In the moment
Right now, I'm in one of those moods. It feels like everyone around me has completely gone off their gourd, and my usual answer to this is to just stop getting input from that source.
It goes in the well, away from people's prying eyes. Everyone tells me how troublesome this all is, so it's best in the well. People don't lose their patience that way, or their tempers, or their fingers. There's complaints when I leave the well open, so I don't. But then I get yelled at for hiding it. Well.
I've tried this a million times before, but I never get very far. Someone starts at me again, and I never have the energy to get back to it. Or I make it private, and/or delete it once I'm on the rise back up. Or the contradictions eat at me until I'm convinced it's just asking for it to say anything-- I won't ever win, I'll always be the wrong thing, and any attempt to fix it is only going to piss people off more.
But right now, I'm happy to ride the wave of anger, because at least it's something beyond the constant confusion.
Here I am, at the bottom of the well, and the view looks green with algae.
Some days I wake up, and the whole world's gone crazy.
Everyone I interact with has learned some new code the night before, and I don't know it. I don't know how to talk to anyone. My brain feels like it's sluggish behind everyone else, and like people are trying to run me in circles with what they say. I see logic gaps and I can't get anyone to stop speaking in the code long enough to explain it.
I'm confused, then I'm frustrated, then I'm angry, then I'm hurt and apathetic. I don't know what people expect. I can't get them to tell me what they want.
People say you're supposed to talk about these things, but I've got a long history of handing people the ammo I get fired on with. I get run in logic circles, I get called names, uncooperative, indecisive, argumentative, haughty... you name it. It doesn't make you want to talk about your feelings much when you know there's judgment and subsequent punishment or retaliation coming, instead of the lie of understanding slipping through their teeth.
It goes something like this:
Misc: I need x from you.
Me: Okay, here you go.
Misc: Oh, this isn't it. The other x.
Me: You mean y?
Misc: No, the other x.
Me: There isn't another.
Misc: Just give me what I need.
Me: Ok, here. [gives x AND y]
Misc: What is this?
Me: I'm not sure what you want. I don't understand.
Misc: No, you know perfectly well what I want, you just don't want to give it to me.
Me: WHY would I do that?
Misc: Because that's what you always do.
Me: ...You REALLY want to reword that, because now I'm confused and getting pissed.
Misc: SEE? Here you go again! You're being uncooperative. You always do this to me, and I'm trying to help you.
Me: Help ME? I thought you wanted x! Why won't you tell me what you want, or at least explain what the hell you DON'T want or what I'm doing wrong?
Misc: NOW you're putting up a wall!
Me: ... FUCK this and FUCK you. You're speaking nonsense. I'll come back when you're sane.
Misc: You don't even want to try. You're just walking away!
Me: Tell me, in different words than the first time, what you want. Barring that, tell me what you don't want. Following that, tell me what I'm doing wrong so that I can not do it again in the future.
Misc: I need x.
Me: OMFG AM I SPEAKING CHINESE? PHRASE IT DIFFERENTLY, THERE IS NO X!
Misc: Of everyone in the world, you're the only one that has to make trouble.
Misc: Everyone else knows perfectly well what x is. So do you, you've given it to me before.
Me: Describe it to me, then. What did it look like? When was this? Was anyone else there?
Misc: Are you calling me a liar? You always do this! You've always done it, and I don't think you're going to stop because you don't want to. You don't care. You did it , , , and . You just don't want to give me x, even when I asked for it all those other times.
Me: But you JUST SAID that I DID!
Misc: But you don't.
Me: WHAT? Okay, you know what? FUCK THIS. Do whatever you want. I don't care. Obviously, I'm fucking up the process, and I always do it wrong, and I'm crazy, and... whatever else makes you feel better, but just don't bother me with this anymore, okay? Do it however you want and I don't care where you get your x.
Misc: You're only hurting yourself by not giving it to me.
Me: If I'm the problem, wouldn't taking myself out of the process work?
Misc: No, because I need x.
Me: ... GO. AWAY. *opens distance*
My feelings are wrong, apparently. I get misunderstanding someone's meaning, I get looking at something in a negative light, I even get focusing on the wrong aspects of a situation... but my feelings
It makes me immediately react, 'Who the FUCK are you?'
That's not even subtle, that's OPEN invalidation of my feelings. NOT conducive to share-time. NOT going to make me come back to you later. NOT going to make me open up, or tell you ANYTHING ever again.
It makes me want to go back to the well, where there are no contradictions, and no one angry at me because I don't understand, or because I need it explained.
Sometimes I feel like people expect me to build a house, and when I keep telling them I don't know how to lay foundation, they insist to me that the house has to be painted green. Well that's great, I'll make it any damn color you want, once I learn how to build the goddamn thing in the first place. But that's not fast enough. That's not good enough. I'm purposefully not being cooperative by pointing out that I don't have the capability YET to do what they expect of me. But taking myself away from it so other people supposedly more competent can do it while I sit back and learn is also not good enough.
I don't feel crazy. I feel like everyone else has gone crazy.
People can tell you that a dog is a lamp as much as they want. When you see that thing bark, and illumination doesn't come from it, you're going to think to yourself, "Man, these people are crazy. They all thing that dog is a lamp. What the hell is wrong with them?"
They can tell you that the dog sits next to the couch all the time, like a lamp would. They can tell you that they can read better when sitting next to the dog, as if they were sitting under a lamp. They can tell you his tail is really a cord, plugged into the wall, and that if you whack him on the nose, light will come out of his head.
NOTHING they say will make you whack that strange dog on the head. He might bite you!
But it's NOT a dog, it's a lamp. You need to just trust them that it'll work, and that no harm will come to you.
See how crazy that sounds? That's what the view looks like through the well.
My cycles used to be mild and tolerable. I'd have sharp up and down spikes that usually resolved themselves in a few hours or a day. No more than two. The past two years, I've rapidly spiraled down to a steady 3-day up/down cycle, and I feel like I'm in hell.
I can't seem to get anyone to understand how drastically reality seems to change. First everyone else is crazy, then everything in the world is GREAT and nothing can go wrong, then I'm the one that's crazy. No matter what data I use from other phases to moderate the distortion, it's never enough. I'm told that I'm making it worse.
When you can see your cycles coming, and they build and decline slowly, it's a lot easier to control. You can put yourself away and go down to minimal operating power until the worst is over. You know the worst is coming, you hunker down and wait for the shells to stop falling, and it passes fairly quickly.
After years of cycles that could swing every few hours, the end of 2004 brought a mental calm I had NEVER had before. I could finally have a life. Instead of haphazardly arranging my entire life around the cycles, I could live a life without the fear that my own broken head was going to ruin me. I could stop telling people about my mental disorders in the first place, I could involve myself in activities I didn't have the mental stability to maintain before, and most of all, I stopped thinking of myself as broken.
I stopped FEELING like I was broken.
Then in 2008 everything fell apart and I watched the well rebuild itself from nothing practically overnight. I tried to scale it, I tried to call for help, I tried to reach out, but the well is deep and swallows up everything on the bottom, out of sight. It's there when everyone else is, and when no one else is. Sleeping, dreaming, eating, writing, using the facilities, I hear the drips. People throw rocks down it and make wishes, but the well just eats rock, wish, and good intentions.
I tell people not to throw things down there, that you'll lose things down there, but people persist. They get angry when they lose things, but I'm not allowed to close the well.
Everyday is a desperate attempt to make sense of the day before, except my mind is being reset every day. I don't know how to behave, even if yesterday I did. Everytime I climb out of the well, something is different, and now I go back to it because no one can come down here speaking their gibberish and contradictions. I tried to put the bad things down here that people didn't want to see, and now I'm down here, because people always want to see the bad things, but I'm apparently the one getting in the way. I'll leave the lid off because I can't win anyway, and if the bad things eat fingers, then it only means people got what they asked for. I don't have to make sense of the contradictions down here because they don't have to matter.
The constantly changing expectations are up there, and people can't have me out of step. It disrupts too much. But in the well, I can't break what's only broken pieces. Everything sits at the bottom and never changes. It's always green.