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kitties off topic open thread

Open Thread for Personal Stuff: September edition

Hugs if you want them.
Hugs if you want them.

This is a continuation from here.  A thread to discuss personal issues and provide support for one another. No trolls, no arguments.

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Ally S
7 years ago

[Content note: self-harm, depression, anxiety, self-hatred]

I’m sorry that’s happening to you Ally, it sucks so bad. Hugs for you too. And my jerkbrain keeps telling me to stfu about it because who is gonna care and I’m just acting all melodramatic and selfish. And somewhere I know that’s not true, but mostly I just want to cry and I don’t know why because it’s not like I’m feeling anything to cry over…

I’m going through that stuff as well.

Today I had horrible anxiety and self-hatred today. My insecurities about my body image flared up when I went to this cafe on campus to buy some things since I was starving. I was starving because I ate nothing yesterday; I didn’t want to eat on campus because I was afraid of people watching me do things like eating on campus. And today at the cafe, while I was getting my stuff, I was thinking things like “Everyone is looking at you; everyone thinks you’re selfish and disgusting for wanting to eat in public. Look at how gross and unhealthy your body is. No one could possibly want to be around you.”

It was unbearable. After buying the food, I tried spreading cream cheese on this bagel (I chose that because I wanted to pick the first thing I saw so as to not “ruin” everyone’s mood by taking too long to decide), and my hands were just shaking the whole time because I thought people were staring at me with hatred and disgust. Eating that food made me feel like I was just purposefully disturbing everyone. I felt pathetic and inherently unlikable.

What was even worse is that, ever since starting this quarter at UCSC, I’ve had feelings of unusually low self-esteem due to comparing myself to everyone else; I find myself saying things to myself like “Why can’t I just be normal for once? Why can’t I just live without feeling like I’m some kind of alien?” All of those pre-existing feelings made my body-image insecurities even worse. I felt like I didn’t even deserve to be in the same room as everyone else.

I got sick of those feelings, so I pushed myself to head to the Cantu Queer Center (finally) on campus in order to make myself feel better somehow by visiting a safe space. I expected everyone to be formal and bureaucratic. But it turned out to be a small house full of couches, LGBTQIAA books and magazines, a small kitchen, and some very nice people. I was super nervous at first, but one of the regulars there invited me to sit down and just talk about my reasons for being there, what my major is, etc. Even though I was a nervous wreck at first, they eventually made me feel very comfortable and at home. And I really could relate to them a lot. It was that feeling of being at home combined with their empathy that really made me feel happier – at least for a little while. Once I left, my mood was much better than it was earlier, and I even found myself smiling.

Anyway, I’m explaining all of that partly for the sake of venting and partly for the sake of saying, well, one thing that might really help out at least in the short term is spending time in spaces in which you feel safe and comfortable (for me it was that LGBTQIAA center – for you it could be some other place). Such spaces will never get rid of your depression, anxiety etc. but they might make you feel better at least momentarily. That’s all I can really suggest, though. I hope things get better for you soon.

Ally S
7 years ago

And about wanting to cry for no apparent reason: that’s a normal feeling to have when you’re depressed, as far as I know. I’m just speaking for myself here, but in my experience, that feeling arises from a need for catharsis. An opportunity to break out of a shell of dead emotions, which is one of the hardest things to deal with for many depressed people. All I can say is that reading/watching happy books/movies/shows/whatever might help you cry a little bit, and even if that crying doesn’t make sense it might make you feel better. That’s just my experience, though.

cloudiah
7 years ago

Safe, comfortable spaces are wonderful to find. Ally, I’m so glad you had that experience (so sorry about the experiences preceding it). I hope you all know how much we care about and value you all as you’re dealing with jerkbrains and other crap. Hugs to all.

kittehserf
7 years ago

Ally, that is the most terrifying description – and also, an example of how fucking well you write.

I am SO glad you went to the centre and felt better, for a while at least! It’s so good to know even from all the way over the pond that you’ve a place to feel safe in.

Extra hugs.

Ditto on the crying; I was thinking the same thing reading SittieKitty’s comments before. Even when it’s feeling down, stressed, sad – as in transient moods or generalised unhappiness, not actual depression – there’ll sometimes be a need to cry. Do it if you have somewhere you can, is what I think. Let it out.

marinerachel
marinerachel
7 years ago

I haven’t had enough time with my sweetie and the time we have had together recently, we spent sleeping. :/ Don’t get me wrong – we both LOVE sleep and sharing it is big for us (veeeeeery early on we established night shifts could not be his norm because I’m not with someone so I can go to bed alone) but it needs to be balanced with time spent together interacting consciously, which we haven’t had. He was grumpypants, which is fine, so we cheered him up, then decided a nap was necessary. We didn’t get up from that nap until parting ways though so we didn’t really get to see one another. If we hadn’t slept, we would have been miserable asses though. I’m still super bummed and whiney that I haven’t had enough of my man. Poo.

Ally S
7 years ago

@kitteh, @cloudiah

Thank you. I’m probably going to hang out there very frequently this quarter. In fact, tomorrow I’m heading back there to drop off my copy of Whipping Girl for donation, hang out with some folks there, and ask them about the places I can go to downtown where I can find good places to shop for makeup, wigs, etc. I can’t wait. ^_^

SittieKitty
7 years ago

I’ve been dealing with body-image stuff too Ally, all the hugs, I know that’s shit to have to deal with.

auggzillary, I think it’s pretty common, especially in college, especially if it’s not been that long since you went out on your own. I dunno why that is, and I don’t really have any advice on how to get over it because I pretty much wasted my first years doing nothing, but hugs (or other non-touching comforts) if you want em.

Content warning: self-harm

I watch Muppet Treasure Island when I’m feeling awful/sad/upset, but I’m not feeling like that. I’m just feeling nothing. Complete apathy about anything except a compulsion to keep doing life things because that seems to be what’s expected and it’s prolly a good idea for me to do so since eventually I’m sure this will pass and I don’t want my life to be all fucked up when it does. It’s just really hard to care about it passing, and your life not being fucked up, when you don’t care about anything…

I suppose my bigger problem is that I want to feel something, even if it’s negative – and negative emotions are way easier to find when you’re depressed than positive ones, so I start reading crap online/on reddit about horrible things and for a brief moment I feel something, and it’s totally awful, but it’s also something, and so I keep doing it because it’s worse to not feel anything. And I can’t pull myself out of that habit, which means I just fill up my days with horrible news stories and fucking manosphere/reddit shit that makes me go over shitty things in my life, and then I feel guilty because despite Things my life has been really damn good but I can’t stop, because I really want to have self-destructive actions but it seems mental ones are better because I don’t have to hide them afterward. Somehow I know it’s weird/wrong to be self-harmful, but at the same time it’s kind of a relief to feel something, to know it’s still possible.

Also I apparently start typing in massive run-on sentences…

Fibinachi
Fibinachi
7 years ago

@Sittiekitty:

I watch Muppet Treasure Island when I’m feeling awful/sad/upset, but I’m not feeling like that.

Shiver my timbers
Shiver my soul
There are men whose hearts are as black as coal!
And they sail their ship
cross the ocean blue
a bloodthirsty captain
and a cutt-throat crew!

When I’m feeling awful / sad / upset, I sing the muppet treasure island intro to myself or Profesional Pirate (When I was but a lad.. )Your coping strategy is one I applaud, even if it finds you with less relief than normally. If you’re at college, is there someone you can talk to or drop by? Just the awareness that someone else is thinking about how to somehow accomdate your current problems might help?

@Cloudiah:

Fuck cancer. Fuck heart attacks. Fuck bad things happening in rapid succession. Good luck with everything else, so many jedi hugs.

@auggziliary::

This site can be depressing. But perhaps a thing to keep in mind is that the news stories suck, but many people also point out that they suck. You can view it both ways – everyone is full of hatred for Others or everyone isn’t. You don’t think real ladies need to go in a club, for instance – so that’s a minimum of one. Others think like you too.

Controlling others by reinforcing arbitrary standards is the easiest way to help control yourself – and that’s a choice you can choose not to make 🙂

SittieKitty
7 years ago

Fibinachi,

This one makes me smile. Although Professional Pirate is great too “This is my only number!”.

I’m not at college any longer, I’ve graduated and had to turn into a grown up with a mortgage and bills and everything :/ I also have few friends irl, because I don’t live in my hometown any longer and most of my friends are out there, and the one friend I typically talk to (online) I get the sense doesn’t want to really hear about it, not really, because it’s depressing and they’d rather talk about how their life is going or they don’t know how to really respond and I just make them uncomfortable.

hellkell
hellkell
7 years ago

All the hugs to anyone who needs one.

I just had an $800 (afte insurance, and it’s October, so my dental bennies are just about tapped) root canal. I about passed out from sticker shock when they told me the price while I was in the chair–it was a different, more expensive tooth than what my regular dentist thought. Thank god they let me break up the payments.

cloudiah
7 years ago

On top of everything else, fuck crappy dental insurance. I mean, it’s better than no insurance, but damn.

I’ve left the barrel of hugs in the middle of the room. It’s a kind of take-a-hug/leave-a-hug system, so if everything’s okay for you you might consider dropping a few hugs off, and if things are not going so great you can take as many as you need. There are bear hugs, non-contact hugs, pats on the shoulder, and even a few air kisses in there. The attendants are penguins, kittens, ferrets, and a bunch of clown loaches, who will also dispense hugs upon request of otherwise will just let you pet them or watch them being adorable.

SittieKitty
7 years ago

Some examples:

Penguins

Kittens

Ferret

Clown Loach

And a bonus baby rhino.

SittieKitty
7 years ago

http://youtu.be/FWqoJhIjc_0

Embed baby rhino video.

Argenti Aertheri
7 years ago

*squee* oh aren’t you the cutest little loaches!

Also, I am stealing this — lady^(1/2)

Ally S
7 years ago

Just coming here to share this .gif of a sassy cow with boots: http://i.imgur.com/GDyKJHK.gif

hellkell
hellkell
7 years ago

That cow is werkin’ it.

kittehserf
7 years ago

I’ve left the barrel of hugs in the middle of the room. It’s a kind of take-a-hug/leave-a-hug system, so if everything’s okay for you you might consider dropping a few hugs off, and if things are not going so great you can take as many as you need. There are bear hugs, non-contact hugs, pats on the shoulder, and even a few air kisses in there. The attendants are penguins, kittens, ferrets, and a bunch of clown loaches, who will also dispense hugs upon request of otherwise will just let you pet them or watch them being adorable.

cloudiah wins all the threads evah.

::deposits sundry king-hugs, king-shoulder-pats, genuine French cheek kisses, cat head-butts, chin-bites, ear-nips, cuddles and purrs, doggy tail-wags and grins and various furred lap-takeovers::

Argenti Aertheri
7 years ago

Hamlet on the stairs!

katz
7 years ago

Something that people might find comforting and/or amusing.

Ally S
7 years ago

[Content note: street harassment, threats of violence, bigotry against Muslims]

Earlier tonight, I got involved in a street harassment incident – the first time I’ve ever intervened in public.

I was on the train when I saw these two young Muslim women sitting nearby. And then we reached this station at which a large muscular man in a white suit came in and sat close to me. He sat down, looked back at the two women, and yelled “Tell me about your religion!” Suddenly they seemed very uncomfortable; they nicely told him that they didn’t understand his question and that they didn’t want to talk about it since they were getting off soon. He ignored what they said and then got up and sat down very, very close to them. His face was right in theirs, and he kept saying “Tell me about religion – you know, just something about it.” They kept telling him that they had to get off soon, that they didn’t have any motivation to explain everything to him, but he didn’t care. He then said “If you tell me, maybe I’ll become a Muslim like you two as well! How about you tell me why you cover up your bodies?”

They told him that it would be better if they asked a religious scholar of Islam, and at that point I found an opportunity to try to distract this man by bringing up the fact that he can go to the local mosque and ask his questions there. He got angry and aggressive at me and yelled “SHUT UP”, and then he stared at me with full eye contact and a look that made it seem as though he was ready to assault me. I backed off and said sorry, although I didn’t disengage, either – I gave one of the women eye contact to signal that I was keeping an eye on the situation, and I furtively moved a little closer to both of them. Eventually the women explained the reason that they wear the hijab – they talked about how it’s important for being modest and whatnot in Islam – and then this man…stared down both of them and consicpiculously analyzed their bodies while saying “Yup, looking good! You’re all covered.” He was literally objectifying two women that openly.

Now these two women were very frightened and uncomfortable, and I got super nervous and on the edge. Nevertheless, the man kept harassing them. Eventually they felt so unsafe that they got up immediately and began to exit the train, which is when he yelled “GET OFF MY TRAIN!!” All I could do was follow them closely to ensure that the man wouldn’t start chasing them.

I caught up with the two women, asked if they were okay, and both of them seemed to be feeling safer. They thanked me profusely and then left. Not much was said for some reason.

When I got home, I told some family members about it, and I got a horrible joke from my uncle. He said that next time I see harassment, I should record it on an iPhone so that people can know that, even I’m dead, at least the perpetrators can be identified. He later apologized, but I was still pissed off.

After all of that, I reported it to the police via phone and learned that the harasser was someone already known to police.

What an ordeal. X_X

kittehserf
7 years ago

All the hugs, Ally! And bravo for intervening; that was courageous. It’s frightening to do so in those situations, you never know how the harasserturd will respond. Kudos to you.

Sucks to your uncle for being a jackass. Would he have bothered intervening? Would he be happy if he’d been the one set upon? Idiot.

kittehserf
7 years ago

I was going to post this because CUTE, but here’s hoping it’s extra welcome just now.

http://youtu.be/0TVSakk2CUE

Ally S
7 years ago

All the hugs, Ally! And bravo for intervening; that was courageous. It’s frightening to do so in those situations, you never know how the harasserturd will respond. Kudos to you.

Sucks to your uncle for being a jackass. Would he have bothered intervening? Would he be happy if he’d been the one set upon? Idiot.

Thanks! And I’m not sure if he would have intervened. Most of the family members I was talking to seemed pretty worried about me intervening, especially my step-mom – she got upset at me and told me stuff about how people on the street have knives and stuff.

Also, the call to the police department was strange. I said “I want to make a report of an incidence of street harassment I witnessed on the train on [this] line.” And the operator had no idea what street harassment was.

And then I was connected to another representative, who was nice and actually knew what I was talking about from the start. Apparently there have been reports of him behaving badly before.

Dvärghundspossen
7 years ago

That was brave, Ally. Too many people just look and do nothing when they witness something like that.

cloudiah
7 years ago

Ally, that must have been scary. I am sure those women felt better knowing at least one person was on their side.

katz
7 years ago

Ally, that was very brave of you!

LBT
LBT
7 years ago

Way to go, Ally! You did the right thing.

cloudiah
7 years ago

auggziliary, That’s scary. It sounds like they caught it pretty early, before it spread. My best wishes for her complete recovery and continuing good health.

Ally S
7 years ago

By the way, does anyone here have any experience in intervening in street harassment incidents? I would really appreciate some advice based on experience.

Ally S
7 years ago

And seconding cloudiah. Hope things go well for your mother, auggz!

cloudiah
7 years ago

Ally, no experience except when I’ve been in groups, which is a different dynamic.

These are Hollaback’s tips.

This looked pretty good too.

Ally S
7 years ago

Thanks for the links cloudiah! =] I found them very helpful.

Also, I’m not entirely sure why, but ever since that day I intervened in that street harassment incident, I’ve gained a boost of confidence. I don’t know if it’s because I’m getting some strange sense of self-importance (which I really hope isn’t the case) , but now I feel more hopeful about my future and more eager to get to know people and socialize. In fact, I’ve just made two more trans* friends and a cis ally friend on campus. And today I met a recent trans* friend of mine in downtown, and I didn’t feel nervous at all.

Things are finally heading in the direction I want them to. I don’t completely understand why this sudden shift is happening, but I welcome it for sure.

SittieKitty
7 years ago

What you did was pretty awesome Ally. You should feel proud of it. So many people just look away and don’t do anything, pretend they didn’t see or notice.

cloudiah
7 years ago

Ally, you did something good, and you should feel good. I’m really glad things are going well!

katz
7 years ago

Missing my big adoption event cuz I’m sick 🙁

Ally S
7 years ago

That’s awful, katz. I’m sorry.

cloudiah
7 years ago

Hope you’re feeling better, katz. How did the adoption event go?

SittieKitty
7 years ago

auggziliary, I know the feeling. That complete apathy about anything and not even knowing if you can care to cope with things, let alone want to. 🙁 hugs if you want them.

SittieKitty
7 years ago

I tend to be more likely to do self-destructive things to feel something… to get out of that numb feeling, which is not something I recommend and is something I’ve been doing all weekend. I don’t know why I can’t stop doing it, even though I know it’s super unhealthy.

Also, I’m sorry I’m hijacking the thread with my own shit, especially since I’ve already said this stuff… please ignore me.

Argenti Aertheri
7 years ago

Hijacking the open thread is impossible! Hugs to you, and anyone else who wants some.

Pecunium’s answer to my jerkbrain last night applies to y’all as well — yes, and it’s wrong. (Yes as in acknowledging you said and feel that, it’ strong as in fuck off jerkbrain)

Also, I got back from his place this afternoon and already miss it. They’re all like warm and loving and cute couple squee and he can fucking cook and I’m back with ignoring my asshole father, the lingering level of walking on eggshells, and cookies and granola (admittedly, they’re delicious, but I’m not sure anything I can still get compared to his cooking [sorry, but my grandmother will always win that one, I’m sure you understand {and that truffle honey shit is still gross}]) /babbling

SittieKitty
7 years ago

i meant hijacking as in auggz was saying something important and then i’m in making it all about me…

Argenti Aertheri
7 years ago

I’m fairly sure that relating a similar experience is a standard sort of social interaction. But I kinda suck a social interaction…

In any case, you’re still welcome to those hugs, and your jerkbrain is still welcome to fuck off. (Ditto for auggz!)

kittehserf
7 years ago

Four days short of a month and the Mick Aston Memorial Coat is finished at last!

This is a bit better for the colour (it’s in Wool Baa, where I bought the yarn).

Here’s how the coat looks laid out flat. Wasn’t it kind of Mads to provide a sense of scale? She’s so thoughtful like that. The colour’s a bit crap, but it always is with the electric lights at home.

neuroticbeagle
7 years ago

@Kittehs
It is a very pretty coat. I especially like the decorative fur Mads was so graciously provided. 🙂

kittehserf
7 years ago

Thank you, neuroticbeagle!

There are quite a few Furs of Appreciation on it, I noticed yesterday. (As someone said elsewhere, it’s nice when our furry overlords acknowledge our hard work.) Probably a few are Fribs’, ‘cos she was quite sure she could sit on my lap while I sewed the seams.

emilygoddess
emilygoddess
7 years ago

I can’t say this to any of our IRL friends because it’s premature, but my partner of almost 8 years basically told me the other night that he’s planning to propose. I’ve asked him to marry me a couple of times in the past, but he’s never been ready (which I totally respected, even if it did hurt my feelings a bit). He won’t give me a time frame, because “that would ruin the surprise”. All he’ll say is that since he knows I’ll say yes, he feels like he can make a to-do. Not a big to-do (we both hate being the center of attention), but “a to-do”.

GUYS I THINK I’M PRE-ENGAGED.

Athywren
Athywren
7 years ago

Congratulations! o/

katz
7 years ago