I deserve this

Thank you for submitting to the LTA Millennial Committee’s New Voices Halloween event. We had 184 submission for 3 slots, and unfortunately your show was not selected.

I wanted to send you a personal note because your show was excellent. It would have been in our top five, except the tech requirements were far too complex for our space. We have an incredibly bare bones and small room for these shows, and there simply wasn’t a way to do the script justice in our space. Your writing was wonderful and the story very engrossing. Our spring event will most likely occur on a full stage, and once we set the theme, I hope you will consider submitting for 2019.

Boy! I suppose it says something about my low self esteem when I say this rejection made me feel really good. It IS a rejection – though one of the best. To stack a rejection with words like ‘excellent’, ‘wonderful’ and ‘very engrossing’ just takes the sting out of the whole we can’t use it issue. And it gives me hope. Real hope. This is an outside source; no one who knows me, no one who might be embarrassed to be honest with me about my writing, and they chose to use these words to describe my work.

They even let me know WHY my work wasn’t chosen – tricky tech requirements. That’s like the rarest of rare gems in the writing world.

I wanna jump up and down. Shout out that I’m a good writer. Let myself feel this. I put myself down so much that half the time I’m not even quite aware of it.

Excellent. 

Btw, this personal note arrived ten days before they announced their results (been lax on checking my email accounts again). It’s not a sham letter sent to everyone. It’s a real, honest to Goddess, personal note crafted just for me.

Whoopee! I was rejected! – And it feels good.

My next great piece of work slated for a magnificent rejection is sitting on the dining table, unread. Letting it sit for a few days. I’ve got two months before I call a reading, and another two months after that to finish up whatever editing I want to do. Can I say it looks good? There’s something about getting my work printed up that really jazzes me. That stack of papers – that’s a window into another time and place, something that’ll grab you by the balls, make you cry, make you think, make you respect these women (and maybe other women you know). And I created it. Out of my head, using my hands, my words, my feelings.

I know there’s only two weeks before school begins again. I know my language lessons are becoming more frequent; by October this year, I’ll have three classes a week to keep up on. And I’ve got the play, and life, and all that.

And I’m already crafting my next story. Can’t help it. Now that I opened the floodgates, it’s just gushing out of me.

Plus…I really want more positive feedback like that note. That’s driving me more than anything, I think. More of a rush than I anticipated. Not as heady as the immediate feedback of a live audience, but damned close – and in some ways, longer lasting. Feedback after a performance is only on the performance – the next night, you might fuck up. But feedback on my writing -! Now, that’s got some lasting power to it. My words stand, and that comment is now forever attached to my work (at least in my own head).

Celebrations. This time, I’m gonna celebrate the positive feedback I received for as long as I’d fret over a negative comment. That means DAYS. Days of reminding myself, days of smiling over it, days of doing something special just for me. Because if I heard something terrible about my stuff, you know I’d be struggling. You’d have multiple posts over what a shitty this or that I am, how worthless I feel, how nothing matters. I won’t push my success down anyone’s throat, but I am going to work to stay up right now.

Fifty-one years of feeling pretty much the loser; I deserve this.

A Little More Autistic

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Brick walls. They’re everywhere in life. I’ve sure run into them often enough. I’m surprised I haven’t broken my damned nose yet.

Today’s brick wall (let’s paint it black) comes in the form of some stonewalling from my uncle. He claims my eldest brother never contacted him, and he has no idea what I’m on about.

After my last post, I waited until T was up and talked to him. I read my message to him and asked for advice. He thought it was excellent, and only suggested I find a way to end on a lighter, happier note before sending it to Uncle D. I did. After receiving my uncle’s reply, I went back over the entire email conversation with my bro to find out if I was truly insane – did I read more into it than was there? T backed me up; my uncle’s first email asked about Geert Wilders and my voting habits. My reply was very short: I know Wilders, I vote locally, I can’t vote on the EU level. Now, between the original question and my reply, something bloody well happened. Because the message that set me off does not address anything I said. Instead, in reply to my statements about Wilders and voting, I received a four paragraph long explanation of how my uncle voted over the years, why he voted for this chosen candidate, why he left the Republican party and is now a member of the Libertarian party, and how he feels about Trump. His answer pretty much mirrors what I would have expected out of my eldest brother in reply to a short email conversation we had over my birthday. Hm. T’s acknowledgement that yes, something sounds fishy, helps: there’s no logical way to get from A to B without some hiccup having occurred. He also told me that gossipers don’t like getting caught out, and that’s pretty much what I did.

It’s left me feeling melancholy. Not sad, really. I already knew this about my family, and have no surprise over anyone’s reaction. There’s just a dull lump of ache in me. I can’t run away from the truth anymore: my family isn’t brave enough to be honest. They can’t own up to their past, their words, their actions. They lie, they manipulate in order to avoid the truth, they tell me I’m wrong every step of the way even tho there’s not one atom in me that doesn’t quiver and tell me otherwise.

This is how I was taught not to trust myself.

My uncle’s subterfuge – if it exists, and although I must acknowledge the possibility of me being wrong, I’m sticking to my guns here – is not major. I remember as a child shopping with my mother, my sister, and a cousin. My mother was trying on coats. My sister and cousin were laughing at her because she was so fat. My mother asked me if that’s what was going on, and I lied. I said no. Because I thought if I could convince her that wasn’t what was happening, she wouldn’t feel bad. I can liken my uncle’s lie to that: an attempt in his mind to save me from some perceived greater hurt. He’s a good guy. I think he’d be motivated in that manner. So I can’t hate him or be angry over anything he does.

*sigh* Naturally I’ve considered the possibility I’m being paranoid. That’s something else I’ve heard before: you’re being paranoid. Somehow it always seems to crop up at a time when a lapse of logic has occurred, when something shifted that can’t be explained away without introducing a lie somewhere.

Perhaps that’s the element missing in my understanding of social interactions: lies.

People have called me naive. I’m the gal who falls for silly jokes, over and over, because I just don’t get people who do that type of thing. My tendency is to believe people until they prove they can’t be trusted. And there have been times and circumstances in my life when I continued to believe, despite the proof….Oh, who am I kidding? I let people walk all over me for a good, long time, and then I finally explode like a spitting bobcat. That’s something I’ve been trying to change. Call out these people earlier on. Say what I need to say up front. If they’re cool, they’ll deal. If not, they can fuck off.

But speaking up is difficult.

It’s doubly difficult when you don’t trust your own instincts.

…So I fall back, time and again like a crutch, on my brother’s advice and thoughts. I run my logic past him and ask him to check my answer: is it right? Did I make a calculation error somewhere?

And underneath that: Am I bad for thinking this way?

Lower still: I’m scared.

T knows this. All of it, right down to the deepest muck there is. He’s always understood that part of me, just like I’ve always understood his sometimes cryptic replies to questions. That’s that weird twin-like connection we have. It’s so deep it’s difficult to explain. And his autism has, oddly, been a strength for me. He lacks many filters non-autistic people have; he just blurts stuff out. It can be really hard to take in. He’s also a hard ass on many subjects: knowledgable, articulate, and dangerous to debate.

I used to try to help T be a bit “less” autistic. I’d remind him of the types of things he shouldn’t say or bring up. Give him a couple of social niceties to use to break the ice.

I don’t do that anymore. If anything, I strive to be more like him: bluntly honest, sometimes to the point people find me repellent but DAMN IT! I’m true to myself.

Frankly, I think we should all be a little more autistic.

 

If I Care to Care

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Oh, I got it bad: cyber addiction. Perhaps more properly put, I’ve got computer addiction. Without the keys readily available to clackity-clack under my fingers I may lose my mind.

Tried to stay away from the computer yesterday, as a test. If it’s gonna be gone for two weeks I’ll need to get used to it. Didn’t make it further than an hour before I was back in front of my screen, googling this and playing that. *sigh* I AM spoiled. Got a big ass iMac with a 20″ screen. My hands have the luxury of a full keyboard and my eyes don’t need to work too hard. What can I say? I like it. I’ve got my iPod and my smart phone – both of which I can take out on the web. But they’ve got small brains, and the response time is very slow – or it feels like it in the age of instant gratification. Let’s face it: microwaves, internet, smart phones and cars and tvs (oh my!) – we’re all used to getting what we want NOW. And sometime along the way, waiting for three minutes became a big deal, a long time, a bloody LIFETIME. What’s taking so long? Why can’t this thing move faster? We demand information, entertainment, and food in an instant.

I’m no better. I remember my mother tried to teach me patience. She used to punish me when I got too hyper by making me sit still for set lengths of time. Get too excited? Sit down and be calm. Get REAL hyper over something? Grounded in the house for a few nights until I settle. Get sick because I got too hyper over something too long? Then it’s my own damn fault for being ill and I barely deserved the minimum amount of care a sick child needs. And still I moved too fast, got too excited, couldn’t settle down. It was like I was WAITING for the computer revolution, waiting for microwaves and smart phones to satisfy my inner id. Gimme now, now, now. Don’t be slow about it and sure as hell don’t freeze up.

Anyway. I got options for when my computer goes in. Smart phone, iPod, my brother’s computer. And I’ve gaming options as well: other computers in the house (ancient tho they may be) and a couple of things on my phone.

What a terrible thing to admit to having problems keeping it together. That’s what I had to do yesterday. After blogging I headed out for a walk, and I realized I had to verbalize my rickety mood to my brother. I came back, waited for an appropriate time, and said ‘I’m having problems keeping the depression at bay’. My brother’s answer sent a chill through me: I know. Right now I can’t figure out what’s worse: the fact that depression keeps biting my ass or the fact that I’m not as good at hiding it as I might have hoped.

But hey. We’re talking about my brother. He knows me better than anyone in the world.

Been fighting the good fight. Keep managing to pull myself back from that horrid soul sucking sorrow. Today might be tougher than usual. It’s pissing rain outside, which means getting out for a walk to clear my brain won’t be easy. Or at least, it won’t be dry (the cat in me is arching her back at all that wet). It’s also the day before my GP visit, which I’m diligently trying to NOT think about. And my body decided to get up early; six hours was apparently all I needed (or so I thought at 5 a.m.).

Found a file deep in my computer. I wrote it in 2014. It’s title is ‘never open’ – so of course I did. It is a hate filled thing. Every letter typed is filled with tiny rage bits – I can almost see them leap off the screen at me. What shocked me was how thoroughly I’d forgotten all about it; this incident that sparked a two page missive of napalm dripping words was completely absent in my memory until I re-read the file. This was me, before blogging, before really thinking about what was going on with me, back when I just stewed and spewed. It has no resolution, no understanding in it. Just blame, and hate hurt. Difficult to read. For now, it’s going into my ‘home therapy’ folder. I know there’s a few more rogue files like that in my system or on the back-up brain. Times I tried to write things out. I don’t think today is the day to find and read them, but it is a task I’ll keep in mind.

Pfft! Fuck it. Man, I’m in a weird spot right now. All shivery and un-solid on the inside. Maybe confronting the rage in those rogue files is a bit much for me. That’s okay. Am I listening? It’s okay. I don’t have to do it today. I don’t even have to DO it. All I have to be aware of is their existence. They’re there, if I care to care. But I am NOT under any obligation to read my own words. I do not need to remember old wounds or re-experience anything in order to try to settle it or wrap my brain around it. I can do that shit when I’m 80. Or not. No one said I had to die with complete self-awareness. I don’t win a special prize if I get it. And understanding won’t take the pain away. It just makes it easier to stop knee-jerk reactions that create similar circumstances over and over in my life. I still gotta slog it out.

If I care to care.