Karadur: So, whilst I am procrastinating about other things (organizing my desktop, namely), did you see that email?
(2:22:59pm) Dan Skunk has become idle.
(2:24:06pm) Dan Skunk is no longer idle.
Dan Skunk: Yeah. I was at the hospital so I didn't get a change to respond yet.
Karadur: Oh, okay. No worries in that case then
Karadur: How did things go there today?
Dan Skunk: I didn't know you didn't like *anything* with snow leopards. I don't mind not showing that--can't say someone else might, or they might not appear by accident.
Karadur: Wait though
Dan Skunk: Hospital went ok.
Dan Skunk: The stent is out and it doesn't hurt to walk anymore.
Dan Skunk: Still just a little sore.
Karadur: That's good to hear
Karadur: Regarding the "wait though" thing above, can I just explain this as bluntly as it comes out?
Dan Skunk: If you want to.
Karadur: I don't mean I'll be crass or anything. Just perhaps more direct than I'd prefer
Karadur: I realize they may come up with other people, and accept that. With other people, I have the option to remove myself from that area, or be indifferent without having to explain myself to them. With friends, however, I don't have that margin of safety, but also assume that because they and I (or you and I, in this case) are friends, they'll respect what I've said, and not do something that I've told them would make me uncomfortable
Making it obvious right from the beginning what this is about. On one afternoon last week, Dan, Xion, and I were all out in the living room, and Dan, having just finished upgrading Ubuntu on their media computer (one connected to the TV) began looking for movies on Youtube. The first was a song called "Dead Skunk", which featured several still pictures of a skunk that had been run over in the middle of a road, which I didn't have any reaction to other than "Why would you want to see that?" Then he went on to a video of a bunny eating a carrot, obviously for Xion, then back to several movies of Willie, a raccoon, and by that point, I knew where he was going, and just hoped he remembered what I told him as a result of the movie we watched the first time I was there. Either he didn't, or didn't think that I'd meant what I said so broadly though, because shortly after the raccoon movies, I heard him say "I wonder if there are any snow kitties on here?", then he proceeded to choose one of a couple baby snow leopards at a zoo somewhere. And then Xion made a highly appropriate comment of "That's you when you were a baby!" Twice, actually. I told Dan that I didn't like comments like that at all, but while I'm writing this more or less to myself, I have to say that they don't bother me outside of that I can't abide them. That wasn't me when I was a baby, Xion. Mom has pictures of all of us as young childen, and I look nothing like they do. Even now, I look distinctly different than an actual snow leopard. Why don't I have a tail? Or fur? Or whiskers? Or claws? Or feline eyes? The point being that snow leopards are more something I feel like, and which fit well both with who I am, and how I would like to be. At the time, I think I might have responded with an "Oh", then gone back to playing MC Kids hoping Dan wouldn't put on any more of the same movies, and as far as I could / can tell, he didn't, but didn't realize that he had incited any anxiety in me either. The conversation continues below:
Dan Skunk: Why are you anxious about it? You go see them at the zoo and take your own pictures. You seem to like that.
Karadur: One moment while I consult the email...
Karadur: I know I mentioned that...
Karadur: More or less this part: The only way I can personally allow anything of the above-described nature is if I'm the one who chooses to "go there", as it were. Just like I'd be all for going to the zoo or some other place far away from both the apartment and the train station on the last day of the visit, so long as I'm in control of the proceedings, if I make the initial choice, then anything that happens as a result is my responsibility. Had it been my choice to watch Kung Fu Panda the first time I was there, I would've sucked up all of the resulting depression (outside of anger related to Xion's laughing) and dealt with it myself. Can you see what I'm getting at?
Right... So... Now it actually comes out (by name, in here), more than a year after it happened. Yeah, I found the movie disturbing. Yeah, I know I'm probably taking it too seriously. Yeah, I know it's pretty well rated, and isn't meant to incite such animosity and turmoil, but the fact of the matter is that it did. Continuing on...
Karadur: Just note that everything after the colon there is from the email. That includes the "Can you see what I'm getting at?"
Dan Skunk: I understand that. Just don't understand why it's a problem to start with. I only feel bad if the video has animals being hurt.
Karadur: In short, I like seeing them at the zoo, because that's something I can do on my own accord. It's just them and I, in a sense, without other people in between
I'm almost certain this falls into some certain category of mental disorder, but I can't think of which one it is. Just the whole idea that in order to safely expose myself to a certain stimulus, I have to be in complete and total control of the situation.
Karadur: Did you read the last sentence of the second last paragraph of that part yet?
Karadur: "Snow leopards are a personal subject for me. Combine that with insecurity, and you have a distilled part of my personality."
Karadur: That is by far the most streamlined way I can think of to say it. To go into any more detail would require me to sort it out myself at first
Dan Skunk: I read that. Video shouldn't be hurtful though, unless it's reminding you of something that is hurtful.
Karadur: I wouldn't say it's hurtful. For you to put that on is for you to do something I wouldn't myself though, and because you do it doesn't make me like it anymore than I would if I was the one who found the video
Karadur: I actively avoid Youtube for reasons that I can't really articulate. Maybe that's more to the point
Dan Skunk: I'm not trying to argue. Just wanted to try and understand.
Karadur: I'm not trying to argue either
Karadur: Sorry if it came across that way
Dan Skunk: Ok. I thought maybe you thought I was.
Karadur: Is there anything you don't understand now then?
Dan Skunk: Just what makes you not want to see it.
Karadur: Anxiety? Insecurity? I'm not sure just yet
Dan Skunk: I'm going to have a nap now though.
Dan Skunk: I didn't sleep well.
Here's what I meant in my previous entry. All I would ask is that he let me know more than ten seconds in advance. It's jarring to be really into a conversation, only for the other person to suddenly say that they're going to do something else.
Karadur: Alright. I will talk to you later then~
Karadur: Well wait, the answer is right there...
Karadur: "I'm trying to emphasize that I don't want to see movies / pictures / etc. of snow leopards because this happens, even though I know it shouldn't. Most of my misgivings this time are centered around the conflict between feeling as described above, and knowing that it doesn't fit with how I want to be, but not having figured out how to discard the undesirable reactions, and keep those which I see as being most suitable"
(2:55:31pm) Dan Skunk has become idle.
Karadur: Here's another idea, although there's only about a 50% chance you'll see it. I do not like seeing movies, etc. of snow leopards because as noted, they're a personal subject for me. This also means they're a sensitive subject, and now I have to bring insecurity in again. If you have something that's a sensitive matter for you too, imagine how you would feel if that something was directly prodded. Oh, and you also have issues with insecurity much like I do. Can you get just a glimpse of what that would be like? I don't like feeling this way, so what I'm trying to say is that *I do not want to see movies / pictures / whatever else of snow leopards shown to me by other people so this can not happen in the future*. Is that so difficult to understand? I didn't tell you that so we could try to pick the issue apart in my mind, and put it back together in a better way. I said what I did because I don't want it to happen again, and that is well and truly all there is to this right now
Karadur: I also just thought of a better way to explain why it's different going to see them at the zoo, but don't know if I want to write that now, or wait until you come back (if before 7pm)...
Karadur: Know what though? No. All I need to know when you return is whether or not you understand those two large paragraphs above, and if you do, whether or not they still leave you with any questions
(3:36:40pm) Dan Skunk is no longer idle.
Karadur: Now that I see you're no longer idle, I should also add that I'm sorry if that came across as angry. I'm frustrated, because I thought I explained everything in that email, but not angry
(3:50:39pm) Dan Skunk has become idle.
(4:59:16pm) Dan Skunk is no longer idle.
Dan Skunk: I understand you don't want to see it 'cause it's a sensitive topic. Just not why it's sensitive. You don't have to explain it if you don't want to. I just kinda wanted to know so I could maybe help or be better not to bother you.
Karadur: The problem I have with that is I haven't fully figured it out myself
Dan Skunk: That would make it hard to explain to someone else.
Yes. Yes it would.
Karadur: Well, let me make an attempt here, because I thought of something earlier
Karadur: In the past, I looked at the whole subject from a point of view of "This is my thing, and my thing only". That led to many incidents, such as the one I was trying to figure out back when we first started talking. Since then, I've managed to tone that down, but only by changing my attitude to "This is something I identify with, but it's not an actual interest", in order to make it easier. I hate to use this word, but I'm trying not to be a snow leopard fanboy, as hypocritical as that may be
Karadur: There's a second part to that as well
Karadur: I haven't yet completed that transition though, so when the events (the movies) in question started, I began to feel anxious because I had an idea of what was coming, and when you put the movies of the snow leopards on, there was a moment where I felt "Aww, they're cute", but immediately after that, far more of trying to keep myself at a distance asserting itself
Karadur: Ergo, I do not have a problem with the animals. It's when my association with them (if you will) is brought into play that I feel all weird and uncomfortable, because it's not easy to explain, and thus even harder to expect anybody else to understand
Dan Skunk: I'm not a skunk fan either. I just kinda identify with them.
This came up again just earlier today, because I was trying to explain to him that I feel the same way. I couldn't stand to go around telling people "I am a snow leopard". The closest I could come to that is adding the words "in spirit" to the end of that statement, but far more than that, it is, as he described, a matter of identification. Also, it took me a long time to even work up to typing the words "snow leopard fanboy". That is absolutely how I was before - I had to have and be associated with anything and everything related to them, to the point of extreme envy and insecurity, but I like to think I'm different now. As I said the first time I went to Toronto, at that interview Dan said I might be interested in, I see the animals not as an interest, but as something that I am, in the manner described above.
Karadur: I can certainly understand what you're saying, but given that, if I may presume, how much, if any of a problem do you have with insecurity?
Karadur: I thought of something else to add as well, but will wait for your response~
Dan Skunk: I'm ok with it. To me it feels like I am a skunk. Or was one in a past life or something--which is hard to explain to people, but I've not had anything bad happen over that.
This set me off thinking at work on Monday night, during which I realized that it has been a long time since I heard or used the word "otherkin". Not that I miss it, but I remember that time of my life too.
Karadur: With that then, I would chalk the differences up to being differences in personality. I prefer to keep to myself, so I'm distinctly less likely to go around telling people "I feel like a snow leopard". As to anything bad happening from that, I wouldn't know, because it hasn't happened yet *shrug*
Karadur: I feel like that's getting away from the matter at hand though...
Karadur: Do you understand any better now what I mean about not being interested in seeing them in a given media, or is anything still unclear?
Karadur: If and when I work this out to a point where I can withstand scrutiny and prodding, I'll probably end up taking back everything I've said here, but I'm not there yet
Dan Skunk: I have no problem with understanding not being interested. That was never a problem.
Karadur: And do you then also understand what I just said about taking this back should I have cause to in the future?
Dan Skunk: Do you mean you might not have a problem with it in the future?
Karadur: If I work these current issues out for myself, that could end up being the case, yes
Dan Skunk: Yeah, that's alright.
This is my big thing right now. For all the lengths I'm going to to explain how I feel, there has been little to no mention that I am still trying to figure this out, and if, one day, I do, I would probably not mind seeing movies of snow leopards again. I feel it's imperative that he be aware that while all of this is true and factual, it represents only a fixed point in time, and even now, I don't feel quite the same way as I did then.
Karadur: Then I thank you for your understanding. Really, thank you
Dan Skunk: I have no problems with it.
Karadur: Now, the thing I thought of to say up above?
Karadur: Remember how last year when I was going through those problems related to stories, and we were making plans for my first visit in March as well. Do you remember me suggesting that I read the stories that I was having problems with there, and you said that you could then give me a hug if I needed it?
Karadur: I'll be right back though. Bathroom~
Dan Skunk: I don't remember offering a hug, but I might have.
Karadur: It was something like that, but the specifics probably don't matter
Karadur: The same could work in this case, as a means of desensitization. I'm not saying I actually want to do that as soon as possible right now, but as yet, you are the only one I have explained those things to, and as part of the problem is other people who don't understand how I feel being present, starting off with just the two of us, and going from there could possibly be enough to solve this problem
Dan Skunk: Oh... Possibly. I'm not going to judge you for being different.
He might not judge me, but I'll judge me. If how I see myself doesn't match with how I want to see myself, there will be conflict, same as is going on right now.
Karadur: I appreciate that, and yes, it was just a thought
Karadur: I like being different, but sometimes it can be a bad thing
Karadur: With that out of the way though, onto the two other things mentioned in that email~
Dan Skunk: Alright.
Dan Skunk: When I mentioned I'd help out if I visited you, it wasn't really that I wanted to visit--just that if I did, I'd want to help like you did here.
Karadur: *nod* that's what I gathered
Dan Skunk: But I also don't not want to visit either. I wouldn't mind doing that some time.
Although I was hesitant about this before, I've since warmed up to the idea quite a bit. I would like to have him here for a period of time, to hang out and chat and do as many of the things we normally do in Toronto as possible. Maybe it's because I want to do something for him as well, but regardless of the exact reasoning, the idea of having him come here is exciting.
Karadur: You've mentioned it several times now, and I could offer you pretty much the same amenities you do me, so if you want to look into doing that sooner or later, I am quite willing to
Dan Skunk: Alright.
Karadur: Before moving onto the third thing though, I have one addition to the first...
Dan Skunk: Not sure when yet. Right now, still kinda sore and going to be visiting someone else for a bit.
Karadur: Oh, it wouldn't have to be immediately. I'm not going to say "Come as soon as you have a chance" :B
Karadur: Now, the addition is an observation to make regarding one of the main reasons I keep obsessing over making sure you understand things such as how I felt about that movie
Dan Skunk: I thought it was I that was obsessing.
Karadur: We've been friends for longer than I've been friends with anybody else in the past several years. I don't want these issues I have to lead to the same end as with other people - stopping talking to them, and going back to being on my own - so I really do need to be able to explain myself when things like this happen. Without that, I'm just going to get frustrated and go back to being on my own, and I don't want that, because I like being friends with you, as well as Xion and Chris, albeit less so in their cases at the moment, because I have a couple things to discuss with Xion
Karadur: Maybe we're both obsessing *shrug*
Dan Skunk: Maybe.
Dan Skunk: I kinda like discussing things like that. Most people seem to just assume everyone is a certain way and lie to each other to appear that way and then get upset and think there's something wrong with the person if they turn out to be different.
Karadur: That actually happened between Xion and I, which is one of the things I have to discuss with him, but yes <3
Karadur: I found during and after the furmeet (mostly with Peromyscus) that I like discussing things with people as well, even if the topic is something I don't have much to say about. I like trying to objectify issues (such as this one) as well, but it's less easy for one, because I need somebody else to talk to about it, and two, if somebody else is the person with the issue, they need to want to talk first...
Karadur: I'm actually not sure about him though. He said a) that I could stand to gain ten pounds, b) asked when I was going to get a fursuit head (never), and c) told me that I should sign into your IRC channel from time to time to say hi, even though he barely knows me. That was kind of a weird conversation :B
Dan Skunk: Oh... He's probably just trying to make conversation.
Karadur: *shrug* probably. We did talk until ~6am on Saturday anyway~
Karadur: (that is, technically Sunday morning)
Karadur: Anyway, that's two out of three things from the email, so now for the third. I have a feeling your answer will be "there are no specific plans yet", but will still ask
Dan Skunk: Yeah, I havn't planned anything yet.
Karadur: Can it at least be said that there will be another trip to Wonderland in August?
Dan Skunk: Well, we could do that.
Dan Skunk: I might just get a season pass or something and go twice.
Dan Skunk: I was considering going in July too.
Karadur: Ah, okay
Karadur: I suppose it isn't necessary to want to be there for the same sort of group trip thing as before. Having a smaller group might make it easier...
Karadur: The best I could ask for now is that when July / August get closer, and you have something more specific in mind, to please let me know. And I don't mean to sound demanding :x
(6:13:21pm) Dan Skunk has become idle.
(6:41:06pm) Dan Skunk is no longer idle.
Dan Skunk: That's pretty reasonable.
Karadur: To what are you referring?
(6:54:13pm) Dan Skunk has become idle.
(6:54:47pm) Dan Skunk is no longer idle.
Dan Skunk: That you want me to let you know when I plan something.
Karadur: Ah, okay
(7:07:17pm) Dan Skunk has gone away.
(7:09:16pm) Dan Skunk is no longer away.
Karadur: I have to leave for work soon now though, so until tomorrow (if I still remember where I was going at the end of that email), thanks for hearing me out again, and I'll talk to you later (which I said earlier as well)~
Dan Skunk: Oh. Alright. I'll talk later then.
Now, when I started writing this yesterday, the above was going to be it. I did and still do have a few other things to talk about, but as I had the night off, I started talking to him again, as shown in this conversation log:
Karadur: Question: out of the conversation we had yesterday, is there anything you said that you'd rather I didn't include in my LiveJournal entry tonight? I want to write about some of the things I said, but it wouldn't be right to put the relevant parts up without asking you first...
Karadur: Through reformatting the log (removing timestamps and such), I find that there are several things I still want to respond to right now as well, but I'll wait until I get to the end before I do that
(10:11:26pm) Dan Skunk is no longer idle.
Dan Skunk: Oh. No. There's nothing I don't want said.
Karadur: The only two things I came up with were a) progress of being in and out of the hospital, and b) when you said that it felt like you were a skunk, or was one in a past life, "or something like that", but alright then~
(10:18:32pm) Dan Skunk has become idle.
(10:25:48pm) Dan Skunk is no longer idle.
Dan Skunk: That's all fine.
Karadur: I'm out of the main topic of the conversation now, so here's what I have in Notepad...
Karadur: (and I apologize if you already understand any of what I'm about to say. I would feel better for having said it though)
Karadur: We start with you asking "Why are you anxious about it? You go see [the snow leopards] at the zoo and take your own pictures. You seem to like that."
Karadur: My response is thus: It's partly what I explained before (not wanting to see pictures or movies because of how I want to be), but there's also some hold-over from how I felt before this - that snow leopards are my thing, and I must be associated with them before anybody else. I like to think I've mostly moved on from that, but there will probably forever be a little part of it lingering at the back of my mind. What this means is the anxiety is caused almost entirely by internal conflict, between the rage, and rational part of my mind that says "What you're doing is unfair, and doesn't make sense either
Dan Skunk: That makes sense, I guess.
Dan Skunk: Nothing wrong with you associating with them. There will be others with different interests in them though.
Karadur: Yes, but to go on a tangent to explain this...
Dan Skunk: Snowleopards aren't your thing only, but they way you associate with them might be your thing only.
Karadur: Back when I first essentially said "Oh. Snow leopards. Neat", I was all about trying to find some niche for myself. Something that I could have to myself, where nobody else would butt in. For a time, that was true, but then I started to see signs of other people involving themselves with those animals as well (pretty much entirely through the furry fandom, as I felt myself a part of it at that time), and got envious, and insecure, and... all the things I've explained to some extent before
Karadur: And I appreciate the last thing you said too, but if I tell myself that the way I see them is exclusive to me, I'm setting myself up for another incident in the future
Dan Skunk: I think your relationship is probably different than most furries at least. There may be some other people that feel the same way as you, but that doesn't make what you have any less special.
Karadur: But do wait though
Karadur: I do not want to compare myself to other people. Insecurity, yes?
Dan Skunk: If anything, it should make you feel more secure with your feelings to see others sharing them and give you a connection to those people.
Karadur: I think how it actually goes for me is that I feel more insecure, because to me it looks like they're doing a better job of it than I am, so to speak
Karadur: I probably have low self-esteem too, but I'm not here to degrade myself *shrug*
Dan Skunk: If you're feeling that way, then you're comparing yourself to others.
Karadur: You have a point, but just a moment while I think...
Karadur: Theoretically, I could get along swimmingly with people who have views and personalities similar to mine, but as yet, you are the only person I know who would appear to meet those criteria. I still do prefer to keep to myself / have a small group of friends, and it's been that way since back when I was a kid, so it probably is just how I am
Dan Skunk: Nothing wrong with just keeping a small group of friends. People you know you can be comfortable with and have common interests with, etc. Having a few good friends you can trust and share a lot with can be more valuable than having many friends you don't know well.
Karadur: Where does that leave us in regards to comparing myself to others though?
Karadur: I try not to compare myself to other people these days, and I'm at least doing better than I was before
Dan Skunk: There's more to who you are than being a snow leopard, compared to most people, it makes you very unique and special, but even among other snow leopards there are other qualities that define you and shape your identity; so many, that you are no less an individual even in a group with same interests and feelings.
Much hate for this. It is about the closest you can get to rubbing me the wrong way to tell me that a certain part of myself that I'm having issues with is a certain way. Were that the case, I wouldn't have these issues. Kindly don't compare me to other people either. That implies that this is a quantifiable interest - that I could be compared against other people to determine who I would be most likely to get along with, and that is not what I want.
Karadur: I think I understand that, but if you'll pardon the phrase, I'm getting all weird about how snow leopard-y this conversation is becoming. In other words, I should be happy with who I am, and not worry about what other people are doing?
"Getting all weird", in this case, means "positively exhausted". Under normal circumstances, I would keep quite literally this entire quandary to myself, as having to explain it to somebody else when I'm still working through it on my own only excaberates the difficulties.
Dan Skunk: Ideally, it shouldn't matter, but I think in reality, we define who we are by how we relate to others.
Karadur: Is that what you meant though?
Dan Skunk: What I meant was premissed on that.
Karadur: Let me have another go at this then...
Karadur: There's more to me saying "I am a snow leopard" than there would be to most other people (out of the entire population of the world, presumably), but even in amongst other people who say the same thing that I do, there are additional things about me that make me unique
Dan Skunk: That's rigth.
Dan Skunk: So you shouldn't be anxious that someone else is taking your thing away
Karadur: I don't really get anxious about that too often anymore though
Dan Skunk: That's good.
Karadur: The intent of my response to your statement from our conversation yesterday was to say "this is why I get anxious"
Because all I wanted to say was (effectively) "this is why I get anxious", and it turned into a big thing *sigh*
Dan Skunk: That's what I was trying to understand.
Karadur: I do appreciate you taking the time to explain that though
Dan Skunk: You're welcome.
Karadur: With that, onto the second statement. This, time, you said "I read that. Video shouldn't be hurtful though, unless it's reminding you of something that is hurtful."
Karadur: My response: "Video (in this case) is hurtful for the same reasons mentioned above. Video is a direct trigger of that anxiety, and regardless of the content of the video (although I literally would see red if it involved animals - snow leopards especially - being hurt), anxiety of that nature is quite uncomfortable enough on its own"
Dan Skunk: The video is not the source of the anxiety, so much as your feelings on the subject are. It makes you think of something that you *are* anxious about? Perhaps, if you learned to understand the source of that anxiety in a way where you were no longer anxious about it, you would no longer have an issue with the videos.
Karadur: It might (make me think of something I am anxious about), but I'm not sure what
Karadur: While I think about that, let's move on to the third...
Dan Skunk: Ok.
Karadur: This time, you said "Just what makes you not want to see [movies of snow leopards]."
Karadur: I've said "I feel that I've already answered this, but I don't want to see "it" in order to avoid the anxiety, and other things that follow"
Karadur: Case in point: if I hadn't seen that movie when you put it on, I wouldn't be dealing with the issue that has us talking right now
Karadur: (that is, toward the "things that follow" part)
Karadur: And for context, I asked if there was anything else you didn't understand first, then you said "Just what makes you not want to see it"
Dan Skunk: I think I understand it now, as there's something about the subject making you anxious--but you, yourself, don't understand why you are anxious yet.
Karadur: I have some theories, but haven't thought on any of them enough to come up with supporting evidence yet
Karadur: Same as yesterday though, I'll be back in a minute. Bathroom again~
Dan Skunk: At least dont' know how to explain it.
Dan Skunk: Gonna lay down a bit. Feel tired.
Karadur: Any chance you'll be back later? There's just one thing left...
(11:16:31pm) Dan Skunk has become idle.
(11:39:06pm) Dan Skunk is no longer idle.
Karadur: Well, should you return tonight (if you aren't back already), I have one supportable theory, based on something I said yesterday
Dan Skunk: Alright.
Dan Skunk: I'm kinda hearish.
Karadur: Oh, okay. I thought you meant you were actually going to lay down in bed
Dan Skunk: I'm back from laying in bed.
Karadur: Well then, I cannot say anything to that other than "alright". I do hope you're feeling at least a little more rested than before though
Karadur: I've been up since ~11:30, so I expect to get tired early tonight, but nothing yet <3
Dan Skunk: I was up since 7:30 am.
Karadur: I suppose that's more normal for you though...
Karadur: *a little more
Dan Skunk: It is.
Karadur: At any rate, in regards to there being something about the subject of snow leopards that makes me anxious, but not fully understanding what it is yet, this is my first idea (and I'm copying and pasting exactly what I said yesterday, but will try to explain in more detail after this message): "Snow leopards are a personal subject for me. Combine that with insecurity, and you have a distilled part of my personality."
Karadur: Let me try to explain first
Dan Skunk: "Personal subject," isn't quite enough to explain it though.
Karadur: Not quite, which is why I want to explain further
This happens to an annoying extent too. I have something more to say - something that the preceding statement isn't complete without, but instead of heeding my request and waiting, he jumps in with a response of his own.
Karadur: "Personal subject", meaning "this is something I see as being very close to how I see myself, and to how I want to be". It's one of the things that makes me who I am, ergo, personal. One of the problems with movies (etc.) in that case could be that when I see them I think that I'm supposed to like them, but don't as much as whoever else is there might expect me to, which is where insecurity comes in. I begin questioning myself relentlessly as to whether or not what I say of myself is really true, or if I'm just pretending to be something I'm not, because I don't think I'm good enough on my own, which in turn creates anxiety
Karadur: It doesn't necessarily have to be limited to that specific subject either. In regards to the movie, I could, and might have asked myself "Why am I here if I can't do this thing that they don't have a problem with?"
Karadur: I realize there's another facet to that as well though, which I'll explain if you don't get to it before me
Dan Skunk: That seems like circular thinking. You're don't like it because you're anxious that you don't like it.
Karadur: This is confusing to work out in my mind :s
Karadur: Let me try this...
Dan Skunk: IT seems so... Not being sure if you are who you think you are could be a thought that the movie makes you think of.
Let's lay it all out here and now then, because this is sadly and frustratingly true. For as much as I see a connection between me and what I say I "am", I don't think I'll ever be able to fully integrate that thought into my mind, because I know on some level it isn't true. I feel this way, yes, but am I a snow leopard? No. I am a human. I still feel some connection to the animals though, so maybe in that case, it's me saying "I am a snow leopard, in spirit - not body" that needs to be reinforced. I could live with that, and incorporate it into my existing schemas (basic psychology actually taught me something, apparently). Keeping that firmly in mind, let's continue on:
Dan Skunk: Were that to be the cause of the anxiety, it would be more logical.
Karadur: The movie could very well be a trigger for that, yes. I've thought of that once or twice before...
Dan Skunk: I've just become comfortable with who I am. I know I'm not faking anything and I don't need to prove anything to anyone.
Because I feel the need to defend myself here, I don't recall ever feeling that I've needed to prove anything to anyone. Maybe that's because I don't typically put myself into situations where having to prove myself would be required, but aside from that one time before, where Manoah jokingly said he thought I would be better as a bear, I can think of no incidents where I got upset because I couldn't defend what I was saying to somebody else. As for being comfortable with who I am, it's not that I feel directly uncomfortable about saying "I feel like a snow leopard". It's other things coming up that make me question myself, because how I react doesn't correspond to how I am normally. I don't feel that I'm faking anything either - the past several years of my life should be testament enough to that. I know how I feel, and if I didn't, or was insecure about it, I would be constantly searching for ways to re-prove it to myself.
Karadur: Do you remember how back in February I got all bent out of shape about baking for the entire day, and took it out in that LiveJournal entry, then explained to you afterward that the problem was once I started feeling miserable, it was hard to stop?
Dan Skunk: I remember that.
Karadur: I kind of feel that the same is true here. Once insecurity starts, it's hard to stop that self-doubt on command. Something completely unrelated to snow leopards that makes me feel self-conscious could very likely lead back to that
Karadur: I'm not saying this is a matter of unrelated issues always leading back to the same central subject, but it's a theory *shrug*
Dan Skunk: You should wipe out that self-doubt, maybe.
Karadur: ...still thinking...
Karadur: May I say something else in confidence, as it concerns an area that I don't otherwise talk about?
Karadur: And believe me, that has been my goal for the last several years. Insecurity had to begin somewhere in my life, but I haven't been able to pinpoint where yet
Dan Skunk: You can.
Karadur: I'm getting there... I lost my train of thought partway through :s
Dan Skunk: OK.
Karadur: I used to be this way regarding sexuality - always wondering that what I felt described me wasn't exactly true, so one day (I honestly can't remember the specifics right now), I decided to just stop calling myself anything altogether. I'm not saying that aspect of my life is gone entirely (I absolutely will not discuss it though), but I am secure in not being anything
I am still uncertain about whether or not I should leave this in. I am going to though, because it's fairly inspecific, and I don't think is something that I haven't mentioned in here before.
Karadur: Therefore, maybe the solution to this would be the same - see myself just as I am, instead of actively obsessing over whether or not my actions correspond to how I want to be perceived
Dan Skunk: I don't like labeling myself that way either. None of the labels really fit. I just kinda like what I like and don't try to make some simplified label.
Karadur: But there is still more to this, as the second-last item in my notes
Karadur: I may have explained this before, but here's my issue with labels:
Karadur: If and when I discover something that exactly describes a major aspect of who I am, I'm going to latch onto that, and start to feel insecure when I see other people claiming the same thing of themselves. Therefore, I would be better off without labels, but without labels, I also feel insecure (from time to time), because then I can't really define myself as anything
Dan Skunk: Define yourself as how you feel about things.
Karadur: Let me take a stab at interpreting that then...
Dan Skunk: It doesn't have to conform to some simple explanation, nor does how you appear need to express all of who you are. Appearances aren't always accurate and people are usually a lot more complex than they appear to me.
Dan Skunk: ...appear to be.
Karadur: I would add to that that not everybody sees things the same way either
Karadur: I've decided to forgo the stab, because the example I was going to use doesn't really work, so now for this last bit, that adds one more part to this...
Karadur: During our conversation yesterday, you said "I'm not a skunk fan either. I just kinda identify with them."
Karadur: While I could not and would not presume to know exactly what any animal thinks or how they feel, I feel the same way as you (as described before), but with an extra bit of specificity, which I was reluctant to mention previously, because it's something that would be easy for other people to exploit / take advantage of
Karadur: "I try to view things regarding snow leopards from the perspective of one of those | animals. Would they care about seeing another member of their own species in a movie? Probably not, and that's how I'd really | like to be, because it would feasibly take of my issues with insecurity and anxiety at the same time. If I can say "Oh, yeah, | a snow leopard. I don't see why that's significant", then I think would be much better off"
Before telling him, this was shaping up to be a weakness. It was something that I didn't want to tell anybody else, because they could take it from me and it would no longer be only my thing. I still do want to hold onto it, but along with what I said should be kept firmly in mind above, it can only strengthen my position, or so I feel. Let's keep both things in mind now, because I want to recap at the end.
Karadur: Just ignore the pipes. I forgot to remove those before I copied and pasted <3
(12:44:43am) Dan Skunk has gone away.
(12:45:22am) Dan Skunk is no longer away.
(12:45:22am) Dan Skunk has gone away.
(12:45:28am) Dan Skunk is no longer away.
Karadur: You are amazing. You came back and went away again in exactly the same second :B
Dan Skunk: I don't think they would care, but I don't think they'd be offended either.
Karadur: Exactly. Not feel one way or the other, which is what I'm trying to work toward, but I'm not there yet
Karadur: I'm not saying that I feel offended when I see movies like that. I get anxious, which is what most of this conversation has been about
Karadur: Now I feel weird for saying that though...
Karadur: Things that I consciously choose to do aren't the same as things that come naturally, but it makes sense to me in this context
"Makes sense to me" meaning "I'm not trying to be like this so I can say I'm more like a snow leopard. I'm trying to be like this because I think it would solve my issues with insecurity and anxiety in regards to them".
Dan Skunk: You feel like maybe you should be offended?
Karadur: When seeing the movies?
Dan Skunk: Yeah.
Karadur: I don't think so
Karadur: I would get offended if, after this, you still put on movies of them, but without that...
Karadur: *put on movies of them specifically for me to watch. Not fair to overextend myself
Karadur: Would it be fair to say I know I shouldn't care (as dictated by my own wishes), but feel I'm supposed to care because you put it on?
Dan Skunk: Hmm... You should care about me putting them on after I said I wouldn't. That would mean I was lying to you and didn't care about your feelings.
Karadur: *nod* I understand that. What about the last message I sent before yours though?
Karadur: Ironically (I think it's irony), if you did do that, I would probably not care, specifically because I knew you had lied, and were doing it only to get at me
Karadur: Not that I think you would do that, but if you did, that's what would probably happen
Dan Skunk: That was my response to the last message.
Dan Skunk: I should really get to sleep. *yawns*
Karadur: Well, one last attempt at this then
Karadur: Regarding "Would it be fair to say I know I shouldn't care (as dictated by my own wishes), but feel I'm supposed to care because you put it on?", would you say that's fair
Karadur: A yes or no is all I ask
Dan Skunk: I think it's fair.
And this is the crux of it (movies). Somebody else puts one on, so I think I'm supposed to care. I don't, or have distinctly different feelings, leading to various issues, largely explored through this log, and the one above.
Dan Skunk: I should really get to sleep now.
Karadur: Have a good sleep then~
Dan Skunk: Thanks. You too.
Karadur: I am off to 7-11, and once again, thanks for your time :3
(1:14:01am) Dan Skunk has become idle.
At this point, I just want to say "That's it. I'm done. I can't type anymore", because this entry has now been about four solid hours in the making, but I must see it through to the end, before I leave for work tonight, because it is important that I get this out, thereby gaining the ability to move on, and fill that void with more desirable things. In order to give myself a bit of a break right now, how about I say that yesterday, with effectively no planning, I finally cleared off my top bunk. All of the blankets and stuff that were up there are now in the spare room, piled up out of the way, and in their place are a plush leopard and snow leopard that I bought in Toronto (one in February, the other last week), and several accessories in the form of ears and such. I definitely like it better that way, but as yet, I haven't gone up there to relax. I need to find one of my USB extension cords for that, and then would also have to have snacks, which I don't foresee having for a little bit. I did go out to 7-11 last night, and bought more than I would've normally there, having decided that today, I will start watching what I eat again. Two pieces of pizza for breakfast thus far, and for supper, which will not come until I get home from work? Whatever is made for supper here, if there are leftovers and I want some, and otherwise, to make the reversal complete, probably just cereal and toast. I see nothing wrong with having lunch / supper for breakfast and breakfast for supper, and cereal and toast would be filling, but within reason. Then there's grocery shopping tomorrow, but depending on how much I get paid, I'll either not buy anything there at all, or buy a couple bags of cheese breadsticks, and a case or two of Pepsi. The bigger concern is having enough to give Mom and Dad the money I couldn't give them last week because I wasn't here. I should be able to afford it, but won't know for sure until I see my pay stub.
Anyway, now that I've mostly forgotten what I was going to say about the majority of this entry, I'm going to go by what I currently feel, instead of what I said previously. I am clearly aware of how and what I feel about myself, which gives me the ability to say "I am a snow leopard, in spirit" and / or "I identify with snow leopards", both effectively meaning the same thing. The fact that I go about with a tail and ears would initially appear to contradict the spirituality, but as far as I'm concerned, that's a way of outwardly displaying how I see myself. Maybe that means that instead of telling people "It's just something I like to do" when they ask why I do it, I should tell them "It's just part of who I am, and yes, I also like to be different". As for that applying to seeing movies of the animals, I have two choices. One is that I could watch them but be indifferent about it (not all that different from now, without the anxiety), or I could choose to not watch them, because of what they remind me of. Even if I come to terms with myself, and accept this in a way that smoothes over nicely, I don't think knowing what used to happen will ever fully fade, but with that, I could have a third option too - watch them, and actively acknowlege those thoughts. Say "Yes, I used to get really anxious and worked up about this, but that's no longer who I am, so let's just skip those feelings this time".
What a wonderful, twisted situation this is, huh? I definitely need a break now though, both to de-stress and clear my mind before work, so here's hoping this is the next step toward figuring this out for myself, and that I won't wake up tomorrow with an entirely new set of uncertainties~