Emotional openness

I have been lonely, and alone, most of my life. My family are the only people that I have ever felt comfortable enough with to let down the barriers keeping me sane in everyday life. Memories that are carried by strong emotions are indelible, and they swallow you in at every single glimpse of a connection to them.

Emotional openness is something that I learned to avoid at all costs within the first two years I was put in contact with a lot of people outside my parents’ immediate sphere of influence, i.e. school.

I was homeschooled for quite a while after a breakdown in the classroom where I was sobbing into my desk about too much information. The teacher, in an effort to keep me quiet in her class, supplied me with books and puzzles, and like the good little sponge that I was I started absorbing them.

I had not yet learned to pace myself; at home, my Mom would regulate the amount of concentrated information available to me, interspersing with relaxation or physical activity after she’d learned that I had migraines from the age of two onward due to my lack of filters for information.

I still remember the laughter, the jeering, the pain. Migraine sufferers know just how devastating the brain hurting can be, this one remains one of the worst attacks I’ve ever had, and all the other children had to say were taunts and laughter and “TMI! She said TMI!”. It was too much information, too much too fast, the web expanding outward.

I do not visualize a building or pathway for memory techniques. I hardly visualize at all, if ever, but if I do I have my memory web, where every strand consists of thousands of others that are all linked to one another, ever-growing and changing. Start adding too much too fast and the stability of the construct is threatened, shocks occur and strands unravel resulting in unpredictable flashbacks about mostly completely unrelated topics that vary in length (and that I can’t get out of most of the times).

I have learned all these things later. Back then, I knew I was in pain, I could surmise a cause for it and all I knew was that, emotionally, I had dared to open up and show that I was hurting and all I received for it was more hurt. That, on top of the taunting and bullying that had been going on before then, caused a complete shutdown.

I was lost for two days, jumping from one place to the other in memories, some that are still too vague to accurately recall and feel like dreams, others as clear and sharp as glass because they have been called up in more than one flashback since then (once flashed to, memories are harder to put in their places again).

I learned my lesson. I would love to be able to have the easy interaction I observe between my friends and their partners, the closeness, the reliance on one another yet I am too scared to even contemplate letting down some of my walls, creating indelible memories of pain and hurt. I can’t think of the good things, because they’re so much less strong than the bad ones.

But I want. I yearn. I observe.

One day, I’ll learn. Hopefully soon.

Tics, or how not to avoid looking like a dork in public

I fast-talk when I’m nervous. The sheer amount of word-vomit is dazzling, to say the least (unfortunately there’s video evidence). Every third sentence is in actual relation to the problem or question at hand, though.

I also fast-talk when my brain gets overwhelmed. Too many people, too much to see, too many facts in too short a time and I have to disassemble, which I tend to do verbally if there’s another human within 20 feet of me. The normal reaction I get is startled blinks and requests to explain once again, and to really verbalize all trains of thought.

When it’s really bad (i.e. close to migraine-level headaches, large congregations of people so certain in their knowledge of being the center in the universe that nobody can possibly understand their comings and goings…), the brain-mouth floodgate ceases to exist.

Case in point, I told one of my co-workers her husband was cheating on her with a colleague from another firm yesterday at a social gathering. The evidence is extensive and conclusive, but still I was the bad person for telling her.

Sometimes I just wish I couldn’t see. Or just didn’t have to notice. Or that people would realize that not everybody’s oblivious. Or that I didn’t have to put facts together in a chain of logic as they’re assembled in my brain.

Sometimes, I just wish I didn’t have to think. But then I’d miss my chance to make a public spectacle of dorkiness of myself, and what would the world be without dorks?

Still so tired of it all.

On a different note, the Aussie Open is a bit of a let-down this year, at least what I could watch. No spectacular matches so far, just the favorites trouncing everyone else. Can’t wait for better match-ups to come!

Violence, missionaries or rather the lack thereof…

… are the reason that, should I ever feel the need to choose a religion, it’d most likely be one of the many forms of Buddhism. Probably a modified Shinto version.

But then,  nah. I enjoy my deity-less life 😛

I don’t wear women’s sportswear

No, not true- I DO wear bikinis when swimming. Other than that? Let me relay my shopping experience during my lunch break just now.

So I had some free time and went over to one of the major sports goods and apparel stores in central Hamburg. Some of my tennis shirts are getting threadbare (as in nipplegate threadbare), and my sweatpants are all stitched together so many times they look worse than a Raggedy Ann doll. New sportswear had to be found.

Being the goal-orientated little shopper that I am, I quickly located women’s wear on the second floor and went up there. Looking around, I was searching for the sports clothes.

Some notes about me:  I refuse to run around in public showing my underwear to all and sundry. I didn’t like leggings when they were ruling recess at school, and I don’t like them now, especially not if they’re half a foot too short to cover all of my legs. I need some give in the shoulders of my tees so I can serve with all the power of my body, or move around enough to kick heads in TKD.I need pockets to store tennis balls, pocket knives and extra stuff like bandages in. I don’t like pink, aqua or other bright pastel colors when exercising as they tend to NOT look so bright anymore after sweating through them and washing them a couple dozen times.

Women’s sportswear is skintight, has no pockets, is too short, too uncomfortable and way too revealing to ever be shown anywhere but on one of those stupid fashion shows where people expect to see this kind of thing on human clotheshangers. It is not designed to be moving around vigorously in (no matter HOW thin, leggings creep up and down when you really run. Don’t tell me they don’t!). It is not practical. It has zero appeal to anyone who really wants to actually DO sports instead of appearing like they’re doing so. EVERYTHING has some pink in it. Plus, those so-called tennis “dresses”? Like I said, I don’t want to flash the world every time I move.

I went over to the men’s section. Practical, loose sweatpants WITH POCKETS. Nice, breathy and roomy tees.  OK, so there were the full-body spandex condom suits for cyclists but they’re forgivable given the rest of the selection. Women’s running shorts are the lower-body version of these full-body condoms. Men’s running shorts are loose around the legs. Huh? Men’s sweatpants legs are long enough to cover my ankles while a women’s XL which I have to cinch to tight around my waist I look like the parody of a clown barely reaches the top of them. Huh? SOME brights in the golfing section but a merciful absence of pink everywhere else. YAY!

In the end? I bought men’s clothes, ignoring the strange looks the cashier girl gave me. It fits better into my model of being an active person. It’s a lot more comfortable. You can move around better in it. AND it’s NOT PINK.

Now when will they make sportswear for women that you can actually comfortably do sports in?

Sad truths

In sports, there are a few simple rules. With two equally skilled opponents, evenly matched in every other field, the big guy will always beat the littler guy.

Speed can only carry you so far- once you’re into a battle of reach, there’s just no chance you’re going to win because unlike speed reach doesn’t deteriorate as you tire.

A quick tall person will always beat a quick and nimble shorter person.

And these, ladies and gentlemen, are the reasons why I lost yet again in another tournament. I don’t feel like going on one of the extreme diets I was on as a teenage amateur athlete, though. I don’t have the time or the energy to keep up that extreme a regime. Doesn’t mean I’m any less frustrated.

Plus, the person I lost against today in the intramural was male- and took his time gloating. I keep wishing I could just grow six inches and be of equal height- let’s see who’ll win then!

Argh!

Not a sore loser- just hypercritical. Maybe if I’d conserved my strength a little better…?

The possibilities of Firsts

There is something about my generation that has me feeling excited for being born at the time I was- we, the women of my times, have a chance to be a First Generation.

The first generation in however many who has a chance to be born of not only one but two freethinkers who have themselves been raised in the spirit of equality and free thinking. The first generation to not have to fight for their right to education because their mothers have been granted the same.

Compared to my grandmother, I’ve had it so very easy. My grandmother became a scientist when all that was expected of her was to look perfect and cook microwave dinners. All she got was work as an assistant because she wasn’t a man, in spite of her grades and credentials.

My mother became a scientist, too, even through the resistance of my grandfather who wanted for her to choose a “more appropriate” path. She was the one who broke free of generations-old restraints and blazed her path through the crusty world of academia while people a few years her senior were celebrating free love and release from the bonds of tradition.

Both these women gave me the freedom to choose- and showed me that there’s nothing you can’t achieve if you want it enough. But they gave me another gift, too, a gift that I believe has been repeated in a lot of people all over the world: The knowledge that we aren’t inferior, that we have the same potential and abilities as anybody else and that it’s just up to ourselves to make the best of it. I am part of a generation who has been taught that it is alright to speak your mind, that your thoughts and opinions are worthy of being heard- and I have been taught by a generation who has been raised knowing that there’s nothing unusual about this.

That freedom, that assurance that both parents need to work together to give, is what separates us from generations before us. We are the first in which these factors combine on a wider scale. We are the first generation.

Let’s make something of it!

If it makes you feel better…

This week hasn’t been the best for me. I understand that there are several differences between the German and the American mind. I get that I should not be offended if you tell me something to my face that I wouldn’t even say to my best friend even though I barely know you as my coworker.

I get how I must sound like a hypocrite for supporting HAES and FA when I’m for all appearances a normal-weight person. I get how I must sound like a hypocrite for advocating self-made people when it seems like I don’t have to struggle for most achievements (I do, though. You people don’t see the amount of all-nighters I pull!).

Why do you have to hurt me to make you feel better, though? What is it in this country that has people sniping you down from every small high you manage to create for yourself?

Three situations over the past few days have made me want to cry… Continue reading