Self-loathing on Thanksgiving

Do you ever know somethings a bad idea but you do it anyways?

This will be my second thanksgiving I havent spent with the ones I love the most; my sister, brother, sister in-law, and niece. It’s all because I outted my sisters boyfriend for what he did to me when I was younger, and my brother isnt here because the same year everything went down with my sister, he was off doing crack. My sister and I havent spoken in 2 years. And my older brother is in Florida with a new girl he knocked up. We hope hes sober but you can never really tell..

This year I didnt even see my mom. She went to her new rich boyfriends house for thanksgiving. So, I spent this year with my Dad, Aunt, cousins, and little brother.

My brother is a pot head and parties all the time. He never used to be like this before I told him how fucked up things were getting within our family. In fact, he was a straight edge kid. Never even had a sip of alcohol when given to him. He always felt he would become addicted like his Dad. Which is fair considering..

I picked him up today and he said he wasnt staying long. He had friends he wanted to hangout with after. I told him “you sure you dont want to stay till dad gets home from work, he’ll be sad he didnt get to see you” to which he replied “I already made plans”. He never stays the night and he rarely ever comes over. I get it. My dad is really hard on him about grades and stresses him out bad about college, the future, money, etc. I see it in his face. He doesnt know. He’s only 17. But, anyways so I said “Alright well you’ll have to call him and break his heart”. He said “yeah… it breaks moms heart too that we arent all together during the holiday”… I said “yeah well its not just her, were all hurting this time of year”…

There was a long pause. Then I asked if she had cried or something, he said no. And we pulled in the driveway.

That hurts me. I feel like its my fault things are all fucked up.

I broke up the family. My older brother had a part in it as well, but, overall it was me.

I know its my fault because my mom has even said, numerous times, whether directly or not that its my responsibilty to bring the family back together. Something along the lines of “Your sister is in denial and you just need to accept she wont come around unless you are in her life again. Youre the bigger person in this situation.” Of course, that never happened. It would crush me to have her deny what happened and believe him over me, her little sister, all over again. So, I just wait with all this anger, sadness, and guilt. I’m not entirely sure what I’m waiting for. Her to finally realize? And say sorry? Slim chance. And even if she had, things would never be the same.

That hurts the most above all. Things will never be the same between us. We had the closest relationship. She was my idol, my role model, my “mom” basically. She was always there for me and I was always there for her. We were bestfriends. We had the best relationship. But, clearly not a bulletproof realtionship. Not a real strong one anyway.

I hate him. For what he did. For the pain he’s caused my family. And I’m angry at her for not believing me, cutting me off, and blaming me.

I know I need to forgive. I need to forgive them to be able to move on. But, how the fuck does someone do that??? I want to. But, I dont know if i can.

So, here I am. Drinking alone. Again.

I know I shouldnt. It’s very self destructive of me lol. But, sometimes you feel like you have to loosen the pressure gauge alittle. I cant keep all of it in right?

Logging off,

Co

Alcohol Dependent Family

Talking with my therapist today made me realize how much alcohol has influenced my life. It was easy to deny anyone had any problem, I mean they aren’t drunk before noon or belligerent drunk. But, they are wasted drunk, dont remember anything the next day drunk.

Richard tells me I’ve internalized a lot of “constructive criticism” as a kid. I put that in quotes because its more like micro-manage, look over your shoulder, type of criticism. My dad’s not a bad guy, dont get me wrong, he’s probably the nicest person you’d ever meet, but, he has a drinking problem. And drinking makes things unpredicatable in a household. This past year of living with him, my aunt and cousins has really showed me that.

To understand, you have to understand my dad’s life. He grew up in Wisconsin. Lived with two other siblings with his mom. She was a single mother, had never gotten over her womanzing sex addict ex-husband, and was a drunk. She’d cry and cry everynight. She’d tell her little children how awful their dad was. They’d go to bed and she’d stay up drinking, watching tv, alone, sobbing and crying herself to sleep. When they got a little taller, old enough to drive, she’d start to get mean and nasty when she’d drink. Tell them they’d never amount to anything and that they were no better than her beloved brother, Jimmy, who had died of lung cancer. This continued to happen just about every night.

He was a teenager, so of course he got into drinking like everyone else in Wisconsin. Partying, drinking, doing whatever drug came his way. Come on, it was the 70s! But, then things started to not be so fun anymore. Came senior year and he didnt know what the hell he was gonna do. Next year and the year after that. Till he was 23 years old looking around and releazied he’d become a low-life just like everyone else in his hometown. I’m sure you’ve heard the story… So, he goes off to the military and things are looking up for him. He’s no dummy. Smart. Everything comes easy to him. He goes into nuclear egineering school in the navy and comes out able to make some good money. Here’s where the drinking comes to play.

He drinks because he’s depressed. He drinks to celebrate. He drinks because he’s bored. What ever the reason, he became dependent. And since 30 years old he “lost all motivation to do anything.”

Everything you expect, comes along with drinking; anger, frustration, sadness, shame, and isolation. Emotions are heightened, so you can only imagine what happens when everyone in the house drinks till they are glassy eyed drunk. Lots of nights crying, fighting, and collective feelings of guilt or shame. Not a great environment to be in…

Children of an alcohol dependent parent, I’ve come to learn through therapy, are very approval seeking because not only do they feel like they dont have a “normal” family, but, they feel the constant responsiblity to “fix” everything that’s wrong within the family. Or at least thats the case for me. I feel like I have to be the light house everyone can seek out for comfort. I’m an easy going person with my lack of confidence and constant need for approval lol. Enough said.

If you have a parent with a tendency to drink a little too often and in excess here are some traits you might have now as an adult.

1. Are more concerned with others than themselves.

2. Have difficultly following a project through beginning to end.

3. Exhibit black and white thinking.

4. Have difficulty have fun.

5. Judge themselves harshly.

6. Constantly seek approval.

7. Feel different from others.

8. ‘Love’ those who need rescuing.

9. Feel guilty for standing up for themselves.

10. Extremely loyal.

Read more about what each trait means @ https://www.thecabinchiangmai.com/blog/personality-traits-and-characteristics-of-adult-children-of-alcoholics/

I know I exhibit all of these.

Oh and I’ll list some of the positives if you are feeling a little down about all the things I just pointed out.

We are very resilient people over all. We tend to be much more loyal, responsible, intuitive, empathic, and driven individuals.

So, some good things came out of it right??

Anyways, I’m learning to seperate myself from the criticism and not internalize it so much. Any micro-managing I do get is translated to “You’re not adequate”, “You’re not smart”, or “I dont have trust in your abilities as a person”. I internalize all of it and can be unrelenting. But, it’s not me it’s them. Their guilt, their shame, and their dependency. They have this impluse to control because they arent in control. It hurts to be constantly belittled, patronized, and criticized but, it’s how I react to the emotion or thought that matters.

Not everythings my fault.

Logging off,

Co

“That’s the problem with drinking. I thought, as I poured myself a drink. If something bad happens you drink in an attempt to forget; if something good happens you drink in order to celebrate; and if nothing happens you drink to make something happen.” – Charles Bukowski

a sad lonely night of giving into my negative thoughts

It’s funny, the only time I want to blog is when I’m depressed and procrastinating on important stuff. Maybe I feel like 12:18 am is the time to write because nothing is too pressing or demanding and I dont feel so guilty for not doing work; anyways my brain is already dead past 11:00 pm right?

I’m listening to Elliott Smith right now, suprise surprise I know haha. I swear all my interests are centered around depressed poets, writers, or singers. When will I ever get out of this. Will I ever? I think about it often. I’m not depressed like I was but, I’m also not happy the majority of the time. Sure, I take the neccesary steps to help myself. I’ve been working out every day, listening to Alan B. Watts audio archives, going to therapy twice a week and reading “self-help” books. But, none of it seems to be working.

These past few weeks I’ve been really thinking about what I want to do with my life. I dont know who I was kidding, thinking I could be a Math & Science Major. I just wanted to make my Dad proud. My true interests lie in writing. My Aunt and Cousin say just pursue something I want, degrees dont really matter all that much anyways. So, maybe I will. I know if I’m to become a freelance writer or work at a publishing corp. I have to strengthen my writing abilities.

I’d love to be a freelance writer and travel while I write novels. Pretty good deal right? Maybe it’s unrealistic. I know my Dad would think so. I’m terrified to tell him what I really want to do. He’s very worried about money…. his entire life. Any money he’d get as a kid he’d save, never spending it on himself ever. Now, he never does anything but saves his money. He sits in front of the tv all day on his days off. Wakes up, gets coffee, sits and watches the news for 4-5 hours, needs to “get out of the house” and goes grocery shopping, comes back, sits down, watches some more news for maybe another 2 hours or so, goes to the liquor store, buys drink of choice; 6 tiny spirits, whiskey, wine, or vodka, comes home starts drinking, eats dinner with everyone, puts the news back on and gets wasted. Everyone at this point is so sick of the news and doesnt want to tell him to watch something else so everyone goes to their rooms and by 12:00 am he is hammered.

Came to the realization this past year living here that any conversation you have with him past 8 pm he wont remember. At all. This was kind of hard. It’s like he resets and any truly deep or personal conversation you have with him he wont remember the next morning.

It’s a very sad household. Everyones melancholoy all the time. Everyone talks in the past or the future. And no one does anything at all. Were isolated, cut off. It’s very lonely.

You know, my therapist one day said, “Some of the things that you’ve been so kind to share with me has led me to believe that maybe…” he covers his mouth and looks down for a brief moment muttering “Jeez, am I really going to say this”.. “that you seem very alone.”

I am lonely. And it’s me pushing people and friends away. It’s my fault. I push friends away because I’m afraid of what they’ll think. “Wow she’s changed, she’s weird now, I dont like the new her.” or “I dont know how to deal with her, she has too many problems, she’s messed up, shes no fun” are all the possible things they could be thinking. It’s irrational, I know it’s unlikely they are thinking this at all, but, some voice is constantly telling me all the things that could go wrong.

I try to silence these voices or replace it with a more contructive thought but, with every battle I win, every other I’m losing. And losing, surrendering, is so much easier than winning. Most of the time with my winning battles, I dont think really set in or change my thought patterns all that much. And I know writing this isnt the most helpful and reinforcing negative beliefs. But, it’s just how I feel right now.

My friends keep asking to hangout. I keep pushing plans off. I just dont think they’ll understand me. My therapist and family think it’ll really help me. I agree, it probably would but, it’s ironic, why is it always good advice thats always the hardest to take.

Maybe, I’ll just push myself no matter how shitty I feel or anxious.

Wow, how trivial. Sickening.

It’s like Alan B. Watts explains, the buddhists, christians etc. They believe there’s a moralistic self and a egotistical self that we are in constant battle with. It seems my egotistical self usually controls my thoughts, emotions, behaviors. Hell a lot of the time I just want to save my money and go live in a van for awhile, eventually settling down in a cabin in Ireland, alone in solitude living off the land with absolutely no responsibility. It’d be great.

But, my other self says pick yourself up. This too shall pass. You will make it through. And, you will be happy again, one day. I find it really hard to listen to this voice, even when it’s the most needed.

I guess we’ll have to see.

Logging off,

Co

(Charles Bukoswki poem and Elliot Smith song below)

there’s a bluebird in my heart that
wants to get out
but I’m too tough for him,
I say, stay in there, I’m not going
to let anybody see
you.

there’s a bluebird in my heart that
wants to get out
but I pour whiskey on him and inhale
cigarette smoke
and the whores and the bartenders
and the grocery clerks
never know that
he’s
in there.

there’s a bluebird in my heart that
wants to get out
but I’m too tough for him,
I say,
stay down, do you want to mess
me up?
you want to screw up the
works?
you want to blow my book sales in
Europe?

there’s a bluebird in my heart that
wants to get out
but I’m too clever, I only let him out
at night sometimes
when everybody’s asleep.
I say, I know that you’re there,
so don’t be
sad.

then I put him back,
but he’s singing a little
in there, I haven’t quite let him
die
and we sleep together like
that
with our
secret pact
and it’s nice enough to
make a man
weep, but I don’t
weep, do
you?

Emotion isn’t truth

It’s easy to assume whatever we are feeling; sadness, anger, or excitement is the foundation of a truth. But, it’s not.

Emotions reinforce what we believe to be true. The problem with this is that its all subjective and dependent on that individuals perspective. Sometimes we trick ourselves into believing something thats just not based in reality. This past week I found myself irrationally anger. I was angry at random people, strangers because I percevied them as judging or critical of me, and without any evidence to support this I became insecure. I criticize myself and am a perfectionist, so it’s likely I’m projecting when I do this.. by judging them and putting them in a box (who they are to me in this moment). It’s easier really to have someone “figured out”. It’s human. We all need to assess the environment and we do this by taking in nonverbal information. It gets screwy though when your inner dialogue and “coding” is fucked up. The annoying thing about all of this is that I knew intellectually exactly what I was doing and why I was feeling the way I was. This feeling of perceived rejection from strangers turns into a truth because our emotions are so much more real than our rational higher self. The emotion that comes over me is resentment and anger. Not a good character trait by any means. So I try to “fix” this by distancing myself from the emotion by thinking of the situation or thought logically.

I have a checklist. Why do you feel like this? Is it rational to believe this idea; that this person is critcizing you or thinking badly about you? Because the more plausible idea is that you arent even on their radar because the truth is they arent even thinking about you. They are thinking about what homework they have to get done, what happened yesterday with so and so, or what they have planned for the day. A quote comes to mind when I’m in this thought spiral. “You will become way less concerned with what other people think of you when you realize how seldom they do.”- David Foster Wallace. But, when this logical nativating of the thoughts doesnt work and the emotion is too hard to ignore, what do you do? I’m trying to figure this out. It’s hard. How does someone detach themselves from their emotions. Thoughts turn into emotion and emotion causes behavior. It all happens so quickly and it’s nearly impossible to stop a thought from entering your orbit. I guess the only real way to stop the cycle is to change the phrasing of your thought… It’s just hard to when you so deeply at an unconsious level believe the emotion thats taken over.

Anyways, just some things to think about.

Logging off,

Co

“As the story goes, George Clinton, the leader of Funkadelic, told guitarist Eddie Hazel to imagine he was told his mother died and later on learned it was not true, this all under the influence of LSD. Once Clinton realized how powerful the solo sounded he faded the bass played by Billy Bass Nelson and drums played by Tiki Fulwood out.”

Can’t hate yourself into self-acceptance

Spoke with my therapist Richard. I was very transparent about everything. Told him about how I had started drinking again, rehashing old memories, and my lack of self care as of late. Even though I felt like shit the rest of the day. Something got through to me in that therapy session. He read me something he had wrote about my inner-dialogue and thought patterns. He said at the end of the page “You can’t hate yourself into accepting yourself,”….I know. Sounds obvious. But, for some reason it clicked. It’s strange how we all have blinders on to parts of ourselves that we just simply cant see without someone pointing it out. When you self-criticize, something inside you obviously wants you to change some aspect about yourself. And the irrational thing, is that you think this self-criticism will help and change that negative unwanted thing about yourself, but really, it only makes everything 10x harder to reconcile. You go into a spiral of self-hatred and only get worse. Until you, like me, have an apithany. And it always happens. Highs and lows. Constantly flucating like a yo-yo. You get clarity and a breath of air. Then you’re back to self-hatred because somewhere along the way you buy into these thoughts again.. or someone reinforces these beliefs whether intentionally or not. For me, my moment of clarity brought me back to self-care. For me taking care of myself is routine and cleaning/organizing. So, I got home from school and drank two cups of coffee and started cleaning my room that I hadn’t cleaned in 3 weeks. I did all my laundry. Took a bath. Put my night face creams on and went to bed a relatively early time. Self-care is like taking a shower after a long awful day. And for me, that self-destructive “I deserve this,” and “What’s the point” mentality was kind of pushed to the side for now while I loosen the reins a little. Doesn’t mean I don’t have those negative thoughts at all, just means I’m letting myself listen to my thoughts, feel the emotion that comes with it and letting it go.

I would like to know how we get so wrapped up in our thought patterns that we are so unaware of them. I was listening to Alan Watts, Out of my Mind archives and he said something along the lines of ‘If the man or women doesnt investigate their emotions/ behaviors, and why they are doing the thing they are doing they will always be confused. And if youre confused you know you havent let that emotion or behavior run its course, lending you the insight of why you behave or act in that particular way.” It’s seems so simple, and maybe that’s it. The most simple ideologies are sometimes the hardest to fully grasp. It’s right in front of you and you still cant see it. I never fully understood what David Foster Wallace may have meant when he said “Everything I’ve ever let go of, has claw marks on it” until now. Or maybe that’s just me making connections and putting a lot of depth to it. But, either way for this was all able to get through to me, and I listened. It’s nice when that happens.

I’ll leave on a high note.

Logging off,

Co

“Nobody can save you but yourself and you’re worth saving. It’s a war not easily won but if anything is worth winning then this is it.” -Charles Bukowski

Self-sabotage and drinking alone again

Last night I drank alone again. Hadn’t done that since last winter when I was so depressed I was having suicidal ideation. One night driving back home on the freeway from my college I had this sudden thought “What if I just drove off the road and died instantly… it’d be the perfect solution. My family would think it was an accident, I wouldn’t be hurting anyone but myself and I’ll finally be free from this hell I’m living. Really it’d be better for everyone, no more expectations, no more worrying.” That was probably the lowest point in my life, last winter. My sister had cut me off completely. Couldn’t believe her boyfriend would molest me because it just “wasn’t in his character” and I must have been “dreaming and got confused”. I kind of understand, she had just had a baby.… but.. to not postpone the wedding or even consider it. I mean he had sent me a porn link over facebook when I was 13. And even texted me saying it “wasn’t fair” that I didn’t wear a bra around the apartment. But, yeah, that’s just coincidence right? He didn’t mean it like that. …Anyway, you could say that had part to do with my unstable mental state. I mean, she was my idol and basically raised me. And then to suddenly shut me out, I was heart broken. I felt like dying. I wasn’t getting good grades either as you could imagine. I felt like such a disappointment to my family. My boyfriend at the time was also mentally abusive and would cut me down, call me names, use me for sex. Threatened to kill himself if I ever left him. I stayed for an entire 6 months. I kind of hate myself for that. How stupid and niave. Then around that same time, my older brother gets into meth and makes me drive him everywhere while he’s high. (No fucking back-bone what so ever.. jesus.) Nearly killed me pulling out of a driveway into traffic going 60 mph. So…..everything was fucked to say the least. I must say though, I’m doing much better than I was this time last year. Last year I was drinking a glass of vodka every night, sobbing listening to Elliot Smith on repeat, and smoking cigarettes out my window, staying up till 5 in the morning.

Now I’ve gotten into therapy. Richards his name. He’s around his early 70s. He’s helped me realize I’m a perfectionist, idealist, and have extremely high standards of myself. I’m self-critcizing myself all the time when it comes to grades, social acceptance, and my future. It’s part of the reason why I’ve started self-sabotaging again I think. I started procrastinating on my work these past two weeks and letting my grades fall alittle. Which I’m getting high marks. I’m in Phi Theta Kappa for fucks sake. I have a 3.925 G.P.A. So this shouldn’t matter! But, in my head I’m letting things slip now because it’s not perfect. I think some illogical thought I have is that if I get a bad grade it’s only because I did it last minute and the idea that I have to be prepared or perfect before I can just simply start studying or doing work. It’s just absolutely ridiculous. Yes, logically and intellectually I know! But, my irrational side is just letting it pass. Lately I haven’t been taking care of myself so to speak. I think I’m punishing my self for not getting the best grades and having my major figured out. So, I haven’t been taking my vitamins, cleaning my room, or getting good sleep. I distract myself at every possible turn by researching or becoming interested in things that shouldn’t be getting my attention right now! I have work do to! But, to go back to main point of all this. I drank last night. Whats this mean? I’m destined to go down this self-destructive path? Something thats just encoded in me? Or can I break this bad pattern? It’s not like I’m depressed like I was last year. What the fuck is wrong with me? Do I find comfort in depression and self-destructive behavior? Well, I see Richard tomorrow morning; maybe he’ll have the answers.

Logging off,

Co

“Smith died on October 21, 2003 at the age of 34 from two stab wounds to the chest.[8] At the time of the stabbing, he was at his Lemoyne Street home in Echo Park, California,[85] where he lived with his girlfriend, Jennifer Chiba. According to Chiba, the two were arguing,[40] and she locked herself in the bathroom to take a shower.[86] Chiba heard him scream and upon opening the door saw Smith standing with a knife in his chest. She pulled the knife out, after which he collapsed and she called 911 at 12:18 pm. Smith died in the hospital with the time of death listed as 1:36 p.m.”

this small town

Moving to a city is daunting because you’re forcing yourself to change and upheaving your comfortable small town life. I’ve lived in a small town in upstate NY my whole life. Sure, I’ve visited family in California and visited a few other places but, never stayed long enough to really decide if city life would be for me. Now that I’m 19 I have so many options and choices to make. Lately moving to NYC or Cali has been on my mind. I have anxiety but I don’t want that to get in the way of experiencing new things and traveling like I’ve always dreamt of as a kid. I’ve been surfing the web for hours and hours, reading forums about city life. My logic is, “Well you’d be forced to adapt and put yourself in uncomfortable situations, so you’d get over your fear of what others think of you right?”. It’s very idealistic. And I know I shouldn’t be so hopeful and look to this as an “end all be all” solution to my problems. But, it’s easier this way.

Anyways, my cousins and my Aunt live with my Dad and I at the moment. Actually moved from Cali to Wisconsin after my Aunts (now ex) husband’s pasta company took a hit. My grandma was getting pretty old so needed some looking after anyways because she no longer had my Uncle there (he had died a few years back from lung cancer, smoking 5 cartons a day and drinking all day had finally done him in). She passed away 2 years ago and since then they’ve been living with us in New York. They LOVE California. They tell me crazy stories all the time. Like today I was talking to my cousin, Johnny, we’ll call him, for about an hour about Cali. He said it definietly gets some getting used to. When he first got to West Hollywood, he couldnt sleep for the first few nights because of all the noise; people yelling, helicopters looking for people, and cars honking at one another. One night he was out on the porch of this shared apartment complex smoking a ciggarette with his dad and a helicopter beams a light on them. A man I guess a week before had decapatated a man on the trail leading up to the Hollywood sign just a few miles from where they were. In fact, Johnny had seen a man running on the street across from them and pointed in his direction, perhaps this was that man. Another crazy thing happened in the first few months of living there… my other cousin Liz was walking along a street at night shopping for new clothes and all of a sudden she hears shooting down just a block from where she was. A guy pulls her into his shop and locks up for the night. I guess there was a huge gang fight going on (pretty uncommon for the area too). The next morning there were hundreds of riot police on the scene; it made the news. Pretty nuts. Oh and about 3 months in, I should mention, my poor cousin Johnny is in a school shooting (Santa Monica 2013). Runs past dead classmates and runs outside while still hearing guns being fired! Scary shit. It’s fucked him up for sure. Has a hard time feeling safe and is worried he’s going to die a lot of the time. He still praises California though. I mean you cant live in fear. City’s arent all that bad and the media protrays the world to be a scary place when really it’s not all that scary. It was kind of a freak situation that all these big eventful things happened in West Hollywood in the first 3 months of living there lol. And he made sure to specify that haha. Sounds all pretty crazy but, even after hearing all of that I still want to move. I refuse to be sheltered. My mother was sheltered and lived in the same town her entire life. There’s just so much more to experience and things I may potentially be missing out on. Or missing a part of myself that I didnt even know existed because I haven’t put myself in that position yet. Makes you think what could be… It’s these late night thoughts that keep me optimistic about things. A good thing, but when expectations arent met could be a very disappointing thing.

Logging off,

Co

“There are these two young fish swimming along, and they happen to meet an older fish swimming the other way, who nods at them and says, “Morning, boys, how’s the water?” And the two young fish swim on for a bit, and then eventually one of them looks over at the other and goes, ‘What the hell is water?’ “-David Foster Wallace 2005

Mama, You Been On My Mind – Jeff Buckley
Lilac Wine – Jeff Buckley

“On the evening of May 29, 1997, Buckley’s band flew in intending to join him in his Memphis studio to work on the newly written material. That same evening, Buckley went swimming in Wolf River Harbor, a slackwater channel of the Mississippi River, while wearing boots, all of his clothing, and singing the chorus of the song “Whole Lotta Love” by Led Zeppelin. A roadie of Buckley’s band, Keith Foti, remained ashore. After moving the radio and a guitar out of reach of the wake from a passing tugboat, Foti looked up to see that Buckley was gone. Despite a determined rescue effort that night, Buckley remained missing. On June 4, his body was spotted by a tourist on a riverboat and was brought ashore.”