unico_love: (childlike empress)
There was a post on a forum I visit about regrets and I mentioned I have many. I can be very hard on myself and feel shame easily if I make a mistake or misunderstand something. Therefore, I tend to regret mistakes and I also feel ashamed and humiliated at the same time. I'm trying to learn to take criticism and correction better. They can lead me to be a better person, if the advice is good. And everyone makes mistakes -- people probably aren't always looking down on me and thinking I'm stupid just for a little mistake. I guess I'm still quite insecure about myself. Just like I used to always cry over my appearance, feeling ugly, I also fear looking dumb. That's probably partly because people used to think I wasn't very intelligent when I was younger and more obviously autistic. Also I did lose a friend who thought I was "too dumb" for him (even though there was no evidence he was more intelligent). I want to just accept myself for who I am, including my flaws, and put myself out in front of people -- ready to take criticism and either ignore it or apply what I've learned from it (depending on how useful the criticism was).
unico_love: (Unico)
I'm putting this under a cut because I've been posting a lot here today. It's about our church meeting where a small group of people meet and talk about the church and fill out our pledge form for how much money we intend to donate June 2011-May 2012. They are called "cottage meetings."
About the Cottage Meeting )
unico_love: (crystal ball)
I find that I get irritated with people too easily. I tend to like people very easily and quickly, but I also can get frustrated pretty quickly (though I often don't express it). This can lead to rather confused feelings, though I still like people, overall, and try to ignore the incident that bothered me. I prefer people to not judge me and to give me some leeway to make mistakes or say improper things, so I should give the same allowances to people I interact with. I would like to be a more laidback person. I dwell on problems when I would like to just let them go. I need everything in life to be consistent even though that is impossible. I, myself, am not completely consistent and can be hypocritical, as much as I hate hypocrisy. I try to be self-aware, though, and notice when I'm being unkind or unfair or contradicting myself unnecessarily. Not everyone has to agree with me or think like me. I have to really come to terms with that. Also sometimes problems are just due to miscommunication. In some ways I communicate more easily than a lot of people, but I still reach points where I have no idea how to communicate to someone when we are struggling to understand each other.
unico_love: (Delight)
I was feeling a bit depressed and anxious when I woke up this morning, but I pushed it aside and took a shower/got dressed and then went over to my mother's house. I talked to my mother and brother for awhile and then felt a lot better. I just think I need more interpersonal contact. I find it difficult and overwhelming to meet new people (it's much easier online), but I like having close friends and spending time with people. Even when I want to do independent activities like art or reading I like to be in the same room as people I like. It's very rare that I prefer to be completely alone. I do get overloaded at social events with a lot of people (especially if I don't know them well) and I am an introvert, but I'm not as introverted as some people I know.

Going by Jung's personality typology, I am Introverted Intuition dominant with Extroverted Feeling secondary. I definitely do relate to people most through my feeling faculty. Emotions, personal issues, values, evaluations of things from a personal perspective/likes and dislikes are what I like to talk about and the angle on which I tend to focus. I'm not as in to exchanging less emotion-ridden factual information the way a lot of autistics do, though I can monologue about my special interests and foci if given the opportunity. I have an intense interest in people and relationships and spend a lot of time thinking about them. I also think a lot about my own self and trying to understand myself, which is more introverted. My special interests like fairy tales and archetypes I try to apply to myself and relationships. I think it will be good for me once Michael lives here all the time.
unico_love: (crystal ball)
From: http://www.tenthousandquestions.com/2010_01_01_archive.html
Yes I am/have/can/do!
What are you trying to prove again and again?

Over and over I blow up at people, lash out, say judgmental things, etc. This often happens with people I love and whom I'm close to -- like friends. I'm trying to prove through improved behavior and countering my thoughts and overthinking tendencies that I can respect and show kindness to everyone and especially the people I most care about. If I have a problem that isn't minor and needs to be addressed, I can do that in a respectful and straightforward manner. I've made a lot of mistakes and I'm trying to improve my actions. It's gotten easier since increasing my Bipolar and anxiety medications.
unico_love: (childlike empress)
One goal I'm going to start working on, starting today, is cutting back on sweets and eating at least one fruit and one vegetable a day. I've been mainly eating apples because they last long, aren't too expensive, and contain some fiber. Ever since starting to recover from anorexia I've had constipation problems and eating healthier and drinking more water might help that.

Today two books arrived that I ordered: The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin and The How of Happiness by Sonia Lyubomirsky. I'm starting with The Happiness Project since I've read the whole blog (I think). So far since even before I came across the blog and was just doing "Ten Thousand Questions" I had determined a new major goal of being a happier person, which will also come with the great effects of influencing others with more positive energy, getting more done, and having better relationships. My Bipolar is pretty under control now, and my anxiety is pretty controlled with my pills. I'm not deeply depressed, just a bit stuck on old things I need to let go.

Some things I've been reading really hit me, like the fact that if you aren't busy enough you can get into negative thought loops. I haven't been keeping busy enough. I've been slacking off on art and writing and intend to increase my productivity in those areas. I'm also going to keep up with the reading and maybe take more notes on what I read, since I can learn from anything or come up with inspired ideas -- both by reading fiction and non-fiction. I also intend to exercise (at least stretches and simple ballet and yoga) every day for a short while and ride my bicycle twice a week if possible. I've already switched over into always getting dressed and putting on make up everyday because I heard it's better for your mood to always do your morning routine and get ready, even if you're staying at home. So far I think it's helping me and encouraging me to be more active. I intend to volunteer at the no-kill cat shelter after I return from Michael's next week. I will probably miss this month's orientation, though:( But they said I could also be individually trained. I mainly want to work with the cats directly (a cat socializer) or introducing prospective adopters to the cats. I also wouldn't mind feeding, but I would rather only do clean up if they really needed me to do that (I worry more about washing floors than cleaning litter boxes).

I'm feeling better about Amber and Tim and all my friends in general. As time passes I'm also slowly getting over Him. I don't want to hate him, but I do hope he goes through struggles until he learns what he's been doing is wrong and makes an effort to change his ways and to apologize to those he abused. I might still talk to people or write about when people bother me, but I will try to sound neutral instead of blameful and name calling. My psychologist thinks He is a narcissist (and several friends I've talked to about Him agree) and narcissists are usually pretty unhappy people, hiding their deep-down insecurities. I'd rather be me than him.
unico_love: (crystal ball)
Today I visited April and we walked to the comic book store (at least I got some exercise in!) and we watched Buffy the Vampire Slayer. They were actually episodes I was familiar with. I should watch more of the series someday. It was also fun just talking to April. It's nice to get out of the house and I usually feel better in the presence of other people. I've got her interested in The Happiness Project, too, now:-) I hope the book comes into the library before Michael comes over to my house. I got my dates confused and Michael is coming here on Friday and then the following Saturday is when we go to the zoo and then his house. That's fine, as long as I have his company! I'm not good by myself. I also ruminate way too much which can worsen my mood or make me focus on unpleasant things or even concoct long streams of vitriol I want to say to someone whom I feel has been cruel or selfish. I'm working on all of that. I'm going to try to be less critical of myself and of other people. I will try going through the motions and acting happy-ish to see if that can turn my mood around when I'm feeling rather negative. I'm going to keep making short-term goals for myself that lead to longer term goals. I'm feeling pretty hopeful and good today.
unico_love: (childlike empress)
I've been reading The Happiness Project blog: http://www.happiness-project.com/happiness_project/

I put the book based on the blog on-hold at Michael's library. I find the blog really helpful in understanding what's holding me back from a more general happiness and finding things I can do to increase my happiness. I used to be made happy very easily, and I can still get pleased very easily, but I have a lot of anxiety and sometimes depression (often related to my obsessions, though). I do believe that if I'm happy it will help make other people happy and if I try to help make others happy that will make me happy. And I definitely can be too critical of people and in my mind make up huge arguments and explanations for why I think someone is doing something wrong or isn't a very good person or has "x" as a fault. Like the blog suggested, I should just try to be kind to people, try to understand their perspective, and try to avoid thinking critical thoughts of people I find difficult. Things will go more smoothly if I look at things and people from an optimistic perspective and I will have less petty problems. It will be helpful in making and keeping friends, too.

Also I do know isolation makes unhappiness worse for me and the blog talks a lot about how for most activities most people are happier to have other people involved in some way. Acts of kindness and service help many be happier and happier people more often volunteer and work on helping others be happy. When you're really depressed often your energy is drained and you can become very self-focused (not that this is the depressed person's fault). I already do my 5 daily gratitudes, which is a good step forward, but there's a lot more I could be doing. I'm going to try to do things I really enjoy, be as authentic and myself as possible, accept people for who they are instead of imagining changing them, and soon hopefully get back into volunteer work (probably after Michael moves in so he can drive me). I used to be a very happy person and I'm determined to be that way again. Ultimately I am in control of my own happiness and have the opportunity to make choices to increase my happiness (and, by virtue of that, increase the happiness of people around me).
unico_love: (Cat mask)
I have a tendency to obsess and/or perseverate on people. It's thought I may have OCD partly because of my intense, negative obsession on certain people and certain social encounters. I do have other OCD tendencies, though. For awhile I doubted I had autism/Asperger's because I was so intensely focused on people, but it really started in college (though I had some long-term obsessions over individuals prior to that, I didn't really focus on my social situation as a whole or get really "into" friends in a normal way). I wanted to make friends and make people feel good just by being a nice person. I generally like people, so this wasn't an arduous task -- it just meant focusing in more on each person's situation, buying more gifts, offering help whenever possible, trying to always be emotionally supportive, etc. I figured I had a lot of emotional reciprocity, but in reality a lot of the people I hyperfocused on weren't as focused on me, so it wasn't so reciprocal. Sometimes this bothered me and sometimes it didn't. I was really focused on being as giving and kind as possible in college and my goal wasn't to make everyone like me so much as to be a good person. Though I loved it when people seemed to really like me. And I was heartbroken when people I'd been close to seemed to distance themselves from me. That still is really hard for me to cope with. I get very attached to people and the attachment only really disappears if the person was quite abusive and made me feel bad.

I regret the people I've hurt -- because despite my usually good intentions, sometimes I can be extremely verbally cruel. Usually it's always some verbal lashing out. Not rumors or cruelty in other manners, but verbal cruelty can do a lot of damage. I know it does to me. I am sorry to the people I blew off, thinking I didn't really do much wrong, because I was hyperfocused on helping/gaining the attention of another person at the time. I've been mean to a lot of friends at some time or another -- sometimes when I was focusing on another person and sometimes when I was focusing on them and became frustrated at things not going how I wanted. I'm so lucky I have such good friends that have, for the most part, forgiven me. I want to be less codependent and just be kind to people because I like doing so, without hoping for too much in return. I love close relationships so sometimes I hope for too much or ask for too much from someone. I need to develop more emotional independence. I think with that I would be kinder, too, because I wouldn't have those desperate emotions I sometimes get. I have April and Mireia and now even Maria (though Mireia and Maria are long-distance friends so I can't just get together with them or anything). Amber can't be close to me right now, but hopefully someday our relationship will return to normal. If it doesn't, I'm just going to have to find out a way to cope somehow. Though it is awfully painful to think of losing her after we spent years so close.

I suppose one quality I actually do like in myself is my lack of pretensions. I tend to mean exactly what I say, say things in whole so there are no misleading sentiments, and feeling like I know who I am and not having to prove anything to anyone. If I act like I like you, I like you, and if I don't like you, I ignore you or tell you why I don't like you. In college I still tried to like people who were inherently abusive and wouldn't stand up to them. I'd just feel bad for them. I still tend to feel bad when someone has problems, but I no longer put on a false smile to please them. I try to be very open about the kind of person I am and my strengths and weaknesses.
unico_love: (childlike empress)
A friend on Facebook wrote down this quote, and I want to remember it:
"We compromised our pride and sacrificed our health / We must demand more not from each other, but more from ourselves." - Jewel, "Deep Water"

Often I can be very demanding in what I expect from people. I always expect people to have the best of intentions and to keep promises and make great efforts. I get disappointed fairly easily in people, though I don't often show it, or I try to compensate for it. I also just ignore imperfections when I put people on pedestals, but then sometimes if they do something "wrong" I get disproportionately upset with them. I fall apart emotionally if something goes wrong in a personal relationship. I often think if people did things how I wanted I would be so much happier and so would they. Maybe sometimes that's true, but often it isn't, and people have to follow their own paths. Instead of judging people or trying to control them (even mentally) I should show my respect for their choices, beliefs, and preferences. I should love them for who they are and what they want to be. If they seem to be making bad choices, I can try to help out if they want me to, and I can be supportive, but ultimately their life is up to them and I can still care about them just as much. I certainly can't live up to everyone's expectations. And there are so many flaws and faults I do possess that I should be working on instead of nitpicking others. I want to be a better person and that should be my main focus.

Some things to improve:
-Getting easily frustrated with people I have a miscommunication with or who holds a different opinion from me
-Getting frustrated when people try to debate with me
-Judging people who say or do something unnecessarily mean instead of just judging their action and realizing I don't know what's going through the guilty person's mind
-Holding grudges when people have moved on from the disagreement
-Assuming certain people possess negative qualities because they trigger an insecurity in me
-Lashing out when I get triggered
-Saying/doing really nasty things when I'm upset with someone instead of being honest in a simple and calm way
unico_love: (childlike empress)
I've been feeling pretty calm and reflective today. I took Adipex and Klonopin together when I first got up, and it seems to be working. I'm reading a book called Small Miracles of Love and Friendship by Halberstam and Leventhal. It's a book about positive synchronicities. I'm always noticing synchronicities in my own life, or other coincidences that seem meaningful in some way. Everything in life is filled with some type of meaning for me. That is probably one reason I was (mis)diagnosed with Schizotypal Personality Disorder a long time ago.

It's amazing how I have come to know all my friends (and ex-friends). If situations had just been slightly different I may never have come to know them at all, or at least wouldn't have become attached to them. Every little thing in my relationships seems important and makes me feel something -- even things that seem minuscule and probably unimportant to other people. I usually pay attention to details. I want to enjoy everyone I meet and to have as positive an experience as possible.

In retrospect, even the people and situations that made me feel suicidal feel necessary and important once I've recovered. I've learned more about the kind of person I want to be and the kind of person I don't want to be. Assumptions I once naively made get turned around with experience. I hope to continue to grow closer to the people I know and to meet many more fascinating, kind people that have a lot to teach me. I hope I can learn better social skills to find ways to meet more people (even for just brief encounters) and have less awkward interactions. I think there must be a way of doing this while still being true to myself.

Despite my sometimes severe depressions and feelings of dirtiness resulting from my PTSD, I do sometimes like who I am, some of my qualities and abilities, and I don't always think I mess up. I know I'm constantly improving with hard work, which sometimes satiates me. I would like to be able to handle criticism better, though, so I don't lash out in frustration or feel stupid. I want to become more diplomatic in communication. I'd also like to be better at judging actions as some degree of right or wrong and to become a less "black and white" thinker; also I want to stop judging people as human beings because they make bad choices or don't seem to care. I can't help or change everyone. It's not my duty and to try and change others is presumptuous.
unico_love: (Cat mask)
I've always had a problem where I think people can read my mind. I'm not psychotic -- I know people aren't literally reading my mind; however, I always intuitively fall into the pattern of acting and reacting like people know exactly what I feel and think. Over the years I've gotten better at talking/writing directly about my feelings and thoughts and personal patterns to hopefully make a connection with people and have meaningful communication.

I hate fighting and most other people do too. I do believe it is possible, like my workbooks and some books say, people always try their best and choose the behavior that they think will best help them survive and the behavior they think will help align their priorities. Many people I interact with have good intentions and just hit a sensitive area with me and I overreact. I assume they know me inside-out and know what they are doing or saying will upset me and why it will upset me. I expect everyone's line of reasoning will match my own, because my own tends to be pretty clear and unmuddled. I think I tend to understand myself fairly well, including my faults. There are other ways of experiencing life than the way I experience it and that's okay. People have different strengths and weaknesses. I have to do my job of listening to other people, giving them the benefit of the doubt and trying to talk things out in a nonaccusatory way. I have to admit that sometimes people might not have done something wrong, just something that makes me uncomfortable and hits a touchy area. It's stupid to be accusatory and devaluing of people who are obviously trying to help, just in ways that don't work with me. I have to let people be who they are and work out their own difficulties without jumping to conclusions that they are intentionally being cruel just because something doesn't go perfectly in our interaction.

This is a major reason why I usually prefer people to say that they don't know how to answer my questions (I can question obsessively when upset) or to say they're too confused to continue the conversation. I can understand that sometimes people might not understand because their brain doesn't work as mine. A neutral statement like the one I just described won't upset me as much as many other options and it will get me to back off as I know continued pressure will just confuse them further. Usually after the fight or confused conversation is over I feel guilty for saying negative things when the other person was probably trying hard to get along with me or even help me.
unico_love: (Delight)
I often have an uptight and anxious personality and I have a need to make sense of every little thing. These types of qualities have led me to get very frustrated or angry when things don't go as planned or if there's some kind of miscommunication. I really related to all the different causes of anger stated in this book and I found the advice very helpful. I often feel anger out of fear or feeling a lack of control. In the heat of the moment I tend to forget people are people and make mistakes and have their own emotions; I treat people as "logic machines." I need to learn to control my actions better and to deal with problems assertively yet respectfully.

I am also very interested in learning to forgive people as a means of healing and getting past difficult events. I have post traumatic stress disorder and have gone through some traumatic more recent interpersonal problems; obsessing about them does me no good. Sometimes I think I've forgiven someone and then a bad event happens (internally or externally) and I get angry all over again. I have to learn to put things to rest and demonstrate the qualities I want associated with me -- not the anger, disrespect, and cruelty.
unico_love: (Amalthea)
I have yet another problem with people. When a touchy subject comes up I often lash out. I get very narrow-minded and hyperfocused. I can sound over-analytical and nitpicky. Anything to make the world make sense again. Anything to be understood by others, even though that unfortunately means putting myself in a negative light. I just don't communicate like others and sometimes I sound more disliking of someone than I am. I get triggered on certain topics and react way too fast, I get racing thoughts, etc. I do really want to be a kind and compassionate person. I wish I didn't have these obsessions and sensitivities. I wish I could just get along with everyone. I feel so behind and alone sometimes. I wish my understanding of reality collided with other people's understanding of reality more often. I make rash decisions, but even when I put them off that just makes my volatility worse.
unico_love: (Cat mask)
People don't make any sense to me. They constantly contradict themselves, often knowingly. I don't know if it's because they change their minds a lot or if they just aren't sure of something when they make a statement and then behave in ways or later makes a statement that contradicts their initial stance. I don't know where I stand with people or what people think of me or what people want to me. Sometimes I try to be very straightforward but I feel I'm making no progress and people still think I'm being sneaky or manipulative. I try very hard to be honest and non-manipulative... Sometimes I'm pathetic and I guess people might pity me then, but I'm not trying to convince them to help me. My general feelings and goals rarely change. Sometimes they change, but the change is very marked and not a very gray area. On Klonopin I can become all lovey and forgiving so sometimes that does sway my normal opinions and goals. Sometimes I get moments of euphoria where I have faith in everyone and feel at one with everything. That can lead me to act very different than when I'm in panic mode. I want to make sense to people just like I want other people to make sense to me. After my college phase of "putting on a happy face" there hasn't been much of a time where I felt my persona/social mask usually contradicted my true self/internal self. Sometimes I force myself to smile and talk when I'm overloaded and scared and with strangers, but I don't say anything untrue, and I prefer my words to be taken literally.
unico_love: (Unico)
Despite my anxiety, which is usually present when I wake up (sometimes from bad dreams), I have a lot to be grateful for right now. I seem to be adapting to some changing in my lifestyle and friends. I have Michael, who tolerates all the emotional problems I have and my other kind of difficulties; I am growing closer to Amber again; I talk to Izzy on a regular basis, who has become a great friend; I have penpals I like and whom I enjoy writing. Many people on LiveJournal are kind to me and I enjoy interacting with them. I've seen less of April lately, but I know it's not because she's mad at me; it's just that she's depressed. Hopefully she'll feel better soon and we can spend some time together like we used to do. And Phil (her husband), too, of course! I get along with my mother and she helps me a lot and I have fun with her and her boyfriend. I've had someone (Anna) show interest in my paintings, which usually sit around my house just existing. And she and I textmessage now (I love textmessaging). Renee sent me a letter and drawing and now I have another activity I can do (making her a drawing). I'm starting to write more in my private journal, I'm writing more short stories, and I'm slowly doing more art again. I will start a painting soon, when I figure out subject matter. It may be a fantastical painting of a face again. I like those...

I have been hurt and betrayed by people in the past, but it has not caused me to lose my ability to trust or to love. I love so many people. And even though I get really touchy and reactive over a few subjects, my angry feelings wear off eventually. I only ever need to take Klonopin once a day, which is fortunate. It just seems to flip a switch in my mind and I become more positive and proactive.
unico_love: (Asuka in green)
I just finished reading Dance of Deception by Harriet Lerner. It taught me a lot about the difference between honesty and truth-telling. I am usually bluntly honest but there are certain instances (such as trying to hide family secrets) when I did lie. I can be too tough on people for lying, though I do agree with the book that sometimes when people lie it's not to protect you, but because they don't feel like dealing with your pain. Certain information handled bluntly can really hurt other people unnecessarily and make them defensive instead of more likely to understand your perspective. A slower process of truth-telling tends to be more helpful than sudden bursts of difficult honesty.
unico_love: (crystal ball)
I just finished reading Dance of Deception by Harriet Lerner. It taught me a lot about the difference between honesty and truth-telling. I am usually bluntly honest but there are certain instances (such as trying to hide family secrets) when I did lie. I can be too tough on people for lying, though I do agree with the book that sometimes when people lie it's not to protect you, but because they don't feel like dealing with your pain. Certain information handled bluntly can really hurt other people unnecessarily and make them defensive instead of more likely to understand your perspective. A slower process of truth-telling tends to be more helpful than sudden bursts of difficult honesty.
unico_love: (labyrinth reading)
Usually I like textmessaging. I prefer written communication over oral, usually. My brother, on the other hand, is an exception. He textmessages short bits of nonsense, and textmessages over and over in rapid succession so I don't have time to reply or ask him what he's talking about. It would be easier just to talk to him on the phone to get him to clarify things. Not to mention his spelling and grammar are terrible.
unico_love: (Hotaru black dress)
Someone called me twice today speaking a language I didn't recognize. I told them in English they had the wrong number, but they just kept speaking their language. I eventually hung up. They called back but I didn't answer. Maybe they got my (English) voicemeail and finally understood they had the wrong number. Hopefully they won't call back. I hate the phone.

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August 2013

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