On Lying

I’ve been lied to, many times in fact. I’ve definitely been lied to more times than I will ever really know. Some of those lies are made with no specific bad intent, and are ultimately not so bad in the long run. That happens.

I’m told tiny lies all the time that only serve to puzzle me as to why people immediately leap to lying instead of saying that they really mean. “I have to stop texting, my battery is running low” really means “I have things to do, please stop distracting me”. If I were told the latter by my best friend instead of the former, the result of me giving her space would be the same. I don’t see why a lie is the way that she chooses to deal with me. That’s her issue, not mine. It doesn’t bother me because I have decoded her intent. It just confuses me that telling a lie is somehow easier than telling the truth.

One lie, depending on the magnitude, can beget an intricate web. It becomes a drug that keeps pumping through the veins of the illusion from the black heart of the original lie. The first lie might even seem small and insignificant, but as more lies pile on, the intensity of the need to lie increases. In for a penny, in for a pound, as they say.

The worst are the lies we tell ourselves. Often these lies are learned, because we receive them from other people, even people we trust; if it comes from someone we trust, it must be true. Sadly, this logic isn’t sound.

The worst lie someone has ever told me was the direct opposite of what I thought the best thing someone could tell me in truth. I love you.

Sure, this lie made me really happy in the beginning. How could it not? I was in love, after all, and it felt amazing to have that love returned. But finding out that the entire relationship was balanced on top of a complete fallacy did damage that I used to think was completely irreparable. I’ve shed innumerable tears, always alone, always lying to myself and telling myself that I was not worthy of love, that I was only useful to others for what I could do for them. I give a lot to those I care about, and never expect much in return. I felt, upon uncovering the lie, that I had been used – everything taken, nothing returned. This lie developed into a phobia – not a fear, because I can logically look at my situation and know that what I fear is complete bullshit, much like someone who has a phobia of spiders can know that spiders aren’t that bad in theory but freezes in terror at the sight of one. My phobia is that once sex has been obtained, I am no longer of use to a partner. That is all I am.

Complete and utter bullshit! But it pops up in my mind. I tell it to fuck off, but it lingers there. I’m working on killing it. I am much more than my body, and very much more than what my body can do to please people. I’ve worked hard to refute the lies I have told myself because of this betrayal. I am not preyed upon because I appear to be an “easy target” – I am not preyed upon because I am only marginally attractive and therefore will spring at any opportunity for someone to enjoy my company. The lies told me to don’t always have anything to do with who I am or what I do. It comes down to the fact that other people have their own shit to deal with, and it is incredibly unfortunate that they drag me into it with them. Sure, loving me was a lie, but to keep that lie alive for so long, there must have been something in me that was valued. There are easier ways to get satisfaction, after all; lying to me and keeping me in your life is an extremely complex way to masturbate.

I  don’t write this to call anyone out on their lies. I could have easily named names, or listed every lie that has ever hurt me in hopes that it would shame people into apologizing (I’m not looking for that), but this isn’t about anyone but me. I am learning to make myself a priority, which is something with which I have had a huge challenge in the past.

Your lies, initially, are your business, but they do have effect on those around you. I write this to help me process the fact that the lies I have been told sometimes don’t have anything to do with me, and I am just a bystander, innocent or not. Perhaps I should have known better, but life is a learning process. I lived. I loved. I learned. The lesson was pretty fucking dark, but I learned nonetheless. I open myself up to experiences that are not based on horrendous lies.

I’ve opened my eyes and realized that there are likely hundreds of lies I have told myself over the years – lies that I learned from those around me, and lies that came as the result of someone else lashing out at me because they felt backed into a corner of shit. It is now my task to identify those lies and defeat them with truth. It might be a lengthy process, but it will be well worth my time.

I also write this so people will hopefully feel the call to look at themselves and reflect on the lies in their lives: both the lies they tell those around them, and the lies they tell themselves. Stop lying. Be honest. As cliche as it might sound, it really is the best policy. Sometimes the truth hurts, but trust me: lies can hurt even worse.

(And please, whatever you do, keep your pity. Things happen. They sometimes suck. But I’ve grown stronger, and hate calling attention from other people to the negative things in my life.)

Advertisements

On S.A.D.

Today was gloomy. I love the smell of rain, and I love the sound of rain. Why did I start feeling low when the grey clouds rolled in? Why did my vampires arise? What the hell was going on, considering how terrific my life is going at the moment?

Oh, yeah. S.A.D. is back. Great.

I am always flabbergasted when this time of year comes around and I start getting Seasonal Affective Disorder again. You would think I would remember that this happens every Fall/Winter, and yet I seem to forget about it when it Spring rolls around. How I forget that I spend half the year in a fog of miserable, negative feelings is beyond me. I must block it out.

I don’t ever remember how I have dealt with it in the past. Every year I do a Google search for treatments, reread the same Wikipedia article, and think that maybe it is time to get one of those lamps. I make a mental note to remember my multivitamins. But I don’t really recall how I got through it, day-to-day. I just muddle through, and I’m sure that I have lots of high moments, but I have a feeling that I have a lot of miserable moments that I choose to forget because those times are unpleasant.

I likely block it out because it embarrasses the hell out of me that something as trivial as weather (and weather that I love, to boot!) can change me into someone even I don’t want to be around. I supress it, and try to make it go away by ignoring it. I pretend it isn’t a problem, which is something at which I am skilled.

I don’t want to do that any more.

I am making a concious choice, right this evening, to manage this disorder instead of letting Fall and Winter life pass me by. While I’ve been thinking, for the last few weeks, about how the season will turn soon, I have been delighting in thoughts of hot toddies, sweaters, cuddling, blankets, tea and a certain box set of a science fiction show to whom I shall soon be introduced. I want to continue to be excited about all of these things, and everything else that life has to offer me.

I went running today for the first time in a few weeks, and that really helped. Pushing my mind into this activity, and the blood flowing through my brains, lifted my mood. I need to remember that, and act on it. I need to concentrate more on self care. I need to continue to surround myself with people who hug me, as that always helps.

I am going to live, not just live through this.

Re: On Vampires

(Author’s Note: This post is a direct response to a post written by someone very close to me. To see the original post, please go here. I will be using lines from the original post, and when I do so, they will be represented in bold italics. I was first read the original piece out loud by the author, and had a very strong emotional reaction to it. I decided to dissect the piece to see what caused my reactions. I don’t know if I have been entirely successful in this endeavor, and at many points I am simply expanding on the thoughts made in the original post. I go into this with no specific end game – simply an exploration of the piece and my reactions.)

This piece, and my reaction to it, concerns vampires as a metaphor for dark forces in life.

They only come when invited. I feel that we all start our lives in a state of complete vulnerability and naivety, and it is bitter sweet that this leaves us open to experiences that aren’t always pleasant (as there are several situations that we are open to that are glorious, but that openness disappears once you are wounded). Being this open only becomes scary once it is used against you. Unfortunately, when someone is not aware of the dangers, it is easy to admit vampires into ones house. What is worse, is that when one is warned, one lives in fear of vampires, and one finds it hard to trust. Living a life without the ability to trust is, in itself, a vampire.

When you let in a vampire, you must force it out. Once invited, they can return at will, at any time, invitation or no. This is why it is so important to kill a vampire – otherwise the host/victim will be plagued with self doubt and fear that can return at any time to meddle with otherwise beautiful life experiences.

A Vampire may disguise itself as its prisoner/victim. Once bitten, the master need not be present for the victim to transform to darkness. The mark left on the victim is enough to remind the victim of the fear, negativity and terror that the master inflicted. A signature effect of Vampirism is to make the victim convince his or herself that the Vampire is not a Vampire. The victim has thoughts such as, “it is not a problem, this is just who I am, and there is no way around that.” The victim struggles to embellish whatever is good in their life and bury the bad from the sight of those around them, least someone else suspect. They are just trying to hold on to what does not cause them ill intentions and feelings.

“It is good enough,” is a devastating feeling, as though “this is all I can expect, as I am not worthy of more.” Soon, actions turn inward, to try to further bury the vampire into ones soul, to hide what you are becoming. It can lay there, dormant, and ever waiting for the moment to strike at the next victim.

In the presence of a vampire, your entire way of moving, speaking and being can change. Your breathing may not be natural, if it is present at all. You are under an influence that takes you away from your natural state and forces you to change for its own purpose, but to the detriment of your soul. That which pains you can lay dormant, ready to strike again when the Vampire activates or deactivates its power – this can be reactions to how you are treated or to situations in which you find yourself. The vampire struggles to thrive and survive within its host victim, and feeds on its energy to ensure the host complies.

Once the host of bitten by a vampire, It can make you engage in Vampiric acts. You end up hurting others because you are hurt, and you threaten or attempt to control those around you as a means of survival, simply because the vampire needs this dark energy to continue its own survival.

One of its signature weapons is confusion. Vampires cause the victim to feel as though you have no power over your life – you do not have the power to improve or change your situation in any way, as an attempt to do so would surely lead to self destruction. I’ve had times in my own life where it was easier to suppress thoughts that something is wrong rather than deal with them potentially getting worse.

The appearance of a Vampire may be alluring – it can be downright intoxicating; the initial feelings include wonder, attraction and giddiness, but this is followed by extreme illness. It can be dizzying, as the victim tries to eject the poison, but the poison has taken hold and is tenacious in its mission to cling, devour and destroy. Eventually, the hangover of being bitten by a vampire seems like a normal state of being. The victim is compelled to continue this destructive behaviour least he or she enrage the vampire further and be punished more severely.

Trying to help someone kill their personal vampire by lashing out directly at the vampire can hurt the host if he or she is not clear on the rules of vampirism and the motivation behind ones attack. Even if the victim understands vampirism in theory, they may not be ready to fight or be willing to believe that their vampire exists, or is even a problem. Best to leave the afflicted as they are and hunt your OWN Vampire. The need to help someone else kill their own vampire can build up in your chest, suppressing the beating of your heart and rendering you helpless. Lead those afflicted by showing your actions of defeating your own vampire; it will help to empower them to realize their vampire is real and needs to be destroyed.

If you want to become a skilled Hunter, surround yourself with other Hunters. A supportive environment is extremely empowering. It can help to open the eyes of those who have been bitten, and give them strength to demand that their life force be returned. A like-minded community can entirely change ones outlook, and help the victim realize that change is not only possible, but a much better way to live. People ultimately need to kill their own Vampires so the want for change must come from the victim. The hand that strikes the stake into the vampire cannot be forced by an outside influence and expect the strike to land exactly on target.

Vampires are masters of disguise. Most often it is [a] job, a trade, a situation, and energy, a habit, and aspect of a relationship, or a host of other things. A place or a memory can keep you in fear, and ultimately can result in the death of that part of yourself, if you let it. You need to outsmart your vampire, and one of the best ways to do that is through self love. Reflecting on your actions and why they occur can help one to destroy their demons through truth.

Hunting a vampire can strengthen a relationship. Killing one can save it. Vampires can harm a relationship by taking over the host; killing the fear that the vampire imparts can open the host to positive relations. Beauty is in its truth. Beauty is often masked by the vampire, wrapped away, and kept from the host least he or she be able to see their own potential and rebel against the dark force. Why does Dracula toss away Harker’s mirror? The mirror helped Harker see the truth, which is no aid to a vampire, but ultimate aid to a Vampire Hunter.

Stud[y] a Vampire’s past… present location and future moves – once you see the patterns in which it moves, you can track the vampire, break the patterns and kill the plague. Understanding, although incredibly important, is not enough to deal with the vampire; it can actually provide a hiding place. The victim might have a false sense of accomplishment in identifying the vampire, as though that in itself will keep the vampire at bay. The effect is only short term. You can do a lot of work to try to vanquish a vampire away with logical thinking, but the reason needs to be completely believe and acted upon to result in a vampire kill.

Killing a Vampire doesn’t necessarily yield an instantaneously positive result. Destroying your vampire will be better in the long run, but it opens you up to scary situations along with positive opportunities.  Vampires thrive on the fear they instill in the host as a way to control them. You have the power, right now, to undertake a heroic act that could (metaphorically) kill you. Once you are properly equipped, take the leap. You will take hits. You will feel pain. Ultimately, it will release you from a long term burden of a vampire constantly lurking in your shadows. [F]rom that which has been lost, flowers bloom.

***

Much of my initial response to this piece likely had to do with identifying with the situations it alludes to that parallel situations in my own life.

Once a vampire is killed, the scars it has left still remain. They may fade, but they will always be a representation of a dark time in my life. The best way to look at them is a victory, not something that makes me marked or dirtied. I had an experience and I lived through it – I won. I defeated the vampires who have fought tooth and nail for a piece of my soul, for my life force, and I may need to rest and recuperate, but that does not diminish my victory. Self care and self love will enable restoration after fighting for my life.

On Fiction

My one true love is fiction.

No matter where I am in my life, if I have some piece of fiction at my disposal, I will be all right. It doesn’t matter if it is a written or visual package of fiction – as long as the characters are endearing or compelling, and I am able to care able whatever is happening in the moments the author chose to record, I am immediately enriched. The act of consuming fiction engulfs me; waves of safety, tenderness and care wash over me; the lights go down at a venue and the stage play makes me forget the terror of wading through the audience. There are stories I can revisit time and time again, and characters that I know would be lifelong friends if our circumstances were different; if they came into my life as people in my reality, we would be there to support one another, laugh in the best of times and weep during the worst.

I have some people akin to my favourite fictional characters in my life, but instead of focusing on how that sensation seems to lead itself to the idea of “few and far between,” I tend to realize that my habit of moving around has made it so that I am constantly separated from people in my life who are extremely dear to me. I know some amazing people, and wish sometimes that we were wrapped into one piece of fiction so that I might interact with them more often, but even if that were to happen, I am sure that we would live on a fictional map of an extremely large size, so that side plots could be carried out in different locations so they wouldn’t have to be in the direct consciousness and influence of every awesome person I know.

Perhaps this complete infatuation with fiction explains why I haven’t been able to have a relationship in which my complete devotion and love is returned in equal proportions. Until rather recently, I have led my life believing that everyone has a love of their life that exists in human form that can be everything they need to each other. I have tried to be that for a couple of men who either took advantage of my naivety or simply needed something other than what I could provide. It took me a very long time to realize that it wasn’t a matter of me not being enough for these men; I just wasn’t exactly what they needed.

Although I might fall in love with another man at some point in my life (I like to think it can happen again, so as to not close myself off from a new exploration of romantic love), my bond with fiction will always remain fierce. I might find a person who wants all the usual relationship dynamics, but I am quite all right and not at all heartbroken by the notion that this might not be where life will lead me. The stories I read or watch enrich my understanding and I feel as though my appreciation for them brings them a step above whatever the author created in his or her own mind. Although I definitely appreciate the authors of my favourite fiction, it is not in them that I place my love; stories belong to the readers, and although there would be no story without the author, the story is locked in darkness until it is brought to realization through the mind of the reader.

Don’t misread my words and think that I am waiting for some fictitious knight in shining armour, or suited man in a time machine, to whisk into my life, change it forever, and toss me into a real world life the likes of which our reality has never seen. That is not why I love fiction. I don’t dote on it in the hopes that something that lives only in the imagination will spring forth in my life, and I don’t lament that my prince still hasn’t arrived. I used to think that it was the natural course of life to fall in love and follow the usual steps of adulthood as a partnership. It turns out that not every life goes that way, no matter how hard one tries to live an idealized life. Existence is much more interesting when you cast aside preconceived notions of what it should be and live your life how you see fit. As long as you are kind to others, explore what you enjoy and don’t put others down for doing the same, life can be a complete thrill.

That being said, sometimes life crashes into periods of disappointment or sorrow, either in regards to outside elements or internal issues, and this is where fiction has bonded with my heart. Fiction allows me to escape the exact moment I am in and explore a different moment in time and space. It doesn’t matter that the fictional moment is not always better than my real life situation – I delight in absorbing what it is like to live in all sorts of situations that would be classified as “shit times” without having to actually contract the disease, be mentally distressed or have the villain capture or abuse me. It is just the fact that someone I have grown to know through prose, dialogue, facial expressions or body language is going through something that I can comprehend and relate to that pulls me in and takes me on an adventure. I’ve wept with, or for, characters who have been wronged or who deserved better, and my heart has jumped joyously with those characters who have achieved more than they could ever dream.

Fictional also allows me to explore a poly-amorous side of myself that does not exist in the real world. My soul has yet to allow physical relations with more than one other human being without a feeling of doing harm, guilt, shame or not being an outstanding friend/lover. With fiction, I do no harm in loving several characters throughout a television series, throughout a stage production, throughout a novel or throughout a movie. In fact, my love for each of those characters is not diminished in the slightest by my love for every other character or plot line that takes hold of my heart. I’ve never felt need to engage physically with more than one person at a time in my life, but I feel a wild sensation and absolutely no guilt in consuming stories, and the souls within them.

Fiction also has this incredible power of bringing people closer together. Upon finding out someone else has read/seen the same thing that you are crazy about, and found enjoyment in that fiction, an intense connection can be formed while discussing fine details and character behaviours. Fiction nourishes me when I am alone and brings me into the lives of other fantastic people. Fiction brings means of discussion, self-reflection and heightened emotions. Fiction, no matter the form, is an art that wraps me up, keeps me feeling secure and grounded, even when the situations aren’t always safe. Creation of other worlds, people and situations, and my subsequent enjoyment of these elements is something by which I am very proud to be delighted.