Monday, January 18, 2016

'Why did she say that?' and other random thoughts

Why did she say that? Doesn't she know that she's only perpetuating the vicious cycle of guilt women are expected to maintain in a patriarchy? I mean, I know Gwen Stefani isn't a feminist, but it's hard to reign in the part of me that says "You can't do that!" The goal for me would be to be more comfortable with my feminism. That way I won't feel influenced by former platinum blonde role models when their misogyny comes out to play.

My journey as a feminist has been a difficult one. My parents didn't bring me up to believe in equality between the genders. While they're both gender atypical, neither of them are overtly unconventional. They are some of my closest companions these days.

I am continuing this post in the next day, listening to Fever Ray's 2009 album on YouTube, thinking about Italy and Europe, since that's where the first part of 'Eat, Pray, Love' is set. My psychologist recommended the book to me as an example of an autobiography that, while still a good read, wasn't Shakespeare. She said I needed to read more books like that, so that I wasn't always comparing myself to la creme de la creme. Amazon reviewers have given it 3 1/2 stars out of 5, but I'm aware that books featuring a strong female presence get a lot of negative backlash, which is why I'm willing to bet it is worth more. 4 stars, at least.

I am not the most open person in the world, but I can articulate things that prove a pleasant surprise. I trust my inner voice fervently. I understand that the world doesn't offer many people who will be unconditionally kind to me, and it makes sense to me to protect myself, even at the expense of being as open as possible.

Continuing this post hours later from the last two paragraphs, I'm now finished with the Italian section of Elizabeth Gilbert's book, and I'd be lying if it didn't make me feel a twang of longing for Italy... Sicily has been on my list of places to visit for some time now, and I'd love to visit some Tuscan towns as well. Not to mention the birthplace of Italo Calvino, Turin. And while I'm at it, the Italian tourism industry has been promoting Puglia, which strikes me as sweet on the eye... maybe if I pray to the travel gods they will help me see all these sorts of places?


Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Emotions

I felt the drug working in my system, and a part of me died. The part that wanted to experience passion to my full capacity again. I felt like somebody might as well have said to me: "We don't care about you as a living, breathing, emotional human being. We want you neutered." I had no choice in the matter. I felt like a cat that had been desexed and declawed, and I should probably abstain from comparing myself to animals, since to be a mental health patient is to be dehumanised by so many, and maybe I'm even in on the action myself(?), but I can't help it.

Emotional problems persist to this day. While I was unwell I digested the paradigm of an emotionally repressed person. I somehow thought mimicking him was the bright thing to do. I was in a moral panic. I believed that I had to suppress my intellectual curiosity to prevent emotional pain. I've relaxed since then, but I'm also still haunted by trauma from a past relationship. Often it feels like I will never emerge from this state. Yet I keep doing what I can to keep hope alive.

I recently had a falling out with a man who identified as a feminist, yet acted in some distinctly sexist ways. I don't want to be too harsh on him, because he had done more emotional work than most guys his age, but a big part of me is relieved I no longer have to put up with his male entitlement. Even so, I feel his absence. I'm not a socially gregarious kind of person, and I don't have many friends. The loss of a budding friend makes itself known. I suspect most of us feel lonely and misunderstood, so ironically I'm not alone in that. *Sigh*

Tomorrow I will finally see my psychologist, after a two week absence. I expect the time to fly.