Underneath my yellow skin

Tag Archives: past me

Letting go and moving on organically

I have difficulties letting go of how I see myself. I think of myself in terms of absolutes such as, “I am a negative person”, and “I am lazy”. Once I get an idea about myself, I can’t move past it. It’s fine with such things as, “My favorite color is black” because it doesn’t really matter if I change that or not. It’s not so fine when it impedes me, such as, “I hateĀ  people.” I mean, it’s ok that I hate people, but it’s not realistic to think I’m going to go through my life never talking to people at all. Also, it’s not completely true. I don’t hate all people or even most people. Just certain ones, and if I have to be around lots and lots of people, then I hate the idea of it and not necessarily the people themselves.

I keep thinking about how I didn’t care about Christmas this year, in a positive way. Short explanation: I hate Christmas. Or rather, I did. For many reasons, I became grumpy about it right after Thanksgiving, and it lasted until New Year’s Day. I would notice all the Christmas bullshit around me, and I would gnash my teeth at my hatred of all things Saint Nick. This year, I didn’t even really notice it was Christmas until a few days before when my brother invited me over for dinner Christmas Eve. I wasn’t going to go, but then, to my surprise, I thought, “Why not?” I went and had a good time, and that was the end of Christmas for me.

I know it doesn’t sound thrilling, and in some ways, it scans as a subtle neg. “I didn’t even realize it was Christmas until it was over–that’s how little it means to me!” But, you have to take me at my word when I say it really is a positive thing because it freed up so much of my mind and heart in the months leading up to Christmas. I say it started the day after Thanksgiving, but oftentimes, it was earlier than that because Christmas commercials start earlier and earlier every year. I don’t watch any TV and rarely listen to the radio, but that doesn’t mean the collective unconsciousness doesn’t seep into my brain as well.

My point is that I didn’t force myself to be chipper and cheerful and to pretend that I love Christmas while internally seething. I didn’t grit my teeth and endure it while resenting it with every fiber of my being–which I’ve done in the past–I just didn’t care about it. It was so freeing, and it wasn’t something I could make myself do it. Which is one of my issues with how obsessed with positivity this country is. Don’t worry. That isn’t the main point of this post, but I had to throw it out there.

It was strange for me not to choke with burning resentment against Christmas this year, and I was at a lost as to what to do with it. I mean, being anti-Christmas had been a part of me for such a long time, I felt as if I lost a part of myself. It’s not a bad thing, but it is an adjustment. An absence of a negative is still an absence, and I still think about it from time to time. Fortunately, it’s not something I have to replace with something else, but it’s still something I have to adjust to.

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I wish I were Frankenstein

who dat?
Take a good hard look.

When I think of past mes, I feel detached from them. I examine them as if I’m an anthropologist or sociologist or, quite frankly, psychologist rather than me looking at me. I don’t recognize any of them, and they certainly don’t feel as if they are a part of me. I feel a lot of compassion for them, but I don’t feel connected to them in any way. Yeah, I know how that sounds, but it’s the truth.

I don’t like myself. I never have, and I don’t know if I ever will. However, there are parts of each of the past mes that I actually admire. Let’s go over them quickly.

Minna 1.0 (0-5) was fearless and brave by all accounts. My mom used to love to tell the story of how my brother was being bullied by some kids, and I chased them away from him. I was two and he was five. Another story my mom would tell (and confirmed by other relatives) was how I would jump off the coffee table in the living room and yell, “Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches!”, displaying my early love for performing. I don’t remember this me at all except we were at Disneyland (that’s the one in CA, right?) watching some ice-skating Animatronics-like figures, and all I could see was the grooves in the ‘ice’ and the mechanical spikes moving the figures around. I was disappointed it wasn’t the real thing.

I wish I remember Minna 1.0 because she sounds like one badass girl.

Minna 2.0 (5-10) had a troubled childhood. I realized I was going to die when I was seven, and it’s all been downhill since then. Not coincidentally, my depression started at the same time (not for that reason), but, on the positive side, so did my creativity and love for the written word. I apparently taught myself to read at age four (another part of the badassery of Minna 1.0), and it was my escape ever since. I was first bullied when I was in first grade, and it didn’t end for the next twelve years. I escaped by reading every book I could get my hands on (in the days before Kindle and the internet because I’m an Old), and I started writing poetry. That was how I coped with hating life, and while it wasn’t the best coping method, it did keep me alive.

Minna 3.0 (11-20) is the one who brings out the most compassion in me. Oh dear. What can I say about her that is positive? Honestly, not much. Those years were by far the worst of my life, and I can’t remember many having many happy times or victories in life. I will say I got my first boyfriend during this time and we dated for two years. That relationship set me up for many of the dysfunctional romances in my life because I was not mature enough to relationship well. It was also the beginning of my eating disorders, which I still struggle with now. I can’t help thinking how if I had gotten a good therapist when I was in this period, my life might look seriously different now.

Minna 4.0 (21-40) is probably the most interesting of the bunch and the one who accomplished the most. She’s also the one who experienced a really traumatic experience in a relationship in a foreign country, and that’s another thing that shaped my romantic/sexual history. I didn’t deal with that well at all, and I’m still handling the ramifications of that ‘relationship’. Not coincidentally, I did a lot of sexual experimentation during this time, which is not an uncommon reaction to sexual trauma.

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