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Saturday, September 3, 2016

honesty porn from a blog whore

-or, exploring the boundaries of taste in TMI. Trigger warning, stop here if you have any triggers at all.

I was going over some really old stuff in my last post, pulling all the things together over time into one final look at why I'm here, had hit the publish button, thought everything was all done and wandered off to work on some chores and just stopped and broke apart.

It hit me really hard- it really is all done. I'm on the other side now. I made it.

I've been visualizing myself slowly clawing my way up the side of a steep cliff for so long that I was almost dizzy realizing that part is over now. I can look back at my past, across a vast chasm over to another cliff that I fell off of a long time ago, and I'm standing in a spot I only dreamed of, only ever wished for. I'm actually standing here feeling relieved, and better, and relieved.

I've worked so hard to be able to say what I really need to say. Well, I've said it. I've arrived. I have actually circled the globe, thanks to the internet, and torn out my heart and soul looking for a way to feel whole again, to not feel lost and failed on a sheer cliff side. And after I hit publish it hit me I really did do what I set out to do. My mission, clearly stated to a psychologist on the very first day we met, was to be able to communicate better so I wouldn't keep losing friends, and I've got the very friend back that this whole thing with the psychologist started over. And as I put those final words together in that last post, as I looked back at all the work I put into keeping my little empire from shattering again, the blind trust and faith I've put into stepping out into a spotlight against everything in my nature, the solid belief that I was doing something good or I was worth nothing- I'm here. I'm where I've been trying to get to for so many long years.

I talked before about how much time I've spent in my head working through things even when real people aren't around for me to talk to. I've decided to share some of how that works for me. This is just one of many very different examples of what runs in the background while I drone around doing stuff like laundry and all the other mundane stuff people do when they're alone in a house all day. While I was on break from my psychologist about a year and a half ago and started sliding into my weird labyrinth working toward uncovering a repressed memory, I created a new psychologist in my head. Totally different guy, different office, different me. The me no one ever really sees...

~~~~~~~~~

First visits are always awkward, this was no different. He said my name from the waiting room doorway, I looked up from a fish tank I'd been absorbed with, collected my backpack, followed down a short hallway into one of the inner offices, and then stopped just inside the door as he closed it. He moved on into the room, saying the usual opening lines and then noticed I'd stopped.

This office was very different from the ones I'd been in before. The carpet, the furniture, the molding and wallpaper all whispered "I'm used to nice things", mostly in darker colors. I like a rich blue with mahogany myself, but this guy used more midnightish blues with dark walnut. The couch was odd, bright white and light gray damask with big pink roses splashed around, as if his mother might have walked in and insisted on brightening up the room, and by the couch was a small atrium style floor to ceiling window. A womb with a view, as it were. Outside the window was peaceful, pointed toward a gardened greenway between businesses, no sign of traffic or disturbance, and a very nice change from seeing a parking lot out a window, or a coworker on smoke break.

Looking back into the room seemed darker at first, but it really wasn't, just darkish nice things. The bookshelves were all full and very tidy, no embellishments or stuffy or whimsical wall hangings, no sign of other people ever visiting that same office. Even the chess board off to one side looked immaculately untouched, obviously one-offed from auction outside of the country, deluxe hand made collector's table made entirely of semi-precious stone, every piece unique and quietly worth more than the car I'd driven in to get there.

~~~~~~~~~~~

I like playing this way in my head, surprising myself with "Let's see what comes out" games. It's a free association technique, sort of like lucid dreaming, except I don't direct the flow as much as I am able to free myself of it. I remain awake but suspended, waiting to see what the characters do. I don't consciously direct them, and I'm often caught off guard almost as if I really didn't know my own head. Honestly, I think we all know ourselves far less than we are willing to open up to.

I taught myself to step out of myself like this as a child, partly because I had no one who knew how to talk to me at all besides a sibling younger than me, and partly because I wanted to see if I could. I wasn't interested in friends, or whether or not I felt lonely, never developed a close relationship with either parent or any other adult. I experimented rigorously to see if I could tear myself into 2 different people in one head so I'd be able to play board games with myself and not be able to know the other me's strategies or plans, someone who would give me a good run for the win. It never worked, of course, but I did get very good at disassociating from myself.

~~~~~~~~~~~

I loathe the way he pretends not to know anything about me, how he waits for me to lead the way into my head. That's what psychologists do, right? It's their job to feign ignorance to get the person talking. I don't want to talk, to have to explain again who I am, why I am, where I'm stuck, what I want. He can see all that. He knows. And I know he knows because his best friend is my fictionalized brother, who got me out of a group home for mentally handicapped people, and even though it's kind of a conflict of interest for me to be here, my brother hoped this would be a good way to help ease me back into a more regular life since I'm so uncooperative with strangers. I met this guy briefly in the past, I know his face and that he's already accepted with my family, but I know very little else. I loathe that he's waiting for me to say the first stumbly awkward words out into the open for him to target and start directing into lines of question and response.

The first day he started off by saying I could sit down if I wished, so I remained standing by the door, taking my time feeling the room. I hated that couch as soon as I saw it, but I loved it. I think I hated it because I knew I had to share it. This room wasn't for me at all, it was for everyone. Lots of butts had sat on that couch, in lots of different clothes, some with pet hair, some maybe worn too long between washings, maybe even incontinent, although the couch didn't look it, and surely that would show up on a whitish couch. Maybe the couch would be ok. It was next to the window, and I loved that window. Still, I moved the other direction, to the opposite corner, looking at the books on the bookshelf. I could tell that sort of irked him because he could tell I was doing it on purpose and maybe he wasn't in the mood for it. He asked again if I'd please sit down, so I sat down in that corner, in the darkest part of the room, and put my arms around my knees.

The whole first session was cat and mouse. Who would give in first? He'd ask a vague question, I'd ignore it with a specific statement that had nothing to do with the question. I told him I liked this room, and asked if he fixed it up himself. He asked why I asked that. I said because none of the other rooms were like this one. Every time I asked a question, he asked me why I asked it, and after about 5 of those, he said we weren't there to talk about him, but to talk about me.

~~~~~~~~~

I've never acted this way in a real psychologist's office, but it's my first instinct. I've never revealed to anyone what my natural behaviors are because my mother beat them out of me. I'd love to be able to be myself, or to be a natural socialite, but I'm stuck in between, like being stuck between dimensions. I can see and hear both sides, but I can't cross into either one and stay there. I've learned how to pretend to be able to keep up a dialogue, and sometimes I can tell when I'm missing something, but most of the time I meander whatever direction I'm led in without even realizing it. I've apparently been taken advantage of throughout my life in most of my friendships and didn't even know it. Slowly opening my eyes to a new point of view has been one of the most heartbreaking things I've experienced, partly because being able to see myself being the burden or fool or the difficult challenge to other people is sad, but also partly because now I can look back and see all their motivations, even if they couldn't and probably still can't. One of the really unique things about my point of view in autism spectrum is that I've had to study so hard how to pass for normal that I've learned all the ways other people also pass. None of us is 'normal'. There is no normal. We are all sad judgy misfits who won't forgive each other for being sad judgy misfits.

~~~~~~~~~

We didn't play chess that first appointment, but we started the second appointment right away with my first move. I generally just throw a pawn out, I don't care from where. I never care what color I am, either, but I guess he wanted me to make the first move, so I played white, which was really almost a decadent dark butterscotch with darker flecks, like chocolate flakes. His black pieces were a very dark brown, like the walls in his office, only made of stone. The board was a luxurious dark green marble with the serpentine slashes and foliation nicely dispersed so it wouldn't create false background patterns to the eye while playing. The table was made of lacewood, stained, in my opinion, an ugly dark walnut, but which made the lace effect look more like a blacker web draped around the wood, hardly noticeable until one sat right up next to the board. I looked up right after noticing that and saw his eyes noticing I noticed that, but revealing nothing. "Your move," I said.

My first game with someone is always a mockery, whether they realize it or not. He realized about halfway through. He was good, but he was more interested in how I played than whether he'd win, and I could tell was still playing on the edge of whether he should let me win or not just to see how I'd react to the winning part. So I bluntly commanded, "Don't let me win! Stop me!", and then I mock-played even harder until I couldn't tell if he could tell whether he was playing with an idiot. He obviously couldn't help nearly winning, but I'd so distracted him that just after he said "Check" for the final time, with no move that could save me, I advanced a lonely pawn to the far end and said "Queen me." He didn't get it at first, tried to explain to me that I'd forfeit the game if I didn't move to save my king immediately, and I explained back that I had the right to move whatever I wanted. He still didn't see it. So he queened me, and I said "Checkmate." And there our session ended and I walked out without another word, without any eye contact, and him staring at the board.

~~~~~~~~~~

If it's not obvious by now to some readers, the psychologist is the target here. Normally the psychologist gets the patient to arrive at answers, but I've reversed the roles. I'm trying to get into that psychologist's head, which is weird because we're already in my head... It's his job to withhold from me, and it's my challenge to find a way in and find that treasure. To reach a place in my mind where I can surprise myself with a move and still not know how to envision that other reaction is key to understanding what I'm trying to do with this mind experiment. I've discussed in past how we're taught almost from birth to wear masks, to become at least two different people, and then taught how to hide our honesty in favor of stable social interaction and relationships, and we all know that can develop into runaway trains so full of masks and layers that the real person inside becomes lost, and that, I feel, is the root of the human condition we call loneliness in a crowded room.

I have a sociology degree with anthropology minor, heavily laced with stats, political science, ethnicity and ethics, world religions, social psychology, and childhood psychology. I was such a broken person by the time I got to college that my sole purpose for living was to find an answer to "Why am I like this? Why don't I understand the world around me?" Besides eventually being diagnosed autism spectrum, I have learned an awful lot about 'regular' humans that defies the standard issue definition of psychological health. If our entire mental health field is precariously balanced between self and group, and self must sacrifice in order to fit into group, or group must be left to be true to self, and either of those winds up with suicide of self, then something is still very wrong with the mental health field. People around the world are still killing themselves, and I don't believe we can tidily sum it up into a box labeled 'depression' or 'mental illness'.

My need to win at any cost is detrimental to happiness in my life. I used to argue there's no such thing as happiness, sometimes at great length, but eventually my eyes opened to that being a condition I myself was causing, so I modified my need to win to navigating and negotiating cost, and trying to bear the brunt of the cost myself as much as possible so that I would not be a disruptive force to everyone around me. It's a little too ironic that a person needing to win becomes the person creating that same need in whoever is left undestroyed, right? Revenge isn't really revenge if it spreads like a virus. Creating more and more revenge while exacting revenge is ultimately epic fail, if you think about it.

What am I hiding from myself? Why couldn't that psychologist see what I was doing?

~~~~~~~~~~

The third visit was much more relaxed. I so rarely get a game out of anyone that I felt good good walking back into that office, and I knew the next few steps would be about what happened and whether he'd be able to relax back around me. Psychologists aren't supposed to relax and become friends, so I wasn't expecting anything like rapport, but I did expect another sort of contest. Now it could become a word joust if I didn't stay focused, but he didn't need to know I was there to outwit him. All the same, I intro'd by blowing off the queen thing, and when he asked if I'd like to play again I said not this time, and immediately launched into a mundane problem I was having with another person that actually didn't mean that much to me. If he couldn't see that I was replaying that pawn scene all over again off the board now, he was pretty damn thick.

~~~~~~~~~~

That queen move eventually turned into a post called hybrid- how robots go on. The first video I included was an important part of that.

~~~~~~~~~

There have been only two more visits since then with this made up psychologist in my mind. I suppose a common direction many people take in fantasy winds up becoming a dance around sexual tension, but since my sexual tension is wrapped up around murder and sadness, it played out very differently. The fourth visit was another chess game, and I wanted it to be more fun and talk about how we were actually playing, how I see the board and characters on it, how I watch the other player, but he was so disinterested in the game itself that I lost interest myself and suddenly just swooped in and checkmated the hell out of his head. We still had 15 minutes left, which I spent flopped on the couch looking out the window.

The last visit was a sort of mixed up mess. I never did settle into how it played out in my head, and since I was trying to allow it to go where it wanted without interference, the random interference I kept getting from other noise in my head finally revealed as the psychologist shutting me down.

~~~~~~~~~

There are still things locked away in my head that come out very slowly, tiny piece by tiny piece over a very long time, usually memories that show up in dreams. "Come here and let me spank you," was what abruptly woke me up very early this morning, just before 3 a.m. Wtf, right? Like, obey what I say and let me hurt you kind of thing. The pressure on someone very small to cow down to a much bigger person intent on obvious physical harm and much deeper (hopefully unintended) psychological harm is a terrible thing.

I used to sing a song in church called "Trust and Obey". I have digested this conundrum very thoroughly over several decades, over the lines "for there's no other way, to be happy..." Blindly obeying isn't the same thing as trust, obvious epic fail is Hitler, much less obvious is the human trafficking industry which pervades all of world society. Psychologically healthy trust is developed over time, and we all know you don't just decide to trust and step out off a cliff onto thin air believing there's an invisible platform under you. To not understand the dysfunction behind the command to begin with (come back and let me strike you), to not understand obedience and compliance to punishment that isn't understood (we are good if we allow someone to strike us), to grow up with people who don't understand how to foster trust without several severe dysfunctional behaviors (rigid belief is paramount to logic and reason), to turn that back into finding fault with self over not being able to properly trust and obey...

This is how people wind up murdered. If someone ever tries making me get into a car at knife point, they'd better try using it because I will rain hell and death on them before they can disappear me into a vehicle, remove me from the public eye, and torture me to death in private. This is so common around the world that unless it touches us personally, we actually use it as entertainment in a variety of ways. If I have any choice in a no win situation, I'd much rather die publicly than privately. To break out against authoritarian threat at any level is the hardest challenge humans have had throughout our entire history.

We are a trusting society, an obedient society. Even the most strong minded fold up under unexpected pressure. Well, I've had pressure all my life, and I'm learning to unfold. My sexual tension is still sitting in a prison in another state, and the pawn is slowly advancing across the board. My faith and trust have become directed into believing what I'm doing is the right thing, that what I do will be good for all us sad judgy misfits who won't forgive each other for being sad judgy misfits.

"...could mean anything."



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