Category: Advice

You Will Never Be Cured

We have this narrative that all you have to do to be a Good Human is figure out how to keep your house clean, capitalize on your education, utilize your left and right brain, forgive assholes, know the state capitals, “experiment” but not so it’s weird, have well behaved dogs, good smelling hair, sweaters that don’t pill, a calm and soothing voice but also a commanding manly voice, one pair of comfortable designer shoes, a watch your mom didn’t give you, healthy teeth, and a tattoo you got on a whim but still looks really cool 15 years later.

That’s totally a lie.

I recently had an experience where I made a joke about my anxiety and got 25 different suggestions on what I should do to fix me. Which is great. It means that you guys love me enough to tell me this stuff, but I also saw a pattern in the comments and I have something to say about it.

There’s nothing wrong with me.

And there’s nothing wrong with you either. We are functioning at peak performance for this moment. If we want something else, we can do something else, and then different things will happen. Different than what’s happening now, different than we expected, even.

There’s no magical switch that will turn you from who you are into someone worthwhile because you are already worth everything you will ever be worth. You were born worthy, you will die worthy regardless of any external factors.

If you decided to become a master carpenter or a physicist or get really good at coping with your depression or if you do nothing, help no one, and die alone, you are worth the same. It’s only a matter of preference and comfort.

Stop stressing out over being a good enough human. Stop thinking that the solution to your “problem” is over the next hill. A bullet journal will not cure you because there is nothing to cure you from.

There is no right way to be a person. There is only the way you choose.

To the Young, Oppressed American, Whomever You May Be

There’s a universal truth that nobody wants to look at, despite the fact that it is probably the most pervasive reality on earth.

Some parents hate their children.

Sadder still, some parents love their children but have no way to protect them, from themselves, from the abuser, from the cold and uncaring consequences of their own failures.

So we have nowhere to seek solace. In a world that also hates us for reasons of its own, there is no hiding. And it’s unfortunate, but I need you to buck up. Because, out of the 7.125 billion lost, sad, and abused bastards on this slowly dying space turd, you happen to have the extreme luck to be born one of the 318.9 million Americans. This could also apply to any one of the 35.16 million Canadians, 64.1 million United Kingdom residents, 23.13 million Australians, and so on… but this is America, so suck it other countries.

You have options available to you that other people can only dream of. And you probably don’t even know what they are. Because why would anyone tell you when it’s in the majority of their best interest to keep you small, afraid and ineffectual.

I had the benefit of some great teachers when I was younger, and I’m going to compile those lessons here for you. Read them, but know that they’re only my experience of what worked. If you only internalize one sentence in this entire blog post, it should be the next one. You have options. Just because someone says you have to do something doesn’t mean you do. Just because you don’t know anybody who’s ever accomplished the things you want doesn’t mean you can’t.

Handle yourself. Go to the nearest mirror and look into it. You are the parent now. Your parents can’t feed you, can’t keep you safe, but someone has to and you’re the only one here. This is where being an American is the best thing you have going for you. We are surrounded by wealth and you don’t need that much to survive. Start cleaning houses, mowing lawns, sell fucking oranges by the side of the freeway. Get an income stream that is independent of anybody else. Don’t get a job you need a ride to get to, don’t use parental connections, make something entirely yours. Live off this money. Whenever possible, hide a bag with a change of clothes, as many underwear as you can spare and some food that doesn’t parish. This is your bug out bag, and you may need it someday. Figure out how to escape your room when you’ve been locked in it. If the violence is escalating, don’t go home. It won’t get better, it will only ever get worse. If they say it will get better, that’s a lie and it will only ever get worse.

Some people want you to die. Whoever you are, this statement is true. They may be close or far away, known or unknown, but they wish you were dead and they will take steps to starve you out of this life. Decide if you will fight or if you will die. I recommend fight because dying will take so much longer and be so much more horrible than you think. Even more horrible than it is now, even more horrible than the worst days in the fight. If you will fight, fight. Do not let them tell you where to go, what to say, or how to act. Do not let them tell you what your options are. We already covered this, but they are lying. Figure out what game they’re playing, learn all the rules to it and beat the pants off them. Find the loophole, get what you need on a technicality if you have to. This isn’t semantics, it’s survival.

Lie. Whenever possible, lie to people who show an inability to hear your truth. They want you to lie to them. That’s why they change the subject when you start to talk about what’s really going on, that’s why they minimize the impact of what you’re telling them. They want you to tell them you’re fine. Say you are and move on. This is not an ally, this is a roadblock to your ability to thrive.

The truth is a powerful weapon. Use it to your advantage. Unleash it only when it stands to do the most damage to the oppressor and the least to you. This usually means when you’re free and clear of the situation and safely out of their control. Alternately, it can be deployed if you’re backed into a corner as a last resort.

There’s safety in numbers. The poet Jenny Zhang has said “I’m not going to accept the mentorship of people who don’t see me, don’t know me, and don’t understand me.” Conversely, if you have someone who’s in the shit with you, who knows from experience exactly what it feels like to be hated and cast out by your own parents, they may be an ally. If they are trustworthy (if they say they’re going to be somewhere and they show up, they don’t make promises they can’t keep) trust them with a small thing (will you keep this dollar for me until the end of the day, for example) and see what happens. If they can be trusted, you may have found somebody who can watch your back. Don’t get comfortable, though. Circumstances change and allies can become enemies over time.

Beware of caretakers. Some people will think it’s romantic to be friends with you. You are a waif, a scoundrel who’s own parents have cast them out. It’s like a cartoon they watched in their safe house with their good parents while you were hiding in a closet or a bush or any other kind of cover you could find to keep them off you. I’m not saying not to be friends with normal people. Normal people are the reason I graduated from high school. But you have to know that you need more than they can provide. If you try to rely on normal people, they will begin to resent you. After all, it’s not their fault you’re like this. If a normal person offers you something too eagerly, especially if they’re an adult: beware. People always want something in return. You are broke, young and you have no resources. They will probably want to fuck you, and they’ll probably imply that raping you is justified because you accepted whatever gift or assistance they offered initially. This is why it’s so important to handle your own shit. If you don’t owe anybody anything, they can’t collect in the form of your ass.

Find a sanctuary. This could be any place where you feel protected, where people won’t turn you in to child services, where hours or maybe even days can be spent in safety and relative comfort. Make sure that no one controls access to this space. The public library, for example is public space and therefore no one can be banned from the library. Sanctuary can also mean a cultural association like a church or a youth group. If you’re going to find sanctuary in youth-oriented space, be careful. Rules designed to protect normal children can also be used to make you vulnerable and dependent on services that either can’t be relied on, or come with too high a price (see previous paragraph). The good news is that anybody who tells you you have to follow their rules in order to be happy is lying to you. Always remember that you have options.

And finally…

Forget about all of this. If this works, you’re going to wake up one day in a glorious future. A future you built yourself, a future where you are safe and you don’t owe anything to anybody. You must become a soldier who hones his skills, praying for a time when they are no longer needed. Your dis-empowered youth is only a hurricane, terrible but brief in the scope of your life. Giving this shit up will be almost as bad as learning it in the first place, but it’ll be worth it. Tell yourself that this is likely where your parents stopped trying if you need motivation to press on. Don’t be like them. Don’t fuck this up.

Stop Saying “People Pleaser” Like It’s a Good Thing

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That’s not being “too nice” that’s people pleasing and codependency. Codependents aren’t nice out of the kindness of our broken, black little hearts. We’re nice because we think that, in order to manipulate another person into taking care of us, we must first take care of them. We over compensate for failures, do un-reciprocated emotional labor for others, and we expect others to do the same for us. We feel broken inside, and instead of using our meager resources to fix ourselves, we attempt to find another two-legged stool on which to lean precariously in a laughable simulation of real life and relationships.

We say things like

“They need me”
“But I love him”
and
“I’m sorry I fell asleep at the wheel and crashed my car into a preschool, but my mom is sick and my kids are doing poorly in school and my husband just lost his job again, so could you please tell all those mourning parents that it really isn’t my fault?”

If you’re still wondering when it’s going to be your turn, that’s probably because you haven’t taken your turn yet. You say yes to things you want to say no to, you put other people’s feelings before your own, and you’re standing on the deck of your sad, neglected tug boat wondering when your ship will come in.

Ships don’t go anywhere to come in from if no one invests the time and the money to build them.

There’s no such thing as “too nice.” Frequently people who think they’re “too nice” are perceived by others as being either doormats, or game players who have a pathological inability to ask for what they really want. Somewhere someone taught us, probably brutally, that when we speak up for ourselves, when we lay out our boundaries, we will be punished for it. Best case scenario, the people who taught us these lessons felt, or at lease justified their actions by claiming they felt like they were teaching us not to need so much. So when we asked for love and affection, when we needed to take a brake, or if we needed food or water and it wasn’t given to us, we learned a different way to get those things. We emotionally manipulated the situation in whatever way possible in order to be safe and fed, if not loved and adored.

Being mean to people only goes so far in securing their loyalty, but being nice, even “too nice” is a pretty great way to ingratiate ourselves to others, especially if, like us, they are deficient in basic skills and looking for someone else to meet the needs they should have been taught to meet for themselves.

So, how does one stop this soul-sucking codependency? A far as you’re concerned, I have no idea. That’s a journey you’re going to have to go on your damn self, but I started with saying no. And being mean. Especially to people who were mean to me.

Smart Answers to Stupid Questions People Still Ask Me About My Mother

Most of us who have separated ourselves from the narcissistic, emotionally manipulative and abusive people in our lives have been asked some really dumb questions about that over the years. Especially if the person in question is a mother. I don’t know if it’s run of the mill misogyny (“but women are naturally nurturing, a woman could never be an abuser!”) or some deeper, sadder reality (it is possible that most mothers are really awesome and we got the unfathomable end of the stick), but the concept of a child who doesn’t speak to their mother is extremely difficult for most people to grasp. Especially once the person in question learns that my abusive mother is dying.

Why can’t you just forgive and forget?

It usually shocks people when I tell them that I have forgiven her. Years of shitty daytime dramas and moralizing cop shows have lead them to believe the way abusive relationships work is that when the abuser is dying, you come to their hospital bed, forgive them, and then they die peacefully while credits roll and everybody gets to feel safe in a world where consequences are largely rhetorical and people who love each other can’t possibly hurt one another.

Forgiveness and reason are not mutually exclusive. I can forgive the stove for burning my hand, that doesn’t mean I’m about to snuggle with it. My mother is a shark. She was very literally tortured from an early age. She’s been places no person would knowingly send their worst enemy. Only an idiot would forget that about her. That she does the things she does is understandable, that I would walk back into that situation with open arms is suicidal. I can forgive her, accept her, and still stay away from her. These things can and must coexist.

But don’t you love her?

For a long time, I felt like I shouldn’t. That only a moron would love someone who had been and continued to be intentionally mean to me. But my life isn’t a reaction to hers. For awhile it was, but it doesn’t have to be and it isn’t today. Loving someone or being loved by someone isn’t a license to treat them however you want, and it’s only the fact that I was raised by abusive people who were themselves abused that I would even think that.

But she loves you, doesn’t that matter?

Of course she loves me. Lots of people love me. I am extremely fucking lovable, but just like my love for her, her love for me does not make it okay to treat me like shit.

She used to tell me that no one would ever love me like she did, and it would scare me because I was legitimately worried that no one would. When I met her, no one had ever treated me like I was valuable, or like I mattered. She told me I was precious, that she loved me, and that she would always love me. For the first time since she abandoned me, I felt like I belonged to someone. So, when she started to criticize me, when she told me that she thought I was retarded, that I was emotionally unstable, that I was incapable of doing anything but staying with her and taking care of her, I started to think she was right. When she told me that I would die without her loving guidance, I totally believed it.

When I finally moved out of her house, it’s not because I realized that she was lying and manipulating me. It’s because I was going to kill her and myself anyway, and I thought I might as move out first and die a free woman.

She still texts me sometimes, and one string of angry condescending texts from a couple of years ago ended with an emotional reminder that no one would ever love me like she did. I just laughed. I fucking hope that no one ever loves me like she does. If I had one wish for the future of humanity, it would be that no one ever loves anyone anywhere the way she loved me.

Okay, but why do you have to tell everybody about it?

If you’re reading this, and you’re thinking “TMI,” you have the option to fuck right off, and you don’t have to ever come back. If you don’t want to hear this shit, that’s cool. It’s totally not for you.

In a perfect world, my mom is a freak anomaly; the only one of her kind. But I know for a fact that’s not true. Not only do other people with parents and partners like her contact me all the time and tell me that my writing helps them, new generations of abusers are being born every day and that’s why I write about this shit. Not everybody is safe where they live. Not everybody can talk about it yet, or maybe they’ll never talk about it like I do. If even one person reads this and it helps them, the other 7.125 billion of you can go to hell.

She’s dying, doesn’t that change everything?

What normal people don’t realize is that narcissistic abusers don’t play by the rules. No decent person would pretend to be terminally ill for attention, but we’re not dealing with decent people here. Sickness and death are both pretty great ways to control people and avoid consequences, especially the relationship consequences that come with being narcissistic, emotionally manipulative and abusive.

I met my mother in 1994, and one of the first things I remember her telling me was that she was sorry she wouldn’t be able to see me grow up, since she would be dead in two years.

So, for the last 22 years she’s been dying. Sometimes quickly, sometimes only when somebody wants her to do something she doesn’t want to do, but dying all the same. And the thing about lying about dying is that eventually, you’re telling the truth. She’s been diagnosed with cancer four times, each one more dire than the last.

At first, I did change my behavior. I asked myself what a good daughter would do in this situation, and I did my best to be the loving, responsible and supportive daughter I wanted to be. Not because of her, but because of me. I spent a lot of years reacting to her and using her shitty treatment of me as a justification for being a really terrible asshole to my own mother. But I don’t want to be the kind of person who blames other people for who I am and what I do.

So, I made exceptions to a lot of the boundaries I’d put in place in order to be supportive and available for her in her time of need, but then I realized that she was using her cancer the same way she used her health issues before cancer to manipulate people into doing what she wanted. And she would practically levitate off her “death bed” if someone didn’t fall in line. She’s been banned from one of the best cancer hospitals in the US for attacking a nurse there because they didn’t do things her way.

If dying had actually changed anything for her, it might change for me too. But it clearly hasn’t. Dying is just another tool she can use to control people and situations, and she’s using it to the best of her ability. It was naive to think that, after all she’s been through cancer would have any effect on her.

How would you feel if you had a daughter?

Sometimes people are asking this question because they want to see me realize that if I don’t reconcile with my mother, my future children won’t have a grandma. When, in fact, she’s probably the deciding factor in why I don’t have kids yet.

Other times people want to know what I would do if, in the future, my daughter refused to talk to me. But that’s a false equivalency. I am not my mother, my future children are not me. We’re going to have a completely different relationship than the one I have with my mother. I will say that if at any point, I think it is okay to neglect, abandon, abuse, allow other people to abuse my children, or if I ever choose drugs over them I will deserve it when they never speak to me again. And if they ever do decide to reconnect with me at any point after that, I will doubly deserve to have them leave me again if I continue to be abusive to them. Because that’s how relationships work.

How are you going to feel when she dies?

Obviously, I have no idea. How could anybody know that?

What I do know is how I feel today. I feel safe in my home today. I am confident in my abilities both personally and professionally today. I have self esteem and I have hope for the future, which are all things I earned since leaving her house and setting firm boundaries against her being able to come into my life and say abusive, shitty things to me, attack me or my family, or demand that I pay her bills, or whatever other crazy thing she thinks I am suddenly obligated to give her or do for her.

The space between us has been equal parts agonizing and liberating. At the end of the day, I’m just a person. I love my parents like anybody else does, but I don’t have any illusions about who they are.

For years I let the hope that she could change or had changed keep me in a holding pattern, close enough for her to lash out at, far enough away that I managed to dodge a lot of the really crazy behavior. But it was tearing me apart. I’ve done a lot of work to get to the point where I don’t openly hope anymore, but I know that when she does die, whatever is left of that feeling will be ripped out of me. And it will be horrible.

I still live a lot of my life on the incorrect assumption that if I could only say, do or be something more than I currently am, that I could cure her. That if I could somehow prove how smart, caring, strong, and capable I am that I could earn her kindness, her consideration. It’s only my heart that feels that way. My brain has spent thirty-one years studying her absence, her presence, her rage, and her pain.

It took me so long to accept her as she is. And love her as she is. And know that, just like the hot stove, she will always burn me. And I also know that a lot of other people have the same struggle that I do. So next time someone asks you a stupid question about your abusive mom (or dad, or partner or whatever), feel free to give them the link to this blog. Because it can get a little tiring telling strangers this kind of shit.

Win at Fucking in 3 Easy Steps

A lot of people are insecure about their sexual prowess. They worry how their partners or potential partners will see them, how they will treat them, or how they will perceive their skill, or more than often, their lack of skill. Sometimes it can seem like good sex is a joke everybody else gets.

All of us have insecurities, but all of us deserve good sex and a safe way to have it. So I’ve written this little list to help us all remember that good, safe, satisfying sex is within our reach.


1. MASTURBATE

Practice makes perfect. We don’t shoot people into space without making sure they’re good to go in zero gravity. They spend hours in a simulator, then in a suit at the bottom of a pool, then in a crazy high altitude airplane puking up their guts and studying astrophysics or whatever. This is how you should approach sex. Probably not with the vomiting part, although this is a judgement free zone, if that’s part of your process, don’t be ashamed of who you are.

Get to know your instrument before you have to teach someone else how to play it. For so many people, masturbation is just getting the poison out, and sometimes that’s a necessary tool. If you ever find yourself unable to make a decision, I suggest rubbing one out. It’s a brilliant mental tool. But, masturbation is also training you how to approach partner sex. If it’s always rushed and clinical, what are you teaching your body about future sex?

Empower yourself to have the kind of sex you want whenever you want it. If you weren’t born with all the tools to make this happen, the Internet is a big, beautiful masturbatorium, both in terms of imagery and products. Order yourself some quick release cuffs and a dildo with a suction cup and go to town. I am officially giving you permission to fuck yourself silly. Dance like nobody’s watching. Or like somebody is, that’s cool too.

2. BE NAKED

I’m fat. This isn’t news. I spent a lot of time worrying that the people I was sexually attracted to wouldn’t be sexually attracted to me because my body was not the right shape. You could read paragraph after paragraph of me telling you that whatever the fuck is wrong with you, it makes someone’s dick hard or their slit wet, or whatever terminology applies to whichever indicator of sexual arousal any person on this planet would prefer to be used; or you could hang out naked and learn to be comfortable in your skin no matter what anybody says to you or about you as long as you got you.

In my experience, being naked is crazy good for your self esteem. Being naked with a potential sexual partner in a nonsexual context can make it easier to speak frankly about sex, and easier to feel comfortable when the scene starts to turn steamy. It’s easier to avoid worrying about how your boobs look when you’re cumming all over somebody’s dick if they’ve already seen those same boobs sitting at your desk, or laying on the couch, or in the bathroom while you were brushing your teeth.

This is also a great way to find out if somebody will be getting kicked off fuck island for body shame talk. Because sweetheart, if you can’t take my fat sitting on the couch, you definitely can’t take my fat sitting on your face and you need to get the shit out of my house and never come back. Don’t fuck people you don’t feel good being naked around.

3. TALK ABOUT SEX

Fucking someone without telling them how you like to be fucked or asking how they like to be fucked is like playing a video game without a tutorial. Yeah, maybe you’ll stumble over some up up down down left right left right B A start shit after hundreds of hours of fail, but wouldn’t it be better to ask for a damn map?

Especially talk about sex while not having sex. Talk in general about the sex you like, about the sex you think you’d like. Talk specifically about the sex you’ve had with the person you’re talking to, about what you enjoyed, and what you didn’t; what you were going for when you did that thing you did with your tongue and whether or not it had the desired effect, or if it’s maybe not the finishing move you were hoping for.

And for Pete’s sake, talk about what you don’t like, and let your partner(s) talk about what they don’t like. It can be uncomfortable to talk about some of these things, especially to hear a partner tell you that you maybe need some practice in certain areas, but how the fuck else are you going to have better sex if you don’t know anything about the sex you’re currently having?!

Also, talk about sex with your friends. If I have to listen to you talk about your mortgage re-fi, please at least tell me about fucking as well. We’re not in a convent, you are not Sister Mary Fixed Interest Rate. Please let’s talk about dicks. And pussies. And asses. And anything else that involves fucking of any kind.


I tried to avoid specific reference to any particular sex acts because that’s basically irrelevant when it comes right down to it. There are a million videos and articles on BJ techniques, and how to have the best ass sex. This isn’t what that is. Good sex is about ownership and passion. Once you have that, whatever kind of sex you’re having with whichever partner(s) you choose is the best sex. All the rest is drag.


Shit with the Door Open: A Guide to Intimacy

Back when we were moving, our friends Big Ben and Charles came by to help us pack. During a break, we were all in the kitchen, and Ben and I started talking about our old iMac, which was about to go to Goodwill.

I asked if we’d wiped all the porn off it, and Ben insisted that there never was any porn on the Mac. Then we had a somewhat lengthy and tedious conversation about who jerked off where, way back when the iMac was an active machine.

Apparently this isn’t a thing a lot of couples do.

Later that weekend, Ben asked when it was we first started using the bathroom with the door open. I think it was back in the dorms when we used to hang out naked all the time. The dorms were so tiny that when you closed the bathroom door, it was as much like being in a coffin as I’ve ever felt. Besides, we were already naked, sitting on the toilet wasn’t that big of a stretch. Especially if we were talking about something and wanted to continue the conversation. That’s the same reason we started showering together.

I’ve been asked how it is we seem to get along so well, and usually I answer that it’s about communication, but I don’t get very specific. Everybody knows it’s bad to keep secrets from your partner, but what constitutes a secret isn’t always clear.

So many people in monogamous relationships think they have to pretend to be something they’re not. There’s an assumption that if a person were to confess to something as inappropriate as finding people other than their partner attractive, or (God forbid) jerking off by themselves, that would be the end of their partnered life.

Everybody knows that monogamy is basically unnatural, but it’s not that fucking unnatural. Most civilization is completely counter to our basic animal instincts, but we do it because it’s safe and pleasant, and it’s only a very small minority of people who are actually made for tribalism. If your relationship is such a fragile house of cards that one look at another person, or one orgasm had not in their presence will ruin everything, you’ve got bigger problems than you think.

Do I tell Ben everything everything? No. He’s terrified of bugs. So when I find a cool one, I keep it to myself. That being said, do we have an understanding that each of us is a totally separate grown-up person with our own drives and needs? Yeah.

One of the unexpected joys of having a long term partner, for me, is that he has become a refuge. He is the only person on this planet that I can be with, and feel just as energized as if I had been alone. If I was for even one second false with him, that wouldn’t work. If I tried to lie to him about my needs, in any fashion, we wouldn’t be partners, we’d either be competitors, or adversaries.

Couples lie to each other all the time. They say they’ll be together forever, they claim to be “soul mates.” This utter bullshit isn’t bad on it’s face. In my opinion, and in my relationship, lies are okay as long as everybody involved knows that they’re lies. Some girls feel safe when they participate in the lie that their love is forever. For Ben and I, the one and only lie we knowingly perpetuate is that I am physically stronger than him. It’s just as realistic as calling him my soul mate, and far more productive for my mental health.

At the end of the day, every relationship is different. Everyone has their own truths and their own lies that they live by.

You don’t have to shit with the door open. You don’t even have to hang out naked together, or have lengthy discussions about masturbation. But you do have to be real with the one you love. When we misrepresent ourselves to our significant other, we are not only lying to them, we’re making it impossible for them to ever love us. The real us. Don’t hide in your relationship. That’s the real secret. Not everybody’s going to like you as you are. But when somebody does, they really, actually do.

The Brass Ring of Fire: Why You Don’t Have to Get RT-ed by Amy Poehler to Be a Successful Woman

Ordinarily, I love Amy Poehler, and on any other night I would probably be totally into her RTing tweets from accomplished women, recent grads especially. But lately, I’ve been feeling what Ben calls impostor syndrome, and what I am loathe to call anything other than cold realism when I get like this.

On paper, I’m great. I’m reaching goals, I’m on track in every comparison to similar business plans, I’m looking good. By my own principals, just the fact that I don’t have to work in an office, and my rent and bills are paid is everything I could possibly want.

In reality, that news from the accountant is hitting me harder than it has any reason to. It’s only an adjustment that needs to be made, but I’m so tied up in making this work that I don’t even realize it until I hit one little snag and I want to die of shame at how horrible I am. Then there was the mirror, which highlighted further the fact that I don’t have the kind of funds to deal with emergencies right now, even small inconsequential cosmetic damage to my car. And, to top it all off, I have to revamp my late payment penalties because they clearly are not a deterrent, nor do they make up for the damage late payment does to my whole entire life.

So, I’ve worked my ass off, I’m tired as hell, I just want to watch Star Trek and eat dinner, which is when this adorable bullshit started showing up in my newsfeed.

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If you are not feeling at least some bit of bitch pleas-ism with this one, I don’t know if we can be friends right now.

I started thinking about all these young girls with educational stars in their eyes. Just like me, really, before the world turned to shit. Here I am, an abject failure, at the end of her rope, with nothing to show for all the effort I put into this. Empty, lacking substance, a miserable sack of looking good on paper and nothing fucking else.

So I had my own little rant:

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But I pretty quickly realized that what I was mad about had nothing to do with those girls being more awesome than me in 140 characters or less. What I’m really mad about is what I’m doing right this very second. What I have done for the majority of my life to no good end. This depression is just the down side of a really stupid habit I think a lot of us have. It’s materialism dressed up as personal nobility, and it’s shit.

I feel so empty, and I’ve been given this message that I’m no good, that I’ll never be anything, or do anything worthwhile, and I believe it. With the best of intentions, I thought that if enough other people thought I was great, then I would also think I was great, but I was wrong. I’m doing it right now. I feel like shit when the business is underfunded because it’s not just a livelihood, it’s my worth on this planet. It’s my pass to the rest of humanity. That is so not the point.

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I realized this years ago. One of the things that helped me to recover from anorexia was the idea that my worth didn’t equate with a number on a scale. Instead, I thought, it should equate with grades on a report card. Then it was titles on a business card. Then it was any little piece of bullshit I could lay my hands on that would shore up this gaping emptiness for even one more miserable fucking day.

I always forget. I’m like a magpie. I think I’m fine, that I’ve learned a lesson, and then one little piece of shiny has me completely off track again. I don’t think I’ll ever really learn that I don’t have to pay to be here.

I thought that I needed a degree to make me human. After college, I spiraled into one of the worst depressions of my life because it didn’t work. Considering what I do, and what I like to do, it’s good I got the degree, but I doesn’t validate me. I tried to make it. It still didn’t.

Only one person can give me value. It happens to be the same person that can take my value away. Of course, it’s me.

I tend to shy away from the intangible. It scares me. So, eventually, I’ll gravitate back towards the material for my immaterial needs. That’s just how I’m wired. At least it seems like I remember why that’s a shit idea faster than I used to.

So You’re Worried About the Size of Your Dick. Or Whatever.

It’s easy to compare ourselves to other people. In many contexts, it’s a good idea. How do you know you’re headed in the direction you want to be without first looking at the people you want to be like in order to spot-check your progress? But this can get totally insane and completely destructive real fast if you’re not careful.

if you hate yourself more than you love yourself, youre going to have a bad time.

Low self esteem and body image issues are a weird sort of ego-stroking. If you hate your thighs, and you spend all day thinking about hating them, then you’re still spending the whole day thinking about yourself. It keeps you from regular human relationships, because nobody will ever be able to love you into better self-esteem, and everyone will either be too good for you, or terrible enough to distract you from your dick issues.

Also, if you’re image obsessed, good luck finding someone who isn’t a shallow fuck up.

what if I dolt you that feeling sorry for yourself is not an aphrodisiac?

So, don’t get caught up in the gifts you don’t have. Grow some fucking balls (because you obviously aren’t growing any more dick at this point) and get in the game.

small dick? fuck harder

For Kris, Who is Stuck In LA

wpid-Sketch86185312.jpgIt’s important to remember, that even as we experience all the joys of the great white North, others of us are not so lucky. Our friend Kris, formerly of Siliconera, now a producer at Level 5 in El Segundo, is one of these brave souls. Trapped in the concrete wilderness that is the number one worst place for traffic in this nation.

There was a time when I completely loved LA. I said things like “I don’t function outside the city” even though I lived in fucking Duarte. I rode public transportation, and I felt like one of the people. I smoked in the fog and was very romantic sitting on bus benches in the early morning hours thinking about my future. At the end of the day, it’s a nice place to be from. And it’s a good place to spend some years in. There are some things, Los Angeles things, that no one has anywhere else, and that it would be good to experience while you’re there.

So, Kris, and other homesick Northwesterners caught in a granite prison of smog and loneliness: Don’t despair. Lots of good things still happen in hell.

First. Watch this video. This will cheer you up, but it will also illustrate the way everyone who actually likes LA feels about LA.

(Go ahead and dance, I know you want to. I don’t judge.)

Second, you are not in a place where people live. You are in a place people experience. Disillusioned New Yorkers come to LA so they have content for their novels. In the country, old ladies rock their rockers on wide, white-washed porches and wax nostalgic about their time in The City. Think of this as a fact finding mission. So that in 20 years you can tell the kids about the time you dodged hobo dick on your way out of a Hollywood Boulevard Taco Bell. (Call me, I’ll try and do it justice without being able to convey the hand gestures in an audio-only format.)

wpid-Sketch86202422.jpgAnyway, this is what you should do with this time:

Ride public transportation: First, once you’ve ridden public transportation in Los Angeles, every other first world country on the face of the Earth is a cakewalk.

The people you’ll meet on the Metro, especially on the city’s much-forgotten subway, will be among the least forgettable people of your lifetime. 100% satisfaction or your money back.

Experience the revitalization of the LA River: You can say you kayaked Styx back when people thought it could still be reclaimed.

Go to the Beach: I know, I know, I get ear-fulls of how great other beaches are, but guess what, you’re stuck here. So get your ass to the sand and sun. Learn to surf or something. Join a drum circle.

Then go skiing the next day. Because you fucking can. Sadly, Mountain High has been closed since March 5, but if they get a good snow, take advantage.

wpid-Sketch86204629.jpgGo to Hollywood. Just so you can talk about how dirty and sad it really is.

Go to West Hollywood. On Halloween. You haven’t been to LA until you’ve watched two mummies face-fuck in front of a eight and a half foot tall drag queen.

Go Outside. That’s the whole point of this sun-baked microwave oven, isn’t it? Get a bike. Ride it on the strand and nowhere else. Unless you’re suicidal.

Buy a car. Drop $1,000 on something that’ll leave you stranded in the fast lane of the 405.

Like I said, this is an experience. It’s a crazy time in your life. Get laid, develop a habit (preferably for exercise or something that won’t kill you).

Wear sunscreen.

A note on the sketches: I drew these while we were listening to local band/musical thing The Sandbox.