No Matter How Strange It May Be

This post is… what is a post? Some people call posts – blogs. Which term is the correct one to use? Does it matter as long as you understand what someone is saying when they say it.

But that isn’t as easy as it seems, is it.

I often misunderstand what people are saying. I used to get frustrated with myself about it, in the same way that I would get distressed and annoyed when people misunderstood what I was saying.

The latter happened so regularly that I retreated into silence… people also misunderstood my silences. Which means that solution did not solve my problem.

When I have a problem, I tend to become a bit of a mad scientist about solving it.

More often than not the solution is a simple one, but I invariably end up trying out a multitude of complicated fixes which don’t fix anything and make an even bigger mess first, until I exhaust myself and give up on ever finding an answer… that’s when the simple solution may suddenly appear.

It may have been the obvious thing to do, but… it wasn’t obvious to me until it was.

Strangely enough, I am better at seeing the simple solution to other people’s problems. I think that may be the universe’s way of messing with me.

I’ve learned a lot from trying to offer others the simple solution to their problems… such as – don’t do it.

But mainly – I wonder how many people have tried to do that for me?

I’m getting a little bit better at hearing what they’re saying when they do that, rather than mishearing it and getting angry with them for not understanding that my problem is too complicated to be fixed by their simplistic solution.

Actually, unless they’re a narcissist or narcissistic type – motivated by ulterior motives, ego delusions, personal gain, greed and need, sneak thiefiness, superiority and inferiority complexes, hostility, wanting to screw you over, envy and jealousy, prejudice, etc – their simple solution to my problem is usually a good one.

All I had to do was retrain my reflex to reject the simple in favour of the complex. I’m still working on it.

Yesterday, I had an unexpected visitor. A lacewing landed on my computer screen, and stayed there for most of the day.

The pic above is photographic evidence… but of course you might think that I took a photo of a lacewing and another of my browser, and merged them together.

It’s up to you to decide what you believe. I know you know that, but I’m about to segue.

“Oh, my dear, if you only knew how strange is the matter regarding which I am here, it is you who would laugh. I have learned not to think little of any one’s belief, no matter how strange it may be. I have tried to keep an open mind, and it is not the ordinary things of life that could close it, but the strange things, the extraordinary things, the things that make one doubt if they be mad or sane.”


― Bram Stoker, Dracula

This week (I’m measuring the week starting from last Friday) has been a rather strange one. My mind has been a bit switched off, my emotions have been a bit turned on and up to intense. I briefly dipped into an old depressive pattern, but it went in a new direction and because it did, it lifted soon after.

I know I’m not the only one who has felt the strangeness of it. How do I know that… in great part thanks to the blogging community sharing their stories in posts on their blogs.

Below are a few posts which have inspired strange sparks, with some thoughts I had about them:

I just read:

Bottomless Coffee 007: I’ve Been Pretty Off Lately

I’ve only just followed his blog shortly after listening to his second podcast with Rory:

Bottomless Coffee 007: A Roaring Good Time, Rory and I Discuss Schedules,Writing and Animal Sounds

I was a bit wary of him. Not sure why. I think it may be because he’s wary of others, and because he’s wary of others and what they’ll do with what he shares of himself on his blog… he shares himself in a way which makes me wary of him.

I decided to follow him due to something he said to Rory in the podcast which led to a discussion about honesty in blogging, which then led to Rory writing this post and asking this question:

A Guy Called Bloke and K9 Doodlepip: Do you think … you are too honest for your blog, your readership and your audience?

I was also wary about sharing myself on my blog.

I didn’t use my own face for my profile pic until… I did. I did it soon after a long conversation on tumblr with someone who wanted to know what I looked like. It made me realise that I also like to know what people look like, and prefer it when they share their face (but don’t mind if they don’t since I didn’t used to either so I get it).

In my early posts I expressed myself cryptically. I used to do that offline too. Blogging has helped me to be more straightforward in my communication – just speak your thoughts and feelings as is, with a bit of consideration and mindfulness about what you’re doing.

I found that I could say anything I wanted in my posts, openly, freely, and most of the things I thought should be censored turned out to be the very things people enjoyed about my posts.

I also found that what gets me into trouble with others is when I’m being cryptic because of fear of revealing what I really think and feel.

A bonus of being open is that I don’t attract narcissists in the way that I used to. They prefer people who self-censor due to being afraid of displeasing others.

I used to be one of those people who was afraid of displeasing people. I agonised over the problem of how to be liked, loved, and how not to be rejected, hated. Trying hard never to upset anyone.

I did a lot of damage to myself, bending myself out of shape to fit the shape of others, squeezing myself into a skin which didn’t fit.

Censoring my thoughts and feelings so as not think and feel things which would hurt them, upset them.

Trying to only say what they wanted to hear. Be their source of self-esteem boosts, their private cheerleader.

And hating myself for doing that, while also hating myself when I failed to do that.

What was the prize if I succeeded in doing that? Mainly it seemed to be to become the personal doormat, whipping boy, and dumping ground of others. It was okay since I wouldn’t complain about it as that would displease them and make them reject me.

While reading the list shared in:

My Namaste 365 Online: To be an Empath

It suddenly struck me that my personal experience of being an ‘Empath’ is exactly the same as the C-PTSD symptoms I’ve experienced, particularly the hypervigilance (which makes you tune into what others are thinking and feeling and that can appear to others as though you’re psychic), thanks to being the child of two narcissists, and growing up in a hostile environment where survival depended upon pleasing two permanently angry always displeased explosive people.

That environment inspired me to view the world of human as hostile towards me, dog-eat-dog and I was a threat.

If they noticed you, you’d get attacked, eaten. Make yourself small, invisible. Whatever you do don’t stand out from the crowd as this will make you a prime target for annihilation. But you always stand out when you’re trying not to stand out to those who are looking for prey like you.

The question in this post:

Sarah Elizabeth Moore: Writing Prompt #5 – I stand out from the crowd because…

Takes on a whole different meaning when you consider it from the perspective of the predator looking for its next meal, and the prey trying to figure out how to not be Waldo.

What makes you stand out from the crowd, isn’t a question which you can answer for yourself. I used to try to find the answer, so that I wouldn’t stand out from the crowd… the solutions I applied tended to make me stand out like a sore thumb.

This post perfectly describes the dilemma of standing out:

A Fish Named Karen: When you’ve arrived

As well as the dilemma of losing yourself to please others in order to survive others.

It’s very easy to lose yourself…

This post and its question:

Fandango’s Provocative Question #13: Do you believe that size matters? Please explain your response.

To me, it is an example of just how easy it is to lose yourself…

You hear a question, your mind rushes to answer it.

You get caught up in the mental tidal wave of thoughts rushing to answer.

On top of that, someone is asking you not just for an answer, but an explanation to go with it.

And yet… They haven’t explained themselves, why they’re asking their question, and what they believe matters.

Do you believe that size matters, Fandango? Please explain your response.

As for me, I don’t believe anything matters… except when it does, but even then does it really matter or does it just seem to matter in that moment.

The lacewing on my computer, resting over the WordPress folder on my browser’s bookmarks bar… it mattered in that moment.

But in this moment it is a photograph made of pixels. Something shared in cyberspace. A memory stored for however long before forgotten in the mind… where is the mind stored, in the brain?

“I’m emphasizing the larger lesson of quantum mechanics: Neurons, brains, space … these are just symbols we use, they’re not real. It’s not that there’s a classical brain that does some quantum magic. It’s that there’s no brain! Quantum mechanics says that classical objects—including brains—don’t exist.”

– Donald D. Hoffman, The Case Against Reality

The article from which that excerpt above comes has a long, detailed and interesting answer to the question of the matter of size and beliefs about it, which I almost shared due a momentary loss of self, but then I found myself again.

That doesn’t matter to me.

Is this post a post or a blog, is it short, is it long, is it made of words or thoughts, are you understanding it or misunderstanding it, are you reading it or is it reading you?

When life gets strange… is it perhaps just getting real with you.

Here’s one last post:

Planet Waves: Working your Edge: Mars and Uranus

and an excerpt from it:

“As has been mentioned elsewhere — and as you’ve probably been feeling — we’re in a rather ‘edgy’ phase of astrology. This could be coming through several ways — such as needing to express something but never getting the right opportunity; or waiting for key information that feels like it will never arrive; or wanting to get moving with a plan or project but seeing no clear path forward. You can probably describe your own version of it — then again, perhaps struggling to identify and articulate what’s going on for you is a primary factor in the sensation (or maybe it’s just not that strong for you).”

– Amanda Painter, Working your Edge: Mars and Uranus

The simple solution to strangeness may be to just go with it… see where it leads.

Thank you, lacewing, for spreading your wings on WordPress.

26 comments

  1. Hey Ursula, what a great post. Thought provoking and insightful. I took a lot away from this post, but the one thing that struck home was this “The simple solution to strangeness may be to just go with it… see where it leads.”

    i made that decision and have made that decision a few times in my life, but the most recent one was in 2015, 7 years after my formal diagnosis of Asperger’s. I was happy with myself, but for absolute years l had hidden behind the masks of society to be anything but who l am .. and so in 2015, when Suze and l took the leap of faith to live with each other – said a similiar line.

    Of course she answered ‘You are quirky anyway, you can only be you.”
    I answered with “i know that, but my credo is to now ONLY be me, quirky is as quirky does! What you’ll see is what you get.”

    I used to write in forums connected with my industry, at one point and l always used to sign off with my real name and people used to say, ‘You can’t do that, people ‘ll know who you are!!”
    Which kind of confused me if honest, l knew that that was the point, l am Rory Matier, to my knowledge there is only one of me, so what’s the point of not fessing up to my own name? But like you l understand why people might not wish to do that and remain anon. With WP, l came on as a Guy Called Bloke and although that is the name of my blog, there are not many more these days that don’t call me Rory. which is what l prefer. Now l show myself, and get criticised for that as well.

    Well shit, if you can’t be you all of you, who are you supposed to be?’

    Good post Ursula 🙂

    Like

    • Thank you very much, Rory 🙂

      One of the things about you that is wonderfully inspiring is that you embrace being yourself. It sounds like a natural and simple thing to do, an easy way to be, but it’s incredibly challenging to do it. Most of us get trained from almost day one of life to not embrace being ourselves but to be someone else instead, someone who pleases other people. Admittedly when we are born we do a lot of things which disturb the adults, cry, poo, pee and puke all over the place… which isn’t pleasing for the people who have to deal with it. So they’d rather we didn’t do that.

      I guess our relationship with the world starts off on the wrong foot and we spend the rest of our lives trying to figure out what is the right foot.

      Sorry, I go off on tangents… they’re rather fun.

      I was just thinking about what you said about using your name. I love it! I use a nickname. I found using the nickname freed me from all the associations I had with my name which restricted me. My name was never really mine – complicated thing to do with growing up with narcissists. You’re always an extension of them, never a person. Using a nickname made me free to be me. Humans are weird.

      I am so glad that I have been lucky enough to have had the honour to meet you. I mean it. Thank you for spreading your wings on WordPress 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • Well thank you Ursula, that’s ncie of you to say. it’s a ditto back 🙂

        I grew up within the confines of society and doing what l was told, being who l was told to be, and many a time it just felt so damned odd. Because l was being the person society wanted me to be, but l felt guilty all the time about being that person?

        I knew long before DX [Diagnosis] that l was meant to be someone else, l just didn’t know that the person l was trying to be, was actually me. Society. peer and parental pressures mold into the people and persons they want to see, so you fit in.

        they want you to be normal, but when you challenge them back with ‘define that’, they cannot answer this honestly, once someone said in response, ‘well like everyone else!’ Which led to more confusions because no two individual people are the same.

        Whilst you can have a mass of people come across as the same, that is where the molding and pressure steps on board for you to conform to earlier teachings and society goes into sheep/flock mode and follows and at times blindly to what is being said, done or acted and performed.

        Trust me, when l say it’s hard to breakaway from that thinking. My Dx shook my world, and made me see me again. these days, l am the person l was actually born to be – yes that’s right Ursula, the crazy one 🙂

        But l am happy at that!

        Like

        • I can relate to that very well, the whole – Oh, I’m the crazy one, okey dokey… uh huh…

          One of the “gifts” which comes with having Dyslexia is that you have to double, triple, quadruple, check everything you see and hear… which means you often notice the contradictions, discrepancies, hypocrisies, delusions, illusions, and outright lies of others. But of course you’re the problem. Reality would be fine if you stopped noticing that it’s cobbled together with spit.

          Alice Miller, who wrote The Drama of the Gifted Child (which isn’t about what it sounds like it is about), had a term for the mass crazy of “normal” – poisonous pedagogy. Also a great read is R.D. Laing, especially the study he did into families and their constructs, and how a family may ‘choose’ one member to be the ‘mad’ one so the rest of the family can consider themselves ‘sane’ – Sanity, Madness and the Family.

          If there was a “crazy” Olympics… I wonder who would win it, but then again it depends very much on who is judging it and creating the criteria for it.

          Keep on keeping on being you. Life is more fun that way, even if it includes dives into darkness. Regular dives into darkness are quite enlightening 😉

          Liked by 1 person

  2. Reblogged this on My Namastè 365 Online and commented:
    Saying it perfectly:
    ” The simple solution to strangeness may be too just go with it… see where it leads.”
    This post exemplifies what I love most about our wp community; by posting what we feel drawn to at any given moment, we spark thoughts and questions in others, which leads to new posts and gained insight and knowledge.

    Like

  3. This is the story of my life. LOL I mean, my blog… I’ve always been a rather prolific blogger. Personal journal keeping, write write write about what I feel, think, see or know… And ugh… I just want to say I relate. I get you. I’m far too long winded.

    Like

  4. Another interesting, wide-ranging post. I was going to answer your specific question to me in this comment, but since another blogger made essentially the same complaint, I’m going to answer it in a dedicated post.

    Like

    • Thank you, Fandango 🙂

      What I said wasn’t a complaint about you or your FPQ.

      It’s a “provocative” question – thus it may engender “provocative” answers.

      I was sharing my thoughts inspired by reading your Provocative Question post, as well as thoughts inspired by taking a peek at how other bloggers answered it.

      I have a pet peeve borne out of spending too much time in the company of narcissists about people who ask questions, and ask others to explain themselves, their answers, etc, while they give nothing in return, hide behind their questions and demands for explanations… but it’s an old pet peeve and not connected to you personally at all.

      You’re perfectly fine as you are. Doing things the way you do them. Don’t change, you don’t need to.

      It doesn’t matter to me if you answer your own question or not.

      Keep spreading your wings your way on WordPress – lacewing 😉

      Liked by 2 people

      • “It’s a ‘provocative’ question – thus it may engender ‘provocative’ answers.” Exactly. That’s the intent. And I didn’t take your response as a personal affront, but it is a fair question that deserves an answer, which I will get to later in a post. But the short answer to why I ask people to explain their answers the question is because I don’t want anyone to simply answer with “yes” or “no.”

        Like

  5. I’ve always enjoyed your posts or blogs or whatever the current ‘correct’ title IS. I’ve been reading your stuff from almost the first moment I joined WordPress. I usually ‘get’ you too, does that mean my brain and yours work vaguely the same? Well it’s nice to have a friend ‘in there’ whatever the reason because ‘it’s dark in my head and scary to wander around alone.” Thanks Ursula!! Keep walking on the ceiling!!

    Like

    • Thank you very much, Melanie 🙂

      Any time you need a friend to wander with you in the dark in your head, just conjure me up in there. The dark is where all the real treasures of the self are found, because that’s where we hid them so others couldn’t steal them ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Thank you for the link! I think part of the human condition is the desire to be seen vs. not be seen. We’re all somewhere on the continuum. Transparency can feel amazing or make you want to throw yourself on the tracks. Not being noticed/received also has its barbed wire. Surrounded with friends, admirers and supporters can be joyful or suffocating. A constant maze for navigation or not. I choose not to use my name, Beth in my blog as who knows what my “family” will do legally to shut me up. Yes his way I can speak freely, which, apparently is connecting me to perfect strangers, drawn to the authenticity of my blogging. You’re writing intrigues my metacognitive brain and my grounded spirit. 💜

    Like

  7. I love the little lacewing who came for a rest on your screen. There are no bugs around here right now. They would freeze in mid-air. 😉
    I don’t know if it’s called a post or a blog either. I guess the collection is a blog; the individual bits are posts. “That which we call a [post] …” 😉
    I’m not “seen” that much but I am by the people who want to see me, just as I want to see them. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Lynette 🙂

      My house is full of lacewings and ladybirds hibernating, this one woke up early. I could put some in a thermal envelope and send them to you. But from what I’ve heard of Canadian Summers… you’ll have loads of insects of your own soon enough to keep you company. 😉

      So, what you’re saying about being seen is that you’re a ninja. Or a goddess. A ninja goddess?

      Liked by 2 people

      • Canadian summers vary a lot. In the Okanagan it starts getting hot in April – up into the 30s C. July can be a breathtaking +40C . Sitting in a lake helps. I sometimes have a G and T along. 🙂 No bugs – it’s too hot.

        But here! April is still really cold and May is bug orientation and development month. Yikes. Extremes? Yup.

        Hahaha! 😀 Thanks for the compliment but no ninja here. My balaclava would fall off, I’d trip over it, and then I’d show myself as the nerd I really am.

        Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for sharing, Rue 🙂

      When there’s no narrative attached to a mood, no reason the mind can find for feeling a certain way, it’s a strange experience. It’s like the internal world has its own weather system. Some days you just wake up with a thunderstorm going on inside. The sunny days are nice though, feeling good for no reason at all.

      Liked by 1 person

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