I'm Not Angry Anymore and Other Half-Truths
December 18, 2018 Tuesday 1:13 PM
I'ma just start with what's frustrating me: get the burning feeling out of my chest. I got a B on this paper, which would be fine but I don't know how I could improve my writing any further and so for a bit I was really annoyed and now I am sort of feeling insecure and I told Maria, "This is stupid. It's just a paper," and I guess me saying that was a more of a test than it was a realization (since—obviously), and she failed when she said, "That's what I've been trying to tell you. Don't take it personally."
And I said, "I take everything personally," hoping she'd remember when I said, in a cloud of annoyance two days ago, that I am easily hurt even when it is irrational but sometimes you just have to let me be hurt instead of telling me it's dumb. Because trust me, I know, and I'll get over it. But I don't think she remembered that. She said something along the lines of "just stop taking it personally since this guy sounds like an asshole anyway," and I was like, I don't know if he is an asshole, I don't trust my own judgment on these sorts of things, and she said sometimes you just have to make the assumption, which I am sure is true, and then I was like "I'm in the cry-against-the-wall-mood again." Two days ago I walked into Maria's room and started crying for no reason
(well, it wasn't no reason. I had had dinner with a friend, and a friend of a friend, and that stranger was Guatemalan and also kind of racist but against... white people? And honestly it made me feel really ashamed of myself and estranged from my heritage and overall just. Upset. And Maria is also latina, and from a place that is largely minorities—unlike my white upbringing—so she said that's just what it's like. People are racist but towards white people; and I know she's like that sometimes too, but I try to chill because I mean....... white people have been really lucky for generations......... and as we know, I already have an issue taking things too personally. White isn't supposed to mean people like me; it's not supposed to be a slur at all, right? It's supposed to be an empowerment or something. I don't know. I have very complicated feelings regarding this, which have only become more obvious as I spend less time around white people. I guess I feel more alienated from latinas than I do whites, though. It's just—a whole thing. And I felt so sad about it I started crying. I never wanted to speak spanish again; it felt like to do so was a pathetic attempt at crawling away from my whiteness. I—can't explain it. I've spent so long ignoring it it's wordless, shapeless, right now. Anyway. So I cried.)
yeah. Against a wall and quietly. I am also crying quietly now! I've been crying in public places for the last few months. Go me. Yeah, so. In response to my comment about being in a cry-against-the-wall-mood, Maria said something that I can't remember, like "pick a feeling," referring to my oscillating back and forth between shame and annoyance. And I just felt really bad.
I know I already have this issue where, no matter what someone says about me, I will probably believe them more than I believe myself—unless they are saying good and nice things. I always have this instinctual defensiveness, in which I'm like, no way are they right. And then I realize that they are probably more right than I am, since they are looking at my situation objectively. And then I just feel shitty about myself for being so stupid about everything, and feeling so much about nothing, and just—ugh. This is clearly tied back to my whole dad-thing, where I have all these memories of him telling me I'm wrong and me being defensive but in the end acquiescing. And of Adrian, and him telling me I was doing one thing, and me saying I was doing another, and in the end I believe him deep down despite my own experiences (because what are experiences? It's paradoxical, though, isn't it—because he's speaking from experience too, and anyone who knew him when I knew him would call me the more objective of the two of us. And yet!). It's just a weird historical self-esteem thing, maybe. I'm not mad at my dad about it anymore, but it's still powerful???? Which is... not surprising (I didn't expect his impact to just evaporate once I acknowledged it). Annoying, though.
I don't know. Even pointing it out makes me feel—stupid. How the fuck am I so influenced by this? Like, I want Maria to just listen instead of giving me advice and telling me what I'm doing wrong. But maybe that's not the most productive way to go about my life. Maybe I shouldn't try and manufacture this "listening" sort of environment. After all, I know I'm really hardheaded and stubborn. It's hard for me to see I'm wrong even when I am (which might seem like a contradiction to the I'm Always Wrong issue, but it's not really. The stubborn belief in my righteousness begets the self-doubt—because I know I'm prone to stubbornness, I obsessively counteract it).
So we had a really difficult conversation and I am really upset, but I don't think she knows I am upset about it because 1) I was already upset and 2) my anger is quiet and timid—again, see the whole self-doubt mess. I am just. Ugh. I don't understand why she can respect her own anxieties, but not mine. I keep trying to say it—YES, it's irrational. They're anxieties! YES, the only way to get over them is to face them or whatever shit you wanna say. That's what I'm doing! But it also helps me to talk them through!!! But again: I worry I'm just not doing this right.
Overall it has been a bad morning and I am going to go cry in the stairwell. Then I will go to the bathroom and dry my face off. And then I will come back and study for my exam tomorrow. And I will feel okay after that, because I've been feeling okay. Time and distance and some crying. That is all I need.