Being born -hopefully positive

This seems to be leading good places. Sorry to bother you again, diary, but talking is helping and I'd like to continue.

It seems important to be clear on something. Dying simply isn't appealing. The destination is no longer the most important part of the journey. Finally. But I've bumped into my mortality closely enough and often enough that the thought of losing my life just isn't that scary. Don't get me wrong, I'm glad to have a life despite (or even because of) the limitations. I'm also not put off by the thought of my body passing. It could also be easy to tilt the balance so that I drift in that direction regardless of intention.

I think now I get to enjoy seeing my daughter live her life free of entanglement. The traumas we went through were devastating. There were huge variations, but there was enough overlap and common experience for her to mistake my disregard for death as a Quixotic quest in its pursuit. I gave her a bad template for becoming an adult. That's forgivable and she seems to be fixing it herself.

I don't even have to try to provide a better template. I just need to handle my own backlog of shit. Just doing that gives her a template for aging gracefully and it leaves room for me to retain a spot of dignity. In the meantime, she gets to discover her life. Maybe she'll pursue a career, maybe she'll marry, maybe she'll have a child of her own, or maybe she'll tend a garden. Maybe it will be all of the above or none at all. It's all good as long as she's choosing a direction. She's doing it and I can rest a little without feeling like a failure. I didn't blow it when it mattered and it's not too late.

Jeez, there is work to do. That seems like enough for now, time to bundle up.
Short note for the day. The last few have sucked. Body feels beaten, stomach won't relax.

But, I have slept better than I have in years. Turns out one step father was in special forces in Viet Nam and that may explain some things.

That's it for now.
Figuring some things out, some good, do I know?

The Viet Nam vet for a stepfather thing is odd. He was only around for 3 or so years. Of course my mother tried replacing him with a string of other vets, each more damaged than the prior one. They were all trying to be "good guys" by their estimation, offering to teach me "how to be a man." I don't blame them, but yeah that screwed with my head.

Within no time at all I became my kid stepsister's protector very early on and the job was protecting the kid from a drunken out of control mother and her veteran friends who had no clue how to handle their own shit.

No wonder I have one hell of a time communicating with combat veterans. They freak me the hell out even when they're being kind. And when their stateside counterparts get around to doing things that are unkind...I get into an extremely bad headspace.

Pete Walker's book talks about fight/flight/freeze/fawn trauma responses, both as healthy responses to stress and as pathological responses in cases of trauma. I think I'm trying to learn how to do none of those things without disassociating or depersonalizing, like I want to be able to float in the emotions without drowning in them. It's necessary for me right now. The source of the present trauma is inescapable. The only way through point a to point b is walking the path.

Not fun at all. Iced tea is good though, so think I'll be enjoying that for the night.
f*ck it, sorry for anyone bored enough to be reading this, but I'm learning it doesn't do me any good to go to sleep with icck in my head. Sort of like you shouldn't go to bed angry. It's just bad for sleep and bad for digestion. This trauma shit sucks and it always has. Maybe it can be better even if the symptoms don't go away.

I like the song "San Luis" by Gregory Alan Isakov. Great line. "I'm a ghost of you, you're a ghost of me. A bird's eye view of San Luis." Is it self-referential as in an older person talking to their younger self? Or is it more like a Dave Mason tune, two characters reflecting back on hard times? Dunno. There was scary shit down there and it doesn't look quite so bad with a bird's eye view.

I like the song "It Ain't Over til it's Over" by Lenny Kravitz even after my ex made a point of blasting it around me. Some of that mess is over and it's over because I chose to end it. I won custody when my crazy ex was harming our child. Recovery is ongoing, but that source of damage is over. It ended when she drank herself to death while wearing a diaper in a stranger's home.

I like some things written by Alan Moore and even more stuff written by Guy Gavriel Kay. Both seem to understand that those rare moments of grace are never earned; they happen by accident. If we play our cards right and learn to listen to the underlying celestial groove that moves through our lives, maybe, just maybe, we can tilt the balance towards accidental grace. We can leave room for good things to happen. But we have to pay attention so we don't miss them when they happen.

Sounds like a bunch of happy horseshit to me right this very moment, but f*ck it. That is exactly the kind of thing I prayed for in my own way as a small child. It is exactly the kind of hope I tried to foster with and for others for most of my life. Maybe it is happy horseshit, but I don't have to be embarrassed by it. Now, if I can only let go of the anger.
Thank you, littleoc. 🥰 Right or wrong, it feels a little like you're looking out for me and I appreciate that, like, a lot.

Whatever this is doing, it seems like it's helping with some things and I need to keep running with it for now at least.

Not so very long ago some people hurt me physically (not so badly in the greater scheme of things, probably fair to call it "mild" torture.). Honestly, it would have been par for the course at Abu Ghraib if the stories are true. The part of that which is easier to talk about is the fact that they drugged the hell out of me. I'm not sure what it was. I think it was either supposed to erase a huge chunk of memory or it was intended to drive me to suicide, one way or another. It very nearly worked. It did wipe out big blocks of memory. It did drive me to try harming myself on a few occasions. Looking back, it's hard to see how I'm still alive.. There was one point where I lost over half of my blood volume. That alone should have done it. Self-harm is in the past now, I'm done with it. But, wow, avoiding indulgence in revenge fantasy can be a challenge.

Maybe a year ago, my child experienced a psychotic break and I had to try having the child involuntarily committed. Afterwards, I went into the hospital due to a condition that causes chronic pain. Two days into the hospital stay, I got a phone call saying the mental healthcare facility kicked my kid out onto the street because they didn't believe anything was really wrong. Of course I checked myself out AMA, found my child (with help) wandering the city streets in a delusional state. It took 6 months getting my kid the healthcare that was needed and they're doing much better now. But it also means I've put off dealing with my own stuff for too long and some of it simply has to come out.

Being was definitely a potent hallucinogen. It had a chemical feel and it was potent. I don't know if it was a single administration or if there were multiple doses over time. I'm inclined to believe the latter due to the duration of the acute effects. Speculation doesn't help, but I do need to distinguish between what I KNOW happened, what I can logically infer or deduce based on residual memories, and what I simply can't ever know for certain. They drugged me. It was meant to hurt, and none of the abusers would have shed a tear is I died in the process. One of the more emotionally aware assholes was "kind" enough to wander over while I was curled up in a fetal position and asked me what I was seeing. And I still have to deal with the abusers face to face and smile while doing so (for another few weeks?). Writing is helping with that.

I've started writing a novel, a fictional piece. Writing was a part of my prior profession, so maybe it will be something I eventually finish. Maybe not. It doesn't matter. I'm including a paragraph here because it seems to be helping me figure things out.

"RC was a thoughtful man on those occasions when circumstance forced him to direct his myopic gaze towards concrete issues. The intensity of RC’s focus was often mistaken for generosity of spirit. Any man capable of thinking so deeply about any topic of interest, it might be assumed, must necessarily care or have some emotional connection with the object of his attention. It would be a reasonable assumption to make were it not for the fact that above all else RC was a scientist. And RC wasn’t just any kind of scientist. He was a molecular cowboy with a fondness for gene editing and a penchant for playing with infectious agents."

That's me but not me. The story could be a revenge fantasy along the lines of Herbert's The White Plague. I'm trying to write a different story though, one with an ending that isn't quite so apocryphal. It might actually be possible. There was a time I enjoyed writing for writing's sake. Grant-writing really sucked the joy out of that.

It's looking like it may be a long day.

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Today's entertainment.

This all falls under funny, but not funny. Earlier in the week I had a breakdown of sorts. Sheer abject terror drove me outside in search of safety. It's weird, because outside is not safe(r). The whys and wherefores are irrelevant.

The "funny" part is I trashed my computer hard drive. It's probably fair to say I was convinced my identity, or maybe just being identifiable, was the threat making me feel unsafe. Costly lesson, that one. The computer was a ~18 grand workstation custom built for big data analysis. The department allowed me to keep it because there was literally no one left in the department capable of using the machine to a fraction of its potential. That sounds extremely egotistical, as though only I am capable of using the machine. It isn't though, not as far as I can tell. I worked hard learning to use the computer and managed to make some discoveries that might have been missed under other circumstances. I certainly don't use the machine to its full potential, but I've been able to use it for its intended purpose. At peak, think I had 6 virtual machines downloading and analyzing raw genetic data? Not bad, all things considered.

And all of that is basically irrelevant. It's entertaining (?) because now I'm left trying to restore basic function to the machine and the motherboard doesn't want to recognize a replacement M2 drive, in turn making it impossible to install an operating system. Some godlet in a tech pantheon is laughing somewhere.

I'll figure it out. Or I won't, and if I don't maybe I can call tech support. Or maybe a laptop is sufficient for my present needs. It's something to fiddle with that doesn't require a lot of emotional engagement, so it's a pleasant surprise for the weekend? It feels like if I can repair the machine and install a new operating system, maybe I can reprogram my brain. The mind can be a silly thing. Enough for now.
I think it would be nice to feel normal for the holiday season. What's normal though? At least part of my foul mood seems like a Pavlovian response. It takes effort forcing myself to remember that today doesn't necessarily have to be a shitty day. Or an empty day. Or any of the other lousy kinds of days.

While the season has some magical appeal, I can't help but view it with disdain at the same time. The commodification of the "x-mas spirit" and thoughts of "good will to all persons" is, at some level, not much more than an effective marketing strategy.

This may just be a a not very good day for me. The powers that be require me to attend what I'm going to call a private shaming ritual tomorrow. It's a big one, a final private shaming in preparation for the convivial public shaming in a few weeks time. That will at least make room for opportunities to seek out a safer living space in 3034. That is actually something that holds my interest. That may be where I sit for a while. I don't know if things will ever get better. Sure hope they do. Right now just not having any more major traumas seems like aiming high.
*sigh* I'm stuck dealing with this massive ball of threat in my life for another 3 months at least. I'm out for a while. Doing some writing offline and it's helping. Small updates for the near-to-middling future for now it looks like. Happy holidays?
Thanks littleoc, hope the holidays are being kind to you! 🥰

Had some, that would be insights...which explain some things, to me at least.

It was pointed out elsewhere that the vast majority of people start out primed to function on a diurnal cycle. It's primitive stuff in the human psyche, daytime is when hunter-gatherers do their business. But there's a percentage of the population that seems to have a baseline set for nocturnal cycles and that seems to be hardcoded in the genome. Those would be the members of society who act as guardians to protect against invaders and/or predators.

Whether or not that's nature or nurture is irrelevant. What's interesting in the context of mental health is that trauma can trigger a person into a nocturnal cycle, forcing them into a protector or guardian mode. And that change lasts.

That's one of the things that happened with me at around the age of 3 or 4. Single mother got sick with no one to care for her or me. Horribly sick too, a bad flu I suspect. Anyway, she slept nonstop only rising to use the bathroom for 3 days and nights. I didn't make a sound the entire time, feeding myself with water and crackers because the leftover green bean casserole in the fridge was worse than starving. I kept watch for the entire time to make sure my mother was not going to be hurt or die and kept myself company watching Bugs Bunny and crew. On the fourth day she awoke and showered me with praise for being such a good boy. Got more praise in that one instant than I did over the rest of my life from her. It was genuine praise, for whatever that's worth. And, FWIW, I was NOT a good boy. I was a dutiful son forced to live with an unqualified parent.

So yeah, I haven't been able to sleep well at night for over 50 years now. Never know when some emergency might require my attention. Happy holidays y'all.