The Things That Have Happened, The Things That Occur

There’s a certain phenomenon that pretty much anyone who wants to do something experiences. What’ll happen is you’ll be experiencing something that you connect with. An artist will be at an art gallery, an athlete will be at a sports game, an actor will be watching a play. It’ll be the best of it’s kind, something top notch and undeniably appreciable. But you can’t stand it. But not because the product is bad, but because you understand it. It vibrates with you on a wavelength so perfectly in tune with your life goals and desires. You understand the content, and you understand the creator–and you realize that that person needs to be you. Your heart aches for greatness, to express your thoughts and to show people just what you’re capable of doing. But for whatever reason, you can’t. Maybe it’s needing to complete school, or waiting to make the team, or trying to score some more auditions or something. But something’s holding you back. You’re stuck there; you can’t move. And you resign yourself to persisting to try to progress while you watch someone else do whatever it is you love on a level you can only hope for.

I’ve been stuck in that zone for a while, a long while, and now I’m finally breaking through.

The past several weeks have been eventful for me, and insightful. Both in the way things have played out and the actual things that have happened. I’ve been tried and tested and had several firsts and learning experiences. And I’ve wanted nothing more than to divulge it all on here, to freely express my thoughts on one of the best platforms on the internet for doing so. But, running a website like this, you sort of become a curator at the same time. Your site is a museum and you decide the pieces, the exhibits and everything. You work so hard on it and you try so hard to please; you don’t want to muck it up. So you filter out a lot of the stuff that you wish so sincerely that you could show, because you think it’ll make it better for everyone. For me, it’s taken the form of filtering out a lot of the personal stuff I wish I could post, for the sake of quality control here on this blog, and the desire for it to be about more than myself. But I feel now that that makes the whole thing feel a bit too impersonal, and while I will maintain this quality control, I’ll keep you more informed about my life in the future. For now, here’s a quick rundown.

I’ve been super busy with life recently, focusing a lot on myself. Financial problems due to my parents’ divorce has caused a lot of personal changes that have had varying amounts of ramifications throughout my life. Especially starting late last summer, money for me has been tight, and I’ve had to save and improvise in areas that I haven’t before. Financial freedom is something that has been different for me. Without going into too much detail, a several different factors have caused these difficulties, and although I’m working hard to fix them, they’ve taken their toll.

The first eventful thing that happened was that I got a job at Target. It was okay, besides my shitty ableist coworkers. I got fired a few weeks afterwards, but it was deeply unjust, so I decided to sue the company. That’ll be a whole other post on it’s own, though; you can rest assured that the issue will get it’s own post once the issue is settled. I also rekindled relationships with several friends. I’ve started talking with those that I used to talk to a lot, those that I never thought I’d talk to, and those I never thought I’d talk to again. Both friends and enemies alike, old issues were brought up and settled. Some of these issues will be brought up again in the future, too.

This has also marked a huge era of progress and recovery for me. Record lows in depression, loneliness, and other things that I’d been known to suffer from. But one of the biggest things in my life these past few weeks has been my plans for this website. I plan to turn this into something much bigger and better than what I ever thought it could be. You’ll know exactly what I mean very soon in the future, but I’ve been investing large amounts of my time into it. I have to, in order to fulfill that burning desire mentioned at the beginning of this article. Ideas, thoughts, and all my hopes in life will all come together in one project–although calling it a “project” seems like an understatement.

Lastly, my birthday is happening on Monday. I will turn 20 years old. One thing I’m prone to is trying to scramble to do 1,000 things to prepare, because I feel like I have to commemorate the event. No longer a teenager, I feel like it’s especially important to do that now. What I want to do is this thing, a practice wherein you write a letter to yourself in the future, so your future self can read it and see how much you’ve changed. I want to do some form of that, but for varying lengths of time. Like one for 1 year from now, one for 5 years, and so on. I want to also start some sort of birthday tradition, too. As you can see, memories are one of my best friends.

More content and important information should be coming up soon, so watch out for that. And to clarify; I feel fine and all, I just definitely have to get some things in order. I’m sure you all have been itching to see more, and of course, I will deliver. Hang tight and stay sane, and just to let you know, your thoughts are real.

Frigid (W.I.P)

“Without a family, man, alone in the world, trembles with the cold.”

Andre Maurois

Trepidation. Everyone else in the house was asleep by then, even Mother–I made sure of that. But still, that’s the best word I can find to describe the feeling. Trepidation.

Not even I fully understood it. Behind me, there was a pull. Thanksgiving had been but a day and a few hours ago, and it was wonderful. The supper was wonderful, I saw all sorts of family that had been longing to see each other. There was an air of love and appreciation. One of tranquility amidst the turmoil. So leaving that behind and disappearing in the middle of the night–would that not count as treachery?

But I also felt a push. A push incited by the cutting choice words of the irreverent, hypocritical, fundamentalist zealot that I call “Mother”. Her desire to constantly remind me that I would inherit nothing from her, that I depended on her to survive and would not last with my more up-to-date points of view. And the push from my friends, the one that popped the bubble, that shouted in the echo chamber, that shook my mind and helped me come to the conclusion that these skirmishes, all the events of the past several months, were not normal, and I could take things into my own hands. I could fly in the face of her hate and the complacency of those around me. And that was enough to fight my way against that pull.

I planned it out, you know. I chose a time when I knew my brother and both my parents would be asleep. I took note of exactly where the floor creaked in the hallway outside of my room. I then took several sheets of paper, and laid them on top of each of the spots I could find, as to avoid them on my way out just in case anyone woke up. Then the only problem was where I’d escape from, but I had a solution to that too. There was a security system installed, but through prior knowledge, I knew that the sensors on the exit in the bottom near the boiler room had long since been damaged. Open it and no alarm would sound. It’s the only one that does that, and since I’m the one that likes to fiddle around out there, it went unnoticed. That had to be the best option for me.

It was just past 3 a.m. I got up. I was laying in bed idly for a while, but now is when I mobilised myself. I put on my jogging pants, and my shirt. I put on a hoodie, and a slightly thicker jacket over that. I put on gloves, a trapper hat, then I folded up the directions to the hospital that I had printed out earlier, and started out the bedroom door.

The trick is to not push the door slowly; that’s when the creaks happen. You swing it open in one swift motion, without hesitation, and stop it so as to leave just enough room for you to squeeze by.

An explanation, rather than an apology

78 days. That’s low long it’s been since the last time I posted here. I’m sitting here typing and thinking about how many days that is. If you started learning a language from nothing, after 78 days you’d be pretty much conversational. If you planted a field full of cucumbers, you’d be able to harvest them all 78 days later. And, more topically, if I had started working on even one of my minor projects 78 days ago, then I would probably be done by now. And I can’t get over that now.

My lack of transparency has been quite regrettable, I feel like. I’ve neglected giving a ton of updates in order to avoid having my content being too focused on me, but I feel like that’s been detrimental.

Once I get things straightened out, I’ll definitely be posting a more lengthy update to explain everything and the (positive!) changes that are soon to come. Until then, I’ll try to post a few things here and there that I’ve done. I just thought it’s only fair to let you know instead of just suddenly posting content again without saying a word.

Anyways, I’m perfectly fine, and things will hopefully ramp up soon! I appreciate all of the support.

Questions you’ve always wanted to ask twins, answered.

​Well, these past few days have actually been pretty eventful. As some of you may know, that’s because every year from August 3rd to the 5th is know as Twins Day. Every year since 1976 there’s a ginormous gathering of twins in the city of Twinsburg, Ohio. And as even less of you know, I myself am an identical twin. Yep, you might’ve seen some pictures in the gallery and thought I just had a similar-looking brother (that has happened before, by the way). But I am indeed a twin, and as identical as they can get.
Now, the one major thing that comes with being a twin is something that becomes apparent at a very early age for most. All the time, when meeting someone and they find out you’re a twin, a specific battery of questions is bound to follow. Not that it bothers me–most of the time–it’s just that it’s the same exact questions every time. And some of these questions are so asinine that I physically groan every time I’m asked them. Of course, I  always try to answer out of respect for their curiosity, but still, I sometimes cannot help but to be annoyed. Here are the most common questions that I and my twin brother have always been asked, answered with honest and candid responses from my point of view.
What’s it like being a twin?

Now, it took me a good while to understand this question. “But what’s it like though? Having another actual copy of you running around”. And at first, it didn’t make sense to me. What did they mean “what’s it like”? They’re just there. I literally don’t even think about it half the time. I couldn’t comprehend why people thought it was so monumental and life-changing that there’s somebody who looks like me. But then I gave it some thought. I’ve been a twin for my entire life; they’ve been a twin for none of it, and they never will be. Something unique and relatively uncommon is something bound to ask questions. And while it may seem normal to me, it raises a lot of honest questions from others who haven’t experienced it. So I’m more understanding.
Honestly, there’s only one good answer to this. Just imagine for a second that you have a sibling. Now imagine that the sibling is the exact same age as you. Now imagine that that sibling looks pretty similar to you. That’s exactly what it’s like. It’s not like a mirror-image, carbon copy. Step into a futuristic cloning machine, and what comes out will NOT be a twin. A twin is a completely separate person with a completely separate personality. When you look at your twin, it’s not like looking at a mirror. We’re “two and the different”, as I’ll put it. 
There’s only one intrinsic benefit of being a twin that I can think of. At any stage of life that you’re in, you have someone else there with you alongside you, that’s always been alongside you, and that is also in that exact same life stage. Because of this, twins have some of the strongest and unbreakable bonds there is. That’s the part that I’m most grateful for.
Which one is older?

Well, in my case, I’m the older one.  My younger twin brother, Travis, was born 5 minutes after me. 
This is one of the first questions people ask usually, and thinking about it, I don’t know why that’s the case. I mean, it’s not that important really; the time between the two is mostly insignificant. 
The average length between twin births is about 17 minutes, although there are extremes. It can be as low as a few seconds due to c-sections, and can go up to 3 hours and beyond if the woman is having difficulty. The record, however, is 84 days, 87 depending on who you ask. That’s very rare and absolutely astonishing, though.
Which one is smarter?

This is one of the ones that I genuinely don’t like being asked. It’s not like we went and got our IQs tested just so we could tout the numbers during some meaningless icebreaker. What’s the point of even comparing that? Would you only ask questions to the smarter one? Would the dumber one seem like the weaker one? Subconsciously that’s probably it, so I usually just say “probably me” and we both have a laugh. But it’s truly a dumb question. The differences in our intelligence have just as much to do with each other as the same differences between us and any other person.
Which one is the good one?

This plays into the stereotype perpetuated often by TV, movies, and video games. The one that there’s a clear dichotomy between the personalities of the two twins, and that one is clearly the sweet, charming, and ultra super cool one, and the other is the dark, loner, secretly plotting to murder your family one. Sure, there have been some cases of people murdering their twins and stealing their identities, or one becoming a millionaire and the other becoming a felon. But all of that mostly stems from mythology and common tropes. The true differences in our personalities, and thus the decision as to which is ‘good’ or ‘bad’, is so very subjective.
Which one gets more girls?

We get this one a lot, and it’s so stupid that I’m not going to dignify it with a response.
Do you guys ever switch places?

Eh, it varies. I’ve heard various stories of other twins doing things like switching places with their twin during a date or messing with rarely seen family members. There are some heavily fictional parts, though. People say that I’m lucky cause if I don’t want to take a math test then I can tag him in. Even if that could work, which it probably couldn’t, if I wouldn’t want to take a math test then he probably wouldn’t want to either. 
Do you feel each other’s pain? Do you read each other’s minds? 

This one is debatable. There have been studies suggesting minor links between the mindsets of some sets of identical twins. But that’s often greatly exaggerated in people’s minds for some reason. Shoot Travis in the foot while I’m not there and I literally won’t feel a thing. If you’re talking about emotionally, though, that’s definitely a thing. It’s pretty psychological; being around someone so closely linked to you makes your emotions pretty much in tune. 
Do you complete each other’s sentences/say things at the same time?

This is the only one on here that’s pretty much completely true. I see it happen a lot with others, and personally, it happens with me and Travis a lot. Several times a week, one of us will be saying something and the other will be like “I was just thinking that!”, Or one will start saying something and the other might finish the rest. It’s a lot rarer, but we do say stuff at the same time a lot. Mostly it’s when people ask a question directed at both of us, and we both reply with the same thing at the same time. But it can be other things too, like both of us yawning at the same time or having the same reaction to a funny part in a movie. It may seem like I’m exaggerating though, so other twins, feel free to weigh in.
I wish I were a twin.

Honestly? You don’t, really. I don’t mean that it’s hell on Earth, but you gotta believe me, you really do get used to it. If you somehow became a twin right now, the novelty would wear off in at least a month, then your life would become boring again.
(in some cases) why don’t you have similar names?

That’s just a cliche that a lot of parents do. Some do and some don’t, but I most certainly prefer the latter. It causes confusion and is more of a novelty sorta thing. I knew two twins where one was named Alexis and the other was named Alexa. God knows how I could possibly tell them apart. If they didn’t walk together the whole time I would’ve thought they were the same person. It’s all in the parenting.
So as you can see, being a twin can cause a lot of social pressure at first meeting. Kinda like living in Los Angeles or being albino or something; people just don’t know, so they ask. Not that it’s impolite, we’re just blasé. So if you see a twin again now, or you’re thinking about that one time you passed a pair of twins and said “I’m seeing double!”, Don’t feel bad; feel aware.  

Frigid: Prologue

“Bundle up.”
That’s what he said to me.
I don’t know exactly what made me so fed up at that time, but I was. The discourse in my life, it had reached a level that was totally unbearable to me at the time. The shouting, the arguing, the fighting, crying, panicking. Logic eluded me at that time. All I wanted was an escape, and a solution. And I thought I knew how to get those.
I knew it was stupid, I knew that. But what else was a kid to do, being the victim of a narcissistic abuser like that, with no other options? CPS didn’t do anything. Cops didn’t do anything. Family didn’t do anything; they didn’t even believe me. And all the while I was suffering just about every day. You haven’t felt it. A house with the floor made of eggshells upon which I tread softly but still reap the hatred. I felt the cracking every day, especially of the recent days. And what do you do when there’s a house floored with hazardous materials? You leave.
My two accomplices were helping me. My friend and her friend, both of which I met online. You know, it’s shameful when two people you’ve never met in person are designated to save you from one person whose been with you for 16 out of 16 years. The blood was really thin.
Earlier, a fracas ensued. Such had been waiting to happen since the hellish chain of events late the passing summer. It was now November and this conflict had come to a head. It was the beginning of the end of my depressive phase and yet, I saw this as my only obstacle. But my family, they were a real obstacle. They were an immovable object, and I was a completely and utterly stoppable force. I had to break through. And I had a plan.
The first friend, Alys, was who I considered to be my best friend. We’d met online a few years prior and had kept in touch on and off ever since. The other friend, Yanni, was someone I met only about a month prior, and he was the “boyfriend” of Alys (don’t ask why I put that in quotes). Alys, she ended up telling Yanni everything, and he was very willing to help me. He lived far away, but he had room in his house. I could lodge with him until things got better, I just had to be able to get there. After the argument–I can’t even remember what triggered it– I called Yanni. He and I both agreed that it was time for me to bounce. We spent about 10 minutes planning the logistics of it. I would leave, walk out the back door in the dead of night, and arrive at the hospital. They would see my desperation, and there would be no way they’d have the heart to send me back to that house.
I only saw 1 problem: the bitter cold. It was around freezing those upcoming days, and I knew that the cold would bite my skin, almost as hard as I liked to bite myself in anger. So I brought that up to him. I said to him “it’s gonna be cold out. What should I do to at least prevent hypothermia or something?”
He just told me “Bundle up”.
And I listened to him.

Shaving My Head: About a Difficult Battle With An Unknown Hair Condition

 

Hello everyone; I must say I’m excited to be posting again.

Last Friday (May 25, 2018) was one of the more eventful days as of recently. Emotionally, I had (and still have) been feeling better than ever than in the past few weeks, even months. My emotional state on the positive side, I’ve been having much more motivation to do things and a lot more ideas, as well. Things are looking up, and I’m grateful. But there’s one issue that has been sort of an elephant in the room when talking about recent months. And that issue is: hair loss.

At 19 years old, that’s most certainly an unusual thing for me to be dealing with. But still, that’s the hand I’ve been dealt. The causes have been going on for probably about a year now, but it’s actually accelerated in the past 3 months or so. In fact, in early April, there was a point where I had lost more hair in 2 weeks than in the previous 2 or 3 months. Eventually, it got to the point where my hair was getting weird and patchy, and of course, a lot shorter than I would have liked. It soon got to the point where I was forced to make a decision: start all over again and take good care of my hair and the situations causing the hair loss, or force myself to deal with my uneven hair. I was hesitant at first, for I hadn’t had a haircut in over 2 years prior, but eventually I decided that the aesthetic benefits would be much more better if I chose the latter of those options. And that I did.

Now as I mentioned in the video, there are two reasons that this whole thing started. The first and the primary reason is a disorder known as trichotillomania. Now this can be difficult to talk about sometimes, but I’m gonna do this anyways. I feel like I should educate the public a little, and be more transparent with what’s going on. Trichotillomania is a condition that causes people to have an impulsive urge to pull out their own hair. It’s similar to OCD, given that the urges are sort of a tick, or an “addiction”, for a real lack of a better phrase. It’s not something you consciously do. It’s not like I think “Okay, haircut time!” and start pulling out my hair. It’s different than that. It’s unconscious. It’s comparable to how you can have a bowl of popcorn next to you while watching TV and the whole thing will be done before you know it. You don’t particularly desire the popcorn, but you just keep on eating it, just because. That’s basically the same feeling, really, but instead of popcorn it’s tugging on hairs or small clumps of hair until they come out. Shaving all hair is the best option for many trichotillomaniacs, because 1) you run out of stuff you can pull, and 2) it undoes much of the damage done by the condition.

That’s the main reason, but not the only one. Additionally, I’m on a medication known as Lithium Carbonate. It’s commonly and most often used to treat Bipolar Disorder, which I have regrettably been diagnosed with. Things were going well for the first few months I was taking it, things were pretty good. But then, after doing some more research on the effects of medications, and I read that lithium caused hair loss for a lot of people. I didn’t think about it a lot at first, but then I started being more observant. Whenever I’d wash or rub my hair, tons of it would just fall out without much effort at all. That scared me a lot, and I eventually consulted with my psychiatrist. She confirmed that it was a side effect, and that if the hair loss persisted–which it did–that she’d half the dosage and proceed from there. So although I’m taking a lot less of the medication, I still feel like that was a huge contribution to my decision to shave my head.

But things don’t just stop now that I’m almost bald. There’s a series of other things I will try to do in order to make sure my hair grows back better, stronger and longer, and that I don’t fall back and undo all of my progress. Here are what they are:

-Using a fidget toy, more specifically a fidget orb, in order to keep my hands busy and away from my head

-Using a multivitamin or a supplement such as biotin, as well as using a special shampoo, such as Jamaican Black Castor Oil, which I’ve heard highly of

-Not washing my hair every single day. Doing so would dry out the scalp, damaging hair and making it break easily. Only doing so every few days will preserve natural oils produced by the scalp, moisturizing and keeping things soft

-When it gets long, combing my hair regularly, and possibly keeping it braided. Not doing so would cause tangles that makes the hair less healthy and easier to pick.

After all this, I’m still very optimistic for the future. Besides this, I actually feel pretty good. I think the biggest issue with this will be dealing with self confidence/dysphoria issues. That’s just another in a long line of things I need to work on, though. Needless to say, I’m gonna keep on trying, and a year from now I’m most definitely going to make an update. Look out!