an unedited rambling of my love/hate
relationship with the social media
the irony is strong with this one.
[writer’s note: i wrote the following thoughts well over a year ago. never had any intentions of ever posting this since it is supremely personal and, honestly, some of it’s embarrassing, but i am trying to get better. part of my process is writing about my very serious struggle in an irreverent manner, and sharing. i actually texted a friend this morning (after another night of not sleeping) that i was thinking of sharing more about my social anxiety, depression, mental disorder. he said DO NOT DO IT. I said maybe writing / being open about it more will help people? I also said that I personally don’t feel better, more alone actually, but maybe… maybe, it’s not about me. He said “fuck supportive people. they just want to know someone off in the head so you can become the token nut job. Everyone pretends they understand. And the only support out there are the ones who also have it, and they’re the worst support.” I cried. And then I decided, almost immediately, “no.” No I can’t believe that. I won’t.
i do want to write more. the problem is, i am not moved to write about anything other than my experiences; things that make the world seem bigger and mysterious and wonderful, or painful things that make me want to hide inside myself.
and, ironically, i’ve never been shy. that’s why this bullshit social anxiety/mental disorder is killing me. so here she is. unedited]
[additional note that won’t make sense until later: i deactivated my facebook 8 months ago]
[additional, additional note that also won’t make sense… ever: i reactivated my twitter account.]
What is my Authentic Voice/Self? What is my False Self?
- I question my intentions all the time. I don’t know if what I say is genuinely what I think most of the time. I don’t know if I’m confusing open-mindedness with indecisiveness or the other way around.
- I definitely use faulty intuition and landmarks when driving, instead of spatial reasoning.
- I have a phobia of sounding vain or self-absorbed to people that I don’t know very well
- What I am afraid of people seeing me as, in order (the first 3 are all equal):
- I have a loyalty to horror movies
- I enjoy watching horror movies, but I often have the urge to tell other people what i’m watching – not sure if it’s to celebrate and talk to other people like the IMdb board days of 1998-2007, or if it’s to keep my horror member card up to date. The more I think about it, the more I know it’s to connect with other people. It’s a topic I’m somewhat confident about (whether that is supported or unfounded confidence, I’m not sure, but I never claim to be an expert in anything more than what moves me), and it seems my social anxiety disappears whenever the topic is horror films, as evidenced by the rambling.
I’m currently reading all the tweets I made from 2009 on, and it’s kind of scaring the fucking shit out of me. I’m deleting them as I read them, and I am saying to myself ‘oh god, shut up!’ because 90% of the shit I wrote was SO FUCKING DESPERATE for someone to notice me. Probably my ex-boyfriend at the time. Shit like “going to a holocaust remembrance tonight for perspective. To escape myself for awhile” and “gorilla poetry reading with a friend tonite at the mall!” jesus FUCKING CHRIST how did I not see this before? And you know what the fucking worst part of it is???
I WANT TO TALK ABOUT THIS ON FACEBOOK. I want to post some witty post on facebook that says something like “going through my old tweets and can’t believe how superficial and desperate I sound” complete with the holocaust quote and gorilla poetry quote. FOR WHAT PURPOSE? To brag about how much self-awareness I have?
This is not good. This is not good at all. I need to fix this fucking self-shit as soon as fucking possible, this is unacceptable.
First step is to continue to delete all these fucking tweets, but i’ll start recording them here so if I read this later, I will know I wasn’t overreacting. [responses to MYSELF in brackets]
DEAD TWEETS aka deleted twats from 2009 on
“gorilla poetry reading w/ a friend @ the mall tonite!” [SRSLY WHO GOES TO THE MALL]
“otis redding, bubble bath, beer, friday’s eve.” [whore!]
“The moon is absolutely gorgeous tonight” [ya don’t say]
“Time to go home, grab a beer, sit on my hill, and unwind.” [and I do still miss that hill.]
“day 1 of liquid diet starts tomorrow, but i wonder… is beer still ok?” [lush!]
“i’m the nicest person you’ll meet, but if you tailgate me, i WILL fantasize about eating 3 bowls of kashi cereal out of your skull. F’kers.” [this is still meaningful to me]
(more likely is that I wanted to impress the ex-boyfriend so much that I would have done anything to sound cool to him).
“I’m sitting next to a dude at Starbucks that looks just like Lebowski, it’s unreal.” [look at me errebody, i’m at starbucks]
“there is something therapeutic about driving at night, thinking, with belle & sebastian playing while fireworks go off in all directions.” [puke!]
“scrapbooking my trip to france and u.k. from 4 years ago; closing a chapter.” [oh my GAWD]
“WACO: ‘oh hai, nice to see you again! I’ve missed you…’ ME: (awkward silence)” [awkward silence]
“about to go test this ’24 hour’ gym thing.” [where’s that gun]
“(500) Days of Summer is not a love story, but an eye-opening experience and hope inducing all the same.” [translation: hey ex-boyfriend! Hi! Do you think of me?]
“2 words: bombay bistro. 3 more words: indian food comatose.” [look at me errebody, i’m eating ethnic food]
“Enjoying a perfect night at the Oasis. :)” [hey errebody, look at me i’m at a tourist trap]
“just finished a bellydance recital for my mid-east dance class! Gotta say, I loved it.” [i can’t.]
“L.A. for the day — at AUS Austin-Bergstrom” [hey errebody look at me I went to L.A. for work for 1 day and it SUCKED have you ever flown 9 hours on a plane just for a 30 minute meeting? Don’t.]
FOR THE LAST 5 HOURS I HAVE BEEN IMAGE CRAFTING.
SOMEONE SAVE ME FROM THIS HELL.
Ok that’s it.
What’s worse than reading something you wrote and realizing that it was very obviously influenced by something or someone else? Reading something you read and knowing it came originally from your brain, but only to find out that the same exact thought was popularized in some popular television show or song or book or, the fucking knife in the back, someone else’s social media post pre-dating yours.
Is there nothing in my head that belongs just to me?
I give up. I’m deleting everything.
The feeling to post on facebook is very strong. When I hear a song that touches me, my first thought is to post it to facebook. So ‘he’ might hear it and fall in love with me. The ‘he’ is on rotation, whoever is up on deck. It could be my ex. It could be that mime I fell in love with at church camp when i was 13. It could that older female team leader who wore basketball jerseys everyday when I was Girl’s State. I wrote her a letter on the last day of camp and put it in her locker. I wonder to this day if I signed it or not. I was 16.
There is an episode of Cheers where Carla Tortelli breaks up with her boyfriend (who just knocked her up) because there is someone out there, someone perfect for her, who is waiting for her, too. They’ve never met. But she is in love with him, and doesn’t want to be tied down just in case he finally shows up.
It could be for “him.” The Other.
More on that in another post later, maybe. One mental disorder discussion at a time.
So I need to exercise the muscle that prevents me from posting. By thinking first of my intentions.
Facebook Bullshit Litmus Test
(now listening to nin / hesitation marks on full blast because if i’m superficial then why not go full boar)
1. without thinking, picture the first person who will read your status and what you hope they feel
if the answer is: “him” and “thinks i’m cool, closer to falling in love with me, or reaffirming his decision about me” then NO POSTY
if the answer is: “who the fuck cares?” and/or “EVERYONE!” then go to next criteria (this is a decision tree suddenly).
2. without thinking, question whether you answered #1 honestly
if the answer is: “fuck, you caught me. I really wanted ‘him’ to see it so bad that I convinced myself that it didn’t matter if he did or not just to justify posting,” then pause for #3
(there are no other answers)
3. what if the answer is to just post SO MUCH that it dilutes any outcome you could possibly have with ‘him’ and it becomes something else? (this album is so terribly terrible. Honestly terrible, i’m having trouble continuing but I am) (I mean, my only objective criticism is that trent, you don’t have to rhyme so much! I get that you are pairing industrial pop or whatever with traditional song structure, but it takes me out of what you are saying when the rhyming is so elementary. “i have made a great mistake, pray the lord my soul to take” I just don’t.get.it.) (it’s like if the girl scouts took a field trip to hot topic and sat around a corporate-hating bonfire and broke out in a spirit song).
I hate myself. I re-read what I wrote just now and instantly thought “oh! I should post this to facebook!”
WHY WHY WHY WHY WHY WHY WHY WHY WHY WHY
Can’t the world be filled with amazing, quirky, original, beautiful, emotive people that are hidden from view and are strewn about the world like a scavenger hunt you have to actively participate with in order to find these gems? Work for the reward? Not have it offered up on a plate for daily consumption?
But the thing is, I am afraid of people. I am afraid of what they think of me. So I have trouble meeting new people. Or thinking that I deserve to be friends with someone who is more amazing than me. The segregation from the confident weird kids and the shy weird kids in the high school cafeteria of life is very real. So I may know that they are cool (I am friends with them on facebook), but they will never know I am just as cool. If I don’t post cool stuff. If I don’t communicate my quirky thoughts.
(All Time Low – NIN. Case in fucking point.)
the worst worst part of this is halfway through writing this (around the time of the girl scouts at hot topic idea) I started thinking maybe I can turn this into a dreams in the bitchhouse blog post? And then tweet about it and have it auto-post to my facebook?
ok. fuck the blog post. This is for me only. I need to seriously work this shit out, and I don’t need to think about it through the eyes of some potential viewer, because then it’s probably not genuine.
Back to the topic that if I don’t post to facebook, then no one can see how cool I am. Let’s follow this logic through. What happens if you do post and you still have no evidence that people think you’re cool? Do you keep trying and trying until you get some sort of validation? But then even that expires and you need more validation and more and moar annd MOAR? So when does it stop? And how do you feel in-between the calm times, waiting for something cool to say, so you can post it, but sometimes life isn’t cool and it’s boring and so how do you know how to feel about yourself then? If no one is telling you you’re so cool you’re so cool you’re so cool (or liking your status or posting emoticons or texting you or tagging you in important shit?)
I know the answer. You feel like the world hates you. It’s that black and white. And maybe that’s where the disorder comes in. you have issues with your identity. So when you are relying on others to tell you who and what you are, it’s not stable, and it’s not consistent. And it’s confusing and paranoid and obsessive. And it’s rereading your own facebook posts 50 times in one week but all through the eyes of someone else, or how you imagine they felt when reading your posts, and judging yourself in lieu of other’s validation, and it’s a living hell. It’s insomnia at night wondering what people think. It’s an empty feeling inside, a hole that feeds on others, like a vampire but in the most boring way. It’s never knowing what you really think. Not trusting anything you think. Not trusting the intentions of what you think. Feeling so much self-absorbed judgment that it takes up your time. IT TAKES UP YOUR TIME. It deletes your motivation to do anything, because why do I do anything? For who do I do the things I do? Being afraid. Exhausted. So exhausted. And feeling guilty. Guilt for not being able to mentally handle doing all the things I want to do, and being all the things I wish I could be, because i’m to preoccupied with renting out the space in my mind to other people.
The actual self
Things I know about myself:
I get lost constantly, I get lost all the time, and I get really, really upset with myself when I get lost. I used to think it could be a quirky description for me, but now it’s a concern that I might actually have brain damage from events before I was 9 years old because I can’t grasp spatial reasoning. It could also be because I got kicked out of the Brownies when I was a kid for stealing puppets, and they probably went over this shit after I was gone.
Things to know about myself:
I am brave. Or foolish. One or the other. Both are meant to prelude that I am open with my emotions. I self-disclose in almost everything I do or say. I think it has to do with connection. I desperately want connection with someone over my nostalgia. Which is nearly impossible, because no two people have the same experiences. But feelings from those experiences can be universal, I truly believe that. So when I want to try to put into words what I feel when I smell a campfire while out walking around in a suburb on a chilly november day, i’m really not trying to sound superficial or poetic for poetry’s sake or emo or whatever. I am just looking for someone to say ‘yes.’ and mean it. because I have been alone for most of my life, I feel alone, and even my fondest memories from amazing childhood are painful, because they make me miss my adoptive mother and sister so goddamn much, and it’s bittersweet knowing the fucking nightmare that took over when they left me so young, and I think about ‘what could have been.’
and it’s unfair to invest so much meaning in someone’s reaction to what I am trying to explain or describe about my nostalgia. It’s unfair to them (because it’s making a stronger, more meaningful connection based on little to no evidence of a reciprocated feeling) and it’s unfair to me because feeling connected to someone should be satisfied within my marriage and relationships with close friends, not strangers on the internet.
So why can’t I feel that in my marriage and close friends?
Because opening up yourself and being emotionally stripped naked is a lot easier when it’s to strangers. It gets real when it’s with people you know. Because if they judge you negatively, then their response could actually destroy you. Because they know you, and you can’t dismiss their opinion so flippantly as you can others.
I am paranoid about privacy. I guard against over-sharing with people I know. Just yesterday, I was talking to one of my best friends who just broke up with her boyfriend. She opened up to me, was vulnerable, and I was supportive which she appreciated. Then she asked me how I was doing. And all I could say was ‘i’m okay, just tired.’ and that is my standard answer to all my friends who ask what I’ve been up to (sometimes I say “hookers and blow” if I don’t even want to admit that i’m tired). What I really wanted to say is that I am not that okay, I can’t sleep at night, I am back taking otc sleeping pills every night but they don’t work, I also thought about starting anti-depressant last month even though I swore I would never ever take meds but it just got so bad that I had to do something (i ended up not), and that I am so much in my head lately that I can’t get out of bed, haven’t gotten out of bed for two weeks now, it’s affecting my life.
The point is, I have trouble with intimacy. How is this possible? Someone so desperately searching for connection with people, how can she be afraid of intimacy? Fear of intimacy is probably fed by my insecurity. Insecurity stems from my not thinking I deserve, or am capable of maintaining, relationships with intimidating people. But the need for connection is very real, so to bypass the fear of intimacy and rejection and insecurity, I post on social networks – which somewhat maintains my anonymity – or at least I think of it as almost anonymous – the beacon of the ‘cool’ message goes out via post, and I sit back and imagine all the connections i’m making with other people inside their heads, even when they don’t tell me (and they never do), I imagine it for them, and I feel validated even with the absence of validation, but only for a short while. And then I feel alone again. And also crazy, because that is a bat shit crazy thing to do. And then I write 3 or 4 pages of journal trying to describe this maddening feeling because it’s affecting my life.
And even writing about it is not that therapeutic because no one else is reading it, and I can’t feel anything if no one else reads it. I can only feel when I imagine feeling through the eyes of a stranger.
Facebook posts I’ll never post:
Why do I always cry when watching baby animal videos? What the fuck is wrong with me?
If you ever think you’re not interesting enough or have something cool enough to say in order to post to facebook, just remember this post and know you can do whatever you want (needs tweaking)
Things I Want to Do I Think
write short stories
new art once a month. for me. made by me for me. *only* share if you think it might help someone else going through the same shit.
take more photos
be in more photos