Being My Best Self

Being My Best Self

Alright so after the dust settled, and after I finally got to bitch out my aunt on Facebook after a lifetime of just trying to ignore her, I’ve realized that this needs to be my motivation to be my best self. Now, I’ve always kinda wondered about the people who are constantly posting on social media, who seem like they are trying to fake their way through things. They always appear happy on the outside but I know nobody can be that happy all the time. But now I get it. It’s like those studies that show that faking a laugh or a smile actually makes you feel happy. Sometimes you have to fake it til you make it.

I had sort of a lightbulb moment when reading all the slanderous things my aunt had written, and I thought what am I going to do? This woman has almost nothing to lose and I have everything to lose. Is she going to try to slander me all over the internet now, so if anyone googles my name, all her craziness will pop up? But then I realized no, she doesn’t have that power. Because if she tries to slander me, all I have to do is push all of that to the back of the results with my own content. With happiness and success. You have to fight hatred with love and kindness. If someone does something horrible to you, turn around and do something nice for someone else. I’ve given up on being nice to my aunt because I tried that and it did NOT work. But I can still be kind to myself and to others. I am going to use this as the motivation I need to always spread good feelings even when I’m not feeling them myself. Hopefully if I do that enough, eventually those good feelings will make their way back to me 🙂

Plus, I know that the one thing that would piss my aunt off the most is me being happy and successful. I’m pretty sure that’s why she targeted me in the first place.

And Now Some Thoughts

And Now Some Thoughts

Now I’m at my parent’s house and I’ve calmed down a bit, I’m just trying to wrap my head around everything. There are so many things about this situation that I just don’t really understand.

For one, I don’t understand why I have this reaction to my aunt. As soon as I think I might have to even say something to her, I completely panic. I can feel my heart beating so hard and crazy that I’m legitimately worried I might go into cardiac arrest. I start hyperventilating. A lot of times I think “what’s wrong with me” because I know it’s not normal. But here’s the thing – I have never had this reaction to a person or a situation ever before. I’ve dealt with some bullying and just generally awful people, but it actually never got to me that much, and I certainly wasn’t having anxiety or anything about it. Sometimes I do panic, but usually it’s just when things in my life are all building up and I’m terrified of what might happen to me. But now I just realized that with my aunt everything is built up all the time. I am constantly having to hold my tongue because everything she does is rage inducing. It’s put me constantly on edge. And it’s not just me, nobody else in the family can stand her either. Her daughter puts up with her to a point, but absolutely refuses to live with her. My grandma is the only one who will put up with all her BS. So I know it’s not just me, but especially when my grandma acts like everything is cool, I do start to question my own sanity, which just makes me even more annoyed.

The second thing I’ve been thinking about is whyyy is she like this??? I really was thinking she might be a psychopath or sociopath, a lot of it matches up. The only thing is it does often seem that she wants to belong somewhere, which seems like the opposite of a sociopath. Then I was thinking it must be the drugs, she’s overdosed many times so it’s certainly possible that some important parts of her brain have fried. The problem with this theory is she was already like this when she was quite young before she would have experienced many permanent effects of the drugs. So this makes another problem for me. Normally when I get angry at someone, I try to find some reason for it. I try to justify it somehow, for my own sake. If I see a really aggressive driver and I start to get some road rage, I imagine that maybe the driver has to go to the bathroom really bad or has a whiney kid in the back seat, and the anger goes away. But with my aunt every time I find a way to justify it, or even feel sorry for her, she does something that contradicts it. And after I’ve gone through everything I can think of, the only think that’s left is that she is just a really shitty person.

It’s weird too, because I’ve talked to a counsellor at my school about it, and when I talk about my aunt I literally am laughing out loud. Because when I’m not having to actually deal with her, when I have that separation, it just feels like a big joke. She’s like a caricature. When I think back on it, it doesn’t even seem real and I just laugh. But then as soon as I see her or hear her it’s reality again. It’s such an emotional roller coaster. (Worst roller coaster ever, btw. Do not recommend.) She’s moving out in two days (supposedly) but I’m still very worried about what might happen when I go back. I think I will do my best to keep my head down for a while.

I also want to write a story inspired by all of this. For years I have wanted to write a fantasy novel, but could never really come up with any good plot even though I’ve had some characters floating around in my head. But with all of this craziness, I’ve got some good ideas. Possibly involving a crazy witch….

Testing the Placebo Effect (on Myself)

Testing the Placebo Effect (on Myself)

So now my aunt should be moving out this month, which means I’m now just avoiding her as much as I can until she leaves. This means I can finally start writing about some other stuff I want to write about, mostly psychology and perception and such.

This week I have been trying to clean some stuff and get rid of some old things, and in going through things I found some empty capsules I bought about a year ago. When I did a psychology minor for my bachelor’s degree I took one class about critical thinking, which was all about perception, and we looked at stuff like hypnotism (my professor was a psychologist and a hypnotist as well) and placebo effects and how that relates to pseudoscience. Later I took at least one more class which involved talking about placebo effect. I was so fascinated by it and thought how wonderful it is that we can make ourselves happier and healthier by basically tricking our brains. One of the coolest studies we looked at was one where researchers found out that people could even get a placebo effect when they KNEW it was a placebo, as long as they believed in the placebo effect!

So based on what I learned about the placebo effect, I wanted to try it out on myself. I bought 1000 EMPTY capsules, 500 pink and white and 500 yellow and red. I tried to get colours that resonated with what I wanted them to help me with. I got the pink and white because they remind me of Barbie, and I wanted to use those to help me boost my happiness and get healthy (maybe lose a bit of weight too). I got the red and yellow because they looked like the colours of Gryffindor, and I wanted to use those to improve my work ethic and power through tough situations. I filled the capsules with some protein powder because initially they were too light and you could kinda see through them, so I just used some protein powder I was going to throw away anyway to make them feel a bit more legit.

Now, I really suck at remembering to take any kind of medicine or vitamins every day, so I tried it for maybe a few days and then forgot about it. But this summer I want to really explore different kinds of placebos or pseudoscience, and see if it actually helps me. I have also read that rituals help people, like when you have a ritual before dinner (like praying) it makes the food taste better. So my plan is to try to take 2-3 pink pills per day, and maybe one of the red and gold per day, all summer, whether I think it’s working or not. Then hopefully I can give it a proper go without giving up before I can see or feel any results. I gained quite a bit of weight when I spent Christmas at my parent’s so this should be a good time to try it out.

Keeps Getting Worse

Keeps Getting Worse

So, I have actually been feeling much better about my whole situation with my aunt, I actually have started to find it funny. The problem is every time I find something new it puts me right back into a panic attack. Just today I decided to google a phrase she keeps using to describe her cat. I’m one of those people who just has to find things out, so I though maybe it was some pop culture term that I didn’t know about, and decided to google it. Well, obviously she made it up because I found a bunch more posts from her on various websites (she seriously loves to talk about her cat.) One post caught my eye, since it was about MYSELF. She is telling a bunch of people on some forum about a bunch of stuff that is completely none of her business. She even says that I “dabble in oil paints but [am] not very good.” Wow, such a lovely person! (And I like to paint with acrylics, not oils, and am doing it purely for relaxation and enjoyment purposes, similar to my aunt’s adult colouring books which I guess are masterpieces?) She talks about me not having a job (hello? trying to continue my education while her two daughters have never finished high school and can’t hold down jobs?) She says I have never been on a date. How the hell would she know anything? I went to a university on the other side of the country and never speak to her, ever. I suppose she thinks I should follow in her footsteps and become a prostitute? Or maybe have two short marriages, have children, and not take responsibility for them? What an absolute nutjob. Every time I think I can’t be surprised by her, I am. It’s seriously unbelievable. So of course I see this and feel like I need to confront her, and start panicking again. I was so furious. I told my grandma about it and my grandma is sick of her too now so she told me to confront my aunt so “maybe she will leave.” Because my grandma wants her gone but doesn’t want to be the bad guy. I guess I’m already “enemy number one” to my aunt so it can’t get any worse.

Trying to Block (and Blog) it out

Trying to Block (and Blog) it out

I’ve decided I will have to do everything I can to avoid my aunt. If she was just an annoying neighbour it wouldn’t be so bad. But she is in my family and it’s hard to just pretend she isn’t there when I have to plan out when I go into the kitchen just to avoid her, and I have to always have some sort of video or music playing so I can’t hear her voice. It actually wasn’t so bad at first, because I really thought I could just be nice to her and she’d be nice back and eventually she would leave and it would be fine. But then she was writing lies and racist things on her blog about my family, and somehow she expected me to just think oh that’s fine and normal. And then my grandma told me she wants my aunt to leave, that she doesn’t like what my aunt is doing. She is dating this total lunatic, and she keeps saying she is desperately trying to get rid of him, saying all of these bad things he does like slash her tires and punch holes in the wall, yet she keeps letting him come back. Now she has the perfect scenario, she is with her mom so he won’t come over and trash her stuff, and she can go see him on the weekend. Now why would anyone be with someone like that? You might think it is a classic abusive relationship, where it is hard for the woman to leave. But it’s the opposite. She was in her mid 40’s when she started dating him, a NINETEEN year old, drug addict with serious mental health issues. He is younger than her son. My grandmother thinks she just wants to be able to control him, but I think the reality is she is just stuck in the mind of a teenager. She leeches off the government, off her mother, and takes up a relationship with a teenager. She had 3 kids, two she completely lost custody of and the 3rd was in and out of foster care her whole life and did not complete high school. My aunt just never grew up, never had any sense of responsibility. Now she is staying at her mom’s house and on the weekends going to see her boyfriend who she insists on staying with even though he is terrible. And she doesn’t see why we don’t like it, she seriously thinks that everything she has done in her life, she wasn’t hurting anybody.

Anyway, my grandma doesn’t like it, and she told me that once my aunt leaves, she can never live there again (she has had to go back to live with her parents many many times throughout her adult life, and at one point even had the crazy boyfriend living here. There was a police watch on the house.) But my grandma also said she would just *hint* to my aunt that she should move out, and wouldn’t kick her out. Because while everyone else has reached their breaking point with my aunt, I don’t think my grandma has one. It’s just too upsetting for her to look at the reality of what her daughter has become. So now I’m stuck hoping my aunt will actually leave. Until then I have to do my best to block (and blog) it out.

Crying Over Stolen Milk

Crying Over Stolen Milk

Right, so after I read my aunt’s last post specifically attacking me, I was completely shaken. Luckily I am not depressed because my mind seems to be bouncing back pretty easily. I get really furious and panicky for a while and am frantically trying to figure out what to do but I do calm down. Unfortunately this is exam period so I don’t have a lot of time for my mental health right now, I need to try to focus on school. And lately it’s been very hard to study because I am either just totally frustrated by my situation or I am completely focused on what I can do to make it better. The problem is I don’t have time for that right now. I had a week to study for my corporate tax exam, and I only got maybe a few hours of studying in. I have been spending a lot of time looking at different spiritual objects, gemstones, symbols, etc. Ideally I want to create a space for myself that is totally soothing and healing so I can separate myself from all the negativity in this house, but I’m struggling to balance my time. I can’t spend all the time I need to create the right atmosphere for myself but I can’t study without clearing the negativity. It’s like building a house on sand.

Anyway, I started this post because I just yelled at my boyfriend over milk. Last week my mom had bought some milk and gave me what was left of the old jug. It didn’t expire for a while so I wanted to save it for when I needed it, sometimes it helps if I get stomach aches when I take my medication for headaches. Then I was in the kitchen while my aunt and grandma were there and my aunt asks if there is any milk left, she wanted some cereal. I was pretty surprised she would just pretty much offer it to herself like that, but when I told my mom, apparently my aunt did the same kind of thing when she lived with my dad, he’d work a 12 hour shift and come home to no food or milk because she used it all and didn’t replace it, and it drove him nuts. Anyway my grandma said no, there isn’t enough. I hadn’t even had any at this point and it was mine! So later I had some milk, suspecting it was disappearing on me. Then late at night, trying to study, I hear cereal. My aunt was using my milk for her cereal. And she knew I had brought it from my mom. Didn’t bother asking me, she knows I’m already getting really agitated with her, and she helps herself to my milk. I was so furious so I just quickly drank the rest of it but there wasn’t much left. I was so furious but the next morning I felt better. the problem is, this stuff is putting me constantly on edge. So when my boyfriend asked if the milk carton in the fridge was mine, I just lost it. Because now my aunt bought milk which I don’t want to touch (I really just want to go on like she doesn’t exist, I don’t want to even tough anything of hers). So I just yelled at him DO YOU WANT ME TO GO BUY MILK!?!?! ITS NOT MY FAULT SHE DRANK THE MILK!!!! I knew he was just asking a question but I just snapped for a moment. I’ve apologized but now I’m even more frustrated and anxious because my aunt has totally poisoned me. I was really determined that she would not get to me, her father tried to disown her more than once, my father wants absolutely nothing to do with her, and two of her kids want nothing to do with her. She has completely broken this family and now she’s breaking me. But I need to fight back. I don’t necessarily need to fight her, and I really can’t. I am trying to see her as like an avalanche, or a fire. You don’t hate a natural disaster. You just fight to survive.