Nothing personal and something intimate

There are two sides to this post. It’s one that I’ve been thinking about for a while, but at the same time one that’s only come to me now.

The first part is simple. I don’t talk to people. There are a very limited number of people who I can handle at any one time. Currently my limit is three. Beyond that my mind starts to drain, I start to get unstable and I end up becoming snappy and unpleasant. And so I avoid interaction with anyone beyond the three people who I can easily talk to without freaking out.

This is important for me. When my mind does snap (when the snappy and unpleasant doesn’t chase people away) then I can’t even maintain a civil conversation with one person and so I suffer, and so does everyone around me.

Why does this matter?

Because there are a couple of people currently who I haven’t responded to. They pushed too hard and I shut down as a result. I had to reboot and ignore them to be able to maintain my own sanity. Which is why I say it’s nothing personal. It’s not their fault, they are trying to be friendly, but I am incapable of that right now.

Which brings me to the latter subject. I’m starting to struggle. That’s what my reboots have told me. Something in my life is draining me and where I can normally handle short jolts of conversation with certain people, now I can not.

I’m also becoming reliant on a couple of people, and of late those people have been experiencing their own struggles. This has led to them pushing me away, in one case really hard and almost intentionally, in the other politely but definitely intentionally.

Now, I do understand what they’re going through, after all I described the same process above, but to have it happen to me, and now when my mind is already unravelling, it’s not ideal.

So what does this mean for me?

Nothing right now. I’m not going to just back down and give up. But if I don’t manage to turn things around soon, it might mean curling up in a corner, closing myself off to everything and fading for a long, long while.

Let’s hope it doesn’t come to that.

Reflection

Weakness has been a recurring theme in my thoughts on what to write lately. I’m not sure if it’s such a bad thing.

You see in seeing weakness in yourself you can address it, work at it, strengthen those places that need reinforcement and move forward.

On the other hand though you can look at your weakness and loath yourself because of it, hating that you can’t do it alone or can’t seem to ask for help or don’t seem to be able to progress or whatever is the result of your weakness.

I had a dream a little while ago which I thought at the time, I should definitely write that one out. Now though it’s a faded memory with a couple of scenes that stuck in my mind. Why didn’t I follow through on that thought? Because I didn’t think I’d be able to do it justice. Which is stupid.

If you don’t try, you can’t fail.

If you don’t try, you can’t succeed.

So which is more important? Not failing? Or not succeeding? Most of my life I’ve lived by the first. Lately though I’ve had something that’s been driving me to try the second and for the most part it has gone pretty well.

But the last couple of weeks have been hard on myself and that inspiration. I’ve found myself turning inward and losing myself in my own mind more and more often. And it’s holding me back just as it did before.

So now, despite the fact that that dream of mine is a couple of weeks old, and my mind is still telling me I’m going to mess it up, here it comes.

 

I wake up with a start, looking around at the shattered remains of my life; the dark, dingy and abandoned building where I’ve been staying since everything fell apart. I sigh deeply, shaking my head before putting my palm to my forehead. It’s been two weeks since I left my flat, leaving almost everything behind. I still can’t tell you why I did it either, nevermind the fact that I’ve been pondering that point ceaselessly for just as long.

Slowly I stand, something making the hairs on the back of my neck stand on end, that feeling of being watched coming on strong. It hasn’t been unfamiliar in this place but this time it’s stronger than usual and somehow, this time I can also feel something else.

There’s a sense of hate in this moment.

I reached down and picked up my pack, keeping my back to one of the walls as I slowly sidle out into the passage. There I start to jog, heading for the entrance, no longer mindful of what I’m putting behind me, everything telling me “It’s time to get out.”

I do exactly that.

Standing on the street outside I look back at the house, my head cocked slightly, trying to figure out what exactly had just happened, checking at the windows and door to see if I can spot anything that could have been giving me the feeling of being watched.

There’s nothing at any of them.

“You’re lucky to be alive.” A gruff voice says beside me. I jump away from the sound, turning in the air and landing in a defensive stance. A man is standing there wearing a wide-brimmed hat and a crimson trench coat made of what looks like leather. He exudes an air of confidence but more than that he makes me feel distinctly inadequate.

“What are you talking about?” I can’t help but ask. He turns to me, curiosity in his dark features. I can’t see his eyes through the shadows of his hat but I can see the stubble across his chin and cheeks, scars causing criss-crossing patterns of places that have no hair.

“With how quickly you got out, I thought you already knew…” he pauses after he speaks, obviously considering something. “It’ll be easier to show you, come with me.” his voice holds a note of command that I feel it would have been nigh impossible to resist even if I wasn’t curious to see what he was talking about.

He leads the way back into the house, walking with absolute confidence. As he crosses the threshold he draws what looks like a crossbow with a ‘water bolt’ loaded into it. I note a piece of string from the tip of the bolt to a reel on the underside of the crossbow.

As I follow him the feeling of unease comes back, that feeling of being watched by something that loathes me.

“It doesn’t like you.” he says conversationally, not turning back to look at me at all, his mind focused on something else. I don’t say anything in return, I have nothing to say.

Suddenly he stops and turns, lifting the crossbow and bringing it to bear, his wrist resting on my shoulder. I hear a twang and then another before the shattering sound of glass and the hissing of acid follow. Quickly now I duck and turn, looking up at a beast that has half of its face melting away. My mind can’t fully comprehend what it’s seeing, the facial make-up of this thing too alien to process.

I watch helplessly as it slowly topples forward, its body falling towards me. As I brace myself for the impact that must surely come the thing turns to mist and disperses around me.

Silence follows in that moment, my heart in my throat.

When I look back to where the man had been I find only air.

 

Well, oddly enough this isn’t even the part that I remembered. There is another section coming, hopefully soon.

Teaching, learning and yearning

I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned this before but I teach a small jujutsu club. That club is something that I’m passionate about, something that I enjoy immensely.

Being the sensei is one of my most challenging and exciting tasks each week. Not because I lack the knowledge, although I do feel like that is true, and not because I’m not strong, which I also feel is true, but because I lack the confidence to put those things entirely aside and focus on what’s going on.

This means that I often end up stuttering or otherwise losing my focus on the mat. And when we are fighting that shows most.

In training situations, where we are looking at moves, going over techniques, figuring out counters and blocks I feel at home. My mind can immediately pull out something that will work and walk everyone through it. There is no lag time, the thought is just there.

But in a fight (on the mats in this case, I haven’t ever really fought off it) I doubt myself, I tell myself that the other person probably knows better than me, that they will counter whatever I try. And so in a way I freeze, unable to move forward in case I give my opponent the opening they’re looking for. This of course leads to my eventual defeat, especially if my opponent is stronger in one aspect or another of the art.

Which leads to my next point. I have a few students who are from different backgrounds. Now, most of them I can easily move around and outmanoeuvre  and outwit, but there are a couple who learn so quickly that if you get them once, the next time they’ll know that move and put it right back on you.

This is great for me.

My learning was cut short quite abruptly. I feel like I know practically nothing even now and so when one of my students starts to think the same way I do, I feel great. For one thing, my teaching provided a base for them to build from and they’ve built that well. For another it means that I can learn with them. They think differently and so when I might go one way, they’ll go another, and so instead of having one way to counter something, we suddenly have two.

This is my favourite part of running my club, that constant knowledge that as we all progress, we all help each other.

 

Now onto the last topic, yearning. It’s got nothing to do with the above but tonight I went over to one of my student’s house and we all shared a drink (the entire club.) It was a great experience but while I was there, I ignored my phone.

Unfortunately that meant that I didn’t respond to messages until I got home, and since those messages are my only means of communication with my other, it means I felt very, very cut off, especially since two of my students had their significant others there.

Now that I’m home though and I’ve replied I haven’t gotten a reply back. It’s conceivable that she’s gone to bed, but in the back of my mind I worry, my paranoia kicks in in a big way. What if she’s angry with me? What if something’s happened to her.

I know it’s stupid but those thoughts are the ones I am dealing with right now and I thought it might help to get them out.

Other worlds

I’m no stranger to other worlds. I write about them, I imagine them, I imagine living in them, I help other people see those worlds through my eyes. Some scare me, others merely exist and still more fascinate me.

But something I didn’t expect to happen was for one of them to invade my waking moments without being called.

I had a moment where I was driving along, with a clear destination in mind and the route planned out. Both of those things I have travelled a hundred times and more.

But as I came around the corner to where I needed to be I felt detachment. I looked at the scene and felt like it was not what I was expecting, like although logically it was all the same place, somehow it was different.

The colours were more vivid, the lighting better than it should have been, even with the moon high and bright as it was. And just behind every part of this scene there was something fundamentally different to what it should be.

I pulled into my stop and even there there were familiar sights but once again they were different in some indescribable way. It was only when I walked in and stood staring at the fridges that reality seemed to return. It was a truly surreal moment up until that point.

Unfortunately it’s not too much of a mystery as to why it happened, even though the what is not exactly certain.

Between frustrations at work, pressure at home and stresses in my personal life I’m feeling my depression trying to kick in. I can feel it right on the edge, and in that moment before the world changed I was deep in thought about it and the effect it could have on myself and those who are close to me.

It has a lot of evil potential.

But that moment of difference somehow held it at bay, that moment of wonder where my mind was so thoroughly distracted somehow broke the power of my depression. For now it’s not imminent, although I expect it to be back soon enough.

Comfort

Tonight has been an interesting night on the back of a hectic week. Tonight I explained my a couple of my deepest issues and their sources, I spoke about how various triggers affected me and found out how many things affected others.
I ate way too much and regretted it for a while but that’s generally what comfort eating does to a person.

Which leads almost perfectly onto the actual subject of this post.
Comfort is one of those things that people can not live without. I’m not talking nice furniture and other ‘physical’ comfort items. I’m talking more about the mental state the people can end up in.
Comfort is absolutely necessary for someone to move forward. If a person is uncomfortable in a situation, they will fight, and squirm and try and find a way out of it.
If they’re comfortable however they’ll be open to moving forward and so are more likely to do so.

To me one of the things that I need before I become comfortable is trust and I think tonight I saw that more than ever.
I trust people implicitly. I believe that they would never intentionally hurt me. It’s naive and stupid but I like thinking that and it allows me to form relationships far quicker than otherwise.
Unfortunately it also means that when the betrayal eventually comes I get caught completely off guard by it and so I get hurt fairly easily.
At this point this has happened all my life. Luckily I was always ‘scary’ enough not to be pulled into one of the more elaborate bullying pranks, but people were quick to find out secrets from me and then exploit them.

Nowadays things are better, I’ve learnt how to turn that exploitation inwards and use it against who ever is trying to work on me. But that’s still not an ideal situation.
Slowly I’m working my way to a middle ground, somewhere where I can happily live and not have to worry about the horribleness of people.

One day I’ll find that space.

Anger

This is a difficult post to write for a few reasons. First off, my current physical state. I’m trying to focus but an unable, my head feels like it’s swimming, my hearing is muted somehow and I feel just generally ill. There are any number of things that could be causing it but I suspect no matter what explanations I might find for myself, none of them are actually going to be accurate.

Or at least, none of the ones I would be easily willing to admit to would be accurate.

I think the truth is that my physical state is a side effect of the heading. Tonight has been odd in that it started high and I’ve been dragged low by three people in three different ways.

The first person just doesn’t listen. Their enthusiasm leads them to ignore anything outside of a perfect situation as far as their subject of discussion is concerned. This person and I are working on a project together but it often feels like I’m the retarded sidekick who can’t get anything right. I don’t know if it’s because of the way he views me, or because he doesn’t understand, but he seems to expect me to just be able to do some of the things he can right off the bat even though it took him weeks and months to perfect what he is wanting me to try.

The second person is non-committal, putting no effort into the conversation at all. One word answers, short phrases that actually don’t mean anything and responses that seem completely dismissive are categorising that conversation. It makes me feel like I’m in the way and unwanted. I know it’s not the case but how else am I supposed to read it.

The final person has actually hurt me. We were discussing a topic that I’ll admit was not an entirely pleasant one. This person is someone who I trust to be honest with me, who I trust to talk things through with me.

Instead they snapped at me and then turned to self-deprecation. Although I know that the latter is not meant the way it’s coming across I still feel the passive aggressive side of it. The statements that are my own words twisted and turned back to stab me with.

And the part the drives me to anger even when it’s not on a bad night. I can’t stand when people run away, whether physically or mentally or emotionally. It drives me insane. Face your problems, don’t run. If you run, they’re still there and all it’s doing is tiring you out while the problem grows stronger.

And don’t ever run from me.

Running from me means that I’m the problem. And that kills me. Running from me hurts like nothing else in my life and when that much pain drives itself into me I don’t react well, I react like anyone would when they’re cornered and alone and afraid. Everything coalesces into anger and action.

Tonight I stopped the second one, and I dampened the first. The person who did this to me is too important for me to allow my own stupid instincts to ruin, so I bit back and focused on this so that maybe I can show it to them and they can understand.

I want to break the habit and turn it into something good.
Even if that means dealing with the pain.

Habits, Deliveries, Leave and Apps

Let’s begin with Apps. Recently I’ve been spending time doing things other than mobile gaming. Since I upgraded my PC the amount of time available for other things has drastically dropped.

Despite this development I’ve found myself hanging on to certain mobile apps that I really enjoyed, one in particular being King of Thieves. I love the game and the concept, and for the many months I played it was amazing.

But towards the higher levels you hit a plateau where, although it is possible to progress without payment, it require a large amount of time in order to perfect certain techniques needed to get through the later dungeons.

This time can’t be spread out over weeks or months and so I slowly lost touch with the game. But I’ve kept it on my phone.

This last week I had been inactive long enough for me to lose control of the guild I ran. Now, although running a guild doesn’t take much (or anything at all) it was still something keeping me in the game. With this loss, I feel like I might finally be able to remove the app.

Onto leave. I’m on leave at the moment for a week. Or at least I am in theory.

The reason I say this is because despite this fact I have had numerous work things to do today, things that I shouldn’t be having to deal with. Phone calls from people who have my work number but for some reason call my personal number. I’m honestly not sure why they don’t call the office but I haven’t answered their calls because I’m on leave.

The other thing that interrupted my leave was a problem where the buck was passed away from the person who should actually be fixing it. Now I don’t understand whether this was intentional on her part, or whether it was a side-effect of the people who were supposed to be informing her of the problem just not doing so.

It’s annoying because this particular problem is not actually something that I’m likely to be able to fix without hours of work.

And I have this horrendous feeling I’m going to be asked to come in tomorrow to do exactly that.

Deliveries. This one is a far more positive subject than those above. It concerns the girl I’m now dating. Today I drove her to her nanna’s house, three hours away. It’s not a huge deal in the grand scheme of things but it was me doing something I enjoyed with someone I like and it ended up being one of the most fun things I’ve done in a while, despite all the wonderful activities that I’m involved in in various places and with various people.

And finally habits.

A while ago I found an app that allowed you to create a RPG out of your life. I ignored it. More recently I had something asked of me and I thought of that app as the perfect solution to the problem.

So I looked into it. And it was okay, but lacked features that I needed. So I looked around.

And found Habitica

I have been using the app for a couple of days now, and this blog post is actually a result of that use. I’ve set myself certain goals so far as habits are concerned, and custom daily tasks that allow me to push myself into doing things like writing (both my fiction as well as these posts or letters or whatever else). So far it’s worked wonderfully and it’s been a really fun experience to set up.

Hopefully I manage to stick to it because if I do, it means I’ll start to write the space story again, and once that’s going I can look at posting it up here.

Here’s to hoping.

Loss and definitions

So, loss first. Over the past couple of months my life has been going through a sort of spring cleaning. A number of people have exited out of it and for the most part I’m a fair amount better for it.

But there are a couple of people who have left that I thought more of. I believed that no matter what they would still be around. And the reasons they left seem almost trivial to me.

Now, I know that those reasons are not trivial, I am not in any way saying that they don’t have a good reason or that they should not have left. It might have been important to them, it may have been absolutely necessary for reasons beyond what I was privy to, but to me it seems random and unnecessary and in one case hurtful (not that the other case didn’t hurt but that’s because of the loss, not the way it was done.)

The first of those losses I’m pretty sure I’ve spoken of before, a friend who wanted more and who constantly pushed for it even though we had agreed that it wouldn’t happen.
The other I haven’t spoken about recently. In that case it was also because of wanting more that things deteriorated, but in this case we had agreed it wasn’t going to work, at least not in the situations that we were in. And so I thought that we were moving on.

And so I did.

And then that person removed themselves from my life.

It’s a loss that I suspected might come, but it didn’t make it any easier to deal with and I think it might have been one of the things holding me back of late, preventing me from focusing on writing and the like. Keeping me binge watching Criminal Minds and playing stupid games instead of the things that I really want to be doing or playing.

I’ll admit though, the binge watching hasn’t been so bad.

 

Onto the next topic, definitions.

Recently there have been a number of people on social media in South Africa saying stupid things like Colonialism is a good thing because of (insert reason here). First off, there are a number of things that annoy me about the outcry around all of this, and in many cases I’m pretty understanding of both sides.

In some cases I feel like things are taken out of context and then turned on the people in question, the hyper-sensitivity causing an outcry over a message that has been twisted to suit a certain narrative.

In other cases I feel like people are being truly bigoted and purposefully trying to cause hurt and hate around them.

And then in others I feel like people are being ignorant.

Right, here goes me actually weighing in on something.

Recently Helen Zille made a statement seemingly defending colonialism. She said a number of short-sighted and honestly stupid things about the country, distancing herself from the people she clearly is supposed to be a part of. The article I read was fairly scathing of her, and I think rightfully so, but the comments were mostly either apologetic of her, listing all the things she did in the apartheid era, or otherwise defensive with the whole ‘it’s a problem because she’s white’ line.

Now, the point she was trying to make was that good things came of Colonialism. I feel that yes, there were side effects that were not bad, the ones that she mentioned.

However, that was not colonialism. That was scientific progress.

Colonialism, in my view, is the subjugation of nations by another. Subjugation in any form is not something to be applauded.

Scientific Progress is self explanatory and we see it every day. The computers we work on, the TVs we buy, the mobile networks we use, the medicines we take… all of those things are scientific progress, and we did not need colonialism to get the latest gadgets.

Humanity is about experimentation. Through experimentation we have arrived at systems that work, constitutions, judiciary systems and the like all had a number of iterations before they arrived where they are today. Yes, colonialism spread the systems we now take for granted but it was not necessary. In the end, seeing something working and working well for someone else leads to us trying the same and if it works great, if it doesn’t, adapt or find something different. Again, it’s how people work.

So although her point of ‘Colonialism brought these things to South Africa’ stands, it is not a point that can be used to defend the horrors that are colonialism in general.

Anyway, there’s my little political rant 😛

Comments and debate are always welcome 🙂

Limbo

So, this post is actually not about being in limbo, it’s more about getting out of it.

First off there is of course the void that The Fallen has left. Without that to write and to focus on I’ve been drifting between a number of other things, toying with the ideas behind a couple of other stories. They haven’t progressed well.

What I figured out though is that I think they haven’t been progressing because whenever I write I listen to music, and the music I’ve been listening to has been wrong for those stories.

What makes that problem difficult to rectify is the fact that I have no idea where to even begin to look for the right type of music, partly because I don’t know what the right type actually is. I spent a couple of hours last night looking and found nothing.

But that doesn’t mean that I’ve given up. Once I find the correct tone in something that I can listen to I’m sure things will flow from there.

 

On to my second limbo escape, I’ve started ‘dating’ someone. We met ages ago and we’ve been talking for quite a while. A couple of months ago I started to realise that there might have been more to it than there had at first seemed.

And a couple of weeks ago I found out that it was mutual.

This means that for the first time in a long time I’m in a relationship, and what’s more it’s one of the healthiest ones I’ve ever been in. But it comes with a threat.

In two, maybe three months she leaves the country.

Now, I’ve done distance relationships before, they’re not as terrible and terrifying as they may seem, but that last one destroyed a lot of people and in the end I was a victim of it as well.

The other worry is that she was away for a week this week, and although there was not much difference in how often we could see each other, just knowing that she was out of reach made a huge difference in how it felt. The worry I have is what will happen when she’s half way around the world and it won’t just be for the week?

Nevertheless as I said above, this feels healthy, and right now I desperately need that.

Anyway, short post tonight, hopefully I’ll get back into it properly once my mind recovers from the burnout I’m facing but if not, I’ll be trying to keep this going as long as I can.

Death, Affection, Fear, Anxiety and Separation and Chapter Thirteen

Where to begin…

Let’s start with the bits that aren’t in the title. I’ve had an interesting couple of weeks, the story has progressed far further than expected, I’ve almost burnt out at work, a friend that resurfaced has done so in a way that I would not have expected at all and a friend that I held in very high regard turned out to be more than I thought.

I also rejoined a website that I thought I’d put behind me, something I had been considering for a while but that I hadn’t gotten around to. As I finished the paragraph above I got a message asking me back and so I’ve gone back. It’s certainly going to be an interesting experience since the primary focus will be role playing.

Anyway, onto the above.

Death. I’ve always had an odd relationship with death. Very few people have affected me when they have passed, very few animals have either. I tend to get over death far quicker than society would see as normal, especially the social circles that I tend to find myself in. Today was the first time I witnessed it first hand and although I was there only as support for someone else it still affected me in a way in that moment.

But instead of feeling the mourning of passing, I felt relief for what was happening, I saw the future brighter than the present and so the death did not seem like a bad thing. I feel horrible for that fact, and I feel sympathy for those who lost a pet, but beyond that so far as death itself is concerned, I am still neutral.

Affection is an odd thing. It’s something that people show or don’t, crave or despise, understand or fear. Personally I show it and crave it but I do not understand it. I don’t fear it though, otherwise I’d be pretty screwed with the other two parts. One of my biggest problems is always figuring out how, when and who to show it to. Some people look like they need it, but you try and give it and they panic and freak out, or they take it as something it is not.

It’s a dangerous thing despite being something I truly believe is a good thing.

Which brings me to my next bit. Fear. What if I show affection at the wrong time? A few of the elements of my life at the moment hinge on the balance of affection. Too much and it will chase the person away, too little and they will drift away. Where is the pivot? I don’t think I’ll find out anytime soon.

And so anxiety builds. I know that there is a time limit on these things, I’ve had that happen too many times not to know that. But I don’t want to rush anything, there are too many factors that need to resolve, too many thoughts that need to be processed, too many dangers to overcome. So I remain cautious as my mind slowly decays into a nervous wreck.

One of the biggest difficulties is the flight response that I’ve spoken about recently. At the moment there is a separation between myself and someone who I don’t know what to think about and that separation should be eating at me. But it’s not. Somehow it hasn’t really changed anything in how my mind is working. At the back of it there is always that acknowledgement that the separation exists but beyond that… Nothing. My mind is treating this like the separation does not exist.

I don’t know if that’s a good thing yet.

 

Finally, I wrote two chapters in this interval. The pace is picking up and so the chapters are going by quicker so here we go.

Chapter Thirteen:

PDF, Kindle, ePub

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