Tag Archives: #personalthoughts

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.

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

Touched by the spirit(s)?

The one spirit I believe in is a good Scotch.

I’m about as unbelieving in anything not scientifically probable or provable as can be. I was an atheist in second grade (I read the bible, something everybody should do). I’m a sceptic, sarcastic, questioning piece of work or, as one of my theology-studying friends put it, “a missionary’s worst nightmare”.

So why am I inclined to curse at chance right now as though it were a sentient thing? Just ’cause my doctor tells me my TSH’s nonexistent now? Just ’cause that means there’s something wrong in my brain? I NEED my brain.

I’m terrified of something being wrong with my brain.

… still not believing in anything, though. Belief is the absence of knowledge, and knowledge sets you free.

I can’t wait for that CT scan.

<–off to play some piano

TV Drama

Today’s Wednesday. In Germany, that means that Grey’s Anatomy is on 8:15pm, and most every woman my age is glued to the TV. I have a confession to make.

I used to like Grey’s.

I don’t anymore. The reason?

TV sex.

WTH, you’re thinking, this person who’s been educated about sex since she was five doesn’t like sex on TV?

No, I don’t. But not for the reasons you’re thinking.

I don’t mind seeing people having sex. I don’t mind seeing naked bodies, male or female, I don’t mind seeing boobs and butts and everything inbetween.

I mind seeing a story told on TV. I mind being able to follow that story. I mind that story not being interrupted by five minutes of pointless, gratuitous bedplay between two actors who’re probably not even in the mood for it. It detracts from the story, it doesn’t add to it. Tell, don’t show should be in TV’s vocabulary more often.

I guess that’s the reason why I feel so attracted to a lot of Japanese dramas. Kissing there is even more emotionally charged and transferring so much more about the screen characters’ relationships than the next sex scene in any Hollywood-made TV series does. It’s about the characters, not about the characters having sex (which I much prefer to having myself instead of watching it on TV 😉 ).

Over the course of the weekend, I watched a series called “Iryu Team Medical Dragon”. Ignore the weird, pseudo-English title and go look for a (subtitled) version of it! (I couldn’t even watch it without subtitles because of the med-talk. I’m usually able to, but not with specialized vocabulary being this essential to the story)

It’s about a genius cardiac surgeon who’s fallen into hard times, his way out of it and building an OP team that can not only keep up with him but support him to make complicated operations possible. It’s about a rigid medical system and how “real doctors” rage against their inability to provide the best medical care for every single patient within it. It’s about hope, it’s educating (I learned so much about the cardiovascular system, cardiac surgery and surgical procedure as well as the structure and organization of Japan’s medical system from this), the actors are superb as is the story, special effects, animation… you get it. Only drawback? It’s only 11 episodes for each of the two seasons (or you could say the drawback is that it’s in Japanese). There’s even a sort-of sex scene at the very beginning for those inclined to watch for those reasons.

I’ve taken to doing sports on Wednesday evenings to avoid the inevitable TV discussion. I don’t watch a lot of American-made TV anymore precisely because I prefer a story to be told, and I want that story to be finished. I like House, with its villain-of-the-day format. I like Huge, a new series, for being extraordinary in cast and setting. Other than that? I watch cheesy, not-so-cheesy and downright riveting TV series made in China, Japan, Taiwan and Hong Kong.

It’s the source of never-ending ridicule from roomie, but I just can’t stand the sex scene interruptions anymore. Story interruptus- without me, please!

Childhood Dreams and Broken Feathers

My Mom sent me 60lbs of books. Yes, 60. She cleared out some of the shelves in my old room to make space for my (insufferable) younger cousin to put her (undoubtedly pink and unbearably girly) stuff when she visits. Why she couldn’t just leave my things there for her to use when she comes I didn’t understand until I just accepted this shipment and lugged it up eight flights of stairs.

I had my books stacked three deep on my shelves. Going through them right now, I see the years pass by. Years spent with reading Davy Crockett and Betsy Ross biographies along with my Dad’s classic sci-fi collection (Asimov, Heinlein, Wells mainly). Years spent reading Platon’s Myths. Years spent reading anything and everything about African Nomad culture. Years spent reading anything Laurens Van Der Post.

60 lbs of books and tons and tons of memories. I remember reading Jane Goodall’s Through A Window the year we got our first internet connection. George Orwell’s 1984 ten years after the “fated date” had passed, way before it was required reading in school. Eidetic memory longs to draw up passages of each book, funnily enough, Loewentor und Labyrinth by Hans Baumann, one of the first books I ever read in German, is the one that pops up most readily. The second chapter, Schliemanns Odysseusfahrt nach Ithaka (Schliemann’s Odyssey to Ithaka), is as present in my mind as the dreary clouds hanging deep outside my window.

Er war vierzehn Jahre alt als er von Ankershagen auszog. Sein Vater, ein Pfarrer, der sein Amt verloren hatte, konnte das Schulgeld nicht mehr fuer ihn aufbringen. Schliemann hing lebenslang an ihm. Durch ihn hatte er zum ersten Male von Troja gehoert, von Achill und Odysseus, von Helena, Agamemnon, Hektor und Paris…

I liberated that book from the library of the man who has since become my best friend in Germany. He read it, and most of the DTV Junior library when he was a kid. Now, he’s lending them to me one by one, and I’m delving into the world of German folktales and mythology, Greek mythology, German history… I’m reading at the level of a German fifth grader in German right now, but it’s amazing just how much good literature there is for the less proficient at reading here. But I digress.

Among the books she sent me is my very well-worn copy of Douglas R. Hofstadter’s Godel, Escher, Bach– I had to re-read that book about five times to understand even a fraction of it.

Karen Marie Moning- now here’s an author that kept my fantasies very much occupied when I was a teen. I wanted a highlander sprung from a mirror, or at least a similarly perfect partner, or none at all.  No wonder I was a nightmare date back then 😉

I still have two more boxes to unpack in this shipment, two more boxes full of childhood dreams, dead flies and the broken feathers cast off when I learned how to fly. These are my roots, and my wings, all in one. These were my friends, my confidantes, my extraordinary adventurous adventures.

These are my books.

(and don’t think I’ll easily accept them being discarded for pink mirrors and other chi-chi atrocities. There’s a talk waiting to be had, Mommy!)

Come a long way…

I just finished writing a story I started when I was thirteen and a ninth-grader. This was THE story, the one I used to pour all my hopes and dreams and fears and experiences into. The main character was me, in so many ways. 442 handwritten pages (and almost 500.000 words) later, it’s time to say goodbye, however hard that feels. I know that noone but me will ever read this thing, it’s way too personal, but just writing “The End” has me feeling like crying.

Re-reading that monstrous effort makes me cringe with embarrassment at the kind of writing I used to produce. It makes me smile at my own teenage melodrama. It makes me angry at what some people put me through, everything which I have metaphorically written down there through another’s eyes. It’s strange how now, as an adult, I can see the pain some things induced in me when back then they seemed so insignificant because I was so used to being harassed and bullied- except for when I was writing. All my anger, all my fears, all the hopelessness I felt during those years, they’re all there in black and white chickenscratch. I can see whenever I started learning another language, because I suddenly start writing in that (rather poorly often but I did become OK to proficient in some of them). Memories are stirred, good ones too. My first crush, the first time I fell in love, all those plans I had.

Distancing myself from what I’ve been… it seems so easy, and yet, when I read what I’ve written, I haven’t really come that far. It’s been a long way, but it’s been a winding path as well. Down that memory road we travel…

It’s also a record of all the fandoms I’ve ever been into. Oh, the crossover madness! I killed off my main character, revived her again, almost killed her again… like I said, the writing’s cringe-worthy. We’ve been together for so long, her and I, that I almost feel like I can’t allow myself to stop writing that final chapter. Yet there’s this “The End” printed there in my handwriting. It really has been an emotional time, a time of change and development. The me now smiles at the me then, and I wish I could tell that pained little girl that she will be alright in the end, that her story, no matter how many hardships in how many universes her alter ego suffers, will have a happy ending.

I believe in my own happy ending as well, even though I’m not yet there I feel content that I have been able to write it. It’s eluded me for the last ten years (which I spent writing the final fifty pages). That I’ve managed it now makes me believe I’m in a good place, and ready to go forward.

Where do we go from here? To yet another new tomorrow. Yesterday’s story is written, after all.