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tuesday 10.17.2000

i am having a difficult time at the moment (yes, i seem to be having a lot of that actually). i know a lot of it has to do with the hormonal junk i go through every month. it makes it so much easier to see the negatives in just about everything. and it also makes it easier to just want to throw in the towel and bury your head somewhere. i am so tired already (being anemic at that time of the month is no fun, exhaustion isn't the word folks), that i just don't have the energy to deal with anything else. i try to be really cautious about making major decisions at this time just because they will be emotionally motivated with absolutely little to no thought behind them. but it is so hard. especially since i tend to react first, go in a corner for a bit, then come out with a more rational reaction than the initial one. that initial tendency to just react with no forethought is so much greater when i am sick, tired, or being totally hormonal. i also had decided long ago to take other peoples' opinions of me with a grain of salt. not because their opinions aren't important but because i need to be secure in myself and not blown on the winds of outside opinion to determine who i am. however, the above conditions make that a hard one to keep to as well. it is easier to be hurt when i am sick, tired or hormonal. it is so much harder to be secure in myself, especially when i am hormonal. and it becomes even harder when i discover that some people didn't want me doing something i am doing or had/have absolutely horrible opinions of me, especially when it is people i have respected for some time and have not treated with less than respect, what little tact i can muster and kindness (or have at least tried to, we all fall short of our ideal at least sometimes, if not more so).

i know i some ways. i have tried to be as open with who i am as possible. i hate mind games, hiding behind masks and all the other manipulative bs that seems to be the standard in society today. and what is pervasive in real life society is worse on the web. you can never be sure of who you are talking to, if that person is REALLY the person they are presenting themselves to be. i made a conscious decision to be who i am without the games, the masks and everything else. what you see (or read) is what you get. this doesn't mean i share every intimate secret i have (although a few have accused me of such, but i DO have my secrets that i won't share). it just means i am who i seem to be, as much as is humanly possible for me. and who i am at this moment is not the same as i was an hour ago nor the same as i will be tomorrow: who i am (who anyone is) is subject to change according to the experiences and issues that come up in my life. i am allowed to change my mind and i am allowed to be forgetful upon occasion (admittedly for me that i am more forgetful of late). no one is static, and i should not be expected to be the same person from day to day. even so, i understand that to some, these changes can be perceived as mind games, masks, whatever.

i also know that some people will see the things i do and say in a light so different from what i intended that they will form a totally different view of me than what i really am. let's face it, we see everyone with some measure of distortion based on our own experiences and upbringing. it is a very hard thing to just put the biases aside and see a person as they really are, whether they are presenting themselves as they really are or showing a socially acceptable mask instead. i remember a few years back i met the best friends of the man i was dating and all evening they just kept giving me these i was an alien or some kind of strange bug. he later told me that they could not believe anybody could be that open with themselves, that i was to naive to be real. and its true. we're so used to the masks and games of society, that someone who isn't wearing one or playing along is considered naive or way out there. which is too bad really. it just shows how many of us are so tied to what is "acceptable" by our cultures, memberships, and other associations that we are afraid to be ourselves. we'd rather conform to everyone else than be who we really are.

i admit that being who you really are is also taking a huge chance, even a guarantee, that you will get hurt. there's no way around it. and anyone who is trying to do away with the masks and games will eventually have to face up to that. then you have to make a conscious decision: is the pain worth it. i had to decide that myself shortly after the above fella and i stopped seeing each other. i can't even remember what brought it about. but i do know it hurt so bad that i was seriously considering closing myself up and hiding behind a mask. we do it to protect ourselves, to avoid becoming too involved, to avoid pain. it took me weeks of consideration and tears to finally decide that i would remain open and "real" (for lack of a better term) despite the pain it opened me up to. why? because if i am going to have any kind of effect on anyone's life (and we all affect someone in our lives at one time or another, if not everyone we meet - although it is my opinion that we affect everyone if even in a small way), then i am going to do it as myself, not as a fake me hiding behind a socially acceptable mask.

but i am finding i have to remake that decision on an almost daily bases. and its hard sometimes. the hurt can make me just want to curl up and stop trying. it's work knowing who you are, and i admit i don't always have a clear view of myself everyday. and some days i wonder why i bother to even try because it seems that regardless of who i am, someone will see me as something else entirely. and it hurts. a lot. i can be so very sensitive sometimes, too sensitive. i can take things so personally even when they are not meant so. and hearing the misconceptions and/or rumors about me can hurt so terribly that it can be hard to rise above them and just do and be who i am, especially when the people perpetuating these things are people i thought i knew, i thought were friends, and who to my face are apparently happy to know me. it's not that i don't want to change, everyone has room for growth and i do want to improve the person i am, so to speak. it's that these people act like i am ok and i come to find out that they never thought i was ok but just put up with me for whatever reason. and that hurts.

in a few days all the hormonal stuff will ebb and i will be more clear headed and a little less emotional. i will renew my dedication to being who i am even if it bothers other people, even if they have misconceptions or are just tolerating me with false smiles and friendship. to do anything else is to make myself less than what i am. i am not saying i am above them. we each make our choices according to what we experience and i won't devalue their experiences and decisions. but i can't let them decide who i am. i am who i am. the person on these pages is who i am. i write the way i talk. and what i have written is really what i felt or was thinking or living at the time. this is me: warts and all. and the only two people who have a right to decide what needs changing are myself and god. for anyone else, they can accept me as i am or not. that is their choice. but it would be soooo much easier if they would be honest with me about that choice instead of letting me hear it second hand and wonder which face they are showing is real.

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