I Had To

Jun. 26th, 2017 11:11 pm
improperlyhuman: (Default)
Surprise, surprise. Tired again today, albeit not as badly as before; no doubt I will feel as badly as before if I continue to lift without changing anything.

My knees and elbows hurt; they normally don't hurt after lifting. I therefore considered that something is wrong with my bones. I track everything I eat on cronometer.com, and I've noticed that I'm consistently consuming 40% or less of the RDA of calcium, so I'm going to try increasing my calcium intake.

I got some calcium-fortified Donald Duck orange juice at the grocery store today. My food cost about a dollar fifty more than what I have left on my EBT card. I felt uncomfortable asking to pay part of the total with food stamps and part debit, and I felt uncomfortable asking to have items removed from my total, so I paid all fifteen dollars, fifteen dollars I could not at all afford, with my debit card. And felt bad afterwards. Now I have about thirty dollars in my checking account.

I just had to have those damned Nutty Nuggets. They were on sale and they still put me over my limit. Actually, I underestimated the cost of all the broccoli heads I bought; that's what cost more than expected. Before I approached the cashier, I considered putting some of them back, but I felt uncomfortable doing that as well. Who would want broccoli that someone else has not only handled but put into a used bag? It seemed inconsiderate to other shoppers.

My financial situation is so dire and work is so scarce that I finally gave in and asked my vocational rehab counselor whether the organization can pay the legal fees I will incur if I secure legal assistance to create my editorial contract.

I have avoided asking this for months. VocRehab has given me so much that I feel bad asking for more, especially for something so expensive (although I would feel kind of weird asking for something cheap), but I don't have much of a choice at this point. I need to branch out and seek my own clients, and I don't want to ruin that début by seeming unprofessional (as I fear I would were I to seek clients with no professionally created contract).

If my counselor says no, and I can't secure more work through the avenue I've been using, I guess I will strike out on my own with a non-professionally created contract.

I signed and returned the freelance contract for the editing outfit to which I was accepted, but their working terms are unacceptable to me and I hope to work with them as little as possible. After editors sign in and list themselves as available on the website, we are obliged to accept the work of anyone who selects us. I've become accustomed to vetting my clients, and I strongly prefer to continue doing so. I've also become accustomed to most potential clients being poor working partners, and I've no doubt that trend will continue, if not worsen, given that I expect mostly students to utilize this editorial service.

I had another misunderstanding with someone online yesterday and I felt so bad after reading her final comment today. At least I didn't feel angry, though! Remember that?! That shit was terrible. The sadness and hopelessness is more profound but less intense.

I considered that I only ever try to relate to people verbally, and it isn't working out so well, so I feel as if I have no means of connection. It seems to me that other people have some secret way to connect that I don't have or don't care to use. So many things people post are mean, wrong, ambiguous, or senseless (and that's when they are actually saying something substantial; I've hardly ever heard anyone say anything substantial outside of a classroom. The plug and socket may not match up online, but one or the other is outright absent IRL.), yet the bulk of them still make social connections (some online!), based on what, I don't know.

I have noticed that I focus a lot on the precise meaning of words, sometimes interpret things literally, and can't parse phrases like "deeper meaning" and "higher purpose." To me they just seem like meaningless New Age-speak, but perhaps the meaning is something that must be understood intuitively? Does that even makes sense? Anyways, while I'm stuck trying to figure out what the post even means, other people are responding in depth. How do you know what she's talking about? I wonder. Are they assuming or do they perceive something that I don't perceive?

I guess I will tell the shrink. That's what shrinks are for.

I don't know whether I should try lifting tomorrow or wait...until the orange juice has a chance to work its magic.

improperlyhuman: black and white icon with text "if you identify with gender, you identify with patriarchy." (gender)
I've been putting glycerin in my hair instead of shea butter, and now it's kind of dry with a not-very-pleasant texture.

Udemy has asked me to be part of a group of users who preview new courses. Sweet.

I've been sleeping less and less every night. I guess the heat isn't helping.

The garbage situation. I HATE HATE HATE putting food scraps into the garbage; they belong outside in the dirt where they can biodegrade properly and nurture the soil, and they rot and smell bad in the trash and it's all just pure insanity. I've been looking at getting some reusable garbage bags (also made of petroleum!), so I've been thinking about what I put in the trash.

I've gotten so fed up with putting food in the trash that I now have a bunch of food scraps sitting around my kitchen—on counters and the windowsill. They are banana peels, mango seed (is that giant hard thing in the middle a seed??), peanut shells, and a bit of old carrot.

They aren't rotting. They don't smell bad. They're just drying out. I don't know what I'm going to do with them; I'm afraid I'll have to give in to the impossibility of modern life and throw them in the trash.

Ideally, I would sneak and drop them off into the dirt somewhere, but I don't want to be caught doing that. I'd have to take a bit at a time to avoid notice, and I haven't the patience for that, I think. I'd thought that I could have some kind of indoor composting setup, but I think maybe that won't work without earthworms, but I certainly cannot uproot worms and imprison them in my little compost heap.

It's time for an ergonomic keyboard, so I will be getting a Goldtouch once I look at all the options.

Next up on the list of technologies that I'm going to learn is Agile development. The course is conducted in Ruby. Another language's syntax to get mixed up with all the others I've learned and do not regularly use. I have tried on several occasions to devote myself to my own programming projects, but I never stick with them; most never even get started.

I find it very creepy when people speak of "vulnerability" in the context of personal relationships. "Vulnerability" is a term suited to talk of enemies, the way I see it.
improperlyhuman: (dyke)
It's raining!

They spring up multiple times a day, and I have to strangle them multiple times per day. Every day, I create a little scenario in my mind's eye, a little scenario in which someone listens. I must say, it's much better these past few days, because the imaginary people listen and actually understand a bit sometimes; before, they would always misunderstand and I would always end up feeling stressed and frustrated over the workings of my own imagination. Still, they must die.

These must be a manifestation of hope. An empty, distracting hope, not an uplifting one. Again and again I stuff them down, catch myself, tell myself to stop being ridiculous, try to keep my attention on the here and now. Where there is no hope, there is no disappointment. Preparation for the forseeable future.

The rubber band is back on my wrist, but I haven't snapped it but twice so far. It's turning out to be more of a sign, a visual label, than an active aversive. When I catch myself, I merely lift my wrist and look at it in a sort of awe: You were doing it again, iconoclass. So many times a day, it's all but unbelievable, mind-bogglingly easy and unconscious, a glaring neon beacon of something gone wrong.

I have been wondering lately what it means when people say that they have a right to do certain things, because those things are usually not really rights. A right is a privilege afforded by some authority, usually a state government, so it makes no literal sense to say that one has a right to think whatever one wants to think. That is a freedom, not a right. It seems like a rhetorical device to render forceful the statement that one ought to be able to do something. Empty rhetoric, usually. I hate empty rhetoric.

Another thing people say: "I'm glad I'm not the only one." Every time I've come across this statement, it is from someone suffering and finding out that other people suffer from the same thing. Kind of an insensitive and overly self-centered perspective, it seems to me. Being glad for the suffering of others because the result is that one does not suffer alone.

The rain has stopped :(

Tomorrow is grocery day. I haven't planned for grocery shopping in the rain. I can get some of my staples in town, but not all.

How many comments are too many? Shall I stop here, even though I have more to say? That's what I ask myself. It seems like people get angry if I go on for too long, but I don't consider myself responsible for somehow knowing when they don't want to discuss anymore. It's their responsibility to stop responding when they no longer want to respond. Why express irritation with my continued posting? Surely there's no reason to think I'm purposefully being irritating. I don't try to force or coerce people to respond. They are free to bow out or even ignore me. So what else is new; people have strange expectations. Mind-reading expectations, it seems. I can't read minds, dammit! Another thing to be anxious about.

So I engage a lot less nowadays. It's a good sign, a sign of mindful social hopelessness, increasingly internalized social hopelessness. "You will not get what you want, and you may get something that you don't want, so do not engage. You can read; after that, click away." Sometimes I get notification of responses in my inbox that I delete, unread, because I'm so afraid that somebody has posted something hurtful. I have at least one sitting in my inbox right now, from the course forum for my Algorithms MOOC. It never gets nasty there, I have no concrete reason to fear, yet, I do fear. I never know what to expect, so I expect the worst. I don't like doing it because I don't want to miss out on good comments, but I know that I can't handle the bad ones. I post and don't even return to see my post through to the end. It seems cowardly. It's all madness.

I caught the bug from other people, the mind-readers. So many times I saw them read something nasty into what I thought was a benign comment. I started to wonder if there was this recurring nasty subtext that I was missing out on. I started trying to do what they do, to read into things, to avoid getting into ugly altercations. I didn't like what I saw; I wish I had never gotten the idea. I'd rather have remained blind to it all. Started seeing things that weren't there, no doubt.

And that is the story of how I became so anxious about interacting on the Internet.

Today is not a good day for me. I think I'm still waking up tired because I'm not achieving deep sleep or something. I wake up with something like vague memories of thoughts I'd had during the night; when I was waking up feeling refreshed, the night was a complete blank except maybe for the times I woke up to go to the restroom. Last night I was dreaming or half-consciously thinking about computer science, arrays, to be precise. I used to go to bed once I'd reached the point of brain shutdown, but my brain never completely shuts down anymore at night; it continues to run a bit despite my feeling exhausted.

How to get into deep sleep: my new research project.

improperlyhuman: screenshot of Apocalypse from X-Men: The Animated Series (apocalypse)
Pronouns changed to counter typical male bias.

From Split Self: Split Object Understanding and Treating Borderline, Narcissistic, and Schizoid Disorders , something someone with a personality disorder would allegedly say:

I am very popular. Everyone thinks I'm a nice person. The guys at work make fun of me because I'm so short, but it doesn't bother me, and they don't mean any harm by it. One guy gets pretty mean at times. He's sort of the ring leader. I could say something, I guess, but I don't want to create waves and make everyone uncomfortable.

Such a person would supposedly be distorting reality, as evidenced by the "inconsistencies" in this description. The following rationale behind this view forms a nice example of the limited thinking processes that make it all but impossible for me to communicate with people.

She denies that she minds the comments that her co-workers make, but talks about wanting to stop them.

First of all, it's not clear that she really wants to stop the comments because, as she says, she doesn't want to make people uncomfortable. Furthermore, the assumption made here is that the reason for putting a stop to the comments is personal, but no reason is made explicit. There are reasons for discouraging teasing in the workplace other than personal discomfort, such as maintaining a certain environment that is conducive to getting the job done and in line with company policy.

She talks about how nice a person everyone thinks she is, but that some co-workers make fun of her.

The (false) assumption being that no one would make fun of someone whom they considered to be nice.

Although she refers to one of them as a ring leader, there is a second instance of denial in her failure to acknowledge that these co-workers might be aware that they are being hurtful to her.

This doesn't even make sense. Why would someone acknowledge that people might purposefully be trying to hurt her and simultaneously stating (not merely speculating, but stating outright) that they mean her no harm? It would be inconsistent. Isn't it obvious from the phrasing that this hypothetical person would have decided that the co-workers mean her no harm, and that she therefore has no reason to say otherwise until and unless that decision is questioned?

Also, not saying something out loud does not imply a denial of it. Guessing at what's going on inside a person's head based on what she doesn't say, my goodness. That's open season for miscommunication.
improperlyhuman: black and white icon with text "if you identify with gender, you identify with patriarchy." (gender)
I have noticed some lesbians complaining that people, especially other lesbians, question their lesbian status because of the way they dress and groom themselves. Obviously, I don't know what those questioners were/are thinking, but just maybe...

Not only is the bulk of "women's clothing" some combination of uncomfortable, flimsy, restricting, strategically revealing/sexually suggestive, and even detrimental to physical health, but the very concept of maintaining separate sex-based uniforms is patriarchal. So what might a person infer about someone who feels comfortable, who prefers to dress in a feminine manner?

Clothes are at least functional, but when one adds in the time, money, and energy spent on make-up and fancy nails and fancy hair...well, what reason is there to go through all of that unnecessary and artificial crap unless someone is trying to attract men? It is clearly very possible to attract lesbians without all of that getup, so that isn't likely to be the motivation.

Maybe something like this is what's going through their minds.

Some are calling themselves "femme." Far as I can see, it merely signifies someone trying to pass off feminine gender role conformity/successful brainwashing as an identity. The most successful brainwashing convinces the brainwashed that the lies originated with the brainwashed, that they are "who she is" rather than who she has been told to be. More about conformity-as-identity later (tomorrow?)

Also, the way "femme" is used is misogynistic as hell because femme means "woman" in French, and to denote femininity with womonhood is to do the patriarchy's work. We got men and hetero womyn telling us that to be a womon is to be feminine, then we got "femmes" implicitly telling us the same thing. If they are to be denoted by the word for "woman," what are the rest of us to be denoted by? What the hell are other lesbians, if not womyn?

Now I'm wondering about the etymology. Who stole this word from the French to be mangled in both meaning and pronunciation by Anglophones?
improperlyhuman: (Default)
I have noticed much application of the term "dehumanization" to describe abusive treatment and stigmatizing language.

I think that there is a tendency, particularly in social justice circles, to improperly apply the term "dehumanization", particularly in circumstances regarding abuse (which I distinguish from stigmatizing language, or widely-disseminated rhetoric that is calculated to elicit unfavorable public opinion rather than directly impact victims). In terms of the people to whom it is applied, the charge of failure to observe victim humanity doesn't make much literal sense because failure to recognize a human as a human would imply severe and and extremely atypical cognitive impairment. I'm confident to state as fact that abusers tend to abuse people because they specifically enjoy abusing humans, not because they perceive their victims as something other than human. Given that it is far easier and safer to vent on inanimate objects and non-human animals, one would expect "dehumanizing" abusers, those whose tastes for violence and degradation are supposedly geared towards the not-human or "less-than" human, to tend to choose this option instead. Perhaps they do, and we do not hear of such people except in situations such as property damage and/or "animal abuse."

There is no justification for the assumption that those who target people intend to dehumanize their victims, and the types of abuse they perpetrate clearly indicate that they do not succeed at dehumanization, either. Many, if not most, human reactions to the various kinds of abuse are uniquely human. Abusive actions such as bullying, torture, and threats are obviously intended to elicit such reactions. There would be few incentives to bully if bullying victims did not experience ostracism, loneliness, fear, and humiliation. It is certainly possible to inspire fear in non-humans, but bullying per se would scarcely accomplish the job, and, to the extent that it could, the relatively complex psychological abuse and social hierarchy manipulation which comprise it would render it an inefficient method at the least; therefore, this particular choice of abuse type strongly suggests an appetite for human suffering. There would be little use for torture if the tortured didn't respond with wails, pleas, and/or compliance. One can get flowing blood, wails of pain, and other responses from non-humans, but why go to the trouble of capturing and/or securing a person and risking relatively long prison terms if non-human victims will satisfy the abuser?

So much for the supposed intent to dehumanize. The long-term results of the various kinds of abuse are even more uniquely human, typically of a psychological nature that is at least more varied, if not also more complex, than non-humans display. At the extreme end of behavior, suicide, a relatively common human response to severe abuse, is not a response one could legitimately expect of a non-human who had suffered even a technically identical sort of abuse. The profound, long-standing psychological problems and the creative and individualized coping mechanisms of the abused suggest that abuse underscores humanity rather than effacing it.

Analogously, rather than seeking to dehumanize, human abusers, by their very acts of abuse, seek to wallow in the humanity of their victims. In short, abusers tend to fit the profile of sociopaths. Their choice of abuse, as well as the urge to abuse itself, gives us important information about their attitude towards humans. Dehumanization rhetoric can obfuscate these sociopathic attitudes, the very meaning of the abusive actions. To accuse of dehumanization he who desires to observe human suffering is to levy a charge that implies the exact opposite of that of which he is guilty.  
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