Forum: Arts / Diaries

Raised by wolves and other beasts
By lux
On Fri Jan 16, 2015 05:43 AM

Well, hello diaryland. It's been a while.

I'm a pen-and-paper girl, you see. I write short, scrappy notes to plan meals, balance budgets and set goals, or page-long brain dumps about whichever boy is presently breaking my heart. But it's quicker to type, and besides, it's nice to know that these are scribbles that won't be read by anyone I know.

In some ways, it seems strange to be writing all of this here. All of the members my age seem to be partnering up and settling down, and here I am, as unmoored as I was at 19, at 23. I remember the other diaries I used to read, and it's strange not to see my own life reflected in patches anymore.

Anyway. I expect big things of 2015. I want to look back and say "twenty-six!" (which I will be in a couple of months) "I loved being twenty-six!". I feel, unreasonably of course, that I'm owed it. Last year was a low key nightmare, nothing agonising, no gaping wounds, but rather a series of kicks, slaps and bumps that started and then stubbornly refused to stop. I can't do another year like that, I'm going out of my way to figure out how not to do another round of the same.

The first thing that went wrong last year was work-related. There's no point going into details now, but it changed everything, really. I haven't stopped feeling anxious about it since, and I'm enormously resentful about that. I need to figure out a way to change my situation this year, but I'm feeling incredibly trapped right now.

Not long after the above, I started hooking up with a good friend of mine. I knew it was a bad idea, but he so cleverly talked me into it, and I wanted to be talked into it, besides. "We're friends, we're having fun. It doesn't need to mean anything more" I told him. I went out and slept with someone else right away after the first time, to prove to myself how little it did mean.

I'm sure I don't need to spell out the rest. Our dynamic changed, of course for the worse, after not very long at all. Perhaps I didn't really know him to begin with. It hurt worse than I imagine it would. It seems like, for no reason I can be clear on, and without letting me know, he simply decided to stop being friends with me. Which still hurts, to be honest. I've tried reaching out to him, I've tried (sloppily) to confront him, but this year, I need to stop thinking about it at all.

To cap all this off, I got injured at the start of the year, and it just hasn't cleared up. I can't run, I can't do yoga, I can't even train at the gym in any way close to what I always have. I'm in pain every single day, and nothing I or anyone else does is helping. It's driving me very, very slowly crazy. I'm incredibly anxious about gaining wait. This is the furthest outside of my control of all, but by the end of this year, I need to be well.

By the end of this year, this diary's main picture will be true for me.

Title credit: Wolf Alice - Bros

10 Replies to Raised by wolves and other beasts

re: Raised by wolves and other beasts
By lux
On Sun Jan 18, 2015 05:14 AM
Why oh why has this weekend evaporated so quickly? I could not be less excited to be heading back to work tomorrow, which is hardly an original crisis.

My weekend was fairly tame. Gym (weighed myself and sugar and bread are dead to me for the next two months), housework, dinner with friends, and a very sober couple of hours spent at a local bar. Perfectly pleasant, perfectly mundane. I'm feeling a little stagnant, lately. Which is undesirable for all of the obvious reasons, and also the fact that this feeling seems always to be the calm before some kind of storm for me.

Speaking of dangerous situations... my ex has been in contact over the past couple of weeks. Years of silence - enough that it's really like talking to a new acquaintance now - then a "Hey, how's things?" over social media, as though we'd chatted just the week before. My bet is that he's broken up with a girlfriend - this is usually when I hear from him. The really joyful thing about this is how little it makes me feel. He wants to see me, he says. It's all very carefully casual. I considered it, briefly, but what possible good could really come of it now?

His getting in touch couldn't have come at a better time for me, really. I should catch up with him after all, buy him a drink and say "thank you". I have this horrible habit, you see, of convincing myself that whoever is exiting my life at any given time is the only person who I could possibly be happy with. All before were false alarms, and none will follow, I'll always from that point be entirely alone.

I'll fixate an off-beat film we share as a favourite, a hysterical in-joke, a quirk our upbringings have in common, and I'll take this as a signal that this was it, this was the person for me, and I've messed it up (whether I've called things off or not, I'll locate the point at which I ruined my own future bliss). I'll be quite convinced that I'll never stop feeling sad about it, that the idea of this other person continuing to move through their days, perhaps with someone who isn't me, will always make me ache.

And yet here I am, with one of the former objects of this fear once again in my orbit, and I just... don't really care. That was the hardest thing, all those years ago, telling myself that we were so right for each other, yet we'd never speak again. Not only is it beautiful that neither of these things are true, but best of all, I remember how utterly desolate I was at the end, how sure I was that it would always hurt in some way. Yet now, it turns out that I've been entirely over it for a very long time. It just happened so subtly that I didn't even notice.

Or, in much shorter form, I'm once again reminded of the truth of one of my favourite quotes from one of my favourite films:
"Just because she likes the same bizzaro crap you do doesn't mean she's your soul mate."

It's never actually the end of the world.
re: Raised by wolves and other beasts
By lux
On Fri Jan 23, 2015 04:56 AM
I guess I say this every week, but I've never been gladder it's Friday. This week has been horrendously slow at work. The details are far too boring to bother recounting here, but I'm starting to get the same old counting-down-the-hours feeling I did when I was in retail.

It was one thing when I knew I really was just marking time, but this is my career, this is why (I tell myself, at least) I was at uni for so long. My time's up, I know it, but for some reason I just can't bring myself to start looking for a new position with any conviction. There's every reason in the world that it's time for something new, yet I haven't so much as opened a job search in months.

I have the bizarre, probably extremely common relationship with change. I'm terrified of it, until it happens, at which point I realise that it makes me feel more alive than anything else in the world. It's my inability to get past that fear that's making me feel so freaking stagnant these days.

On an unrelated front, I am starting to re-gain the weight I lost before Christmas, and every time I think about it, I feel nothing short of panic and dread. Shallow, yes, yet here we are.
re: Raised by wolves and other beasts
By lux
On Sun Jan 25, 2015 05:31 AM
Just when I start to pull myself out of it, just when I start to believe that it doesn't actually hurt me any more, just when I am nine-tenths of the way convinced that this is a chapter closed, I find myself sucked back in. It's like he has a sensor that goes off, telling him that I'm starting to give up. What am I meant to do?

I would like to believe in a world where I am kind to my friends and to my lovers, where I appreciate my good fortune in having their affection, where I am grateful for their attentions and take nothing for granted. I would like to believe in a world where they feel the same way about me. He denies me this. Unconsciously and entirely without intent, I'm sure, but I feel ripped off none the less.
re: Raised by wolves and other beasts
By lux
On Mon Feb 02, 2015 04:44 AM
Up before the sun today to hit the gym. I've been horribly slack about it lately; my injury means that I can't do a lot of the things that I used to, which makes it extremely difficult to get motivated to do anything. I feel pathetic complaining about it, and try not to in real life - it's not that bad, really, not in the scheme of things - but it's incredibly frustrating, none the less.

I need to push past it. I dropped a bunch of weight, somewhere between 4 and 7 kilos (I didn't weigh myself at the start) before the Christmas break, but put 3 kilos back on over December and January. I'm 1 kilo down already, and want to drop 2 more at a minimum before an event I have in 4 weeks. It's achievable, I just need to avoid refined grains, sugar and alcohol, work out 4 or 5 times a week, and I'll be fine. But finding the motivation... ugh. I'm trying to keep track of things here, to keep me accountable.

So, workout plan for the week: 2x rehab weights sessions (1 down), 2x yoga classes, 2x walks. No drinking the 3 (!!) different nights I'm going out this weekend. 4 weeks to go!
re: Raised by wolves and other beasts
By lux
On Wed Feb 18, 2015 04:25 AM
I can feel myself on the edge of a foul mood, the tip of a wave about to crash. You must think that I'm always like this, sullen and hard-done-by and forever the victim, but I'm not, I swear. The truth is that I only write if there's something I want to get off my chest that I can't talk out in real life.

This time, it's two-fold. The first is money. I can't talk about this in real life, because in the real world, I know that I'm incredibly fortunate. I have a salaried job where I earn enough to rent a very nice house in a nice enough suburb, pay gym memberships and phone bills and paltry health cover, dine out with my friends once or twice per week. I get my hair cut at an expensive salon, I holiday out of state at least once a year, I've been overseas within the last two. Realistically, I am doing very well.

Yet I can't help resenting the fact that I'm in the last stretch of my mid-twenties, and everything still feels like such a struggle. I didn't go to university for as long as I did to be earning the same wage that I'd be making in a full time retail job. I'm sick of having to scrimp and save and keep track of every dollar from every pay packet to live a lifestyle that mirrors my peers, when most of them afford it with ease. I'm sick of the sacrifices I make (which I won't go into here) in order to afford the way I live - I feel like people know that I live a certain way because I can't afford another, and judge me for it. How am I as old and as educated as I am, yet earning so little? Am I incompetent? Lazy? Arrogant and insane, of course, for thinking that anyone cares as much as I do, but it eats at me anyway.

I hate the fact that the idea of having to pay for one extra cab ride or medical bill or (some weeks) bus ticket makes all the difference. I hate the fact that the one pair of acceptable work flats I own are falling apart, but I simply can't afford more. Likewise the jeans I've been needing to replace for 6+ months. I feel like my whole life revolves around trying to disguise how little I earn, and it makes me feel pathetic, in part because apparently I'm not worth more, and in part because it bothers me so much.

The second problem is, of course, a boy. It drives me crazy that this is niggling at me as much as it is. It doesn't make any sense. When things are good with him, I start to panic, convinced that I don't want this, that I crave the affection and the attention and the drama, rather than its source. And yet as soon as I get the slightest hint - and I'm so bloody tuned into it by now, I can sense the shifts like birds pick up changes in weather - that he's anything but interested, I immediately feel the emptiness in the absence. I hate myself, checking and double checking my phone.

It's always been the way with this one, the waxing and waning, the all in "I can't wait to see you", "Let's do X, Y, Z", the pawing and pulling and then... nothing. It's so odd to understand so little of the emotions and desires and motivations of someone who you've had a sense of being so close to. Just when I think I've got my head wrapped around it, he'll prove himself totally alien to me.

And I always do this - picture things working out well, and jinx them for myself. I'm convinced that imagining my own future is the surest way I have of guaranteeing that it doesn't transpire.

This is for the best, perhaps. Expectations are the surest path to disappointment, and mine were getting out of hand (even if I wasn't sure I wanted what I expected). I need to take several steps back, as many as I need to ensure I don't repeat past mistakes. I can't afford a repeat of the last time, I don't care enough to let it happen, and I won't.
re: Raised by wolves and other beasts
By lux
On Sat Feb 21, 2015 09:14 AM
Your friends are entangled with boys who adore them. They call them to ask how their days were. They pick them up from our favourite bars when we're out late for cocktails. They think they're the most beautiful girls in the world, they think they're lucky. Remember this. There's no reason that you don't deserve it. There's no flaw in you that means you need to settle for less.

You can miss him. It's ok. But let it pass, let it wash over you and grow old. And when it's healed enough, when it's no more than the faintest ache (because it will be, until): allow yourself to deserve more.
re: Raised by wolves and other beasts
By imadanseurPremium member
On Sat Feb 21, 2015 09:38 AM
I lurk your diary often, but this resonates with me:

I hate the fact that the idea of having to pay for one extra cab ride or medical bill or (some weeks) bus ticket makes all the difference.

I hate that I am 40 and still in this predicament. I feel that if I would have made some better and different financial decisions in my 20's I wouldn't be faced with this right now. I also pursued a professional dance career and left college. At the time it seemed silly to spend money in loans when I would never earn more teaching with a degree. I never thought that retirement, a 401k, benefits, paid vacation would ever be more important than my love for dance. (it is!) At 40 I don't want to dance 8-12 hours a day every day with no retirement or medical benefits.

I am the same as you in some ways. I have more than many peopl and to feel sorry for myself is ridiculous but I am kind of embarrassed that we are rent a home instead of own, and its hard not to keep up with my brother who makes a lot of money and drives cars that are $50,000 or more.

What I have learned in all my years is that money doesn't buy happiness. Even people with the most picture perfect life have skeletons and things that are haunting them. We know a couple that are millionaires, and they are both cheating on their spouse and have a loveless marriage. My brother might be wealthy, but he has a lot of pressure dealing with a special needs adult child. I have a client who is very wealthy and looks like a picture perfect life, and he is facing $125,000 fines and garnishments from the IRS for tax issues.

Having integrity, being true to yourself, being the best version of you, following your heart etc. That is all more important than money - I promise. And when you have the ability to save...DO IT! You won't regret it. It may mean giving up some things you have or moving somewhere else, but people who save have more security, and more liberty.

/jumps of soap box and ends hijack
re: Raised by wolves and other beasts
By lux
On Sun Feb 22, 2015 04:22 AM
Renae (I hope I'm spelling that right!), thank you so much for your comment, it was a very welcome high jack! Writing all of that out was a little confronting in a way - even though I'm entirely anonymous here, I still feel a sense of shame that I'm so dispirited by my situation, when it really could be so much worse.

What you said about the financial decisions you made in your twenties impacting the way you live now really hit home with me. As crazy as it might sound, this is something I worry about enormously. I turn 26 this year, and it's really hit me that I simply can't afford to continue treating my financial life like some kind of dress rehearsal. It's really scary to think that the choices I'm making now will shape the life I will have access to when I'm 30, 40 and 50.

I guess what it really comes down to for me at the moment is the (I hope false) belief that my humiliatingly low salary reflects my skill level, my value as a professional. I'm stuck in this ridiculously hostile situation where my employer is trying to make it as difficult and uncomfortable as possible for me to seek employment elsewhere, yet I've been told in no uncertain terms that I can't expect a raise unless my role changes significantly (and I have no interest in the kind of role mine would need to be for me to earn more with this particular company).

I feel horribly trapped, and then doubly anxious about it, because I know that every extra month I spend in this job is essentially another $1000 lost, if I consider what I could be earning elsewhere.

Anyway, on another, less depressing note: lovely weekend. My housemates and I through a surprise birthday party for another friend of ours (my last post may have been a drunken one in the cab home from the bar... oops!), which all went wonderfully. I spent most of today either in bed or on the couch, and as unenthusiastic as I am to be back at work tomorrow, I'm looking at a 4 day week, which improves things somewhat!
re: Raised by wolves and other beasts
By lux
On Sat Mar 14, 2015 12:25 AM
Edited by lux (197070) on 2015-03-14 00:33:57
I was having an excellent day yesterday. It started with reading, on my commute to work, a gut-punchingly painfully relateable article on one of my favourite blogs (I've linked it at the bottom of this post, if you're interested), along with a bunch of others it linked to.

It wasn't the primary angle of the article that got to me, but a point that came up later in the piece: that women are trained to feel that we shouldn't ask for what we want. It feels pathetic now, writing how much validation I suddenly felt, reading this. Over the last few months, I've slowly come to realise just how infrequently I question the things in my world that hurt me, or make me sad, or aren't how I wish they were. This really hit home for me with some recent changes that have been made to my role at work, suddenly erasing two of the factors that have been making the most miserable in . My boss let me know, pretty much out of the blue, and it occurred to me that if I'd raised my unhappiness with him earlier, and offered these solutions, there's a good chance I could have been far happier far earlier.

It made me think of things with the boy whose diary code name I can't remember, too, and not just him, but everyone before him and overlapping him, too. One of my favourite passages of the article reads:
I think being quietly available for men all the time is a common problem women experience, in the same way that never being available for women is a common problem men experience. We all walk through the world playing a version of who we think we are supposed to be because that's what we're taught is desirable. We are also all going around a little bit crazy because of it.
And isn't this the truth? Almost every heartbreak or romance-related hurt feeling I've accumulated over the years had been born of my inability to say "These are my expectations. Can you meet them?", allowing the object of my affections the opportunity either to rise to what I need, or plainly refuse, giving me the opportunity to walk away, conscience clear. Instead, I hint and I half-ask and I manipulate situations, but I never, ever spell out my needs or desires. It's pathetic really, but my shame in wanting or needing someone else is so damned ingrained, I'm not sure I even know how to shake it.

Take Forgotten Codename (let's go with C, for clarity's sake). The last time I saw him, I joked and pouted and dramatised, and I hinted at what I wanted to say but couldn't. I played a part - the girl who's above expectation, almost mocking the girls who demand more. What I should have said: "Here are my expectations of the way I'm treated by my friends. This is a baseline. What we do, I don't do with most people, and I think you know this. I am giving you more, and so I expect more from you. This is your chance to tell me you can't give me what I need." And I could have withdrawn myself from the whole mess months earlier.

I ran into C. last night, after work, on the way to the pub with a couple of friends. I wouldn't have even noticed him, but he grabbed my arm roughly as we passed each other. There's some kind of symbolism in that, I'm sure - haven't been in the same town for months, and when I finally see him, the interaction begins with my thinking I'm getting mugged in the street. Neither of us has time to chat, and what I take as his attempt to tell me he'll call me isn't even made of the right words.

The timing of it pisses me off. I was flying high on my post-blog article reading promises to avoid him (because I'm fine when I do, if I do it properly), and I hate myself for how friendly and excited to see him I would have appeared - it's pathetic and I know it.

The fear, of course, is the same one that has anyone in this situation: that there's nothing better, that I'll always be convenient and coincidental and good enough, never fated and fought for and adored. This crap that I'm writing about above, it's just the most recent to come to mind, but it's always the same with me - what if it always is? But I want to believe that I learned something yesterday. Baby steps.

*Article: . . .
re: Raised by wolves and other beasts
By lux
On Fri Mar 20, 2015 06:53 AM
Edited by lux (197070) on 2015-03-20 08:05:12
Edited by lux (197070) on 2015-03-20 08:06:01
I'm on the train, on my way home from the bar. An ex of mine was there, a head-over-heels over common sense story from many, many years ago. I would have sworn to you, up to two hours back, that I was not only ok with the whole situation, but that I didn't care. It's been SO LONG, I can't even begin to say. We've spoken, relatively recently, and I've felt no pull.

Yet here I am, friend whispering in my ear "X is here!", me, brushing past him for the first time in so damned long. I feel spooked. I feel like you feel when you wake from a bad dream, knowing it's not real but reaching out for comfort none the less. Like a missed step on a staircase, but for hours on end. I genuinely can't understand why this bothers me, and this in and of itself frightens me. I've never admitted defeat in the face of identifying neuroses, yet here I am. This is someone I don't want, someone I don't even KNOW, yet I feel like dirt in the same space as them. Why?

And it offers no answers, but the same question is there that was all that time ago: what if this has screwed me up forever?

I wanted to message C, of course. Are you out, come to me, comfort me, tell me I'm wonderful and that everything is going to be ok. I recognised, of course, the insanity of this request (especially on such shaky ground), hence the train home.


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