A time of change

July 15, 2023

I may be at the end of a period of my life. I know it because I've picked up smoking again. Although I've bought only one pack, consume one cigarette in the day at most, and I smoke only when no one (aka my mother) is around, and I don't plan on buying another pack after this, I've still picked up smoking again. I haven't smoked since I went to Kazakhstan back in last September-October. The ciggies were dirt cheap there, I could indulge in my favourite vice all I want, but here, the prices are stupidly high. It doesn't even stop people from smoking and instead encourages contraband. But I digress.

I noticed that I smoke typically in periods of great change, almost as if I need to tether myself to the physical world to not fade away. I feel like I'm disappearing yet at the same time am being more present in my body. I still exist. It might just be a part of me that I'm letting go of and that has been part of my psyche for so long that I don't know how to function without it.

I've just let go of somebody. We're still friends but I think our relationship was weighing on me in a bad way. I got blindsided by a rejection a few months ago when things looked truly promising. Not knowing what was going on, I went into panic mode and was trying to fix whatever was there, just to be told none of what I experienced before the rejection was real basically, that I had "misunderstood" everything, when I know the difference between politeness, friendliness and romantic gestures. It's not like I'm that socially inept, even online. The best thing is, over the course of these three months, never did she call me out on my behaviour nor tell me "Aral, there's nothing to save", or "Aral, please, there's no need to do that, let's talk about it". She let me struggle in the dark, not knowing which way was up, which was down, avoiding difficult conversations until I brought them up (with a couple instances of stonewalling), being passive while I was exhausting myself trying to make sense of things and working on what was there, or at least what I thought was there. It went to the point I was waking up in physical pain from sheer tension, and would feel this physical pain throughout the day, and have no strength to be much active. My trauma responses were firing in all directions. It wasn't healthy.

I wish she had done the loving thing to do in this case and put me out of my misery before I collapsed a second time and demanded to know the truth. And yet, I don't know if it's the definite truth, because she's incredibly removed from her own emotions. I just took it as such and thought, alright Aral, time to surrender, time to capitulate. You're exhausted. You can't keep doing this. I can't say I trust her entirely anymore. I hate this because she feels free to be herself with me, yet I've raised up my guard. It's going to take a while until the trust (this is the second time I accidentally write "truth" instead of trust, I'm gonna call uncle Sigmund) is rebuilt.

After the first incident I lost my creativity, and for a while, I couldn't touch even Kazakhstan or the Russian language. I've managed to draw a bit since then, but it's like I still don't have the energy to create a thing. I sustained my creative skills with the Sims for a while, until I burned out on this too. Now I can tell the difference, and a friend of mine told me this girl has been cruel to me, but a part of me doesn't believe I can be anything else than the problem in such situations. I can't be a victim. If something happens to me, I must've brought it upon myself, unless it's a blatant case of physical abuse or directly being insulted. Although I do have a sense that I haven't been treated in the best way, I still prefer not to think she was being bad to me. Ultimately I'm the one who didn't let go when I should've done so. Something didn't add up and when something doesn't add up, I don't let go until I get an answer. I got it: then I released. I didn't behave in the best way either. I think at times I was probably manipulative without intending to. I was in survival mode. I was feeling myself fading away and I didn't want to fade away. In the end I haven't really disappeared, but this automatic type of thinking is something I cannot control. It's visceral, it's almost primitive, do anything you can to stay alive, even just metaphorically.

I'm going to work at my first ever job starting on August 1st, for a month. I've never worked in my life, and for a first job, it's a fine one. I'm not gonna work retail, I'm gonna work on a small port on the canal, and my working hours are pretty good. I got quite lucky. At the same time, my life won't ever be the same again. I'll have previous work experience and will probably be considered more worthy for employers. I'll know what to expect on a job interview, so no more fear of applying and going to these. I'll no longer say about myself that I'm unemployable, or not worthy of even just a negative reply when sending a CV and a retarded cover letter where I have to pretend I'm passionate about the job when actually, I just want some money to add into my account and pay for whatever. I got proof that I'm worthy of it, now I can believe it. I just wish it didn't take so long, that I wasn't so slow to mature compared to my peers who, for the most part, most likely either finished university or got a job in their early twenties at most. Some of them may already be married and have kids. I may be the last to ever reach these milestones. It's odd, because on one hand, I do prefer a slower pace and living life slower, it agrees better with my psyche and body, but on the other, I hate sticking out like a sore thumb, and I'm ashamed of my life having been so messy compared to theirs.

I'm feeling urges to see a therapist and get a driving license. I'm a bit wary of seeing a French therapist because a lot of the things I learned in psychology about myself aren't really talked about here in France. Besides, I'm so ashamed that most of my relationship experiences have been... online, and that they will tell me it's not valid, that what I felt wasn't real, that I imagined it all. (This one's a big wound I've carried since childhood, not just about online interaction, but in general, being told that what I go/have gone through isn't valid, was "all in my head", or is a "misunderstanding".) I'm currently weighing whether to go for online therapy or in-person therapy. There are three psychologists in my village. I don't know if they're any good, and one of my fears is to end up being with a bad therapist who will either keep me stuck or simply won't be a right fit, which is quite a valid fear considering there are a lot of bad therapists, and that trauma-informed care isn't so common, probably even less here than say, in the US, Canada, or UK. Also, well, I must confess that I tend to express myself a bit better in English. It's the language I use the most after all, since I'm online a lot of the time.

I tried several times to study traffic laws to get a driving license in 2018 and 2021. I failed to remain consistent both times. In 2018, it was in person, and I had just come out of an extremely difficult period. Years and years of traumatic schooling, a year of university that was a trainwreck, and an abusive friendship that still is affecting me in some way five years later. I felt humiliated when I'd give a wrong answer, or seeing that I would give wrong answers on the little test at the end. I ended up dropping out from this, too. In 2021 I just got distracted by other things and fell back into my comfortable mind-numbing routine. It was another attempt at complete individuationt that failed. The fear took over and forced me back into my shell. Or perhaps it was immaturity. I just didn't make it through.

Here though, now, I think... I need that. I want to live in the countryside, and in such cases, you need a car to get around. There is a bus in my village but the times at which I can catch it are inconvenient at best. I won't be living there for my whole life. I don't want to. I want to get away at some point and start a life somewhere where I can really be myself, and not play a part, the part of a long-outdated persona of mine that my mother assumes I am. I can tell people who have seen me think differently of me, though. Her boss says he can tell I have a strong personality, even though we haven't spoken much. I would like to be me, in real life, and not use the internet to be my authentic self anymore, which I've been doing for way too long. At least since I was 7-8 and lying about my age to interact with older people, mostly older kids. I'm tired of living a double life of sorts. I think my mother would be surprised to see who I really am, what makes me tick, what I listen to, all those things I feel unsafe revealing to her for some reason. It goes off on a tangent from the car thing, but it's part of the reason why I'd have to drive. Want to live away from the city, where buses have annoying times or worse, there's no bus nor train station at all? Have a car. I don't have a choice here. I have to get a car, or at least a license. Here it's just a necessity, and necessity wins.

I feel that my life may be about to take a new turn, for the better most likely. I'm a bit scared, but I think I can't resist it anymore. I just hope fear won't come back to put me back in my "place", stuck again for many more years... in the meantime, I may smoke a cigarette. Maybe not today, but at least on Monday, when I'm home alone again.