Discussion in 'THREAD ARCHIVES' started by ☆Luna☆, Nov 12, 2015.

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  1. I think just recently I've noticed that my life would be a lot better if I stopped trying to appear to be something to other people. It is ten times as much work to try to appear to be something you aren't than it is to simply do what comes naturally. Unfortunately, I've really set myself up for failure in this area because I think it has gotten to the point that I habitually adjust my behavior. It would be one thing if it were actually effective, but in the end I probably seem pretty disingenuous. I can't really read social situations, so even when I adjust, I might not even be adjusting correctly. All the things that in my mind are things that people don't want to hear might not even be so. In silencing my own voice in favor for the one I think people want to hear, I probably just isolate myself, never really knowing who actually supports me.

    I think the fact that this kind of behavior still being with me is testament to my immaturity. Even though I want to stand for something, I value the support and opinion of others to such a degree that I downplay the significance of myself. Plus, whenever I feel vulnerable in front of people, I end up desperately trying to save face. I honestly wish I wouldn't, especially since it usually turns out disastrous, but generally just because that isn't the person I want to be. I want to be the kind of person who can handle having the people around her know about her vulnerabilities, and be able to talk about them without getting defensive.

    I simply feel like this option is locked to me because my ability to have and explore an identity of my own is compromised, and I've done so by my own choice. I wanted to be able to live at home and go to school close by. The consequence of this choice is that I have to live with my parents and attend a Christian private school. Looking back, I wish I would have chosen to simply go out into the workplace right away. I'm too deep in now though. I've sunk nearly three years into this college, and transferring means wasting about a year of that in nontransferable credits in addition to running out of money and taking on student debt. Even though the freedom to live the way I want is valuable, it seems that I can be bought.

    And in understanding I can be bought, it makes it easy to see how negative that is on how I view myself. It makes me think that it is more important to tell people what they want to hear because the people closest to me do not value what I most closely identify with. I'm acting in order to receive the kindness of others so often that it isn't really strange that I doubt that people could be kind to me if I dropped the act. It isn't strange that I've been acting so long, it has become the thing I fall back on when I don't know what to do.

    I just feel sad that when I was younger, I chose this for myself. I chose it because I felt lonely and insecure. I chose it because at the time I didn't think that I was strong enough to stand up to the criticism of others. But this too has changed. Even in spite of everything I've talked about above, I know that I am not a weak willed person. The one oppressing me is not others, but instead myself. While it is true that other people reinforced the idea that I needed to behave if I wanted to win their favor, it was me who accepted that I needed that favor. It has always been me. It was me who decided to rely on my parents, to wear a mask, and to hide away the parts of myself that I merely assumed people did not want to see.

    Just as I decided it, I need to remind myself that I'm able to take it back. This false identity of mine, I want to tear it down, and rehumanize myself. I want people to understand exactly how flawed and vulnerable I am. I want to live up to everything that I am. I want to do this because I believe that I need every part of myself to be myself, and I need myself to be beautiful.

    So since I need to be comfortable with my vulnerabilities, I just wanted to get out a lot of dumb things that I've been thinking about lately.

    A Few Things I'm Embarrassed to Share (open)

    1. I want to change my legal name to Luna even though I was named after family, and it would probably be viewed as a sign of disrespect. I've gone by Luna to my closest friends since Freshman year, and I react to it as if it has always been my name. I like the name for a number of reasons. I once had a split personality, and I conquered it on my own without seeing a trained professional. The name Luna was the name of my second personality. It is almost symbolic of the event. Luna means moon. It is a light which shines in the darkness, but the light is not its own. It is a reflection of the sun, of the life I've lived, which allows it to illuminate the Earth. I love this name... It makes me extremely sad that people refuse to call me it simply because they don't want to call me by a female name.

    2. I have never had really big aspirations of my own. For me, if I could just make enough money to have a place to call home, some friends, and an internet connection, I would live a content life. Even still, I think the closest thing I have to an aspiration is to find someone with a dream, someone of a caliber that humbles me, and to somehow be valued by this person as I attempt to make their dream become reality. I don't know if it is weird, but I actually find this concept romantic to a degree. To be far surpassed by someone in intellect, but to still be valued and appreciated by them. It feels meaningful to me.

    3. I often feel guilty for my own privilege because I see others struggle so much harder to perform just as well as me. I've met people who work so hard that they barely get any sleep. They go to school, take 18 credit hours, and take a job on top of that. Even though they work themselves to the ground everyday, I end up making As, and they don't. Sometimes it is even just an intellect thing. As a tutor, I've watched someone struggle for 3 hours over concepts that I understood the moment they first came out of the teacher's mouth. I often feel like I need to accomplish more, just to account for the fact that I have advantages which others do not.

    4. I've been having trouble with my body perception. Even though I don't encounter gender dysphoria, I still feel like I'm constantly in a battle with my body to look the way I want it to, but I never have the time or experience to actually ever look completely how I'd like. Despite being underweight, I feel like I have a bit too much belly fat, and I still skip meals on a weekly basis. I also have body hair which simply grows way too fast, dark, and thickly for me to keep up. Plus, there are so many dark ingrown hairs that even after I shave it leaves behind a dark shadow that makes me wonder why I even bothered. Plus my skin is so sensitive that I cut myself all the time. Part of me thinks that because of this, even if I dressed up in more feminine attire that I'd look ugly, or at the very least, not cute at all.

    5. I receive praise like a little kid. If you wanted to manipulate me, simply praising me would probably be enough to do it. The entire reason why I'm susceptible to trying to live up to an image that I am not is because I enjoy praise too much. Even if it is just someone liking a post I made, I'm likely to actually reread the entire post just to see what it was that someone liked about what I said. It can even get pretty shameless. So long as it is sincere, it can even get to the point where someone is talking down to me and I still enjoy it. Like, if someone pet me for doing something well, I'd be embarrassed, but I'd still receive it positively. I don't even know if I should change this about myself... For right now I'm just trying to remind myself that my own perception of my work is important too.

    Would put more, but I need to get to class.
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  2. What you're trying to do is quite the step o.o Most people don't seem to have the bravery to even begin going through with it. But there's one part that caught my attention above the rest.

    "The name Luna was the name of my second personality"
    Luna was the name of your old split personality. If you change your name to Luna, do you think that the Luna personality will shine past your own? Could taking Luna's name trigger Luna to return and perhaps, take over? (I don't know too much about split personality, so i'm a bit curious on that particular subject. And I may realize something with myself too, sometimes "Shadon" feels like a separate entity/personality from myself.
  3. Like most things in life, the art of interacting with others is a learned ability. It takes time and practice to become better at. Some people are predisposed or have a certain degree of natural skill in dealing with others, but anyone can hone the art of social interaction. To interact with others while remaining true to who you are is not a difficult task for most. To start, we must remember that "social adjustment" is a normal process that happens to us all. The way you interact with your best friend will not be the way you interact with your parents, siblings, or professors. This is the process of social adjustment, where you adjust your behavior to fit the context of your situation. That is normal. You are not weird for doing this at all.

    If you want to be that person, you need to work towards it. It isn't something that is going to happened overnight or by magic. Try to figure out what it is that holds you back from doing exactly that. Then formulate a plan that leads to a satisfying solution. Start out with someone close to you. Let them know about something that you feel makes you vulnerable. You may find out that you don't like letting others know about your vulnerabilities. The key is that you try first.

    Like you said, you're too far into college to quit now, and transferring isn't really worth it. Sometimes, we work ourselves into situations that cannot be helped, but only endured. The key thing to remember is that it will not last forever. College is a good investment, and you will not regret that education in the long run, because it will lead to a much higher overall quality of life. Don't beat yourself up about it though! Also, don't go through the experience expecting that it will be a negative one, because then it really will be. Try to stay open-minded, as difficult as that can be at times. You're at the cusp of the finish line--at least for this race. What you do when you reach the finish line is all up to you and you have that to look forward to!

    We all do dumb things when we're young. Let alone being young and emotionally distressed. You made lesser choices when you were not in your right state of mind. Accept that and learn to be okay with it. Live with the consequences, but don't wallow in self-pity. Your best option is let the choices you have made run their course and then alter your path when you have the chance. As far as your identity goes, the first step to having your own identity is figuring out who you are. Remember that this is a life-long process, because who you are is not static. You are a living, changing and evolving being with a dynamic and complex personality. It might be wise to take time to think about it every day. It is a vast amount of information, so don't feel bad if you can't figure it all out in one sitting. Take things one step at a time. Respect that others are also on this journey as well.

    Why do you need to be beautiful? That is a question that one might ask. Humans are many things, and sometimes they are beautiful, and other times they are not. And, that is okay. That is exactly what makes us human. Don't be afraid to not be beautiful sometimes, because that is real. The imperfection in that moment itself is beautiful. This is a good first step, admitting that you want to work to be truer to who you really are. Don't feel forced to tear it all down at once, because that could be catastrophic. Instead, work to gradually replace who you are with who you would like to be. Believe it or not, that is what I am doing right now. As I said, we are all on this journey.

    Respecting our ancestors is an honorable tradition. However, our first and foremost concern should not be the happiness of someone who is deceased or the happiness of those around us, at least not 24/7. Sometimes it is okay to do the things that you want, granted that it isn't harming anyone, regardless of how others may perceive your actions. If you want to legally change your name to Luna because that is the name you identify with, then do it! Don't worry about what others might think. Then, go a step further and don't respond to any name except for the ones that you identify with. You are the master of your own reality, not others.

    I once had a teacher who changed her legal name when she got married. Except, she didn't change her last name. Legally, when you are married, you can only change one name, either your first or last. And, as a way to honor her heritage, she changed her first name--which was like a typical American name that I can't even remember right now--to one that honored her Germanic heritage: Michal. Knowing her now, I could never have imagined her as anything else. The point is that she used her name to construct an identity that empowered her. She empowered herself without regard for what anyone else may have thought. She has gotten stuff because Michal sounds like a male name, and most people are ignorant. But that is okay, because we aren't worried about others perceptions.

    I feel that there is something that may help you control your urge to seek approval from outside sources. Take a look at this website: Books as Therapy

    If you feel like your life lacks direction or purpose, try finding new hobbies. Search for something to be passionate about. Personally, I am a vocalist, poet, and writer, as well as many other things. However, those are interests from which I derive a sense of purpose and accomplishment. The aspiration of wanting to be appreciated by someone who is superior in intellect than you seems like a perfectly fine aspiration. However, it is one that is harder to pursue because it relies on a mixture of chance, chemistry, and other external factors. Remember that we are allowed to have more than one aspiration!

    Your sympathy does nothing for them and nothing for you, especially if it does not result in some sort of action. As a privileged individual, you have an obligation to help those who are less fortunate than you. I'm not saying go and give money to your friend who is struggling to pay their student loans, or that you should clock in for their 8-hour shift at the campus gift store. I am simply saying that you should work hard to achieve as much as possible and then when you have excess you can give it to those who are less fortunate. You can give back to those who will one day be in that situation: juggling work, school, and other responsibilities. As to how you do it, there are plenty of methods you could research: grants, scholarships, charities, etc.

    This is a tricky subject because as I will likely be that person who is juggling a million things when I get to college, it is easy to resent someone who doesn't have to face the same challenges as I most likely will. However, it is hard to resent someone who takes their advantages and uses them to give back.

    If you feel like you have too much belly fat, work to become more fit. I cannot stress how much you need to go about this in a manner that is healthy to your body and mind. Exercise and eat right, and if your belly fat still doesn't come off, then it is probably time to accept that you just may have a genetic predisposition to storing a bit of extra belly fat. Odds are that the issue is probably much less significant than how you perceive it. Try letting your hair grow out for a while. Shaving in general tends to leave a lot of in-grown hairs, especially if done improperly. Always use a clean, fresh, and sharp razor. Always let your hair grow for a while before shaving. Shaving without letting your hair grow for a period of time simply exacerbates the amount of in-grown hairs. If you do have a real issue with in-grown hairs, I would suggest waxing after a period of unrestricted growth. This will make you legs appear a lot less dark and porous.

    NEVER USE CHEMICAL AGENTS LIKE NAIR. They are absolutely horrible for your body and packed full of chemicals that are extremely harmful--hence why it burns when you rub it on your skin. Your skin is your body's largest organ, and it is up to you keep it healthy. Don't go too far in the name of cosmetic beauty. Your health and well-being should always come first. Ultimately, cosmetic beauty is another facet through which you seek approval from others, so take time to figure out things that you do simply because you like them and things you do because you feel others may like them.

    Like I said, refer to the website I gave you. Seriously take time to consider some of the things I have said. If somebody des something that makes you feel any negative emotion,--embarrassment, sadness, guilt--then you should really let them know. In this particular case, you should have made it clear that you appreciated their sentiment but also made it a point to also let them know that there is a certain way that you express appreciation. You should have let them know that you didn't appreciate being petted because it came off as demeaning to you. Odds are are that the person will comply either because they care about you or they wish to be courteous.

    I think that you're going to be just fine! Continue on your path and consider the things I've said here. Try to get advice from a multitude of sources and then make an informed decision about which course is best for you. I've done my best to provide sound advice given the information available, but ultimately, my advice may be completely wrong. You have so many people who care for you and wish to see you as happy as possible.

    Love and hugs,
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  4. I'm still knee deep in finals, so I can't take the time to give this a proper reply, but thank you. I would love to talk more with you, but until Wednesday I'm going to be way too busy. I'll talk to you soon though.
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  5. Don't worry about it! Take your time to do your best on your tests! It is important. (: I look forward to your reply at your earliest convenience.
  6. I get that social adjustment is normal, but the thing I'm struggling with is overdoing it. I'm completely forgoing most of my interests in favor of getting along with people. I feel like a deceiver because I'm not simply changing my level of formality or topics of conversation, but I also... I don't dress, talk, or act in a way that I'm completely comfortable with. I'm pretty sure it shows in my behavior.

    Well, I know what is holding me back. It is a desire to avoid being lonely, and to maintain control. I'm a strange person, and I don't expect people to understand me right away. With the world the way it is right now, I just can't see it working out if everyone knew about my vulnerabilities. There would definitely be people who disadvantage me and try to tear me down. I just want the strength to be able to stay kind, caring, and confident even in the face of such actions. Right now, I just don't think I'm that person, and I still need to experience more life before I'm going to be that person. I don't know specifically what that is yet, but sharing with someone close is a starting place.

    Well, I didn't mean to say it was a negative experience. I just don't think I will get to explore or express myself here. I have a vague understanding that getting this degree is going to mean good things for my life overall, but I haven't really profoundly understood exactly what it is I've been given. I just understand this is serious, and work my hardest at getting the best possible scholarships. My only fear is that I will leave college without any personal connections because I don't plan to continue to dress the same when I leave. It is sad to think all the people I've met there won't be able to recognize me later in life, and that I will never know how they would have felt about me if I were more genuine.

    Yeah, I've accepted it, but it doesn't really make it less sad. I just feel like there is so much out there to experience, and so much more to learn about myself. I don't like that my attempts to learn more have been met with such ferverous resistance.

    This is my fault for not explaining properly. Beauty here is meant in the philosophic rather than the shallow sense. It means something along the lines of visibly worthwhile. Beauty is in our failures and triumphs, flaws and gifts, and joys and sorrows.
    It is essentially a concept which celebrates the acceptance of reality and the ways it can be manipulated. It is also a rejection of falsehoods and emptiness. When I say I want to be beautiful, it means that I want to accept every part of myself, and the truth of my own existence. I don't want to have to pretend to be something I know that I'm not. It is because I am aware that it isn't me that I want to stop. Being that way makes me unhappy. Self exploration is a gradual process, but self denial is a different beast.

    I think the problem with this is that I can't afford the ramifications. It is unreasonable to expect my grandparents to accept this, my Mom would have pretty horrible anxiety, I'd invite teacher discrimination, I'd alienate the few friends I've made, and I'd create a rather hostile environment. Though, as I think about it, there is always going to be a reason making it hard. I always think that maybe it is time to rip off the bandaid, but it is just too important that I continue making straight As. I can't do that while fighting a lost cause to be called the name I want to be called.
    I guess that is where I'm different. I care profoundly about my relations with others. Even if someone is being ignorant, I want to be able to create mutual relationships with everyone. I just don't know how to discount someone's opinion on the basis that it doesn't agree with my own. I don't like it when I'm unable to communicate with others. Talking is my favorite thing. I've learned that so often we overlook a multitude of good qualities in favor of judging a single negative trait. I want to care about their opinion as not to repeat the same error they commit as they discount me on the basis of my name, but simultaneously have to remember that my beliefs have meaning to them. It is harder than simply ignoring that which doesn't agree with me, and that is why I struggle.

    I don't think my life lacks purpose. I just like helping others more than advancing my own objectives. It is just a bit embarrassing to admit since it runs pretty contrary to what people consider to be valid aspirations.

    Yeah, I don't really think that it is a particularly helpful thought. I do work hard in my own way, I just think it is unfortunate to see that hard work doesn't always yield fruits.

    I'm just not sure I'm actually fat, so much as I have an unrealistic body image. I'm essentially a male with a desire to have some aspects of a "slim female" appearance. There are behaviors I can affect, but body chemistry is a messy business which I can ill afford. Dark body hair in particular just makes me unhappy with my appearance. I can't really testify to if I'm shaving with proper technique, but I do always use a new razor. I currently wait 3 days after I last shaved before shaving again, but even then I dislike the look of it basically the next day. I have not considered waxing due to the fact that simply shaving tends to result in small cuts that look like a breakout after the fact.

    Also, can you give me more information about the harmful effects of Nair? I don't personally use it out of skepticism, but my sister does and I've no effective arguments to dissuade her. Currently my long term solution is to try for laser hair removal, but I can't afford it right now, and I haven't considered long term risks.

    Well, I think I presented this poorly. If someone is being malicious towards me, I'm generally rather confident in advocating for myself. However, when someone has good intentions, I want to accept it even if it is somewhat embarrassing. I don't really think someone petting me is demeaning in most contexts, but it often draws odd looks and causes some embarrassment. The result is being simultaneously embarrassed and enjoying the activity. Talking down to me is in about the same category. Keeping the assumption that harm was not intended, I like being praised even for minor accomplishments. The reason I'm not sure if I should change this about myself is because I'm not sure if this behavior leads to negative consequences outside of the immediate ones.
    I think I'm going to be fine too. I'm a little uncertain about the particulars, but I'm a smart cookie. I could just use a bit more life experience, and a little more support from those close to me would be nice too.
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