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"Inevitable" by Damien Jurado
November 11, 2018 Sunday 9:20 PM
So I think WWI ended on this date a century ago, but what I am more interested in today is the Othello strategy and how I've been living it my whole life. And it is the practice of undermining or understating yourself out loud (or, in my case—maybe Othello's too, idk, no textual evidence—internally as well) and this is done for the purpose of lowering expectations so that when you turn out to be competent or, occasionally, skilled, you are generally more well-received. This is a very low risk strategy which I employ because part of me thinks I am also just bad at things and its better if people know this so they won't be like "Fuck, you're terrible," when I make some kind of atrocious mistake. I think I do this to the extreme sometimes, wherein the people teaching me to Not be bad at something will give me less freedom than I am capable of having because I've told them I'm pretty much Dumb. And also I can't correct them because I really believe that I am incompetent, and that is a fear stronger than my suspicion that I'm smarter than I think.
I've just been thinking, is all. I have difficulty gauging where I stand. I don't care about all this literary theory. I don't care about structuralism, post-structuralism, aesthetics, etc. Honestly it all seems really stupid to me. Interesting sociologically, I guess, but once you get into the nitty gritty—needlessly opaque. This is because the only people who like analyzing literature and the ways in which literature is consumed/is influential are people who Actually Read Literature. And so when they write they write like scholars. There is no scientific clarity, no because A then B. Nah, instead of using human words I swear to god they metaphorize everything, draw huge circles around concepts and there's too much headspace so much that I basically fall out.
And I do it too! That's the worst part. I hope no one ever reads my writing with the hope of understanding it, because god, I don't think I'm really intending to communicate sometimes. If I am, it isn't on the level of straight words, it's more I want to eat you from the skin inward. Skinward, lmao. But then again, I am also not a theorist. So it feels a bit like none of my criticisms hold any water. I imagine anyone learned can tell me I'm wrong because I've misunderstood the basic concept and built my argument on a faulty foundation, which is frustratingly reminiscent of my dad for some reason. A few weeks ago when the parents were visiting I made some joke about how he'd argue/criticize some niche thing, and he didn't look at me when he said, "So that's how you think of me, huh?" and it was really sad. I love you, dad. I'm sorry.
I've been trying to talk to my friends more. I was in a bad mood last week, where I just felt sad and sensitive and I didn't want to speak to anyone. I realized I hadn't talked to Liv in probably a month and the same with Alexis, so I texted them. But I still feel far away and I had a small crisis about whether I'm a shitty friend. I don't want to be a good friend. I don't want to be anything to anyone. I just want to be there, and them to be here, and that is how it is. But I guess it's a bit childish to think of things being that simple. It's not really like that ever, not even when your kids. You grow away from them; it always happens. Now that I put minimal effort into my relationships, I am going to dive back into my solitude. I have 2 papers to write and I have a hard time sustaining my social persona at the same time I am doing academics.
I'm going to therapy tomorrow. Lancelot says I don't need to come to therapy every week anymore so now we're meeting twice a month. He says he thinks I'm on my way to being a healthy young adult, and that terrified me, wasn't sure why. I think I can't imagine not being sick; I think I'm terrified of everyone thinking I'm going to be not sick forever. Because I still get depressed. I just deal with it differently. Now, instead of thinking about cutting myself, instead of writing myself into a hole (which I still do sometimes lol), instead of just—dwelling, obsessing like I want to, I distract myself. And then I go to bed early. And I don't feel better the next day, but I have a certain amount of work I need to do, a certain threshold to reach beyond, before I can go back to bed and I usually don't finish those things until the evening and that's how it goes. I stop wanting to eat, sometimes I really do not let myself eat but never for too long at a time. Then I make myself put food in my body because I know I have a life in the coming days and so it doesn't really matter how I want to make myself suffer physically, because all that will do is compound my emotional suffering when it hinders me from going to class and shit.
And this is how I am. One time last month I was on the verge of tears and deeply wracked with some kind of—foundational insecurity, I don't know. I ordered Chipotle and ate it in bed and went to sleep at 7 PM and the next day I got up and did my work and it wasn't so bad. I don't know.
What I mean to say is, I am better at dealing with it. I feel like if anything is truly wrong I can keep it wrapped up inside until I see Lancelot. It's all so confusing to me. I don't know how I went from contemplating suicide in August to really only hating myself mildly now. And I'm scared that if eventually he's able to wean me off therapy I won't know what to do with myself. I don't know that I've actually built a support system outside of him. Actually—I really haven't. I still have a spectacularly hard time telling people when I am not okay.
What if they think when I'm out of therapy that I am cured?
Also—what if I AM mostly cured? Something that despairs me—is that I really can take care of myself now. I don't technically need a support system to listen to me when I'm sad. I can work it out alone as long as I have a private space. I think this poses a bit of a challenge if I ever get into a long-term serious relationship, because they'll want to touch me at times when I find myself so disgusting that I wince. And also imagine if we sleep in the same bed. I can't imagine sleeping in a bed with someone when I'm depressed. That would be horrible. I would cry if they nuzzled my neck bones, I'd feel so large and useless and inhuman. But these are all possible future problems. The main thing I'm saying is that, even though I can take care of myself, I don't know if I want to.
Well, whatetettetever. I am going to go try and write my essay and briefly study Russian so that I don't fail my test on Tuesday.