This post is just some post-Christmas ramblings: I’m going to draw when I’ve finished; I’m listening to music; I’ve shoved some bubble wrap in the space where there’s a draft coming through the window by my head; my brain is so awake; and I need to express myself. I feel myself entering a bit of a manic phase at the moment, which might bode well for my deadlines and it’s a bit difficult needing to be doing so many things at once, but right now I’m blasting out a band from my secondary school on my headphones (they’re seriously good, can’t quite believe they were all so young when they released this check out Underdog Victory’s album ‘Your Parents’ New Favourite Band’ on iTunes) and dancing around feeling happy in the moment. This is so nice, feeling happiness the way I feel depression, just completely caught up in and not being able to attribute it to anything or explain that moment properly. My granny gave me a book called ‘THIS BOOK WILL MAKE YOU SLEEP’, the cover has sheep on it and it’s really nice – about to have a read of it – and it really touched me. She understands me so much more than others like my father, who is always saying things like ‘maybe if you got up early you would go to sleep’. It’s not that simple and saying things like that certainly does not help the situation, it makes me want to explode.
So I think I have misophonia – it’s feeling lots of rage from noises that apparently most people don’t get really annoyed about ?! You never know whether your internal reaction is normal because it’s all you’ve ever experienced – realising you’re different in any way is a pretty difficult process, and it’s taken me about six years. But how are you supposed to know these things when you’re also going through puberty and all you’ve ever heard is ‘stop being a stroppy teenager’, ‘get over it’, ‘grow up’, you’re prevented from expressing any opinion and when you do actually pluck up the courage to do so you aren’t listened to? You know if you talk back it won’t be worth it. There have been a few moments like this over the last couple of days – what everyone calls ‘festivities’ are a pretty terrifying time. Yes, of course there are some bits I enjoy – I’ve had some lovely presents and I’ve got to spend time with some family that was pleasant. But not being in control of your reactions to things is pretty difficult during this time of year, when you’re surrounded by lots of relatives (this was worse last week), everyone is asking you what you’re doing with your life, you have to organise people and presents and timings and what everyone wants to do. At University I just have the one housemate and we’re really close and it’s lovely. We don’t see all that much of each other because we’re both very busy people but when we do it’s great fun, but going from living with her to suddenly living with four people and two pets and then being invaded by family from all over is pretty overwhelming. The reason I mentioned misophonia is because my father actually mentioned it yesterday (well, Christmas Day – it’s the 27th here now but I’m awake from the 26th so that’s how my brain sees it), while we were playing a family game. I tend to avoid this because family games usually end in arguments, shouting, rage and tears but since it was just the five of us on Christmas Day this year, we ended up playing a game. It was a pretty fun game but I have some pretty bad memories of games in my family that I don’t want to go into and I think is the reason I usually try to avoid games in social situations, so unless I feel peer pressure or I completely trust you, I won’t be participating in any games – games end badly, always, win, lose, whatever, it doesn’t matter to me at all because it’s just a game and the amount of stress and fear that has been induced by games is just unfair. Anyway, because of my frustration at a noise – I can’t even remember what it is now – my dad mentioned this article he had read and decided he probably had misophonia and told me that I might too. It makes sense. My grandad’s hearing aids have been making very high pitched infuriating sounds recently and he also taps a lot – I call him out on it because I don’t want to get angry with him (it’s weird calling him that: he’s Baba to me, it’s just a name that has stuck since I couldn’t pronounce grandpa when I was young). I know he doesn’t mean to upset me, but I think maybe it’s triggering or something and it really isn’t funny, it’s actually quite humiliating. I’m working on understanding myself, the longer everything in my head goes in the more angry it get and the more frustrated I become with myself for being like this, which isn’t helpful, especially when depressive phases hit and I feel like I really am a waste of space, and certain people make me feel like I’m right in thinking that too. My father always tells us that we definitely shouldn’t marry before we’re thirty, which makes me angry. Not because that’s his opinion, but because of the way that must be the only opinion. I would like to have a say in my own marriage, or whether I even get married at all – my parents haven’t exactly persuaded me in that department. What is the point in me being a person at all if I am not allowed to make my own choices and learn things on my own. If my father patronises us, he says ‘I’m your pater, it’s what I’m for’, which I find insulting as a twenty year old with my own life experience. No, of course I’m not as experienced at life as you, or many of you that might be reading this, but you cannot control everything in someone’s life – I need to learn things on my own, I need to make my own mistakes. If you don’t experience making your own mistakes I don’t believe you can truly value it when you do go about doing life the right way – I just feel nothing, pointless, and defeated. Another thing my father does is say you’d be mad to have children. As one of his three children it’s pretty upsetting to know that your own father wishes you hadn’t been born. Maybe his life hasn’t gone the way he wanted, but making me feel worthless and guilty for that seems a little harsh. And again, I’ll make my own decisions about whether I’ll have children (these situations are currently completely hypothetical but I’m sure they will become issues in the future – and I bet then my dad’s problem will be that he hasn’t got any grandchildren yet, and he’ll wonder why).
Typing stuff out here helps with understanding myself a bit, and I’m being pretty honest and I do have panics that people I know might read this, and I have always hidden my thoughts from the outside world, but it’s important that I help myself as much as I can, so I’ll post on here when I feel up to it if it’s going to stop me thinking about other things or getting overwhelmed, because I can just truly be myself in a way that I can’t around other people, at least not aloud. I’ve written some letters, and they’re helpful for expressing oneself in a way that texting or messaging never would be, for times when I’ve got a lot I need to say but it’s really difficult to form the words.
This post might seem a bit disordered but I went back and edited it and added things I thought of as I went that seemed to fit.
My dad is starting to make more sense to me too, or has been recently. While he is a loud, seemingly self-assured and confident person who is always right and doesn’t do anything wrong, and has it so much harder than everyone else in his view, I’ve also noticed he also likes to avoid especially large gatherings, gets very angry at things that shouldn’t cause that, likes to be doing something all the time or gets bored and agitated, and has trouble sleeping. I hate it when people compare me him – my mother and my brother do it to wind me up – but actually I think maybe he’s like me in that stuff isn’t quite right in his head. There’s no way he’d ever admit that, let alone think it in the first place. And would probably flip out if he realised I thought that. Just like I can’t tell my mum I have mental health problems, I can’t tell my dad I think he does – I should be able to, but I would never want to risk it.
I don’t want to start thinking about negative things because I’m ok right now, so I’ll talk about T. I’m going to stay at his for New Year’s, well for five nights around New Year, so I’m pretty excited. It’s been very strange being apart and suddenly having to deal with all the past memories and emotions that come with being at home (I’m pretty sure I had some flashbacks to a time where my face looked too thin to be a person yesterday and that’s never happened before so that was pretty scary – seeing my past self through my current self’s lens makes me feel quite horrible and I don’t know how to describe it) after being at University all term and having spent no more than 24 hours apart for over a month before suddenly coming home – it’s kind of like polar opposite situations. T is one of the most understanding people I’ve ever come across and when things got bad earlier this term, I was so glad for him. I’m glad I have him anyway, of course, and certainly don’t feel like I deserve him, but I don’t know how I would have coped otherwise. I feel very guilty because I did need a lot of looking after, but half of that is just being accepted as I am, and I now know that he does – it still surprises me: I still wake up thinking maybe I made this all up; I get paranoia about awful things happening, and feel like I should remove myself from this before I do anything to ruin it or damage myself; and it’s amazing what difference one person can make to one’s life. When I get in a really bad state, I don’t care about anything and I really scare myself because the more I care about things and the more people I care about and the more I care about those people, the harder it is to be with the self that pops up every now and again – I just call her ‘her’ in my head. She’s the one that made me sick for all those years, she’s the one that cut me, she’s the one that bangs my head, she’s the one that shouts at me and tells me everything that can go wrong and gives me panic attacks and she’s the one that tells me the world would be a better place if I did not exist and maybe I should do the world a favour. I’m going to be ok, I think that in this moment, sitting on my own letting out my retrospective thoughts, but I know that at any moment I can snap. And that really scares me. It’s pretty tough admitting that you’re scared of yourself, and sometimes I just don’t know how to talk to T because I don’t want him to know how insecure I am and how much I can hate myself and the things that go through my head and the person I was and how sometimes she pops back to say hello – well not really hello, more like BOO SCARED YOU WEREN’T EXPECTING ME WERE YOU AH WELL I’LL JUST CRASH HERE IN YOUR BRAIN FOR A WHILE AND COME AND GO AS I PLEASE. But I’ll always be honest, because there’s no point being with someone if you can’t truly be yourself. I read something recently that said you don’t need to be single to discover who you are; a healthy relationship is one where you can truly develop and be yourself. And that’s what I’m doing with this one. Hopefully it won’t just all end suddenly. You never know, and when I’m feeling down I panic about this, situations always change and at some point we’re going to have to think about the future, maybe not now, but it feels serious to me, and we’re going to graduate, so here comes some panic about whether you’re wasting time and this one’s going to up and leave you after he tells you how he feels and makes you feel like he wants you to be a part of his life (that definitely happens) – telling someone you feel like that doesn’t exactly make them want you more – but I’ve got a good feeling. I’m pretty excited about next week, and seems like he is too, so that’s really nice and I’m very grateful for you, T.
This has been a bit of a rambly post so I apologise. This is actually a very structured and clear expression of a tiny little bubble of the situation in my brain right now, so I’m proud of myself anyway. Maybe it seems arrogant saying something like that but I’ve always given myself such high standards to reach, such high goals to aim for and I’ve always put myself down, and punished myself for not being perfect, and if I’m in a moment where I realise I’m not a horrible human being who people don’t want to exist, and it’s ok not to be perfect, then I may as well make the most of it. Those moments only ever pop in for a cup of tea or a weekend away, they never want to crash indefinitely in my brain. And I get so sad when they leave.
Goodnight and I hope you all had a safe and Happy Christmas.