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This topic contains 158 replies, has 12 voices, and was last updated by Profile photo of Sammi Sammi 3 days, 23 hours ago.

Viewing 15 posts - 31 through 45 (of 159 total)
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  • #119020
    Profile photo of anita
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Sammi:

    Creative and entertaining writing (but I hope you feel comfortable writing anything, anytime, doesn’t have to be creative and entertaining, only honest, authentic, true).

    A brilliant sentence, to me, is: “Like stepping on daisies, and expecting them to survive.”

    Your mother, you wrote, cares about having a roof over, being fed, but not about mental health. Well, the physical needs satisfied are like watering and caring for the daisies. Emotional abuse is like stepping on daisies. It undoes all that caring and in a short moment!

    The Charter School idea sounds good to me and I hope there is transportation provided. I hope it works out.

    anita

    #119079
    Profile photo of Sammi
    Sammi
    Participant

    @anita: Thank you!

    And I also appreciate that advice lurking in the parentheses, it’s much needed. I always felt pressured to write something entertaining, when I did try writing on my own. Not much ever came to mind, because of that.

    The charter school is still just an idea. I haven’t mentioned it to mom, yet. I’m kind of scared as to what will come of it. Since I started home schooling, I’ve become very sensitive to social situations. Things, like more than one person talking at once, are extremely overwhelming to me, and make me panic a bit. And I’ll also dearly miss the freedom of online school. I’m not sure how I’ll hold up through being told what to do for 7 hours straight, without being able to check my phone or listen to music.

    Mom was asking about my art, today, in which I made a self-deprecating joke about how difficult it is to wake up in the morning, let alone draw something. She reminded me as to how nice I have it. She’ll never see the big picture.

    #119085
    Profile photo of anita
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Sammi:

    Maybe the Charter school is not a good idea. Probably good idea to ask to visit one day, to sit in a class or two as a visitor and then decide if you would want to.. visit yet another day before committing.

    I suppose it is convenient for your mother to think that you have it nice. She feels good thinking this way, therefore it is called “convenient thinking” or “expedient thinking”- think it if it feels good, don’t think it if it feels badly.

    anita

    #119121
    Profile photo of Driftwood
    Driftwood
    Participant

    Hi Sammy–

    Sounds like things are starting to shift/change for you a bit already. For one thing, by the description of the un-evolved ‘ape thing’ I have the impression you’re actively starting to sort through the junk pile and toss things into their respective categories, gaining a little distance in the process.

    So you looked back and realized you haven’t drawn for a while. This is normal since ‘survival mode’ is not exactly conducive to ‘creativity’. Now that you are actively in the process of getting things in perspective regarding the ‘ape thing’ and other issues you might find a little bit of a creative spark cropping up for you here and there. I know for me my creativity goes into hiding when bad shit is happening, and it takes a little while for it to peek its head out again. But if you have it somewhere it will never really go away as it’s a part of you.

    So a bit about this ‘creative’ thing, at least a start. Yes, creativity or inspiration or the drive to produce comes and goes. True for everyone who’s blessed/cursed with creative impulses. Firstly, for our purposes here, let’ s not call it ‘creative’ per se. Weird but when I’m not feeling particularly ‘creative’, I think of it as my ‘creativity’. When I’m being super productive writing or shooting a video for work, it feels more like I’m just using my skills. Though the end product might be considered ‘creative’ by people on the outside, from the inside, it’s just hard work and building/using my skills and natural instincts.

    So that said, I’ll tell you a little bit about my inner ‘creativity’ then about being hired for my ‘creativity’ aka creative skill set, and just what that reality is (in the world of grown-ups), then how it could potentially pertain to you now and down the line as creative person.

    First – I was always creative. Always writing stories and plays and film scripts and other things as a little kid. My real inner-inner creative drive is a search; a search for some kind of essence or deep meaning and I don’t even know what that is. It’s very abstract, more of an ‘exploration’ that I can’t really explain, but it’s a drive and it’s really there like a living person in my life. Not always easy, sometimes painful, but it’s always been and always will be.

    Now nobody is going to be hiring me for my own personal ‘search’. But over the years I have built on that inner creativity and incorporated other skills. In my case those skills (that I worked up to) have been producing and directing videos for companies. Lots and lots of videos. Some of them the most boring videos you have hopefully never seen in your life, like explaining proper dosages of heart medications to doctors. I have literally put clothespins (they use clothespins on the set to hold fabric up) on my hands while directing some of these videos just because I didn’t want to be the first director in history to fall asleep at his own shoot. Sometimes they are slightly more fun, like semi-funny take-offs of stupid TV shows or movies or other really tacky stuff. This is the way corporate America communicates with itself.

    But I love doing it because even though it doesn’t have any ‘deep meaning’ for me, I get to use my creative skills. It builds my creative muscle which really helps when I actually do one of my own projects that I’m really into. My daughter says I can give anything a plot, meaning a beginning, middle and end, which I suppose is something I have learned from this. So when someone comes to me with something to communicate, I look for the story in it and then ‘flesh it out’ until it becomes a narrative.

    Here’s the reality of how this goes: Someone from a company’s ‘marketing’ department comes to you with what they need to convey. ‘We need to tell the world our shoelaces are the greatest.’ So I figure out how to tell the story. Sometimes I’m the writer, sometimes someone else writes it and I produce or direct it. Nobody on the creative team gets too invested in it since the reality is that once you come up with the perfect idea, the marketing guy (who doesn’t have a creative bone in his body but is about to launch the biggest shoelace campaign of his career) will want to add his ‘idea’ which sucks, but you can’t tell him how bad it bites since he’s actually the client. So you say, ‘ok, let’s see how that works’, and you stick his sucky idea in somewhere adding a slight improvement that he can take credit for later. In the end you might think it’s sucky but not quite as sucky as you first thought.As they say in the business ‘no babies died’, and everyone’s happy with the way you’ve told the shoelace story. And the fact is you’ve taken something potentially deadly boring and actually made it interesting.

    You’ve actually gotten paid for lending your creative instincts and skill set to something. And sometimes they are actually meaningful, cool things (not just shoelaces or heart medications) and they don’t suck at all. What I have really learned from it all that I apply to my own work is how to be flexible and unattached to an idea if it’s not working. How, as Stephen King puts it in his book ‘On Writing’ to ‘kill your darlings’, those ideas you thought were so brilliant and splendid but in fact are not helping tell the story.

    This opportunity at non-attachment to my own ideas and also, doing something productive helps me justify my own personal painful ‘creative search’ and helps me not take myself too seriously. And in some ways it’s easier than working on my own stuff – and then I can return to my own stuff feeling kind of refreshed.

    A lot of people do this kind of work for all kinds of things – graphic arts and design for print, photography, copywriting, copy editing, video editing, musical composition, you name it. And who are these people? You know, us creative weirdo misfit types with bumpy childhoods and creative instincts who are always on the verge of getting our lives together… Actually some of the greatest most talented people I’ve ever met, several of whom I now consider close friends.

    Creativity ‘evolves’ with you. So what might seem like a tiny thing now or a weak little flicker can actually be just the seed for something that will grow with you as you develop those skills.

    Okay, so let’s back up a bit out of the ridiculous immaturity of the grown-up world of shoelace manufacturing and see how this could pertain to you and your current situation.

    Like I say, really start placing more value on your skills/abilities/creativity. (I don’t allow myself anymore self-deprecating jokes about creative pursuits because even though we think they’re sarcastic, they kind of ‘sink’ in and we create our own negative reinforcement). You wrote that you would be ‘honored’ if someone were to hire you for your creativity. Well, it’s not out of the question down the line so maybe start thinking (don’t put pressure on this or it will backfire!) about what that thing you would do might be.

    One great thing that just happened is that you mentioned the charter school. I was going to talk to you about a very cool and open format college I’ve heard about but it actually matches the description of the charter school, so let’s talk about that for now. I think your instincts are telling you maybe to try this. (My instincts were telling me about the college for future reference for you but this is even more relevant to now). And I think it could be a really great thing. Yes, there will be challenges, but there will also be really reinforcing things for you there. And it sounds like a flexible non-uptight environment and a step out of your house.

    Remember, facing challenges is a giant scary and wonderful thing, not easy, but you will get a lot from it. You have been facing so many challenges at home- could this be worse? I don’t’ think so, and I also think it would give you some good reference points for your life, a new perspective that will eventually outweigh the other negative reinforcement that has been surrounding you. You’ve had to make your world very small to deal with the surroundings, and getting out of your comfort zone can be a very scary thing, but sometimes scary is good. You could use some fresh input in your brain. And baby steps are ok! I still do them!

    I have the feeling your mother might not object so much, since she is also searching for an answer for you in her head, but as we know is overwhelmed by her own situation. And maybe you counselor can help you advocate for this with her?

    Keep thinking about moving towards this… Think about it while walking the dogs. Dogs are excellent healers on those walks that buy you a few minutes of freedom out of the house (despite being pains in the ass at the end of the leash).

    Let me know what you think/feel about this!

    -Mitchell

    • This reply was modified 2 months, 3 weeks ago by Profile photo of Driftwood Driftwood.
    #119163
    Profile photo of Sammi
    Sammi
    Participant

    @anita: I’m having a hard time letting the thought go. I think it’s worth a shot, but I’m still a bit iffy. I’m not sure if they allow people to sit in for a class or two though, or if I could even find the time/transportation for it. It might be something that I just have to take a dive into.

    And of course. What mother would want to acknowledge that they’re basically the cause of the majority of their child’s stress? I don’t blame her. She’s acknowledged this before, a few boyfriends ago. I even got an apology. Not sure what happened, since we’re back in the same loophole now.

    @Driftwood: Howdy. I was awaiting that lengthy reply of yours.

    Yeah, I’m trying my hardest to apply everyone’s advice, slowly. Baby steps are still steps, aren’t they? It’s slowly getting easier to not be as affected by anything related to him or the situation, which is nice. It’s been a lot of “fake it ’til you make it” up until this point. Lots of times where I just became practically unresponsive on the outside, just because I was holding so much inside, and if I were to try to communicate (usually to mom, on dog walks) it would be nothing but negativity, or a painfully useless cry for help. These days still happen from time to time, but they’re not as often as day after day anymore.

    It sounds like you really enjoy your job; it’s definitely something you’re passionate about, by your writing. I’m very glad that you’ve found your place in the busy world of adulthood.

    My creativity has drastic highs and lows, which are rather irritating. Sometimes I’ll have a few spare hours before bed, my favorite time to draw, but I just can’t force things onto paper all the time. Or since I have the new monitor, I’ve been trying to test it out by drawing something with my tablet, but nothing amazingly great is coming from it. But usually, whenever I draw something, the first hour or so is just me contemplating to keep going or not. But, sometimes I keep going and the outcome was worth the 8 hours. Drawing/painting is something I’ve thought about giving up on, just because part of me loathes the idea of being that sophomore who scribbles stuff on paper sometimes, with the thought of it going somewhere. Like a phase that isn’t embarrassing now, but would be in retrospect. I only get that feeling because I spent all of 7th grade drawing nothing but anime garbage, with the intent of it actually going somewhere. I don’t know. I’m the type to go through 5 different phases in a day, and my art usually travels with me, when it is present. I have a handful of friends who are cheering me on, which keeps me going, because they actually care about my art. Like a supportive mother.

    Oh – speaking of mother, she’s another reason why I’m not throwing in the towel. She has a bunch of regret with giving up art (she kind of had to, after my grandmother booted us both out of the house, many moons ago.) She’s pretty supportive of my own art, though, which is nice. If I ever need something art-related, she’ll usually provide it in a heartbeat. Which is why I think she’ll be supportive of the charter school. Also, on another note, college is terrifying. And I’m not sure if I would have the motivation to sit through the entirety of college, since it’s optional. Just getting through high school is hard enough, and I have it as laid back as possible. I don’t do too well in school environments, just because it gets nerve-wracking for me fast.

    I’m being rushed, so I’ll end it here. Mother dearest wants to go see a movie in 30 minutes, but she wants to take a 20 minute convenience store stop, to load up on snacks to smuggle in.

    #119170
    Profile photo of anita
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Sammi:

    A laid back online high school experience, as you have it, seems like a good idea for you. I wouldn’t stress about the Charter School. Or college. Watching a movie at home with snacks, almost sounds like a pleasant experience. Hope you are enjoying the movie.

    anita

    #119273
    Profile photo of Sammi
    Sammi
    Participant

    @anita: Hm. Well, I have the rest of this school year to make a decision, which is quite a while. I feel like I’ll regret it if I don’t go, or regret it if I do go. It seems everything has become a lose-lose situation, nowadays.

    The movie was alright. There were a few groups of teens, about my age or a lil younger. The sudden realization of how much of an outcast I really am kicked in. They couldn’t speak in anything else but coos and squawks, and definitely couldn’t keep their beaks closed.

    I once told my friend about how I feel lonelier when I’m around people, but he said that means I’m around the wrong kind of people. It sucks that the ‘wrong kind of people’ make up the majority of the population, to me. Life goes on, I suppose. I’ll learn how to tolerate people a little better, for the sake of a paycheck.

    Happy Halloween, everyone. I’m going out with a friend tonight. Usually, I’d stay home, but she was having a breakdown last night and I just wanna be there for her. She’s going through similar, but with her actual father. She also self harms occasionally and has suicidal thoughts. Anything I should tell her, to help?

    Speaking of father, (my own, specifically) he forced my mom to meet up with him, yesterday. He gave her a little art kit to give to me. I just feel so uncomfortable and guilty. I know all he wants is to hang out for the first time in years, but I just really can’t. I’m not planning to stay here much longer after I finish school (for obvious reasons), so maybe I’ll finally push myself to talk to him next year, or the year after.

    #119277
    Profile photo of anita
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Sammi:

    I like your resolution regarding your father: “next year, or the year after.” And I like your statement that you are “not planning to stay here much longer after I finish school (for obvious reasons)”!

    Regarding your struggling friend, “Anything I should tell her, to help?” Share your experience with her, tell her how you feel at times and how your feelings change, not staying as low (the nature of feelings) and you can tell her about your two resolutions (re-stated in my first paragraph above).

    She may be encouraged by your resolutions, your efforts to make your life better now (not seeing your father) and in the future (moving out) and make her own.

    anita

    #119295
    Profile photo of Sammi
    Sammi
    Participant

    @anita: Hey. Just came back home from trick ‘o’ treating a few hours ago.

    My friend is very aware of everything that’s been going on, in my life. I don’t hold back with her. She read the text messages from my father right after I got them, and helped me form replies. I’d like to think I’m helping her by letting her know that she’s not alone, when it comes to tough times.

    Her father lives with her, but he gets a bit mouthy at times, from what I hear. I don’t know much other than that, besides that he was raised in an abusive environment, and has his flaws. There’s really not much else I can say there. All I can say is that she’s been taking it really, really badly lately. I’ve been telling her that time’ll pass, and we’ll move on to better things. Though, I’m not sure what her future looks like, and I’m not sure if she even knows. I’m sure anything could be better for her than now though, I’ll try to make sure of it.


    (This bit gets a bit off-topic, beware.)

    Her boyfriend decided to tag along, which made things a bit awkward. He doesn’t really understand how to be a proper boyfriend, yet. He’s devastatingly clingy and rather insecure. Very needy. She’s on her phone for a second, and then he interrogates her about who she was contacting. During the trip, he even did things like whisper to her about me or ask her if I was staying the night at her place (instead of the simple and polite option of just asking me directly). There were very many times where it was obvious, by body language, that she was dreading his physical contact. (At one point, he even fell asleep in her lap for an hour, while we were sitting somewhere). He was grumpy and quiet for the majority of the time, and it made me feel a bit unwelcome; almost regretting coming along in the first place. I almost felt as if I intimidated him, or made him feel like I was going to snatch up his girlfriend as my own. I couldn’t shake the feeling, even after quieting down my confident personality. There’s not much I can say to her about this though, because, well, they’ve been together for double the duration of my longest relationship. They’ve been together 3-4 years, and mine has only been going on for the past year and a half, thought that is still a relatively long time, especially for my age.

    It’s both their first relationship, so they don’t really know any better. This is how train wrecks occur. Since they’ve been together so long, they grow attached, obviously. But making all of these rookie mistakes could lead to skewed visions of what’s right/wrong in a relationship, later on. She might go on to the next guy, with idea of clinginess being normal. Or she might never leave him (and grasp tightly onto what they define as “love”, which is really just two awkward teenagers copying what they see in media), just in fear of what she might lose, in her eyes. I’ve been there, but I sucked it up and moved on. A decision I’ll never, ever regret making. Change is good. But I definitely see the relationship ending ugly, and that’s sad. Maybe she’ll learn to move on, or just not to date for a while, but it’s going to break his heart, either way. He’s gotta learn somehow, though. Women love confidence. And trust.

    This has happened with other friends, too. I have another female friend, and she has a bit of a crush on me. She goes through guy after guy, and they all end up swimming in their newfound insecurities, as unintentionally provided by me. It’s actually a bit problematic. Even in the household now – my mom’s boyfriend is jealous of me. I get all of her attention and affection, as little as each are. She’ll always put me first. I feel like his words definitely only point out just how insecure he really is.

    I have a shield forming gradually, it seems.

    Also, I have an art piece in the works, currently, and I’m genuinely satisfied with it, so far. (Didn’t know where else to squeeze this info in this post.)

    #119302
    Profile photo of anita
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Sammi:

    You mentioned two troubling relationships your friend (the first you mentioned) has: one with her father and another with her long term boyfriend. Neither is working for her benefit. You suggested she would be better off with a non-clingy, confident boyfriend, as I understand it.

    You wrote that your other friend’s boyfriends are insecure as well and so is your mother’s boyfriend, and that they all seem to be jealous of you for getting the attention of your female friends/ your mother.

    And you wrote that you have a “confident personality”-

    I am curious as to what you mean by confident-personality; how does it express itself?

    anita

    #119366
    Profile photo of Sammi
    Sammi
    Participant

    @anita: That’s correct. I wish she could have a boyfriend that would at least be okay with her having friends, and enduring their hangouts, politely. At times, he felt more like a ball and chain, than anything.

    My confidence is like a stick shift car. It changes gears, depending where I am, and who I’m with. When I’m with people I know very well, like my friend, I get rowdy. Just because I don’t get to be in the presence of my friends very often, so I like to have a good time, when I do get the chance. That, and I always feel like I have to make all of the jokes and steer conversation, because they let me. Or be the decision maker and planner. I kind of give off this pseudo arrogance, in that gear. I can see how this could be intimidating, from a bystander perspective.

    But when I’m home, I’m back to quiet and out of the way. I don’t like raising attention to myself at home, because nothing good ever comes from it. It gives him more ammo. This is basically my default mode.

    And when I’m with someone like my boyfriend, it’s kind of a mix between those previous two. I’m definitely not top dog, but there’s a sense of belonging. I feel like I still have a purpose in that setting, and could still steer conversation, if I wanted to. It just doesn’t feel as necessary for me to do though, because he’s always got everything covered. It’s really nice, because that makes me feel a lot less socially drained. But when him and I are chatting in a group of people (online, of course) I get a bit more confident, and it’s a very “all eyes on me” situation, sometimes. Or him and I kind of lead everything together. There’s just something about reading personalities and confidence that’s a bit too abstract for words. Too abstract for my limited vocabulary, anyways.

    #119367
    Profile photo of Driftwood
    Driftwood
    Participant

    Hi Sammi-

    Won’t have time to write for several days, but let me just say that it really seems you are gaining ground on your situation. You are certainly reaching out in a good way. Fake it ’til you make it can work wonders sometimes just to get you over the bumpy ride to a better place. Will write soon. -Mitchell

    #119374
    Profile photo of Sammi
    Sammi
    Participant

    @Driftwood: Hi.

    That’s alright. I’m always checking the forum, so just write back whenever. I understand you’re a very busy guy, but that’s a good thing. The ability to be productive is taken for granted all too often.

    And thanks. I’ve really been trying. Different views bring different realizations, and all of those realizations fit together like a puzzle. So far, so good.

    #119393
    Profile photo of anita
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Sammi:

    I like your “decision maker and planner” gear and I understand the need to adapt to different situations, different people. Sure you don’t want attention from a person who will hurt you, your mother’s boyfriend, that is.

    What a high price to pay, I am thinking, a high price you are paying for the 50% of the rent this man is paying. Again and again, it is the people paying the money who make the rules.

    As a “decision maker and planner”- one day, you will be making money and the right and fair rules for you!

    anita

    #119412
    Profile photo of Marc
    Marc
    Participant
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