Hey ~bartender, it's been a long night. I just need a water, please, nothing special.
It's been a long night. I've been thinking about my identity, who I am, and who I want to be. I've also had to face some things that made me uncomfortable, but I needed to face them.
I was born a man. Recently, I've been considering, "maybe I'm a woman." I don't know if it's because I truly feel that way, or because of internalized sexism and the want to be someone else. I'm just not sure.
I have friends, older and younger than me, that are going through similar experiences. They have their own issues and trials they're going through. I want to help them, badly, but I know that I have to deal with my own problems first.
I have been the main cause of most conflicts in our friend group. It usually goes like this:
1. I get anxious about something.
2. My OCD causes me to obsess over it to the point where I just have to start talking about it.
3. My self-hatred and internalized negativity causes me to blame every bad thing in the situation on myself, no matter what really happened.
4. I'm too stubborn to say that I'm a good person and everyone gets too heated up and then walks away.
I cried today. I cried that I wanted to stop hurting, that I wanted to stop hurting others, and my friends. By hurting myself, which seems like a fitting punishment (calm down, it's only mental, still hurts though), I'm also hurting the ones I care about as well. I also need to learn to control my mind and my obsessions, and chose to focus that obsessive energy on something more worthy of obsessing over.
Why do I tell you all, patrons of the Midnight Pub? Your judgement is untainted. I've only recently arrived. Plus, if I'm gonna put my own little corner of the internet in here, might as well use it like it.
Another water, ~bartender. I tend to drink and eat quickly when I'm nervous.
I think the search for an identity is a important part of our existence.
Breaking family traditions, social expectations and such. So, I wish you the best luck, best vibes and energy in your finding.
That said, I'll leave a question that I like to discuss with friends and family. What does it mean to be a woman?
Every time I ask that I get many different answers, which is really interesting.
I've kind of given up on specifics, because I don't think there are any. I think what makes you a woman is feeling like you are one, and feeling more comfortable as one than anything else.
But that's just my two cents.
I'm sorry you're going through this difficult time, ~impulse. I second what others have said about the troubles that come with examining your gender in greater detail. For whatever it's worth, I find it helpful, in tending to my own well-being, to remember that every human being has intrinsic worth, including me, and that there is always some portion of my being, however exhausted or diminished, that intends upon nothing other than for me to be healthy, content, and to love myself; and furthermore that sin does not exist, and therefore I have never sinned. (To have made a mistake, or even to have done wrong, is not at all the same thing. I reject that notion of an infraction which is metaphysically transcribed on your soul, like a stain which can never be expunged.)
You have intrinsic worth. You are not stained. You are capable of love, and there is love in you now. (Such are the sorts of things which I try to say to myself, whenever I remember to do so. I like to think they make a positive impact. They say that gratefulness is both cause and product of contentment, and that you must be trained in gratitude, if it will not come naturally.)
I know this is a bit of a late reply, but thank you so much for your words. They meant a lot.
Hey ~impulse, I have no advice on the identity or anxiety issues, but just wanted you to know you are seen. I hope you find comfort today and get a step closer to a peaceful resolution. ~bartender, another water for this soul.
To me the whole identity thing seems rather "a rose by any other name"-ish, as though trying to qualify who/what you are matters relative to just plain being here and now.
I mean, that doesn't mean others don't think a rose necessarily smells differently if called - i.e. given a specific conceptual symbol - differently. But that's their problem/issue.
Just be, and help others do the same by educating them on how little - if at all - any conceptual modeling matters to the core/underlying reality.
Just being there feels... wrong, I guess.
I want to have a purpose, I want to mean something. Anything.
And I've been searching for that for quite some time.
While I have no doubts about my own gender, I'm not in a position to answer the "purpose" question. What is my purpose on this planet at this time? I have no idea. So it might be that these are two different concepts or questions to be answered --- or not.
As an example: The yearly review at $dayjob with the oh so useful question "where do you want to be in five years from now?" Heck. I don't know. I'll be somewhere, I guess. There is this bit about the "Zen method of navigation" in one of the books by Douglas Adams. "I follow a car which looks like it knows where its going!". Yeah. You'll end up somewhere. And it might even be a pleasure. Purpose? I have no idea.
Maybe my purpose is to just be happy, maybe I'll make something big and grand, but at the very least I can create programs, stories, and pieces of art for me, my friends, and possibly the rest of the world if I feel like it, to enjoy.
And that doesn't sound terrible.
One thing coming to mind is the word 'purpose' seems somewhat at odds with a handle like 'impulse'.
In that context, perhaps one area to explore is why you chose 'impulse', yet yearn for 'purpose'?
Just a thought.
The handle "impulse" was originated when I was younger, coming from the type of command block from Minecraft. "Impulse" is sort of the "main" type of command block. Eventually, the meaning switched to how I tended to not think before I acted.
I got better about that, but sometimes my emotions get the best of me.
I guess maybe I'm just not sure if I can truly become better, and it's become a self fulfilling prophecy.
> The handle "impulse" was originated
> when I was younger, coming from
> the type of command block from
> Minecraft. "Impulse" is sort
> of the "main" type of command
> block. Eventually, the meaning
> switched to how I tended to not think
> before I acted.
In related news, friends brought us to a bowling alley this weekend that had a stand up "Namco" arcade console featuring several of their "retro" games from my day, my favorite being "Galaga", and I can't tell you how much I enjoyed rocking that thing at 25 cents per game. Got my initials thrice on the leader board, despite not having played in some 35+ years.
> I got better about that, but
> sometimes my emotions get the best
> of me.
Emotions are for lesser genders. ;-)
(I hope you realize I'm kidding. I've this ancient-to-the-point-of-severely-embarrassing sense of humor, you see.)
> I guess maybe I'm just not sure if
> I can truly become better, and it's
> become a self fulfilling prophecy.
Here's the thing about the self-referentiality of self evaluating self: it's all but a dream, so make the best of it (i.e. how you define the likes of "better" and/or "worse").
I think I get what you're saying, I'll try to make the best of things.
Well, this seems like a twofer. For the first part, I can certainly sympathize. My own questions of gender aren't totally settled either. The best advice I can probably give is to remind you that gender is complicated, nuanced, and often fluid. Your gender might not fit so neatly into one category or the other. No matter what your reasons for feeling that way are, as long as you are comfortable with the end result, don't matter. (Though I will say... if you want to be someone else, and that someone just so happens to be a woman... you might be a woman.)
As for the second part, I don't know. As someone with clearly pretty bad anxiety and relentless self-deprecation, you're hardly going to be the most reliable narrator (making yourself sound worse than you are, of course). This may be obvious to you already; I don't know your situation, but if there are any options for anxiety that you're not already investigating, I'd highly recommend it. I had a series of panic attacks about a year and a half ago so bad that I had to take a week off of work, and the combination of medication for my anxiety and a brief bit of therapy was life changing.
Every step of the thought process you've described is something a good therapist would help you prevent, with activities like thought challenging. It certainly doesn't magically fix anything, but it gives you at least some tools.
I'm glad that you already recognize that your more self-destructive tendencies hurt the people you care about. Far better to realize that now and solve the issue before your mental punishments turn into holding ice cubes or something worse. That post-cry brain rush that drove you to write this? That can take you to a bad place if you're not careful.
If you ever want to vent/seek advice from someone totally removed from the situation, feel free to hit up my email on my profile.
I engaged in a sort of "insult battle" with a friend who likes to do that a lot.
I went too far, and in turn, he called me out on being the sole cause of most drama in the friend group, as well as insulting me for hiding behind my characters I like to roleplay as.
At least I learned not to go that far anymore.
I do have a therapist, as a note. Maybe I should be more open to her.
This may be an asshole opinion on my part, but IMO if your friend likes to do insult battles, he should be able to take any hit you can give out (or at least be able to deescalate things if they get out of hand). If not, maybe he should rethink his hobby. Either way, it sounds more like something said out of spite than anything else. Hopefully the two of you will talk a bit a smooth things over soon, if you haven't already.
Also, I may be off base here as roleplay was never my thing (my fiance and some of my friends are huge into it though), but isn't a large part of the fun being able to hide behind characters when things get too hard, or at least help yourself process difficult things through it?
And I'm glad to hear it, always good to have someone who is Professionally Qualified™️ to give advice.
We've talked it over, it's all good now.
And yeah, that is the point of roleplay, it's kind of why I loved doing it. I got to make my own world filled with cool people and things that I could share with others.