I don’t feel very good. Not so hot, as they say.
Sure, there are a few normal bits, a bit of a headache, a bit tired, and some of it’s probably to do with my irregular sleeping these last few days, perhaps a bit of dehydration, perhaps even related to my grandfather’s injury (though I doubt that; I don’t seem to actually feel much about anyone getting injured, sick, or dying)…
And I suppose that the bigger chunks of my bad feeling are all pretty normal for me by now, too; the thoughts of suicide I so naturally cast aside as pointless, the crushing, drowning waves of depression and occasionally anxiety, the feelings of aloneness and separation with regards to romantic relationships and my seemingly insurmountable failures therein, along with the feelings of oppression and suppression that having my family around (my grandfather & my sister and her family mostly, but dad and Heath and Angela sometimes too) seems to generate…
LIke, my dad and grandfather moved back to Pine a week or two ago, and with months of buildup, hundreds of dollars of paints purchased six or more weeks earlier and just sitting there untouched, I finally reached a point where their presence didn’t linger any longer, didn’t enter my mind, and I managed to start a painting this last Wednesday night. I worked on it Thursday, I went out Friday, but I worked on it Saturday morning and Saturday afternoon, and then dad got home, and that’s that. I just can’t seem to move on it.
I know what comes next, I mapped out the whole painting, the whole process, each layer, each technique, all the colors and shapes and combinations in a few minutes on Wednesday morning at work; the next step isn’t even hard – it’s actually designed to cover up mistakes automatically. I just can’t seem to do it. I set in front of the painting most of the day today, all my art supplies in the room, plenty of light, no doubts about what to do or how to do it, but even when I knew Dad was at the hospital (which is to say, even when I was actually alone in the house) all I could do was stare at it, try to ignore it, or pretend I was going to do something to/with it. I’m frozen.
Dad’s not the worst, just one of the worst. The excuse, and it’s probably valid, is that he’s color blind, so can’t see the same things I’m seeing when he looks at my art. But I think sometimes it’s mostly just an excuse. He doesn’t like my art. He jokes about it, he makes fun of it, and he’s critical of it without often being even a little constructive. Which makes me defensive, guarded, and self-conscious of my work. Makes me feel like it isn’t good enough and I have no business doing it. Dad, April, even Grandpa because of actual things they say, though with Grandpa he’s more likely to say something that makes me want to kill myself rather than something that makes me want to just give up on art.
But it isn’t just art, it isn’t just writing, that I can’t do when these people, or people whose behaviour or expectations oppress me, or people whose expectations, behaviours, and words I cannot begin to predict, are around; it’s creating, it’s cleaning, it’s exercise… almost anything that would result, upon success, in accomplishing something which would be apparent to those around me, I feel unable to do when people are (or may soon be) actually around me.
When it’s just me and my ideas and my emotions and whatever medium seems right or is available at the moment, I can do fine. I can write a book in a couple of days, paint brilliant works in days or even hours, clean the whole house brilliantly, shower, shave, exercise, everything. When other people come around, I start to lose it, and if they start to ask about what I’m doing, if they comment on it at all, I just seem to shut down.
No. No, I do not handle feedback well, apparently. I don’t seem to be able to handle it, not if I want to get anything done. I mean, given time and space and distance to try to cope with it, I can digest feedback and criticism and adjust my work reasonably. My first novel was significantly modified after the first draft received a lot of negative feedback. Which is to say I stopped showing it to people, stopped working on it and thinking about it for 9 or 10 months, and when enough separation from oppressive influences existed for me to work on even thinking about writing again, I completely re-worked the novel from bottom to top in under a week (most of the real work being done in my head in a matter of minutes as I finally considered what to do with it after trying to avoid it for so long), upending the story and resolution entirely and nearly tripling the length, all done and completed before I let anyone know what I was doing. As soon as someone got their hands on it to say something about it, I could no longer work on it.
Agh, I’m getting tired, it’s getting late, I should go to sleep. I have more to say, but this will do for now. At least it’s something. At least I didn’t just masturbate and pass out, or just think about masturbating and pass out without bothering because what’s the point, like I have been doing lately. This, at least, is something. Maybe it’s okay for me to write this because everyone’s sleeping and very few people read this. Maybe it’s because I feel too bad to keep it to myself.
I hate that I have secrets right now. I hate secrets.