on a positive note #420praiseit dylan surprised me with a 2-lb bag of sour patch kids and coconut milk mint chocolate thing ice cream because easter
happy sweet tooth
lol i haven’t celebrated easter since i was 17
also i think a lot of my expectations as to how a relationship is supposed to work are informed by the failures of my longest relationship
this is problematic for a lot of reasons but namely because i keep expecting these abuses to be tossed at me and they aren’t and then i have some things so deeply ingrained in my mind (i am lazy, i am weak, my problems are not important, the things and people i love are not important, i don’t need help) that i don’t ever think i’ll get over them without a lot of work.
i am not lazy; i have narcolepsy.
i am strong.
i deserve help.
most importantly, i end up discrediting dylan inadvertently in not acknowledging the fact that he is empathetic and kind and patient and supportive and loving and not abusive. hence, a few hours ago we talked on the phone and i grew defensive of my use of medication, thinly veiled in a general defense of the benefits of medication and the problematic nature of people saying of medication that it is “numbing”, even though we were talking about something much more personal than ignorant fucks advertising that medication is evil and that ~too many people are on meds~ and ~everyone has some kind of bullshit disorder today~ and ~prozac nation zombie meds~ and ~fast food nation~ and ~ableism~ and he was not attacking me or the choices i make about my body and the things that it needs at all.
part of this comes from the “okay when are you going to start being mean to me?” and also more nuanced things like me being off of prozac right now and the subsequent resurfacing of hardcore body dysmorphia and suicidal ideation at zits and lurking facebook profiles and the complete mental, physical, and emotional exhaustion i feel at trying to get treatment for my narcolepsy or even just living with narcolepsy period and i mean even other things that i can’t talk about because i have become a person with secrets
what i need to remember is that dylan is dating me because he likes me
and that if he didn’t want to be dating me then he could dump me
and then he could do whatever he wanted and we wouldn’t be dating
that is a very simple formula and a very simple way to look at it
i have not trapped him
he is still free
it would be simpler to remember and believe in this thing if i believed i was even a smidgen good, dateable, likeable, loveable, presentable, not human garbage that sleeps a lot, whatever
but i should tell myself this thing because it is true and because the simplicity of this truth is refreshing
watch when he dumps me tomorrow lole
BLAZERRAZOR SAID: ALSO I THINK IT’S THAT WAY CAUSE YOU WANT PEOPLE TO KNOW WHAT’S GOING ON BUT YOU ALSO DON’T WANT TO HAVE TO TELL PEOPLE LIKE ONE ON ONE AND ANSWER A BUNCH OF QUESTIONS WHEN IT CAN JUST BE THERE FOR PEOPLE TO SEE AND UNDERSTAND.
yeeep. in the weirdest way, facebook is a legitimizing force but it’s hard to remember sometimes that it’s not real. it’s intangible. it’s a multifaceted concept. so like. if you’re dating someone, you want to put it on facebook so everyone knows and understands and so that it is more concrete but nothing can make a relationship concrete, you know? everything is fleeting and relationships themselves are intangible and flexible. and then the facebook thing legitimizes breakups—“we officially broke up”—and everyone can see it and understand it and know that it’s a thing.
i read an article that said that people who have their “in a relationship” status on facebook take that relationship more seriously, probably because of the public nature of it and also the “if we break up everyone will know”—although you can just hide your relationship status when things go south for an easy way out. but your relationship is different; that was a long relationship and not ambiguous.
similarly, folks who had “single” listed generally got laid more between relationships than people who had hidden their relationship status so there’s that too.
because everyone goes to facebook for like confirmation of other people’s basic empirical life data. it is a voyeuristic culture.
dylan and i are still not facebook official
we have been dating for over 10 months
i feel very basic for wanting to be so even when he expresses his adamant desire to not do it
i think i just want something i have never had before in a publicly open way
i don’t know
i wrote a long post about it that i was going to publish but then it devolved into a creepy and very direct and selfish and self-pitying appeal for love and also a testament to my incredible depth of mental illness so
i saved it as a draft and i will either make him read it tomorrow or i will put it on my secret tumblr and then have no one read it since that tumblr has no followers (and certainly won’t get any if i fucking post that) but w/e
dude i am one intense motherfucker never doubt that
you may be wondering, too,
"why, paige, do you write about hating yourself so much online as opposed to in a private forum like a journal?
does it not just seem like a cry for attention and an outpouring of affection from the people who surround you?”
i ask myself this too sometimes.
my answer, recently realized, is that i have no one to talk to about my body dysmorphia. no one. at least, not as far as i know. when i try to talk to real people, my friends, my family, people who love me, about it, i feel like so often the conversation is shut down really fast. like, “but you look fine and why do you care what other people think?” end of conversation. or there is an embarrassing (for me) attempt on the other person’s part to enumerate all of my positive features before brushing the subject aside as a closed case. as if this is a singular, isolated moment of self-loathing. sometimes after a while there is even a hint of annoyance like, “you’re bugging me with this shit so much that i’m about to call you ugly just so you stfu and don’t mention this to me ever again.” i feel bad for throwing this seemingly petty problem on people who do care about me, and i also feel bad for the fact that it is not a petty problem to me; it is, for me, a matter of life and death. and it is a problem to which there is not even a fraction of a solution, seriously, save being completely rich and curing my narcolepsy (which is not a “thing” btw—narcolepsy is an incurable condition).
and to answer that, to tell you why i care sooo~ much what other people think and hope with my entire existence that people think i’m really pretty like the most gorgeous and subtly expressive person (that will never. ever. happen and not one person will/could/would ever think that—and why do i make beauty into a competition when i will always lose that way, and why do i need to be the superlative?), well, it’s because i damn well can’t turn to myself for validation or any positive thoughts ever. when i turn my gaze onto myself and what i look like and what i’m doing, i fucking hate everything about myself except my feet. i have nice feet. having nice feet doesn’t do jack shit for self-validation. i can’t start an internal body acceptance movement, an entire upheaval of my negative thoughts, based on my pretty feet. i need more to work with. even when i talk about how pretty my feet are i start to have doubts and wonder if they are actually average or subpar.
so. i have no one to talk to about this in real life and also nowhere to turn for validation, least of all my own brain.
i work out my crises in writing. time passes. my hair grows. my skin clears up. the season changes and i’m suddenly excited about the clothes i haven’t worn in months (a problem i have mid-season is that i feel that i look shitty in all of my clothes and so need new clothes. this is not chill because i am poor and can’t afford that so i often end up either wasting money or feelings sticky and uncomfortable in my own clothes). i still want to die because i’m ugly, but maybe not as actively, because i don’t detect as many “problems”.
"i’m ugly"—maybe that’s not the best way to put it. i do think i’m ugly to the point of being abject. to myself. in turn, i assume that i must be abject to other people. when i took queer and feminist theoretical approaches to art, i learned the term "abject". i adopted the term "abject" as an identity. "ugly"—maybe not. "ugly" implies that that is the way that other people see me, not how i see myself. and it is not how i really am, according to other people. what i really am is typical, average, mundane. like on a basic level, 0 to kim khardashian or whatever (i cannot explain my recent obsession with the way kim khardashian looks; this obsession is self-destructive and also not entirely/at all conducive to my life), i am average. on the misogynistic scale of looks, rationally speaking, i am a 3 or a 4. maybe on a really good day i am a 5. maybe that is too high. why do i do this to myself. the point is that i look at myself and i am disgusted. i am even disgusted sometimes by my slight lack of disgust when my eye catches on something i like about myself. oh, look how the right side of my hair looks today. but it is a betrayal; how could i like myself. i am gross. i am abject. i need to turn and look at myself from another angle so i have a realistic (read: negative) view of what i actually (think i) look like. there, my eyebrow is too straight and despite the fact that i have removed all the fine black hairs from my upper lip, i imagine that i now have a gray "5 o’clock shadow". i wish i were fucking supreme, flawless, double-take. who doesn’t? but when you have body dysmorphic disorder, that is how you are and that is what you think about every second of every day and your brain adds leagues upon leagues between what you think you are and what you want to be. the way you want to present yourself to the world. the middle point, i guess, is what you actually are. you can never rest. i can never rest.
even narcolepsy aside, i can never rest.
often, i can’t leave my house or even my room to venture into public because i am afraid of what i look like and i know i am not presenting even near my best (my personal best is admittedly low) and my expectations of myself are so high that i don’t want to be seen because i know already, as if i can read minds, that everyone’s immediate reaction to me, naked-faced or with one zit or red-skinned or puffy-eyed or round-faced or with uneven-bangs or in dirty shorts or bloated, will be a registration of me as an ugly person. and i can’t handle that. it’s not even stated, said, voiced, it might not even be a thing, and i can’t fucking handle it. i can’t read minds. i know this. i can’t deal with my inability to read minds. i wouldn’t be able to deal with the ability to read minds either. the ability or inability to know that other people may or may not think i’m not attractive. instead of dealing or not dealing with everything, i stay home and i sleep.
sometimes i skip classes because between two classes i notice that my skin is dry (oh look i put foundation on my nose and it was a solid color this morning but now it is splotchy and flaking) and i can’t have other people, prettier people, look at me and think, “why is her skin dry? doesn’t she know how to take care of her skin? doesn’t she know about x moisturizer?” or, here is a good example. i recently cut my own bangs and they are wonky. part of this, i think, is because i can now see my left eyebrow and i am not used to that. but i was afraid of going out in public because i figured any attractive person would wonder why i did that to my hair instead of going to a salon to get my bangs cut and do i know it’s uneven and looks like a child cut it and it is not face-flattering. i spend at least a half an hour trying to arrange my bangs, and then the rest of my hair. i end up staying home because i take too much time grooming before class. two hours, sometimes. two hours grooming myself to sit for 75 minutes in front of a decrepit old white elitist professor who i hate, to hear this man listen to himself talk. there are eleven other people in the room besides me and him. i have no other obligations after that class. why do i do this. sometimes in my mind i equate conventional beauty with intelligence, which is really fucked up on a lot of levels (ableism, looksism, probably more things, maybe also internalized misogyny), but it doesn’t stop me from doing it. people would not read me as smart by looking at me. i want to be read as smart. i want to be read as smart, sexy, hella cute, hard femme, regular femme, boyish, androgynous, perfect. i am bland. i am a blob. attractive people (read: anyone who i read as more attractive than me, which is tbh most people on campus) intimidate me. i walk with my eyes downcast so that nobody can see me, or so that nobody can see me looking at them, me, the person whose eyes are unworthy to behold them (i actually think that sometimes!), me, creepy abject me.
even trying to evaluate myself is weird because i feel like i have some detached level of self-awareness about the whole thing. when i read myself as low on any given scale of attractiveness, people are surprised, try to bump me up, try to tell me that i’m way underestimating myself. i think i’m being fair, though. here, i was going to make a list of the ways in which i am being fair, but all it amounts to is that my body is not photo-ready and i have some fat in “undesirable” areas which makes my body look not at all “proportionate” and i don’t have much of a shape and i’m hairy and my skin isn’t perfectly clear and even-toned. i’m also not very good at makeup (i cannot make discoloration disappear i cannot contour my nose or cheekbones very well i cannot make it stay on my face i cannot make my eyebrows look ethereal i cannot have dewy skin) and wear clothes to hide my body instead of wearing clothes to accentuate my body just as i wear makeup to hide my face kind of. makeup is a bit different for me. i am anticorporeal and i hate my face for various reasons but makeup is kind of fun to do. even if i’m underrating myself, though, i am not 100% best, or 100% best me, or what i think is 100% best me, which is what i want to be, which i can never be, so there is no point in being realistic, i guess.
i know what i look like but i don’t know what it means. i misread my own body. i am bad at picking up context clues. i am not fluent in body language.
part of me wants you, someone, to die a little inside because i am wrong, i am seriously misevaluating myself, omg, look how expressive and beautiful my face is! you just want to cup my face and tell me that no, actually, i am 100% ideal, just the best. and you mean it. you really do. that is fucked up on a few levels—comparing myself to others, narcissism, vanity, pettiness, etc—which is why i am admitting it. i know it. i also know that it will not happen because it is not true. it is a weird little fucked up fantasy i put in my brain when i was a child to make myself feel better about looking like a chubby, pasty frida kahlo before i had friends who thought frida kahlo was cool. it probably will not go away. also it will not help and it would not help if it had happened because some parts of it have happened before and they did not help except maybe it would be different if i were telepathic, utterly certain of someone’s sincerity. i cannot read minds so i cannot know if past sentiments with good intentions were sincere and also i just know i can name at least 20 women in my life off the top of my head who are actually flawless and i can tell you the reasons i am not on that list. the first one being that i am me, not them. i am envious and also scrupulous and also sincere.
also, what is the point of being attractive? of wanting to be attractive? i don’t owe anyone “pretty” or “attractive”. i owe no one anything with my appearance. no one owes me anything either. but i feel like i am missing out on something if people don’t look at me and think, “wow, dream babe right there.” i am missing out on opportunities or friends, somehow. i suppose it has something to do with my utter fear of rejection due to social anxiety (who doesn’t fear rejection though, on some level?) and my desire never to be rejected for anything ever. which is completely unrealistic, and i have been rejected plenty of times in a plethora of microscopic ways all the time every day and i can handle it but i also can’t. i feel like people would be nicer to me and pay attention to the sprawling sentences that leave my brain and then my throat maybe more often if i were prettier. too often, people stop paying attention right in the middle of my attempts to express an idea, a thought, a feeling, even people who love me. i am not sure if this is some kind of reflection on me or them or both. maybe i lack conviction when i speak. maybe i would have more conviction if people wanted to look or even gaze at me when i spoke. maybe i am just long-winded and boring, which is something my mom implied when i was in elementary school. well, she said the long-winded part but not the boring part. my mom would not call me boring, and not only because she is my mom and has to say kind things to me to keep me afloat, but because i think she genuinely believes i am not boring and that i am in fact inspiring (and soft-haired).
semi-related: it is hard, i am realizing vicariously through joan didion’s blue nights, being a parent—especially a parent of girls, especially a parent of neuroatypical girls. my mom and my sisters and perhaps a handful of my friends are the only people in the whole world i suspect of being genuine with me, of never saving face, of never pretending to listen to me when they really aren’t, of never getting tired of caring, of genuinely worrying. these are some of the people i have known the longest or at least the most intimately and with whom i have been through the most; they could not possibly have ulterior motives because at this point they choose to put up with me even though they don’t have to. i offer them nothing and owe them everything. i am usually a bad friend and sometimes a bad daughter or sister. i am not a bad friend in what i imagine is the conventional way, fights, but i disappear in my own life and i cut off communication and i do not reach out when i need help and subsequently do not get help and subsequently cannot function as any semblance of a real human friend.
the point is. i write about my body image problems to air them out, to release them from my body in a way that i can’t when i’m talking to other humans. i can type faster than i can write, and the thoughts are fast and fleeting. why publish them though? a cry for help? maybe, i’ll grant you that. cognitive behavioral therapy didn’t help my ocd and i imagine (maybe wrongly?) that cbt for bdd is very much like a mental, hyperaware application of body postivity. you slather it on. you have to set an alarm twice a day for it or something. you have a recommended dosage. they wean you onto it. i like body positivity and i engage in/with it whenever i can, and i think it is important so fucking important but i can’t fully embrace it either because i can’t always do as i say i do. i find that i am unable to apply it to myself. so my only option, then, is, i guess, destigmatization. i have this disorder and i live with it and it fucking sucks and these are the things it does to me and if you think i am vain, you may be right, part of me wants to say that you’re right (maybe the disordered part), that i am vain and superficial and not even good at being those things, but also, there is some more to it than that and i can’t just stop and i don’t know what to do about it except just try not to freak out too much and jump the waves, brace myself, try not to want to die. cliché, cliché, cliché.
i really hate the general way i look rn
i haven’t had an even okay-looking day in a while
idk what to do about it so
so upon realizing that i can no longer go without makeup because my skin is really red, i’ve decided that i need to revamp my skincare routine
i generally have dry skin to the point of flakiness. sometimes my forehead is a little oily or even oily and flaky, like a buttery croissant. my skin is also pretty red lately but it didn’t used to be as pronounced. when i was like 18 or 19 i did not wear any makeup and my skin was generally pale af but it had some pink areas, which were generally chill and cute in retrospect.
i suspect this may have to do with the fact that a few months ago i adopted a solid routine of cetaphil bar soap for dry/sensitive skin + st. ives/kroger/equate refreshing/fresh apricot scrub + clinique dramatically different blah blah whatever moisturizer + palmer’s cocoa butter stick w/spf on really dry areas. i only do all of this once a day, but i think it’s the scrub that’s really fucking me over, because now i have to exfoliate hardcore EVERY day or else risk weird application of foundation on my nose and cheeks. in fact, even when i do exfoliate, fountation shows up kind of spotty especially on my nose and either flakes or slides off. it’s weird.
i’m thinking the most important thing is to use a gentler exfoliator that rubs away flakes while also soothing red skin, and i may start with an oatmeal scrub but tbh i don’t know that i have the energy to make it every time i run out. idk. i also used origins’ modern friction once and really liked it so maybe?
as for cleansers, i’m kind of over bar soap so i’m looking into cetaphil, neutrogena’s oil free acne wash, or philosophy purity made simple blah blah. bar soap just feels very unsanitary to me idk w/e.
i also need a solid fucking moisturizer that moisturizes the shit out of my dry spots (which are also my acne prone spots wtf) and just chills out on my slightly oilier areas (which still flake, which implies they need hydration too?)
i don’t understand my fucking skin but i do know that i want to be able to wear less makeup if i want to.
i accidentally took a 10 mg vicodin pill this afternoon instead of my nuvigil
so i went to class and when i started sweating and feeling nauseous i was like, “why?…OMFG NO”
i went to the bathroom and puked and then went back to class and tried to try
the worst thing is like narcolepsy + vicodin = basically comatose to the point where i can’t walk home? so i’m just sitting in the student commons spacing the fuck out
tbh i feel like shit lately because my bangs look like shit and are so uneven every time i trim them i forget to cut them in a v instead of like a / like i usually do
and i have so many like huge zits and scabs on my face and my skin is straight-up red just like red and uneven and makeup doesn’t really help i’ve been thinking of buying a more full-coverage foundation though to just suffocate my skin because why the fuck not ya dig
i at least feel a lot better since i started shaving my arms but also like ugh i have to shave my arms now
and i feel weird about like…i want a better shape like more hourglassy but also i want to be okay with my shape now and i want to wear tank tops and look hot but i also feel like my boobs are flying out all over the place when i do so i just don’t know idk fuckkkk
some of this has to do with recently facebook lurking someone i should never ever ever ever facebook lurk because it’s bound to always lead me to feel like shit about myself fuck
i am so so excited
so in about a month dylan and i are roadtripping up to lbg to spend some time at my mom’s house and then we are gonna go to rachael’s college graduation in indiana, pa, where i have never been and dylan will get to meet rachael’s boyfriend blake and they will get along
also dylan can meet my friends and shit
we might also go to baltimore and dc on the long way back to richmond to see lorde and angel olsen respectively (in reverse order though) lolol it’s going to be so much fun! i’ve only taken a long roadtrip with a boyfriend once, and that was when i was 16 and moving to pa and we were in the car with my family and 7 cats and one of the cats was literally decomposing and dying on my lap (he actually died that night)
so this will be fun!
i got asked for my number twice last night waahththat
also got called pretty or gorgeous a few times which also utterly baffles me also i don’t know how to take compliments like that so i usually just stare at the nearest wall and shake my head
this time, too, the people who were calling me pretty/gorgeous were like, “you do know that, right? you must know that” and i was like, “NO i do not believe in that”
i’m a great catch
i’m thinking it was because i was at empire and also maybe the youngest person there and also one of few femme-presenting folk fun times
it is always these warm, beautiful days when my body dysmorphia kicks in strongest and demands that i buy new clothes because my brain tells me that my body is just gross
fuck this shit