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Posts Tagged ‘psychology’

Hey, guys!  I know, it’s been a long time.  I’ve written maybe three things in the past six months, and that’s pretty not cool.  But if you were wondering how I’ve been doing, I feel that this picture pretty much sums it up:

Basically, I have traded in my blood for coffee.

This past semester has been the most difficult that I’ve had yet, and I find myself missing the relatively light workload that I had my freshman and sophomore years.  Junior year is tough!  I basically haven’t been sleeping, and I’ve completely lost motivation to actually get work done and study.  Because of this, I definitely am seeing lower grades than normal.  Granted, low grades for me means that I’m getting more Bs than As, but it’s still two more Bs than normal in a semester.

I’ve just felt like I’ve been rushing with no breaks.  The moment one exam or paper or print is finished, I’m starting another because I’m already behind.  Plus, all of my classes have been more labour intensive than usual, which adds an extra element that I hadn’t really been expecting.

I also moved off of campus for this semester, so I’ve been adjusting to living in a house with Noah and Jess.  Not that it’s a major adjustment, though.  We get along marvellously, I love having a room to myself to decorate and be introverted in, and I’ve enjoyed doing my own cooking.  Sure, I miss the conveniences of living on campus, but all-in-all, I’m satisfied with the change.

This is where I spend the majority of my time not sleeping and instead studying, reading, and wasting my life on tumblr.

Meanwhile, I’ve been having a lot of trouble keeping level-headed and maintaining my weight since August.  I’ve been under a lot of stress because of complications with getting my fake tooth, where everything that could have gone wrong did go wrong, and it put me into a mini depression that ended up rearing its ugly head once course work got rolling.  I spent a lot of August, September, and October absolutely hating myself, and it only started to get better last month.  With every wrong move I’d make, a little voice in my head would just whisper I hate myself. or I hate everything.  I’ve never been the type of person to put myself down in this kind of way.  Sure, I’m hard on myself, but I’ve never felt such a hatred for myself.  It was getting absolutely unbearable, and I’d begin to beat myself for beating myself up.

In the end, I probably needed some sleep.  I needed time to find a sense of self that was healthy.  I needed Thanksgiving break.  Things improved over that time.  I didn’t get ahead on coursework, and I didn’t get a long list done that I needed to in Saint Charles.  But I did get my tooth (finally!), and I picked up a few more articles of clothing that would fit me better, and I finally had time to just sleep and day-dream.  It was such a relief.

I’m feeling a lot better now, but, coming back for the end of the semester is still difficult.  Last week contained most of my finals and papers/projects due, and there were some nights where I literally didn’t go to bed and had to squeeze in an hour around midnight so that I could work during the early morning hours when I feel most mentally awake.

Sunday night: 4 hours
Monday night:  3 hours
Tuesday night:  6 hours
Wednesday night: 2.5 hours
Thursday night: 1 hour

It’s been a bit rough, but I’ve found that I can get a lot done even on very little, if no, sleep.  I know that it’s not healthy.  I know, I know, I know.  It’s just how I operate as a procrastinator and some-what perfectionist.  They go hand in hand, really.  You procrastinate because of the fear that you won’t reach perfection.  But when you don’t have enough time to reach perfection, you self-handicap and say that it’s all right that you didn’t reach the point you had wanted.  After all, you’d had so little sleep last night, how could you have gotten higher than a B on that exam?  (Oh, poor baby.  Bleh.)

I mentioned earlier that I’ve been having a lot of trouble keeping my weight at a stable level.  For the entirety of my life, this would mean that I’ve gained a bunch of weight and am feeling all self-conscious about it… until now.  I don’t know how, but I’ve lost twenty pounds in only three months.  I went from being near 160 to 142.  Everyone I’ve told gives me some type of congratulation as though I’ve been working so hard or something, but I just stand there thinking, But this is not what I wanted!  I haven’t tried to lose weight.  I don’t like that I can’t fit into any of my clothing; I figured I’d be a size twelve for years, so I’d started buying my clothes to last and cost more.  Suddenly, I don’t fit into any of my skirts or pants or bras.  My shirts aren’t tugging in the same ways (hell, I can now wear shirts that I haven’t been able to fit into since I was fourteen).  I look at photos of my face from earlier this year, and I literally can’t recognise myself (okay, this may be because of the prosopagnosia, but disregard that) because I’ve lost so much weight from my face.  My arms look different, my collar bones show more, my cheek bones seem a bit  higher, my legs more defined, my stomach flat.

I am beautiful.  And I am completely frightened.

I can’t stop losing weight, and I don’t know what to do.  I don’t know if I believe the people who have told me that it’s from walking more with living off campus or because I’m cold all of the time and using more energy to keep warm.  I feel bad every time I look in the mirror and think I look good, because this can’t be healthy.  And then I argue with myself because I shouldn’t feel bad about being happy with the way I look.  It’s just an odd situation that I’ve never been in before, and I don’t know how to deal with it.

I don’t really know how to deal with anything, actually.  But… that’s okay.  It’s been okay for about a week now.  Between panicking and extreme euphoria and an excessive amount of work, this past week has been interesting, but I wouldn’t trade it for the world.  I wish I could tell you more at this point, but I’m still trying to find my footing.  Just suffice it to say that something is going really, really well, and I can’t remember the last time that I was this happy.

So, while I leave you on a note of mystery, I hope it was positive.  Because I’m feeling positive, even with all of the stress that I’ve carried for the past few months.  Sometimes, life is pretty good, and there are blue skies, and you can’t help but smile.

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My sister is getting married later today, and while getting ready, I’ve been watching the History Channel, something I haven’t done in quite a while.  I know, no Food Channel or Travel Channel?  It’s not like I’m straying that far.  But I’m hit with the realisation that SCIENCE IS AWESOME!  Sure, I hit this every time I read an xkcd comic or read news articles about medical break-throughs, but sometimes it hits me just how much we now know  because of simple scientific advancements and achievements.

For instance, we now know without much doubt that the dinosaurs were indeed killed off by a giant meteor 65 million years ago.  How?  Because we stumbled upon a layer in rock beds from 65 million years ago that’s chalk full of iridium, and then we found the actual crater in the Gulf of Mexico using satellite imaging.  COOL!

(On a similar, dinosaur note, we now know that dinosaurs had feathers and that multiple species were actually just the same species at different ages.  Too bad, Jurassic Park.)

Or there’s the whole thing where, through fMRI and other brain imaging techniques, we’ve found biological differences in brain structure for those who are gay or transgender.  The fact that we can find these biological differences means it’s more difficult for people to claim that it’s “just a choice”.  When a three year-old male is showing the brain structures of a three year-old female in a brain scan and claims that he is in fact a she, we can no longer deny a biological reason behind their behaviour.  Once again, science is awesome!

Science teaches us why anti-bacterial soaps harm our immune-system and why driving west on Highway 70 gives you worse gas-mileage than going east.  It warns us about our carbon emissions and why we need enough plants to balance out our planet’s oxygen levels.  We have learned so much in the past one hundred fifty years, and it simply amazes me!  I hope it amazes you, too, since we all use science every day.  Whether you use the internet or take medicine for you high blood-pressure or turn on the television or eat a piece of fruit that wasn’t grown in your area, you’re totally using technology and science.

AWESOME!

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…Midway through April, actually, and yet I have not posted more than, what, one thing?  Ridiculous.  Yeah, yeah.  Ridiculous; I’ll fill you in.

Humans v Zombies continued on last week, and I spent an afternoon reading in the quad, watching a mission take place.  A gaggle of humans stalked by and then a horde of zombies, with me on a blanket sitting in between.  For more than an hour, I watched the ensuing battle, which was highly entertaining.  I’d show you the photos that I took, but my internet access at university is so poor that it will have to wait until I am back at home in three weeks.

(Note, I ended up getting a different picture to work:)

I’ve been spending the past weeks more and more outdoors reading or spending time with friends.  We’ve gone out on blankets to hang out, do homework, and even have a picnic.  It’s wonderful to not have to wear a coat and even better to wear only a t-shirt, which the weather has permitted over the past two weeks.  I’ve been able to be more active with this weather, too, which is nice since I now have a new goal for getting in shape.  I’m usually all about health and just making sure that my body is healthy, but now I want to shape it up so that I can join belly dancing next semester.  Granted, I could join as I am now, but I think I’d be more comfortable and have an easier time if I worked on getting a trimmer middle over the summer.  So I’m going to try swimming every morning, get back into running a few miles each day, and I’ll now try some preliminary dancing to tone up.  Belly dancing, here I come!

It seems funny to me that these pictures were only taken around a week ago, yet the entire campus has blossomed since then.  It’s absolutely gorgeous.

Three weeks until summer, though…  What an odd realisation.  Over my extended break, I plan to go to Florida to visit my dad, maybe get a volunteer job on Main Street (if they should ever need the extra help; they can call me at a moment’s notice, I think), sew at least two dresses and a skirt, and paint at least four paintings.  I promised my friend Heather that I would enter a painting into the Missouri Hall Art Gallery next year, so if I make that over the summer, it will free my time up over the semester to work on it.  I’m thinking of painting a scene from the quad or somewhere on Truman’s campus, and it will be big.  Bigger than any other painting that I’ve yet done (I’m thinking one of those canvases that’s nearly three feet tall).  I’m also painting pictures for both my current room mate Jess for her room next year and my friend Abby for her room next year.  It shouldn’t be so odd that I’m looking forward to making these paintings so much, but I am.  That’s why I became an art minor, I guess.

Speaking of art, I finalised my schedule for next semester, and it’s a beast.  I have statistics, intermediate German, British literature from Romantic to Modern, a six hour long drawing 1 course, and a 400-level Intro to Clinical Psychology class.  The last one is rather intimidating.  It isn’t just a difficult class but a class meant for older psych majors, so I may be kicking myself next semester.  But, maybe it will teach me good work ethic, and it will put me ahead.  I just wish that I could have gotten into social psychology like I had originally planned for, but upon entering in the code during registration, I accidentally put in the code for psychopharmacology, which in no way interests me or goes toward what I will be doing with a psychology degree.  By the time I could try and fix my mistake, it was too late–the class was full.  So, I ended up finding this 400-level gem that fit into my schedule.  We’ll see how it turns out.

Meanwhile, what an awesome group of friends I have: they helped me create a Quidditch team for my university’s Quidditch match last week.  It was a great time with six teams vying for the top spot.  Now, we aren’t the sportiest bunch, so we definitely had more losses than wins, but it was incredibly fun.  The hosts of the events even gave out legit Harry Potter snacks (fudge flies, chocolate frogs, Berty Bots beans, pumpkin juice, butter beer, et cetera).  What an awesome time.  Here are some pictures that my internet finally allowed me to upload:

Our team name was Albus and the Dumbledores, and we even made legit tie-dye shirts for the event.

We played with beach balls, a volley ball, and these tall hoops.  It was actually quite challenging.  The snitch ended up being a track runner with a sock hanging out of his shorts that you had to pull out.  I was seeker, and it was definitely hard work; I was feeling muscles the next day that I didn’t even know I had.  Ouch!

And, of course, we ran with brooms in between our legs, which was more fun than challenging.  Awkwardness, after all, can be one of the best things ever to laugh at.

That’s about it for now.  Hopefully this filled you in a little about what has been going on in my life.  Thank God for spring and summer holidays!  Hope you’re all doing well.

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I’m a strong believer in the saying, “Fake confidence because eventually it will become reality.”  Last semester, I posted it on the door to my dorm for my house to see, and I still get occasional comments about it from people, especially a young woman in my house who took the phrase to heart.  Late at night, when we’ve finished watching films in the living room and we’re slowly leaving to go to bed, she’ll mention that she enjoys the encouraging phrases.  And I’ll mention that I enjoy them as well; it’s why I put them up.

Today, rather than posting my usual “Stay warm, kids!” or “Have a great week!”, I posted another encouraging dogma that I had forgotten about until recently.  On the door reads, “Sit and walk with good posture–you will feel more confident.”

Oh, how true this statement is.

Two days ago, I was reading through my Guide to Relaxation book that I brought back up to school from home for the yoga guide and stumbled upon a section on correct breathing and posture.  Suddenly, I could remember the little middle school me looking at the entry and taking to heart that I should have better posture.  I remembered sitting up as straight as I possibly could in my eighth grade history class for an entire day and doing the same that evening while on the computer and feeling so sure of myself.  I had great posture during that time, and I’ve occasionally wondered why I had forgotten about it.  So, when I read the posture entry, I set a new goal for myself (to go along with my million of other goals for the next three years).  I started sitting straighter while at the computer to start.  Then, I started sitting straighter in my classes today and standing to my full height before setting off to walk somewhere, making sure that I wasn’t slumping while I stepped around.  And, let me tell you, I feel more confident.  Sure, I’m dressed nicely and am feeling pretty good to start with, but others have noticed in just the span of a day.  People who have never spoken to me saw me today and said “hi” or asked how I was doing; and none of them seemed at all surprised when I said that I was doing quite well.  It was what they expected.

So, here’s my little goal for you: start working on your posture.  If the increase in confidence doesn’t draw your attention, remember that it increases breathing which in turn helps concentration (I’ve never concentrated so well in my experimental psych class as I did today), it strengthens core muscles (tight abs, yo), and it can help prevent back pain.  Those should be some great reasons to start sitting or standing or walking a little better, methinks.

– – –

I do have a lot of goals for myself, though.  None are all that strict, but they are life rules/goals.  They’re things I want to incorporate into my own life in order to live better, and they are not flitty things, either.  They’re very solid and long lasting, which also equates to taking longer to develop.  Like habits, they can take years to set, but once they are there, hopefully they’re there for life.

My first goals started about two years ago with finding myself, which I’ve done a pretty damned good job of.  I’ve found a lot of who I am and a lot of who I want to be which allows me to move on to the next step.

My next step was to start changing some physically.  For starters, I chopped off all of my hair and donated it a year and a half ago, which allowed me to really think about what I wanted.  Of course, it was obvious that I wanted my long hair back, but I was able to start new with growing it out.  I also found what my personal styles were and have been slowly changing what I where and how I dress in order to more readily reflect that.  I also worked a lot on health with becoming a vegetarian, though I’m by no means finished with my eating habits.  I’m still interested in filtering out a lot of the sugars, salts, fats, and non-real things that I eat.  And I’ve also aided health with more stretching and yoga, though it’s still a work in progress.  Really, all of those are works in progress.

My other big goals lie in personality and speech.  I’m often annoyed with myself and the way that I carry on talking forever when half of what I say is meaningless, so I’ve started to work on Meaningful Speech.  There was a section about it in my spirituality text book, and I was incredibly intrigued.  The entry speaks about becoming more aware of your thoughts and then translating that into words.  Or, you could look at it as becoming more aware of what you’re saying and seeing if your mind is even playing a part in this process.  For me, I often just say things to say things.  Like, I’ll make too many comments while watching a movie or just say phrases and jokes that we’d be just fine without hearing.  So, I’ve started working on that.  By no means have I shown any improvement, but I have been catching myself more often.  I spoke to my spirituality teacher about that today, and we agreed that it was a step in the right direction.  Who knows, maybe in a year or two, I’ll be saying things that are more short, precise, to the point, and meaningful.  We’ll see how that works.

– – –

As we all know, mental health intrigues the fuck out of me.  It’s why I’m a psychology major, after all, and I’ve found that I like applying my skills a little early.  So, I meandered onto Yahoo Answers today and started giving advice and counselling to those with mental issues, and I found myself enjoying the different pieces of advice that I could give.  It helped me realise that I’ve learned quite a bit and can already do some things to make a difference.  Sure, most of my posts said that I was a student and recommended going to a psychiatrist/counsellor/psychologist, but I was able to give a whole lot of recommendations and advice that astounded me.  A year ago, I couldn’t have told anyone nearly this much.  Now, things are a little different.  I can’t wait to see what it’s like in another year, or heavens-to-Betsy, in three years.

– – –

The next section has been deleted.  Sorry.

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It’s when the most studying needs to be done that I get the most philosophical and want to absorb all information not associated with what I’m studying.  It’s why, instead of reading my sensation and perception chapters, I’ve been getting caught in a web of National Geographic, Lord of the Rings fanfiction (shoot me), and debates about cutting films short for American audiences (whaddup, Kingdom of Heaven?).  My mind wanders… a lot.  And thinking is my favourite activity.  It’s not actually beneficial.  Dear God, how am I ever going to keep up in university at this rate?

I’ve been measuring my mood a lot during the past week, and things are looking up.  Up in an odd way, but up all the same.  It’s kind of like the days are passing too quickly yet each hour takes an infinity to pass, but you somewhat enjoy it all the while.  And, should I have not procrastinated so much with studying for my psych exam tomorrow, I would be feeling pretty damn good right now.  But, I’ll settle for this good and stress.  The stress tells me that I need to keep up better next time.  And, with feeling more up than I have in the past two months, I’m thinking I can turn that into a reality.

See, with this depression of sorts, it really distracted me from my course work.  I stopped reading, I stopped studying, and I slid by with a B in all exams during that time.  But, after a few weeks of this behaviour, it’s gotten to the point where I can’t slide by as easily.  It will take a lot of work to get caught back up to where I should be in both of my psych classes and my German class.  Luckily, I’m okay in spirituality and physics.

My psych classes this semester haven’t been holding my attention at all.  In fact, I’d be willing to say that they’re amongst my least favourite of courses so far.  I love psychology, really, but I’m taking two very uninteresting classes.  One is more biological and the other experimental–both of which do not interest me when it comes to psychology.  I’m much more interested in learning about why people do things and learning about the counselling aspects.  After all, I want to be a counsellor, so this kind of makes sense.  Luckily, though, these are the two psych classes that I am least interested in, so getting them out of the way during my freshmen year will open up a lot more space for the next three years for classes that I actually do care.  Whaddup, Romantic Relationships and Child Development?  Those are amongst the classes that I am feasting for, slowly waiting for, anticipating.  Throw in some classes on human personality, and I’m set for life.

I’ve given a little thought lately about what I’ll do with counselling.  Marital and family counselling was my plan, and still is, though I’m also looking at premarital.  From talking to my friends, premarital counselling often exists in church settings, but I don’t think that it’s used enough for other couples who are not interested in the church.  Really, it should be mandatory for people getting married to go through some counselling and work through some differences before they’re married.  I think that it would help keep a lot of relationships together, so I’ve been thinking about adding that in the mix of things that I want to do.  Sounds like a fun plan.  I can’t wait to be a counsellor.

There are a lot of things that I can’t wait for.  Getting this damned exam over with, starting my studio art minor, summer break and sitting by the Missouri with a good book.  I can’t wait for my big city dreams and crappy apartment.  I can’t wait to adopt a kitten and name it something special from a book or something in Arabic (I found the word for ‘morning’ today, and I love it: Sabah).  I even can’t wait to open up my own little office beneath my apartment on some cozy lane.  Yes, they’re all dreams.  And dreams don’t always just come true (I’ve learned that from experience), but they are dreams none the less, and they keep me motivated.

I like dreams.  It’s why I live in a dream world about half of the time I’m awake.  It’s the swish of thoughts and music and plans for the future.  It’s soaking up all this beauty around me and dreaming of how to keep it with me for always.  It’s why I paint and sing songs that I make up.  It’s why I drive for hours past farms and keep myself mystified the entire way, enjoying every dead stalk that I see buried in the snow.  Dreams are feasts and lavish curtains and silk bedding and Indian sundresses.  Dreams are the pictures in your mind that turn into movies after reading books.  Dreams are a source of our being when the physical isn’t enough.  They are power.

Dreams are also giant Ents curb stomping cars outside of your window and having your bed shake so much that your room mate turns into Hulk and saves you, only for you to turn into Alice in Wonderland.  But those are the dreams of night, and Lord knows that mine are too crazy for you all.

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When I was six, I remember sitting on the bus next to my then best-friend, Simran, and asking her how we knew what was going on in other people’s minds.  She seemed confused by the question (as any first grader should have been), so I gave her an example.  If you said something true, but your mum told you that you had lied when you had not, how could she prove that you had or had not lied?  If she could not get into your head, what made her claim valid?  I’m sure Simran still did not understand me, so we probably started talking about Spice Girls instead (whaddup, 1997?).  But, even then, I was mystified with the mind and how little we know about it.  It’s why I’d grow so angry when someone said that I had lied when I hadn’t.  One time, I screamed at my mum, “You aren’t in my mind!  You don’t know!”  I was seven.  And it never really occurred to me until recently that children that young shouldn’t be contemplating such strong philosophical and psychological questions.

Sometimes, I think I’m still too young to ponder at the things I do.

– – –

This morning, I woke up before the sun–something I haven’t done in a little while.  As I sat at my desk, reading psychology, I was able to watch the sun rise.  At first, it was a splotch of yellow light on the horizon, breaking the deep darkness that had settled over Kirksville.  Then, stripes of purple and then of pink appeared, with the yellow splotch now a strong, orangey base.  Soon, the entire sky was enveloped in a wash of pink and purple, covering the clouds and glittering off of the eight or so inches of snow.  Beautiful.  It made me happy that I hadn’t slept too much past my snooze alarm.

I had so many weird dreams last night, but I can only access bits and pieces.  Something about a great, glass tower with a mighty telescope on top.  Something about a popular rapper that I made fun of and had no respect for.  Something about a large, green spider that I killed so cautiously with a fly swatter and then buried into the carpet as though it were dirt.  There were so many people, and so much conflict, and I’m still reeling from the impact of what it all means.  Sometimes, my dreams really are tumbles of nothing, and other times they mean cryptic little things about the way I’m feeling.  Something in my mind tells me that this was just a jumble.  A stress jumble.

Last evening, my house was together and sharing a dream dictionary.  Turns out unicorns mean something bad to our Mr Freud.  I think it’s all full of shit.  I don’t buy into a dream interpreter or any other interpreter for that matter who tries to figure me out when not knowing a damned thing about what actually goes on in my mind.  It’s why I like to interpret my own dreams.  It’s why, as much as I love MBTI, I know that it has faults and that everyone is different, even if typed the same.  It’s why I put no store in all of those quizzes that ask “Which Character from [insert show here] Are You?”.  I don’t buy into anything that doesn’t actually know me because, as one of my friends told me, I’m a very cautious person.  Yes.  Yes, I am.

– – –

This past weekend wasn’t the best for me.  I’m still dealing with not knowing the interview results (though I’ll probably know before I can post this blog and will most likely tell you at the end), and I’ve come to realise that I may be depressed.  And not in the sense of the word that I’m just feeling down, but in the actual sense; the sense that means that I’m clinically depressed and should probably be getting some  help for this.  So, I planned out my week and found some free time on Thursday.  Once this slot of free time comes up today, I’m fairly certain that I will march myself over to the university counselling services and sit down with someone.  I don’t really care what happens, but I feel that it’s a big step that I need to take in order to get better.

I ended up looking through my diary to see when I really started getting depressed constantly, and my date landed on 10 December, with trails of unhappiness sinking in at the beginning of November.  I was surprised to see that I was so unhappy in nearly every entry, and it was a little bit frightening to realise that, without that way to keep track of my life, I may not have really realised why I was so upset.  I would have kept blaming it on the nerves of not knowing my SA results, rather than digging to the deeper problem and realising that something was seriously wrong.

So, when I go to UCS today, I’ll tell you how it goes.  I’ll tell you if it helps, and what will be done.  If there’s nothing to say, I won’t say it.  But if there is, expect more on the issue.

– – –

The results for SA were supposed to be email out any time after 23.00 on Wednesday night.  It’s now 7.20 on Thursday morning, and I’m growing more and more excited and nervous.  Last night, as I drifted to sleep, I told myself that it was nothing different from a cast list back in high school.  Stan would promise it to be up on Monday, and you’d end up waiting until Thursday afternoon to see any results.  All the while, your stomach would churn, and you’d feel ridiculously nervous about the entire ordeal.  If you multiplied that reaction by ten, you’d get how I was feeling.  When I think about that email coming through to tell me, well, my chest and stomach and heart tighten until it’s physically painful.  So painful that it causes headaches and puts me to bed, keeping me from studying for a psychology test.  These are serious nerves; I can’t wait until it’s all just over.  Then, I can work on accepting my year to come as it will truly be.

– – –

In Time Updates:

7.35: I’ve probably pressed the refresh button over thirty times since 23.00 last night.  Every five minutes, and I’m checking that email again.  And every five minutes, I’m once again left with no information.

7.42: Still nothing.  I’m reduced to scrounging Facebook and reading psychology texts.

7.51: Time to give up for a while and read even more psych.  Today’s exam is going to kill me.  I’m really sorry if you’re still reading this.

8.03: Again, really sorry if you’re still reading this; nothing has happened.

8.40: And still nothing.  I might as well start studying for my physics lab.

9.00: And still nothing, again.  I might as well just post all of this up and make a second post with the results when they come.  Sorry for making you read this; then again, it was your own doing.

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(Note: I just finally made this entry public after several months of letting it bubble as a private post.  Do with it what you will.)

I’m incredibly sickened by modern horror.  The film industry pushes boundaries, I realise, and this has lead to many great things.  Wizard of Oz pushed boundaries with its break into colour.  Sleeping Beauty pushed boundaries with its transformation from live action to cartoon in the hands of artists.  Lord of the Rings pushed boundaries with its computer generation.  But the technological boundary is different from the human mind.  Psychologically, we have boundaries, and if they are broken, what is left of us?

My house is watching a horror film right now called “Funny Games” or something to that effect, and I am sickened.  It deals with two guys who are going to kill a family for the fun of it, and they kidnap the son to make the mum take off her clothes and other such atrocities.

Yes, I realise that these kinds of things happen in real life.  And I realise that it can be put into film.  In fact, it being put into a film does not bother me.  What does bother me is that our society has had our boundaries so torn away that people find this entertaining.  Entertaining?

ENTERTAINING?

What the fuck is wrong with people?  Have we really had murder and violence and sex and gore thrown at us enough to completely desensitise us?  Well, yes; we have.  But at what point have our boundaries been broken that we’ve learned to enjoy watching this?  What the fuck is wrong when Saw can make six movies because people just love watching other people die so much?  How did we get to this point?  How can we hold so little regard for human life and laugh at someone literally being ripped limb from limb?

Do we not have sympathy any more?  We must not.  And empathy is out of the question; we lost that long ago.

I just don’t understand.  I watched all of five minutes of My Bloody Valentine before I made my friends shut it off so that we could watch something else.  Even though the gore was unrealistic, it didn’t matter.  The movie was purely a bunch of people dying.  Just, dying.  Being murdered.  And here, my friends sat around, laughing at the thought of people dying.

Maybe I was never desensitised to it all.  Maybe I kept myself in some kind of bubble.  Or maybe I just never wanted to be desensitised from it all, so I made sure to still feel the fear and pain.  Fear and pain from death, well, that’s human.  That’s why we have religion–to remove the fear from the pain.  But when there’s no fear because it’s humorous, then what happened to the soul?

That’s just it.  What is so damned funny about people dying?  Every day, I read the news.  Another 2000 dead from an earthquake here.  Another sixteen dead from a bombing there.  Another three killed by a train that fell off the tracks.  Another six murdered.  What the fuck makes that so funny?  You can tell me, “Oh, but Missi!  In the movies, it’s just a murder, and they usually deserve it.  It’s not like it’s real.”  So what that it’s not real?  What makes it any different from all of the people who do die every day?  If you laugh so damned much at the idea of death, why are you not laughing at those people who really are dying?  Is it because society tells you not to?  Or are you laughing inside?  Or do you just not care about them at all since you’ve given up your own conscience in order to be entertained?  What the fuck makes the idea so damned different between a movie and real life?

Not much.  That’s what.  People really do get murdered.  Tornadoes really do suck people up.  Bullets really do get in the spines of eight year-olds.  You laugh when it’s on a screen; you might as well be laughing at the real thing.

People aren’t living any more.  They’re just shells.  They sell all that they have in order to be entertained.  We’re laughing ourselves to death.  Neil Postman had it right when he said that we were “Amusing Ourselves to Death”.  He didn’t mean it quite in this way–his ideas were more Orwellian in nature–but it all leads to being empty and hollow.

And for how much do we sell our souls?

One dollar at Red Box.

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