I just want to get out of my own way for a second and type what’s in my head.
There is a weird comfort here that I lost with my videos when people started watching. It’s nice to feel like you’re in a cozy seminar, just you and the few people who happen to engage with whatever you put out there. It’s not too few to be lonely, but it’s not too many to be scary.
Anyway that actually may connect in a way to what I wanted to talk about which is… so… one of my most pronounced childhood memories is going to get an MRI done to see if they could figure out what was causing my migraines, and chatting with a lady in the waiting room who saw my uniform and was a parent at my school.
So, I get the MRI done and am back in the waiting room, on my way out, and the lady says something else to me, and I completely forgot who she was. I didn’t forget the interaction, I just forgot what she looked like. I’m not sure if, like, we were in the hall or something the second time and so I just had one of those lapses of memory that’s just because you’re encountering the same thing in a different context? But in any case, she was like, “is that what you’re here for?” And I ask, “what?,” and she says “memory problems.”
And that, my friends, was a complicated answer. Because like I said, I was there to figure out what the migraines were about and if there was anything more we could do or try to make them stop. But it wasn’t untrue that I also had memory problems, or what my psychologists in grade-school called a “planning problem.”
I now self-diagnose, I guess, as having ADHD, but it’s all just different labels that don’t really change the reality underneath, which is all of the above, I guess.
Anyway I’ve been thinking. I’ve spent my entire life running from the shame I feel for having memory slip ups and, like, basically just blind spots that I can see… I can see the contours, I know… I know what direction the blind spot is in but I can’t quite figure out what I would see there if I could just… adjust my point of view, or whatever the metaphor might be.
I’m… I am very aware that I am broken. And that I’m… I mean, look, here’s the thing. I was born with various psychological disorders and then I was adopted openly, which means that my whole life I’ve had a complicated story about who I am to explain to people. Hello, I’m Cassie, I’m adopted, I’m a fraternal twin, I get chronic migraines, my favorite color is blue, my favorite food is grilled cheese, I have this weird obsession with pigs and so I don’t eat pork, and my parents love me too much so I have no idea how weird I’m being by just announcing all the strangest things about me to strangers. Also I love Jesus and I’m bad at math but I like to sing and also sometimes stare at a wall and think about why poverty exists for up to an hour at a time. I like playing with dolls and playing dress up and I hate sports but I love jungle gyms, and I want to be friends with everyone – and the people I’m not friends with, I either want to save from themselves or save other people from, and yes my hands are always sweaty and I’m always this overly honest and forthright and bizarre but I want to know you, too, even if I forget everything about our interaction because of my broken brain.
As you can see, not much has changed.
So, um. I guess what I’m saying is… maybe instead of doing what I call “dobbying,” which is just beating myself up for no reason, I should start letting go of the desire to control my own disorder. Because I’m going to forget meeting people twenty minutes later, and I’m going to overshare and create awkward conversations where I swear all over everyone (I mean hopefully not all over them but forgive the dramatization)… uh. But maybe that’s okay?
Maybe if I saw my brain more as a computer, you know, with parts that work better than others but that ultimately isn’t incapable of software updates, you know? Maybe if I let myself accept that the software will never be perfect and that what makes me weird and self conscious also makes me unique and gives me the ability to think for myself in a way that most people struggle to give themselves permission to do (myself included, obviously)… maybe my stubbornness and my craziness and my refusal to listen to reason unless it leaves room for hope, maybe that’s a good thing. Maybe hope is one of the shittiest feelings there is, but it’s impossible to live without.
Sometimes a leap of faith is your only available form of transportation, as Kierkegaard said.
But then just like with everything else, sometimes I forget how to hope, how to have faith. They’re not easy things to do. And it’s not like the world makes it easier. Being a young person feels like a never ending test that you’re always failing. Even now at 26 I still just feel like a kid who’s nervous to answer the question wrong in front of the class, or be laughed at for calling the teacher mom, or whatever.
I guess that’s not so unique, though.
Sorry for how self indulgent that was. Just been having a lot of thoughts… I just don’t… I don’t know… I know that I’m brave. I just don’t know if I’m brave enough to make the videos I want to make if people are going to actually watch them, after. Anyway.