Ever since my cross-country move from Washington to Georgia, I’ve been living in a sort of time limbo.
I am fairly quiet these days. I work remotely for the same company I worked at in ND, which is wonderful. I truly love what I do, and the company’s flexibility has worked in my favor to allow me the privilege of doing what I love, while living where I’m happy.
I’m just minutes away from BelovedNephew, now, and we get to see each other pretty much whenever we want, barring work.
I’ve been here now, for a little over 2 months, and yet…
Every once in a while, I stop, and realize that I am actually doing this.
Soft reset of the brain and emotions.
I’m actually fulfilling a dream I’ve had for years by moving cross-country – and twice, at that!
It’s only a little over over a week shy of the 1 year anniversary of my first move from North Dakota to Washington.
I’m really here. I’ve really done it.
And, my 2nd move from WA to GA I drove a 36-foot RV with only 2 cats for company!
When I have these moments, I’m overcome with almost all the emotions; awe, fear, happiness, sadness, excitement, & dread.
It’s a lot, & there are times I have to pull back into myself to try to process the rush.
Nothing jarring, no explosion of temper or giddiness. Just a quiet withdrawal, a period of isolation, until I can stick my chin out again & move forward once more.
Today, I’m sitting in an airport, headed North for the weekend. (I’ll write a separate post for that after my return home, it needs its own space)
I had my soft reset moment, staring out the window of the terminal.
I can’t have my physical withdrawal right now, in all the public.
But, I can withdraw behind my mask, and drop into my Kindle, mentally.
It’s gonna be a loooong day of flights, airports, walking, & sitting uncomfortably.
But, I’ll get through it.
Look how far I’ve already come to realize my dreams!
I’m sarcastic. This is a given fact, and if you’ve ever met me in real life, it’s fairly obvious after about 5 minute’s worth of talking.
When I’m at work, in front of customers or certain coworkers, I mask.
Masking – a process in which an individual changes or “masks” their natural personality to conform to social pressures, abuse or harassment.
If I’m in an unknown social situation where I’m expected to “conform” to social norms, I mask.
But catch me in a known, comfortable, or laid-back social setting (ex., with friends, or my kids)? And you’ll get the Sarcastic Sister.
And… I use it to deflect criticism, as well.
In fact, I will use sarcastic self-deprecation to head off criticism from others.
I mean, if I’m cutting myself down… what good is it for someone else to attempt microaggressions & insults?
After all, I got there first, and with far better sarcastic insults about myself than anyone else can come up with. Who knows me better than me? Who knows right where to stick the knife so as to thwart further injury by outsiders?
I emotionally cut myself to prevent others from doing so.
That’s priceless logic, ain’t it?
So, to show what I mean, a friend of mine upon moving away, gave me a box of affirmations. In the “advent calendar” style, you can pop one open & read something nice, that’s supposed to boost your mood about yourself.
So, of course, I’ve started opening them, & immediately twisting them.
Cause of how I do.
One day, I decided the shit was deep enough around me, so I’d take it easy on myself…
One of my coworkers asked me yesterday
“How the hell.do you think these things up? Do they just pop into your brain as soon as you read the cards?”
It’s called Maladaptive Cognition.
There’s always that small “voice” in my brain that pipes up to knock me “back into my lane”.
Another coworker told me I should write “sarcastic self-affirmations”, cause they’d sell like crazy. Meh. I know they might, but why risk yet another form of rejection among so many others?
I usually just shrug it off in front of others, & lay it off to “Well, I’m just twisted.”
They agree, & we go on about our business. They’ve been entertained with my antics, & I’ve prevented someone else from hurting my feelings by beating them down a little myself.
I can feel the edges crumbling, the particles of my balance slipping into the cracks at my feet.
Everything hurts, & I can’t afford anymore doctor bills.
My RA is flaring in places it hasn’t been before. Or maybe it’s not RA, but the beginnings of fibromyalgia, the same as my mother has, mingling it’s chaos with the rheumatoid I already know, and that has been diagnosed.
Who the fuck knows.
And, since I can’t afford more medical expenses, I can’t get anyone to believe me.
Fuck invisible illnesses.
The anxiety & depression are only worsening, as my chronic pain settles even further into my system, denying me rest, denying me decent sleep.
All of which, are causing migraines, as the stress of it all builds.
It’s spiraling, & I can’t ask for help.
I’ve tried explaining, tried telling family that things are sliding Sideways.
But, it’s just not a priority.
They don’t hear me.
They don’t understand, that the smaller pieces I’m telling them, are tests.
And no, fuck, it’s not fair to test my loved ones, but in the state my brain is right now, I can’t bring myself to let it all go.
Because, if they don’t hear the little pieces… The times I continually say “It’s really hard trying to do this on my own”…
I emote a lot through music. It’s just one of the ways I can gauge my own emotional capacity & wellness.
Basically, what I’m currently listening to, is a pretty good weather-vane into my mindset & mental health.
(And yes, I’m always looking for new music, everywhere I look) A lot of what I find, I will either grab off my Amazon Prime Music, & put it in my playlist for work, for working out, for Roadies. Or if someone tells me about a song & I can’t find it on Amazon Music, I’ll go look for it on YouTube, to see if there’s a video. (There is almost always a video)
Here’s my latest favorite play list:
The Vengeful One – by Disturbed. I’d love to hear someone make a delicate, soft, feminine remake of this. It’d be creepy as hell, & make a great soundtrack for a vicious heroine/villainness.
Therefore I am – by Billie Eilish. This gal has such a grand presence with her soft, whiskey voice. It’s hard to sing along to, sometimes, because I want to sing at volume, but that’s all wrong for this one.
Lemons – by Brye. This gal’s song I first heard a snippet of on TikTok, & fell in love with the lyrics. I finally found a Demo version of it on Amazon Music, & had to buy it to keep. I know the whole song by heart, & funny enough, it’s my notification sound on my phone.
Jekyll & Hyde – by Five Finger Death Punch. I want to be Jekyll, but I’m always fuckin’ Hyde… as the song says. Both live in my head, along with all the other varied sides of my Gemini personality. Jekyll can be logical, but pretty cold, too. Hyde is much warmer, emotionally, but likes to burn things… like relationships, bridges, ya know… the “easy-to-fix” stuff… *rolls eyes at self*
Phantom – by Allen Mock. This is a “get-out-of-my-own-head & just feel the rhythm song. And when that beat drops… dayum.
Overwhelmed – by Royal & the Serpent. This – is my anxiety in a nutshell. It’s so damned fitting.
Villain – by K/DA. This fictitious group is represented on YouTube with CGI videos for League of Legends. They’re some of the female characters, supposedly. The gals who sing are a mix of Korean K-pop stars & English/American/British singers. They’re phenomenal, & this isn’t the only song I love, just the current song in rotation.
Boys Ain’t Shit – by Say Grace. My Beloved Nephew turned me on to this one by sending me the YouTube video. I love this song, & know this one pretty much by heart too.
The Devil’s Bleeding Crown – by Volbeat. More heavy metal. There’s a lot of that on this list. Heavy metal helps me when I’m angry, stressed, depressed… so, pretty much most of the time. I’m thinking it’s the drums, because those always just send me into a zone. And the screaming. Yeah, the screaming helps.
People I Don’t Like – by Upsahl. I just love how don’t-give-a-fuck this song is. Pretty much how I feel in crowds anymore. Like parties I’m obligated to attend. Yeah, not my favorite timesuck.
No Scrubs – version redone by Unlike Pluto. This is a retake on the original by TLC. It’s just got such a sway to it. I love it better than the original.
Protocol – by Leon Else. This song was referred to in a book I really like, so, since I’d never heard of it before, & liked the way they described the feeling of it, I had to look it up. Yeah, it’s that good.
This is the New Shit – by Marilyn Manson. Yeah, I know he’s getting a lot of hate these days. I still love the irreverence of this song.
Wrong Bitch – by Todrick Hall. I LOVE TODRICK HALL. But this is one of my favorite MOTIVATIONAL songs. Don’t at me, just don’t. Cuz I won’t hesitate. Watch the damn video. Do it.
Purple Hat – by Sofi Tukker. This song is just so “mellow LSD trip” (or what I would imagine one would be). It’s bizarre, which Sofi Tukker likes to do, the beat is definitely catchy. Now if I could just understand all the damn words!
Why Do You Love Me – Charlotte Lawrence. Again, very “Bad Bitch” vibe. Definitely sassy & probably psychotic, but I still love the vibe.
Did Ya – by BoA. She’s a South Korean singer, songwriter, producer & actress. I love the message of this song. “You should have appreciated me when you had me in your life. You didn’t. So I’m out. Suck it.”
Out of Hell – by Skillet. Pulled this one back into my current lineup from my archives. I went on a “Skillet spree” a while back & bought whole albums. Some days, it’s just how I feel.
And… last, but most certainly NOT least. I found this band through TikTok videos, & have fallen in love with quite a few of their songs. These 3 are currently on my “most listened to” rotation:
Falling in Reverse – Yeah, the lead singer spent some time in prison. He paid his dues & doesn’t deny what happened, or his part in it. But make sure you hear both sides of the story.
The songs I love of theirs right now are:
Just Like You – I’m an asshole. You’re an asshole. Everyone’s an asshole – sometimes. It’s just true.
Losing My Life.This one is a little off kilter – with the “time travel” referencing. But the beginning of this song… it inspires me.
And… my MOST FAVORITEST RIGHT NOW –
Popular Monster.This fucking song. Right here. Go listen/watch it NOW. I could probably listen to this 20 times a day right now & not get tired of it. Just go do it. Damn.
There are other “filler” songs on my work list, but these are the ones I’m bopping my head, tapping my toe, dancing in the office (yeah you read me) to.
And I really don’t care if people think I’m weird.
Cause they’re right, & I’m proud of it. I worked damned hard, for a lot of years, for that moniker. I wear my freak flag with fucking PRIDE.
So, those are the songs. If there’s something here you’ve never heard of, go check it out. Go. GIT! Expand your horizons. And if you have a favorite song not listed here that you’d like me to check out (Yeah, I take suggestions – I love finding new-to-me music), comment! If you think it’d be a good therapeutic fit for me, tell me about it & I’ll check it. (As long as it’s not country… just no.)
I can’t decide whether I love or hate social media.
Yeah, it helps me keep in touch with friends & family I don’t get to see much, if ever. And I get it, if I don’t like something about it, maybe I should just get off that platform, right?
Well, it really doesn’t matter which platform you use anymore, there are trolls everywhere.
Shit, Twitter is one of the worst, IMO. It was trolls that put me so far off that platform, I simply abandoned my Twitter account, & walked away without deleting it. *cue dusty wind blowing & tumbleweed rolling across screen*
Instagram is the pressed-plastic, Barbie Dream House version of people’s “lives”. It can be amusing, & I find some great memes there, but I’ve never taken anything there as real. It’s all window dressing, never mind the pins & tape behind the curtain.
TikTok has changed something for me, though. Some days it’s good, & it makes me feel great about myself & the world, and some days, I have to put my phone face down on silent & walk away.
Goddess, don’t even get me started on Facebook. 🤐
My point is, I used to be one of those so-called “keyboard warriors”, out there till the wee hours of the morning defending the downtrodden, and burying the bullies.
Or, so I thought.
But, I finally came to realize, that – Even if you feed trolls garbage…
You’re still feeding them.
I get it, it’s REALLY difficult to walk away when you see this bottom-feeding behavior on a subject, site, or person’s post that you care about. And it’s SOOOO easy to let your itchy trigger fingers wander over the keyboard & give them a good smack-down. Or what you THINK is a smack-down, anyway, because honestly? They’re probably sitting with their phone in their hand, or in front of their keyboard, giggling to themselves over ALLLL the ATTENTION and validation they’re receiving.
Because it IS validating, in their minds anyway. It proves their existence, & their “nobody gets me, the world’s against me, so I have the right to stand here & yell louder than everyone else”.
They enjoy being polarizing, & watching as people around them start spinning in circles, popping off at them, while they’re safely munching popcorn behind their screen.
And, it’s absolutely infuriating to others, when the trolls refuse to back down, or inflame situations higher.
But – in cases where it’s just trolling? And not actual internet terrorism? And, by terrorism, I’m talking bullying, harassing, doxxing, stalking, etc… ( and yes, all genders are guilty of this)
If it’s just some Incel wanting to start a virtual fisticuffs for funsies?
Blocking works. I’ve blocked so many strangers on social media, because I’ve seen them being trolls to other people. I’m just glad that so far, there’s no numerical limit to how many people I can block, or I’d have hit that wall on Facebook years ago.
Blocking these people doesn’t just keep me from responding to their infantilism, it means I don’t have to see it, & they can’t see my stuff, either, at least on FB and TikTok.
Hmm, (hot take) this is just another method of using the INFJ door slam…
Humorous rebuttals can sometimes work, too, if you can figure out a way to totally confuse the troll, & get them off balance.
I had one make a not-nice comment on one of my tiktoks, once, smarting off about something that was totally irrelevant to the video, was supposed to be personally hurtful, & posted in such a way as to make them look like the victim of bullying if I responded defensively.
Instead, I snarked back with an overly-sweet, totally sarcastic, comment, that was impossible to twist without watching me rolling my eyes while typing.
I got an apology *shrug*, & an “I’m sorry, I had a bad day”. Not a valid excuse to be an asshole to a stranger minding their own business, so I responded again with
“Yup, I was amused, honestly.”
Nothing pisses trolls off like having others being mildly amused at their antics, instead of being offended.
Anywho, I try my best, these days. When I see someone being a jackhole for no apparent reason, I practice aggressive passivity.
I clench my fists (and usually my teeth too), I take deep, slow breaths, & I do one of 3 things.
1. Scroll on, because it’s not worth the hassle to engage.
2. Block/Shun, because the person is a jackhole, sexist, racist, homophobe, tinfoil fanatic, whatever, & I don’t need that kind of stress in my already stressful life.
3. Snipe back with so much sugar and tart they lose their teeth. (I got really good at using words to insult people without them realizing it when I was young)
I’m not out here, trying to change people’s minds about how they handle trollish behavior, I’m telling you my way.
But, if I could add one request?
Please don’t feed the trolls, because they end up making everyone else feel sick when they grow from it.