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Everything posted by 90_hour_sleep

  1. my own journal...a club i had to join. that was worth a laugh... probably should count my blessings for that...as a laugh was sorely needed. i learned a new term this morning: parallel parenting. it's what parents do when they are incapable of getting along. sometimes it's one parent...sometimes it's both. it doesn't really matter though. it's some sort of coping strategy for the collective madness of rearing children. i'm not even a primary parent. i'm just along for this nightmarish ride. i find myself questioning what i was thinking. how i could've been so naive. but then i realize i didn't know. couldn't have known. because this knowing is something that blossoms with connection...and that takes time. is ''narcissist'' an over-used term these days? it might be. short of a formal diagnosis...it's certain that my step-daughter's dad is a narcissist. what a special kind of hell that is. and as i type that...i'm hit with a wave of empathy for her. for the tornado of emotion that must live inside of her. to love an abusive parent. to feel bonded...and bound...to someone who'd throw you under the bus. of course...she doesn't know that. can't know that. wouldn't believe it if she did 'know' it. and there's no path to convincing. any attempt at that is, in fact, a grave error. there's no recourse for any of it. none. there's a legal system that can do very little. an interpersonal relationship that has no foundation for anything positive. i find myself having the most violent thoughts. it's disturbing. on some very base level, i understand the roots of violence. i see very clearly the human conundrum. collectively, we have agreed to this violent nature. it's imbibed in our culture as emotionally reactive, insecure creatures. this idea of ''me and mine''. it's the most profoundly insecure notion. so very rotten at it's core. and yet it's celebrated. the things we'll justify to the idol of ''me and mine''...virtually anything. some would go so far as to call it human nature. human nurture maybe. nature? who knows. i'm skirting my feelings though. searching for an outlet outside myself. i'm violently angry about this situation. probably because i feel helpless to do anything...at least in an active way. so it's triggered my own insecurity. some part of me wants to deny that it has to do with my care for her, as a little human. but that's there too. i just don't want to be caught in the ''me and mine'' BS. but here i am. resilience. we think it's automatic if we emulate it. we think that if we model resilience...those who grow under our care will embody it. the truth is...we don't know. and when there is an external force to reckon with...all bets are off. there is no fighting this other person. no fighting the persona. the legal advocates say it's virtually a lost cause. even a person with unlimited resources would likely never find resolution. so we're stuck with it. stuck with this shadow that permeates our lives. he doesn't live here...but his energy does. the anxiety is palpable. nine out of ten bad days are borne of this cancerous presence. he lives inside of her. she fears him. but wants to desperately to hold all of his affection. how fragile we are in this stage of growth. i'm overcome with a well of gratitude for my own upbringing. far from perfect...my parents gave me the ability to survive in this world. they had their stuff...and i have mine. but nothing like this. what did she do to deserve a dad like this guy? my one sincere hope: may you escape the shackles of abuse. may your own heart learn the value of connection free of condition. i need to tap into my own resilience. major gratitude for my partner. an incredibly kind, patient, generous human. i hope her daughter has been permeated by her strength...and will have it in her to escape the abusive cycle. sometimes it feels like that's all we've got...this absurd hope that it'll all be alright. maybe it will. maybe it won't. is this what they mean by surrender?
  2. Interesting shift in societal dynamics. I'm wondering when fear and the mongering of said-fear became such an epidemic. I feel sad about it. Nothing seems to suffocate the life within quite like fear. Even the fear that has roots in good intention and some form of prevention. We have the ability as creatures of thought and reason to discern between situations that have the potential to cause harm (basically any activity) and those that carry with them a more inherent likelihood of harm. But those lines seem to have become blurred. Nowadays...if it CAN happen, that usually translates to, "it WILL happen." Although, this seems to conveniently neglect those actually dangerous activities that we deem necessary. It's bizarre to me. We have no qualms about hurtling through time in space in giant lumps of metal and fluid...travelling mere inches at times from thousands of other lumps of shrapnel moving at the same outrageous speeds (I'm pondering the insanity that is I-5 running through the Seattle area)...but someone swimming in a lake without a life jacket is deemed ''idiotic". I can't help but shake my head at the justified madness that makes this line of reasoning possible. Riding a bike without a helmet is sheer insanity, but slathering UNKOWN chemicals all over our bodies is socially acceptable? The cosmetic industry is worth BILLIONS...and they are accountable to no one. NO ONE. How about the industrial food system? Manufacturing? The endless stream of products that mere exposure to causes irreparable harm to our bodies? Pharmaceuticals? The plethora of ''wonder-products'' that kill undesirable ''pests'' (read: herbicides, pesticides, etc). These products contain NO information on what's in them...and NO ONE has any idea how they affect our environments or our bodies. I look at the world my daughter-in-law is growing up in...and the people in her life that are advocates of fear. They would have her become a potato to keep her safe. The world is dangerous. Don't do things that are dangerous (i.e. all things...any things...). But...let's go driving. Let's eat Burger King. Let's sit in front of the TV like lumps and get fat and depressed. Let's wear makeup to boost our self-esteem. Let's pander to the whitewash of marketing and let it run our lives. Let's encourage a zombie-nation of screen junkies (why aren't screen deemed illicit substances. They hurt more people than the so-called ''illicit'' drugs. Let's learn to repress because expressing is scary. Let's learn to be lazy and idle because doing is HARD...and hard things are scary. Failure is scary...so let's set our kids to never fail...and consequently snuff out their desire to actually try new things. Let's not think for ourselves or allow some calculated risk. Let's not get on our bikes are go exploring or climb mountains or go surfing. These things are all dangerous. And to be feared. And to be avoided. Let us be mired in the malleable realm of the-fear-that-knows-no-bounds. Let's hang out in the ''safe'' space of the internet where we can share our experiences of fear and keep everyone else ''safe'' by peddling our good intentions. Yes...let's be safe in our online bubbles. If I'm spending time in this space, I'm likely not out doing things that might actually be good for my body...or my mind. Let's use the chemicals. And drive the cars. And make a mess of whatever we feel like making a mess of so long as it serves the economy or allows us to look after ''our own''. barf... This whole pandemic business is just making it worse too. Forget about the fact that thousands of people die every day from a lack of basic human rights (i.e. clean drinking water, a safe place to be sheltered from the elements, a safe place to just BE, without being abused or raped or plundered by those with more power ). Those things didn't seem to matter much this time last year (no more or less than they do now). Not on the radar of affluence. But insert some risk of affluence and privilege being affected by the scary outside...yep...sound the alarm bells. Forget the fact that nature has it's ways. Forget the fact that we're currently a suffocating planet...drowning under the weight of over-consumption...over-extracting, over-re-producing, over-indulging, over-everything. Forget that. The affluent way of life is under attack! It actually feels disgusting to me. I wish nature had more power to balance out the disease of humanity. We've become too ''intelligent'' for our own good. What's the point of living if one is afraid of everything except for what's been pedalled as ''good''? We've been brainwashed. And it makes my heart hurt. Death isn't the end. It's not to be feared. And castrating life itself and the wellspring of abundance that comes from being present with it...well it's just not good for anyone or anything. There's a reason we're such a miserable species. And it's rooted in this prevalence of fear. The more we fear...the more we shut down...the more we hurt...the more we hurt others. Bottled up little powder kegs of suppressed rage. The two minutes on the news devoted to kittens and rainbows is a clear indication of our ADDICTION to fear. We're gluttons for bad news. We feed on it. There's something inside that has become so cut off from potential and wonder and splendour that it would rather feel like a pile of feces. It would rather take prescription medication than go for a walk. It would rather buy $5 instant garbage than create something or fix something. It would rather rot in it's own misery than do something for someone else. We really should be fearing the things that have become ubiquitous in this world. We should fear our own consumption habits. We should fear the marketing world that is accountable to NO ONE. We should fear the screens that keep us docile and deliver us to a narrow worldview. We should fear the people that would strip of us or basic RIGHT to be alive. Where is the tipping point? When do the things ACTUALLY WORTH FEARING become sufficient for us to get off our collective asses and make things BETTER...for EVERYONE...not just the affluent, over-consuming, mentally ill ones. How many people have to become tired of the shambles of a life not-lived...pissed at being fed the rhetoric of doom and swallowing it! I hope I live to see the revolution.
  3. I enjoyed this. I recall reading something from Oliver Sacks... that in his clinical career he discovered that the only true cures for depression were music (playing) and gardening. Therapeutic. I'm sure anything that you feel creatively invested in would work well; but, there is definitely something unique about playing music. The brain goes a bit crazy with activity. If you need extra encouragement...I'm happy to offer it. Find yourself a piano!! My enjoyment has only increased as an adult. I have a small sense of regret that I didn't do it sooner...like 15-20 years ago. I opted for digital...and didn't go for something cheap. Well worth it. The sound and the key action are superb...truly a treat.
  4. Hey Reality! Ha... a familar 'face' so-to-speak. The journals are where it's at. People shine when they're just observing and relating...as opposed to giving advice. That's been my experience at least. The best feedback I've ever received came in the form of active listening. Some thoughts in passing that weren't ever intended as ''advice''...just some friendly and/or compassionate words of shared experience. I'm surprised people read this at all sometimes...but then part of me really appreciates the fact that someone might anonymously feel something. It's all very passive. Screen addiction has become so ubiquitous. I fee some sadness about that. I think that's where the greatest sense of freedom comes from...not feeling the pull. That's always been the most painful aspect of addiction for me. The compulsive nature of servitude to something that hurts...in one way or another. There's a lot of time...for whatever. Sometimes it's just time for nothing...without filling the space with the screen. I imagine it's something that will come and go in this life. I can feel the creep sometimes. Responding to something in the practical world...and then ''BAM!'' I'm diddling some other realm of the inter-ether. Symptom of modern life. I feel for your son. Games are awesome in so many ways. But they lose what makes them awesome when they become a primary focus of life (just my opinion)...or an obsession. Thanks for saying HI :)
  5. I'm annoyed by entitlement today. Possibly the quality I like least in humans.
  6. the bubble of where i live... music... ena journals..
  7. hello old friend... it's a bubble. had a funny little ena thought today...so...here i am. i can recall a time when this place was a little crutch. might've been borderline addictive. hours a day...every day. perusing. contributing. beyond the normal interactions. i think most things work that way though. there's a fine line between participation and over-consumption. i'm glad it was here while it was here. some fantastic connections and insights from some lovely humans (a handful who have contributed snippets of wisdom on this journal...or just acted as anonymous ears for some emotional purges). there's some sincere gratitude there. addictions are funny little creatures. i spent years nurturing the screen addiction. reminiscent of the addiction that originally brought me here...and then the other addiction that was the fodder for the journal in the early days. addictions often travel in packs (no pun intended). they work together. it's why substance abuse is rarely isolated to single substances. well...it's part of the why. trauma the underlying precursor to most. perhaps. with the screen...i think part of it just boils down to the shear ubiquitous-ness of the screen world. i got wrapped up in the world of phone app games (one in particular). the gratification structure of this particular game...yikes. hit all the little reward centres. years. i spent years diddling my device because of that little game. there was an illusion of satisfaction buried in there. the usual justifications that come with all addictions. the game got me in front of the screen...and then there were other screen things to wrestle with. what a pit of despair! that's kind of how i see it anyway. wonderful tools these screens...but if i can trust the feedback of honest friends, i'm not alone in feeling like i was mostly being USED by the tool. so backwards. reminds me of how our minds our often using us. they run rampant. using us. using us. tools. using us? it's a bit mental. but i think it explains why humans are so uncomfortable when their minds stop (usually by accident) and they're left to ponder existence just as they are. terrifying. it's why we flea to distractions. it's why we'd rather watch netflix than sit in silence for 20 minutes. it's why we're so hungry for digital interaction. it's why we have trouble stopping...why we're perpetually busy. mm. long and short of it all...the screen addiction has left. cold turkey. the game account was deleted (which involved a lengthy exchange between myself and game creators. they were reluctant to delete my account. could have something to do with the fact that they've engineered the game to be highly addictive...to the tune of $800 million in profits last year -- some $2 billion in gross revenue). and...the motivation was the same as when i stopped smoking. a choice. both addictions give nothing. they take. and they leave a void of dissatisfaction and general unease in their wakes. and now...i've found that i don't interact with any screens for more than the most necessary tasks. there's the occasional text exchange. a westworld season 3 binge. research for building projects or how-to tutorials. but it's not obsessive. it's not mindless. and there are days where i don't even know where my phone is. it's opened up space... space. for anything and everything that feels better. maybe it's a nap with the cat. maybe it's a walk. maybe it's just doing nothing. maybe it's quality time with someone i care for. all of these things feel good in a nurturing way. overall...it's been a positive shift. i was pondering yesterday though...if even the things we perceive as ''healthy'' can become addictive. and if so...what the distinction is. for example...i bought a piano early last year...after 20 years without playing. and i've rediscovered that it is truly one of my happiest places. i sink into a place of peaceful focus that i find difficult to compare with anything else (competitive sport is perhaps the closest). it's a place of serenity. i can sit for hours if the home space allows for it. hours. completely immersed. and i justify this because it brings me joy. is that the distinction? i know it's doing wonderful things for my brain. and emotionally...i think it connects me with some well inside...because i feel a depth when i'm immersed. there is so much satisfaction. i wonder sometimes how i didn't make the purchase 20 years ago. there's a richness that's found new life. so...joy...richness...connection. do those things mean it's good for me? i'm hard-pressed to find something negative about it. it's not disruptive. it hasn't caused neglect in other aspects of life. there's another distinction. the pull isn't compulsive. it's not a need. i don't feel empty without it. hmm. and there's this. i often feel inspired and motivated to persevere... on a side note...i've temporarily put aside the relentless pursuit of savings and opted for some investment into a building project. girlfriend and i are building a sauna. and it feels...right. not cheap. but we do live in the land of cedar...so that part is appropriate. it's been a fun process. challenging in the right ways. and a delightful opportunity to put some of life's accumulated skills to work. i'm hoping we'll have it finished by the fall. maybe a few pictures by then. :)
  8. I had a similar thought. Don't know much about your relationship...but maybe it's an opportunity. No one can really know for sure. What's your gut say? Sexuality is a massive spectrum. We all slide along it in our own ways. Can't label a person for one preference or another. You'll never know what he was up to if you don't ask.
  9. Tough to be objective in the throes of it all. That's the beauty of space. Gives you a chance to explore your own depths honestly and openly. This is an opportunity if you choose to frame it that way. We're all a bit brainwashed by our social structures. There's no sense in either of you going back to what you had. You both deserve a chance to explore other aspects of your being. Best to move forward without attachment to a past that has played itself out. And besides, ''reconciliations'' that actually stand the test of time typically involve an element of newness (which is implicitly impossible without ample time apart). For whatever reason, the timing of your recent relationship wasn't quite right in terms going the distance. Maybe you weren't ready. Maybe she wasn't ready. You have things to learn. She has things to learn. You have an evolution to make within yourself...and so does she. Give yourself some time. This whole process is very cyclical. Some steps forward...some steps backwards, sideways, etc. There are gaps in the feelings though...and those are where the opportunities are. Just gotta be open when the gaps arrive. I can't think of a tough life situation that din't feel ''right'' when looking back on it some months/years later. These are the times we grow the most. There's some comfort in that. Maybe you've had the experience before...? Be patient with yourself. And gentle. Don't underestimate your own ability to adapt and grow. It's all unfamiliar right now. You've been thrown out of your little comfort bubble, and now there's not much to hold onto. Scary place. But you'll get through it. Courage!
  10. Ha! The old lizard. Not sure how much care he requires. Seems he's about as primordial as they come...just rolling along on instinct... Thanks for the feedback, Frazen. This has been a place of purging for me...so the flow has its roots in that. Usually just honest expression. Glad you said hello. :)
  11. This was a nice surprise. Thanks for your feedback, IAG. Been so many years here...and it warms me a little to know that there are still a few around from the relative beginning. It's good to have some reflections from someone who has witnessed some of my more exposed tendencies. Can always rely on honest feedback. I was actually thinking about you recently...and about something you said in a thread of mine from a couple years back. It had something to do with kids...specifically kids who have parens who don't live together. I think it was in regards to one parent's level of participation...particularly a very low level (as opposed to regular, consistent sharing between two stable parents). I've learned for myself just what that means. Looking back, if I'd known what I know now I would've bowed out. That's experiential wisdom for you though. It doesn't come from anyone else. I've had to live this one for myself. It's a bit of a mess...and I can't say I know the way forward. Seems so alien to me. So much beyond my control. A lot of acceptance of that which I have no ability to change. Hope you're doing well. Been ages since I checked in with the journal section here...
  12. ''The Wisdom of No Escape,'' by Pema Chodron. Not as well known as some of her others. As much to do with the timing of the first read...but really helped shake up my perspective on "the bigger picture". Love this woman.
  13. Up...down... Up...down... Just never ends, does it. The constant flow of life and its challenges. I feel emotionally challenged right now. There was a little window of physical un-wellness last week that bled into a long weekend...and it feels like it really contributed to a general feeling of emotional lowness. Been taking it out to some degree on my current relationship. Feeling a bit smothered by it...or the circumstances around it. There was a trigger that's been rolling around inside of me...and i've been trying to pin down what the root of the feeling is. Girlfriend met my uncle last year...just once when we stopped in for me to visit and make a little property exchange. This particular uncle doesn't often have a lot of communication with any of the family...but he took an instant liking to her. Gave her a beautiful piece of his particular art (an art that she also practices). He has a young son (similar in age to my girlfriend's daughter). They even have a mutual acquaintance from a remote living location where she used to live, and he once visited. Seemed to be an instant rapport. And since then, they've kept in contact...a little sporadically...but consistently over time. Now he's invited her to stop in around Christmas. I feel so irked by all of it. On some level, it feels really childish, my feelings. I think some part of me wanted to have a connection come through for a change. I feel like second-fiddle to her on this level. She's got instant likability with females...and an ability to connect quickly. And with men, especially older men, she seems to always have an in. So on some level, I'm jealous of this quality in her. I envy her ability to get in so quickly. On the other hand, part of me feels that she's being naive and the whole thing is actually inappropriate. I have this tingly gut feeling that the whole thing is just a little weird. We've got our own Christmas plans...and those plans would see us travelling in proximity to this uncle. It's a resounding ''no'' inside of me to want anything to do with that now. Could be some deeper sense of inadequacy shining through...because this just seems to be a trigger for other things I've been working on processing with this relationship. My relationship with her daughter has improved greatly. We're both much more consistent figures to each other at this stage. I'm possibly the most consistent male figure in her life at the moment. But I struggle with some of the ''affection'' that feels manipulative. It feels taboo to say, but when a 7-year old says that she loves me, my knee-jerk reaction is pure skepticism...and a degree of annoyance. What 7-year old can possibly understand love on any level other than a narcissistic one...one that revolves around her getting her own needs met. For the average 7-year old...the world revolves around her. Love isn't actually possible in that sense. And it's not a knock on kids...it's just the reality of development. We can't possibly love someone else until we realize that we're not the focal point of all life (hence why people that ''grow up'' without letting go of this feeling tend to struggle with relationships). It doesn't help that the words often come out layered with some creamy buttering. It's just a little too disney for me. I struggle with this role...because it feels so alien to me. I've had moments of genuine affection in the mix...and beyond that a sense of responsibility that trumps the feelings in general. Assuming I'm to be a part of this person's life and development, it's not my job to be a friend so much as it is to be a model of consistency. To be fair. To be kind. To model appropriate behaviour...and to help instil some level of emotional competence (it's ironic...I know...). I've also been questioning whether this relationship is compatible on the life-goal front. It sure feels like it is on some of the deeper levels. I get a bit bogged down with the financial side of things though...and it's something that comes back when I'm feeling less secure and/or threatened (see childish feelings around the uncle-business). I feel like I've discovered a new motivation for this on my own personal level...and it's something we've shared conversations about. She comes across as being on-board... but I question whether it's something she'd really be able to get behind on the most practical level. When it really comes down to it...I can't see it happening. Basic support for herself and her family...yes...but in terms of taking it a step further and preparing for a future on some level...nope. It feels important to me. Balancing this mission with a life that feels well-lived... I've been feeling little twinges of inadequacy...and I think behind it all that's what's got me really feeling the emotion right now. Kind of like I can't do enough here...where I'm at. That we're trying to integrate...to share life together...but there's resistance to actually do that. From me on an emotional level. From her on a more practical level. I have this willingness to participate, but seem to get a bit shafted on the duties and the responsibilities. It's not something I feel used to. Uncomfortable. They're all swirly, these thoughts. They come and go with the general energetic flow. I question my own ability to provide in this relationship...to transcend my own emotional blocks and learn better methods of communication. I get bogged down in feelings of resentment sometimes...and my old lizard wants to freeze or flee or some combination of those two responses. It just doesn't want to engage. It's a poor part of the dynamics...and maybe by doing my best to view it through a clearer lens I'll find some clarity. But the allure of fleeing is just so enticing. It's my particular emotional ''demon''...and one that I've become accustomed to. I'm not naive enough to believe that this particular relationship is the ''problem''. It's not...and I'm not a problem either...but it's interesting to come face to face with the same problematic behaviours. I think I'll mention the uncle thing to her. She deserves to know how I feel about it...regardless of whether or not she agrees or thinks my feelings are reasonable. She knows my feelings around the daughter ''love'' (and supports my feelings around it). We're still exploring some of the other things...and I think the onus is on me to be more courageous in expressing what I need in a partner. Seems a good place to end the little rant...
  14. I was wondering about this part. What do you mean about the middle ground? Is it the meaty substance...the depth of relating with others? Have a feeling I might be misinterpreting... I don't know you...or your history...your dynamic with yourself and others; although, reading through the thread it's difficult not to nod along with the others about this...that its run its course and ultimately there are just a few loose threads keeping the two of you tangled together in a pokey little dance. At the same time, it seems beneficial to examine what your ''other gut'' was suggesting. Perhaps that is best done when you've put this relationship to bed and moved on entirely though.
  15. Ya...foo foo on the tax implications. That's a major turn-off. I've been self-employed at times...but have yet to run into a major issue with the tax man. I'll consider myself lucky...and take your story into consideration moving forward. The time crunch doesn't feel like a happy place to me...energetically or otherwise. Maybe this is more like a hobby...with the added bonus of (maybe) leading to small doses of monetary prosperity. I don't really know yet. Vlogging has less appeal to me. Can't say why exactly. I suppose it's just not the medium I find myself exploring. Could be it's geared towards a slightly younger generation. Going to let this percolate for awhile. Appreciate all of the feedback!
  16. Yes. The income part is not necessary...but I have considered the idea that it could potentially provide a very small supplement (key word). The idea would be to nurture something I already enjoy doing during my periods of downtime (a six-month contract for me is often the equivalent of a full year of work for the 9-5, M-F job). So, I can afford to be selective in my process because it really isn't about feeding myself. Supplement. I've considered the idea of starting some sort of blog (although the word bothers me sometimes). That way I can practice the process and contribute things that interest me without any pressure to ''succeed'' in any way. Really just looking at ideas...what's worked for others.
  17. Good question. I haven't honestly given the specifics much thought. The creative stuff is too personal? I appreciate this suggestion. There are a few areas I could focus on...expanding a bit on what bluecastle alluded to...exploring areas of interest a little deeper. Not sure what the 1099 is. Not currently contracting...but it's always an option for me with what I do. Thanks for the feedback, Jibralta. :)
  18. There's an idea of money in there somewhere...but I'm not naive enough to think it'll be an easy process...and I'm not so sure it's the primary motivating factor. I've got an aptitude for writing that I'd like to nurture in some different ways. I like the bolded bit...inspiring. And your final suggestions are helpful...thank you.
  19. Do you think there are more casual opportunities out there? Where if it's not someone's primary means of earning a living the need to succeed is somewhat less critical? Do you have your own experience? Are you a writer? How did you start out? I appreciate the feedback. I don't expect that it'd be an easy thing to break into. More of a gradual process of trial and error...success and failure.
  20. I always like the idea of doing things that you already enjoy doing and either inviting someone else along, or finding a group that shares the same interest in a particular activity. Less emphasis on ''dating'' and more emphasis on sharing experience. If there's some additional chemistry...explore it. If not...move along.
  21. I appreciate your input, bluecastle! This helps to temper my expectations. Honestly, I'm not sure I'd have the stomach for it...but perhaps the fact that I wouldn't be dependent on writing for my well-being in life would mitigate that. I like your last line. Just take a stab at it. How can anyone else know what my experience will be? Your circumstances may be different...but how do you get contracts/gigs?
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