Wednesday, July 28, 2010

A Little About Me

I remember seeing my chest the first time I put a binder on. I was in my old room at Bates, and Kelly was there. I was wearing this shirt--the same one I'm wearing now. You'd never know it was meant for a female body. It's white with a splash of purple that just seems to ooze down the front. I remember seeing my chest the first time and never wanting to see it another way again. She was looking at me. But I was too busy looking at me. I almost cried. It was like seeing myself for the first time--like I was a toddler fascinated with the image in front of me, slowly coming to the realization that this image is the physical manifestation of what I've always understood as the person up inside my head. I felt like I had a body. I was starting to feel that I could own this body. I started learning that the greatest thing in the world that you can possess is your own self, inside and out.

I tried putting this shirt on without the binder underneath. I couldn't stand looking at it. The shirt is too tight to hide anything, and the feeling of this particular cloth against my bare skin made me want to jump right out of that skin. If you haven't figured it out by now, I've got a pretty fucked up sensory system, though it can do some neat things too. Every shirt feels different on my skin. And each feeling can evoke something different within me.
My sense of touch is very heavily connected to my emotions. Certain kinds of touch will elicit negative emotional responses, while others can elicit very positive responses. And I'm not talking about anything sexual at this point. I like my clothes to fit tightly (generally) because loose clothing equates to light touch or grazing of the skin, and it makes me uncomfortable. But something about knowing that you can see the secret of my chest inside this and a few other shirts of mine really fucks with me, and so I use this binder for the security it gives me. It also gives me constant pressure, however slight, on my upper body. I love pressure. I love connecting with other people through pressure. Squeeze. I love the way I feel when I work out because I can feel the blood rushing to my muscles, creating that sense of pressure, and it calms me. It focuses me. It lets me feel in control.
I like motion. Sometimes I have to be in motion. This becomes very difficult when I am trying to sleep, but my mind and body are at war with one another. Sometimes it becomes physically painful not to move. Sometimes I can't control the writhing or the tossing and turning. Sometimes I just have to MOVE. I kind of feel that way now, but moving my hands across the keys and watching the words march right into their places almost feels like I'm moving somewhere. I'll be in a different place when I finish writing this, at least mentally.
I obsess. And I get stuck. I have trouble doing more than one thing at once, and I don't really get grey areas. I have trouble with vague directions. And, similarly, I am overwhelmed and confused by having to make choices when there are many, many options. I need a step-by-step. I need black and white. It's not that I can't comprehend the other ways of looking at things. It's just extremely difficult, and I may need to take a different path to get there. It might be much more convoluted than the conventional path, but that path might be the only one that can get me where I need to be.
I'm getting better at this, but I hate when my foods mix together and would prefer them not to touch. Mixed tastes overload me. And my body opposes certain tastes altogether. I will instinctively spit out anything that is too bitter, which includes coffee, or anything that has an odd texture. I have no control over this reaction. If I try to swallow, I have to try not to throw up. It is very painful. I am terrified of trying new foods because I don't want to have this reaction.
I am extremely sensitive to the temperature of water on my face. I twitch/writhe somewhat violently when it is too hot or too cold, and I have to prevent myself from screaming.
Some kinds of pain are extremely intense for me, whereas I can tolerate great amounts of other kinds of pain.
Sometimes I'm in a bubble. It's like I'm behind a screen watching the rest of the world watch me. Sometimes I can't see beyond that little screen that's in front of me. Sometimes it's like there is static on the screen. Sometimes some things seem like they are in 3D when everything else is flat--like they are in color when everything else is in black and white. Sometimes certain things will attract my attention like a siren and I won't be able to focus on anything else. These are the things that can help me tune out the rest of the world--that help me when my sensory system is on overdrive. MUSIC. I can lose everything else entirely. I won't even register that you have spoken. I won't notice things that I normally would. Music is that thing that everyone else has to shut up for because it's clearly the most important thing going on. It's my obsession. Everything is music. I started talking the other day, and I had to force myself to stop. We were in the car having a conversation about why certain songs are so popular. I think that, just as we have mapped out according to scales/pitch what the most pleasing frequencies/combinations of sounds are to the human ear, there must be higher levels of composition (song structure/chord progressions/rhythmic integrity/etc.) that the human ear prefers. It's a theory I want to develop more, and I probably would have kept blathering about it if I hadn't caught myself. I could talk about music forever. I always want to keep playing. Music is the way I connect with the rest of the world. It's how I feel closest to other human beings. It's my way of being social. I can understand other people better through music. And writing is music to me. There is a rhythm to everything I write, and that's how I find which words go where. Everyone writes with a different rhythm too. I love all the different genres of person that I can experience when I read things that different people have written. I'm doing it again. I'm getting lost in my own musings about random shit. Pardon me. I do it frequently. Sometimes I like to have people with whom to muse, though.
I'm impulsive. Sometimes these things are harmless. Sometimes I poke people. Sometimes I push buttons. I really like pushing buttons. I play with the buttons on my phone constantly (when I have a phone). At least I don't nipple-tweak people anymore...or write on their faces. I think it took me until late in high school to figure out that that wasn't an appropriate form of interaction with your friends.
I have ridiculous attachments to inanimate objects, especially my phone and keys. I feel like I have lost a person from my life when I lose these things. I illogically attribute human qualities or attach emotions to inanimate objects as if they could think and feel the love I harbor for them. I get very upset when I lose anything that I consider important. Everything I own means something to me and stirs up all sorts of feelings, so I never throw anything away.
My hands are the most real part of me. I do a lot with them. And I don't think I could live without them.
Sometimes I can't talk, physically. Sometimes I just can't break down the wall.
This is just a little bit about me. It all started with a shirt. This is another example of what I like to call the web effect. And just think of all the things that I couldn't get out because they happened too fast up there or were on a different ring of the web. It upsets me when I can't get those things out. That's why I have taken to typing things more lately than writing them by hand. I lose way too much when I write by hand.
So yeah. This my brain. It's screwy. But I love it. It lets me remember stupid things like Mark saying that we had to be up in the band room at 7:27 AM before one of the home games two years ago or read insanely quickly or think of connections that don't really make sense to anyone else. And I also love when I find people who actually do understand those connections of mine--the ones that I make and the ones in my head. I've found a lot of them recently, and even if they don't quite get it, they are interested enough to learn, and that makes me happy. I'm also really interested in the way other people's brains work. I love knowing how other people think. I love knowing why. I always want to know why. It sucks when there is no reason why. That also messes with me.
I like that I understand myself. It puts me in a better position to understand other people. I now have a point of comparison. I still suck at understanding people when they act in irrational ways. I feel like everyone should operate logically all the time. I expect this, and I know that I don't even do this 100 percent of the time. But it also disturbs me when I don't do it or when I am incapable of doing it. And then when I notice that happening, it freaks me out and I feel like I have no control, and it makes things even worse.
I had no idea this was going to be quite this long. I thought I would be done after the first paragraph. I might need to move. I might need to go for a walk and listen to music and fool the world into thinking I'm still a part of it as I'm doing this.
I suck at sleeping. I just can't shut off.
So yeah. Again. This is a bit about me. But what about you? I'm curious.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

from December 23, 2006

We are not unique in our experiences, but they are unique to us. Each of us lives and breathes these experiences as if we were the only kids to ever have their hearts broken, to ever have lewd lunch conversations, to ever sneak out to commit acts of dubious origin and questionable legality. We act as though these experiences are one-of-a-kind. And, though they are not, they are genuine. They are true experiences, and they evoke rather different responses in all of us. They fill us with hope. They fill us with sadness. They both urge us forward and pull us backward. These experiences and memories, as generic as they are, are the most important things we've got. Our lives are like cheesy romance novels. Most have the same basic plot and structure, but the differences lie in the decisions of the author. We are the authors of our lives. So what have we to do but write?