Ordinary People and Good Will Hunting

I was browsing metafilter last night and there was a post in fanfare about the movie, “Ordinary People“. That’s a movie that Dr. D (in Austin) asked me to watch. That was roughly 20 years ago (give or take a year or two)

(Gidgette just crawled up onto my lap and is sitting on my arms. It’s making typing on the laptop quite difficult.)

At the time, it was pretty impactful. I remember us talking about it for a session or two. But I don’t remember what we really talked about.

Back to last night. I decided to see if it was streaming anywhere. Turns out, yes it was, on Amazon Prime Video. As I started watching, the plot came back to me. What hit me this time was how much the mother (Mary Tylor Moore) was obsessed with keeping up appearances. It was all about how the family looked to her friends. January of last year, I talked about that idea with Dr. JD (to differentiate her from Dr. D in Austin), but I know I didn’t really explain it well. I know this because I’ve been journaling daily since 1/1/20 and it gives me on this day in history. When that came up a few weeks ago, I wrote that I wanted to talk about it again. But I never knew how to broach the idea. I think I’ll send her a text to see if she’s seen it. It’ll be a good springboard for the topic.

Around the same time Dr. D asked me to watch “Ordinary People”, he asked me to watch “Good Will Hunting” as well. “Good Will Hunting” hit a lot closer to home, so to speak. I think the scene everyone probably remembers is Will (Matt Damon) and Sean (Robin Williams) in his office as Will is finishing up therapy with Sean because he’s turned 21. You can watch it on YouTube. Just hearing the words, “It’s not your fault.” over and over was hard back circa 2000.

Being a glutton for punishment, I actually bought the digital download and watched it. It surprised me how hard that same scene hit me in 2021. The tears flowed just as freely as they did 20 years ago. I actually journaled about this after watching it. The app I use, Day One (iOS and Mac only), lets me record an audio entry. One of these days, I’ll go back and listen to it. Actually, I might do that before “seeing” Dr. JD on Tuesday.


Organizing Thoughts

I’m having a hard time organizing my thoughts lately.  More so than ever, my thoughts are scattered and racing.  I have all these memories just swirling around.  And I just don’t know what to do with them.  It doesn’t help I have writer’s block.  Just typing these few sentences has taken me a solid half hour.

So, how to organize the thoughts and memories.  Dr. D asked me to think about how I could organize the memories.  It could be by house.  I was 4 when we moved to MH from L.  That doesn’t make a lot of sense.  The time just doesn’t work out.

I guess I could organize them by time.  But so many things blur together that I don’t think it’ll work.

The thing that makes most sense is to organize things by abusers.  These incidents are separated pretty well in time and space.

Now to just get over my writer’s block…


I’ve tried for a long time to write this post.  Rationally, I know it’s something I shouldn’t be embarrassed about, but I am.  I feel so different than everyone else.  Again, rationally I know there are other people who feel (or don’t feel as the case may be) the same way I do.  I just don’t know how to go about connecting with them.  I suspect for many it’s a big secret.  I sometimes think it would be easier if I felt attraction for women.  Or men.  Or both.  But I don’t.  I don’t feel anything.  I have no interest in the whole dating, marriage, relationship scene.  If you would ask, I’d say I’d identify as asexual.

I joke around that I watch football (the American kind) just for the huddle and the tight ends.  I find nothing about male butts in tight pants appealing.  I feel as guilty about that as I would about trying to fit into Lesbian culture.

I used to think this was a consequence of the abuse.  That it was a PTSD thing.  But maybe I’m wired this way.  I firmly believe sexuality is more hard wired than environmental.  My brothers are of the same no relationship mindset, but they have a normal sex drive and find women attractive.  I don’t judge their choices and I understand the not wanting relationships.  I think those similarities are enough to point at the toxic environment we grew up in.  But I’m definitely different from then.  Then again, I took the brunt of the abuse, especially from male relatives.

I can hear people out there saying it’s totally understandable to feel the way I do about sex, other people and relationships.  But I can’t help feeling like a freak.  There are so many survivors that go on to have normal relationships, be it with the same or opposite sex.  I can’t even work up the sexual energy to try to see where I might fit in on the spectrum.

I’ve looked at men of all kinds.  I’ve looked at women too.  But I feel nothing.  It’s like there’s a huge part of me missing.  Well, missing according to societal norms.  Maybe I just need to learn to be a little kinder to myself and live with what God gave me.  I know it’s possible to thrive in society without be married.

But honestly, I’m stuck.  I’ll be moving back to Korea and I’ll have the same psychiatrist.  I don’t know if I should bring it up with him or try to find an English speaking therapist (probably easier said than done).  If anyone has words of wisdom, please share them.  I don’t know if it came out, but this really has been bothering me for a long time.

The Face in the Mirror

The face in the mirror (both physical and mental) is obviously distorted.  I got my recommendation letter from my old old boss this evening.  I laughed aloud when I read it.  I mean no disrespect to C, but the way she saw me is not the way I saw myself.  I remember this happening once before when getting letters for grad school.  Even though I checked the box on the form waiving my right to read them, every single one of my professors put a copy in my hand and said read it, but not now.  When you’re home.  I laughed myself silly.  How could these people that I respected, and even worked with on research think this way of me.

I thought I had put that behind me.  I thought I had grown a bit of self esteem.  But all I can think is who is this letter about?  Can’t be me.  I’m just you’re average everyday run of the mill teacher.  There’s nothing excellent or outstanding about it.  Part of me wants to edit it to make it reflect the real me.  But at the moment, I don’t know who the real me is.  Is the woman in the letter or is the woman I look at in the mirror every day?

Speaking of which, I do see changes, especially with the dental work.  But I wouldn’t describe myself as pretty. It always bugged me when my last boss pointed out I had a pretty face.  Or, pretty by Korean standards (pale skin and blue eyes).  I printed out one of my hanbok pictures and gave it to my dentist because it’s the first picture I’m smiling in.  He and his wife think I look like Renee Zellweger.  I don’t know what to think.

All I know is I was at the dentist 3 hours today and the Novocaine is wearing off leaving my mouth and body screaming in pain (yay for sunny and 55 to 40 and rainy overnight).  My dentist loaned me a Robin Cook book that I haven’t read yet (Chromosome 6) so I’m going to climb in bed with two fuzzy body warmers.


I’m scared that these side effects from which ever drug in the cocktail is doing it is pushing me toward an eating disorder.  Nothing tastes right.  Not looks or smells appetizing.   I ate a bowl of rice yesterday for lunch.  That was it.  Somewhere around 500 calories.  And I taught 5 classes.  I came home and took my meds (damn will phenobarbital knock the hell out of you), watched TV and went to bed.

I got up this morning.  Took the meds.  Went to see Dr. P who happens to have a nifty new toy.  It let’s you visualize (a very small part) of the vascular system.  It’s kind like shining a flash light through your hand (am I the only kid that thought it was cool it came out red?)  The use the tip of your index finger, right above the nail bed.  It was cool.  And guess what.  As usual it was fucked up.  There isn’t one body system that’s working right.  Well, I guess my skin is okay.  I’ll probably wake up covered in pimples tomorrow with my luck.  So looking at a bunch of pictures, he says it’s looking like a combination of chronic fatigue (duh, I’d bet anything CFS and FM are related), drug side effects (how ironic considering how many drugs I’m on), and a connective tissue disease (which one, who knows).  I don’t know exactly what test the rheumy ran, but he’s saying Fibro.

So I guess I’m going to go back to Dr. P and see if I can get printouts of the normal and mine.  Even I could see how abnormal it looked.  Instead of nice light pink, straight loops, I had dark red squiggle loops.  I also had more than normal.  That I can take to rheumy.  I know Dr. P is going to call him.

So I’m scared of that.  I’ve never been scared to google stuff before, but I don’t want to know what else might be wrong.  I don’t know if I should get a referral to a hematologist or what.  I’ve always wanted to be informed.  No matter how scary (don’t google fasciectomy or whatever that thing was that I thought they were going to have to do on my leg) I wanted to know.  Part curiosity.  Part control issues.

Back to my original thing.  Yesterday rice.  Today, nothing all day.  The rice was at noon yesterday.  I came home at 10 after 4 classes (and breaks, imagine that) and ate an egg.  Getting that egg into me was the hardest thing.   It’s not a classic eating disorder as such.  But there’s something wrong with me and food.  It left a bitter taste in my mouth.

My stomach says feed me (grumble grumble) but my brain and my nose and my mouth just scream no.

How do I move past this?  I used to love to cook and eat.  Part of this is the lack of  kitchen.  I have no counter space and a toaster oven.  I do most of my cooking in a crock pot.

It’s sad, but I have to blame part of this on the fibro.  There were weekends where I couldn’t get out of bed to go to the store if I wanted.  I have a short vacation.  I plan on spending tomorrow resting.  Trying to let my body heal itself.  At least a little bit.  If I can I’ll go to the doctors.  If not.  Then I’ll do what my body  tells me what I need.

It’s past my bed time, but I needed to get this out.  It’s not as scary.  But the unknown is crazy for me.  It’s a shame the science thing didn’t work out for me.  But in the end, all there is is the unknown.


Pink Pajamas

Yes, again.  It’s in my dreams.  It’s in the back of my mind during the day.  I can feel what is being done, but I can see who.  It’s like I have blinders on.  I don’t think I literally had a blindfold on, that wasn’t any of my abusers’ MO.  I don’t know why I have this thing about knowing who it was.

It’s like hovering over my body, but I can’t see the surroundings.  I have no sense of scale.  I can’t tell how old I am.

This is eating at me.  I’ve tried the old trick of putting it in a box, but that’s never worked for me.

My panic levels are going up.  I’m going to take my  night meds and read some Patricia Cornwell.  Nothing like a good murder mystery to help you relax.

Pink Pajamas

I remember going to bed with those pink pajamas on.  I remember waking up naked.  I don’t remember what happened in between.  Why is the lack of memory so much more distressing than an actual memory.

I don’t even remember where I was.  It could have been at home, or a grandparents or an uncles house.  I’m not even sure how old I was.  I get the impression from the fuzziness of the memory that it was around Christmas/New Year’s.

Oh yeah, to add to the fun, Gidgette is in heat again.

Aggressive, Assertive, What?

Am I aggressive?  Is telling Dr. P I don’t want to take the risperidone anymomre aggressive?  I don’t know if it’s a language thing (he looked aggressive up in his E>-K dictionary) or what.  For me, being able to say I don’t want to do this, it makes me feel bad, is hard.  Aggressive?  Assertive?  In two weeks I had gained about 5 pounds.  I don’t need that.  I’m still seriously obese even losing those 45-50 pounds.  I can’t afford to gain weight.  And it never really helped with the nightmares.  It made me sleepy, but I didn’t sleep well and often was up with the birds.

The only way I can describe my behavior in his office was completely dejected.  I hadn’t slept well in weeks (part of that I think was the risperdone).  I was anxious.  My pain levels were though the  roof.  Passive aggressive?  That wasn’t my intent.  It really upset me and I left in tears.  I don’t even think he believes the pain is as bad as I say.  I don’t know what my options for changing doctors are.  Psychiatrists aren’t a dime a dozen around here.  Ones that speak excellent English are even more rare.

At least the orthopedist does believe me on the pain.  He’s felt the muscles in my neck and shoulders and can see what a mess they are.  He changed to a finer needle to do the injections and they’re still making me wince and cry out in pain.  I gave him Dr. P’s number and he’s going to talk to him.

I just don’t know what to do anymore…  I feel like a failure as a human and as a teacher.  I totally snapped at my 5th and 6th graders for not listening yesterday.  It wasn’t anything out of the ordinary for them.  But I was so exhausted with teaching the 3 classes before them (including a class of 6 year olds which ended up coloring the last 15 minutes).  I did apologize to them.
I think about cutting all the damn time now.  It’s been more than 10 years since the last time, and when I made my vow never to do it again.  It’s getting harder to resist.  I want some pain I can control.  I want anything I can control.  I can encourage my kids to do their homework and practice for their speaking tests, but I can’t make them.  They do poorly and it reflects poorly on me.  I’m not their mothers and I don’t want to be.  But the mother’s bitch at us when their precious little darlings come home with 60s on their monthly tests.

Kicking Myself

Why do I think when I listen to my body and try to treat myself kindly I’m failing?  Today I really wanted to accomplish 2 things: grocery shopping and grading.  I got the first done and also got a Windows virtual machine set up.  The VM required no physical energy beyond mousing (which is not fun in a hard splint), but a lot of mental energy (basically venting my frustrations with the stupidity of Windows).  I did my grocery shopping for the first time in weeks.  When I got home,  I was exhausted and the muscles in my neck and back were burning.  All I could do was go to bed and cry.  Needless to say, grading didn’t get done.  Nor did the stupid phone calls to students.

Yet I sit here mentally belittling myself for being so lazy and sleeping all afternoon.  It’s like I don’t deserve to be kind to myself.


It seems like I’ve had chronic pain since my teens.  I’ve gotten diagnoses from everything from TMJ to tendonitis.  My joints hurt.  But if I tell a doctor this, they point out I’m fat.  I get so demoralized that I never seem to point out that some of the worst pain is in my shoulders, elbows and hands and I do not (to my knowledge) walk on my hands.

I was lying in bed the other day and Gidgette came and started climbing on me.  It was like knives in my sides.  This wasn’t her claws, simply her body weight (all 11 pounds of her).

I had a friend try to give me a massage one day and the pain of the pressure of his hands was too much to bear.

I don’t know who to bring this up with.  I need to see my orthopod because the tendonitis in my wrist is flaring up again.  I suppose I could tell my shrink.  Forgot the GP, the language barrier is too great and he just did a whole round of blood work to proclaim me healthy.

20 years of this, I don’t know how much more I can take.  I have good insurance in Korea, so I should probably try to figure it out.  But just the thought of it leaves me more depressed.