belenen: (Default)

June 2017


Expect to find curse words, nudity, (occasionally explicit) talk of sex, and angry ranting, but NEVER slurs or sexually violent language. I use TW when I am aware of the need and on request.

belenen: (ADD-PI)
icon: "ADD-PI (two electromicroscope photos of crystallized acetylcholine, overlaid & warped in several ways)"

While I love my job, it takes up literally all of my ability to focus, most days. It's very detail-oriented and often tedious work and the past few projects I've worked on have been on stuff I find both boring and offensive (so-called history that's full of outright lies, and I have to describe it without adding commentary or arguing). So I get home and I have a very hard time controlling my brain as I have kept it on such a tight leash all day. Mostly it endlessly refreshes facebook and watches netflix. So I installed browser blocks for the first time in my life (leechblock for firefox and stayfocusd on chrome) and so far it's helped a lot, because my problem is not that that is what I actually want to be doing, but just that if I start at all I can't stop, and I need SOME down time to watch stuff and I want some time to catch up on facebook. So I gave myself 45 minutes for each one, and after that I can't use it the rest of the day. Thus, today I managed to come post! and not for LJ Idol!

But my brain still does its runaway carriage thing, as evidenced by the fact that I spent like five hours updating my layout the other day... and then as soon as I wrote that line I went and spent three hours more. (resize your browser for Fun Timez) annnnd there's still a thing I haven't figured out. oh well calling it a night since I'm overdue for sleep already arghhhh

ETA: figured it out the next day. SUPER PROUD of it right now.

back to top

belenen: (oneness)
LJI topic 7, "where I'm from": I am from the Internet, from a little city called Livejournal.
icon: "oneness (the characters Keenan and Joan from "Playing By Heart," sitting very close together, both looking off to the side and laughing)"

My country is the internet; my state is the mid-90s to the mid-00s, and my city is Livejournal, though I have lived in other cities for short periods of time, and I visit other cities often.

My experience with the internet began with AOL on Windows 95. I used the internet to download midi files of music I liked, endlessly search for info on my favorite musical artists, and find people to chat eagerly with about music or about God (my two obsessions at the time). I made some pretty intense friendships, one with a white guy in Canada, and one with a black guy somewhere in the Midwest. I didn't seek out guys, I don't think, but there just weren't any girls my age that I could find (and at that point I didn't know that nonbinary people existed). My friendships with those two highly ethical and thoughtful people allowed me to create healthy expectations of male behavior, rather than accepting selfishness and disrespect as 'normal' which would have been the case if I did not have access to the internet.

During the early days of my interaction with the internet, my use was limited to chatting, searching for information, and exploring the Anotherworld MUD. Then at age 20 I took an intro computer course which was utter shit but one of the assignments changed my life: we had to make a simple webpage with the most basic coding. I found this really fun and started teaching myself HTML, building two websites from bare code. I probably spent more than 200 hours on them over the course of the next three years. No one I knew ever cared much about this project, but I loved it so much I didn't need external interest to keep it going. I did get interesting and meaningful responses in the guestbook of my site, particularly about my anti-racist stance. This is where I developed my ethic of content creation and self-education: I shared what I made, and when I wanted to do something I trained myself on how to do it. This was no small feat, because how-to resources were still scanty at the time.

At the same time, Allison (who is now my oldest friendship) introduced me to LiveJournal. I joined first as a way to stay in touch with Allison and it quickly took on an important role in my life. I met new people through add-me communities and through shared-interest communities. This is where I developed my norm for getting to know people: if I thought they were interesting I added them to my friends list and consumed their online content. If the interest was mutual and they added me back, I would respond to their posts and have turn-based conversations. I rarely had any direct interaction at first -- I only commented if they required it before adding them, and most of the time if they required that I just didn't add them.

That is how I would prefer to be able to get to know anyone; indirectly and not in real time but with intensely intimate levels of sharing. It's a strong enough norm for me that I can rarely have a lasting or nourishing connection with someone who doesn't share intimacies indirectly. It's usually too hard for me to sync up in real time, but I need that level of intense sharing to feel nourished and to maintain investment. But I've realized that in most places, getting to know someone indirectly first is considered 'weird' at best and people often refer to it as 'stalking' which I find utterly baffling. I accept that it's taboo and I don't talk about it to out-of-towners, but where I'm from, that's just how you do it! (obviously I don't look at anything that's not set to 'public' because that's creepy)

Also at this intense time of change, I started going to group therapy. Through the group therapy I started learning to be vulnerable with others, and within a few months I dedicated my journal to openness and honesty. It was a difficult project for a long time, because only a few months into my LJ life I started having flashbacks to childhood sexual abuse (sparked by having consensual penetrative sex for the first time). I began going to therapy weekly, and it got worse before it got better.

So for about two years I could not leave my house without someone by my side, and I had no local friends so I rarely went out. The internet saved me: I built real friendships to a depth I never had before. For the first time in my life, people sharing freely with me happened on a daily basis instead of once or twice a year. This was the first time in my life I truly felt like I belonged and like I understood how to interact in a way that would be appreciated. I rapidly dismantled my inner barriers to openness, and what I didn't dismantle was destroyed for me. It became important to me to share my own story in a public way, because I knew I was not the only one dealing with recovery from abuse. That built my immunity to trolling because when people mock you for being an abuse victim, there's not much lower they can go.

In late 2004 I also came across a community celebrating hourglass shapes and when the owner deleted it due to fighting over what counted, I decided to make a better version. I created a body-positive community with the idea of it being for medium people, like I was at the time (size 10) since there were fat positive communities but they had a minimum size requirement. But as people much smaller and larger than me joined, my idea rapidly changed, because the idea of excluding people for being 'too much' or 'not enough' was not okay to me. Within a few months, it was for anyone who self-identified as curvy, regardless of size or gender. This community was like a commune, a gathering of people who I mostly didn't know but who all were working together on the same beautiful project. It was home and work and family all at once; I took it from one person to more than 1,300, and it remained a thriving community for about four years.

That community was where I learned to love myself, and I got to watch lots of others do it too. It also brought me and Hannah together, which was a whole new experience because for the first time I met someone who was better at questioning and being open than I was. Hannah and I would regularly spend 9+ hours talking and sharing: we'd write on LJ and read each others' writing, we'd explore deviantart and share favorite works with each other, and just talk endlessly on gchat.

Deviantart was, for a time, almost as important as LJ to me. It's where I shared my artistic nudes and developed immunity about people expressing disgust toward my body. I also experienced so many people thanking me for sharing and telling me that it helped them to see their own beauty. DeviantArt is the town where I developed myself as a public artist, and I had some celebrity for a short time, but now my style has evolved so much that no one recognizes it as mine when I put up a new piece. It's a place I visit once in a blue moon to look at my old work on the walls, but all the artists I loved there moved away so even the nostalgia is dusty. I can't bring myself to stay long enough to get invested in the art circles there anymore.

Twitter was paramount for about a year in 2011; I kept up daily and interacted often. I was put off by the lack of reciprocity: I was following and interacting with people who never read my tweets and it felt cliquish. I learned a lot from the feminists there, esp the trans and WOC feminists, but it was more like a newspaper than like a social space. In a lot of ways it reminds me of my college experience: no matter how much effort I put in, no one wanted to connect at more than a surface level. Twitter is a city I drive through almost every day but never stop anymore; the roads where people live are confusing and parking is fucking torture, so I just go on through.

I got a facebook initially due to curiosity, kept it because of its value at organizing gathers, and slowly began spending more time there as my local activist network developed. Over the past two years it has become a more real space for me, as people have begun interacting with me more, but it still feels somewhat alien. Facebook feels like the building where I work: I go there often, but always in costume while leaving my more scandalous self at home. Without ever consciously deciding to, I had developed a habit of restricted my sharing on fb because fb culture is so pro-judgement. Once I realized this, I began working to bring more of myself into my facebook life because I don't actually want to make it more difficult to get to know me. Facebook will never be home, but I am making it into a workplace where I can be more of myself.

There were several shakeups here on LJ over the years and I lost friends to vox, wordpress, blogger, dreamwidth, and even facebook, but still I remain here. My LJ friends list is like a neighborhood where every single house is owned by a friend of mine. The idea of moving is absurd and always will be unless most of my friends move away. Even when it was mostly empty for a few years, I stayed in the hopes people would return, and eventually filled up those houses with new friends. Now, I have a small handful of friends who returned but most of my neighborhood is people I have met within the past three years (and I have been on LJ for more than 13 years).

I get so excited when I meet someone who is also from the internet, and even more so when I meet someone from livejournal. I imagine it is how other people feel when they live far from a hometown that they love, and then they meet someone from there. I might not get along with everyone from LJ, but if they have lived here a while, I immediately know we share similar values in a lot of ways. Especially if they love it here as much as I do.

back to top

belenen: (revolutionary)
me on LJ vs me on FB: beginning work to correct perceptions of me by being more open on FB
icon: "revolutionary (a gif flipping through four of my nude self-portraits in dancy poses lit by natural light, showing my soft rounded body)"

I had a conversation with Cass the other day about the way people perceive me through facebook. She told me that I come across as very judgemental and hasty to dismiss people as unworthy; that she in the past and others who she has talked to have this perception. At first I found this really baffling, because I am used to people who know me through the internet thinking of me as really accepting and emotionally warm, and anyone who has known me for a while knows that I always want to work shit out rather than throw people away. But it has been a long time since I took a 'fresh read' of people's opinions of me and even so, the last time I did I think people only responded if they had something nice to say (which wasn't my goal, but was nice to read). So maybe people's perceptions of me have changed in general and I just don't know it.

Anyway, there is a huge difference in my LJ presence versus my FB presence. Livejournal gets the best of me. Things I am sure I want to read again, I put on my LJ. Random comments go on twitter which cross-posts to facebook; those posts are automatically less nuanced just because they're 140 characters or less most of the time. I don't share my more warm-fuzzy or introspective stuff on FB because nobody responds so I expect that that means nobody is reading them. My tweet-sized comments usually get about a dozen likes/reactions, whereas my cross-posted LJ entries are lucky to get 3 likes/reactions.

But this means that people are never reading about how I am working out difficult friendships or how I am dealing with personal struggles, so they really don't get a good feel for who I am. And I don't want people to get the wrong impression of me, so I have decided to try and be more open on facebook, even if I get no feedback. Then at least it is not my fault if people have the wrong impression. I'm going to try to cross-post even the 'unimportant' 'too personal' stuff for a while and see if that helps.

There is also the fact that livejournal allows me to give responses to people's experiences rather than just dealing with the more surface stuff. On facebook most people do not bare their soul, so there isn't a lot of valuable reflection I can give; an "I read this and I care" means a lot more in response to a soul-baring than it does in response to a post that isn't very personal. So I can't show my caring so easily there, even with the same amount of effort. That, I do not think there is a remedy to. There are simply too many people and too many posts for me to be able to find the emotionally-deep posts that would be best for thoughtful responses.

ETA: Just realized that the fact that my comments on LJ have mood-appropriate icons (often of my face which makes me more relatable) and the fact that I am much more affectionate in my speech on LJ must also contribute to the difference in perception. The latter I can be conscious of and shift somewhat on facebook. I don't necessarily feel less affectionate toward people I know through FB, but I tend to be more reserved with affection there, not sure why. Perhaps because it does feel much more public. People can happen across my facebook pretty easily, whereas when people come to my LJ, it is a much more deliberate act of connection.

back to top

belenen: (curious)
poll: do you read the comments before, after, or neither?
icon: "curious (my face, looking straight forward with one eyebrow up and a sideways smile, head tilted down a little)"

I realized just now that I usually do not read other people's comments before leaving my own, because I do not want to sway my response -- yet I often do read the comments before adding mine in places that aren't LJ. So I want to see if this is unusual, or if there is a discernible pattern to be found.

[Poll #2048714]

back to top

belenen: (ADD-PI)
how to read everyone you want to on facebook without missing out (& portable bookmark) [tutorial]
icon: "ADD-PI (two electromicroscope photos of crystallized acetylcholine, overlaid & warped in several ways)"

The point of facebook lists is that they make it so that your feed shows every single post by the people you want to see (at least, it's seemed very reliable to me). If you want to see every single post by every single one of your friends, you can do this by adding all of them to a list. As far as I can tell, lists are not rearranged and edited by facebook when they display in a feed. You can't edit your default feed to be like this, so you have to make a list and then bookmark it. (or you can follow steps 1 and 2 every time to get to your list)

Apologies to those who use screen readers -- facebook is terrible and I have no idea how I would do this without seeing it.

1. go to and be sure you are logged in.  Then, scroll down and look on the left side for a header that says "FRIENDS." Hover over the empty space next to that and click on the little "More" that comes up.
screenshot of facebook side menu

2. You will be taken to a page that shows all of your lists (if you already have some).  At the top is a "Create List" button.  Click this.
screenshot of facebook

3. You will get a pop-up that says "Create New List." Give the list a name, then start typing names into the box below.  Don't worry if you can't think of everyone -- I will explain how to add people one by one later.  Once you have the names you want, click "Create" at the bottom (NOT the "x" at the top).
screenshot of facebook new list popup

4. Now the page will refresh with your new list displayed.  BOOKMARK THIS PAGE.  If you want a 'portable' bookmark, copy the url and go to Paste in this url and name it something you can remember, like below. Don't worry, your facebook list is locked so that only you can see it, so if someone else tries to use your url they won't get anywhere. Only if you are logged in will you be able to see this list.
screenshot of box on the tinyurl homepage

5. After you have saved your list url somehow, go to it (if you aren't already there). At the top of this page is a "manage list" button, and below that is a little group of icons of the friends you have on this list.  You can add new people from this page either by typing their name into the box under the little group, or by clicking "Manage List" and then clicking "Edit List."
screenshot of facebook

6. If you click "Edit List" you get a popup with all of the icons of the people you have on this list.  To add someone, click the drop-down box labeled "On This List" and click "Friends," then type their name in the box at the top or scroll to find them.  To take someone off, you can click on their icon or you can search for their name and then click on their icon.  Remember to click "Finish" or your work won't be saved.
screenshot of facebook

7. Now, to add someone to this list individually (say, as you add a new person), go to that person's profile.  Click the down arrow next to the button "Friends" and then click "Add to Another List."
screenshot of facebook

8. Scroll to the list you want to add them to, and click on it.  A checkmark should appear and once it does, they are added.  No further steps are needed (there is no "okay" or "finished" this time).
screenshot of facebook

back to top

belenen: (nascent)
work / sickness / snapchat / fb / bioparents / kylei / heather
icon: "nascent (a painting by Michael Whelan of a person with long flowing hair and large breasts sitting naked and cross-legged inside a green egg, which is being held against the sky by giant blue hands with pointy nails)"

Ugh I have my first ever sinus infection (so gross so gross sooo GROSSSSS) and it keeps making me want to puke. I hate it so much I bought a neti pot with my meagre funds to hopefully rinse out some of the oozing slime.

Work is odd, my boss keeps forgetting what I'm doing (???) but I am making some serious progress and I think I might actually be done by the end of the month. When I do finish (hopefully before), I have to get my name officially changed (I have a plan, send me luck pls). It has become a need because literally everything I have done in stats is in my real name, not my legal name. I've got the bones of my website ready and I think it looks really great. I designed it in html5 with lots of newer css tricks which was quite fun. It is as accessible as I could make it, and it should work very well on mobile when I finish. I'm proud of it. I wish I could design websites for money. I also have been working on my portfolio (basically the print version of my website) and I mostly need to figure out exactly what sort of fancy container I need, as I'm sure a 3-ring binder will not do. Then it's time to start applying to all the jobs. That's terrifying.

I have been not writing because first I was ridic busy and then Topaz was SO sick and needed tending and couldn't do more than watch netflix. I can't pay attention to other things when there is a show playing, especially one I like (we're watching Grey's Anatomy, my second time through and Topaz' first). So I did nothing but watch netflix and pet Topaz and fetch them things. But things should settle into a routine now that winter break is past and I hope to be able to meditate regularly and to write daily. I did manage to meditate last week! But I have a bunch of tabs open at home waiting for me to fully read, so I am not up-to-date on your lives yet (tomorrow I think).

Topaz introduced me to snapchat, which at first I hated because it sacrifices usability for streamlined esoteric bullshit which is VERY BAD DESIGN VERY BAD NO BISCUIT. But then Abby was all like 'yeah I do that because it's low stress and so I can actually keep in touch' so I thought I'd give it another shot. I had to google "how to use snapchat" - that's how terrible the design is. But I managed to reassure myself that I wasn't going to accidently break all the things, and also Hannah reinstalled it, and Sydney and Topaz use it regularly and Anita and Trevor and Kylei chat with me on it. Mostly it's Topaz and Hannah that snap with me, but I feel closer to everyone I listed and I actually feel more in touch with myself because I am more aware of what is going on in my life when I think of how to share it. So if you use snapchat as a little window into your daily life let me know your username *smiles*

Yesterday and today I got very stressed out over this argument on facebook that I really just don't want to engage with at all. It's just not worth it because it was my best guess, not an actual fact. I don't care if people disagree with my guess. But it was a bucket of discomfort and it stressed me out because I'm sick of being the voice of doom.

I think overall I am doing okay. My parent P has been helping me over the break (no work means no pay so it's not actually a relief at all) and we have been emailing back and forth with actual content. I think we might be able to connect this way, because with international calls being expensive, they're not going to try to push me to talk on the phone. It's a huge relief to have the help especially because M is being extra terrible and may have fucked up my relationship with my mechanic which is vital to my mobility (M is forcing my mechanic to house a vehicle that M had promised to gift me and then decided it was too much trouble to transfer the title). Such a selfish person. Anyway, P has been there for me, which is a new turn for our relationship, and we have had real conversations (that didn't revolve around M's abuse).

I had a wonderful weekend with Kylei last week. It was very low-key because I was wiped out and I think Kylei was too, but we had a few hours of focus time and a lot of mildly connecty shared-space time. Kylei said they really want to do this again (spend 32+ hours at my house w me) and I love that idea. Hopefully next time I won't be so wiped out and we can have more focus time.

And I had a super lovely hang out with Heather yesterday. We just hung out and talked, but all the talking was very full and nourishing. They shared some difficult and some magical stories with me, and I shared some difficult stories and some wistful feelings with them. At one point I was talking about spaces for public sex or power exchange, and said that the reason I like that and want it is not because of an audience. I would not feel any less happy if no one noticed, and it actually surprises me and throws me for a loop when people do watch (I don't mind, but I also never expect it). The reason I want public intimacies like that is because it is explicitly not-hidden, and that is the thing I want. (I was realizing this as I was saying it, processing it out loud) Heather got very excited and said that they felt the same way and hadn't previously been able to articulate it. We also talked about other things we have strong resonance on, like the experience of being perceived as not-polyamorous or not-queer because of situations external to our choices. And we also finished each others' sentences in a helpful way (not the annoying kind where you have to keep correcting them) and I realized that I feel like Heather and I have a mind connection too. There is some particular thing that makes them very difficult for me to predict sometimes and I'm not sure what it is but I'm very curious about it.

back to top

belenen: (curious)

icon: "curious (my face, looking straight forward with one eyebrow up and a sideways smile, head tilted down a little)"

I've been wondering...

[Poll #2027008]
connecting: ,

back to top

belenen: (overwhelmed)
blah blah overwhelmed UGH
icon: "overwhelmed (the character Keenan from "Playing By Heart," with hands over their face covering their eyes and head tilted back)"

This past week has been hugely full of activity, partly from school and partly from Anika's visit. I feel like I haven't had any down time in a month, BUT all my biggest assignments are now done and my spring break has officially started, so I'm hoping to spend a lot of time on art and writing and the various meaningful things that I have been putting off. Having Anika visit this week has been kinda perfect, because the experiences we've shared have been intensely nourishing and magical and so I am going into spring break more nourished than drained, which means it will actually be helpful.

Today was the second time it hasn't worked out for me to go to the Sikh chanting I've been wanting to experience, and my next chance is two weeks away. I'm disappointed but the unpredictable nature of the interruptions (alarm getting turned off by someone else one week, staying home to take care of a suddenly ill topaz the next week) make me feel like it was meant to happen that way.

Did I mention that my meds have been changed? The one I am on now is SO much more effective. I was thinking about adding buproprion back but now this one seems to be working fine. The psychiatrist seemed convinced that the old med and this one should affect me the same, but they clearly don't, even though this is a slightly lower dose, proportionately. It'll be nice to not need to change something every month.

Then Monday and today have been semi-productive but disappointing. I'm not quite sure what I was expecting of myself. I did get my room tidy, go through my wardrobe and remove the stuff that I don't actually wear and bag it for donation, hang up my rainbow drip lights from Topaz, final-edit one fractal and create another, and do a little general house cleaning, but good grief, it's so little stuff for so much time. I guess I was more wiped out than I realized. Every obligation that comes up I want to shove away with a red-hot poker. I don't feel able to be there for anyone, which makes me feel shitty. I don't know what it would take for me to actually feel rested.

I think I need to stay off of facebook, for one, that sucks so much out of me. People are constantly shitty, stabbing me with slurs and being racist and sexist and etc. I am not sure how to reduce my use while still being able to use all the good bits (events and keeping up with the few who don't say awful things). Just realized a that I should make a custom reading list for when I can't deal... and in making it, realized that there are a multiplicity of ways that people are exhausting. The one that sticks out the most is when people use slurs or express oppressive ideas, but ugh. Maybe I'm just tired of people.

sick and tired of being overwhelmed. I had a pile of things planned tomorrow and just stripped them down to barest minimum. I have got to get to a better place this week because next week starts the grind again!


back to top

belenen: (passionate)
rules of engagement for my fb and lj: you are a guest not a resident.
icon: "passionate (the Benjamin Gate's symbol: a stylized gas mask inside a ring, both metal-looking, and all colored bright scarlet)"

My journal and my facebook wall are galleries of my thoughts. As the artist and curator I am NOT obligated to come talk to every viewer nor to listen to every response, and I'm certainly not obligated to allow others to put things up. You do not have a right to post your thoughts on my wall or your comments on my posts, because this is my space. Out of a desire to engage, I give initial permission which can and will be revoked if you don't respect my boundaries. If I say "don't comment about XYZ on this thread" or "stop bothering me about this," or "I am not interested in debating this" respect that and stop. I am willing to give you a warning, so 99.99% of the time I'm not going to get angry unless I said stop in that thread and you didn't do it. I think I have deleted a comment ONCE. I only do that when I specifically tell people to stop and they keep on. I like for people to share their thoughts and I like for future readers to have all the context.

If I don't want to 'debate', I still get to post on the internet. I don't have to pay for my expressions by publishing yours.

Defaults and near-defaults, there are spaces that are not for you. Live with it. Do what respectful people do when told not to invade someone's space with unwanted words: express them elsewhere. People who are used to getting their way and having their words treated with deference tend to think that is how it should always be. And privileged folk also seem to think that they should be able to use other people's space. I have never had a person who was not near the privilege pinnacle complain about me not letting them use my space for their expression.

For me, no matter what a person said, I would obey the rules they set for their page. I see it as a consent issue. My sites are my virtual being, my cyber body, and if you can't obey my rules for it, you're not fucking welcome.

back to top

belenen: (feminist)
image descriptions: realizing their importance and how I plan to use them.
icon: "feminist"

Something I recently realized was that my online presence is missing accessibility for people with visual disabilities: why image descriptions are important and how to write them.

I am intimidated by the idea of image descriptions but it is way more important to me that people be able to participate fully in what I share. So, on twitter, facebook, and LJ (the sites that I consider to be about interaction) I am going to use image descriptions if I post any images. On sites like tumblr, deviantart, and flickr (the sites I consider to be more of a gallery space than an interaction space), it will be on a case by case basis. I'm trying to achieve a balance between being avoidant of posting anything because I find it hard to write image descriptions of art, and making what I do post accessible. So, if I had more brainpower I would do it all the time, as it is, I will prioritize. It is vital to me that my LJ be accessible as I want it to be a positive space for all people, it's important that my fb be accessible because it is a place of so much interaction, and it is easy to make my twitter accessible. I pretty much use tumblr and flickr as storage space, because very few people interact with me there, and deviantart is something that I want to always use image descriptions in, but I find it very difficult to create an evocative description of an abstract fractal without assigning it a particular meaning, so I'm not sure what to do there.

If I forget and you notice, please remind me! Also if you know how to code in the names of my userpics on my journal itself, please share. I just tried for like an hour and the code compiles but it doesn't do what I tell it to do *deep frown*

back to top

belenen: (satisfaction)
polyamory community on facebook / some questions and answers
Recently I've become active in a community on facebook (which I never thought would happen!) which is about polyamory and has rules regarding accessibility and anti-oppression that make my heart sing. It's such a huge community (20,000+) that I can't even imagine the effort of being a mod there. One of the rules I wouldn't have thought of or considered relevant (asking permission before looking through someone's public data on facebook) but if it is necessary for some people's safety then I am happy to abide. Part of me wants to offer to help mod but no, I do not have the energy by a long shot. There have been quite a few threads that made me think and realize new things about myself which makes me incredibly happy. I haven't been so nourished by thorough questions in a long time.

the questions and my answers )

back to top

belenen: (writing)
prompt 15: my preferred methods of communication, in order; LJ, face to face, texting, email, IM, fb
Livejournal: this is my favorite method of communication. It makes me feel no pressure; other people can respond to someone's post and so when I fail to respond it doesn't get taken as a personal slight, so I can have access without the potential for guilt. I can respond whenever I like without worrying that it is the wrong time of day or that it has been too long since the thought was shared. I also prefer to have people read my journal to learn me, more than any other method, because the quality and accuracy of my sharing is a lot better in words I have typed. I feel that people don't really know me if they don't read my journal. It's a kind of intimacy I need because it's the only kind of sharing that doesn't get trapped in my ADD and end up draining as much as it nourishes. I feel loved when someone reads my journal, when they comment, when they write in their own journal and I can read it, and when they reply to my comments in their journal. All of these build on each other and so LJ is a huge source of love and connection for me. I also feel loved by myself when I write, which is deeply important for my well-being.

Face to face: second favorite, because I can read people's energy and I can feel connected in an immediate and easy-to monitor kind of way. I can feel relaxed that I am not upsetting people because if I was, I would see it happening (most of the time). I can feel assured that they care because of their body language. The drawbacks to this is that if I am sharing something that is difficult to put into words, there are lots of pauses and stares into middle distance and wait-back-ups and I feel frustrated with it so I imagine that the other person will too. It is also more work because I feel the need to monitor every reaction, and because I have to work hard to keep up most of the time (ADD makes my brain want to go in five directions with every sentence and in-person conversation is like trying to keep a puppy walking in a straight line on the sidewalk. In writing it's like trying to get a puppy to walk a straight line down a tube: much easier because of far fewer distractions. (I probably would enjoy conversations more with a notepad and pen, now that I think of it. (because in-person all of these parentheticals have to not exist. (I wonder if you could find the ADD people on LJ by sheer number of parentheticals)))) So, in person is highly nourishing but also draining. A shared activity and/or cuddles help, because the shared activity makes it easier to focus, and the cuddles make it more nourishing, so it balances better.

Texting: third favorite, because (with most people) I don't feel obligated to respond immediately or at a certain time of day. I have a neat little list in my phone that makes it not so hard to remember to reply. This isn't super nourishing to me most of the time, but it also usually doesn't take much work, so it balances out. It does make me feel nourished when I have a good texting relationship with someone, where we randomly inform each other of things happening throughout the day (had that with Kylei at one point and currently have it with Topaz: we text each other approximately 30 times a day (each)), but I don't know if that would work with more than one person at a time, or with people who don't have similar texting habits.

Email/messaging: I enjoy email; it gives me a similar feeling to LJ, but it's fourth on my list because people almost always expect a response and it is VERY easy for emails to get buried and forgotten. I've been trying to weed out unnecessary notifications and subscriptions but I still get shittons of emails every day. I start feeling guilty VERY fast if I don't respond so I have a lot of anxiety around emails. Highly nourishing (if it's a long conversation) and highly stressful. Note: I VASTLY prefer people to email me rather than send me messages on FB/LJ/etc, because messages get lost and I can't search them.

Gtalk/Skype/Hangouts: I like these equally for different reasons. Skype gives me the facial expressions and nonverbal sounds that make me feel connected and understanding, but gtalk gives me a log I can reread and use as external memory. This needs to be scheduled, because I do not feel able to disconnect randomly and therefore I need to make sure I don't have something else I have to do. Also I have to be home because I don't generally take my laptop out of the house.

Facebook/twitter/tumblr/etc: I enjoy interacting with people in these places but it's not a priority for me. I watch a lot of people on all those places and so I can't keep up with everything. Occasionally I'll be curious about a friend and go read all of their recent stuff, but it's totally random. However, I have a small handful of people on facebook whose stuff I watch more carefully: they're either LJers or people I wish would LJ.

Phonetalking: I do not like this unless it is scheduled. The only exception is when someone is in crisis or there is a time-sensitive matter to be discussed. I will not answer the phone if you call me randomly, unless you text first and explain that you are in crisis or there's a time-sensitive matter. Not only do I get very low signal when I am at home, I can't do anything else while I'm on the phone so I need to be in a place where I don't feel the pressure of things to do or it will just build anxiety. When I schedule phone-talks I have to be out of the house. It is EXTREMELY frustrating to me when a call drops: I usually exclaim loudly with anger the first time and if it happens again in the same conversation I literally shout with rage (unless I am in public).

Letters: I love writing these but I hate exchanging them because I really cannot predict when I will feel up to it.

back to top

belenen: (satisfaction)
22 day writing streak - complete!
I'm pretty exhausted right now, but I'm keeping up my streak! The 22 days is over and I feel nestled into a new habit and super proud of myself. I also love how a lot of my relationships are coming alive as a result -- over this project I've had a significant increase in interaction with at least 7 people who matter a lot to me. This is the best way for me to be able to share. I know I keep on crowing about this but it's so huge for me, a radical life shift.

One odd thing is that people comment on my entries at my facebook instead of at my LJ. I don't mind but it's strange; a merging of disparate worlds. Also, many more facebook-only friends read my LJ than I would have thought -- I guess I expected the only readers to be LJers and people who I had told in person about the importance of my LJ to me. Yay for curiosity :D

In more bragging news, I finished my giant scary stats homework more than 10 hours in advance of when it is due, and turned it in. I'm nervous about it because there is no good way to check my progress but I think that it'll be at least a B if not an A. I think a lot of the reason I was able to get it done without a panic frenzy is that I feel positive momentum from writing. LJ I love you <3

back to top