-threatening accidents, who have lived with debilitating chronic health issues, who have seen loved ones beaten and stabbed and killed. Not only have I had to bear their burdens, but of course I could never lighten my own. They have more than enough to worry about. None of these things has ever happened to me. Nothing traumatizing at all has happened to me, in perspective. I need to be strong for them, because who else is going to be? And I need to keep my head down and my mouth shut, because they have real problems, and I don't.

That's right. All my problems are in my head. I've never actually had terrible things happen to me. I have no right to act out, or react at all, because there is nothing to react to. How dare I be weak - I have a shiny happy life! I've never faced trials! These people have seen likely more than I ever will, and they're able to get through fine. What right do I have to break down over absolutely fucking nothing?

...I guess that's what this entire entry, this outpouring serving as another example of my oft-joked-about shut-the-hell-up-itis, really boils down to, isn't it? I'm triggered by well-meaning advice not even meant for anyone specific (as far as I know, though of course it could be about me), and it comes back to the fact that I've internalized the attitude that I have no right to be upset about anything because my issues are purely mental and my life has been comparatively trauma-free.

Great. Yet another problem I can see but can't fix.

On the bright side, this time I didn't have to pay someone $30 an hour to listen to me talk myself to that conclusion.

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embraceyourinnerdork: screenshot taken from Mulan 2, Princess Ting-Ting with chopsticks up her nose (Default)
Erin the Dorktastic

April 2014

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