Okay, people! I’m terribly sorry about yesterday. There was a storm and I bloody hate storms. I don’t mind rain. Rain is nice and soft and pretty. Storms are like something from Satan’s asscrack or something.
Okay, so yes. Yesterday was group. I’m going to be completely honest with you guys, I did not pay attention real well. Okaasan had told one of her old high school friends about how my dad and I don’t speak because I’m gay and he called me names and called me a disgrace to the family and all this other shit. I had issue with her telling someone about my sexuality without asking me first and also telling some stranger about my relationship with my dad. That is my business. Coming out of the closet isn’t a one and done deal. It’s something I get to decide every time I meet a new person.
Now, for the most part, I don’t care if people know or not. I’m very grateful that I live in a day and age where I can be gay and not be hushed up about it. However, there is still the very real danger of getting discriminated against, beaten up, raped, and so on and so forth. I’ve had plenty of people tell me that it’s a stage that I’m going through or it’s because of my negative history with men or because I haven’t been with a ‘real man’ yet. No, that is not it. I’m pretty sure I’m gay because the dangly thing between a dude’s legs is kind of icky to me and I do not feel attracted towards the lack of boobs at all. Fat men don’t count as having boobs. That shit is just gross.
So yeah, that’s been bugging me a bit. I was also weighed the other day at the doctor’s for my physical. I have a huge thing with people knowing my weight unless I tell them. I felt shame and fear and I hate that. I hate that I’m letting myself get controlled by my emotions like that. Yes, I did step on the scale and I didn’t cry. I did start playing with Chaz the Spaz toy (a toy car I like to keep in my pocket). It’s stupid. Getting weighed is no big deal, even if I’m trying to deal with eating disorder stuff without addressing it in therapy or anything like that. I’ve started trying to do a Scale-Free Saturday where I don’t weigh myself at all. Hell, I am quite proud of the fact that I managed to stop weighing myself every time I go to the toilet. I only weigh myself 2-3 times most days. Once in the mornings when I wake up, once before my shower, and maybe once more before bed.
It’s not a lot, but it’s progress. I am trying to use the Problem Solving Skill from group to at least understand why I’m being so prissy about getting weighed at the doctor and why I got so upset with Okaasan for outing me to her friend that I don’t know. I didn’t like that I was feeling those feelings about those situations. But that was making the emotion the problem and not the problem the problem.
The first step in Problem Solving is to describe the Problem Situation. I just did that up there, with saying the thing about me mum and the weighing at the doctor’s. Then we’re supposed to check the facts and know that we have a problem. Sometimes, we’re worried about things that we can’t do anything about.
Have you ever heard about Drop Bears? They are these vicious creatures who live in Australia. They are huge, evil relatives of the Koala and only exist to fuck shit up and to kill. They have these long ass claws designed to disembowel in one swipe and they can smell fear from over 100km away. Drop Bears attack their prey by most commonly dropping on them from high places. They also don’t exist.
So, when it comes to figuring out if I actually have a problem, I ask myself “Is it a Drop Bear?” Is it a real thing to be worried about, to have an issue with? Or is it something that I’m blowing out of proportion or that I have no real control over? Is it a Drop Bear or is it an actual problem?
Well, these are actual problems. Okaasan talking about me to someone else made me feel icky inside and that icky feeling only made me feel ickier because I didn’t feel like I had a right to feel icky in the first place. I was making the feeling of ick the problem by telling myself to just get the fuck over it. The real problem was that I didn’t like my mother telling other people about me without asking first. I feel like I have a right to control who knows about my fabulous gayness and who doesn’t as well as who knows about my shitty dad and who doesn’t. That was the problem. I wasn’t part of the decision of telling a random person those things.
The weighing thing at the doctor’s office was not about my feeling of shame. I have every right not to want to be weighed at the doctor’s and it’s totally okay to need to explain every so often that getting weighed triggers my eating disorder into getting worse sometimes. The problem isn’t my having to be weighed (a necessity for my doctor to bill my insurance for that particular exam), nor is it my fear of my eating disorder getting wildly out of control like it was last year. The problem is that I haven’t addressed the eating disorder or my body dysmorphia in therapy yet. We haven’t gotten that far. My eating disorder is the problem, not the emotions or the getting weighed part.
So, I identified the problem and made sure the problem was the problem, not the emotion. I also made sure the problem was not a Drop Bear. My two problems were Okaasan discussing me and my personal life with someone I didn’t know without my permission and my eating disorder being a bitch. The next step is Brain-Storming.
For Brain-Storming (not actual brains falling from the sky, for the record, it’s where you think of a bunch of ideas pertaining to the situation as potential solutions), Charon said to come up with as many realistic ones as possible. For Okaasan, I thought I could either ignore it or talk to her about it. For the eating disorder thing, I could ignore it or I could make it into this whole big deal or I could treat it as a fact and learn to cope with it and such.
Putting the solution into action is the final step after you have Brain-Stormed and chosen the two most likely to work scenarios. I decided to talk to Okaasan this morning and tell her that I felt upset that she didn’t ask me if she could tell her friend about my personal business first. I requested that she ask me first in the future before disclosing personal information like that in the future. I told her I wasn’t mad at her, I was just a little sad. She agreed to try to remember it in the future and that was that. Yay, that solution worked! In the book, it says that if the solution doesn’t work to try a different one. Mine did, so fuck that noise.
With the weighing at the doctor’s, I had asked my doctor if she could put in a note to stop asking for my weight every time I came in as it was negatively impacting my mental health. I said if it’s absolutely necessary, I can totally step on the scale and just deal, but I would like notice ahead of time so I can cope ahead. Since I now know that it is necessary for my yearly physical, I can prepare myself for the next time. To get to the root of the problem, I’m going to discuss it with Charon on Monday.
Yay, I did it! Yay! We can all go home and have cake now!
In all seriousness, using these steps to Problem Solve is super easy for me because the book I have has a nifty flow-chart. Flow-charts make me happy. It’s a conscious effort to do it, though. I’m one of those people who tends to think that emotions are frivolous and chaotic and should have no place in affecting my day-to-day living. I often end up believing that my emotion is the problem. The emotion is never the problem. The emotion is a reaction to the problem.
I also need to remember to ask myself: Is it a Drop Bear?
-The Sarcastic Autist