Life Update #4050697987878787878787

Lazy, uneventful work day today.

Team lead was supposed to start his two week+ vacation tomorrow, but called off today. I guess I don’t blame him. The lead engineer lady, who I’ve written about before, wondered if he was off interviewing somewhere. I mean, she’s probably not far off. Multiple times, in closed door discussions, TL has talked about how his brother’s company wants him really bad, and that he didn’t see a future for the project past next year.

The work we do is kind of rough at times. Half the team travels for long periods at a time. Thankfully, I don’t have to do that.

TL being gone for more than two weeks means I’ll have to keep busy somehow. Fat chance?

I think I may have made two smallish friendships at work. Friendship is a strong word, more like I have consistently had enjoyable conversations with two people, and they seem friendly. Would be nice to have people to chat with at work on a more regular basis. It’s so common to come in to work, barely speak to anyone, then go home. Feels lonely sometimes. I’m not always a shut-in. I need to keep my expectations in check- having conversations sometimes doesn’t mean they’re friends. The biggest thing is to see if they’re willing to talk to me when others are around. That’s often a thing.


Weight loss is sluggish but noticeable. I’m able to wear some of my smaller shirts again. Weighed in at 214 today, which.. I guess makes me feel good, since hubby has been cooking large dinners that may or may not be totally keto-friendly. He’s not a stickler for carb counting. But who am I to complain about his yummy food?

I feel like I’m doing keto better this time. I’m not losing weight at an incredible pace. I’m losing it more slowly and with less stress; this means I’m not as likely to go nuts and eat all the things once I’m to my goal weight. No yoyoing this time.

I’ve been pondering what I want to do once I get closer to my goal weight. I want to start lifting again, focusing on powerlifting. Maybe setting some sort of seasonal bulking/cutting routine would be in order. I love the idea of me with a lean, built frame. I’ve always wanted to do martial arts as well, but the whole human-interaction-and-contact thing triggers my anxiety. Maybe I’d be better off doing some slow, solo form of martial art like Tai Chi. Soothing and good for you. Involves good muscular control as well.


Another thing. I’ve been feverishly following the cryptocurrency markets lately. Watching the price of bitcoin skyrocket has been gripping, putting my emotions on a roller coaster. I have a very small amount of bitcoin, but enough to the point where if I sold it I’d make a nice little profit. The market has been largely stable the last two days, leading me to agonize over selling. I’ve seen roughly 50/50 arguments that a crash is imminent (bubble) or that it’s going to soar up to 20k and beyond. I don’t know what to think.


Anywho. Eeryone have a good one.

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Frustration (Stand Up)

I feel a lot of frustration in day-to-day life.

This sense of coercion, that if I just apply value to my face and hair, I would be accepted. That I would be allowed in, just for once. Out from the cold.

Frustration that I have to play this part that feels unnatural and unreal.

That I just fundamentally don’t understand what’s expected of me.

That I will always be on the outside looking in.

That no matter how I treat others, they will only interact with me based on what they can get from me.

That I fell for the dream that other people could want and accept me.

That I could have approval.

There will never be any approval. There will always be something wrong with me, something off-putting. Perhaps the over-enthusiasm I lapse into when someone actually talks to me like I’m a person.

I was more likeable when I was clueless, a person to be mocked and looked down on. People like to have someone to look down on. I know I do, but I satisfy that urge through the internet, not in personal interactions.

I want to end this loneliness and need for approval. How can I build myself up to that point?

An answer that continually appears is to focus on myself and my goals. To derive satisfaction from my own endeavors rather than accept scraps of whatever affection other people can spare.

Easier said than done. A life spent without any approval from childhood to adulthood undermines my ability to do that.

Rumination doesn’t help. It’s the worst habit of mine. That, and my tendency to find anything that punches the pleasure button in my brain. I don’t get that from social interaction so I replace it with food, escapism, and.. other things.

The world feels like a place where I have to constantly fight for the smallest crumbs of acknowledgement and belief from others. That there is nothing I can do right.

There is a constant undercurrent of resentment and frustration in my mind. I need to lower the expectations I have of the world, of other people. I’m not entitled to acceptance, love, affection from other human beings. I apparently wasn’t entitled to it from even those I needed it most from.

I don’t think I’m more important than other people. I just think I’m equal, with or without beautification. With or without cattiness and social savvy. I wish people were better than they are. But all I can do, is make myself better in the ways that actually matter, the ways many don’t notice or care about, because it isn’t visible to the eye.

The conclusions I’ve come to over the last few years of the blog are correct. I have to act, throw myself into what I care about even if it’s not optimal for the acceptance of others. Which I’ve already established isn’t going to happen.

I’m not traditional. Not in any way. I am not a feast for the eyes. I do not submit. I knew, deep down, that isolation and separation was what I would get when I decided to go my own way.

And I will. Keep going my own way. When nothing you do is right, then do wrong, and do it proudly. The strength I needed to just be, as I am, has always been with me, I’ve just wasted time and energy fixating on the wrong things. Maybe my appearance means most people won’t invest time and energy into knowing me. But that’s okay. Eventually, there will be people I can call friends and I will know that they truly, truly are.

Can’t change the past. Can’t vanish the damage. Can’t change the world.

Reject what doesn’t matter. Embrace what does. And hell to what others think.

Stand up.

No Complaints

Greetings from the land of Legbeardia. Here’s your complimentary Diet Mountain Dew and pint of Ben & Jerry’s. Leave your pink razor at the shore and wrap up in the nearest down comforter.

No complaints or rants in me today. Having a good day. I checked the scale for the first time in a week and found I’d finally dropped from 220, where I had been stuck for a while, to 215. Bout damn time.

People at work have been asking to see our doggo since we got him a month ago. So I went home at lunch, loaded his giant butt up, and took him to the office. He got lots of pats and pets and snuggles, and was generally a gud boi until he got excited. Never seen him try to jump on anyone before, he doesn’t do so when people come over to the house. But otherwise, he got loads of love, and got out of the house a bit. Poor guy gets lonesome during the day.

I’ve been playing Fallout 4 pretty heavily over the last week, like it’s my part time job. Hubby had been, in general, sh1t-talking it so I was reluctant to start. But I love it so far. The graphics are mindbogglingly good. Playing last night, I went into VATS (slow-motion mode) just as an enemy was shot by a lazer pistol, and I never thought someone exploding into red dust could be so beautiful. The settlement/building add-on is kind of addictive, though frustrating. It took a lot of trial and error to get something built, and even then, it’s very imperfect. Mostly having problems getting walls and floors and roofs to line up properly or place at all. Also, some brilliant person decided that un-removable hedges could overlap onto cleared building sites, making it impossible to build a wall there. I had to give up on a site and start building on another.

Also, when building your character, you can’t specify facial hair color. How can I accurately recreate my husband as my character when I can’t change the beard color? His beard is ginger, his hair is sandy blonde. His faux-angry reaction to me playing as him was amazing, though.

Tonight, though, housework is on the docket. There’s patches of black doggo hair on the carpet, the Xmas tree isn’t up yet (waiting for the protective anti-puppy gate to be delivered) and the sink is full of dishes. I also need non-smelly clothes for next week.

And yet. Days like today, my troubles feel far away in the distance.

 

Meandering Thoughts

I don’t hate makeup. I don’t hate hair styling. Sometimes I think I do, but what I really hate is my perceived lack of choice.

I am a programmer by profession. A job that relies on my mind and my hands. Not my face, not my shoes or purse, not my hair. And yet, I know I seem unkempt to my coworkers. Clean hair, earrings, and professional attire isn’t enough. My competence is always on the line, because it is difficult to assume it from a woman who isn’t “competent” at appearing womanly. If I don’t fulfill my obligation to the eyes of others, how can I fulfill my obligation to the company?

I find myself tired by interacting with almost everyone. Tired of realizing how immediately off-putting I seem because I do not do the right things, say the right things or look the right way based on that person’s model of a woman. Tired of realizing I will always be lacking in the eyes of others.

I’m also tired of fiction. I’m disappointed with heroines who are always feminine first, then heroic second. Even in books, the heroine is always concerned about her makeup and dress. Masculine women are almost always suspect, always brutal, and usually end up with bad ends. For women, femininity and heroism are tied together, just as masculinity and heroism are tied together for men.

I had a curious thought just now. While femininity and heroism being tied together rankles me, masculinity and heroism being tied doesn’t. It just seems natural. Huh. I have been warped by an androcentric (male-oriented) culture just as much as feminine women have, I suppose, but my reaction was wildly different. The flavorings of abuse and poor female role models probably contributed to that.

This is problematic. Do I view heterosexual relationships as being inherently unfair? Is my bedroom dead because I view my role as to always submit? I feel a lot of physical attraction to males, but not towards romantic relationships with them- male-female relationships tend to fall into comfortable, traditional grooves and a certain power structure that I am deeply uncomfortable with. More and more, I am unable to endure this in my own relationship. I don’t really think the traditional husband-wife dynamic bothers my husband because it benefits him. It’s easy. His parents did it, where’s the problem?

I love my husband, but I don’t love marriage. I don’t like this traditional role that I’ve settled into. Why did I get married, then? Because I didn’t think it would be like that. I didn’t think we would settle into that groove which is comfortable for him, but increasingly uncomfortable for me. He claims to want me to follow my dreams, but when I come home from work and spend hours cleaning and organizing, since he won’t do it, when is there time? He resists any efforts of mine to draw him into helping me, but will spontaneously, maybe once a week or less, put the dishes in the dishwasher or sweep the floor. And suddenly, he considers himself contributing equally to the household.

Is this a weight I’m always going to have to carry? What is the solution?

More thoughts to ponder upon.

A Rock, An Island

The opposite of co-dependency is counterdependency. Where a person actively resists being dependent on anyone at all.

It’s an aspect of my personality. I learned that I couldn’t depend on my mother, my father, or my stepmother. The people who I was supposed to rely on let me down, relentlessly, in terms of providing and protecting. I swung as far away as I could from my mother’s dependent and childlike ways. She blows along in the wind like a leaf, tumbling and helpless, always needing someone to rescue her, never able to help herself. Though she loved me, I very much didn’t want to be like her. In the same way I didn’t want to be like my stepmother, a narcissist who saw her purpose in life as being ornamental.

No one was providing for my physical and emotional needs, so I became hyper-independent. Determined to prove I could take care of myself, determined to prove there was something good about me though I wasn’t frilly and pretty and pink enough to earn my father and stepmother’s love. Counterdependency has done some wonders for me- I have a Bachelor’s of Computer Science and make a comfortable income. But it’s also made me hollow and empty. The positive things I needed in life, as a child, were fractured and not whole, not nourishing. But I still starve, even now, because of counterdependency.

My husband wants and expects me to be weak. He wants me to be vulnerable and to connect to him. To fall into a traditional woman’s role. I feel an absolute resistance to this. I can’t be weak. I have to maintain control. Nobody will help me, right? If I am vulnerable, that will be exploited.

Perhaps this is why I felt bizarre betrayal towards the Couple, two of my husband’s friends I perceived that I became very close to. I let them in, I began to need their approval, but they didn’t notice or care. I knew, eventually, that I would never be very important to them, they would never be family. And it hurt. In the end, they really did nothing wrong but I can’t help but feel like they did. My current method of avoidance is for the best, I guess.

“Where a woman takes on the counterdependent position, it may take on the attributes of a false self or androcentric persona.”

I don’t know about the “false self”, but the “androcentric persona” thing is spot on. I think about men, I think about being a man, many things I am into are “men’s things.” Because being a woman, to me, means being vulnerable and afraid. Like my mother. Or being catty, cruel, and unhinged, like my stepmother. In short, I don’t associate much good with being a woman. I wonder what life would have been like if my mother had been strong for me. If she’d been that positive role model. Or if my stepmother, instead of recoiling in alien horror at my lack of interest in makeup and partying, sat down and asked me about what I was reading or what I was interested in and why.

How to resolve this bitter attitude towards my own gender?

Still figuring that out.

Obedience or Freedom

I’ve been musing on what I want in life lately. What I guess I truly want, is freedom.

I suppose I should define what I mean by freedom. I guess I simply don’t want to be confined by what a woman is limited to.

But Queen Legbeard, you say, this is the modern world. Women can be whatever they want! Sure, as long as you’re feminine enough first.

Women like me are invisible in this world. In media, in the minds of others. When most people think “women” they think of someone with nice, styled hair, plenty of makeup, and body-fitting clothes. Appropriately sized and slender in build. So in broad terms, people think of “women” as the women they are attracted to. The rest of us? The older woman, the large built, the obese, the plain women, we simply don’t exist.

I’m aware I’m railing at a wall. I am coming to terms with the fact, slowly, that if I live a life free to look and do as I please, I’ll always be an outsider. Women who don’t wear makeup and who have clean hair without product are inherently untrustworthy. How does someone know a woman is obedient if they don’t bow to beauty culture, if they don’t know that their purpose is to please the eye?

I feel like I’ll always be somewhere, in my head, between a man and a woman. I’ve never felt drawn to the pageantry of womanhood. It all seems like a play I was recruited to without my knowledge.

I don’t fit in the role I’ve been cast into. I never have. And every day I feel the pressure to just.. not be me. To invest in and play the role anyway. Maybe I should just give in? It would make others happy if I did. If I woke every day early, before my husband, just to put on my costume others would see it as me “caring” about myself and being “hygenic.” I know enough to know wearing makeup and styling hair doesn’t mean either of those things. I’ve seen plenty of women who make terrible decisions in their lives while beautified to the max. Hair product and makeup are not hygiene. Cleaning your body, hair, and teeth is hygiene.

To show how toxic femininity is in my life, I’ve managed to convince myself that the things that bring me joy are off limits to me, simply because of biology. The stories I build may never reach screen or paper, because graphic novels are for men, not women. Certainly not high-action sci-fi with worldbuilding and character development. Not allowed. Not for me. And yet, the stories are what keep me going. I always have that world to dip into, an escape no one can take away. Same as when I was a burdensome weirdo in my childhood home.

No. My place is to be pleasantly feminine, full time worker and keeper of the home, always made up with a smile on my face. I’m not allowed negative emotions, only positive ones. Then I’ll be loved and wanted by others.

No. I won’t be obedient. I won’t take the well-worn path before me. It doesn’t matter that I won’t ever be accepted or cherished.

That’s the schism inside me. Obedience vs. freedom. Each with their own perks. Each with their own magnetic pull. Each with its own pain.

 

Spy

Really feeling the isolation today.

I need to do something other than ruminate on it. It’s difficult not to.

I “stalk” the Couple and my husband’s other friends. Mostly, I just peek in at the chat they all post in every day. It’s a double-edged sword: I get that old feeling of closeness again for a few minutes, while still knowing that I’m not one of them, won’t ever be one of them. My husband also left his FB open on an old PC that I now use solely for looking at his friend’s FB pages. I could temper that by saying I only really boot that machine up every few months, but it all sounds bad. I just can’t let go. These people that I deludedly saw as family, as close to me, when they never felt that way towards me. The more you need people, the more they keep you at arm’s length.

I ponder whether it would be better to not peek in on their lives, to not get that fake boost of inclusion. I haven’t come to a decision yet.

I feel the divide between me and my expected gender so sharply. Being more like a male in terms of interests and socialization style, but expected to aspire to beauty and relationships. I don’t want anything to do with it. I don’t want to have to care about dresses and makeup. But if I don’t, the isolation grows even stronger. I long for platonic male friendships so that I can interact in the way that suits me, but it won’t ever happen. The mismatch between what I am (female) and the way I communicate (masculine) is too off-putting. Just be more feminine, right? Be yourself. No, not like that.

It rests heavily in me. Knowing that simple human connection is so far away. Just buy the paints and powders and put it on your face, then they’ll accept you. Pretend to be ignorant about what you’re knowledgeable about and defer, then they’ll like you. Don’t pretend to be more than you are. You’re just a woman.

How do I break free?

Will I ever belong anywhere?

Is fiction and the internet my only relief?

Why do I have to be beautiful? Can’t I just be me, first?

Better Days (Structure)

Long time no post. A lot has happened since I last wrote.

I’ve lost about twenty pounds. All of my work pants were falling off my body, so I went shopping Saturday for new pants. I’m wearing these new fuzzy trousers that feel so good. Mmm.

Last week, hubby and I finally found the doggo of our dreams. He’s a Newfoundland, about 9 months old and is currently about 82lbs. He’ll get up to 130-150 lbs eventually. Because they get so big, Newfies go through a prolonged puppyhood. He’s very calm and even tempered, but is very much still a puppy. We’re currently teaching him to sit, which he has already pretty much mastered. He needs more training, but the personality he has now is fantastic and when he is a grown dog, will be even better.

The dog is keeping us busy, and since I’ve been busy, I haven’t had time to ruminate. I’ve had to *do* things, and not overthink it, or put it off. Maybe that’s the secret- keep yourself busy so that you can’t slip into these dark moods.

Sunday night I kind of slipped into a foul isolationist mood, though. I guess it’s bound to happen. I wonder sometimes if it’s something I’ll have to struggle with my whole life. I am getting better at recognizing that if it’s something I don’t want to do, that it’s something I have to do right now. I can’t let my inner depressive procrastinator rule my life.

Maybe things aren’t so bad for me. Maybe some of my observations about life as a plain, larger woman are correct. But the way I obsess over it does more damage than the snubbing and patronizing behavior of other people. I can’t control the way people think. I can only control how I react.

I’ve been doing better at work, too. I’ve become engaged again in what I do, and speaking to other people more and more, less resentful of having to tear myself away from the computer and talk to coworkers. Mornings are less and less hateful for me. I take getting up early in stride, just something I have to do. Not something to resent.

I need boundaries, I need restrictions, I need deadlines. When given freedom to rise and go to sleep as I please, I abuse it, which is why I got in trouble at work and lost that privilege. When I’m feeling empty and alone, the solution isn’t to isolate myself and beg for time to myself when Husband inevitably comes to call. I take undue advantage of the tolerance and sympathy of others for my issues.

So my next goal is this: if I feel resistance to a task, it means I immediately need to do it, no matter how hateful it feels, no matter no much I want to slump into a depressive hole. As time has demonstrated, even things that feel impossible (getting to work on time every day) can be accomplished if I *just do it.* If I had more money, I’d hire Shia Labeouf to follow me around and yell “JUST DO IT” at me.

Another goal, declutter the house. As I’ve mentioned to Husband, when I was poor having more stuff made me feel better. Now, when money isn’t much of a concern, all the clutter makes me anxious and unhappy. Plus, it’ll make it more difficult to move one day.

All things considered, maybe I’m slowly getting to a better place.

Visible Collarbones (Another Diet Post)

So I’ve lost 15 lbs, give or take, since October 6th. Adjusting to the ketogenic diet takes a few days, and during those days you encounter something called the keto flu. Your caveman body is pissed you’re not giving it delicious, rare carbs to run off of. It doesn’t want to run off of fat stores, it wants rice and bread and potatoes. Feeling crappy because you’re craving carbs makes it easy to fall off the wagon. And being sick makes it worse. Due to being sick and having a Halloween party, I’ve relapsed on carbohydrates roughly three times, and had to go back through keto flu three times.

Currently past the keto flu yet again, because handing out candy bars on Trick or Treat on Tuesday was too much to handle after last Saturday’s Halloween party. This is a bad time of year to diet. It also explains some of my unhinged posts from the last couple of weeks, all written in the darkest throes of metabolic unhappiness.

The process of losing weight and putting it back on and repeating that process ad infinitum is called yoyo-ing. I’m currently in a second run, having lost 100lbs and nearly putting it all back on, now taking it off yet again. Yoyoing is, overall, a terrible cycle to get stuck in. Loss of pride, having to buy larger/smaller clothes again, you name it. But the process, both gaining and losing weight, is somewhat pleasurable for me.

When losing weight, I get the excitement of checking the scale after a few days and watching my collarbones slowly emerge from blubber. There’s the prospect of allowing myself to shop for new clothes. Feeling how much lighter I am in every movement. Feeling less like I’m going to keel over due to blood sugar. Keto is like telling your pancreas to take a well-deserved break. Insulin? Eh, don’t need much at all- there’s very little carbs and sugar to handle. Another perk is a shrinking stomach- it doesn’t take much to make you full.

Gaining weight? The (seeming) positives are reduced mental load, not thinking about what and how much I eat, not thinking about anything much. Just going back to comfortable old habits that in the moment seem to help, but make things worse as days go by. Having the comfortable buffer of weight to keep other people away from me. I need to get away from that way of thinking for good.

My immune system took a dump after starting keto on October 6th. I developed an upper respiratory infection and still have a persistent cough. I also developed a cold sore, something that only happens when your immune system is too weak to fight it. I feel pretty good today, though. Hopefully I’ll be past all of this soon.

 

Long Black Days

It feels difficult to write here now. I had a couple of upbeat posts in a row, and I don’t feel allowed to post ranty posts if I’m having a less than stellar day.

Well, here goes. I have to tell myself not to care. It’s not like I have a following? This blog is for both good and bad days.

I’m wrestling with the knowledge that when it comes to me, everything I do is weird. Everything I say is weird. It doesn’t matter what it is. People assume the worst of me, and more and more I just want to be what they think I am. It’s easier than constantly fighting it.

If I had a child, the same thing would happen; everyone would assume the worst of me as a mother. I’d probably be fighting off CPS constantly on unfounded accusations.

Stop thinking about it. Stop thinking about how all your coworkers treat you like someone to walk on eggshells around. Stop thinking about your cluttered, dirty home and unkempt yard that only you think about. Stop thinking about your sh1tty hair that doesn’t look good short or long. Stop thinking about the makeup and styling mandate you received because you were born with female body parts. Stop thinking about how no one will ever notice the good you do and say because you don’t look right.

When I think about these things, I want to hide. Hide away where no one can see me. No one to see my failures. My achievements? One, what achievements? And two, if I did have any it’d probably be better to keep them to myself. No one would believe it. No one ever has.

I want a do-over life. As a male. My socialization style would fit much better. It wouldn’t matter that my hair is short and I don’t wear makeup. Maybe I would *fit* for once.

I want to go home.