Monthly Archives: August 2008

Oh me, oh my!

Apparently, according to at least one 3rd year medical student, I show certain traits which are intrinsic to borderline personality disorder. I disagree on the diagnosis as a whole, but can agree on a few select points, such as my “black-and-white” perspective some of the time, my propensity for the dramatic, my reckless driving on occasion (+10 years driving, no accidents caused by me, 0 speeding tickets, only 1 actual fender bender–how’s that for reckless @$$hole?). But not much else. I don’t have promiscuous sex (though I may fantasize), I don’t abuse substances, I’m not suicidal, and I don’t think I’m a binge eater.

So is it fair to tell someone that the only reason they want to do anything is because they’re mentally divergent? Hmmm… No, I don’t think that’s fair. I agree that I come from a broken family with little direction and little in the way of coping skills with everyday life, but I’ve made it this far. I’ve gone straight from high school to college to the work force. I’ve held down jobs for reasonable amounts of time with respect to what my financial and career goals are (2.75 and 0.75 prior and current respectively). I pay my bills for the most part within the allotted 30 day timeframe, unless something odd happens, and then it’s within 30 to 45 days. I’ve had 3 long-lasting relationships and have successfully converted from a romantic one to a platonic one. Overall, I think it’s safe to say I’m not fucking insane.

So I’m inclined at this point to question whether this person’s motives were purely diagnostic when making the statement that I may have BPD. Is it not possible that this person–never having had a decent long-term relationship of any meaningful import, never having to fend for himself or to make decisions independent of Mommy and Daddy’s directives, never knowing or even caring what it’s like to walk in another person’s shoes–is it not possible that this was merely a defense mechanism on his part in response to my long-thought out decision to end our relationship? Methinks this may be a possibility.

I’m old enough at this point to know that I’m not the cream of the crop, I’m not “1 in a million”, I’m not white, or blonde, or 105 lbs with a 5-foot stature. I’m ok with that. I’m not wildly successful or creative or talented, but I’m starting to know what I like and what I want in life. I’m ok with that. What I’m not ok with is someone telling me that I have a mental disorder and thereby invalidating all of my feelings and hopes and drives, demeaning my capacity to think for myself on an adult level. Perhaps this is his projecting of the mollycoddling his parents have done to him all of his life, perhaps not. Whatever it is, whatever his reason, he should have known better.


Dreams for the Ever-Wakeful

In response to CMU’s late lecturer, I’m going to be working on this multi-part post for what I believe will be a few days. Perhaps longer. Its goal is to pinpoint, if possible, the childhood dreams/aspirations I had. Obviously as a child. It would be great if this just poured out from me like water from a geyser, but I didn’t really have very difficult dreams as a child, and not very many–so I’m trying to get past the problems occluding my view of what those aspirations might have been. To do so, I must identify the problems, solve them, or make them viewable–believeably–as non-problems any more, and get on to the meat of the issue.

Okay, so lets start with the mega-Freudian problem:

Problem 1.1: Mom was sad/in pain.

So mother was in one abusive relationship after the next. She never had a normal job until after my step-father OD’d and died. There were physically horrific altercations, years of alcohol & drug abuse, depression, anger, lies, and desperation. These activities and the resultant emotions made her depressed. Being involved in all of this, especially seeing how it affected her, made me angry and depressed in turn, at not being able to help her feel better. It still this way today.

Related Aspirations: See Mom happy. See Mom not drunk. See Mom not fighting.

Resolution: Well, Mom’s been in AA for a couple years now (2 years out of 27 would be 2% of the time), and hasn’t been fighting since dad died. Now I’ve just got to see her happy. I think the only way to do this is through money. On to Problem 2.1.

Problem 2.1: We were poor.

As a result of the above-listed description of mother’s circumstances, we were destitute.

Related Aspirations: Be very wealthy, or at least able to have home & pay related bills.

Resolution: I’m working my way up, and am now making myself just a few thousand below the average household income. I give her some money every pay period, but it’s never really enough since I do put my credit before almost everything else at this point. If she can hold out another 8 months a lot of things will be paid off and I can give her much more.

Problem 3.1: We were shamed.

With all of the above going on, we had many reasons to feel ashamed in our family.

Related Aspirations: To not be ashamed.

Resolution: This is kind of an artificial problem, because I can just say I don’t have any shame and be done with it. However, if I were individually sat down in earnest, I’d come clean and admit the shame. We’re living clean now, and I think things are getting better all around.

In light of these problems and their pending resolutions, what were my dreams aside from the aspirations in reaction to the growing pains?

To have a library. That smelled of leather & rich mahogany perhaps.
– To have a library I’d have to have a house, and I don’t make enough for that. In fact, based on how much houses cost now at days and my student loans in consideration, I won’t be able to afford a house. Ever. As it stands, I do have a shitload of books in my trunk, and I can sleep in my car if needs be, so we’re halfway there.

To ride a horse. Preferrably a black one.
– Rode a crazy horse while working as a summer camp aide at 15. One of the best days of my life. That was a dream come true, albeit on a brown quarterhorse named Cash. At’il do.

To not be picked on, called names, or beaten up.
– Don’t really get picked on anymore, not a lot of name calling in the work industry, and I definitely don’t get beaten up (though at 5 feet tall it could happen). Now-at-days, anything that someone does that displeases me I walk out on, so that works for me.

To know about everything and how stuff works. Lightning, TV, bookbinding, trees & plants, my eyes/vision, manufacturing factories, lightning bugs’ butts, etc.
– I know about a lot, but never enough. This is one dream that won’t come true in its entirety, because it’s still alive & evolving. I always want to know something else. This is a good defeat.

All in all, I guess the only remaining dream I have is ‘to know’. I’m always working on that, so I guess I just need to get a more specific list of what I want to know going. Perhaps this professor’s childhood dream thing works for others, but I’ve got to admit, doesn’t really work for me. Am I supposed to feel contented or successful after this? If so, I failed.

Recidivism & Sources of Shame

So I had always thought that my little brother was a hopeless case. Actually, I still do, but I always thought that he was a hopeless criminally inclined individual with no grounds for being one. I thought he was criminally inclined due to 1. Nature: his extra chromosone that seems to run among the incarcerated crowd, and 2. Nurture: his having grown up in ghetto places in Camden & Philly, as well as the dysfunctional family we grew up in. Now I’m starting to think that there may also have been something else in there. Of course, there are a multitude of factors that go into making us all who we are, but I thought that these two were the prevalent ones making Keegan the petty criminal we know him as today. I’m starting to doubt this.

Now I’m thinking that the lacking father figure played more strongly into his personality than originally thought, that and the overwhelming number of women in his life. I’m worried that it may also be my fault; perhaps he thought he should be the father figure that our family lacked, and needed to take charge of life in whatever way he could. I don’t know…

I have this memory of him, a proud one for him, but a shameful one for me. I was 11 years old, being followed home from school one day by a gang of black girls who wanted to beat me up. My method was to ignore their taunts, until it came to the point that they got physical and began trying to trip me. Cowardly as I was, I did not fight, but finally turned around and engaged them in conversation, likely asking them why they were doing what they were doing. Cowardly, I know, but this was my preferred method of confrontation if confrontation was necessary at all. I had seen enough fighting in my brief life between my mother and father-in-law, and was not fond of the process or its after effects.

I recall Keegan having been coming back from school as well at the time, a ways behind the lot of us. He, having caught up, and bold and full of pride, decided he was going to fight the lot of them (4 in total). But in the ruckus, one of them pushed me down, and I, in shame and fright, ran home. I left him there, 7 years old, alone, fighting against 4 girls at least 4 years older than he. I don’t know how I could do such a cowardly thing, especially to someone who in reality I should have been protecting, but I did. It is one of the greatest sources of my current day shame.

I think perhaps this is why he has developed into the incorrigible criminal he is today. Perhaps he’s going to beat the scum at their own game. Perhaps he’s still fighting that battle I ran out on all those years ago. If so, then this is my fault, and there will be no end to it until I step up to the plate and finish the fight myself. I must ask him how to finish this fight, so he can stop fighting it for me.

Synaesthesia for Successors

I was looking at an adorable grey bunny a friend of mine sent to me when I decided to peruse the other photos in the photographer’s quarry of images. Mostly fuzzy bunnies, but a few easter eggs strewn in there as well. That was confusing: pictures of bunnies and then all-of-a-sudden–a nest of eggs! I totally think of bunnies laying on eggs, and it just doesn’t make any sense. Goddamned commercials… Anyway, bored, I decided to try and look for better pictures, relevant pictures, pictures of beautiful faraway lands, pictures of the most wonderful place I could think of: pictures of eastern Europe.

Haply, I came upon some, and was enchanted as usual. I love eastern European architecture. It comes right out of nature, out of fairy tale books. This is probably an exaggeration, but this is of course coming from someone who lives in America who sees swathes of forest clear cut just to build a mini-metropolis, with faggy little “ornamental” trees propped up in cement containers, only to die in the following winter, just to be replaced again in spring. Incredible! But I digress.

One particularly moving photo was that of a still river in autumn, rust-brown leaves covering the ground, and misty-green lichen climbing up the oak trees on the riverbank’s edge. The way the picture made me feel, the smells it evoked, and the intellectual sensation of cool-warm damp soft stillness–I had to know how to describe it. I sought to find how to describe the sensations it drew out of me. Somehow, I came upon “synaesthesia”, and boy, was I floored by all of the research being done in this field. This is one of the truly pioneering fields of the human mind.

For one cool cat in the field, check out:

Now, I don’t think myself a synaesthete, but I “see” where they’re coming from. It makes so much sense that humans would develop senses that overlapped and provided an almost new world in just providing a different experience of the world we already exist in. I ask you: is it not a profound experience when one’s senses interweave during a hallucinogenic-induced “trip”? Is that profundity not tied to the fact that one is coming to a truer more intimate understanding of the universe’s yet undiscerned, unlearned secret language? It just seems like the right way for our progeny to develop, and I cannot help but herald it’s coming. I deem it good.

"Let’s change the subject!"

Cried the March Hare–and I quite thoroughly concur! A change of subject is an order! New Topic: Me & My Interests.

So I keep checking in on this Craigslist site to see if I’ve “missed” any “connections” here in Boston, really just hoping to get a little boost for my ego, because I have no intention on getting caught up in anything more than what I’ve got going on at the moment. I suppose I’d just like to see that someone else out there fancies something about the way I’m doing something–my hair, my attire, my choice in literature, the way I’m holding the book or my reaction to a certain line in it. Something. At this point, anything–aside from my busom or buns (neither of which are particularly remarkable). Well, months have gone by, and I’ve got to admit: I’m getting nothing. If ever I happened upon a post for a curly headed fraggle, my ocular ears would perk up at the chance mention of my person. But it’s for naught. There are no fraggle-freaks out there, no afficionados of the afro-curl-puff thing I’ve got goin’ on. ::sigh::

That’s alright though. It just humbles me, as it should. If I spend too much time thinking about myself and my twisted tortured libido I just come all undone. It’s better that I take the time to work on making myself a better person, it’s just a shame I don’t know where to start! I always try to find myself at a park or in a bookstore, but I am wide of my own location. ‘I haven’t pinpointed “me” yet.’ But that doesn’t mean I’m ready to give up the search and just give my life over to the service of others; I find that somewhat defeatist, and surrender of that sort I am not willing to undergo. Serving who? If it were someone definitively better, then yes, it would be to a good purpose. But serving the general populace? No, that won’t do. I can’t lay myself down to be tread upon by swine; to be used by an intelligent person with some sort of purpose or end in mind, that I could do, and want to do–since I have no direction of my own at the moment. But abuse, never that.

Note how I put myself on a pedestal here. “I” can’t be tread upon by swine, “I” must be used by an intelligent [read: worthy] person. What makes me think I’m so special? Funny, isn’t it? I didn’t even notice myself doing that until it was all written out. Glad I said it, too. Now we have something to critique. I think that overall, this is fairly easily pegged as a narcissitic thought process, with the earlier paragraph somewhat indicative of a histrionic personality. Not that I’m either one of those, but that the thoughts seem to have certain relations to those particular categories of personality types. That spells “problem”, and I don’t really want that kind of problem, do I? Or do I? I don’t think so. So what do I want? I don’t know…who’s asking? Me. I don’t think I can ask myself that. I think someone else has to ask it so I can answer. Usually the question is, “What do you want [from me]?” so that’s what gets answered. But if I were asking myself, what would I answer? I don’t know.

Let’s sleep on this one for tonight.