I need a Therapist.

It’s been more than two years since I last posted any article on this blog. It has been a long two (plus) years. I have had high highs and I have had very low lows in the time. I forgot about this project of mine mostly because when I was at my highs I was busy enjoying life and did not have time to sit down and hammer away at a keyboard, who has time for that? there’s life to enjoy! And at the lows, who has the energy to hammer away at a keyboard? who has the energy to do anything other than to get up, shower and (begrudgingly) drag themselves to work where really you show up because there’s no other option because there’s that pesky little thing called rent, and a car note if you have one and the inconvenience that is a stomach which needs constant feeding and saving for a rainy day if you’re the kind of person that actually believes you’ll live to actually be caught in that rainy day… See, I’m kinda fifty-fifty on that whole saving for a rainy day hoopla. I strongly believe in the deepest, darkest part of my heart (for reasons I might share one day) that I am probably never going to survive beyond my forties. If I am lucky. I don’t tell my family this. I told one of my friends and she looked at me liked I had grown a combined horn and third eye on my forehead and since then I have not dared mention it to anyone else. Anyway, what I’m trying to say is I believe in enjoying what money I have worked for. I work hard. I do save my money. I just don’t also necessarily deny myself a certain pleasure all in the name of rabidly saving my money. I don’t see myself ever getting married. I don’t want children. So who is this that I am so earnestly saving this money for? This money that I have worked for right now?

Anyway, I digress. I’m a very chilled out person generally, quiet, mind-my-own-business type of person. Introverted, even. I can seem very standoffish or snobbish but that’s really because I feel extremely awkward around strangers and have a bit of social anxiety especially around groups of people I do not know. Unfortunately I also tend to not talk about my troubles to anyone. I have this thing where I dislike telling anyone, not friends, not family, of my pains or my struggles because I absolutely loathe that look of pity in a person’s eye. I loathe it. I feel like they’re looking at me and judging me for being a weak person. Generally I work through whatever issue I have at the time and mention it loosely or in a light manner at a later date. Like, oh yeah, this and this happened but meh, it’s over, it’s sorted, we’re good, moving on. If at all I mention it… Now before you mention it, yes, these are my friends, or family, they’re probably not judging me. They probably are thinking of a way to help me. I know that. Somewhere deep deep down. A shrink, if I ever gathered enough courage to go see one, might ask me why I think they think I am weak. Yes, I have issues. Hell, my issues have baby issues that’re already pregnant with grand-baby issues. You don’t have to tell me.  I know. I know. Sigh. *Bows head*

This is not good. (Duh.) It’s even more not good for someone who struggles with depression like I do. Excuse my extreme butchering of the language. I feel like I have slowly withdrawn from the world. I have regressed. I have lost friends. I have become a shadow of my former self. I have lost the ability to make social contact with people. My social inadequacies have become even more magnified. My sister worries about me I think. I notice of late she really tries to involve me in a lot of her plans but I decline almost as much as she asks. I hide in my bedroom a lot. I feel bad for her sometimes. She tries so hard. I realized just this past week that I’ve developed a lot of self-destructive behavior that I have to shed if I am to grow up, if I am to move forward from this place that I am stuck in, If I am to become something more than just a shell of my former beautiful self. (Ok, I’m lying. I think at my very best I could pass for cute. Maybe very cute. Beautiful is really overselling myself… XD ) And that is how I have come to the realization that I need a therapist.

But I am a stubborn bitch. And instead of getting a real flesh and blood therapist, I am reviving my Old Faithful. This was once my faithful therapist. Silent and always listened. Never talked back. And I could rant and rave all I wanted, or have a thoughtful word and always leave unburdened and at peace. I have even renamed the blog to Running on Empty. Because that’s how I feel nowadays. I have been running and running and running on empty, running from demons I cannot see, demons I fear might catch up with me one day soon and I need to slow down and catch a breath before it’s too late. So here’s to my first therapy session…and hopefully to many, many more to come.

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Eagle Eye: State Of The Womb.

Today I was thinking back about my life in the last couple of weeks and I realized that I have become cynical. And jaded. And I’ve pretty much lost interest in life and people in general. Well, it’s either that or I’m just perpetually tired and bored. 😀 I remember the days I was back in high school and in university and I especially remember how my classmates, and most people in general (and this includes even my teachers) considered me one of the craziest, boldest and funniest people ever. Now I sit and I wonder what happened to that girl?? Where did I take her? Somewhere along the lane, I lost that girl and sometimes I find myself feeling so nostalgic and missing her. If I ever met her, I’d have so many questions to ask her!! |Like, how did she manage to be that carefree, that bold, that confident. Maybe I lost pieces of her as I gathered up the years. Nowadays, I feel so old! My excuse for avoiding literally everything is ‘Gosh, I’m so old.’, ‘Oh, no,  I’m too old for that stuff now.’ ‘Hahaha. I can’t do that at this age.’, ‘Hahaha! Do you know how old I am??’ I think I might have just found a safety blanket in age. The truth is, I just don’t have much social energy anymore. And my inner introvert is winning. She’d rejoice about it. Although I don’t think introverts rejoice in anything! She’d just sit, calmly cross her legs and smile just a bit and consider that a celebration.

Anyway, one of the ladies at work asked me the other day what was wrong and when was I finally gong to have a child? I tried to downplay it and told her I’m just too busy to think about children just yet. And this lady goes on like ‘But you’ll soon be too old to have children. Just have one and let us raise it for you as you pursue your dreams… A woman cannot be a woman without a child!’ I honestly did not know how to react to that statement. I was, in turns, angry, sad and even amused. How dare she presume to think we’re close enough for her to ask me about a thing as intensely personal as when I am having a child?? I mean, we are JUST co-workers after all. I assume that the reproductive state of my uterus shouldn’t really be any concern of hers. And of course there is that age-old notion that a woman is not complete without a child at her bosom or on her back, no matter her accomplishments… so OF COURSE I was upset that she was in some way telling me that I haven’t achieved anything with my life as I do not yet have a child. Then of course I felt sad because it saddened me that someone would judge me based on such a thing. And amused because it simply occurred to me that her opinion was 1) a really narrow-minded, and frankly out-dated, way of thinking and 2) her opinion was never going to change the plans I have set out for myself and finally 3) her opinion bored me. I bore easily nowadays. Sigh. It amazes me that, to this day and age, a woman’s greatest achievement is having a child, or children depending on how strong she is! Why should the fact that I have not turned my uterus into some sort of incubation pod for the satisfaction of society overshadow the fact that I have helped to take care of my parents? Or helped to put my siblings thorough school? Or even put myself through school? Achieved things that a woman was long thought not to be able to achieve or do? And why, oh why, do people feel like it is absolutely alright and well within their rights to comment on the childless state of my womb?? I mean, really, think about it. It’s almost the same amount of disrespect I feel when people comment on my weight like when someone feels the need to tell me how much I need to join a gym. And, sadly, some of the people are just fake concern trolling you. Some people feel the, really sad, need to point out the ‘imperfections’ in your life so that theirs seems well put-together, perfect even… You do not need to put someone down in order to shine. Urgh. Some time ago, this guy I worked with mentioned to me how just perfect I was for him to take home to his mother. And then he proceeded to add, ‘All we need to do now is get you to join a gym and everything shall be perfect.’ This, at a time when I was actually already signed on to a gym membership for a whole freaking year. Unfortunately, he caught me on a day when, ahem, let’s just say the stars and the moons and the planets were not in sync at all… haha. 😀 I answered something to the effect of ‘Listen, mister. You do not feed me. You do not pay my rent and neither are you significant in any way in my life. You do not help me carry this body you feel is too large around so please, until the day I shall walk up to you and ask you to please help me carry these arms, this ass or these thighs, and you would be so lucky anyway if I ever deemed you important enough to ask such a thing, then, and only then, mister, may you feel the need to comment on the size of my body.’ I think he might have gasped for air for a minute after that. I’m not usually that scathing… really, I promise. I’m cute and really, really cuddly. At least that’s what my girl friends keep telling me. One more than the others, I suspect because she wants to lay her head on my bossom… hahaha.  I’m kidding. But they’re my friends and I suspect they occasionally lie, eeerrr, smooth over the truth, to me to make me feel good about myself. I love them. They’re few but very cherished. (Hey , B! L! J!, I know you’re reading this. I knew you were, the moment I noticed the stats on the blog were on an upward trend… I doubt anyone one else would read or listen to my mindless ramblings except you girls. Much love! :-* ) Anyway, I digress. But seriously, I AM cuddly…

So, my womb, my business. That’s really all I am trying to put across…

1. I am not any less of a woman just because I have not snagged myself some man and popped a few brats. You do not know my plans, my struggles or my life, therefore, please quit with the how-active-is-your-uterus narrative. And quite honestly, I do not feel the need to put my uterus, my body, and yes, my vagina, through the arduous process that is a pregnancy just to please anyone.

2. My accomplishments, my success, they are not any less thrilling to me or my family just because I do not have a child to share it with. My priorities are just not YOUR priorities. Children are NOT the ultimate achievement of a woman.

3. Errrr, NO! I am not a bitter childless woman, just stop with that sentiment. Idjit! I know some nincompoop right now is about to bring that up. I have had opportunities , I get opportunities almost everyday, to have a child if I want… women get served dick with almost everything!

‘Hey T, you look so good today…. Would you like some dick with that?’, ‘T! you smell so good! Would you like some dick with that?’, ‘Jeez T, you’re so smart. And funny. And just all-around really cool. Would you like some dick with that?’

:-D. I am just not ready yet. Give it some time… 🙂

4. Finally, MY womb, MY decisions… Unless you share the pain with me every month when it decides to assault me and I can barely sleep because of the pain… and don’t even get me started on the bloody blood. (You see what I did there? haha. I know, I know. I might need prayers… I amuse myself in the most weirdest of ways.) Anyway, where was I? Yes, the womb, MY WOMB. The day I shall deign to let a foetus crawl in there with its blankets and whatnots and take over my life and my body for nine months, I shall be sure to let y’all know… Or not. Depends on how the moons and planets are aligned. 😀 Until then , it is none of  anyone’s business. Stop with the watching me like an eagle and find something productive to do.

Judging the covers…

I was having a lovely day. Well, at least a lovely morning. The weather has been chilly of late but in all honesty, I do love the cold, gloomy weather. I find it much easier to keep warm than to try cool down on a hot day. I am one of those people who very rarely feel cold. So even on a cold day, I’ll be up and about in my usual clothing while everyone else is all bundled up trying to preserve whatever heat they have and they keep wondering how comes I’m not cold! Hot weather is very uncomfortable for me. I feel like a sweat messiah with the amount of sweating that goes on! I shall not even bother getting into the amount of deo I use in the hot weather or how many times I need to shower in a day just to be comfortable. Chilly weather, yay! So why are we discussing weather anyway? Because I noticed a trend… whenever I’m doing my thing, walking around without a sweater or a jacket, guys wonder, some of them quite loudly, to my face, how comes I’m able to do that. The one thing I have always noted to be blamed, or credited, for my resistance to cold is my size. “Oh, you’re so lucky you are big so you don’t feel cold. Man, I need to put on weight too so that I can be like you…” I find that people are rather insensitive when it comes to weight issues. Girl, you need to hit the gym, you should diet, you should do this, or do that. Or, Girl, you need to eat a burger or something, hold on tight, the wind might just blow you away… I get a lot of the former. And for the longest time, I used to be incredibly hurt by such comments. I used to hate going out clubbing or being in the general public with my skinny friends. They feel the need to give diet advice. People you randomly meet feel the need to do the same. People who don’t even know who you are. Making assumptions. Making condescending comments like they know who you are what your life is all about or your struggles. I’d feel inadequate when we’d be in a club partying away and my friends would get picked up by dudes one by one and suddenly I’m there all alone, staring at a drink that I don’t even like, hanging out in a club virtually by myself, feeling more lonely than I’d feel if I was curled up in bed with a nice Sandra Brown novel… So I slowly changed. Became a loner, learnt to enjoy my own company, learnt to entertain myself, I slowly found things that I loved that didn’t require company to accomplish…  I transformed my initially  jolly, bubbly, happy self into introvert who avoids crowds at all costs and finds company (unless we’re friends) quite tedious. I tried just about everything, some things even dangerous, except perhaps surgery, to change my size but nothing worked so far. It really is cruel to be in a perpetual state of hunger yet people assume that the reason you are the size you are is because you gobble everything edible in your sight. And somehow this was still not enough. In this day and age where the whole world is in your house with you, in your bedroom, your bathroom , courtesy of social networks, I found that I was just avoiding the problem, not dealing with the root of the problem. Which was that I was not secure with myself. I barely had a spoonful of self-esteem left in me… And I don’t know exactly where or when or even how it happened but I woke up one day and I just said enough is enough. I was tired of letting other people’s opinion of me dictate my opinion of myself. And since then I have never looked back.

Now, when guys say I’m lucky I am fat and therefore cannot feel the cold, I just smile and nod in agreement. Now, I can make jokes about it too, tell them it’s difficult for me to feel cold because I’m well padded. I have grown and I have matured. I have learnt to be comfortable in my own skin. I learnt to keep those disparaging voices out. And for the first time in my life, I learnt what a wonderful thing it is to have self-esteem…. That I can wake in the morning be happy, proceed to have a nice day and not wait for another person to be the source of my contentment and happiness. That I don’t have to do things simply because I want people to like/love me. Seeking approval from other. I have also learnt to deflect. I make fun of myself. I laugh at myself. I judge myself. You’d call it self-deprecating but I simply see it as being in a place where I am comfortable enough in my skin. I joke about my weight. I joke about my big thighs and my big ass because the truth is, there is no one in this world who can judge you more harshly than you judge yourself. And when you have reached a point where you have judged yourself and accepted who you are, there is nothing someone, anyone, out there can tell you that can make you feel bad. There is nothing you can tell me that can worse than the things I have told myself. There is no insult you can hurl at me that’ll hurt worse than the ones I hurled at myself… I learnt that you have got to love yourself because the world out here is cruel and ain’t nobody got time to deal with your bullshit AND their own BS. Not for long anyway… And I also learnt to stick up for myself. You think I’m fat? Yeah, well, you’re bow-legged and you don’t see me going on and on and on about how that somehow makes you less of a human being! (I once actually told someone that to their face. A dude was in shock! The mean streak in me loved it! )

One of my pals forwarded me an article yesterday that made me feel like the author was my alter-ego. Or my best friend. Because she was discussing the very same issue of being comfortable and even (gasp!) happy with yourself. Because you have learnt yourself. You know your shortcoming, you know your strengths, you know you limits and you are okay with yourself like that. And I was so inspired. The original article is here if you may want to read it but I’m going to re-post it. Here goes:

I want to talk about something I will call “uglyism”. It’s a form of discrimination that is rarely spoken of, yet those discriminated against are entirely faultless and it crosses gender, race, age and sexuality. The word “ugly” is, well, ugly. Phonetically I find it rather pleasing. Perhaps I shall work to reclaim it.

I am ugly, and I am proud.

There is a huge difference between being “attractive” (which is very subjective) and being “good-looking” (still subjective, but I think less so).

It makes people very uncomfortable if you describe yourself as being “ugly”. Social mores seem to dictate that they must respond in a Pavlovian way with, “No, you’re beautiful“. And it gets awkward.

The fact is I don’t see people in magazines who look like me. I don’t see people like me playing the romantic lead or having a romantic life. People on TV and in films who are not good-looking are rarely portrayed having sex, enjoying sex, having sex with good-looking people who don’t regret it or having a healthy attitude to sex without hang-ups.

But, you know what? I do have sex. And I have had sex with some really good-looking men. Not because they were doing me a favour. Not because they felt it was a charitable act. Not because they were drunk, or doing it for a bet. But because we fancied each other.

Now, in my 30s, after many years wrestling with feelings of inadequacy, I’ve realised that aesthetic beauty really is only the tip of a very large and attractive iceberg.

Moreover, I am thankful. I love my lumpy body and my funny face. I have also learned to appreciate the benefits of not being aesthetically too pleasing. These include:

1. I know that friends actually want to spend time with me, not just a glamorous accessory.

2. I have a robust and individual personality as I have never been able to rely on what I look like to make friends.

3. I don’t get leered at in the street or groped in pubs.

4. I am not worried about “losing my looks”. The pressure, particularly on women, to grow old without actually ageing is ridiculous. It must be very difficult to have been an exceptionally attractive person, and to have used that to your advantage, and to watch that power fade with every wrinkle.

Still think uglyism isn’t a thing? I could give countless examples. Here’s just one. Recently, a friend tweeted this:

“My reaction when I realise its [sic] Monday is similar to that when the not-so-hot girl would pick me at the school dance.”

Guess what? Being fancied by someone ugly doesn’t affect your attractiveness. Whether you find them attractive or not doesn’t affect the fact of the flattery. Just as if someone from a different race fancies you, it doesn’t affect what race you are. What’s more, personally, I don’t find this friend remotely attractive. What’s worse than an ugly girl fancying you? An ugly girl that doesn’t fancy you. Ha!

If I were “pretty”, I wonder, would I still be a stand-up? Is it easier to laugh at somebody with a funny face? If I were stunning to look at, maybe that would distract from what I’m saying?

Many reviewers describe my act as “self-deprecating”. My comedic persona is, like most comics’, an exaggeration of me. Yes, I refer to myself as being scruffy and world-weary, but these are qualities I love about me. It is only assumed by others to be self-deprecation. “How can she possibly say those things without being self-loathing?” Well, I’m simply not.

For the record, I like being me, as much as anyone likes being themselves. That is, not always, but enough of the time to get by.

The culture of body shaming is deeply rooted in us as human beings and I doubt that it is going to go away any time soon. And I am not just talking about just weight, though of course this is the one thing I am well versed in. I’m talking about the stereotypes… Like the assumption that a woman cannot be pretty AND brainy at the same time. If a pretty woman got anywhere in life, she did because she’s pretty. Of she used the age-old route of parting her legs. We sit down in the comfort of our homes and we judge and judge and judge. Oh, she’s too fat. No, he’s too short. No, he too skinny. No, she’s ugly. Granted, we all have our personal preferences… for example, I prefer to date guys who’re taller than me. There’s something about a guy that’s taller than you… it makes a girl feel petite. And God knows I could use every illusion of me being petite! Lol. But, this does not mean that I hate short guys. Or that I won’t talk to a guy who is short. Or I won’t associate myself with, or be friends with a short guy simply because he is short. Or that I shall make fun of a short guy and probably make worse any esteem issues that he may already have! On the social networks I see all sort of shocking things. People making fun of dark-skinned people, light-skinned people, short people, tall people, fat people , skinny people, people with short hair, people with long hair…. It’s exhausting to try to live up to people’s standards! You just cannot win. They say that beauty is in the eyes of the beholder. (Or beer-holder, depends on who you’re asking! Lol!) And I get that. I just don’t understand this culture of shaming people just because they are not what you are, or because they are not what you believe is the standards of beauty. Dear God, now even NAMES have to be pretty! The other day, I watched online as a group of people attacked a lady because she has what they thought was and UGLY NAME! I just wish we could all get along. Let my personality be the issue… Get to know me first then hate me because I am liar. Or I’m a thief. Or I’m douche-bag…… because when you attack someone just based on their physical attributes, you are a shallow, narrow-minded, waste of human space. Yes, this is a tad harsh, but frankly I have no tolerance for such crap in my life. It would make a wee bit of sense if making fun of a person actually earned you something. Like money. But making fun of someone just so that you can feel better about yourself, that’s utter bullshit and I refuse to be convinced otherwise. And if making fun of a person who you think is somehow less of a human being because they’re not light-skinned, or tall, or short, or whatever else standards you may have applied, actually DOES make you feel better about yourself, then you, my friend, are sick. And you need to be on medication. Now, I’d like to sit here and think that now that I have put up this post and it’s been read, the world is gonna be one big happy family. But that would be akin to burying my head in the sand and leaving my ass sticking out. (And with the size of this ass, I’d probably end up causing an eclipse anyway.) We are all human, and this means that we are all fundamentally flawed. This, however, should not excuse ugly behavior. There IS something known as common human decency. And frankly, the world would be better off with a little more of human decency. And self-esteem. Lots and lots and lots of self-esteem. And love. And frankly, a whole lot of sex too. Protected sex. It’s gotta be protected sex. 😀