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This topic contains 179 replies, has 12 voices, and was last updated by  Sammi 1 month, 3 weeks ago.

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  • #124789

    Sammi
    Participant

    @Driftwood: Yeah, no. The online academy covers the entire state, and not just the district. There is one for the district, but a former friend of mine tried it, and didn’t like it. Looking back, it sounds like it could’ve been the better choice. Well, I’m not gonna bother now. Bleh, it’s the weekend, I’ll think about schoolwork on Monday. I know, I know, I’m a procrastinator, and this is when people are supposed to catch up.

    Rah, censoring art is the worst. I’ve had a lot of my artwork deleted from sites, and I’ve also seen a lot of other people get their artwork reproted, even if it’s just a well-made sculpture. Bothersome. It could probably also be my occasional angsty teen language, accidental risky links (if tinybuddha allowed me to, I’d go back and either add a warning to those links, or delete them entirely). Could be just someone flagging us for overstaying our welcome. Maybe I have a guilty conscious.

    Thanks. I have thrifting to do now, (from that overdue christmas shopping spree thing) so I’ll check back, later. Wish me luck on my finds. There was a neon yellow fanny pack there last time, and I’m hoping it’s still there. Not joking, I have that feeling of regret for not impulse buying it the first time. Didn’t have a price tag, so that means I get to wave a neon yellow fanny pack in a worker’s face, to ask them how much it is.

    #124833

    Driftwood
    Participant

    Hi Sammi-

    Hope the thrifting went well and that all your fluorescent dreams came true. Here are a few of my thoughts for the new year, a kind of summation of the things that we’ve posted, and the reason I was asking about your therapist and art stuff.

    When I refer to this being year of big changes for you, I don’t mean the chronological 2017 but the fact that before the age of 16 you’re more or less ‘acted upon’ or told what to do and now it’s pretty much time to start making some decisions about whether you will stay in the same place or put in effort towards moving on from some of the things (anxieties, phobias etc..) that you describe and that hold you back. How do you want your life to be, and what can you do to help yourself prepare for the time that you’re actually able to start getting out in the world more independently?

    It seems to me that you’ve been able to separate the home situation from ‘you’ meaning it’s not your fault ‘good person bad situation’ and all we’ve posted about. The abuse you’ve had to withstand has nothing to do with the true ‘you’ but has come from other/s.

    While art stands on it it’s own it can also be ‘therapeutic’ to different degrees. A way of surfacing or working through things that are not easily said. It doesn’t have to be one way or another (therapeutic or not therapeutic) and sometimes the distinction is not that clear, but I have wondered about the degree to which your work has autobiographical elements that tie in with the self harm/the way you see yourself and how much of it stems from some of the abuse you’ve referred to. The feeling of disjointedness (pretty sure you linked it to mental illness/physical disjointedness in your last post).

    Perhaps it’s a mix, and it doesn’t really matter to what degree. But what I’m really wondering is if these things get addressed with your therapist. Of course this is private – it’s your business and you don’t by any means need feel obliged to answer any of these questions here – but my hope is that you’re proactive with your therapist or at least are starting to be. Becoming more proactive is one of the differences between 15 and 16. If not maybe it’s time to become a bit more proactive about wanting to move through these things so you don’t feel like you’re ‘playing the mental illness card’ as you’ve described it. There’s NO REASON for you to feel guilty about what you are and aren’t capable of at the moment, or feel like you’re ‘playing a mental illness card’ . But the fact that you used this term makes me think that maybe you feel you are.. and maybe you’re ready to move through that.

    Self harm/phobias etc.. – it’s really useful to sort through them, to try to get a bit of distance on them and see them as not your fault or not part of you, per se. Perhaps a few moments of meditation where you can separate yourself from them and see them at least for a few seconds from a distance the way you do now with the home ‘situation’.

    I’ve seen all of the above go both ways. I’ve had people close to me indulge in and use therapy so they can use their mental issues as a sort of ‘currency’ to dominate situations or get enabled by friends, spouses and family. I’ve also seen people (a friend’s daughter your age, in fact and another friend’s son) work through things and really start to make progress.

    My feeling is that you can make terrific progress on all these fronts. Your intelligence can win out, Sammi – once you start adding a heavier dose of discipline/determination to wanting to move through it. 16 is the perfect age to start doing this! So there you go. Yes, I’m putting a lot on your plate in terms of addressing a lot of stuff. I know none of it is easy. It’s an ongoing process. But I really think you can do it.

    Hoping you’ll really think about the above.

    Ciao for now..

    #124865

    Sammi
    Participant

    @Driftwood: Hey. Thrifting went quite alright, even without the fanny pack. Found me another tacky 80’s jacket instead, amongst other things.

    I get what you’re saying, as for as progression goes, and continuing to sort myself out. This is where I’m stuck. It’s a back and forth thought process.

    Part of me wants to continue with where I am, mentally. It’s so much easier to indulge in oversleeping and put off priorities, than it is to go out on a walk in 30 degree weather. It’s easier to not eat, than to leave my warm covers to go scrounge through the cold kitchen. But I understand – discipline.

    Obviously, you might know by now that discipline is not, at all, my strong suit. This is partially due to my thought processes. I’ll stare at the worn basket of my clean clothes, and I’ll ask myself, “what use is it spending 2 hours hanging these up, if they’ll just all come off the hangers again?”. I stare at my school’s login screen and think, “This is a complete waste of time, and there’s no way I’m going to pass any of it.”. And my mother suggested walking alone daily as well, when I blankly replied that the walk is pointless, and has no purpose, or destination – therefore, kind of a waste of time, and not something I want to leave bed for. She couldn’t think of a reply.

    And with the counseling I’ve been in for nearly 2 years, I don’t think it’s done as much as I thought it would. I thought I would be frantically raiding the tissue box every appointment, as we dive into my problems. I believe it actually took me quite a few appointments to even start talking about the house situation. I think in one of my first appointments, we just talked about rice, for 30 minutes. I can easily tell you that any communication we do here is a whole lot more beneficial than what goes on in there. And I have no idea how to turn this around.

    I think my next appointment is either this week, or next week. We have one every 3-4 weeks, depending on her schedule. Our last appointment was a lot of small talk about the holidays, and shrugging, after my lack of commotion at home. I don’t know how to change this. My mother once saw my torn up hands, and suggested that I mention it to the counselor. (I might’ve mentioned that here before, I don’t remember.) I said I would mention to her, and forgot to. I might bring the compulsive picking up this next time, in hopes it makes for progressive conversation, and some sort of pinpoint diagnosis. Maybe this could even lead to me being completely open to her about my experience with self harm.

    She’s asked me before, if I found the appointments helpful. Being too nice, I told her that they’re a reason to get out of the house, and it gives me someone to talk to. And while I was a lot worse mentally, before I started going, I was also in a emotionally abusive relationship of my own (long distance), which only added to it. (He would threaten things like suicide if I left him, or if I didn’t cut contact with all of my friends. Might or might not have mentioned this on the forums. Curse you, memory.). It ended about the time counseling started, which I think also added a lot of relief, and that’s why my improvement seems so drastic. Just a theory.

    I really think next school year will help out a lot. I don’t think I’ve mentioned it, but you need a 60 hour minimum internship (of your choice, they’ll help you find one that’ll fit to what you want to do in the future) to graduate, and that’ll be a nice start to a resume. Not many highschool graduates can say they have any sort of internship experience. While I know none of this will be as easy as laying in bed all day, it’ll still be beneficial. And productive.

    Back to dance metaphors – I’m in this constant, awkward cupid shuffle. I take two steps left, towards discipline. Then two steps right, back towards indulgence. And repeat. Hopefully that makes sense. I don’t know why I decided making up a dance metaphor was a good idea, especially one revolving around the worst middle school dance.

    Woke up to the familiar noise of his bickering. Surprisingly unaffected, besides a little grumpy that I had to wake up to that, instead of something peaceful.

    #124907

    Driftwood
    Participant

    Hey Sammi-

    I’m glad to hear that you feel that this is doing you some good since I was concerned I might have been too pushy. Like I’ve said, I’m no therapist, but I’ve seen several similar situations and am dealing my daughter and friends within months of your exact age range. I have time to write since tomorrow is my birthday and I’m hanging with my daughter (who’s doing homework) at my ex’s tonight and tomorrow since my house (long story) is freezing right now.

    Anyway, welcome to the one step forward, two steps back business, aka the human race. Not always easy for many of us humans to get out of bed in the morning. I think it’s very important to start bringing the fore mentioned issues up with the therapist as a proactive way of working through all this stuff. While I too can talk about rice for hours (short grain brown rice in a pressure cooker for 35 minutes and is great), she might just be waiting for a cue from you to start talking about the important issues. Even if the situation is not ideal and you don’t know how to change it up, start addressing these issues such as they are and see where it leads. This is what I mean by the difference between 15 and 16 where you start getting proactive. This isn’t a linear process and yes, there will be lots of back and forth, as in life.

    As for discipline, consider yourself in the discipline business; having just opened up a discipline shop, business is going to start slow but it will catch on once word gets out (to yourself) that this stuff works. We all stare at the ‘laundry basket’ in one way or another. The small steps of discipline for discipline’s sake (i.e. not diving into the laundry basket to get dressed but hanging things up) lead to bigger chunks of discipline and most importantly give you some momentum. They take on a life of their own. I know it’s not easy, but you need this kind of traction so you can stop spinning your wheels. Also it’s prep for next year since things aren’t all of a sudden going to start magically happening by themselves once charter school starts and there will be other challenges.

    Yes, take that walk in 30 degrees, better yet take the dogs out for a walk (they will really appreciate it). Don’t understand why you should bother? Doesn’t matter! Doing and motion are themselves sometimes the best form of therapy and we all have to deal with overcoming our tendencies to stay in bed or whatever our particular dysfunction of choice is. As a freelancer I have to regularly kick my own ass to make calls and send out resumes for work. So yes, start kicking your own ass. It’s really critical that you start the ball rolling in a meaningful way with the therapist. And I think you will find this and the dealing with the ‘laundry basket’ really helps weaken the magnetic pull of your bed.

    Going to give you one or two examples of moving things forward vs. not. Obviously not direct comparisons to you.

    Daughter’s friend from kindergarten: A really intelligent well spoken likable, interesting, creative girl.They were friends for many years but then this friend started suffering from really terrible anxiety and unfounded phobias that seemed to change every week. This was always present to some degree. In the early years playdates would become almost impossible because she would have a fit or put a stop to them and we would have to leave. So my daughter would only see her when I was visiting her parents since we were by now friends on our own. It all got worse when she was about 12. She stopped going to school, stopped hanging with most people and was abandoned by what was left of her friends since everyone started going through peer pressure stuff and no one could deal with her anymore. Couldn’t bring herself to go to the library to meet with the private tutor that was arranged by the school district and now that she was an outcast in school she really wasn’t going to go back despite a few half-hearted random attempts.

    Very talented, she would stay home and do interesting drawings, but mostly did nothing but watch tv. Started self harming a little bit. All of this dysfunction was accompanied by a kind of manic ruling of the household, stopping everyone else from going about their lives. Drove her older sister crazy by the fact that she dominated everything and the older sister got very little attention unless the parents made special arrangements to give her attention outside the house. Needless to say she failed out of school despite being really smart. Finally her parents found a place for her that dealt with these kinds of fears etc.. through therapy and a really disciplined lifestyle. She objected but was threatened with being forced to go. They were prepared to have people from the place actually come and escort her, but eventually they got her to agree to go. It was out of state and so she would not see her family since dominating the family dynamic was part of her way of enabling herself. (note that this was in no way an abusive family). The place she went was a house with rules based in learning discipline, meaning you get up in the morning, make your breakfast, clean the kitchen, exercise, do your laundry, etc.. then you deal with your schoolwork which is your responsibility (this wasn’t a school so this was done online). Very limited time on computers recreationally, no calls, no texting at first. Two 15 minute conversations with family per week, then a one hour session on the phone with family and therapist on the weekend. There was also creative time, lots of other options etc… She really started to thrive, mentally and creatively and carved out a healthy place for herself. She got in good physical shape and was able to get off her medications that weren’t helping anyway. A lot of this benefit was discipline related but also from being cut off from the things that allowed her not to function like family and computer games, and learning to navigate her strong and weak points and take stock in herself. My daughter and I have not seen her in two years, but I talked to her on the phone the other day during one of their 15 minute calls and I can tell you she was like a different person. I mean it was a huge difference – self-possessed and confident and ready to leave that place and move on. She’s 16 now and won’t be returning to her old school but will be in another that is more suited to her.

    Family member: A very gifted professional writer who was abused in childhood by an older sibling. Suffered from a few addictions, mostly smoking cigarettes and overeating. Developed a kind of ‘persona’ that she used at times to project what she wanted people to think of her and used it to avoid reality. She seeked out therapy and while much of the therapy was useful, she also used her understanding of it to enable herself to wield power over other family members, indulging her every small neurosis to the max, imposing her whims on those around her and using this as a way to control others. Often very subtly abusive and insulting to others while considering herself a victim, she at times uses her mental health issues as ‘currency’ (mental illness card) to basically do what she wants or NOT do what she doesn’t want like take responsibility in family matters. But never ever admits or is even aware of it. Everything revolves around her and she uses therapy terms to turn things around on other family members who might confront her with her bad behavior. Now older, she used therapy correctly in one sense but also didn’t use it to its full advantage and still plays out/projects her yet unresolved childhood issues on the rest of the family.

    Okay that’s it for now. There’s another but it’s too late now and you get the idea. Might have a busy week ahead but I do think you have enough to think about between this and the last post. (And anyway you have some school catching up to do…!)

    Again, I really think you can do this and NOW is the time to start. From what you’ve described I think sometimes you’re concerned about what others in the house will think if you do something different or seem to be making a move, but don’t worry about that. You do sound stronger in terms of not internalizing the verbal abuse and bad behavior now anyway.

    -Mitchell

    • This reply was modified 6 months, 2 weeks ago by  Driftwood.
    #124963

    Sammi
    Participant

    @Driftwood: Happy early birthday, pal. Hopefully you birthday is enjoyable.

    Next appointment is on the 18th, I believe. I’ll be sure to start making steps to address more issues than just the household. My biggest struggle is always making that leap from light conversation, to gut-wrenching, unsettling topics. For example, admitting to an uncomfortable situation came up during a questionnaire from a while ago, and I didn’t mention it to her previously, because conversation never went that way, and I never knew when to steer it that way. So, the entire next session was spent addressing the situation from my past, and how I don’t know how to bring things like that into conversation. She said whenever is fine, but I still can’t help but struggle. It feels like such a way to ruin someone’s day. (That’s another reason I like posting here, because I’m not piling negativity onto anyone I know personally, but I’m also not harassing anyone for help. So, it’s fully voluntary, and I don’t have to feel guilty.)

    Thanks for sharing those two stories. Both of them are strangely motivating. And I am worried about the thoughts of everyone else here, when it comes to taking steps forward. I don’t want them (him) to take credit, or ask even more of me. I, obviously, don’t want to be noticed at all. While it is liberating to make my way to the front door, it’s also not something I want to do. It’s kind of like eating your vegetables, as a kid. I have mother’s neverending coddling (seriously, she handed me my own shoes, to put on, the other day, when my shoe bin was only two steps away from me), so easing myself into discipline should hopefully be a slow and steady process. Maybe not, I don’t know. (Actually, it’ll probably make it harder, since she doesn’t let me do anything for myself.)

    S’cuse my short post. Lost my train of thought, thanks to him in the living room area, bitching about getting the off-brand Cinnamon Toast Crunch. Also, they’ve moved the floor thing over to this weekend. Fantastic.

    I set an alarm for 9am today. Woke up, just to set another one for 10am. I turned off that one, and went to back to sleep, until 2pm. Now I have a headache from oversleeping. Joyous.

    #125330

    Driftwood
    Participant

    Hi Sammi–

    I know what you mean when you say that you are worried that other’s will notice/take credit if you make a move. Maybe you find it invasive, because there has been a lot of invasive behavior or ‘emotional trespassing’ on the part of someone in the house. Much of your time has been spent protecting yourself as a kid, and rightly so. Nonetheless, part of taking control of your own situation is starting to let go of that and not giving a shite what he or anyone else thinks. First step is prioritizing what you need to do to get some of your personal issues on the table and start the process of dealing. You’ve already started down this path and you should give yourself some credit (very important). You have the ability to see things clearly and to cut through the bull when you see it both in others and yourself (something not everyone can do) So now it’s time to go down the checklist of what you need to deal with and start bringing it up. And trust me, you’re not going to ruin the therapist’s day – quite the opposite since it sounds like she’s been waiting til the time is right for you.

    I think you’ll find that starting to deal with all this stuff head-on will be freeing – the alternative is to continue with ‘workarounds’ until they become a hardened part of your way of dealing with the world. I’m reminded of the way trees grow around street signs that were bolted on years ago, or the way a tree will grow around barbed wire fencing. So it would be good to start cutting away at the things that bind you/the things behind the things that bind you. (cutting away at cutting?)
    The 18th is around the corner.. Go Sammi, Go!

    It is interesting that you bring up the coddling thing since that had to do with my third example (the one I didn’t get to last time). Coddling can be a way for a parent to overcompensate when they feel like they’re either failing at, don’t understand/don’t want to or don’t feel they can address real issues. Or if the child doesn’t let them “in’ enough to help with real things. I’ve known parents who’ve done it to compensate for their own sense of guilt about a divorce, lack of money or other family issues and shortcomings. It’s an understandable but slightly misplaced way of caring and it’s not done maliciously, though a child will sometimes resent it because it’s not addressing the real problem and can be just a bandaid/enabler. The third thing is a very interesting story but it’s kind of a downer…and hard to describe..

    Anyway, yes you might feel like a tiny little person alone in a room oversleeping, but actually you’re a big thinker and good at expressing it. So part of building your coping skills to meet your high level of thinking is to start talking it through this stuff with the therapist. Moving through so much of this stuff is your key to emotional freedom that will lead to your real independence.

    ____ (I’ve adopted your _____ divider thing, by the way).

    On a completely other note… This was sent to me by adobe cc (no, I’m not an adobe promoter just do a lot of editing). If you don’t mind, I’m interested in hearing your impression of some of the videos, i.e whether you relate to them/they strike you as real, fake, inspiring or whatever. Whether they’re informative dorky, etc.. This was aimed at students. Scroll down the the six especially Sarah made a Poster, the Sam sizzle reel, and Sandra made an app. Also the others if you can. Asking a few people. Basically I’m interested in your takes on both the applications but also the video approach for my own video reasons. Don’t want to say too much and will tell you why I’m interested after.

    https://www.adobe.com/creativecloud/buy/students.html?sdid=6NCS7F8L&mv=display

    Later,

    Mitchell

    #125511

    Sammi
    Participant

    @Driftwood: Howdy. How’d your birthday go, btw? I know, probably like most any other birthday.

    Dunno if I’ve mentioned it, (that has become a phrase I use quite often here, hasn’t it?) but there’s a bit of a concern with the whole counseling thing. I don’t think I can get myself to be completely honest with the counselor, on the topic of self-harm, for the simple fact that, legally, she has to inform my mother if she thinks I’m a hazard to myself, or others. Do you know how awkward of a car ride home that would be? But – it’s been 2 or so months since I’ve cut. I think. Mainly because I don’t have anything sharp nearby, and I’m not desperate enough to use a mechanical pencil again. (It got infected instantly. Kinda gross.) Compulsive picking is still a problem, though. I feel like I don’t have much of any emotional connection to either activity anymore though, if that makes any sense. The last time I cut, the guilt was dull and the cuts didn’t last long. Picking is a completely mindless habit, but that doesn’t make me feel any less alienated when someone asks about my torn up fingers, or scar-ridden legs and feet. Anyways, I think I’ll kind of sweep cutting under the rug, since it’s been a while, and I don’t need this household to get any more tense. But I’ll definitely make a point to mention picking next time, just for help with a diagnosis, and advice. I’ll also push myself to mention my friend, who’s been coming over a lot, recently. I suppose I’ll mention it here, too.

    One of my two close friends I’ve known since 7th grade has been contacting me a lot, lately. She’s a sweetheart, but she doesn’t think before she speaks, and she also doesn’t understand mental illness at all. This past visit, not only did she take it upon herself to clean my room again, but she even had the nerve to ask me why I dislike my mother’s boyfriend. I told her, but I could tell she wasn’t quite taking me seriously. She’s going through the same verbal abuse from her grandmother currently, but she seems to hold herself better. She still roams her house freely, and goes on about her day. She’s asking my mother for help with setting up a resume. It just makes me feel extremely inadequate, weak and lazy. She goes on to make comments that I should go out more, and talk to my mother more. And about how I can’t live in a pig sty for forever. I can’t help but grind my teeth at her ignorance. My friend is saying just to be blunt with her, but blunt isn’t something I’m good at, especially when it’s pointing out someone’s flaws.

    In case you’re wondering, they did finally do the floors. It only took several hours of mariachi music and loud construction noises. Now, the floor is constantly cold, and everything echoes across the 800 sq ft apartment even more. Joyous. He won’t stop shouting about how clean the plastic hard wood flooring is. I can’t help but fall into his guilt trap. This big inconvenience of those two having to move everything out of the living room, kitchen and dining area wouldn’t have happened, if I bothered with taking the dogs out for the past 3 years. But on the other hand, my life shouldn’t revolve around other people’s responsibilities. I don’t know.


    Hey, I’ll watch and review all of them, since I have nothing better to do.

    Sarah made a poster is informative, and straightforward. It’s long enough so you understand the process, but not too long to where you might die of boredom. I think it’s neat that she can actually get her work done that simple. And I genuinely like the end result. Some of the top-down shots with the wood desk background feel a little “Ooo, look at me, I’m a quirky, modern hipster!” but maybe that’s just me. It feels a little overdone, but you’re talking to someone from the notorious city of hipsters.

    Sam made a sizzle reel feels a little lengthy, or just a little bit of too much babble. Maybe I’m just too used to playing around with saturation and contrast features. The top-down shots are getting painful to endure. There’s a top-down shot of him sketching, which seems completely irrelevant. I also feel like you don’t get to see much of the final product – the thing he spent the video talking about.

    Zenzele made an animated gif is interesting. I am not a fan of the “I don’t do funny” gif in the beginning, because it feels like a desperate grasp for relevance. I like the art she does, and I think it’s very inspiring. I actually follow someone on instagram who does something similar with magazine clippings. (I found their website. http://thedailysplice.com/ )

    Maddy made a t-shirt features a cute idea. But parts of it also feel like a desperate grasp for relevance. Mainly the whole “Dinosaurs don’t know what they’re doing with their lives, too”. That part felt like a G-rated animal meme. But the end design is impressive and professional, and really shows the potential of the program.

    Nathan made a resume features a minimalist with a funny accent. Personally, the sketching part seemed a bit unnecessary, because there’s only so many ways you can sketch a resume. Also, the top-down shots are the worst on this one, because since he’s a “minimalist”, that means the top-down shots have to be super organized shots featuring black and white clutter. Also, the “hobby” icons section felt a little childish and unnecessary, but I guess it shows off his amazing graphic design skills. And I feel like there’s so much more you can do with this program, besides put together a piece of paper that determines the worth of your existence.

    Sandra made an app features a lady with a funny accent and her hip, new dating app. I find the idea for the app unique and quite nice. It’s something I can relate to, with my S.O., because we met in a chatroom, where visuals aren’t really a thing. I think if I were to have seen him when I first met him, it would’ve made me form a different opinion on him. Anyways, I spaced out at the 30 second mark. The video was lengthy, and I kept zoning in on her accent. On another note, I feel like this app would attract nothing but morbidly obese people, to be frank. To be purposely pushing appearance out the door makes me feel like there’s something fishy, if that makes sense.

    #125628

    Driftwood
    Participant

    Hi Sammi-

    Work just got kind of busy so I’ll have to be super brief and circle back on some of the things you brought up..

    Went to the Whitney museum in NYC with my daughter for my birthday. A new and very awesome building with one of the greatest collections of modern art in the world and a floor of weird video and media installations dating from the 50’s to now. Then hung out with her and the dog, which is all I need, really. This is the first birthday in a while without my girlfriend, so me with daughter and dog were all I really needed to be happy.

    It is interesting about your visiting friend. Friends have a way of confronting us with our own crap that annoys the hell out of us but at the same time rings true somewhere. (Which is even more annoying!) She feels comfortable enough with you to explore your inner world and trudge around in it a little, and this brings things to the surface, which in the long run is good for you, though I’m sure gets up your grill. At least that’s been my experience. So in the ‘zen’ sense, observe what is annoying you about it and why/what it confronts you with… Try not to react from an ego based place, and see what is valid about what she’s saying vs. what she doesn’t understand. I should take my own advice here, I know, but easier to give it then do it…

    My feeling is that you are making more progress, i.e. getting more ‘distance’ on your home situation and separating out what is and isn’t ‘you’ in the situation, if that makes sense. I do think that your awareness and looking at things is also a part of the reason the ship is leaving the dock in terms of what picking, cutting etc.. represents for you. It holds less relevance for you now, maybe? I don’t know much about it at all, aside from some incidents with daughter’s friends, but it seems to me the more stuff that comes to the surface, the more ‘mindful’ you are about what’s bothering you, the less of an ‘escape valve’ it will become. Don’t know..

    Question- You say your mother doesn’t know about the cutting, but I’m assuming she knows about the picking because she sees?

    Your insights into those videos are spot on with some of what I was thinking. The reasons I asked were a) because there’s something called and ‘explainer’ video, that I absolutely hate. Also just hate the word grammatically since it reminds me of when George Bush said ‘I’m the decider’. You might have seen them – they’re often cartoons or a hand drawing figures on a whiteboard. And they often are overly simplistic in a ‘cute’ way, like “Ok, lets pretend we’re all morons, and I’ll explain this to you in really simple terms.’ Once in a while people ask me about them for work and I really have nothing to say because they’re animations and also cause I hate them so much. But these were kind of portraits of people actually doing things, and I thought that could be a good approach. b) I wanted to get your take on EXACTLY what you mentioned which was the ‘hipster’ thing because there was an element of ‘hey, I’m super cool and you can be too!’ I wanted to see if you bought it. I do however think that the girl ‘Sarah’ was for real and really did that stuff, and I did like the result and I don’t think she herself was ‘fake’ but it felt a tiny bit forced in that direction. Nonetheless she and her stuff were cool despite the slightly off-course direction.

    Also didn’t like the ‘don’t do humor’ thing either, the resume was kind of contrived.
    The voice app was by far the most original.

    Hope therapy session is a good one… perhaps getting to the base stuff behind the ‘cutting’ would be more comfortable??

    Ok, need to end it here for now. To be continued..

    • This reply was modified 6 months, 1 week ago by  Driftwood.
    #125676

    Sammi
    Participant

    @Driftwood: Hey, again. Glad to hear your birthday was eventful.

    Just got home from counseling. I did a bad. Everytime I tried to maneuver conversation, another small talk prompt popped up. But, I did get some benefits out of the session. She logged onto my files, and checked my blood results. The average vitamin d levels are 30-100 [units, as she didn’t say what exactly], and my level is at 11 [units]. All hail agoraphobia.

    Also, yeah. My mother does see and acknowledge that I pick, but not often. At one point in summer, I had an accidental gash on my arm that I wouldn’t let heal. After a few weeks, she asked me if I was alright, and I shut her up about it, and wore long sleeves for a while. She’s commented on my hands, too. She doesn’t think much of it, because she used to do the same. She says I’ll probably grow out of it like she did, but she was also never as bad as I am. Anxiety, depression and thyroid problems run in the family, btw.

    It’s interesting hearing insights of videos from someone in the biz. (I know, majority of people my age don’t use weird slang like “biz”, but you’re talking to someone who uses the phrase “bomb diggity” on the regular.) The “hipster” thing has been popping up more and more in the small amount of advertisements I happen to witness (I only say that because I don’t watch much television, and I have adblock on my pc), and it’s slightly cringe-worthy. Whenever something becomes popular on the internet, businesses cater to it 5 years later. Right now, the big internet craze is the 80’s vhs aesthetic, and I’ve seen a few ads influenced by such, but not many. The only one that comes to mind, currently, is Progressive’s After School Special inspired commercial. (I only know about After School Specials because one of my past english teachers forced us to watch one, for class.)

    #126420

    Driftwood
    Participant

    Hey Sammi-

    I’ve been meaning to respond to your last post, but some unexpected work came up and I’ve been flying all over for the past week+. No- you are not forgotten!! And anyway I don’t jump ship like that, even in the virtual world. Approaching those topics with the therapist is important – and might take a few times before you can begin to broach those subjects, but really – keep at it and keep observing what’s holding you back (and keep thinking of all the things you want to start to ‘get rid of’ before Charter school… That motion is important.

    And yes, ‘hipsters’ (or worse, people who think they’re hipsters) are the new market, so what once was ‘edgy’ (even though it never really was) is now mainstream (which it kind of was the whole time). Hipsters are really conformists in flannel anyway. So every big company has to have its ‘maker’ video now, and banking ads are geared towards them cause they’re the next generation getting mortgages etc..

    This came to me while I was traveling regarding a lot of what we have talked about, the world and the ongoing issues we all have, and I’ve been meaning to write it down..

    You can either:

    Use your skill, artistry and originality as a shield to keep you from dealing with the problems that haunt you and from the world

    or you can

    Work on building your skills, artistry and orignal thinking while dealing with all those problems until you start feeling more comfortable in you own skin and in the world.

    Not sure how clear that is, or if it makes sense, but that’s what came to me after a day of work/travel. Airplanes are the best for meditation.

    Keep me posted!

    -Mitchell

    #126440

    Sammi
    Participant

    @Driftwood: Long time, no post. Kidding. It’s fine; I’ve been busy procrastinating on finals, and wasting all of my time on online games.

    With the art stuff, I think I get what you’re implying. There’s the choice of hiding behind your art, or to grow as both a person and artist. I’ve seen a lot of people stick to either route, and it makes them end up in pretty different places (but experience and such is also a factor). You have those few absurdly popular painters, and then the vast amount of pity-hungry youngsters whom only draw vent art, whining about how terrible their lives are. (Some of them do, infact, live terrible lives, though.)

    I hope all your travels are safe. I haven’t actually been on a plane in 7 about years. That was the time I got to visit Hawaii, because my mom’s boyfriend was stupidly rich, and had nothing better to do with his money.

    Actually, I went through my twitter archive today, and found tweets dating back from that trip. (Yes, 9-10 year old me decided to use twitter.) All of them are either discussing the freakish amount of bug bites I encountered, or the too-sweet teriyaki I dreadfully endured. I just didn’t know how well I had it. We even lived in a little community that had a golf course and clubhouse. (Not to mention the tennis court and pool. They also brought in a chef every Wednesday for build-your-own pasta.)

    I remember that one of the many times we ate at the clubhouse restaurant, I was holding back tears, because I believed that I was morbidly obese. No one accused 90lb, 4’7 me of being such, I just assumed it. I was completely oblivious to the world around me, and I’ll always regret it.

    Blah, what a tangent that was. Anyways, later this year, I might be able to travel out of state for my birthday. By myself. It’s still decently theoretical, though. But I look forward to it, nonetheless.

    #126676

    Sammi
    Participant

    @reyes: Pardon me.

    Have you ever considered just letting the man go on about his life, instead of consulting a voodoo witch doctor to win back his love? How desperate must you be? I understand being a single mother is difficult, but hypnotizing a man into infatuation with you definitely says something about your character.

    Oh, silly, silly spam posts.

    #126846

    Driftwood
    Participant

    Hi Sammi–

    Travels were interesting though it was constant work the whole way from Silicon Valley to North Carolina. Came across a lot of interesting people from an Uber driver who helps people cross over into dying to some deep south serious Trump supporters. A real example of how varied this country is. Varied being a better word than divided.

    No such thing as a tangent here – your regret seems maybe to be that you were oblivious to the world..? Do you mean you were wrapped up in your own thing and didn’t give enough attention to what was around you?

    Cool that you will be getting on a plane soon. I’m assuming this is to see your S.O. who you said lives on the other side of the country? Still procrastinating? Stop it! You have a lot of work to do before your great/sweet escape or whatever.

    T’is a far better thing to throw piece of tracing paper over a DaVinci drawing and copy it than play video games…

    When you make your move you’ll need some arrows in your quiver, and that means working towards Charter school and maybe increasing your various skills… no? You need to feel the wheels of evolution turning. Even if all is imperfect its better than having them just spinning in the mud.. Expanding your skills will be expanding your confidence and that will help certain other things fall by the wayside. Ok, that’s my lecture for tonight.

    In general I get the feeling that things are a bit better over there? That you are not so bothered as you were those months ago..?? Had another chance to approach things in counseling?

    -Mitchell

    #126907

    Sammi
    Participant

    @Driftwood: Hey. Glad you were able to meet new people, as peculiar as they were.

    Yeah – I was too deep in my own petty problems rather than taking the time to soak in my surroundings, and being able to appreciate them. Instead of using my phone to complain on twitter, I could’ve been taking photos of my own, of the bright turquoise ocean. Or I could’ve been practicing tennis/swimming, instead of spending every summer playing online games.

    Correct, it is to visit my S.O. Why I’m saying it’s theoretical is because it’s all if mom’s willing/able to afford the trip, by then. I would be looking for a job right now (to save up myself), but everything in range is mostly restaurants, and I feel like that wouldn’t look too impressive in an artist’s resume, later on. Maybe I’m just being dumb and digging for any excuse to not leave the house and take on responsibility. I don’t know.

    I do feel like I’m gaining distance on the situation, day by day. I’m finding and rediscovering music here and there, to block out his voice with. I’m looking back at previous events, to realize how ridiculous his behavior is. I just don’t know where to go from here, besides continuing to withdraw my emotions from the situation, shut up and get work (schoolwork and art) done. Next counseling appointment is on the 8th, so I’ll see where I can blindly steer conversation.

    Had a friend over last night to a few hours ago. She would’ve happily stayed longer if her father hasn’t been having separation anxiety, lately. But she’s caring, she cleaned up after the dogs for me. Her winter formal was Saturday night (which is why she only came over yesterday), and she kept mentioning that I’m always welcomed to come to her proms, so I don’t feel like I’m missing out. (She knows I get sad when everyone gets to reenact She’s All That, and I can only sulk in bed.) But she’s also broke (a bit worse than us) so she knows the pain of shopping for a “cheap”, fitting prom dress. I think it’s better if I don’t bother. Maybe senior year, so I can conceive some sort of awful story to tell from time to time.

    And my other friend, the one that’s more successful/productive than me, only needs one more school year to graduate. It’s a little degrading because I’m easily more intelligent than her, but I just can’t prove it. I know school education isn’t all about intelligence (it’s more like just actually keeping up with assignments that are reusing the stuff you learned in 3rd grade), but I still can’t help but feel insulted. I only passed one or two classes this semester, due to how awful I took everything from September to recently.

    That leads me into another random thought I had. I feel like my anxiety holds back my true potential when it comes to my intelligence. I have a hard time suggesting solutions to things in fear that it’ll be the wrong answer. Or questioning people’s statements. And with counseling, I run through lengthy conversations in my head, but nothing comes out when I sit on the scrawny, pleather couch. Can’t give advice, either; I usually just tell friends to run to Google if they need something, because I don’t have much experience with anything. I have trouble questioning people’s opinions on things, because I feel like mine would be wrong (even if there’s so such thing). I’m usually too scared to think for myself and form my own opinions.

    Oh, and the design I made is going to be part of next month’s sticker pack. While I’m not being paid, it’s still a nice amount of exposure.

    (Also, I’m sorry if my grammar and general quality of my writing has been noticeably declining. I’ve been having lot of trouble lately with proofreading, just because I don’t usually type/read much anymore.)

    #127136

    Driftwood
    Participant

    I think it’s kind of interesting that in your last letter you mention something that held you back from experiencing the world around you, and that you are seeing that clearly right now.

    Perhaps what’s surfacing for you is a growing awareness and exploration of things that held/hold you back?

    Could it be that a part of you is ready to bust out of the shell? Part of the shell has been imposed on you from self-preservation from the ‘situation’. But from what you’re saying, part of it was there already at 9. You are sensitive and introspective, so it’s natural that this would take hold of you sometimes and hold you back from what’s around you.

    Or maybe while thinking of visiting your friend, which you anticipate will be a special thing, you want to make sure you don’t repeat the Hawaii situation?

    So in what ways are you still doing it, and in what do you think would help you break out of it? Any ideas about what kind of life you WANT to live (no answer necessary)? If there were not anxiety, ’blockages’ phobias, or situational limitations, how would you see yourself living?

    Totally normal by the way that you would feel angsty about getting a job lot’s of people do – it’s a big deal since it’s a ‘first’. So don’t take yourself to task for it. Try not to attach everything i.e. getting out of the house, paying rent somewhere,being a grown up etc.. to getting a job. You’re not there yet. Just try observing those things that hold you back.

    Small goals, imposing small doses of discipline on yourself that no one has to know about but you ( if it makes you feel vulnerable in the house or would get negative comments), then building on that. I do think that a combination of addressing those things in therapy and just plain action that gets you out of yourself (meaning getting out of the house, the Charter school, going to Powell’s, exploring something new etc..) will go a long way.

    Any more/better communication in the last counseling session? Note that there’s a / between the words more and better.

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