Where’s the Glamour I was Promised?

Education: I was hoping my twenties would be more glamorous than it is. I didn’t go to an Ivy League for my undergrads. I’m not going to one even for grad school. In fact, I’m not even going to a super high ranked school. In many ways the boundaries of my future seems set. I’m never going to be the best in my field. It seems like I’m doomed to mediocrity.

Beauty: I’m pretty but there’s room to be prettier. I’ve started to get a small stomach pouch which freaks me out to no end. It must die.

I’m insecure to different degrees depending on my mood about the size of my breasts. I’ve internalized beauty standards that I definitely would prefer not to have internalized. I can theoretically tell myself that these standards are dumb, created by the patriarchy, I don’t need to live up to them, but nothing changes the fact that I grew up with them and they’ve become a part of my internal standards. Being a perfectionist, I want to live up to all my ideals - even the ones that I know cater to unhealthy/destructive/purely superficial belief systems in our society. 

Already living the ideal would also put me in a better place to criticize that ideal if I wanted. If I critique it now it makes me sound at least a little bitter, which I totally am sometimes. When a dark girl criticizes the racist standards of beauty idolizing fair skin in South East Asian cultures, she is often not taken seriously. However, I, being fair skinned, am taken much more seriously when I criticize the status quo because I have nothing personal to gain by overthrowing it (in fact, I would be losing privilege). The same phenomenon can be seen in all discriminatory systems - a rich person being taken more seriously than a poor person when criticizing classicism, a men being taken more seriously than a woman when criticizing the patriarchy etc.

Money: My parents have stereotypical middle class pride so I haven’t brought up in a way to care too much about money. However, recently I’ve taken to valuing money a lot more than I have in the past because my future/grad school plans/my chance at recovery was very nearly destroyed because of money/lack of funding. Money is important. I feel much more understanding of all the international kids who major in Economics and go into the Business world to get rich. Many of them come from similar Third World backgrounds as me and want to improve their own future and those of their children, for which money is apparently important, I realize.

I never want to feel insecure about money ever again. It was a terrible experience that seriously made me question the merit of middle-class pride. Luckily, a money making future is still open to me despite not going to the best grad school ever.

Socializing: I am good at socializing when I want to but most of the time, I don’t want to. I like hiding in my personal space doing my own thing or spending personal time with close friends. Then I find out about other people going out, meeting new people, partying and I get irrationally jealous. I don’t want to do those things but I still feel like I’m missing out on something important when I see other people doing them. I’ve mostly made peace with this but it still occasionally creeps up on me as a problem.

Tags: insecurities

ptsd-diaries:

My boyfriend tells me weed can be used to help my anxiety and insomnia issues (and that I should maybe look into getting a medical marijuana card) but more often than not smoking pot makes me anxious. I had a particularly bad time today - feeling insecure, confused, dizzy,…

Firstly, I’m not making “sorry ass reasons” for anything. I’ve had tons of fun getting stoned in the past when I was in college in the States and I’m hopeful about marijuana being a tool in my recovery from PTSD.

I am stating the fact that recently I have been feeling bad after smoking pot. Maybe the weed is bringing out my inner insecurities, it is entirely possible that that’s the case, especially since I don’t feel super in sync with the crowd I’m currently smoking with. However, that doesn’t change the fact that it is after smoking that my insecurities, and feelings of confusion and stupidity have begun to surface. I am documenting facts about my personal experience not making a judgement about the moral value or usefulness of marijuana in general.

I am also currently in South East Asia. Correct me if I’m wrong but I don’t think you are an expert on whether or not dealers here are soaking their weed in chemicals/preservatives/other drugs. I can’t say for sure they are either - I definitely hope they aren’t. But I’ve heard from many people that they are. I’ve also been having bad physical reactions to weed here (like intense dizziness and nausea), which never happened to me when I smoked in the States (not even during the times I felt anxious). Again, to repeat myself, these physical reactions could also just be due to the quality of the weed, the company I’m keeping, and my own personal emotional and physical health.

I’m not worried at all that I’ll “stand and stare in the middle of the street for too long and die”. I am, however, skeptical of whether I should smoke in my home country anymore and whether weed can have a therapeutic role for my PTSD.

This blog is a safe space for me to document my efforts to recover from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. I would love to discuss my experiences with marijuana and other drugs (and their impact on my condition) in a respectful manner. 

Tags: PTSD marijuana

unorthodoxflow:

ptsd-diaries:

My boyfriend tells me weed can be used to help my anxiety and insomnia issues (and that I should maybe look into getting a medical marijuana card) but more often than not smoking pot makes me anxious. I had a particularly bad time today - feeling insecure, confused, dizzy,…

yeah he’s right. The substance that you intake will only enhance what you already feel inside. If you aren’t at peace with self for the most part I would avoid taking anything. You have to release yourself of those negative energies. You are perfection at your natural state. The reason you feel the way you do is because you were taught to accept negativity as something natural. Negativity is the reason you’re feeling so unbalanced. It is not natural. I mean if you’re against it that cool, Your truth is your own but it seems like what you’re dealing with has nothing to do with marijuana as much as it’s self. I can guarantee you if you find your peace your experience will be completely different.

Thanks for the advice! Paradoxically some part of me (semi-convinced by my boyfriend) is hoping that weed will help me attain the inner peace you’re suggesting I might need in order to have a good trip.

I don’t think its a good idea to avoid taking anything just because I don’t have inner peace. There are drugs that can HELP me attain inner peace, like MDMA and LSD therapy for PTSD, ayahuasca for spiritual healing, prescription medication for insomnia/nightmares (like zolpidem) etc.

It might not be my PTSD symptoms that are causing my negative experiences with pot at all since I’ve had tons of fun being stoned in the past when my PTSD was much worse. The company I’m currently smoking with might just not be the right crowd for me and the weed I’m smoking might not be the best either. I’m really looking forward to trying some medical marijuana for my insomnia (if not for any of my other PTSD symptoms) when I’m with my boyfriend later this summer!

(via unorthodoxflow-deactivated20140)

I don’t like being stoned

My boyfriend tells me weed can be used to help my anxiety and insomnia issues (and that I should maybe look into getting a medical marijuana card) but more often than not smoking pot makes me anxious. I had a particularly bad time today - feeling insecure, confused, dizzy, nauseous, stupid. I dislike how weed makes me feel like I don’t have control over myself. My head feels unclear, I feel like I can’t be logical, and I don’t feel fully in control of my body (how long I’m staring, how I’m standing, whether I’m laughing or not, how uncertain my voice sounds). I start to doubt myself a lot, I feel insecure - like my friends just tolerate/pity me.

I’ve heard that the dealer some my friends get pot from sometimes/often/maybe always soaks his weed in chemicals and/or other drugs. Other dealers that other people I’ve smoked with get their pot from probably do the same thing. Perhaps that’s why I’ve been having such a bad experience with weed at home. The crowd I hang out with, even my  very close friend I always smoke with, aren’t really down to do the kind of things I want do when I’m high either - introspect and communicate deeply. The disconnect in our mentalities might be the root of some of my anxiety as well.

Today I mostly had a very physically unpleasant experience, not so much psychological or emotional. I’ve been feeling ill since last, I’ve been feeling nauseous all day and had a migraine coming on earlier (which seems to be setting in as well). So I wasn’t in the best health to begin with when I went and smoked a bunch of weed and shisha.

I’ve had anxious experiences with weed even when I was in college, smoking what I think was good weed with friends I felt very comfortable with.   But I’ve also had very positive experiences with weed as well - all the times with my ex-boyfriend were very fun and intimate, a weeks ago when I was smoked home grown weed was empowering, some of the times I smoked up with a good friend in college were interesting and silly.

So overall I don’t know how much of my problems with weed originate from the quality available in my home country and the crowd I’m currently hanging out with. I might have a better experience smoking clean weed with the right people (like my very supportive and understanding boyfriend); I will probably even try to get myself a medical marijuana card  because I want to explore all reasonable options for helping myself; but for now, I will continue to be skeptical about how much weed can help me with my PTSD symptoms.

Reminscing

Tumblr ate my post about how I was going through old sketches/paintings of mine and reminiscing about the patience I no longer possess. Oh well. Life is full of tragedies.

Looking at the detailed (albeit childish and not-too-skilled) work I used to do was very bittersweet. I used to be able to sit still for so long, to commit, to do without worrying about how it will turn out, to just enjoy the process of expressing myself. I’ve lost that creative spontaneity, or at least its buried under thick layers of insecurity, doubt, and a physical inability to be still. My mind is fragmented, my body is anxious and fidgety. I can’t imagine myself being able to go through hours of drawing, erasing, re-doing, coloring-recoloring in the state of mind I am in now - definitely not being able to start a huge art project from scratch if something couldn’t be fixed. I’d just give up, or just not start. 

The same goes with writing. I used to love writing fiction but then I stopped. Now I’ve regressed as a writer, perhaps not because my ability to use words has degenerated but because I can no longer be still.

Looking back at snippets of the child I used to be was a very emotional experience. I used to have so much potential, this is not the trajectory I imagined my life would take. My mother and I reminisced about what a talented child I was - she still thinks I’m so talented, so full of potential. Watching her made me feel very sad. She’s such a simple, good person. She deserves the girl I could have grown up to be.

I understand the source of my insecurities and doubts. Years of being told I’m talentless and stupid by someone I loved left its toll. Just living in such a highly competitive world where everyone is expected to be the best has its effects as well.

But where does the impatience come from? My mind is splintered, my body is anxious, restless, always wanting to go somewhere else, do something else, be someone else.

I’m rarely content in the present. Most things I do don’t fit into the grand scheme of things, they seem pointless, a waste of time, meaningless. I need a purpose, a goal, some transcendant meaning that unifies and guides all my actions. I don’t like feeling like things I do are arbitrary, floating adrift, with no unifying purpose holding them in place. I want my life to be organized, not fragmented like my mind. 

Being a child was so much simpler, when I was too stupid to contemplate the existential vacuum.

Prayer

I’ve been praying in the morning for the past few days and it feels very grounding. Praying and then reciting Surah Ikhlas repeatedly is very meditative. I feel less anxious, a bit more focused, when I try to clear my mind of everything, all goals, all thoughts, and just focus on reciting words I don’t understand. I think praying more often and increasing the amount of Duas and Surahs I recite afterwards can help my concentration. However, paradoxically, praying/meditating/reciting for too long is not possible because I can’t focus for long stretches of time.

Luckily, I don’t need to take leaps and bounds. Any small relief, even if its just for the 10-15 minutes I’ve been spending on prayer/Surah recitation every morning is better than no relief at all. I don’t have to plan ahead too much, expect anything more, or turn this into a competition with myself. I am as easily overwhelmed by possibilities, expectations, and future plans as I am by the past. I am the happiest when I am just in the present.

There was a time when I believed in the power of prayer a lot - not just as a meditative tool, a way to be with in greater harmony with reality, or transcend and touch a higher consciousness, but as a means of bringing about changes in my life via divine intervention. I’m now much more skeptical of God’s desire to interfere materially in human affairs, and my view of Zir is also much less anthropomorphic than it used be when I was young and virginal.

My relationship with God has morphed over the years. There was a lot of distance for a while, some bitterness, resentment, confusion. I prayed to God for a lot of things, some came true, some didn’t. Perhaps I couldn’t forgive Zir for not saving me from being raped; but I prayed long and hard to not be pregnant and that I was granted/happened to be.

Overall, I would say trauma helped my relationship with reality mature (albeit with a heavy dose of cynicism). I am trying to reconnect with myself, the universe, and God, which all perhaps boil down to doing the same thing. It feels like prayer is a possible path to achieve this goal.

Concentration Problems and Drugs

When I’ve written or talked about my experience with Yaba and MDMA before I’ve only stressed how far away from pain they make me feel. That’s important, of course, and hugely different from my normal psychological state. However, there’s another important way in which Yaba and MDMA effect me that’s worth noting - they both help me focus. I feel less fidgety, I have less nervous energy, I want to spend time with my yoga poses instead of feeling like I’m in physical pain if I don’t move faster, leave, walk around aimlessly. I feel like I can concentrate, I can write without getting up every two minutes, crack my fingers less, just sit still, think one thing at a time. I’m less fragmented. 

I want to feel like that normally. It doesn’t feel like I’m unnaturally focused, just focused, period. Usually, without drugs, my mind is just everywhere, nowhere, and I can’t get anything done because thoughts flow out of my mind like sand through a sieve, they bounce off the walls, explode like fireworks and scatter like dust in the wind.

Both my counselor and psychiatrist at college recommended I get tested for ADD but I couldn’t afford it then. I think its very important for me to get tested and treated before I go to grad school. My mind scatters more with time, its falling apart at the seams. I’m sure stress and lack of sleep make it worse, but I’m convinced that’s not all. It can’t be normal to have to get up so many times to write two 
measly paragraphs. My sister also recently got diagnosed with ADD so maybe its genetic, made worse by trauma.

Of course there’s a chance I don’t have ADD and its just my PTSD/anxiety that doesn’t allow me to focus. Even if that’s the case, I need to get treated. Whatever it is, I need to get treated. I can’t go to grad school, or anywhere and do anything with a brain as fragmented and jumpy as mine.

All this time I’ve been worrying about getting in to grad school, how to afford grad school, but what if I get to go? Then what? I barely survived college. I feel tired, wounded, and crippled now after spending so much time without any therapy or medication. My brain is in shambles.

I’m a disappointment

My parents love me. They’re good people. They’ve sacrificed a lot for me and would sacrifice more. But they constantly make me feel like I’m a disappointment, like they don’t like me, like I’m a huge burden on them, like I can’t do anything right. I don’t want to hurt them but being with them is very psychologically destructive for me.They know nothing of my PTSD and if they knew then they would make me feel like an even greater burden, a greater disappointment. Their greatest regret in life is that their children aren’t as obedient, successful, healthy and “normal” as other people’s children. Oh, why does God punish them so?

Being with them saps all my self confidence. They not only makes me doubt myself and my value as a person but they also make me doubt my judgement, all that I hold to be good and right, all that I abhor, all my choices, even things I think I love and want with all my heart. They make me doubt my fundamental entitlement to myself and my life. The existential burden of choice is hard enough, the choice to self discovery fraught with enough doubts and dangers, without people constantly tearing down the little self-respect I’ve scraped together after years of being told I’m worthless,  useless, talentless, only good enough to be used, not smart or pretty enough to be loved. 

My self-identity is fragile, barely protected from the demons within. I’m buckling under the external strain. I can’t survive these triggers. I feel myself fading, loosing grip of myself and reality, wanting to escape and finding no way out. I’m not even allowed to fight back, to protect myself, because then I’m too harsh, then I don’t love my old father, then I have no manners, then I’m a waste of all the money spent on my fancy education, then I’m a bad daughter.

Even death can’t save me. Suicide will only prove how much more inferior I am to other children, how much weaker.

It seems I’m doomed to be trapped by those I love.

Yaba Musings

What will happen tomorrow? This feeling is so transient. The pain is so far away. I feel like moving my body. I feel like its powerful, flexible, and beautiful. I feel energetic and focused. I don’t feel like I have to escape my very being, tear myself away from the rotten, suffering core of my existence. My consciousness wants to hide. It can’t bear the burden of my own existence. I’m constantly hiding, fleeing. I’m tired of fighting, enduring. I want release, escape, sweet escape. I don’t want death, I want escape from this existence. I need to exist on a different place, a different consciousness, free from this suffering, doubt, anger, tiredness. The tiredness is soul deep. I wake up wanting to sleep more. Sleep is resltess, full of nightmares, but still I don’t have to move, choose, act, go through the charade of caring, being normal, functioning, smiling when I want to float away. I’m tired of the act. My entire existence feels like a game, a play, the lines are well practiced, so hard yet so easy after so long. They come naturally, sometimes even when I want to stop.

Today, right now, I’m feeling better, drug induced  My pain is coated in sugar and kept apart from me. I feel free, I feel more like myself than I ever do. I remember being a child, I remember my dreams, I remember things I want, things that are important to me. The entirety of my consciousness isn’t occupied trying to force away the muck - the creepy, crawly, clinging, clawing, memories of my past. The past isn’t over, it’s living, breathing, thriving, destroying, within me. Its dynamic, vivacious, consuming, to the extent where I think it is me, not just something’s that’s infected me, injured me, changed me. But at moments like this, when I’m on drugs, and my past can be isolated from the rest of my being, I feel like I’m wrong. The past isn’t me. If it were then it couldn’t be separated by anything. I don’t know where the barrier lies, what the difference is, but the different exists. My past, my pain, my pervasive desire to die, escape, none of those are inherent, defining, essential parts of who I am.

But does this realization help me? Tomorrow I’ll feel like that again. This feeling of lucidity is short lived. Tomorrow I can still know this when I think back on how I felt today (or read what I’m writing right now) but that won’t change the fact that I’ll still feel the soul wrenching, pain, confusion, the reflexive desire to shield myself, to run, to hide, to cease to be. Tomorrow won’t be any different from the years before where I’m suffered, desperately looking for a solution and finding only blank walls, false hopes, dead ends, temporary highs. I need to find something that will bring about a shift in my existence. A lasting, sustaining change. I don’t even know if that’s possible.

My boyfriend tells me it is. He thinks a profound shift is attainable, but I’m not so sure. I’ve lived with this pain for so long, I’ve hoped and been disappointed so many times, that I can’t feel like my future holds the person I want to be. Everything is transient but my desire to stop.

I’ve found permanence in the constant, nagging, grating, desire to stop. I’ve been blessed with life, consciousness, but such gifts are wasted on me. I am willing, more than willing, even desperate sometimes, to throw away the greatest gift in all of creation (or so it seems to me. What can be more beautiful than the ability to perceive, choose, create?). I am a waste of a life but I don’t want to be, perhaps that redeems me a little, or so I hope. I want to appreciate life, I want to live, but I can’t.

How will any of this help me tomorrow when I’m suffering? My future is confusing. I’m adrift. I don’t know where life will take me. The sands of time are blowing away, I’m just a speck, tumbling around, lost, pathless. I have a vision of the person I want to be - free, on fire - and I feel like that sometimes when I’m having a good day but they are too rare, too transient. I can’t envision anything happening in my future to make that state of being the norm - not even now when I am so far from pain. It just seems like simple fact to me that I’ll be caged and tortured forever, my dreams slowly getting smaller and smaller till one day I’m too old for their to be any hope of fulfilling them. I’ve already seen many dreams die that way. 

I wanted college to be more productive. I wanted better grades, I’m blessed with enough intellect to excel academically more than I have. I wanted to be more disciplined, more productive, more efficient. Instead, I slept and moped away most of college (and most of my grades). I’m gifted with many talents but not the emotional countenance to make any use of them.

__________

Compassion is the key to a good life. If I can’t answer what my true passion is right now, what I really am meant for, then spending my time doing something that’s helping someone else is a worthy, healthy, fulfilling way to used my time. I should try that instead of going in circles about what I will truly find fulfilling right now.

The existential burden of facing a blank slate in life, to face alone, to trudge through by myself, shouldering the burden of every choice alone, taking blame and credit alike, bearing the risks, walking alone, takes more courage than I seem to have. I need a shirt to bury my face in, to look away, to be pushed forward, guided. I need to share the burden of responsibility with another consciousness  another guiding force, creator. I need validation for my choices, I am not self actualized enough to be my own validation.

Is it pain I’m hiding from? Or procrastination, delay, inaction? Its inaction that I abhor, that eats at my soul. But action requires energy and concentration, two things I lack. My body betrays me, its tired, lethargic, sleepy,  fidgety, full of nervous energy but no directed force. My mind is fragmented, not focused, easily distracted. When I’m on drugs I don’t have to force my consciousness out of hiding, it doesn’t feel like an effort, a destructive, painful effort, tearing through my mind, ripping it violently from the rock its leaching to, hiding under, but more like a free flowing river I’m guiding. My mind is free on drugs, not stuck, in pain, hiding, forever cringing in memory, spent completely from the trauma of forcing its body through rape. I will never make myself do anything that hard to myself again, or apparently anything at all. Effort itself is a trigger for those hours, mainly those moments when I first impaled myself on his dick, his ultimate control over me - not to take me by force which only conquers and breaks my body, but to make me choose to inflict the worse physical pain I have ever (and hopefully will ever) feel on myself, ripping my soul to shreds, doing the worst thing I could imagine to myself. That is how he conquered and broke my body, mind and soul. He was truly a master of domination.

Trapped

I’ve somehow managed to convince everyone I’m not utterly insane but the balance in my mind is tentative - slight provocations send me tumbling into chaos. I can’t process my feelings, I can’t hold linear I thoughts, I can’t sit still, I cry but only a little, the only solution that seems permanent is death. Talking, thinking, healing - seems like an endless, fruitless process. Cutting myself would quench my immediate need. A violent end to violent feelings. I feel like a trapped animal, all instincts, no reason.

I want to cry. I want to weep rivers that will wash away my pain. But I’ve forgotten how to cry. I wish I could cry till I felt cleaner, cry till I felt spent, cry till I fell asleep. But I can’t cry like that anymore. My eyes are as dry as the fire consuming soul. 

Maybe I’d cry if I stabbed myself. Or if I felt like I deserved to. Perhaps I’ve cried too  much and we’re only given a certain number of tears.  I’m numb but I’m burning. I’m dying slowly everyday.