Moving Forward

Hi! I know, it’s been forever since I posted anything. Might as well have fallen off the face of the earth! But nope, I’m still alive and kicking. I’ve started school (as a Creative Writing major), so that’s keeping me busy, and therapy is going well, if I can just get to my appointments on time.

So, life goes on. Depression sucks, but I think things are getting better, if I can just keep myself going.

Peace, friends!

Tantrums and Time Out—For Adults!

So, the last few weeks have been interesting, to say the least. Between trying to get off my butt and finally get into school, going on vacation, and trying to keep my head above the waters of debt, I’ve been pretty busy. (Also, I’ve been up to my neck obsessed with a certain anime, but we won’t talk about that. We prefer to forget that.)

Then came the inevitable meeting with my counselor. Most shoved under the magnifying glass this week was my temper. See, I’ve caused a few problems with my roommates. I can be quite nasty. Even when I’m not trying to be, it just spills over. They’re scared of me, at those times.

Of course, I’d never hurt them. I would never come after them with a pair of scissors, for instance. No, I learned long ago not to physically take my anger out on others. I just get shouty and throw things and storm off. That’s good control, right?

Ha.

Controlling my temper is a problem. I’m the first one to admit it. If I were in Pixar’s Inside Out, my primary emotion would be anger. Whenever I’m sad or afraid or feeling some other negative emotion, anger, like a knight in shining hatred, takes the helm. It’s been my defense mechanism for so long that I don’t know how to deal without it. What do you do? Let it out, no matter how safe you think your outlet might be, and you scare people. Turn it inwards, and you’ll only end up hurting yourself. It’s an unending dilemma.

Along with that comes the problem of fear. Using fear against others is one of my greatest weapons, only encouraged by five years working at a haunted house. It’s an addictive thing. Because, when people are scared of you, when you see their eyes widen and they back away, you no longer feel afraid. You are the one with the power, and suddenly every insult they’ve ever thrown at you, every time they’ve laughed, doesn’t matter anymore. There’s only the power, and who has it.

This, and more, I discussed with my counselor. Who brought up a few interesting points.

First, I need to think about what I want out of relationships with those I’m closest to. Do I want them to fear me? Do I want to lord that power over them? Well, if so, I’ll just be repeating the abusive cycle. This is why so many abuse victims turn into abusers, themselves. They can’t let go of those coping mechanisms that don’t apply outside of where they were abused. For instance, my mother backed off when I got angry. That’s how I was taught to make her stop. But now, living about two hundred miles away from her with my three roommates, I don’t need to respond that way anymore. Trying to unlearn the message you inhaled from childhood isn’t easy.

Second, my counselor explained the concept of time out. When children do something, good parents send them into time out. Why, he asked me. I answered, because the parents need a break. And then I realized—the purpose of this was to give the parents a chance to diffuse their own tempers. To keep them from doing something they’d regret.

So, that’s my other new project. To take time out, and think about my goals. How I want my relationships with the people in question, like my roommates, to go. I can choose to make them fear me—to make them back off. I can also choose to chill, open up, and explain the problem to them, and attempt to make things better via communication.

Well, it’s a daunting task. Actually talking to people about feelings in the past has ended in bad news for me. But my roommates are not my parents. They are not my sister, even though she’s gotten so much better. They’re good people, and I need to give them a chance.

Horrific Thoughts

My current by-myself-project is a horror story, so I’ve been doing a bit of reading up, trying to get some ideas to take it above mere lameness. But how?

I have this obsession with fear, in case you weren’t aware. The simple horror of our everyday lives. What’s hiding under the bed. Always best when combined.

But finding the right combination? Now that’s the tricky part. Ghosts? Haunted houses? Demons? Witches? Abusive monsters?

Today, I stumbled across this lovely post. It really got me thinking. What’s scary to me? Something that won’t make the average person shudder—just me. What does the great Mac fear?

Hm. Well, let’s see. I hate being taken advantage of, for one. (Anyone here not scared of that? Wow. Nobody. What a surprise!) That extends into so many things. I hate being tricked. Lied to. Manipulated.

I hate being helpless. Not being able to do anything. Especially when someone I care about is in trouble. Like when I had to sit and wait and find out whether my friend who might have killed himself was alive or not (he wasn’t). When I had to sit back and let the vet put my cat to sleep. Or when my sister was arrested again, mistreated by the cops, and I was stuck at work.

I’m scared of going back to what I was before. Being forced to go back to my parents’ house. Back under their control. It’s more than a lack of independence, though. It’s a prison of junk. Impassable walls of insanity. Trapped in an endless maze with no exit. Trapped in that life, where I had no idea how to help myself.

Of course, I am also quite insecure, and scared of not being loved. But also scared of it, because I’ve still got the insane maze of my own mind to navigate. Letting someone in? That’s terrifying.

Well, I suppose we also can’t forget finances. I’m so scared of going broke. But that can go back to having to rely on my parents again, back home, and so forth.

And this lovely session of the Rantings, Ramblings, Ravings, and Musings has given me ideas. I hope I can make them work!

Miss Moe

IMG_20131220_194753_090

This is my baby girl, Rinna. Also known as Moe. Or Momo. Himalayan or Ragdoll, she’s a gorgeous little stinker. Also incredibly skittish. I got her for my nineteenth birthday, because there were a lot of mice in our house, and the cats we had were too lazy to go after them. Of course, when I saw her picture, I thought she was adorable. But it wasn’t really until I met her—and saw her cowering in the back of a cage and hissing, that I fell in love. Because she reminded me of myself, and I immediately felt the need to protect her. The first time I held her, she was shaking like a leaf. But she stayed in my lap all the way home, where she proceeded to hide under my bookcase.

I could not think of a name for the little poop to save my life, so I started off calling her Bob, but then it became Moe, after Moe of The Three Stooges. Naturally, that became Momo, because her coloring is like Momo from Avatar The Last Airbender.

See the resemblance?

Anyway, my new kitten had a couple of knots in the fur of her neck. So I pulled her out from under the bookcase, sat her in my lap, and cut them out. Imagine my surprise when she started purring. SO CUTE!

In short, getting Moe to be less scared has been a long journey. She has her safe places, under my bed, on my bed, or under one of my roommates’ beds. And she’s still pretty scared if someone raises their voice too much. But I hope being my cat has been good for her. I know it’s been a good experience for me, because I can’t treat her in the dismissive way I treated cats as a kid. I can’t get in a rage around her. In her own way, she’s making me a better person. And I love her for that.

Besides, look how cute she is!IMG_20131116_173023_466

Musings on Horror (Sinister 2 spoilers abound!)

Did I say spoilers? Yes, yes, I did. Ye be warned.

So,

HOLY HORROR MOVIE EXCELLENCE!

I got to see Sinister 2 tonight with one of my roommates, who also loves horror movies. (Guys, it’s good to have a friend who works at the local theater.)

And I’ve never been so scared by a horror movie, in all honesty.

WHAT? ME?

Yes. I was terrified. And these were the scenes that aren’t the boogeyman and his army of creepy children.

It’s horrific not because of any of that. It’s a woman on the run from her abusive husband, taking her twin boys with her. One of whom was beat up by his father.

AND THE EMOTIONAL COMPLICATIONS!

Dylan, the one who was Daddy’s punching bag, is a quiet, scared kid. His brother Zach is the one who’s more like Daddy, starting so innocently with pushing and name calling. Dylan is the one chosen by the evil army of undead children, but Zach can see them, too, and he’s jealous. Even more, he knows he’s better than his weak brother, so he can’t understand why they picked the “pussy.”

Only one small piece of the horror revolves around Dylan being forced to watch the homemade snuff films with his sadistic new friends, while the evil child-eating thing lurks in the background. The main horror is domestic abuse victims trying to escape the abuser. He hires private detectives to track them down. He drives up to the front door with cops, unaware of Dylan inside, hiding under a bed.

It’s also in Zach, who lets his jealousy get the better of him, and beats up Dylan. Who is far too much his father’s son—Round Two just waiting to happen. He takes up the mantle of “filming” that Dylan doesn’t want.

It’s also in the mother, herself. A woman who finally did something to protect Dylan, but not soon enough. A woman who has no choice but to watch Zach become like his father.

This bastard father regains legal custody of the twins, and their mother has to come along for the ride if she wants to stay with them. That’s the real horror—being forced back into that. Having to wait to eat until Daddy starts eating. Jumping when he shouts.

That dinner scene was the worst of it for me. Seeing that awful silence at the table. And, when Dylan says he isn’t hungry, his father picks up a handful of mashed potatoes and shoves them in his face.

It wasn’t the blood, gore, or violence I flinched away from. It was that one moment. That one moment horrified me more than any horror movie has ever done. It was raw, primal emotion. Breaking me down to the things every horror movie tries to do. I couldn’t help caring about the family, and wanting the best for them. Biting my nails in nervousness that they would be killed.

And also, we have Deputy So and So coming back, getting involved with this family. The perfect adorkable hero. What’s not to love?

In short, I think this movie will sucker punch abuse victims. Personally, I loved it. Almost like cutting, horror makes me feel. During a horror movie, I realize that I’m alive. And I’m grateful for that fact. That I can leave this world of dismal darkness and gray color schemes behind, and go out into vibrant colors and sunshine. But horror isn’t for everyone. Especially not Sinister 2.

But, in Mac’s list, it might just have made the Top 10. Heck, Top 3? Top 1? Just maybe.

My Mom thinks I Sold My Soul for Rock ‘N’ Roll

We all know that rock music is pretty awesome, right? I hope so. If not, you live in a sad, sad world trapped under an entirely different kind of rock. Poor soul.

I went to my first rock concert with my daddy when I was fourteen. Def Leppard. And it was friggin’ sweet. One of the things that was really great was that even though my mom didn’t approve and tried to stop me from going, she didn’t succeed, and I came back with a t-shirt.

The next day, of course, I got lectured about the evils of rock music. Because I was proudly wearing my new shirt (with the Hysteria logo on the front).

Def Leppard: Hysteria

Freaky, right?

We got in quite the argument over my evil music and evil shirt, but this time, I wasn’t about to be sorry. She was the one who let me go. This scuffle got to quite a high point. My mother grabbed me by the collar, pulling me up to her.

Of course, I was terrified, but I wasn’t about to show that. Instead, I just grinned at her. She muttered something about me looking so proud of myself, and walked away.

My first point in the game.

She’s tried to “lose” that shirt in the laundry, but I’ve always made sure to find it again. After all, she already lost my dad’s vintage shirt with the same logo. I wasn’t about to let her lose mine.

And since then, yes, I’ve been to other concerts, slowly getting heavier and heavier, and I’ve gotten t-shirts from most of them. And oh, how I love them! I shove it in the face of my mother and aunt at every opportunity. I am the devil child. I wear black, though it is depressing to those two, band t-shirts, and eyeliner. HORROR!

I went to a rock festival a few months ago, and had the time of my life, bringing my sister who’d never been to a real rock concert before. I like to think it was really good for both of us.

I can’t even begin to describe the feeling a rock concert gives me. Such freedom from the stifling, stuffy childhood I had. Not just that, but everything. It’s nice to just stop worrying, for once, and lose yourself in the energy of the crowd.

When you imagine a typical teenage rebellious stage, you imagine black, piercings and screeching rock, right? Not me. My rebellion was around ten or eleven. It’s called country music. One of the quickest ways to piss off my Daddy.

Most people I meet often find something to like about my taste of music. Particularly my current coworkers, who seem so shocked to hear me listening to classic rock and metal. I tell them the same thing every time—my dad raised me right!