adrienmundi: (Default)
I feel heart-sick lately. Maybe it's life, ageing, the drawing to close of another summer, the weather, politics and the ever increasing likelihood of widespread domestic violence, all of the above, none of the above, something else.

I want to weep, to go to new quiet places and breathe, connect with people and things, look forward to something, stop doing the same damned thing over and over for incremental reward from a system I despise.
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I feel like there are two (or more) large nesting subterranean rings rings, marked periodically with openings and rotating such that the openings occasionally lineup, leading to... something. The openings are lining up again, and I don't know what I'm going to do about it.

I have the idea that exceptionalism, true exceptionalism, always comes at a cost. These doors, openings, have come around before, and I may have stuck a foot through, or maybe more, but held back, and eventually retreated. I think this is where my fear of madness, of falling through the cracks of society and shared reality, being the disheveled mess that rants at strangers and talks to birds and trees (I do talk to birds and trees, though quietly, and never when I think others are around).

This is coming out as inherently mystical, and while I do mean that, I don't only mean that. I feel like in recent months (year +), I've started to make serious progress at understanding and accepting how my mind works,as though the knife has finally grown to fit the scabbard, and is ready to be harvested, but what's a knife for, if not to cut? I've also grown increasingly frustrated in my dealings with others who don't see what I see, or remember what I've explained (sometimes over, and over,and over again). And yet, this is not stepping through the openings. This is more like light seeping through the cracks and gaps, and maybe me deciding to become attuned to the ambience.

I think differently than a lot of people. I see differently, and sometimes literally see things people don't. I don't think it's schizophrenia, or any other made up name psychiatry hangs on people it doesn't understand, but I'm afraid these things, and the occasional energy and enthusiasm that comes with the light and expansion, would be classified as such, plus mania and depression, and then chemical numbing. I don't want any of that, but all the cleverness St. Michel bestows won't protect me, only let me see what and why.

I already pay a lot, in terms of cost. I wear ineffability like a veil, always carry distance within me, and move so slowly and carefully to appear nonthreatening and dismissable. I'm afraid I can't afford to pay more, and always worry about what I have to lose, with no clear concept of what might be gained. And yet, whatever is at the heart of the rotating rings is patient, and probably kind, and will keep offering, hoping I'll say yes but never judging me for fear or hesitation. "What if?" is a terrible question, and one that's been with me for decades.

I'm terrified of being exceptional, and terrified that I'm squandering something huge by not. And it's getting harder to hold all this back. I think my cracks are starting to show.
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I worry most of the time about how I appear to others, and what they may be expecting from me based on that appearance. I always anticipate, "People think about you less than you assume", and while I think that's generally true, I think both anecdotal and research data shows that when it comes to gender, that's less true than not.

I'm particularly self-conscious when entering or leaving the office of my electrolosist's office. Due to lots of forces, it's an almost exclusively feminine-identified clientele, and I worry immensely about standing out or drawing attention to myself. I know how I read to most people, and the presumed weight of attention/assumption/judgment is heavy on me.

Bonus: I'm slowly running out of facial hair to electrocute, so a reduction in pain and expenditure is on the distant horizon.
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I am so frustrated.
I'm so tired of being out of sync, both in frequency and amplitude.
I'm so tired of the constantly weighed weight of the gaze of others.
I'm so frustrated by the apparent social reality of zero sum games.
I'm so tired of having to assume the burdens of ignorance (particularly when I work so hard to educate myself).
I'm so frustrated with not being able to be mostly present with others unless exogenous chemicals are involved.
I'm so angry about the (Marxist) speed-up.
I'm so sick of the (personal) slow-down.
I'm so tired of fighting like hell to present some form of "normal", almost like my life and livelihood depend on it, because they basically do.
I'm so tired. And sad.
adrienmundi: (Default)
I've been reading my way through the 3rd edition of the RPG Unknown Armies lately, and I keep running into frustration. I love the idea ("broken people trying to fix the world"), and the broad strokes concepts (avatars of archetypes, ritual and "chaos" magic, modern schools of reality bending), and the central notion that human belief and action can change everything...

But. The mechanical details have driven me crazy since a previous version, and it clicked for me today. Everything feels too tidy, too small, too contained, systemically, despite all the descriptive writing about how everything is up for grabs. My impression, for better or worse, is that this is a creative bit of game design for the writer, and from that perspective, it's pretty good (made it to a 3rd edition, after all). What it does not seem to be is an attempt reflect any given flavor of mystical/magical experience into collaborative storytelling form.

I'm drawn to this setting, this concept because (to mangle St Jeanette) the kind of stories we tell one another matter. Stories matter. I want to share some of my world with others, both in the general this-is-how-things-are-connected/this-means-more-than-you-might-think and in the more generally mystical experiences. I am very open with potential players that I want to plant my seeds in their heads, while hoping to have their seeds take root in mine. These rules aren't for that, I don't think. They're too small a container for what I hope to achieve.

Now to figure out if they can serve as a working foundation.I think the setting is redeemable; I think the cosmology will require some substantial change. I *think* I can work that into the narrative, if players will indulge me.

(It strikes me that I keep returning to this because I don't write, don't think I have the discipline to learn to write, and want a faster feedback loop than I think writing enables. It could be laziness and familiarity, too.)
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I'm entering a difficult phase with my therapist, in which I think (fear?) she's got some of her own issues impacting my therapeutic time. This is tricky territory for me, as I generally choose to try and help people, and do try to see the therapeutic relationship as a microcosm for figuring out how to deal with people in the wild, but... do I really want to be paying an hourly rate to investigate how my therapist reacts as a person to the things I say when trying to work through my issues? Am I being a privileged consumer of services, denying the humanity of another? Is my therapist inserting her issues into the mix? Is transference necessarily a one way street in treatment?
adrienmundi: (Default)
In other obvious things: I just realized I'm ashamed of my needs.
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Yesterday my therapist suggested that I might continue to not get the connection I crave from others until I find a way to let go of the frustration and resentment I feel about having to soften, slow down, and carefully consider how and what I say to whom. I had already admitted that I assume this would almost always be the case (slower/softer), and that I'd accepted it even while being frustrated and resentful of it; the idea that my reaction to the mismatch being a part of the alienation, even while trying to mitigate the mismatch itself, is difficult for me to swallow.
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Even when writing for an imaginary audience, I hesitate to write directly. I can always tell the difference when I've written under the influence (alcohol, caffeine, emotional duress) and when I haven't. I have a harder time shaking the influences of Romanticism than I thought.

I've been engaging in overt escapism more lately. On one hand,a case can be made that escapism has been a big part of how I've coped the last few years, but I think (maybe hope is more accurate) that was a less consciously aware engagement. The last time this self-awareness arose, I tried to tack toward real life (mine, anyway) by working those themes into games, but I think it was a combination of bad timing and my reach drastically exceeding my grasp.
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I can remember being a teen (maybe even younger) and desperately wishing to be different in a recognizable and meaningful way. Some of this was no doubt the predictable youthful struggle for individuation, and some of it the fantasy of making my loneliness and alienation positive. The burden of closets only magnified this whole wish fulfillment.

Within the past dozen or so years, it's become clear to me that I am different in profound-to-me ways. I've been struggling, with vary degrees of success, to learn to live with that, and to maybe accept it as something that just *is*. It's very much a work in progress; I imagine it will be for as long as I'm alive. But while this is a big part of who I am, I find I'm much more interested in connecting than I am in defining difference. It seems for me that a big part of learning to connect requires an awareness of differences, though, because some of these differences carry great hidden distances; knowing where they are seems important.

My current perspective is that this is largely a personal struggle, and that the majority of the work will be on me, no matter whomever else is involved. My relation to my own interiority means perhaps I'm better equipped to map my own terrain and try to observe the outlines belonging to others. I struggle with feeling that this is another invisible-to-others distance/difference, which threatens to undermine the larger project.
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Some days it's exhausting just being me.
adrienmundi: (Default)
How much of personality is performative? How much is habit? How much of any of this is conscious, and is it better or worse if it is?

I find myself getting very impatient with people I read as performative, and unconscious. If I (think I) can see the (probable) need behind certain behaviours or personality patterns, why can't others? And then I wonder what commensurate things people might think about me (assuming they think about me).
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I don't know how to enter into geek culture without coming in through the lens of presumed-guy. I can do academic/queer/slippery, and I can hit a flavor of goth-adrogynous-mixing, but other subcultures seem much less penetrable in ways I understand. It's confusing and disheartening, because a big part of my androgynous/slippery/queer heart and past are tied up with geek culture, but at the fringes.
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Huh. Apparently, I need to drink, think, then write more.
adrienmundi: (Default)
I almost dread my biweekly electrolysis. I'm down to the area around my mouth, and the center of my throat. All of this is incredibly sensitive, though in different ways. The area on my throat hurts less than I'd expect, but triggers something deeply aversive in primordial parts of my brain. I have to actively fight a stomach churning, need-to-get-away response, and remind myself that I've chosen to do this, and for a reason.

The area around my mouth, upper lip in particular, actually hurts more (and this is at a lower voltage), but I bear it much better. Typically after about 15 minutes on my upper lip, slow tears start running from my right eye. I feel bad for my electrolycist when that happens (which is kind of peculiar anyway, but metacognition is kind of my go-to).

I want this to be done. I don't want to have to shave my face again,ever. It's taken years (5-6 years, I think) to get this far,and more money than that about which I'm comfortable thinking. I tend to spiral out into the economics of being trans, and the fucked-upness of the consumer model of the (elective?) medical industry, and then I have to just turn my attention elsewhere because I'm so very tired of the spectres of "normalcy" and "just use of resources".
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Moving now, because fuck Russian state anti-LGBT and anti-privacy rulings. Nostalgia does not outweigh what's right.
adrienmundi: (marked)
I feel like I need a place/context I can be more at ease, where I can let all the "monster" things I worry about, monitor, keep in check and hide, out. What I don't want is hanging out with people whose idea of freedom is being an asshole. I mean, yes, I worry about acting/sounding like an asshole, and often silence myself because of that; that's not what I mean. I don't want to devote any time to those who want to be mean, or to use "honesty" as a non-stick coating for cruelty. I've known (and probably, been) people like that, and feel even less myself in that company than in the wider world.

Hiding, holding in, is exhausting. I don't let my weird out enough, I know; I rarely talk about my own inner workings except on social media, and then only obliquely. My therapist has pointed out (accurately, I think) that this precludes the possibility of intimacy. The always-running disaster modeling in my head strongly suggests that the possibility of meaningful intimacy is tiny, but the possibility of even greater distance/alienation is substantial. I know this process arose out of a need for self-protection, and I appreciate it, yet I don't know how to deflect or acknowledge and move past it when the majority of my mind agrees with its assessments. I am lonely and starving in important ways, and the usual means of distraction are even less sufficient than usual.

I don't know that I even know how to release my monster traits, monster self.
adrienmundi: (marked)
I haven't been posting much here at all. I'll write about music, politics and sometimes comics over at the popular place, but that's usually very targeted, very specific writing. Very occasionally I'll write about trans issues there, but not at the same level of detail or engagement I used to do here. A big part of this is knowledge of an active reading audience, I think; it's easier to write about specific things at the popular place, but it's fundamentally more shallow.

What has been taking up most of my time is dealing with the after effects of life threatening illness. My partner was diagnosed with cancer almost three years ago, and while she made it through and has been officially cancer free for over a year, the recovery has been steep and long. I've been so focused on trying to adjust (both of us) and help her adjust to the lingering effects of treatment (markedly more pronounced than imaginable) that I feel I barely have energy to get to work and do the minimum to keep us fed and the house not dangerously unclean. I haven't really had the time to dig deep into my own darkness, much less accommodate what I find.
adrienmundi: (marked)
I realize today that I've done a shit job of introducing myself to the genius loci. There are some constants (wind, the sun, my muse), but I don't speak the local dialects, and I've been lazy and inattentive when it comes to learning them. Some of this has been due to circumstance, some due to personal changes, yet none of that forgives the rudeness of not introducing herself to the local hosts. I need to change this.

Also, I've realized that the fear I had years ago, on a weekend dedicated to psilocybin introduction, there was a nightmare on the eve prior to ingestion/introduction, in which I was aware of scores of suddenly apparent cylinders/stylized mushrooms declaring in increasing unity, "He's here! He's here!" might not have been a portent of some terrifying external presence, but might have been to/about me (what does gender matter to mushroom spirits?). Or, I could be very wrong. Still, I own a mycological debt that has yet to be paid.

My breasts are large enough now that I think they're visible to others if I dress without care. I'm acutely aware of my fear of appearing to be a guy-with-boobs, and all the negative judgment with which such a perception is associated, and I can bemoan how impoverished the interpretive filters of others are, but what am I doing for myself in regard to others? What is it that I want, and is it worth more to not face that and realize it can't be had, or to see it for what it is and try (even if failure is (overwhelmingly) likely)?

Also, look deep within at your envy/jealousy. You may not want what it looks like others want/have, but this keeps coming up enough to suggest (demand) some internal attention. Green may be your color, but envy poisons that which it touches.
adrienmundi: (marked)
I go to work. I spend too much time on video games. What else do I do? From the outside, I suspect I look very different than how I think of myself. To what extent is Vonnegut right? Other than encouraging me to look more kindly on others, what is the point of living like this? How do I get out of the hole in which I find I've come to inhabit? How, exactly, does one turn off the perspective narrowing crisis mode that has enabled survival in recent years?

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