It’s the middle of the night, and the sleepies are missing. I went on Facebook to entertain myself until the sleepies returned from their break, but that was a bad idea. All sorts of ideas jumped in before the sleepies got back. My brain is on overdrive, unable to shut off.
There are a lot of topics on my mind, like how the differences in being raised male vs. female in a patriarchal society can cause those raised male to romanticize the experience of being female. I could write about trying to get back into journaling and how I want to use that to deal with issues that I’m not ready or at liberty to discuss online. I could discuss my recent failures and successes in sex, romance and polyamory. Or maybe a picture I saw of really yummy looking flan.
But you know I’m not going to talk about any of that. Instead we are going to have another rousing game of “What the Fuck is Wrong with Kitty!?!?!”.
Wooooo, yay!!! The crowd goes wild!
I saw three things on Facebook that came together starting a long conversation with myself and necessitating this post.
Watch this video, we can call it media aid #1 before continuing:
There was a time when I felt in control. I had goals and plans spanning years at a time. Every semester I could look at my lists and know exactly what classes I should take. I knew what I wanted to do with my life, from going to work the next day until I retired on to a farm decades later. I thought of myself as an “Epicurean,” not in the sense of eating great foods, but in the classical way. I wanted to work hard, stay focused, and have a life that maximized pleasure by minimizing pain. It was working.
Things changed. I changed.
From time to time I try to regain that sense of control. I read a book on productivity, buy a day planner, join a peer motivation group or make detailed lists and schedules on my phone. For a while it works, and I start getting things done. Generally the day-to-day stuff like cleaning and exercise get under control first. Once I feel confident in that, I start letting myself read, write, work on fancy garden projects, try to reconnect with friends, date, get a job, or make income. I start planning for a few weeks, a few months. But it never sticks.
I don’t know why.
I have theories. Is it that I’m too comfortable with my life? Am I afraid of change? Is this anxiety a chronic disease that I can’t defeat? Do I just not care enough? None of these seem to be the right answer, let alone a solution.
The plans and goals I work hardest at, and the ones I am most likely to be successful at, are the ones that affect the people I love or need. That brings us to media aid #2.
Am I a symbiotic parasite? Perhaps I find people that fill a need in my life. I then give them what they want: manual labor, money, sex, advice, support, etc. This makes them stay and do whatever it is I needed. Am I manipulating people into taking care of me? Am I lying to myself if I say that I not? Am I some monster that feeds off of others? If people who care about me read this and say “no, of course not” is it because I am just that good at the symbiotic part? Is there anything genuine about me? Am I writing this because the parasite part thinks it will help me manipulate the foods?
There are things that I want to do for me. I want to edit my first novel and publish it. I want to make money and do awesome cosplay. I like knitting, playing musical instruments, and dance. These things always end up at the end of my to-do list, because I know I’m not going to do them and I don’t want them blocking projects I will accomplish. I’m not going to actively do anything that doesn’t benefit the hosts I feed upon.
I’ve tried to get around this by convincing my loved ones that my goals benefit them. Some recent examples:
I actually said to my best friend, “If you make me do the work thing, I will give you $5 for everyday I make money. You can get $150 a month just by bothering me!”
More subtly I have tried to get people who have or had an interest in me sexually engaged in the idea of me getting back into dance. This is reasonable because it could lead to me being more flexible, thin and graceful, which could benefit them sexually or socially.
I have convinced my friend and publisher to call me once a week and shame me into working on a project for her in the hopes that this would motivate me to work on her project and my own.
I try every few days to get a friend or lover interested in my writing, so maybe they will want me to work on that.
Think about the fucked up that this is. I try to make you love me, so that you might then be willing to give me permission to love myself. This is going to have to go on near the top of the list on things that are most fucked up about Kitty. Why can’t I cut out the middle man and just love myself? It seems like it would take less time if nothing else.
This brings us to media aid #3
There was a time when my life was a first person RPG, super-open world format. I could grind if I wanted to, I could take side quests, or I could choose any number of big plot arcs. I could do anything that I planned out in my little gaming notebook.
Anxiety has made my playable world smaller. I worked so hard to level up as an accountant, but I can’t have an office job or that sort of responsibility. I used to think about going back to school and picking another character class, but that’s likely to be as much of a failure as accounting was. Every time I look around, the number of possible arcs decreases.
Recently I don’t feel like I’m the person playing anymore. I feel more like the character, just standing there in a tavern waiting to be moved, directed. That perhaps if a good player comes along at least I can finish this game in some respectable way. Or I can be used to farm gold for a more important character. I can keep being a changeable part of the game, keep having experiences, keep advancing.
I fear that option might close to me someday. That I will turn into an NPC, conveying one piece of information or helping the important characters by accomplishing a single task. What if someday I realize I’m just the tavern wench? What if being the tavern wench is all I can be, all I’m made for. What if being the tavern wench is what I actually want?