adrienmundi: (marked)
I wonder how much is me, and how much is other people.

Places I should feel welcome, in community, are often the places I feel most alien.

Who defines the imperatives? From whence do they come? Are they guideposts or restrictions? I wonder if I will ever feel at ease in the company of humans.


Jan. 13th, 2016 07:03 pm
adrienmundi: (marked)
"The written word is a lie."

I get messages from music, when I pay attention. Sometimes from parts of my brain, sometimes from... somewhere else. It's not all the time, and it is not a requirement for my love of music, nor does it get in the way. I'm better, in every way that matters, when I listen.

I've always struggled with (A)art, with words, with (T)truth, with communication. I believe that anything you know, anything you feel, is made more powerful, more meaningful, through communication to others. I'm not sure if ineffable (t)truths exist; if they do, how meaningful can they be if they can't be communicated?

And yet, John Lydon's sentence won't leave my brain. It's been circling for a time, becoming suddenly more insistent as I feel stirred out of fearful complacency and the mistaken idea that there will always be time to come back around. I love the arts, yet only feel any degree of skill with language. As I've said in the past, I distrust, and some days actively dislike, the written word, and yet here I am.

I read, compulsively. I don't write, really, certainly not in any meaningful way. I'm convinced I can turn a phrase, but can't sell a convincing fiction to myself, and therefore anyone else; I can't convince myself to even begin. I don't correspond meaningfully. I've grown too afraid of putting my thoughts down and exposing them to others; once out in the world, the words may have power and a life beyond what I imagined.

I think I do believe that the written word is a lie, and spoken words, too. I think in a sense, language is a lie, and I've spent much of my life struggling with how to bend these lies into a tool for sharing (T)truths. I'm never happy with the medium, or the result. Whether I am or not, I almost never feel heard.

Is it possible to use this medium of lies, the only medium with which I have a degree of comfort, to communicate truth? If it's theoretically possible, is it within the span of my skill, talent, affinity? I honestly don't know.

I have things to say. I don't trust my ability to say them, the ability of the medium to convey my meaning, or the ability of readers or listeners to understand.

"Trust me, I'm telling you stories."

Is allegory the only option? There is a power in stories, but it's the power of what's behind them, what fills and propels them, when done well. Winterson, obviously, but I've courted the wrong muse, and my inspirational beloved guides me to shared fandom (and sometimes, dancing). I don't feel meaning,(A)art, (T)truth flow from my lips or fingers; I only feel skill, occasional cleverness, technique, when my entire aesthetic is based on duende.

There's something here, something important. I can't reach it (yet, hopefully). I also can't let it go. I can't escape words; even if I don't speak, don't write, I'm already infected, and it's likely terminal. I need to find a way to live with, and make peace with, this invader. Not a parasite, not a symbiote: can I turn this into a demon who isn't always unwelcome?
adrienmundi: (marked)
48 years in and I still struggle with idealism in an imperfect world. I think I trip over what could be if only, and tend to view "doing what one can" with suspicion informed by the awareness of "what needs to be done".
adrienmundi: (marked)
Working on forgiveness is hard, certainly harder than I ever expected.
adrienmundi: (marked)
I have joined Diaspora* as a response to my frustration with other social media, and my nostalgic longing for what lj used to be for me. I will still post here, though infrequently. Most of my personal writing will be on Disaspora*. I'm there; come look for me there if you like. The company would be nice.
adrienmundi: (marked)
If you can't be who you want to be, or feel you can't (what's the affective difference, really?), who are you in the mean time? What do you do, how do you do it, why do you do it?

Questions that have been very much on my mind lately. No answers, but the questions keep coming back, clearly wanting something and not yet getting it.
adrienmundi: (marked)
I've been thinking a lot about the four Western/hermetic/alchemical elements. As I find my way back to mysticism/spirituality, I am surprised how comfortably it's settling in as a comfortable, useful filter. I'm curious to see what other filters might take root, and look forward to shifting perspective among them.

Earth - I've struggled with this one since I was a child. Being of an age, astrology was a big thing in my parents' circles when I was young. Based on my birth date, I felt like everyone was trying overly hard to push some stolid, sedentary, weighty materialism of earthiness onto me, and I hated it. People would always point at my stubbornness as exemplary, which would infuriate me. My stubbornness was not slow, solid or weighty; it was something like an ember that would roar into flame at times.

Several years ago I made a concerted effort to grow plants, to become aware of the life and rhythm of growing things, and it's made a difference. I can almost see earthiness by way of the things that grow from it, and while it's a much more tenuous set of meanings, I can make more personal sense out of the set of meanings clumped around "Earth".

Air - Air has always made sense to me. As a child, I was so aware of presence(s) in moving air that it frightened me, because they seemed aware of me as well, and challenged my sense of scale in very threatening ways. Whenever I would get my "migraines", or if I was well and truly sick, I always wanted a open window. Fresh, moving air, full of the scent of outside both near and far, anchored me. To this day I can't stand to be inside with still, stale air for long.

I read somewhere that several cultures consider mind to be an aspect of wind. You partake of mind as you breathe in and out, creating temporary localized instances of something much larger. This makes sense to me in deep ways. Wind is a comfortable presence to me, one in which I take both solace and delight.

Water - It's hard to talk about water without slipping into cliche. Water feels like home to me. Whenever I first see the ocean I start to tear up, as though I can't contain all that is suddenly going on inside of me. The difference in scale between myself and the ocean has never really frightened me; if anything, I took comfort in the deep, caring, vast presence that seemed to welcome me. Rivers and streams (when not clogged with pollution) are happy moments of the unquestionably real for me, and I always take a moment alone to say hello, and touch the water when I can. I feel like my connection with water is strong enough to easily be dominant, save for the almost out of scale connection with Air.

Fire - This is the element that feels most personally distant to me. While it may not be causally connected at all, I had very early accidents in and around fire. I feel off a low stool and into a bonfire once, and accidentally walked barefoot across coals that had been dumped out of a charcoal grill, both before the age of five. I like fires, though I don't love them most of the time, and experience them as something like an object, not a presence. I associate fire with anger, which may be part of my problem. I have been an angry person for most of my life, and I struggle to be productive with it when it does arise, but it's very much a work in progress.

Curiously, I don't particularly associate light, which I sometimes do experience personally, with fire. Nor the sun, for that matter, which seems strange on reflection.
adrienmundi: (marked)
I kind of feel like I've embraced my darkness. I wouldn't have expected it to be so difficult to embrace my lightness. I guess that's my new area of focus. Fuck.
adrienmundi: (marked)
This year I will try to take better care of myself.
adrienmundi: (marked)
I'm pretty sure one of the reasons I feel so socio-politically disempowered is because I feel powerless to effect positive/sustainable change in gender/sexuality flavored places in my personal life. How does one come to accept the unacceptable? Is some level of acceptance required for greater engagement and empowerment? I keep hearing an echoing accusation of "sell out" and abandonment.

I feel less fear and anxiety about impending judgement from my sixteen year old self than I did (still do) about confronting my fourteen year old self. I've got a few months until the numbers line up and I feel compelled to make that connection.

I keep circling back to the same unresolved knots.It's finally starting to feel important. Maybe I've changed enough to have a different enough perspective to see things differently. I'm acutely aware of the power imbalance between me and the things I find troubling. I wish I was better at intentional personification, or maybe not. Would it help to be angry at the stone titan so large that I don't even register?

I am trying,trying, trying to find my way back. To what, I'm not sure, but it's important.
adrienmundi: (marked)
When I drink alone, I tend to write about music. I should probably do both more.
adrienmundi: (marked)
It's been quite a while since I really engaged here. I have been consumed by other things: work, the illness of an S.O., books and video games. The repressed need to write has been persistent, and if I'm paying attention accurately, growing. I feel quite out of the habit of diving into my own self, which makes me wonder if my absence here (or really, writing in general) has been some continued avoidance.

The beautiful embracing lushness of southern summer reminds me of neglected connections with the world and the presences I encounter there; I've really not been good at dealing with that part of my life the past few years. The patient, embracing acceptance waiting for me makes me even less inclined to reconnect, and I know it's my own struggle with guilt and feeling unworthy. The best advice on that front I have ever encountered is: do not dishonor the gifts or the givers because you feel unworthy; they have been given to you for a reason, so accept them. Easier said than done, but still very much on my mind.

I feel like I don't know how to connect with people in meaningful ways at the moment. I've gone through a period of seclusion and intense introspection, leaving me feeling like most of my human connections have atrophied. I could probably pick them up where I left them with some work, but the seclusion has helped me to see that the connections I had were unsatisfying in the way that I experienced them, and that maybe I can and should reach for satisfaction. Theoretical, but how to actualize? I keep tripping over gender/trans issues. The story I tell myself is that if I feel like I can't talk about trans issues with people, then any other connection I experience is based on misinterpretation at best, deception at worst, and therefore suspect, if not meaningless. Unwinding that knot is complicated, and a recurring subject with my very insightful therapist.

I intend to engage more here. Even if no one reads, it's better than the shallows of FB, and feels less cliqueish than G+. It's probably memory coloring my perception. I have decided to be OK with that.
adrienmundi: (marked)
I am very aware of how different the world looks based on how long it's been since I've taken my hormones. I hate what I think that difference might mean, while at the same time enjoying (some of) the effects.
adrienmundi: (marked)
There is deep churn beneath a seemingly placid (frozen? solid? something of weight) surface. I have much to say, eventually.
adrienmundi: (marked)
In other news, I think I'm finally starting to feel/worry about aging. I can't say as I like it.
adrienmundi: (marked)
I've been very introspective lately (even for me). Small thoughts keep rising to my attention. I'm trying to let them move at their own pace, and not dig too obsessively into them just yet. For documentation purposes:

-What part of lust is envy?

This is a fraught question for me, and I still don't know the answer. I'm trying to entertain the uncertainty and be aware of the question rather than beating myself with it.

-"Maybe you should stop focusing on the outside so much and work on the inside"

An anonymously focused comment from years back. I'm not sure if that was directed to me, but I found something of use in it. Repression, fear, my own inertia and a host of other issues kept(keep?) me from being very forthcoming on my internal work. I still struggle to communicate honestly or authentically, but I try to be more open about the struggle. External work feels like it's hit an impasse, which probably in part hinges on more internal work. Still, some days, fuck the world.

-"I feel like sometimes you want to be a boy or a girl."

My immediate rejection and clarification ("No, I want some of the social things boys and girls get") was externally convincing and internally too smooth, quick and practiced to sit entirely well. Politics, idealism, the biological and social philosophy of bodies: all this and more gets tied up in my head. I strongly suspect I foreclose on the ideal due to perceived current impossibilities. I feel like I suck at living a prefigurative life. I know I'm (too?) afraid of the consequences of failure. There isn't a lot of political cover for "sometimes, in some ways" when it comes to gender, sex, bodies and manifestation.

-When is silence death, and when is it tactical?

I suuuuck at knowing the difference. I feel as though I'm too silent too often (zB, I allow my co-workers to assume I'm a straight guy without challenging their attempts at (coercive to me) inclusion in sexist and essentialist generalizations). It often feels too complicated, and unsafe, to confront them in a way that will create space for me. I note when I'm silent as personal failures, and feel increasingly alienated.
adrienmundi: (marked)
Continuing to work on alienation in therapy, I can't seem to escape from issues of gender. Not that I think all my alienation is gender related (it's not), or even that gender was the first distance between myself and others (it wasn't). It is, however, the first go-to in my head about not trusting others, not being sure if people are worth the investment in gender and trans 101 education, and why it's generally "safer" to stay at a distance.Except that I hate it, and it's not really helping me in ways I need any more (if it ever did).

Sometimes the things I say in therapy surprise me. ZB, "I don't have to talk about gender issues with friends all of the time, but I have to feel like I can talk about gender issues for someone to feel like a friend."

I absolutely grant that I might well be able to talk to receptive, interested people more than I feel like I can. I don't know how to judge the likelihood of that, and the main options appear to be to either stay back or be defenselessly vulnerable. I need to know what other options look and feel like. I feel like I'm ready to really work at this, only I don't quite know where to put my effort.

on anger

Dec. 24th, 2013 11:40 am
adrienmundi: (marked)
I've been doing a lot of work on anger. Or maybe that's not quite right; I thought I'd been doing a lot of work on anger?

I've had anger issues for as long as I can remember. I can recall the intense childhood frustration of not being heard transform into wordless rage, the anger at the lack of my own immediate proficiency in something new (music, arts, hobbies) resulting in broken objects, makeshift projectiles, or holes in sheetrock. Add my gender and trust issues, alienation, political engagement and bad patterning, and I was a very, very angry adult.

I remember making a conscious decision to try and do something about anger about five(ish?) years ago, shortly after deforming a cooking pot by hurling it at the ground, putting out a light, and realizing that the cats would scatter if I suddenly inhaled as I felt the building of rage. I was embarrassed and felt very much out of control (ironic, since so much of my anger seems to come from a place of powerlessness).

I began seriously trying to cultivate compassion (which is a laudable goal in itself), trying to feel sympathy for others at the moment when their behaviour or ignorance pissed me the fuck off. I wallowed less in anger, tried to blunt the edges when it arose, and be conscious of how I chose to act when I did feel angry.

My therapist recently asked me what happened to the anger. Her observation was that people still piss me off, and she knows that I still get angry, so where does it go? Having not really considered the question, I had to admit I didn't know, and that both confused and disturbed me. Was some of the progress I thought I'd made an elaborate method of suppression and denial? I really haven't been expressing anger recently; is that a potential warning sign, and not necessarily a sign of progress?
adrienmundi: (marked)
I wonder sometimes if my change in job situation, while being surprisingly good for me on job/career/ability-based levels, isn't threatening to my sense of self on others. I never expected to be in a position like this, and may have been unprepared for it in unexpected ways. My usual method of protection (disavowal, distance, removal) don't really work in this context. I end up feeling weak, exposed, and buffeted much of the time.

It's probably another fucking opportunity for growth. I wish those didn't come with as much a feeling of weakness as I tend to experience. I'd like to try growing from a position of strength some time.
adrienmundi: (marked)
Things I realized recently:

I'm very afraid of losing the ability to pass as not "crazy".
I have such a backlog of old, complicated grief that I don't know how to begin to process, and I'm afraid of drowning in it.
I also let fear of grief keep me from important things.

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