Archive for December, 1997

Your Opinion On That Last Journal

I can tell that I am putting attention needs and acceptance needs more out in the open now.

It makes sense that if I am closed into myself to fulfill all of my needs, then the way to get past that is to put them out for other people to fulfill.

I am not concerned at the moment with getting rid of them, just making them livable.

I worry some that I will become like V and have needs hanging out all over the place and when people don’t do what I need them to do I will be disagreeable and I will lose all of my friends. I am too intelligent to tell myself that this won’t happen, because I have seen it happen.

I want to have friends and to be the person that I want to be. Is this too much to ask? I am not sure.

It makes sense though. I went through a time when I literally had no-one. No friends what-so-ever. No-one who I felt cared for me. What did I do? I guess that I learned to take care of myself. Who needs them. I’ll make my dragon and then I can use everything that I do to feed it. It is so much easier to do it this way.

Now I want to be rid of him. I think that he is holding me back. I think that if I get rid of him, maybe I’ll be able to fall in love, maybe I’ll be able to cry, maybe I’ll be able to be a friend. What a thought. I don’t know what this might do. I hope that I get to find out.

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j: finally something interesting (IMHO)

Subj:	n: about our conversation tonight

D,

I want to apologize for our conversation tonight. I talked too much. I didn’t learn hardly anything about you.

The apology stands as it is. This is my thoughts; they are coming up all of the time. This is not an excuse, just some thoughts.

I have been spending lots and lots of time focused on myself. I have been writing about me and me and me. I have always had trouble maintaining my focus on other people. This is where I am having the most trouble because the things I do I recognize as disrespectful and egotistic, but I don’t have really big emotional ties to not doing them.

I recognize that I am using people, but I don’t feel bad about it. I want to learn how to care about other people, but it is very hard. When there is something big going on I can forget about myself, but usually I am the center of my universe. I have been working so hard at taking care of my needs and protecting myself that I think I have forgotten about other people.

I am not sure what to do. It is so easy to walk around in my self-absorbed haze. There is something that I don’t understand about how other people see the world.

Do you ever do things that are not self-serving? Use any concept of self that you like. If helping other people makes me feel good, then am I not serving myself by serving other people?

That is not my problem though. My problem is that I have forgotten some aspect of focusing outside of myself, if I ever knew how.

Do you see in me the problem that I am describing? What do you think?

When I try to think about it the picture is fuzzy. I don’t understand even what is going on, but I think that there is a problem. It is more than I don’t pay attention to other people, it is that I cannot see them except in respect to myself. I can never remove myself and what I need.

All though this I have voices popping up pointing out ways that this is healthy behavior and how I can do a great many things using it, but there is still a feeling that this is not healthy.

I really don’t know, though I lean towards not healthy.

The times that I forgot about you and the things that you needed, like in the computer lab, are here. And tonight on the telephone where you said next to nothing. I remember the things that you said, but most of the time was me going on about myself.

I keep saying the same things over and over again hoping that I will understand.

I know. I am feeding something. There is some beast that has always been there, that I have always been feeding with every word. I can feel him being appeased now. Look at me, I am doing good. I am figuring out hard things. I am doing the right thing. Aren’t I insightful? Aren’t I doing a great job?

Everything I do feeds him. I don’t have any idea how to get free of him. He is right up under my skin. He is all over my body; my dragon. If I could tear away my skin he would be there. All that I am is an act that he puts on to get his food. I am the skin. And I don’t think that he can ever be satisfied. It is his nature to eat.

I can’t fight this. It is like contemplating removing your bones; how do you do that? What would I be without this? Nothing I imagine.

He is loving this, he knows he has nothing to fear, and I am so proud of my new discovery. I will probably shout it from the rooftops. Certainly I will send it out to the whole cor .dis list and he will feed on the knowledge that some of them will see the truth in what I say and they will think me intelligent and perceptive.

Or I could not send it out, but that is certainly no better. Then I will be pious, look at me, look at how holy I am, look at how I suffer to do what is right.

I like writing about this dragon. It makes me feel good, because I know that this is true. I know that he is there and that I have no power. I suppose that he feeds off of the little bit of power that I get from knowing and talking about him.

It’s ironic, don’t you think, he is what makes me powerless, and he feeds off of power. He should shrivel up and die except that everything that I see that drives home how helpless I am makes me hold tighter to the few things that I have left. And he grows with that energy. It’s like in Star Trek where face some strange energy force that returns the energy that they put into getting free in an amplified form to hold them captive. They always get free by coasting out; do I know how to coast?

Is this my only motivation for action? Do I only do things to satisfy this need? It is certainly feasible. I’ll have to devise some tests to find out.

Can anyone really hurt me? I have been dealing with some pretty heavy duty pain for quite a while now. I have recently faced some major battles and come out unscathed. Does anyone see a chink in my armor? That is what I think I need; some gash deep enough that I can get inside myself; inside under the skin. I want to see the dragon, I think that if I really see him, then he will die.

Can anyone cut me deep? There are people who say that they can, but I doubt them. You say that you can make me lose control? I would very much like to see that. I would like to see that more than you know.

I am getting bored with this. I suppose that it has provided all of the food that it can for a while. More later I suppose.

-Will

They say that I am not the person that I fear I am. Do you think that is true? What if it isn’t fear, only knowing. Only seeing something that has been right in front of your eyes for your whole life?

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re: coming to cookeville

I will unfortunately be in Ohio starting the day after Christmas and going until the new year, so I will not be coming to Cookeville. I think I would like to meet strange new people sometime though; I am getting a little better at being brave and actually talking to strangers. It is still very difficult to do it and have a meaningful conversation, but I am improving. I went out last night with a friend from high school and we talked about alcohol, God, sex, and being alone. She is a saved Christian, and talking about these things is taboo. We began the evening with premarital sex being an inherently wrong act, and ended with her telling me about a relationship that she had where she had sex.

When she was talking about sex in the beginning it was something that other people did; bad people. And when she talked about it there was a shift from the normal person to someone else. I have seen it in myself when I will shift to a different personality to deal with something; like when I am hanging around people who are “cool,” I start acting “cool” to fit in. She shifted to a rebellious girl to whom having sex and drinking were just everyday events. As the night went on though, the two people started to come together some. She was the nice girl who went to church and at the same time she had the desire to drink and the desire for companionship and even sex.

I might just be projecting all over her, and I think that there is alot of me in what I am seeing, but at the same time I don’t think that it is all me.

Also, she showed me some of her writing, and alot of it was very similar to things that I was writing at the same time. I think that a major influence on both of us was our senior AP English class. Our teacher was really heavily into existentialism and we did alot of Dostoevsky and Camus. Also, in her freshman English class at ETSU she read Notes from the Underground. I am going to write my old English teacher and ask her if she is aware of what she is doing, and that I think it is really cool.

Well, D is sending to me, so I am off. Have a Merry Christmas =)

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j: continued from yesterday

This message was originally titled “some things I have been meaning to put to paper, I mean, uhhh, e-mail.” I thought it was uncharacteristically cute, and I was reluctant to go with it given that I don’t plan for this to be a particularly pleasant experience, and it gives the reader a sense of congeniality that is soon going to be destroyed, but it was spontaneous, so I stuck with it and decided to do it because I wanted to be creative and friendly, and perhaps let down some of my barriers which I allow to keep me from expressing the lighter side of myself. But then my computer locked up and I lost that title, and typing it back in without the emotion behind it was something that I didn’t like, so I put it here. That’s enough of that though.

I am wondering what you will be thinking as you read this. Is my preceeding paragraph just a meaningless ramble, or an exercise in attention. I put alot of thought into what I was doing, but am I paying attention to things that don’t matter.Also, how well did I describe what I was doing? Is my writing clear? I doubt it; very rarely am I satisfied with the quality of my writing. I find it confusing and convoluted. I rather like this paragraph because I think that I am saying things simply; mainly because I am expressing simple things, “what do you think,” “this is what I think.”

My relationship with you is not really what has been on my mind as of late however. I just got off of the phone with D; she called me from Wisconsin to talk, it has been the first time that I talked to her since I left Cookeville to come home. I did not like the conversation that we had. I have not liked any conversations that I can remember lately. They all seem to be bereft of any meaning or substance. If anything I realize that I am holding things back and I just let myself do it.

What right do I have to complain about the choices that I am making? Hmm, from some angles, I am doing the best that I can, and if I chose to let my fears control me, then that is the only choice that I was strong enough to make, so I can complain about it,that being the only action that I can do as well. Not really the only action in the sense that there are no other possibilities, but given the person that I am and the environment that I am in, there is only one possibility that can be realized.

— I quit for the night here. This is me picking back up. —

I am having difficulty recapturing my reasons for writing this journal. I woke up this moring and laid in bed for a while thinking. My conversation last night with D was part of what I was thinking about, but one piece in particular sticks out. She was telling me about her plans to put Windows NT on the computers in the lounge. This will give her and whoever else is in chare alot more control over how people use the computers. She wants to do it because she is having trouble with people doing things that she doesn’t want them to. The particular incident that this is going off of is a sound file that keeps being put back on the computer even though she is deleting it. It is being set up to play when the computers are shut down and it says “I’ll see you in Hell.”

When she started talking about those computers, my stomach sank. I was thinking about it this morning and I have been trying to figure out why this bothers me so. I have been looking at the problem before and I have been trying to relate it to a control issue with me and I was rebelling against her taking control. That hasn’t been working though. Usually when I start to address an issue and I come at it with a statement, such as, “this is a control issue,” I can start cutting into it and discovering where these things are coming from. I am not making that kind of progress with the computers in the lounge.

I have been considering two possibilities to explain this:

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sj: me bemoaning for a bit

I don’t want to write long; it is late and I have Christmas shopping to do in the morning, but I am a little sad and I wanted to write about it a bit. I am trying to decide if I am being petty or if I have a valid case. I am sad because I formatted my hard drive.

I don’t think that this will mean much to most of you, but I have been using my families computer for the last 5 years and I am as much as imbedded in every part of what it was. Seeing now, so barren and cold is a shock to me; I was so caught up in the experience of getting to rebuild a hard drive that I forgot about what all went into building the first one.

I have spent countless hours doing all sorts of things on that machine. I explored and explored and on my way I left pieces of myself all over the place. As I learned how to change different things my name went in all over the place. It was gratifying to me to see that I was capable of enacting change in some way. I was entering into the world of a programmer, there was an air of mystique and power; these were people who knew what they were doing.

It is hard to express how intertwined my personality was with that computer. Every time that I would come across a new program or language I would find some way to incorporate it into the system. Where anyone else would look and see only a screen, I would see hundreds and hundreds of changes made of just as many hours. That little box that just popped up, it took me a week of learning WinBatch to make that happen. I worked all the time on it, but I loved it because it was new stuff and I thought that I could perhaps do something neat.

What really struck me a while ago is that I forgot to take my autoexec.bat and my config.sys with me. Looking back I don’t see how I managed not to. Both of those were things that I kept coming back to over and over and they had such a rich history. But they are gone now. In some way I have lost a bit of my history and I am sad.

As for the computer, it is just a machine. I am not attached to it, but to see such a wealth of meaning to me lost so carelessly bothers me.

I take heart in the fact that I still find the fascinated little boy inside of myself who loves to make things move around. I think that I will again have achievements in fascination to parallel those I have lost. It is not that I will make better things, for that is little challenge; it is that I will have the devoted passion again to pour into a project. That is what I suppose that in some ways I fear I have lost. I think that it comes back to if I do not fear the future then I have no reason to hold onto the past. Saying that I think I can be that person again makes me feel much better.

One other thing that I was thinking about in conjunction with this is about how I learn. One of the main reasons that I got so entwined with my computer is I don’t like learning by reading.I like learning by doing and by seeing how things really work. So as I tackled computers I didn’t get books and read them; I took things apart and tried to figure them out: “if you do this to that what happens?” It is a very time consuming way of going about things and it certainly has its disadvantages, but I like it.

I guess that a real world example of some of the drawbacks could be drawn from this last episode with the virus I have been messing with. (In case it doesn’t show I have been eating, drinking, and dreaming computers for the last three days.) I haven’t finished my journal on it, and I’ll wait for it for specifics, but two times my little brother Brett has come up with a solution when I am nearly at a dead end by looking to outside sources for information.

The ability to utilize other people while maintaining my integrity is something that need to work on. I hadn’t connected my learning style to my past much, but I had connected the different ways that Brett and I went about solving the virus problem to my past and I just connected my learning style to how Brett and I handled the virus.

An episode to give you a bit of my past. It is sometime in late January about midnight, and I am finishing helping the Tennessee High School Madrigal Singers (of which I am one) set up the hall for their performance (the madrigals performed in Elizabethan costumes in a big hall decorated with banners and the like) Everyone is leaving and I do not yet drive. Rather than ask someone for a ride to my house, which is perhaps 10 miles away, I start walking. It is very very cold. Time and time again I was not willing to ask of other people to do for me. Even when in my mind it was realistic to ask for help I didn’t do it. The madrigals like most singing groups that are small and perform alot was pretty close, and there were several people who were the best of whatever manner of friends that I had. I say it like that, because I wouldn’t have called anyone my friend at this time. I had relationships, but I always maintained my distance and security (a practice that I maintain even to today.) I was 90% certain, analytically at least, that if I asked someone I could get a ride, but I chose instead to suffer sub-freezing temperatures. I even left hurriedly because I was afraid that someone would ask me if I wanted a ride. I don’t understand why I was so scared of people. This reminds me of waking up in someone’s house in the middle of the night and leaving to walk so that I could go and use the bathroom at a gas station rather than wake them up.

Gemini just tried to eat my message, but luckily I got it back. I think that is a sign from the powers that be that it is my bed time, yep, 2:01 definitely bed time. I think I might have derailed a few trains of thought. If I look at them in the morrow and they seem worthwhile that will be the time for pursuing them. Goodnight all.

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WHHHEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!

I have in my possession conclusive proof that there is a God and that He reward people who he likes and that he likes me. I blew the point spread away! Last night I was giving myself a 10% chance of getting a B in calculus and I just checked my grades on eagle line a bit ago and I have an A!!!! I have no idea how this happened, I am still holding a 30% chance that this is a fluke just because I cannot believe it. Last night I was averaging my grades and being depressed over the fact that I am still not going to have a 3.5 after this semester unless I get a B in calculus. I have been dissatisfied with the leadership that I have been seeing as of late and I have been wanting the opportunity to try my hand at practical applications of different leadership styles that I have been developing; resource driven leadership, but that is another journal. Anyway, it was very saddening, because I think that if I run for Honors Council I stand a good chance of making it, but I am not in the Honors Program, so I can’t run. I think that I am getting confident enough to make a stand and I was saddened at the thought that I wasn’t going to get the opportunity. Anyway, the reason that I am writing about this is that it was kinda like a prayer, and when I saw my A in calculus it shocked me really bad and I thought that maybe God was answering my prayer. Anyway, I just wanted to talk for a bit because everyone around here is already asleep and this is really cool.

-Will

It is not at all infeasible that I earned an A. I have a retest and a final and an uncertain number of bonus points that I know nothing about, I just didn’t think that any of them were that good. I sure hope that I was wrong. I don’t really believe yet that I got an A. There was probably a clerical error or Ghandi messed up.

I also have control stuff with my dad, and his displeasure that I am sexually active and his threat to stop paying for school if I don’t pull in line, but that is too big a kettle of fish to get into right now, so I will leave it be. Though I wish that I hadn’t even thought what I did, it is so depressing.

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n: interesting thoughts

I have had a good bit of alcohol go into my system in the last bit and its affects are certainly interesting. I have given up most of my concern for a nice neat looking document thought I probably will run a spell check after I am done typing. I find that I go into a much higher intuitive mode while under “the influence.” I don’t understand why other people don’t seem to be getting stuff from this experience. Alcohol is kicking down barrier to my inhibitions and I am getting all sorts of stuff that is usually subliminated out of the way. Also, I just noticed as I was writing the last ,line that I have now added emotional responses to my repitoire. I am getting feeling more often in response to things, but under the influence of alcohol the feelings seem to pull me down deeper. I am logically doubting my perceptions more than usually, though form some perspectives this perspective is incapable of being any less valid than any other; its all relative anyway. I am curious and afraid that I am simply projecting these feelings of increased noticing in an attempt to rectify a statement in my mind that says that drinking is bad and activity of weak mindless people. I am not really sure of the validity of the statement right now. Anyway, the reason that I was getting on to write was to say that it is interesting that I am not dedicated enough to write. My experiences always get me thinking about lots of stuff, and I consider writing, but never do I actually write, but this time I actually had a strong enough impulse to do something. I was thinking that perhaps this bespake of an internalized level of discipline, and I wanted to actually write about it. Well, that’s all that I feel like writing right now.

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n: on watching _The Madness of King George_

I watched an interesting movie called The Madness of King George about an episode in the life of one of the Georges of England (whichever was in power during the American revolution.)

Anyway, at the end of the movie there is a postscript that saws that the color of the king’s urine (it was blue) indicates that it is likely that he was suffering from a physical ailment called porphyria that affects the nervous system.

The movie was about George’s struggle with delusions and his son George’s attempts to take the throne. On the whole he was nuts.

Anyway, the reason that I am sending this out is that I was thinking about Browning’s poem “Porphyria’s Lover” and the fact that our main guy in that was a bit off kilter as well.

Coincidence? It’s up to you to decide…

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