Brazilian trans girl desperately trying to stay in Germany.
Main at @elilla . This is my instance for experimentation, self-hosted on my raspberry in the living room; I’ve been using it for mh- vents and bitching about bad things being bad.
Avatar via picrew milf builder by @email@example.com https://picrew.me/image_maker/119364
incidentally @maffsie a few cute blobkitties we're missing at queer party if u want
re: carework, kink silly, sex work, pol-adj,
except avowed tradwives are usually submissives – I mean it, the way they speak of the satisfaction and glory of serving a person’s will, it sounds literally exactly the same way subs talk about you, only these rightwing couples don’t know how to flow between frames, negotiate, control the dynamic consciously – while I am exceedingly the other type of wifey
carework, sex work, pol-adj, silly
feels weird to realise that your dream profession is kinda basically 'communist tradwife' 🤔
re: my dream profession, sex work, carework, eutopias, sci-fi
> The host chuckled as he set his scrib on the table. ‘Hey, if it’s any consolation, I don’t like my given name, either.’
‘You mean it’s not Sunny?’ Eyas said with a smirk.
The host winked. ‘So, I heard you’ve had a long day.’
Eyas raised her eyebrows. ‘Did you?’
‘That was Iana’s guess, at least. Did she get that wrong?’
Assuming Iana was the blue-haired woman, Eyas mentally gave her a few points for perception. ‘No. It has been a long day.’
Sunny held up the bottle. ‘Do you like sintalin?’
If you have no friends, this is a place where people will pay attention. It doesn’t matter that they never met you, they’ll care, really care. Some people are just like that. I know. I am.
> Sunny looked at her seriously. ‘Eyas, I’m here to give you a good night, and that can be whatever you need it to be. If you need to just talk, have some drinks, chill out – that’s fine. I’m happy with that.’
> Eyas was sure he’d said those words before, but she also got the sense that he meant them.
Sex worker, social worker, therapist, entertainer all into one – plus things we don’t have names for, easy friend u know is easy, publicly available caregiver.
> She studied his face. His lips looked soft. His beard was perfect, almost annoyingly so. ‘No,’ she said. She put her hand on his chest. She set her glass down, ran her palm up his throat, over his neck, into his hair. Stars, it felt good in her fingers. ‘If it’s okay by you,’ she said, as his hand greeted her thigh, ‘I’d rather not talk much at all.’
I know tons of sex workers already do this, tired husband crying his woes at the brothel is basically a cliché, but – encoded as such, recognised, a healthy respected part of a functioning community?
I’m thinking of the Japanese hostesses. Have any of you ever interacted with a host? Maybe seen them in anime, talked to a simulation in Ryū ga Gotoku/Yakuza? It has no comparison with the real thing, you can’t even imagine. The sheer warmth, the immediate intimacy. They are so good at this. Western media usually portrays them as some bizarre oddity of weird, broken Japan, a prostitute you can just talk to? What’s even the point of talking to women?? And they’re milking you for gifts, overpriced drinks, it’s true, capitalism ruins everything, always.
I’m enjoying conversation with my hostess, so much, I don’t think I ever felt or will feel so comfortable speaking Japanese to anyone, the bar is tiny and black, I’ve been dragged here by a bunch of soldiers I didn’t even know so they’re paying for everything, J men do that to you. I’m in boymode for fieldwork, both jealous and admiring of how perfect and fem she looked singing Cutie Honey on karaoke. She almost flirts but never quite, she’s so skilled at this, she probes me on my boring-ass research and listens, really _listens_, you can’t fake interest like that, one learns how to find anything interesting, wills oneself into it.
I can’t mask forever, I care too much, can’t resist the question: ‘your job, it must be hard’. Sad eyes, no reply. Resolution flashes in her face, this isn’t the place or time to talk about herself, she starts talking about Tōhoku life, dialects, things that will subtly, gently bring the conversation back to me, to uplifting topics.
Is she forced to this job? J people aren’t exactly starving, but that’s not how capitalism works, you always have to work and every job is bad, all of them, because you’re forced to do them to have your basic needs met, and anything that _has_ to be done _for_ another thing quickly becomes shackles. But personal work like this, it feels especially dehumanising somehow, to be forced to act nice. To sell your body, to sell your feelings.
I can’t imagine she has no taste for this whatsoever. She’s incredibly cute and has clearly worked hard at it, at being rewarding to be with, she’s Japanese so I bet she has read conversation manuals, body language guides, she has to be proud of how she looks on stage, she’s like an angel cos she made herself one. But then she has to sell it. If she didn’t have to sell anything, would she want to give?
Maybe absolutely not, I don’t know what the rest of her life is like, maybe she’d rather spend the days caring for plants than lonely people. I know I wish I could spend my days listening to lonely people, giving attention to ppl who want attention, sex for the horny, to cook for the too tired to cook, come to your place and help you order your room, tell you supportive things…
Carework, broadly, feels like so much more of a valuable contribution I could give than programming fucking computers. I don’t feel like there’s any space for me to do that, sex work is too limited, and anyway all jobs are bad. The only way we could be fulfilled at our jobs would be if they were decoupled from our needs, without the threat of poverty hanging over our heads. According to our abilities.
"To work in a club, you had to *really* like people."
my dream profession, sex work, carework, eutopias, sci-fi
The 3rd book of the Wayfares series, ‘Record of a Spaceborn Few’, describes a socialist spaceship community, fully moneyless, not bountiful but sustainable. It’s good sci-fi, has a lot of blind spots (like ‘adolescence’ is portrayed pretty much the way it is rn, as if it would exist without coercive power given to parents). But it’s rewarding as eutopian writing: discusses what a different society could be, without romanticising it, tries to investigate what problems, what conflicts it would have, how they could be addressed.
But ever since reading it, I can’t stop thinking of the tryst clubs.
> They provided a service, not goods, and their hosts fell into the same broad vocational category she did: ‘Health and Wellness’. The clubs were an old tradition, a part of the Fleet practically since launch, one of many ways to keep everybody sane during a lifelong voyage. Hosts took that tradition seriously, as seriously as Eyas did her own. Plus, they were often some of the loveliest folks she’d ever met. It went without saying that to work in a club, you had to *really* like people.
I see people talking online about this book and mentioning how nice it is that sex work is just another job, no stigma. But what’s being portrayed here goes so beyond pure sex.
> ‘All right. Are you looking to take a chance, or for a sure thing?’ This was the option always given at the entrance. Were you interested in meeting a fellow visiting stranger and seeing where the night took you, or …
> ‘The latter,’ Eyas said. Not that it was a _sure thing_. The host could decline service, for any reason, and she could leave at any time. Neither party was pressured to do anything, and mutual comfort was paramount. But being matched with another walk-in would’ve defeated the entire purpose of her being there.
> A polite nod, a bit of gesturing. > ‘Are you interested in a single partner, or multiples?’
> ‘Any changes to your usual preferences?’
> ‘And how long of a visit would you like? Overnight, a few hours . . . ?’
In a socialist society, each person is given according to their needs. Needs for intimacy, sex, companionship, emotional support, touch, conversation, a drink and laughs and playing a game, weird kinky cravings – these are as important to human realisation as the need for meaningful work, for feeling safe and accepted. It’s very nice when you can meet those needs by interacting with your peers directly, by being sociable, helping them fulfil their own in happy exchange.
Some people aren’t sociable, can’t relate to others well. The hosts are there for everybody. No matter what kind of body or personality or sensitivities you have, you don’t have to be alone, any needs on that direction can be filled as easy as going to the food stores to get food. Some ppl visit the clubs occasion for a fun night, others make it a regular part of their lives.
Eyas is a ‘caretaker’: she handles the ceremonies that returns dead bodies to the closed ecosystem, comforts people in death, helps them find meaning in it. She enjoys intimate, loving sex; but, because of the unbalanced dynamics of her priest-like role, she much prefers to have it from the clubs, regularly, no strings attached (‘people get weird around caretakers’).
> She saw so many similarities between this kind of work and her own, polar opposites of the life experiences spectrum though they were. She, too, had strangers’ bodies placed in her care. They couldn’t speak, but they’d been assured their whole lives that when the time came, they’d be treated with gentleness and respect. Nobody would find them odd or ugly. Nobody would do anything unkind. They’d be handled by someone who understood what a body was, how important, how singular. Eyas undressed those bodies. She washed them. She saw their flaws, their folds, the spots they kept hidden. For the short time they had together, she gave them the whole of her training, the whole of her self. It was an intimate thing, preparing a body. An intimacy matched only by one other. So when she placed her own body in someone else’s hands, she wanted to know that her respect would be matched. You couldn’t make guarantees like that with a stranger at a bar. You couldn’t know from a bit of conversation and a drink or two whether they understood in their heart of hearts that bodies should always be left in a better way than when you found them. With a professional, you could.
You don’t have wealth, a prestige job, you’re middle-age, doesn’t matter, this place is here _for_ you—
> The tenday hadn’t been bad, but it had been long, and she’d grown weary of decisions. ‘Surprise me,’ she said. She paused in thought. ‘Whoever you think the nicest of them is.’
‘Ha! You’re going to get me in trouble.’ […] She gave Eyas an amused smile. ‘Do *not* tell him how I picked him, or I will never hear the end of it.’
Confessions of a bad immigrant
The loneliness of this dead night gives me a perverse impulse to make Germans shiver:
I miss routinely hugging and kissing the cheek of every stranger I meet.
I miss touch being a routine thing not just among lovers.
I miss perfect strangers initiating conversations about what I'm reading, about my T-shirt, about the news or some football game I don't even care. I miss pretending I know the first thing about football, just to humour these strangers.
I miss perfect strangers telling me out of the blue, oh weren't you with a baby at shopping mall such-and-such last Saturday? Her dress was so cute.
I miss perfect strangers sensing sadness and telling me "have a beautiful day, a beautiful day".
I miss what would be like to travel in these 4-set train cabins where everybody face one another, if they were Brazilians, even thought we don't have trains like this and I never did that, but I miss what it would be like.
I miss, when I came back from my first trip to Japan, and I had to take two planes, and the first plane was full of Japanese people going somewhere, and the second full of Brazilians returning home, how much noisier was that second plane, its electricity, how full of life.
My poor country that so crushes its own people, the last slavers' colony to abolish it but it never did really, how early do we learn our first and greatest lesson, that life is made of suckers and cheaters and if you want to survive you better be the latter. We were calling ourselves a shithole centuries before that guy was even born. How terrified I am of ever being forced to return there, how violent it all makes us, to what extent we kill one another.
You can complain that we're noisy, cheating, dirty bastards with no respect for rules and order. That our country is a terrible, scary place full with death. And we'll be right there with you, bashing ourselves for the same reasons. But by the gods, none of you gringos will ever be able to tell us that we don't _live_.
I miss the manauara girl who approached me at the bus stop and in a matter of minutes was taking the bus with me to my room, because she liked how I did my nails, because she was attracted to me and it was mid-afternoon and why not? I never saw her again. I don't remember her name. I love her deeply.
I miss easy, zero-expectation hookups. Looking at a boy, smiling at one another, making out without saying a word.
I miss like three dozen sexual encounters of all kinds in every dark corner, and some not-so-dark corner, of that university. Lying down on grass with a stranger, with the peripheral awareness that other people were lying down together close by, in their own patches of grass.
I miss the college girl who was bored in classics class and out of the blue gave me a note that she thought my feet were pretty, and we hooked up for a couple weeks. I miss things like this being things that happen.
I miss "first-name basis" not being a thing, being the only way it is. I miss the way we took the T-V distinction from our colonizers (like German Sie/du) and happy crushed it under our uncaring feet, the way we put the "2nd" verb inflection on the "3rd" pronoun and use that rule-breaking combo for everything.
I miss everybody, everybody, people on streets, food vendors, teachers, friends of friends of friends, treating me with that kind of easy intimacy. The word you'll hear from Brazilian immigrants, again and again, the reason some of them give to go back despite everything, is "warmth". What Europeans, Americans, Japanese feel to be consideration, respect, goodwill, I feel as coldness. And Goddess, do I miss warmth.
Confessions of a bad immigrant
I think nobody will dispute it that, if you want to immigrate to another country, you should make an effort to be considerate of the local culture and sensibilities. It's a bit like a relationship: know what you're getting into before committing, be willing to respect their limits.
"Consideration" is such a slippery notion tho. I've been told to not gay kiss or poly kiss because it made people uncomfortable, it's a family environment, think of their feelings. I've seen Japanese homosexual ppl say they had to marry for procreation, for to do otherwise would be a tremendous lack of consideration to their parents, to whose tirelessl hard work they owe their bodies. I've been told not to wear makeup to work, because I had to be professional and respect German cultural norms. By a non-German. No German ever seemed bothered by early transition me wearing concealer, but somehow "being considerate of the local culture" seems to translate so easily to "don't make me uncomfortable by flaunting queerness".
In some countries, everyday cooking is full of spices, with a rich, appetising scent. When they immigrate, some locals will complain of that terrible greasy smell that gets everywhere. Maybe they'll refuse rent to ppl from those countries. In the country of origin the smell get everywhere too, but there it was just a fact of life, nobody paid any mind, nobody blamed their neighbours for it. In the host country, it's inconsiderate.
I imagine what it feels to those immigrants. Either resign yourself to eating what must feel like the most boring, cardboard nothing food every meal, day at day. Or fail to prove that you deserve to live in the rich country. Taint the reputation of all your countrypeople. Fail to show that you assimilated, get booted right back into whatever terrible conditions you were fleeing from. ("If it's so terrible there you can get by without the spices". Yes you can. But should you have to choose?)
I'm being roundabout, even here, afraid of being one of the bad ones. I'm lying, I don't have to imagine how they feel, I know. You _will_ be assimilated. When the choice is deportation or assimilation, well, resistance is futile.
But what really gets to me, what really gets to me, is not being allowed to express sadness about it. The taboo on criticising host country. "If you complain so much why do you want to live here."
I want to live here, and I want to complain so much, complain about things that make me sad about living here. Germany will be fine. I'm not going to change anything, I don't hold any power in our relationship, I have to be a model citizen or else. But I will grant myself the right to vent to the void how I really feel.
It's past 1am and I am crying, a lot. I'm crying about things that most Germans won't empathise with, things they'd frown upon on their neighbours. Things related to overwhelmingly negative opinions about third-world, non-EU immigrants in polls, looming under outwardly liberal attitudes and a generally respectful treatment. (Usually Most of the time.)
Hell, I want to cry about things that many Brazilians will see as our flaws and not empathise with, at least the upper classes, at least those who haven't spent a few years in the cold lands. I look at my poor, dirty, violent country, and I miss not a curated reel of the best parts, I miss the people, with all their very real issues.
I miss not being able to sleep at 2am, every week, because middle-aged ppl are singing painful love ballads on booze and an acoustic guitar in the specialty bar in front of my rented room. I'm not being facetious, I really miss it. Having my healthy sleep patterns disturbed by them made me smile. They were happy. They were _making happiness_ I had to work the next day, I woke worse, work was worse, fuck work, work doesn't matter, this is music, love, happiness, this matters. They understood that.
Music and love and happiness is holy, damn you all.
I miss not being able to sleep at 2am because my neighbours are having a loud party. I miss the knowledge that if I knocked on the door with a smile I'd be taken right in, a perfect stranger, even if I was too shy and dysphoric to act on that knowledge it comforted me.
I miss not being able to sleep at 2am because of the magnificent ppl coming down from the hills, the favelas, blasting downright pornographic earworms right to the face of polite middle-class society, hacked DIY sound systems shaking the security walls with maxxed-out bass. They are so right, polite middle class society is a grinding wheel running on blood, it more than deserves being blasted at 2am with cocks buried to the balls and dripping, all-consuming hungry pussies.
I curse this silence. I miss not being able to sleep at 2am because it's Carnaval and everybody is outside dancing and drinking and fucking one another for the pure, innocent shining reason of a body wanting another body.
And yes, I confess, I miss singing at 2am.
in general I'm very positive towards translator adaptations, when well-motivated, and of course fantasy names should be translated (Jon Snow isn't really called "Snow", his surname is an (unknown) word in the Common Tongue of the Andals that _means_ snow; the story isn't set in England and there's no reason to leave it English).
(But Moat Cailin shouldn't be Maidengraben; the Gaelic is translating some other tongue, prob the language of the First Men and the giants, and should either be left as-is or translated into another Earth tongue that stands to German as Celtic does to English. English:Celtic :: Andals:First Men :: German:x, and I guess for German in particular X would also solve to Celtic. Cp. all the English placenames in the Shire vs. "Bree".)
So I'm broadly sympathetic to Jörn Ingwersen's revised edition, with the German names.
It's funny though that the one change I just can't stomach isn't the polemic new names, but a simple preposition. "Der King des Nordens" can't stand in the same level as The King in the North, neither in feeling nor in sonority, and in my reading it basically ruins the catharsis of this cry.
Yoda/Count Dooku duel fixfic
Through the thick smoke, emerges the heroic figure of YODA. He stops on the smoke-filled threshold, FOUR DROIDS lined up on either side of him, guns pointed.
Before the DROIDS can get off a shot, YODA raises his hand, and the DROIDS are flung against the far walls and crash to the floor in heaps of smoking metal.
Silence. COUNT DOOKU steps away from ANAKIN to face the Jedi Grand Master. His lightsaber whirls in a formal salute.
Master Yoda. At last we shall
know who is the most powerful.
YODA draws a miniature lightsaber out of his cane. He salutes formally.
Count Dooku. No interest in
contests, do I have.
COUNT DOOKU charges across the space at YODA. As he touches ground for the first blow, CLOSE on YODA's lightsaber moving calmly from its sideway position to an overhead instance. COUNT DOOKU stops his swing midair before contact, eyes widening as he realizes he'd have lost the fight then and there. After a beat, COUNT DOOKU steps back, and as he does so, YODA's small lightsaber simultaneously descends, pointing forwards towards COUNT DOOKU, as if tied to his movements by invisible strings.
Silence. COUNT DOOKU lifts his lightsaber in the same stance, master and disciple looking like symmetric figures as in a painting, except for their size difference. YODA nonetheless is impassive, while COUNT DOOKU looks increasingly nervous. He slides a foot forward and tilts his body menacingly, ready to spring, while bringing the lightsaber overhead. YODA again moves simultaneously, lowering the tip of his own lightsaber, now pointing downwards. Neither move further. A single drop of sweat runs down COUNT DOOKU's face.
Suddenly COUNT DOOKU breaks the silence with a yell, pulling his lightsaber to his side, vertically, in an aggressive posture. YODA accompanies the movement by bringing his own saberpoint down to the side, holding it casually in an empty stance, looking almost careless. COUNT DOOKU comes forward swirling his lightsaber in complex movements, feinting an upwards blow that YODA doesn't move to meet as it whirls half a centimetre from his face. The twirling lightsaber finally commits to a downwards diagonal strike that would cut right through YODA's body. SLOW MOTION. YODA steps with his small frame *into* the blow, bringing his saber up in a single strike that simultaneously deflects COUNT DOOKU's point to the side, slightly, just enough that it breezes by YODA's body, while his own saber continues forward to slash COUNT DOOKU's forearms, burning a black line on both.
COUNT DOOKU'S lightsaber drops from his hands, and bounces on the floor with a noise that dies off slowly in the silence. COUNT DOOKU staggers back, gasping and spent, against the control panel. YODA brings his lightsaber back into a forward stance, tip honed on the defenceless COUNT DOOKU.
(sliding a foot forward)
The end for you, Count, this is.
(continues as in original script)
I’ve complained before about how colourless is GoT TV compared to the books, but even the official- and fan artworks seem afraid of using as much colour as the text.
and not just the Loras and Illyrios of the story, but even the 'dark' characters are vivid, bursting out of the page with glittering, larger-than-life hues. Consider Theon’s outfit to meet his father: sleek black leather boots, soft silver-gray woolen pants, shiny silk black doublet with the kraken of his house embroidered large in gold thread, a necklace of fine gold, a bright white leather belt to hold sword and dagger, both sheated in gold and black stripes, and black silk gloves filigrained in spirals of gold.
I simply can't find Theon illustrations that dare to push it as far as this description does, and similarly for the other characters, castles, creatures. I think people in contemporary Western societies think of colour as childish and frivolous (cf. Batchelor’s book «Chromophobia» for a discussion of this prejudice), and ASoIaF is supposed to be all mature and realistic (→not really), so they go for sombre palettes in representations – losing one of the books’ greatest visual strengths: the way the splendour of nobility highlights, reinforces, the shock of what they do to the people. Far from softening the blow, the colour and pageantry of Loras’ flower armour only makes Gregor’s brutality feel even worse.
adhd meds review
as previously discussed, the most perceptible effect lisdex has on me, by far, is calming me down. subjectively, it feels more like an anti-anxiety med than a stimulant. somebody used the metaphor "the snow globe settles down", and it's spot on. I'm taking breaks from the amphetamine on weekends, and when the brain goes back to thinking 20 things at the same time, I miss that settled mind. The peacefulness of it is quite pleasant, and a quality-of-life improvement for sure.
I don't feel much of a difference regarding resistance to distraction, planning, organisation, or memory. I tried doubling the dose to 60mg to see if the effect was more dramatic; instead the side effects got bad (no appetite, upset stomach) while the benefits seemed the same.
In any case, according to Additude mag, if the dose is just right you shouldn't feel unusual or euphoric; look at results to see if it's working. And it’s true that I’ve been working a lot more, though it’s hard to measure how much is due to the medicine; I was thrown in a very difficult situation at work atm, with intense pressure and scrutiny, which might have pushed me forward regardless of meds (tho the calming effect was _very_ useful when dealing with this). Still, housemate gf says that she noticed I can do more than 1 thing now. Like I'll wash dishes, then take out the trash, then shave my legs. Normally I'd do 1 thing then crash on the sofa nonfunctionally.
I feel like it’s still hard to start working, I still get sidetracked by the Internet or other stuff, I still forget events and appointments; but I can tell that when I start doing work, I seem more likely to continue doing it. I’m handling a particularly boring task right now (marking points in 90+ interview audios), and there were a number of times when I was feeling tired and bored and wanted to take a break, but somehow couldn’t bring myself to do it; I felt like, "just a few more %", "let's just stay until it reaches 17:00", as if it was a videogame or something else compelling. I wanted to see the completion bar done. Is this how non-ADHD ppl feel when they focus on things?
Even though I'm doing a lot more now than before, I'm not exactly happy or satisfied. I still feel like all of my energy and time is spent with work and household maintenance, leaving me too drained to do things for fun or pursue personal interests. I don’t know how to improve that in a safe way, but I guess I’ll keep looking for ways to build a daily life worth living.
Game of Thrones season 8 spoilers
For all the disaster that was the latter half of #GameOfThrones TV, I will concede it one thing: Brienne's knighting scene was beautiful. I think I never cried so much over a scene as this. For a week I'd remember it and start crying again.
This is because, unlike most things in the show, Brienne and Jaime had actual growth arcs leading them to this point, an actual connection that we got to see on screen as it developed, and the other ppl in the room made a lot of sense and acted in a believable way true to their character.
Tormund, as a cultural outsider, is the spur. Now that the freefolk have arduously gained enough respect to be listened, he's in position to bring Westerosi traditions into question, to demand a "why" and make the others think "yeah, why not".
Davos is, from the beginning, the moral compass that cuts across convention and class. His approval validates the change in tradition as the right thing to do.
Tyrion, as a scholar and chronicler, lends gravitas; his testimony turns the ceremony from intimate scene to historical landmark.
Podrick, as Brienne's de facto squire, is the one she looks at for validation; being in a power dynamic with her, he's the one who can prove she's worthy, in the way a student is the proof of a worthy teacher. He quietly nods.
Just like Brienne's, Jaime's arc is all about the institution of knighthood. He has seen and experienced how meaningless it can be. He himself is far from an ethical actor, and far from redeemed; this does give him personal perspective on the failure of the ideal. Jaime from the inside, Brienne from outside, both have as their innermost secret drive to transcend cynicism, to make it be true.
Jaime and Brienne's romantic feelings are criss-crossed with their long, complex, individual & shared histories around knighthood. They're the beauty and the beast: Brienne is the beast outwardly and socially, but the roles reverse ethically, Jaime the shiny golden knight saw himself become the monster. If Jaime claims the power to socially institutionalise Brienne, she, by accepting his knighting, forgives him.
Thus Brienne is not the only one becoming a knight, this is Jaime's utmost knightly act; he's bravely facing not an enemy, but the institution itself. By revolutionising the notion of merit, he is symbolically disavowing the many established "no true knight"s in Westeros; "see, this what a knight should be". Unknowingly to either, this is also closure to Brienne's ancestor, Ser Duncan the Tall, who was probably never actually knighted but was recognised as such by the people he was supposed to serve.
ASoIaF is, at a meta level, a fall-and-redemption arc about fantasy itself; the opening act is about naïve trust in power institutions, in the moral of songs, being crushed by harsh material reality; then it becomes about how the core ethical values, matured, socialised, are worth their price after all. Brienne's arc is the series itself in one stroke.
All of these shared connections and personal growth are conveyed by the actors superbly, not just in words but facial expressions, body language, meaningful glances. The weight of meaning plus the great acting make for a scene that's just 😚👌
re: polyamory, jealousy
Another common feeling behind jealousy is that of unfairness: how come you’re dining out with them but we haven’t dined out in months? Now this is a bit of a trap – every relationship has different levels of commitment, different material conditions etc., and you can’t approach it like a checklist, I did activity Y with B so now I have to do Y with C and D and F. If C is demanding a checklist approach, there’s a conversation to be had about that. _Why_ is it that C feels like they need all the same things?
Often the feeling of unfairness has some root that you can address. Maybe they’re jealous of your NRE because they miss going on dates, or being courted. Maybe they’re jealous of you living with them because they don’t like sleeping alone and wish they had somebody to hug too. The jealousy might have been triggered by A doing something with B, but it’s pointing to a lack internal to A+C; you can’t magically argue away the jealousy, and you can’t duplicate the same exact relationship with everyone, but you can listen to and address the lack.
I see a lot of material on how to deal with one’s own jealousy when you’re polyam, but little on how to deal with your partners’ jealousy. This is my personal take on it, reflecting my own experiences. I won’t cushion my statements with "I think that…" or "in my view…" this time, or this long toot would get too repetitive; but please don’t take me for any kind of authority, ok? I’m just making it up as I go like everybody else x3
The most important thing to keep in mind is that you can’t blame them for their feelings, argue them out of feelings, or convince them to not have feelings. It’s easy to fall into that trap, because it feels bad for you to be treated as the cause of jealousy; it feels like an unfair accusation, like you’re being punished for loving. If A is going to see B and C is feeling sad because of that, then A (who was happy about seeing B) will naturally feel guilty, worried and sad. It’s easy for A to feel like their time with B was unfairly ruined; that everything would be alright if it wasn’t for C’s dastardly feelings. But C can’t be held responsible for _feeling bad_. They don’t want to feel bad, and they would avoid it if they could. Since C consented to a polyam relationship, chances are C doesn’t even want to feel jealous. But they do. It’s just a thing that happens, and it’s nobody’s fault.
Of course, the appropriate response to that is _not_ for A to call B and say whoops sorry I can’t see you today. That would breach the fundamental boundary: what A does with their time is theirs to decide, what A and B do together is for A+B to decide. C should not hold power over this. But C is entitled to feel sad; feeling sad is not the same as prohibiting. If their sadness reverberates in A, it’s up to A to deal with their own feelings. Moreover, A should take care to treat C in such a way, that C feels safe and encouraged to express their feelings, even difficult ones. That’s one core responsibility of being in a relationship.
The step A has to take in this situation is the hardest thing I’ve ever faced in relationships, which is to say something like:
“I understand that you feel bad about this, and I care about you and I’m willing to do anything I can to help you feel better; but this is important to me, and I am going there now.”
If you’re conflict-averse like me, your first reaction is to try to compromise on everything, to please the people, to respect everybody’s needs but your own. I’ve learned (from #relationshipAnarchy) to be sceptical of compromising for love. Maybe it’s ok to compromise on small things, you prefer listening to music on a speaker but they dislike the noise so you accept putting on headphones. But don’t compromise on your values, your boundaries and needs and dreams, the stuff that makes you you. If you are drawn to polyamory, your spirit will wither without it, and you have to make this need bright and clear, draw a boundary around it.
This doesn’t mean you have to abandon ppl at the first sign of jealousy or difficulty, of course. Since you love them, it’s a given that you care about their feelings and want them to be happy. You can and should listen to their needs, make yourself available to support them, as long as that doesn’t involve self-destructive compromises.
(If they are absolutely 100% irrevocably unhappy about being in a polyam relationship, and being polyam is core to you, then it might be a good idea to consider whether you aren’t both better off as friends rather than lovers. But since they knowingly embarked in a polyam relationship, they must have some attraction of their own to it; and then chances are there’s ways to make it work.)
I like to think of listening to what’s _behind_ the jealousy. Jealousy is a surface emotion, like pain; it sprouts from underlying causes. With queer people, the cause is not usually (the toxic kind of) possessiveness, typical of abusive relationships. Rather, most often the cause is insecurity, self-doubt, fear of abandonment: "B is so cool and pretty, there's nothing interesting about me, you'll get tired of me after being with them". If you spot that feeling, think how you can address it without compromising on your time with B. Maybe write messages to C regularly, every day, or before and after seeing B. Tell them not only that you love them, but give them reasons why. Tell them you want to continue to be with them. Demonstrate it with actions. Do that often; fear of abandonment has deep roots and won’t go away easily.
adhd, work, rambling
still thinking on the notion of what would it be like to live with adhd if I just take it as a part of who I am rather than something to be corrected.
one tip you’re told in academia is to ‘follow the lilt’. that means to work on projects that you currently find yourself being enthusiastic about. the issues with butterfly brain are that
1) my lilt refuses to stay bound to within important, useful ,or work-relevant subjects, and indeed seems to resent and actively reject those reasons in favour of intrinsic motivation; and
2) my lilt is as intense as it is short-lived.
today, for example, my interest was on how to go about mounting orchids (grow them on a slab of wood or rock, as they do in nature, unrestricted by pots). I could tell you a lot right now about different, conflicting approaches to mounted orchid watering, strategies for humidity retention, which genera are easier and so on. there is no reason at all why I should know these things or be reading on them rn; I might not even ever risk mounting an orchid (they need watering every day—scary!), and even if I do, I’d only try in spring.
but following the lilt feels good. I rarely feel as satisfied as when I learned one of those things that my brain wanted for no reason. I’m inclined to think that it’s one of the few things that make life worth living, along with sharing time with loved ones and destroying capitalism. maybe I should just accept that I won’t ever work on a single thing for any length of time, that any personal project will be abandoned half-finished as soon as the challenging (=fun) part is over, that my habit tracker works best looking like a single item ‘did whatever my mind was inclined to today’, everyday. how would life feel like if you actively _chased_ that high? if I logged with pride rather than shame, ‘today I learned a lot about mounted orchids’?
the little snag being ofc that if I can’t prioritise tasks regardless of fickle interest levels, I will end up unemployed, unable to feed the children, and deported.
ideally one would set aside some work time for obligatory tasks, then use leisure time to follow the lilt. the nature of the lilt makes this very challenging – it’s often pulling the strongest when I have _just_ said to myself, ‘ok I should do this work thing before 18h’ (and, perversely, the lilt may go away as soon the clock hits 18h). the methods to engage with the obligatory tasks are probably the same as for everybody (break into small steps, pomodoros etc.), but I still find all that very challenging, and I really hope medication+specialised therapy helps cause things are looking dire. but at the very least for stuff that I do for myself, as opposed to tasks imposed externally, there’s no reason I should feel guilty for jumping from one infatuation to the next as fast as I please.
one thing my therapist suggested for work tasks is to have a list of all the things that are mandatory for me to do, and switch between them as soon as I feel bored with one. this is structured procrastination; it has worked for me in the past, but that rebellion perversity means I will often cycle between them in precisely the reverse order of importance. I have to find some way to defeat this tendency, for the sake of my own future incl. physical safety…
I feel very unfair with conversations because if ppl interrupt or disengage from my long, meandering monologues, I feel deeply wounded. But I myself will impulsively interrupt other ppl speaking, or lose their thread entirely.
I know this is bad ofc, and I don't want to hurt my friends the way I feel hurt, so I make an active effort to be here and listening attentively. I think I do well when e.g. we're having an emotional moment, they're venting about depression and so on. But if they're telling me a long anecdote from work or something? Roll 1d6, on 1 I'll find myself wondering for last 5 minutes what would be the reflections on world mythology if we had ice rings like Saturn, or if I add a toggle button to my raspberry I could double the use of the OLED screen space, I wonder how are buttons programmed with GPIO, can you use inotify with pins?, or what would the dwarven empire be like if the One Ring by chance ended up with the kings-under-the-earth, it would be a machine of meaningless accumulation for sure, kinda like dragons when you think about it, in the early mediaeval songs about dragons they're humans transformed for hoarding, if dwarves became dragons would they look different?, and now my friend is looking at me expectantly & I have no idea what was just said.
Which, again, if somebody did that too me I'd dig up a hole in the ground and bury myself.
I'm not young, and long experience has taught me to rein the impulses somewhat. I hold back on ‘this reminds me of...’ even if I feel like I have to say it _now_ or it'll fall in the black hole of memory, cause now it's their turn, they deserve to speak and if I forget things I wanted to say that's on me. When I notice I've been away I stop my daydreaming and try to get involved with what's happening, say ‘sorry, what was that?’ if it was brief enough to recover. And ofc if somebody interrupts my story I try to think ok, yeah, I do that too and understand how it feels like. But sometimes I still do these things, without meaning to.
things I wish ppl had told me about adhd
- it doesn't always look like a boy being hyper and screaming jumping flipping tables.
it can also look like a shy kid being late, again, because there was a funny green bug, and a cat ran away, and check out this red flower, doesn't it kinda look like a fireflower from super mario, maybe mom could teach me to plant flowers?, and I wonder if that ice cream cart has jackfruit, and then you're almost ran over by a car.
(or, in the case of child me, you ran _into_ the car. while it's speeding.)
this is called an innatentive presentation, and it's though to be more common in girls, leading to underdiagnosis. it's still considered to be the same condition because both kids are suffering from understimulation and desperately trying to find something, anything to busy themselves with. the "h" part can look like hyperactivity of the mind, rather than bouncing around the room.
- the name is a misnomer, and a pretty misleading one at that.
there's no deficit of attention. in fact adhd ppl are notorious for paying inordinate amounts of attention to the most random things (‘hyperfocus’). they will manage to be attentive to stuff that everybody else filters out.
the difficulty is in controlling what the attention latches onto, and how much of it to dispense. alternative names proposed include ‘executive function disorder’, ‘attention regulation deficit disorder’, and in a positive framing, ‘variable attention stimulus trait’.
- adhd and autism overlap somewhat in symptoms
for example, adhd ‘hyperfocus’ can look a lot like spectrum ‘special interest’ (I suspect special interests are more long-lived). both are likely fidgety and trying to stim. both spectrum ppl and adhd will have trouble with conversational behaviour norms, turn-taking, word-dumping etc. (spectrum due to problems with unspoken cues and nonliteral language, adhd because (interrupts you)—ever notice that the word "because" is made of "be" and "cause" (in German the prefix be- like this is very productive and it's an unaccented prefix (which is important because of this thing called separable verbs, where if the prefix is accented... (goes on opening a few more parentheses; won't rest until closing all of them properly))).
difficulty with social norms will lead to bad experiences which may cause social anxiety, correlated to both traits.
this overlap in symptoms means if you have one trait, you'll score higher than average in tests for the other, without meaning you have both. otoh...
- autism, adhd, dyslexia, gender issues are all correlated
(I hate the word ‘comorbidity’).
the new large-scale study on the connection between trans ppl and autism is notorious. but previous (smaller) studies suggest about just a strong a connection between gender stuff and adhd, and the intersection between the spectrum and adhd seems even bigger, and some 20~40% of adhd ppl have dyslexia (which in my opinion is less a ‘mental disorder’ than a hardware issue in implementing this weird new brain hack that connects an out-of-manual wire between the 3d edge detection module and the language module, a mod which we call ‘reading’).
trying to take a wider view, adhd and autism diagnoses are clusters of symptoms, and AFAICT it's not very clear yet the extent to which items in each box occur together vs. inter-boxically. irl ppl seem to be able to show some symptoms from each box. maybe you took ‘can't process faces and social cues’ from the spectrum box, but not ‘needs routine and known patterns’, preferring ‘needs stimulus from constant novelty’ from the adhd box.
I suspect these labels and models will probably be redrawn as our knowledge of weird brain stuff improves.
- adhd is significantly hereditary (35~75%)
so if you have a diagnosis, you might want to take a closer look at your parents/children, and vice-versa.
adhd, "disability" vs. "superpower"
There’s something to the framing of ADHD as a "superpower", I think, but it’s also unsatisfying.
Many things that most people find relatively easy seem to be very-hard-to-impossible for me (e.g. sending a form, planning a day, remembering to do a thing, staying with a hobby after I got the hang of it). And I find it easy to do some things that most people seem to find hard (devouring the entire textbook on the first week so that I'm done with the class for the semester; learning from widely divergent fields and combining them; taking big risks).
A lot of the ADHD material concentrates on what I lack, and how can I compensate for it, which is useful but kind of depressing. I’m curious about how to try to work with what my mind got, rather than forcing it to grudgingly fit average patterns of working.
There’s some neurodiversity material out there that treats ADHD as a superpower instead. For example, consider the fact that I always write my stuff on the last couple days.
I guess from one point of view it is kind of impressive that I can write a publication-quality, professionally worthy article in 2 days. I can look at the full list of my accomplishments and feel like I’m an impostor tricking everyone because 99% of the time my mind was jumping all over the place, and all I did was done in the remaining 1%. I can fantasise of how much I could achieve if I got that hyperfocus for even 50% of the time, and then be disappointed in myself because that feels physically impossible. Or, I could pat myself on the back because with this mere 1% time I could get all these titles, accolades, positions, monies.
But this doesn’t feel quite right, either. For one thing, it reeks of meritocracy, which is to say ableism. "The Power of Different" by Gail Saltz has some pretty interesting case studies of how neurodiversity can be leveraged and not just lamented. Sadly the subtitle is "The Link between Disorder and Genius". It buys into the myth of the genius wholesale, never considering how much "genius" is shorthand for "useful to capitalism", and never considering what happens to diverse minds who don’t qualify as "genius". For people like me, who spend their childhoods hearing "you’re such a genius, if just you tried a bit harder!", the word itself is filled with trauma.
I’m trying to think of this as not a disability and not a superpower, but something like a character class. Most ADHD books read like this: You’re a rogue. That means you can’t wield two-handed swords or full armour. Let’s discuss some mitigation strategies, like how to layer boiled leather with chainmail, and how to avoid dungeons with large monsters. "Superpower" materials instead read like this: You’re a rogue! Your DPS can be quadruplied ! wow! you’re first tier!
I figure what I should do instead is to stop trying to function as a defective fighter, and try to acknowledge my strengths and limitations without ranking ppl into tiers. (I always thought parties are more fun when the game is _un_balanced anyway.) Like if my DPS is all-or-nothing, is there a way to increase the rate of critical hits? If I have this big range of lateral skills like detecting traps and opening locks, maybe I should embark on adventures where they can be put to use, rather than purely kill-the-monster quests. If I’m forced to run through a gauntlet full of attacks from all sides (=distractions), don’t feel bad at taking a defensive potion to increase my AC to levels approaching that of a less fragile class. I’m stretching this metaphor way too far amn’t I.
In real life: on the one hand I can only work in short bursts, on the other I know I’ve done some pretty neat stuff in these short bursts. It is what it is, neither genius nor lazy. If I just accept that this ain’t changing anytime soon, then what? How does one make a living on short work bursts, without being fired or called lazy? Is there any technique to doing the bursts right at the start (the way I got through school and college), rather than right at the deadline or past it (as I do in grad school and professionally)? Can timebending be, at least to some degree, tamed?
Brazilian trans girl desperately trying to stay in Germany.
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