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Captain Taru's Log: Out of the Fog


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  • 9 months later...
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I wrote something almost identical to this when I began my journal almost two years ago: so yeah, we're absolutely on the same page on how crappy this makes/made us feel. Thanks man, I feel rea

So apparently I suddenly have a B1 in italian, according to some dudes in Brussels. Will the surprises ever end.  I'm adapting fine, haven't procrastinated, socialized, did things the proper way.

It has been a while.   I'll be short now, since I expect to update at lenght at some point in the near future (my eternal struggle, is it not). There goes: Since the last entry and this

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It's been an awful lot of time; every time I tried to come back I wrote some kind of preliminary text and then dropped it. I'm going to try the bullet form since there's a lot that's been going in my life and I was already under the impression I've been neglecting and leaving a lot of stuff uncovered since probably mid 2017, when my posts began to be more (intermittent?).

I mean, I have no obligation, but it's always comforting to look back. I also have a small handwritten diary. I write there from time to time: small pieces, usually in some sort of prose, and it helps me getting out of a funk when I go back to them. Feels like... sympathy (surprisingly) to the person who was struggling a month or two ago. The last half of the diary is already occupied by complimentary letters from the people I met during my youth exchanges (2016-2018). Under 'deadname' (old name) of course, but that gives it kind of its charm, doesn't it? Past life. Past memories.

So, let's see. Overally I've been struggling but there's been highs and lows:

- I met a girl in summer and we've been dating for 6 months now. It was my first polyam experience and the first girl I've dated as myself. It's been... amazing. I could talk all day about it. Maybe I will at some point.

[Trigger warning here, I'm about to talk about a potentially distressing situation about sickness, dementia and death.]

- My grandma began going downhill beyond the point of no recovery since the beginning of 2020. The regression to her childhood years and the anxiety attacks because she "had to return home so her parents would not worry" was by far the worst. We began sedating her progressively with the help of a physician, but ultimately and after a lot of back and forth reasoning and doubts, we resolved to transfer her to a nursing home. Only a month later and after great financial expenses, there was a Covid outbreak in the place. She died in January this year. Before the outbreak, there was already a preventive safety protocol implemented. We weren't allowed to visit her and she probably spent her last days confused, isolated and surrounded by masked strangers. The treatment we received from the nursing home's staff was less than ideal. They called my mom during the wake and told her my gran had slept soundly that night and she was just fine. I bet she did sleep well, we were with her to check and she didn't complain, even with her casket tightly shut with duct tape to avoid accidental virus spread.

I'm telling you this awful story because... there's several parts of my journal where I talk about magical thinking I had developed about her ("I feel she'll die when I start being somewhat independent") and, obviously it's a coincidence but it happened. Kinda feels like the closure of a chapter for both my mom and I. There's other things I'll write about after this one that reinforce that impression.

The other reason is because I have a notorious, and sometimes crippling fear of death. I've mentioned it tons of times, it's just part of who I am and probably ever be. My other grandparents either died when I was too young or I was kept from taking part in the funeral because my father's family is just that petty and miserable. So this was the first death I experienced as an adult woman. I don't have a defined image in my brain when the panic attacks kick in, but my grandma's illness, death, and even the management of the whole rite and process was particularly dreadful, perhaps everything I would ever fear that would happen to me in some of the worst scenarios (excluding the ones that involve violence).

I'm relieved she passed, considering the circumstances. It's just... 

I lost so much time. Mumbling alone in my room, scared to act, starting things and quitting abruptly. Gaming to cope and escape. Depressed. Moping and complaining. I live so passively even now and my youth will not last that long. Ideally I will have time to live quietly later on and even then nothing guarantees my 50s, 60s, 70s... will be healthy and self-aware.

It has fueled my already suffocating feeling of urgency. A downside of transitioning when you're in your mid 20s is, since social acceptance has begun quite recently (and it's currently going through setbacks and backwards reaction and legislation), I end up usually interacting (mostly online) with people younger than me, a whole new generation of queer folks living in a much more tolerant place than the one I grew up at. But. Even 5 years younger, 20, 21, feels like worlds apart to me. Worlds filled with lost opportunities. A person transitioning in their 30s or 40s would scoff at me, of course. It's a shared curse. Also capitalist cultural interpretation and idealization of youth etc, you know the drill. But it still hurts. I wish I had a clear direction in life.

- Changing the tone and since I mentioned transition, it's been a year and three months now. Taking estrogen has lost it's novelty and now it's just a daily chore, but it's been so worth it. I've never felt happier with myself. People who hate my existence are always trying to argue I'm some sort of leech, predating on everyone else's lifes -and political subjects. Man, screw that. It's all about my relationship with myself. And even despite the anxieties, the insecurities, the struggles in life, I've never felt more comfortable and ready to face whatever comes my way. Maybe I'll even share a picture sometime!

- I'll need that energy and positivity cause last week I broke up with my boyfriend after 4 years of relationship. I'm currently in the process of looking for a new place to live, which is probably one of the things I hate to do the most. It fills me with radical maoist impulses. All my numerous fears related to facing living on my own are rapidly approaching physical realization and I'm terrified. You can't conceive how much. It's something I've been dragging since childhood.

However I saw it coming. I've been under some kind of mourning since last summer (quarantine was awful to my mental health), so it didn't come as a huge surprise when my now ex talked to me about how my emotional dependent obsessions were right and not actually guilt-tripping paranoia and we were truly feeding each other's insecurities and fight or flight responses. Insecurities that were there way before meeting each other.

Strange, right? It's so strange to live through the end of a relationship which didn't end with violence. Somehow I believed that was not a thing. We were just two folks trying our best and ultimately deciding we were hurting ourselves. Everything's going so healthily, in such a civilized way. We're talking, making plans to move, settling things. And yet I still want to scream and cry sometimes, like probably everyone else in the world has done in my situation. I'm just sad. But I'm ok with being sad right now. I've been accepting my sadness in a much more resolute way. I won't feel ashamed or guilty for being sad anymore. It almost makes me satisfied, it means I'm feeling something. Instead of the profound dullness from previous years and journal entries.

 

I'm getting sleepy and I know that means I will accidentally close the browser in a short amount of time. I'll just hit send and elaborate on some things later. It was nice to let out and connect back with the thing that kept me alive not that long ago. No promises, but I'll try to write more regularly.

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My studies are going awful this term and I'm considering returning to my hometown and spend a couple months rotting until I figure out what to do. The good side is, I could get some paperwork done and update my legal status (ID name, bank accounts, etc) and also get serious about getting some meds prescribed to keep my anxiety in check. There's also some medical tests I've been putting off. But I HAVE TO go and do the thing, it would be a real step back to just hide in my room and cope with games and unhealthy sleeping again. I can also do all these tasks in summer as well.

I feel so lost. Maintaining myself in my basic functions is such a strain. It shouldn't be that hard. I honestly don't see people struggling like me to do certain things. With University perhaps, it's a tough issue after all. But eating, showering, doing things they enjoy, not having panic attacks every night... It's been nearly two years that I'm living on my own two feet, two and half if I count the time I spent in Italy, and it hasn't become any easier. The burnout is killing me. I have this friend who keeps pointing me towards autistic and specially ADHD traits and there are many that overally resonate, but not strongly or convincingly enough to dare to self-diagnose. Having high IQ is a neurodivergence in its own right (I'm trying my best to refrain from self-harming by calling it a disability), and people I met who have it are certainly not like the average person, so maybe I'm having some kind of POV bias here.

Maybe I keep trying to do things in a way I cannot do? 

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I kept reading and I'm almost certain I have ADD (not so sure about the H). That would give my experience with gaming addiction a new turn, a revealing but unpleasant one. Why strategy games precisely? Why pausable ones? Predictability. Security. Complex schemes. Making things work in my head and watch them unfold at a pace I can manage, with the ability to stop and re-think at will, unlike real time overstimulation. It makes so much sense that it makes me angry. For not noticing before I guess. For everyone else not noticing before. 

And not just games. Getting into studies and dropping them traumatically when I can't commit or keep up. Problems socializing, eating, showering, doing groceries. Doing reckless things when in crisis like applying to the armed forces, traveling to countries at risk or fleeing home randomly and finding theatre schools 'laying around'. All this god damned journal.

I hate the notion of being "not normal". I used to cringe at the thought of being "one of those tumblr snowflakes". Well, the irony. I had a 4chan phase so, I can't really blame that mindset. ADHD political sciences student bisexual trans woman? My, my, isn't that like the epitome of woke. I still can't draw anthropomorphized animals but having reached this point I may just begin to learn. 

This year's being honestly shit so far. But if it helps putting things in a new place, begin a new phase well, it's how it's meant to be. The new decade thing only makes it fancier.

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  • 3 weeks later...

May I ask if you're seeing a therapist? I forgot if you mentioned that. Congrats on dating this girl for 6 months. How is the experience vs dating your ex boyfriend? It's got to be strange or at least interesting? How is it impacting your life?

I could reply to a lot of stuff you posted but I'd be here too long and it wouldn't make an impact. I think you should come back to the forums more often and write smaller posts over time after you get everything out of your system. It seems like holding everything inside has really taken its toll on you and burned you out. It might help you deal with things better and you even mentioned the intermittent posting back in 2017.

I wanted to talk about this fear of death you have. We all have it. I say this because I had a crippling fear of death also. I'd start to suffocate and grasp for air and then panic and then try to grab onto something so i knew I was alive still. I'd then freak out at the thought of it. I won't detail anything because I don't want to trigger your thoughts of it.

But I started taking prozac for major depressive disorder and anxiety induced depression. I no longer ruminate on things that don't matter. I only focus on stuff at the current moment. As a result I've been less stressed because I'm not focusing on anything. I'm on the lowest dosage of it and it has changed my life. I've got a girlfriend now, doing well at work, have friends, and am doing hobbies that are not games. I sleep better, watch porn only once a week tops, and eat less junk food. I think the fear of death gets amplified from rumination because we keep thinking back to it. Although i went to therapy for 5 years I needed that medication to get me on a level where I could deal with my thoughts properly. That's why I ask if you've seen a therapist or discussed medication with a primary care physician or psychiatrist. It has really helped me.

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  • 4 weeks later...

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