Sunday, May 13, 2018

My Life in 1995 (Part 4)

More excerpts from my college diaries....

These are from the last semester of my senior year.


It is weird. When I see the name PizzaShapes, I shudder and feel awful. And that is supposed to represent my best friend. Instead when I see that name, I become afraid. I don't know when he is going to write another hate letter. (3/8/95)

I was referring to Matthew, and by the way, that wasn't his real AOL account name. I'm guessing it would be very unethical to provide his real one here.

Anyway....

I think one of the worst feelings is anticipating an angry email from someone.  

It started with a fight because he is not coming to my graduation. I cannot forgive him for that now. And I can't forgive him for the mean letter he wrote. (3/8/95)

It's hard for me to understand why I was so bothered by him not coming to my graduation.

I CAN understand feeling slightly wounded, rejected, and disappointed. I don't understand the unforgiving fury.  

Is there more to the story? Or was I just being overly controlling and demanding?  

Now my mom has totally stressed me out. She gives me so many mixed messages

She wants me to graduate college and then suddenly get this great job. I don't know what to do. Now I see why Melissa is so stressed out. I think I want to work at the zoo or library, and get a job there. That would be cool. Then I'd be happy and have motivation. (3/12/95)

You know...

I've heard people say that when you have kids of your own, it gives you more appreciation for your own parents. I NEVER felt that appreciation and understanding when Jack was a baby and/or young child.  But I am starting to feel it now.  

I think what we don't understand when we're stressed teenagers is that our parents are stressed about our school/career choices as well.  

Now that I think of it, I feel I am more stressed now about Jack's college plans, SAT scores, career goals, etc. than I was about my own!

As for what my mom wanted. I'm guessing that what she wanted is for me to embark on my lifetime career. And I just wanted a job.

At that point, I think I was very confused about what I wanted in life. I had majored in psychology, and I think I decided not to pursue that.  I had applied to film schools. I guess I was waiting on answers—accepted or rejected.

My mom is being pesty about things which makes me sad because usually lately I have felt close to her.

There are nice things she did yesterday. I was at Denny's. I was licking the syrup and instead of criticizing me, she gave me her spoon. I laughed. 

I don't know. It is making me depressed. And I think the psychologist is making me feel worse. (3/19/95)

Holy shit. Was I licking the plate? In a restaurant.

My poor Mom....and anyone else who was seen in public with me.  

Wait.

Maybe it's not so bad.

Maybe I was using a fork, and my mom was kind enough to offer her spoon.

I still do the fork thing, by the way.

As for the psychologist, I think that was the fourth mental professional I had seen.  

The first one said I acted very young for my age, and I was very hurt by that.

The second was a psychiatrist who quickly put me on lithium.

The third seemed to like me, and encouraged my interest in psychology.

This last one is the one that saw problems with my family. She said we were enmeshed.  

It's funny. I often get very annoyed when people see my family as close-to-perfect and my parents as Godlike.  

But when this psychologist pointed out that my family had some issues, I was offended and very stressed by it.  I think I stopped seeing the psychologist because of it.

In a way, I still stand behind my grievances. Who gets to decide whether a family is too close or not?  A lot of it is subjective and cultural.  

That being said, I have often felt very trapped by my family. There are times where I feel desperate to escape.

Maybe for mental health professionals, instead of saying, you're family is too close. You're enmeshed. It's not healthy.  Maybe it would work better to have the stance, Well, your family is very close. And we find that when a family is very close, certain challenges arise. Let's talk about how we can work through these challenges.  

Note: I'm not quoting the doctor above. I don't remember what she said exactly. And who knows, maybe it was along the lines of the second bit, and I was just oversensitive. 

Yesterday I spent the day at the zoo looking at gorillas. It was fun.

I don't like the psychologist much. Today I got along better with my mom, which is good. (3/16/95)

I forgot.

Primates were my new obsession.

He asks me questions, but when I brush them aside he seems happy to just talk about himself.  (3/20/95)

I've had that same problem with others. 

I think it's another way that I test people. And I definitely stand behind this test.

If I don't offer information about myself, but ask you questions, will you ask me questions in return? Or will you act like I'm interviewing you?

If I'm talking about something important and we're interrupted by something, will you encourage me to continue? If you forget and I've have to initiate the return to the conversation, will you make it hard or easy on me?  

If I'm somewhat shy about talking about myself, will you be super eager to take advantage of that?  

Sometimes the test is not deliberate, but it happens naturally because of other reasons.

For example, I told one of my sisters about my myoclonus in March and another in April. Both of them were pretty nice about it and showed a decent amount of concern. But they seemed to have forgotten about it soon after, and that hurt me a bit.

I told my mom on Mother's Day weekend (Friday) and she seemed very uninterested—told me to take magnesium. She didn't seem bothered or concerned at all. That hurt.

The next day we went out for brunch.  In the car, one of my sisters suddenly asked about my myoclonus. I was very grateful for the attention and concern, BUT at the same time I was embarrassed. Not about the myoclonus, but the attention.

My mom seemed very disinterested in the subject and kept bringing the conversation back to herself and her health problems. I welcomed it. I even encouraged it.  It was mainly because I was embarrassed to be the center of the conversation, but at the same time, I was also testing my mom.  I was wanting to see if she'd push me to talk about it. Or would she act more pleased to make the conversation about herself?

And no, it's not like I was acting grumpy and difficult about the conversation.  I was in a cheerful mood. I think I was more like polite behavior—turning the conversation back to her. I guess I had just hoped she wouldn't make it so easy.

Then through the rest of May, June, July, August, etc. my parents never asked me about the myoclonus.  We went on a family cruise together. There were plenty of times that they could have said, Hey how have you been feeling? Or, Are you still having those neurological symptoms?  Or Have you seen a doctor yet?  

Sometimes testing people doesn't need to involve having to take direct action. Sometimes it's just living your life, noticing how people react, and taking careful note of it.

I DO also note that my parents have greatly changed their behavior. This happened after a temporary estrangement. Now they very often ask me how I'm feeling, and they ask about doctor stuff.  I wish they had acted this way in the first place, because it would have made me feel more loved and cared for. But I do appreciate their efforts in trying to improve our relationship.

I feel a little better about Matthew today. I was very upset last night. Then I realized that Matthew is not all bad. I am just sick of him and everything about him seems bad. 

Last night I tried to think of the good times like when we went to Atlanta and I felt so close to him. (3/22/95)

I think when we're angry with someone, trivial things become annoying as well.

For example. Let's say we have a lovely friend who name drops a bit too much. At first this might not bother us much. But then, if our friendship begins to have some serious issues, suddenly the namedropping is infuriating.

I love Matthew again. I was afraid I'd never be able to forgive him, but I think I have begun to now. (3/24/95)

Well, that's good. But I don't think it lasted.

I think the love faded a lot.

He did come to visit Tim and I in New York. AND he came to our wedding. He was one of the witnesses that signed our Ketubah. But I don't think things were ever the same.

I am watching The Academy Awards right now. I missed a lot of it yesterday because I was on the computer arguing with Matthew. Matthew and I argued because he insulted me by laughing at my problems. (3/28/95)

I wonder if THIS was when Matthew laughed about my dad taking videos of me that made me feel body-shamed. I thought it had happened earlier, but I could have been wrong.

Or maybe this was a second time of him laughing at me rather than being supportive.

OR there is the fact that I said we were on the computer. How would I have known he's laughing at me during an AOL chat?  Did we use LOL back then?  I guess we did.

One possibility is that we were chatting on AOL and I brought up the past. I do tend to bring up the past a lot. Maybe I complained about the time he had laughed at me, and then that turned into an argument.