I just have to say this somewhere

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I keep thinking…

“I’m doing so much better with my anxiety!”

And then anything related to a food goes less than perfectly, and I’m reminded how much trouble I still have.

Seriously though, I am doing better. Outside of times when a specific thing goes wrong, I’m spending a lot less time being anxious about this stuff. And I’m eating things that I wouldn’t have six months ago. Part of the reason I’m still feeling bad is that I’m pushing myself to do more things that make me uncomfortable. And sometimes it isn’t even pushing, it just feels natural, which is a very good sign. I’ve been able to step down a lot of my carefulness about “contamination”.

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Completely useless information

The utility company in my area has a function on its website that shows you how much electricity and natural gas you’ve used each month. The interesting part is, it also shows you a comparison between the amounts you’ve used, and the amounts used by the average household in your area. So now I know that most houses around here use natural gas for heat, because the Average Neighbor’s Usage of natural gas goes way up in the winter, and the usage for electricity doesn’t. Huh.

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This morning was slightly awkward

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I had dinner with Sparkly and Numbers Guy

and we had a nice, fun conversation! And we walked around the mall together and talked and it all went really well.

I really do like him. We actually have similar senses of humor, I think.

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Gender stuff: I’ve been pondering this for a while

I know people who feel like being feminine and beautiful as a woman = being in danger. (Specifically assigned-female-at-birth people, not trans women dealing with transmisogyny.) Like fitting standards of beauty is scary, because it attracts sexual harrassment and abuse.

I never got that.

I mean, I’ve never felt that way, and until recently I never got that kind of unwanted attention, either. And I still haven’t gotten any that really scared me.

The double-bind for me wasn’t that beauty/femininity was required, but risky; it was that it was required, but I wasn’t good enough for it, and I could either stay in my ugly girl box, or be mocked for trying and failing or just for trying too visibly instead of Just Knowing what to do. (And when people think of you as the ugly frumpy girl, being more fashionable at all is automatically “trying too hard”.)

I never felt that I wasn’t a girl, but I felt very strongly that pretty, feminine things weren’t for me. There’s no specific thing I can point to as the cause. I mean, I felt disconnected from my peers in general. I felt that “you have to Just Know and I don’t” thing about social things in general. I assumed that things that appealed to me were silly and embarrassing, for related reasons. Some of it was body hatred. I got the usual messages about nasty hairy fat bodies, and I responded to them by thinking I was hopelessly nasty, rather than frantically trying to fix myself like some people do.

Some of it was structural and/or cognitive things. I never had an allowance or regular pocket money (or a job, until I was in college) so in order to get makeup, or clothes, or anything, I would have had to ask my parents. And that’s a lot to explain. The few people I could have asked for fashion advice were people I saw rarely, usually in larger groups, so it would have been hard for me to broach the topic. I genuinely felt that I didn’t have enough time to take any longer getting ready in the morning, which you can blame on the usual teenage lack of sleep or on executive function problems or whatever.

Some of it may have actually been smart– I think part of the reason I didn’t try to seek out, e.g. girls’ fashion magazines, is that I knew things like that could be nasty and shaming.

But there were some feminine things that I really did want. I didn’t think all femininity was nasty cattiness. I was just so sure I couldn’t have them that I only looked at them wistfully from afar.

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Gender vague thoughts

I wrote this a long time ago and it got lost in my drafts. So now I get to post it right next to the more recent, more thoughtful version.

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I was confused but really I should be flattered

Sparkly has told me a couple of times that just having me around makes em less anxious. When ey’s feeling anxious, ey always wants me to sit with em and snuggle. And I don’t understand how, but ey says it helps!

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Remorse

You get to insist that people stop doing things that hurt you. You get to avoid them and refuse to talk to them. You get to tell people what they did and why you’re cutting them off.

You don’t get to make them feel as bad as you think they should about what they did.

You probably can’t, practically speaking, and also, the kinds of things you would have to do, to make people feel bad/guilty/etc., are generally not okay.

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Sparkly asked me to refer to em with neutral pronouns on this blog all the time from now on. (That’s a lot of prepositional phrases in a row, I’m sorry.) I was switching back and forth between ey and she, before. So, that’ll be consistent from now on.

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