Punching Out Your Anger

I’m sure everyone has heard about how if you’re angry, you should punch a pillow to calm down right?  And I’m sure a lot of you reading this have also heard that that’s actually a REALLY bad thing to do.  It is.  But that doesn’t mean boxing is a bad way to get out your aggression.  It’s all about how you do it.

First of all, let’s get this out of the way; if you are having a verbal fight with someone, and you immediately follow that up with punching a pillow or a wall, or whatever inanimate object you decide to punch, you are being abusive to whoever you were fighting with.  What this communicates to them is that when you’re angry, there’s a chance you could choose to punch THEM.  It is an unspoken threat and it is incredibly cruel and emotionally manipulative.  You’re showing them that you’re strong, and that you resort to violence when you’re pissed off.  There’s no way to interpret that other than ‘I could be on the receiving end of that fist if I keep pissing this person off’.  How they react to that is irrelevant, it still makes you an aggressive asshole.

But what if I only punched the *insert object here* because if I didn’t, I WOULD have punched the person?!  A particularly out of control jackass might ask.  Well, then perhaps you need counseling, not just the advice of some random dickhead on the internet.  But mainly you should try and stop the fight and explain as calmly as possible that you cannot continue this argument until you’ve taken a few minutes to calm down.  Take some deep breaths, maybe jog on the spot as fast as you can for 30 seconds (excessive physical exertion stops your brain from being able to focus on your thoughts and emotions, causing a disruption in your thought pattern allowing you to break out of it) anything BUT doing something aggressive.  Bake a cake for all I care, just don’t indulge the aggressive impulse.

When you do follow up anger at a specific person with a physically aggressive action, you’re basically wiring your brain to commit acts of violence whenever you’re angry.  It also raises your adrenaline levels which kicks in your fight or flight response and obviously you’re primed for fight, so it increases your aggression rather than decreasing it.

Okay, so I said at the start of this that there WAS a good way to use boxing to get out your anger, but so far all I’ve done is outline why it’s a terrible, terrible thing to do.  So let’s move into the good stuff!

A good time to do this kind of thing is when you’re angry about something you can’t do anything about.  Preferably some kind of perceived injustice rather than a specific person.  You’re mad at the system, man!  Like a company that won’t give you a promotion because you’re not in the smoking buddies group.  Or you’re frustrated about how all the politicians are dickheads and there’s no one worth voting for.  Something like that.  You can do this if there’s a specific person you’re mad at, but it’s not preferable, and I’ll get to that again later.  When you’re mad at something that doesn’t have a face, boxing while angry is less likely to create an association with wanting to punch PEOPLE out, and so you’re less likely to respond with violence when you’re fighting a person.

Tip two is to never do it immediately after a fight or long winded rant about what made you angry.  See above for why not to do it after a fight, and when you’ve just ranted and your blood pressure is up, your adrenaline is spiking and you encounter similar issues.  Take a few minutes and some deep breaths before going to the punching bag.

Third tip is don’t just punch once or twice and be done.  Go to exhaustion.  If you can still talk properly while you’re boxing, you are not working hard enough.  I mentioned earlier than heavy physical exertion disrupts thoughts, that’s one of the two goals here.  Rather than focusing on your anger while you’re doing this, you’re actually stopping it.  You can’t focus on it anymore.  The other thing this accomplishes is that once you hit exhaustion, the adrenaline is gone and the endorphin’s kick in.  You don’t feel angry anymore because you stopped the thoughts and the flight or fight response, and your brain is rewarding you with pleasure chemicals.  You’re also too tired to maintain any more aggression.  If you can still stand up when you’re done, you didn’t go hard enough.  If you can still breath normally, you didn’t go hard enough.  If you take less than 5 minutes to fully recover, go again.

Lastly, DO NOT PRETEND WHAT YOU’RE HITTING IS A PERSON.  It is a punching bag and nothing more!  Unless it IS a person, in which case you’re a monster.  Or you’re like me and you don’t have a punching bag, so you have your dad hold some kickboxing target pads… in which case, focus on the targets, not the person holding them.  This is the same as I’ve said multiple times through this.  The only healthy way to work through aggression this way is to not associate that aggression with hurting someone.  Odds are good you’re looking to do this so you DON’T hurt someone, so don’t train your brain that hurting someone gives you satisfaction.

I’m sure some people might wonder what the benefit is if you don’t get to simulate punching someone you hate right in their smug jackass face.  The benefit is all the same benefits of working out plus for people with strong anger, punching things is just extremely viscerally satisfying.  Even when you’re not pretending it’s the person you hate most in the world, no matter how much they actually do deserve to be punched.

Q&A: Willpower

What is the strongest willpower you’ve ever displayed?

As I’ve said many times, I had anger issues most of my life, and I also managed to keep from telling people to shove their opinions up their asses all the time.  So the strongest willpower I’ve ever displayed is the fact that I’m not in jail for assault or harassment despite that for a good ten years I wanted nothing more than to be able to punch most people I had to deal with right in the goddamn throat.

Cheery one today!  To counter that imagery I will debase myself by pointing out that if you put food in front of me that I really want to eat, any attempts I make to not eat it tend to look like that of a small child desperately waiting for mommy and daddy to look the other way so they can sneak a cookie.  I would have been one of those kids that technically passed the marshmallow test, but still stuck it in my mouth and then just spat it back out so I could eat it without technically eating it.

Check out The Llama’s answer and give your own in the comments.  Do you have strong willpower?  Or do you have impulse control problems?

Lack of Focus

Last week I talked about how my anger had affected me in the past.  I have also talked about how that doesn’t really affect me anymore.  I still get mad, but only when there’s something to be unquestionably mad about, like when I learn about someone getting away with abusing their own child.  And I’ve talked about how after I got rid of the anger, I gained a problem with severe fatigue.  Well, I’ve mostly dealt with that, but now I have a new problem, because god forbid I cure one problem without gaining a new one to replace it.

The new problem, as I’m sure you’ve guessed thanks to the title, is that I struggle with focus.  Things that I used to have no problem focusing on for hours on end, I can focus on for about 5 minutes before getting distracted.  And this isn’t just work things, this is trouble reading books, trouble watching TV shows, trouble focusing on games that I used to start playing and then not stop until I realized I hadn’t slept in two days… My level of focus is basically that of an over stimulated toddler.

Obviously this is incredibly problematic.  It makes it nearly impossible to get anything done.  It makes it difficult to even TRY to get things done.  I have to force myself to do just about everything, including microwaving left over pizza so I can get something to eat.  I’m pretty sure I was more productive when I was sleeping 18 hours a day.

So, what am I trying to do about this?  Well, I have three different ‘to do’ lists that I keep posted around my apartment, I have multiple alarms set on my phone to remind me to do things as simple as taking the pills I need to fight the fatigue, I’ve tried denying myself things I want until I get things done, I’ve tried promising myself rewards for success and punishments for failing, I’ve tried meditation, I’ve tried omega 3’s which are supposed to be good for focus, and lately I have been trying the ‘pomodoro method’ of getting shit done.  Which is basically just setting a time frame that you shut off everything but what you need to get something done for 10 minutes then an alarm goes off and tells you to switch to take a break for 5 minutes.  So far this has been the most successful thing I’ve tried.

So far this is the most obnoxious result of my battle with depression.  Even writing this post has been way more difficult than it has any right to be.  My apartment is messier than it normally would be, I’ve been late paying bills because I get distracted and forget, even when I write myself lists I get distracted in the store and forget I have a list telling me what I need to get and so forget things I needed… It’s frankly massively frustrating.  It took me almost a week just to pick up the omega 3 pills and I had that in my phone in three different places and had reminders all over my apartment.  I would have just ordered them online but I kept telling myself ‘no, I’ll remember it today!’  And then promptly forget the second I got to the store.

I had been doing better at focusing when I was exercising every day, but frankly I have been getting distracted from doing that lately too!  Not quite sure what changed, it’s not a lack of motivation, I still enjoy working out, I still enjoy writing, I still enjoy making things, I just keep getting distracted and then forget to get back to what I was doing…  Which is why the pomodoro method has  been working so well for me I think.  There’s a bunch of free apps that set off a series of alarms telling you ‘it’s time to work’, ‘it’s time for a break’, ‘okay, stop being distracted and get back to work.’  It gets you in a rhythm.  Or at least it has been me anyway.

Have any of you had to deal with this? Any suggestions that aren’t ADHD meds?  I’m still very much struggling with this one so if you’ve been there and gotten through it, any suggestions would be fantastic.

Anger

I’m going to talk a little about how my anger affected my daily life.  I’ve expressed before that I had fairly good control over it, never physically lashing out at anyone, managing to bite my tongue most of the time people pissed me off, so unlike a lot of people with anger problems, I wasn’t going around harassing people or making enemies.  But it did affect me a lot despite that.

One, it made me never talk to people.  I hated everyone, why the hell would I ever go out of my way to talk to people?  I mean, come on.  So I don’t have a lot of friends, and now I have no goddamn clue how to make new ones because I never figured out how the hell to talk to people and have to learn a new skill.  It’s not gone well so far.  But the amount I moved around, combined with a desire to punch most people in the face, I never had a chance to meet a lot of people or make a lot of friends.  I have a few close friends, and some people I got along with enough to add to Facebook.  I rarely ever leave my apartment outside work and grocery shopping.

Two, I hated myself.  Every time I would get angry I would hate myself a little more.  What right did I have to look down on them so much?  What did I have to be so angry about when so many people had so much worse lives than I’ll ever have?  What the hell was wrong with me that I couldn’t control my emotions?  Why was I letting such menial shit get to me?  Why couldn’t I stop being so goddamn angry?  What the fuck was wrong with me?  What right did I have to get mad at these people’s actions, I’d done bad things too, sometimes even similar things!  What right did I have to get mad at these situations that I wasn’t a part of?  Why was I letting things that shouldn’t affect me, affect me?

Three, it affected my health.  Did you know that being angry is linked to high blood pressure, heart attacks, headaches, stomach ulcers, stress related illnesses… I’ll bet you did.  I was not immune.  Sometimes I would get so angry my temperature would go up so high I could go sit out in a Canadian winter in the snow without a jacket and still be boiling hot.  And that is NOT good for the body.  I had stomach pains, digestion issues, headaches, knots in my muscles… My everything hurt more often than not.  And I’m immune to painkillers, so I just got to hurt, all the time.  Sometimes to the point of throwing up.  Life was fun.

Four, when I did fight with people, shit got LOUD.  And I hold a grudge.  There are people who crossed a line with me well over a decade ago that I still won’t forgive.  And I was scary.  There were people I had never even been angry with who were absolutely terrified of me.  The ones I did hate, some of them were genuinely afraid I would kill them in their sleep.  And I don’t mean jokingly, I mean they were afraid to come anywhere near me.  Again, neeever actually intentionally hurt anyone.  Not once.  But my anger was so visceral that I didn’t have to.  People did not fuck with me.  Which I will admit in some cases was actually a good thing… But in others it was fucking obnoxious.  Especially the people I had no problem with who were afraid to even let me show them something because they were certain I was going to hurt them.  It’s hard to realize that people you care about are afraid of you.  People who knew me well knew better than to find me scary, but the ones that didn’t, friends of friends, or people I just hadn’t known long enough yet, who were great people and I wanted to try and get along with, were legitimately afraid of me.  They’d at some point seen or heard about me finally hitting the end of my rope with someone and ripping them a metaphorical new one and assumed I was a vicious jackass.  And they had every right to.  I couldn’t hold it against them.  Why wouldn’t they be scared of me?  I was a jackass.

Five, my already bad relationship with my parents broke.  By the time I graduated high school, my parents and I weren’t really on speaking terms.  We didn’t even really tolerate each others existences.  Whenever we would see each other, there would be a shouting match.  No matter what was going on, whether we’d actually pissed each other off or not, we could not just talk to each other.  Even if I’d done well in school and was showing off an A on a test, it would after only about 2 sentences progress into shouting insults.  We could not co-exist.  And I wasn’t on speaking terms with my sister at that point either, though that wasn’t fighting, that was just pretending we didn’t exist to each other.  So after high school there was about a 2 year stretch where my parents and I only talked on holidays.  To be completely honest part of me still wishes that was the case because they never did acknowledge their part in the strife between us but they’re pretty damn quick to point out mine.  But that’s not really the point.  I had, in my mind, no family, almost no friends, and life sucked on just about every conceivable level.

I had no money, the only jobs I could get were part time temp work.  I had no support system, financial or emotional, I didn’t even have a functioning computer.  Couldn’t afford one.  I was living on kraft dinner and koolaid because it was all I could afford and I was just getting increasingly isolated and angry.  I didn’t have anything.  At that point even though Llama and I were already friends, we were more tangentially friends.  She was a friend of a friend of mine and we’d started talking from time to time.  So I had bills I couldn’t pay, pretty much no friends because the ‘friend’ that Llama and I had gotten to be friends through was the only ‘friend’ I had in the city I was living in and he was my roommate and a bigger jackass than I was with even worse anger problems.  I had nothing in my life worth living for.  Just a bundle of shot nerves, a massive chip on my shoulder, and a bunch of burned bridges.

And of course all of this just served to make me even angrier.  100% of the time I could feel the frustration and anger in my chest.  Sometimes it was physically painful.  Even when things were going well or something good was happening in that moment I would still feel the frustration and rage.  At it’s worst it would only take one tiny little thing to make me snap into full blown visceral rage.  Being angry all the time sucks.  I knew what I was doing, I wanted to stop.  I wanted so much to stop.  But in my head the world was just such a terrible, unfair, miserable place.  There was so MUCH to be angry about, that I couldn’t pull myself out of it for even a few minutes.  I was trapped in a pit and I didn’t know how the hell to get out.  I didn’t think it was even possible to.

The Why of My Issues

I suppose the first post in this series should be about the problems I had; why I had issues with depression, and the impact it had on my life. Everyone’s story is different, and everyone reacts to things differently, so this is basically just a summary of the first 26ish years of my life that finally brought me to a point where I could make the changes I needed to make.

When I was a toddler, I was always surrounded by incredibly intelligent people. Everyone in my family – even the individuals who don’t necessarily seem to be on first glance – is ridiculously intelligent and talented. Entrepreneurs, pharmacists, sergeants, accountants, engineers, professors, advanced math teachers, musicians, artists, programmers…and I have a big family; that list only encompasses my parents, my sister, my aunts and uncles, and a couple of first cousins that I spent a lot of time around. I was also very intelligent, and that was a problem. I know it doesn’t sound like one, but bear with me.

When I was very little, I picked up on things incredibly quickly, and my thought patterns were…abnormal for a child. As a toddler, I would watch a piece of technology be used, and immediately understand the principles that made it work. I remember watching a movie (in the ‘80s, long before the days of Google) with my parents in which the main characters were using a device to break into someone’s house by picking up the signal from the garage door opener and mimicking it. The movie didn’t explain that that was what they were doing, it just showed that they had a little device on which, after the person left for the day, they could press a button, and the door would open again. My parents voiced their inability to figure out how it worked, so I rattled off what it was that the device was doing, and they looked at me like I had three heads. I didn’t realize at the time that they were simply hugely impressed at their toddler understanding something that they didn’t, so I took their expressions to mean that I was wrong and they thought that I was stupid.

Things like that happened a lot. Everything except people just intrinsically made sense to me. It all worked on rather straightforward and predictable logic that just came to me, but people I knew to be very smart, who were much older and more experienced than me, didn’t seem to understand those things as easily. I didn’t take that to mean I was smarter than them, or that I was just more capable than them in certain areas, I took it to mean that I must be wrong, that I must be stupid, and the fact that everything seemed so simple to me just meant that I really didn’t understand it at all. So I started to keep my mouth shut when I thought I knew the answer to something; I would overanalyze to a painful degree, and never voice anything unless I was absolutely certain I knew what I was talking about…which was pretty much never.

Obviously, this was not good for my social development, not to mention my self-esteem and confidence. I was afraid to try new things, I was constantly second guessing myself in school, I hated most children because they were even stupider than I was in my own mind, which made me question how stupid I actually was, which then led to a weird sense of superiority that would cause a massive crash as soon as something made me feel stupid again. I would feel guilty for ever thinking I could possibly be smarter than anyone, even people who were objectively really fucking ignorant.

As I’m sure you can guess, that horrible cycle outlined above, coupled with a feeling of isolation from the entire world, (I struggled to connect to people my own age, adults tended to talk to me like a child even younger than my actual age since I was a pretty tiny kid, and as I said, I felt like I was the only stupid member of my family so I didn’t connect with them either, add to that the fact that we moved around a lot so I would constantly lose the friends I had managed to make, and you’ve got a very lonely teenager) caused a lot of problems. I was angry most of the time, annoyed at myself, annoyed at the people around me, annoyed at my lack of direction in life, annoyed about the fact that my parents spent more time away from home than at home and still felt when they were around that they had a right to tell me what to do when they weren’t even there often enough to reliably provide groceries…

I was a highly independent child, and that only got worse as I got older. I didn’t trust anyone around me to help me with anything. When I was a toddler, on top of everything else, I was also a very picky eater. And my parents wouldn’t accommodate that, but they DID let me make my own food. So I had a choice, either eat what they gave me, go hungry,  or make my own meals. So I made my own meals. As a toddler. When I needed help with something, I couldn’t trust my family not to make me feel stupid for needing help, and that wasn’t even me misunderstanding non-verbal communication like the issues with my actual intelligence. My parents did see me as very smart, and so when I needed help with something that they thought should have been very simple for someone who understood the things I understood, they would get annoyed at me and actually imply that it was ridiculous that I needed help with it.

As I got older, it became a matter of no one actually being AROUND to ask for help. Like I said, when I was a teenager, both of my parents weren’t there most of the time. By age twelve I was basically living alone. My older sister would go stay with her friends or boyfriend, my parents had jobs that caused them to leave for long periods of time to other parts of the country, I was just left home alone for days on end, they would come home for a day or two, yell at me for drinking all the pop and not keeping the house spotless, and then leave again. I resented them a lot. But mostly what I learned from that was to never ever rely on anyone else for anything because the people who should have been there for me the most, weren’t fucking there. Even when they were there, they weren’t there. I couldn’t talk to them about my problems. They would tell me that I wasn’t allowed to be stressed or depressed until I had bills to pay. When I had bills to pay, I still wasn’t allowed to be depressed because my whole situation was all my own fault so I should just suck it up.

I make my parents sound like terrible parents, and objectively, yeah, pretty much. But they are really good people. They’re just shitty parents. I know they love me very much, and I have a great deal of respect for them as human beings, but they’d have been much happier if they’d just never had kids and instead put all the money the spent on us into doing things they always wanted to do like traveling to Australia. Instead they had kids because that’s just what people did. So please, if you’re considering having kids, have kids because you WANT KIDS, not because you think you’re SUPPOSED to have kids. Please. Or at the very least remember that kids are human beings with individual thoughts and feelings and needs.

Anyway. So yeah, because of the whole, feeling like an idiot thing, I never pursued anything I really cared about because I never believed I could do it, or if I thought I could do it, I thought it would be something that would make my family look down on me, and for some reason I still wanted their approval. So I had no long term goals, few friends, no ambition to do well in school or give any kind of shit about my health. I ended up in a university I didn’t want to go to taking courses I had no interest in while working part time at a job I hated to try and pay the bills because my parents couldn’t afford to put me through college but I also wasn’t eligible for student loans because they made too much money. I stopped going to school, I ended up working in a call center taking calls from angry old people about how much they were being ripped off by the company that I was representing, and just trying every day to find SOME reason to keep getting up in the morning.

Eventually I couldn’t take this anymore, realized my only way out was going back to school or suicide since I lived somewhere with a non-existent job market and I had few marketable skills, so I decided to at least try school first, and managed to get myself into a retraining program offered through the government through some… I didn’t lie. But I certainly bent the truth a bit. But I got out of the call center, into another school that I didn’t really want to be in preparing for another job I didn’t really want, but at least would suck less than the one I had been doing. I still had to work another shitty job I didn’t want to do to keep up with the bills because I was still somehow not eligible for student loans, but I felt hopeful that at least life would suck marginally less at the end of it all.

Then my not paying attention to my health came back to bite me in the ass.

I am going to say this with all the sincerity I can muster. If you ever have a filling fall out, GET IT REFILLED! FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THAT IS HOLY DO NOT IGNORE THIS! IT CAN KILL YOU VERY GODDAMN QUICKLY AND PAINFULLY!

So that sucked. But then I found a job that didn’t suck! I actually enjoyed it! And I liked the people I worked with! It was wonderful! I even managed to get The Llama a job at the same company, so I was working somewhere I liked for people I liked, with my best friend, and things were looking good for the first time in my life.

It didn’t last long.

The boss I liked who really wanted to see me succeed, left. He recommended me for his job, but they ended up giving it to someone with absolutely no management experience or training, no people skills, and whose idea of motivation was to call everyone morons as loud as he could for even the tiniest of mistakes. Or when they didn’t make a mistake, they just couldn’t get what they needed to do the job because we were ill equipped and there was not a goddamn thing they could have done. And he did not like me. At all. And then Llama got pregnant and moved to another province so the good job now sucked and my best friend was hours away again, and I no longer had a bright future at that job since there was no way in hell I would ever get a promotion as long as that ass was in charge. In part because I had the gall to point out the fire hazard that indeed ended up causing a fire. So the anger that had only been starting to go away came back with a vengeance and the depression and hopelessness came back just as strong.

I grew angrier and angrier every day. I started writing about villains as a way to vent. I contemplated every day whether or not I should just drive off a cliff. Getting up every day was harder and harder. I was jumpy, I was constantly on edge, waiting for the next horrible thing to happen. I had believed wholeheartedly that this job had been the start of finally being able to enjoy life, and all of that had disappeared almost overnight. I had had a career path, now I just had a job. I had had a boss I could actually talk to and bounce ideas off of, who respected me and listened to what I had to say and acted on some of my suggestions, now I just had the stereotypical horrible boss that everyone fantasizes about getting beaten by the watercooler who I couldn’t even approach about legitimate health and safety concerns, let alone suggestions for the future of the growing company.

Even when he eventually left too, he was replaced by people who he approved of who also hated me for daring to bring up safety concerns that one time. (It really was just the once, and it was only after the overloaded wall circuit had already caused power outages.) Though I also dared to point out that they were treating their employees in a way that wasn’t acceptable. I have a bad habit of defending people even when I’m not involved, and watching employees who did nothing wrong get yelled at for ten minutes for technical issues they had no control over wasn’t something I could let go. I went to the higher ups and pointed out that the man they put in charge had anger issues that made him an unfit manager. I also made a point of cutting him off mid rant explaining what happened as point blank as possible when the person he was yelling at was just sitting there taking it. This did not win me any friends with anyone above me. I was a shit disturber. I will always be a shit disturber though. That’s not something I ever intend to change, no matter how many times it screws me over.

So my depression and anger was pretty constant and I didn’t feel like even if I made another drastic change again that I could escape it. I felt like any improvements I made to my life would just go to hell again like this job had. So I didn’t try. I gave up. I dragged myself out of bed each morning, forced myself into the office, and eventually once it settled in that all hope of every moving up was gone, I just completely half assed pretty much everything. I hit another breaking point. End it all, or try again.

I’m stubborn. I tried again.

The way I chose to look at it was that if I was going to kill myself if I stayed, and only might do it if I left, I owed it to myself to at least try the other way first. The worst case scenario was I killed myself. Which was what I was planning to do anyway. So the worst case was just delaying the plans. So I moved to the other side of the country with the help of my family (I told you they were good people. I have issues with them, but they’ve been there in their own way, it just wasn’t the way I needed them when I was young) and then went broke and caught pneumonia.

It wasn’t off to a great start.

I felt horrible in every sense of the word, went with my parents to a bar, met someone who had a potential job for me, got food poisoning from the chicken wings. While I still had pneumonia.

Anyway, despite a lot of issues cropping up, things actually did start to improve, then suck a bit again, then improve, then suck again… But there was enough good going on to keep me from dropping into the severe depression again, which allowed me to actually start working on improving my outlook on life.

This was the turning point that has allowed me to drastically alter a LOT about my emotional and physical health in the last three years.

Twilight Chapters 6 and 7

This was done being written on time, but I haven’t found any spare time to actually post the damn thing.  This is what happens when you count on getting a break at work to piss around on the internet because it’s been soooo slooooow lately, I’m sure I’ll have lots of time!  Which is always the time the universe decides to spite you.  Anyway, enjoy.

Chapter 6: Scary Stories

This one is thankfully shorter than chapter 5 and if we’re lucky it will be just as overloaded with dialogue. The more dialogue the less inner monologue!

The chapter starts with Bella complaining. I’m sure you’re shocked. At lunch the day after the blood incident, Jessica is asking her about what happened with Edward at lunch that day and Bella complains that she’s probably just fishing for gossip. Maybe if she had actually established at any point that Jessica was known for spreading gossip I might actually buy that.

She whines that despite knowing Edward wasn’t going to be there, she still kept hoping he would show up. That’s just kind of sad. The nicest thing she has to say is that maybe their trip to the beach won’t be completely miserable.

greatest-office-gifs-ice-cream

Some girl named Lauren gets snippy when they’re leaving the cafeteria and she thinks Bella can’t hear her, saying she thinks Bella should just sit with the Cullen’s instead of them. Bella takes this to be malicious in not wanting her around at all, but I have an alternative theory. Perhaps because the Cullen’s are so insular, other people have tried to befriend them and been pushed away, but now Bella seems to have been welcomed so they assume she’ll eventually just leave them and become just as insular. Perhaps it’s less ‘I don’t like her sitting with us’ and more ‘they think they’re too good for us, soon she will too.’ Mike defends her, but she bitches that it came off ‘territorial’ instead of just being happy someone defended her.

There’s a pointless conversation with Charlie that evening about where Edward said he was going camping and it apparently being bear infested. In the morning the sun wakes her up and she acts like it’ll disappear if she stops staring at it.

Apparently all the teenagers in this small town have their own cars. I have a really hard time buying that. Most small towns (and from what I can tell this one is no exception) aren’t exactly known for having tons of money flowing in. How they could all afford to buy their kids cars, even if they’re cheap used ones, is beyond me. In my bigger town where Llama and I went to high school, most people I knew occasionally had access to a car, but barely anyone had their own vehicle they could use every day to get back and forth from school. I had access to my dad’s truck once I got my licence, and I was pretty much the only one in the house that used the damn thing other than the weekends when my dad would take the dog and go to the woods or lake, but I still only got to use it to get back and forth from school on rare occasions. Llama apparently had access to a car every day, but still. It wasn’t exactly common. Is this different in the US or is Meyer just bad at knowing what kids have access to? Or are all of Bella’s ‘friends’ just the richest people in town? I’m going to go with that since they all seem to be the kids of people who own a store or something rather than people who just happen to work there. It would be awful for Bella to have poor friends. God for fucking bid.

God forbid

This actually raises a new question; how is Bella paying for this truck? She says she had limited funds when she got their and she doesn’t have a job, so how can she keep putting gas in the damn thing?! Where is this money coming from?! If her mom and/or dad are giving her money on a regular basis for it then FUCK YOU SO HARD FOR BEING A BITCH TO YOUR PARENTS YOU ENTITLED LITTLE BRAT! If not, is she selling drugs on the side? Stealing? WHERE IS THIS MONEY COMING FROM?!

Apparently one of the girls is mad at Bella because Bella tripped over her in gym and Bella feels like this is going to be an awful day because she’s going to get bitched about all day. But you know, I’d probably not want to be around the girl that can’t stand up straight without tripping people too. So, you know, there’s only so much sympathy I’ve got for her getting dirty looks all day.

“We’re just waiting for Lee and Samantha… unless you invited someone,” Mike added.

“Nope,” I lied lightly

This is the first outright lie of the chapter. Two pages in. The first technical lie was a lie of omission where she says she’s not going to tell her dad that Edward is taking her to Seattle, but I let that one slide. This one though? No, she admits it’s a lie. And I’m going to keep calling her out on her lies because every chapter she points out how much she doesn’t like lying.

youve-never-seen-a-hypocrite-before

“Will you ride in my car? It’s that or Lee’s mom’s minivan.”

“Sure.”

He smiled blissfully. It was so easy to make Mike happy.

“You can have shotgun,” he promised. I hid my chagrin. It wasn’t as simple to make Mike and Jessica happy at the same time. I could see Jessica glowering at us now

Can’t imagine why. It’s not like she confided in you that she liked Mike and you assured her that she could have him and now you’re responding positively to his affection right in front of her face after having let him believe he still had a chance with you. Oh wait.

Maybe if Bella actually tried to be a decent friend to some of these people that Lauren girl and the one from gym class wouldn’t hate her. But that would require Bella actually being nice to someone.

She spends a few paragraphs talking about how pretty the drive is, which is boring, but at least it’s positive, so I’ll let the needless filler slide. When they get to the beach they build a driftwood bonfire that glows blue. Mike tells her it’s the salt that turns it blue. He’s not wrong, but he sure as hell isn’t right either. Metal salts turn fire blue. Common compounds that cause this are copper, lead and arsenic. Not sea salt. Breathe in the fumes Bella. Breathe deep.

take-a-deep-breath-sherlock-calm-down1

She talks about how when she would go to Forks for the summers before she demanded her dad take her on vacation instead, she used to love coming to this place. She loved the way it looked, she loved having fun with her dad, and she loved the tidal pools the guys are talking about going to see. This re-raises the question of what the fuck was so bad about this place that she decided she never wanted to come back? But whatever. She’s trying to decide whether or not she wants to join them on the hike to the tidal pools or stick by the fire. She’s worried she’s going to trip into the tidal pools so doesn’t want to go, but Lauren decides to stay so she goes anyway.

There’s a whole page talking about the hike and the tidal pools, but absolutely nothing happens. Nothing. No one talks, no one trips, no one does anything except look at the pretty stuff in the water. It sounds pleasant, but entirely unnecessary.

When they get back to the beach the group that stayed behind grew to include some kids from the reservation. Including Jacob, the werewolf. If that’s a spoiler, what are you doing reading these reviews? And another girl named Jessica, as well as 5 other people who Bella never bothered to remember the names of because god forbid we expect her to pay attention to anyone other than herself.

It was relaxing to sit with Angela; she was a restful kind of person to be around

shock and awe

OH MY GOD SHE SAID SOMETHING NICE ABOUT SOMEONE OTHER THAN EDWARD!

It was relaxing to sit with Angela; she was a restful kind of person to be around — she didn’t feel the need to fill every silence with chatter.

ryan-annoyed-o

…Apparently I should read the whole thing before reacting. ‘I liked Angela; she never talked to me.’ Is not a compliment. It’s saying ‘she’s the best because she’s the easiest to ignore’.

Anyway, after everyone else wanders off, Jacob comes over and sits by Bella. She describes him similarly to Edward. And I don’t mean he looks like Edward, he actually is the opposite of him in every way, I mean she uses the same kind of wording. Basically she finds him to be really pretty and wants you to as well. But then it turns out she has to hate him.

“You’re Isabella Swan, aren’t you?”

It was like the first day of school all over again.

“Bella,” I sighed.

How dare he not be psychic! Anyway, he’s the youngest child of the guy Charlie bought her truck from. He has two older sisters who Charlie and Billy used to set up on play dates while they went fishing.

Of course, I’d kicked up enough tantrums to end the fishing trips by the time I was eleven.

I hate you Bella. So much. Just, so very, very much.

Edward hates you too

Edward hates you too

 

I am thankful to learn that neither of the sisters are there anymore, both having left the area. That means fewer characters for Bella to hate on.

They talk for a while about the truck and it’s boring but dialogue takes space away from Bella’s hateful thoughts, so I like it. Jacob apparently is making it obvious he likes her (of course he likes her. Everyone likes her. Why? She’s horrible! She’s not described as being really attractive and she sure as fuck isn’t nice or interesting, so why does everyone like her?! I DON’T GET IT!) and that makes Lauren unhappy. Supposedly.

“You know Bella, Jacob?” Lauren asked — in what I imagined was an insolent tone — from across the fire.

So she doesn’t actually know it’s an insolent tone, she’s just assuming. Bella goes on to describe her as having ‘fishy’ eyes. I don’t know if she means ‘fishy’ as in suspicious, or if she thinks Lauren looks like a fish. I legitimately can’t tell, the way she puts it.

Lauren asks if Bella knows if the Cullen’s were invited, but before she can answer the guy she didn’t bother catching the name of earlier says that the Cullen’s don’t come to their area. Tyler then distracts Lauren with a CD because apparently she’s a magpie.

I was still turning over the brief comment on the Cullens, and I had a sudden inspiration. It was a stupid plan, but I didn’t have any better ideas. I hoped that young Jacob was as yet inexperienced around girls, so that he wouldn’t see through my sure-to be-pitiful attempts at flirting.

lowest creature

You. Fucking. Bitch. At least with Mike she kind of seemed to be trying not to hurt him, or at least using that as her excuse to avoid coming clean about her lack of feelings for him. She is outright saying she is going to intentionally string Jacob along to get information about Edward, the guy she actually wants. THIS IS VERY HORRIBLE AND IF YOU DO THIS YOU ARE A TERRIBLE FUCKING PERSON! Men have feelings too you know! In fact many studies have shown that men have a harder time recovering after rejection/break ups than women because we’re shitty about talking to each other about emotions so they kind of stick in there and eat away at us. So this isn’t some victimless crime here. This is her playing with the emotions of someone who will be hurt by it. And since he has done ABSOLUTELY nothing to her AT ALL, this is just exceptionally cruel.

“So you’re, what, sixteen?” I asked, trying not to look like an idiot as I fluttered my eyelids the way I’d seen girls do on TV.

“I just turned fifteen,” he confessed, flattered.

“Really?” My face was full of false surprise. “I would have thought you were older.”

This is the point in this book where my levels of rage are so strong that if I weren’t doing this blog I would print off the PDF copy of this book and light it on fire on my deck.

“Do you come up to Forks much?” I asked archly, as if I was hoping for a yes. I sounded idiotic to myself. I was afraid he would turn on me with disgust and accuse me of my fraud, but he still seemed flattered.

Did you catch that? It’s subtle. She just called him an idiot. When Twilight had its turn being popular my roommate’s girlfriend was all over this fucking series. She loved the books and dragged him to all the movies, and made him read the books. He told me once that they weren’t actually that bad. He was clearly confused. But I bring that up to point out that I couldn’t even escape this crap in my own apartment, so I am painfully aware that there is a ‘team Jacob’, and that that means that people actually want Bella to end up with him at the end of the series. My question is why? So far he has been very nice to her, and she is being the biggest bitch in the entire town. Set him up with Jessica or Angela! Or your own little self-insert character! Why would you want a character you like to end up with someone so horrible?!

i-m-so-confused-o

She flirts with him some more till Jacob admits that the Cullen’s aren’t allowed on the reserve. He says he’s not allowed to tell her why, but then one smile from her and he spills the beans. Dumbass. And yes I do know I just gave Bella shit for calling him stupid, but that was before he was actually acting stupid.

Jacob tells her that the natives on the reserve are werewolves (to which she doesn’t have any reaction at all) and that the Cullen’s are ‘the cold ones’ who are banned from the reserve by his great grandfather. They are the enemies of werewolves and normally would be killed by them, but because the Cullen’s were different and didn’t hunt humans, they were left alive as long as they stayed off the reserve. He outs them as vampires.

Part of the peace pact between the reserve and the Cullen’s was not revealing their nature to the ‘pale faces’. So by telling Bella, he’s risking starting a war between them and ending a generations old truce. Because a girl flirted with him. Awesome. He still doesn’t deserve to get dicked around, but wow. That’s a special level of dumb right there.

“I guess I just violated the treaty,” he laughed.

“I’ll take it to the grave,” I promised, and then I shivered.

Liar.

Mike shows up and Jacob asks if he’s her boyfriend.

“No, definitely not,” I whispered. I was tremendously grateful to Jacob, and eager to make him as happy as possible. I winked at him, carefully turning away from Mike to do so. He smiled, elated by my inept flirting.

Note how she made a point to turn away from Mike to wink and whispers her response, so she can keep leading Mike on too. I’m starting to doubt she’s not telling them she doesn’t like them on purpose instead of just out of wanting to avoid uncomfortable situations. Mike does still defend her in gym class and to Lauren, so maybe she wants him to keep liking her so he’ll keep defending her. Note also that she’s going out of her way to keep Jacob on the hook too.

Hagan-i-dont-like-you

“So when I get my license…” he began.

“You should come see me in Forks. We could hang out sometime.” I felt guilty as I said this, knowing that I’d used him. But I really did like Jacob. He was someone I could easily be friends with.

Except you know that’s not what he wants. You counted on that fact. You abused that fact. But you’re going to make it okay to yourself because you want to be friends with him, so it’s not a complete lie?! FUCK YOU!

This whole chapter she’s been making a point of saying how young or old people look. She’s 17, the oldest kid is 19, and Jacob is 15. I don’t recall there being a huge difference in people’s appearances around these ages. How the hell does she know people are ‘too old to be in high school’ when they’re only a year older than the average grad?

She promises to go with Charlie next time he goes to see Billy, and then they go home. End of chapter. Thank fuck.

Chapter 7: Nightmare

The titular nightmare is Bella in the woods being called to by Jacob and Mike, and then Edward shows up and she goes to him, Jacob turns into a wolf and tries to kill Edward. This couldn’t be less obvious if she was beating someone over the head with a Vampire The Masquerade book.

This chapter is so very boring… She goes on the internet and looks up vampire myths. She clings to the one myth she finds that mentions good vampires. And of course that’s what they’re going to turn out to be. I’m now on page 7 of this chapter. There is simply nothing worth talking about. It’s just bitching about the internet being slow, bitching that Forks is making her a crazy person, bitching about Charlie, bitching that the myths don’t fit Edward…

She goes for a walk in the woods and decides she’s not crazy, that vampires are real, and Edward is one. That’s another 3 pages of descriptions of trees and Bella bitching.

Bored Now

She decides that she can’t leave Edward alone like he suggested because the thought of doing so leaves her ‘in agony’. Seriously. They’ve had all of three conversations that weren’t a fight, and not being with him makes her ‘in agony’ and ‘despair’. This is not healthy. At all. Not even a little. I know teen romances are stupid, but wow. She decided that he is a blood sucking monster, and he’s warned her that he’s dangerous to her, and she barely knows him AT ALL, but she CANNOT be away from him. No. Just no.

And I knew in that I had my answer. I didn’t know if there ever was a choice, really. I was already in too deep.

Let me say this again; THREE conversations that weren’t a fight. Three.  And all three of those conversations did contain small fights, so they aren’t even three genuinely friendly conversations.

She goes back home, does her homework and goes to bed. The next morning she talks about how it’s sunny out, and then goes on about how when Charlie smiles she can almost see why her mom married him. I find this incredibly condescending. She says that most of the man her mother was attracted to has faded away, but that she sees glimpses of why they fell in love and married ‘too quickly’. It sounds like she’s putting all the blame on Charlie. But we still have no idea why she left except that Bella said that her mom hated Forks as much as she does. And you know, maybe she wouldn’t hate Forks so fucking much if her mom hadn’t made it sound like the fact that he wouldn’t leave there is the reason she grew up without a present father! Maybe she wouldn’t think the rain was the worst thing ever if her mother hadn’t been trying so hard to get away from it that she went to a fucking DESERT and passed on that hate to her daughter!

I know it takes two to make a relationship work so I am not trying to say that Renee was a bitch for leaving him because fucked if I know what actually happened at this point. I’m just saying it seems really unfair from where I’m standing for her to constantly hate on her father when all the info we have so far implies that Renee left him because of Forks not because of anything he did.

By dint of much elbow grease, I was able to get both windows in the truck almost completely rolled down.

…Dint? Dint… That says dint. What the fuck is dint?

dint  (dnt)

n.

  1. Force or effort; power: succeeded by dint of hard work.
  2. A dent.

tr.v. dint·ed, dint·ing, dints

  1. To put a dent in.

  2. To impress or drive in forcibly

‘By force/effort of much elbow grease’ …nope, still doesn’t sound right… Why would she use that word? Why not just say, ‘with some elbow grease’? Word of the Day calendar?

Anyway, now that I’ve had that weird little moment, she gets to school early and goes over her homework. She comments that it’s already done because she has a ‘slow social life’. Because apparently the only kids that actually do their homework on time are the losers. Fuck you too Bella. Fuck you too.

fuck you too

Mike shows up, they talk about her homework, she says that she did her English essay on misogyny in Shakespeare. Considering the first half of this chapter had her choosing a man she barely knows over her own physical and mental well-being because he’s pretty, I find that kind of insulting. Like Meyer actually gives a shit about feminism.

“I was going to ask if you wanted to go out.”

“Oh.” I was taken off guard. Why couldn’t I ever have a pleasant conversation with Mike anymore without it getting awkward?

Because you keep going out of your way to make him think he still has a chance with you! You hid your comment about him not being your boyfriend from him. You told him the only reason you weren’t asking him to the dance was because you were going to Seattle, not because you weren’t interested. You told him to go with Jessica just so he could still enjoy the dance, not because she liked him and you thought they would make a cute couple (that’s what she said to him; that he should still enjoy the dance, so he should just take Jessica up on her request and have fun) you sat next to him on the ride to the beach instead of suggesting Jessica sit there. You went with him on the hike at the beach which he didn’t know was just because you were avoiding Lauren. If you want him to stop asking you out, tell him to stop asking you out instead of constantly telling him he still has a fucking chance you stupid twit!

plague

“Mike…” I hated being put on the spot. “I don’t think that would be the best idea.”

His face fell. “Why?” he asked, his eyes guarded. My thoughts flickered to Edward, wondering if that’s where his thoughts were as well.

“I think… and if you ever repeat what I’m saying right now I will cheerfully beat you to death,” I threatened, “but I think that would hurt Jessica’s feelings.”

She managed to put so many of my problems with her in one short bit.  Fantastic

She managed to put so many of my problems with her in one short bit. Fantastic

 

Remember that time she said she wasn’t a violent person? I do. Also remember that time I called her a twit for constantly telling him he still has a chance? That feels so long ago… But yeah, that’s what she’s doing here. Again. ‘I’m not turning you down because I don’t like you, I’m turning you down because the girl I keep pretending is my friend likes you and I don’t want to hurt her feelings! But remember, I do like you, she’s the one getting in the way!’

He’s shocked, she gets pissy at him for not knowing Jess likes him (which is admittedly kind of dense of him) and then while he’s still confused she literally runs away without explaining anything further. So she leads him on, then she gets mad at him. Yeah, this is really the character I want to keep reading about. If you want to read a book about an overdramatic twit obsessed with prettiness and terrified of aging (that comes up later in the series) read The Picture of Dorian Grey. So very, very much better. And you’re supposed to think he’s an entitled jackass.

When I saw Jessica in Trig, she was bubbling with enthusiasm. She, Angela, and Lauren were going to Port Angeles tonight to go dress shopping for the dance, and she wanted me to come, too, even though I didn’t need one.

See what I’ve been saying about Jessica? Bella has been nothing but mean to her, she even did that whole thing I bitched about in the last chapter with responding to Mike’s flirtations in front of Jessica’s face, and she’s still trying to involve her. She genuinely wants Bella around, and her opinion on things even after Bella has been so mean to her. Jessica just seems to be a really naïve, nice young girl, and Bella is constantly ignoring her or bitching about her. Jess would be well within her rights to not want Bella there at all. Or to stop talking to her, period.

I was far too lost in my own frenzy of anticipation to notice much of what she said. I was painfully eager to see not just him but all the Cullens — to compare them with the new suspicions that plagued my mind.

Hold off your judgement. This isn’t the bad part yet.

As was my routine, I glanced first toward the Cullens ‘ table. A shiver of panic trembled in my stomach as I realized it was empty. With dwindling hope, my eyes scoured the rest of the cafeteria, hoping to find him alone, waiting for me. The place was nearly filled — Spanish had made us late — but there was no sign of Edward or any of his family. Desolation hit me with crippling strength.

I shambled along behind Jessica, not bothering to pretend to listen anymore.

there it is

Congratulations Bella; you topped my rage meter beyond what you did to Jacob!

Seriously. SERIOUSLY. I can’t even WORDS. She’s SO UPSET that Edward isn’t there she’s stopped even PRETENDING to listen. She wasn’t even listening in the first place, and now she’s so heartbroken that they took an extra day for their camping trip (well, they stayed home because it was sunny, but she doesn’t know that) that she can’t even PRETEND to listen to someone she CLAIMS is a friend who JUST A FEW MINUTES BEFORE went out of her way to make Bella feel included and wanted. You can’t even show her the basic fucking decency of paying attention to what she’s saying because you’re so obsessed with listening to your own thoughts, and then SO SAD that he’s not there, that you can’t even PRETEND you like her more than you like the sound of your own thoughts! Dorian Grey was NICER than you, and he dumped a woman who he was engaged to marry because she sucked at acting! AND murdered someone!   At least when his friend talked he actually fucking paid attention! Or at least had the decency of TELLING the poor guy he was boring him.

THAT’S RIGHT! I JUST SAID A MURDERER IS NICER THAN BELLA. And I fucking stand by it!

The rest of the day passed slowly, dismally. In Gym, we had a lecture on the rules of badminton, the next torture they had lined up for me. But at least it meant I got to sit and listen instead of stumbling around on the court. The best part was the coach didn’t finish, so I got another day off tomorrow. Never mind that the day after they would arm me with a racket before unleashing me on the rest of the class.

In what universe does it take two days to learn the rules of Badminton? It’s a pretty simple game… It’s also really hard to hurt anyone since the birdie barely weighs anything at all.

intorduction_badmintonfffff

I was glad to leave campus, so I would be free to pout and mope before I went out tonight with Jessica and company.

First: campus, like ‘dint’ above, is technically correct here. But no one uses it to colloquially refer to a high school. No one.

Second: you need to be free to pout and mope? Pretty sure you’ve been doing that since you noticed he wasn’t there.

Apparently though Mike asked Jessica out on a date so they’re putting off the dress shopping till the next day. Bella says she tries to be happy that he asked her out, but she specifies that it’s that she’s happy Mike is finally catching on that she doesn’t want to date him. Not that she’s happy Jessica got a date with the guy she liked.  What Bella thinks is that it’s awesome having someone around to toss off your unwanted scraps to. FUCK. YOU. And she specifies also that as much as she wishes she could be happy, she can’t be, because it meant that Jessica was rescheduling the plans she had only agreed to to distract her from the lack of Edward. I cannot think of a strong enough epithet to shout at this book.

So I'll use them all

So I’ll use them all

She wants to be happy that using her friend is finally paying off, but it means her other way she was currently using her ‘friend’ got pushed off, so she is upset that her two abuses of this poor girl conflicted.

She goes online and checks her email. She has apparently been ignoring her emails from her mother for days again. Pretty sure it was only two chapters ago she tried to garner sympathy from Edward by saying her mother was her best friend. That’s what you do to your best friend right? Ignore them? And then get mad that they aren’t more patient with you because their annoyance that you can’t even be bothered to check your email once in several days (when she was online for a few hours the day before researching vampires) is an inconvenience to you? That’s totally friendship and love and respect! Yeah! Bella was the responsible one and her mom was the useless scatterbrained one right? Totally.

Outside in Charlie’s small, square yard, I folded the quilt in half and laid it out of the reach of the trees’ shadows on the thick lawn that would always be slightly wet, no matter how long the sun shone.

That is just not how anything at all works.

doesn't work that way

She lays in the sun, sulks that Jane Austin used names that start with ‘Ed’ too often, and sunbathes until Charlie comes home. Edward is creepily stalking her, but she doesn’t know that (it’s just obvious to anyone with a brain) she just knows that she feels like she’s not alone, and goes inside to see Charlie.

“Dad,” I said during a commercial, “Jessica and Angela are going to look at dresses for the dance tomorrow night in Port Angeles, and they wanted me to help them choose… do you mind if I go with them?”

“Jessica Stanley?” he asked.

“And Angela Weber.” I sighed as I gave him the details.

He was confused. “But you’re not going to the dance, right?”

“No, Dad, but I’m helping them find dresses — you know, giving them constructive criticism.” I wouldn’t have to explain this to a woman.

Fuck you Meyer. I’m not even dignifying this with a rebuttal.

“We’ll leave right after school, so we can get back early. You’ll be okay for dinner, right?”

“Bells, I fed myself for seventeen years before you got here,” he reminded me.

“I don’t know how you survived,” I muttered, then added more clearly, “I’ll leave some things for cold-cut sandwiches in the fridge, okay? Right on top.”

FUCK.

YOU.

WHY ARE THERE NOT STRONGER CURSE WORDS IN MY VOCABULARY?!

Aahhhhhhh

She presumed from day fucking one that he couldn’t cook rather than giving him any chance at all. Maybe she doesn’t like what he was eating, but that’s still no reason to treat you FATHER with that kind of disrespect! He didn’t have to let you move in with him you know! He could have said no! He wanted you there for some fucking reason. He loves you. Because he’s your dad! And you are treating him like a fucking child! I’m pretty sure he can find the fucking sandwich meat without you telling him which fucking SHELF it’s on!  I wouldn’t talk like that to my five year old niece!

I would like to take a moment away from the section of this chapter currently threatening to give me an aneurism and point out that none of her concern over Edward has been that something happened to him and his family while they were out camping.  In the area she was informed is full of bears.  No, the concern is that he left her and won’t come back in time to take her to Seattle. It never even crosses her mind that they might all be missing school because something bad happened like there was a death in their family outside town or anything. It’s all about her. If someone I care about disappears without explanation my first thought tends to be ‘OMG I hope they’re okay!’ not ‘OMG they’re leaving me without telling me!’ It takes a special kind of selfishness for that to not just be your first thought, but your only thought.

Before leaving for dress shopping Bella leaves her dad a note telling him, again, where she left the sandwich meats. I’m pretty sure you can hear me saying ‘fuck you Bella’ to that by now. I shouldn’t even have to type it at this point.

The chapter ends, and my blood pressure is grateful.

relief

The last year and a half or so I’ve been working on my depression. I used to get depressed a lot, but I don’t anymore. Not to the extent I used to.  Part of that is that my situation is better, part of it though is that I’ve got a list in my head of everything about my life that I genuinely appreciate, and I add to it on a regular basis, and I go over it in my head a couple of times a day. I also go out of my way to say ‘I appreciate you doing this for me’ and such to people who help me, or who just listen to me rant for a while when something goes especially horrible.  Or just friends who have been good friends in general.

I bring this up, because I want to say something I appreciate about this book. I appreciate that this book is only 24 chapters and an epilogue instead of the 60 chapters of The Host. I appreciate that so very, very much. I don’t even care that there’s three more books after this one. I just care that this one is shorter than The Host.

How can this book suck so hard? Someone PLEASE tell me why this is so well liked. PLEASE! EXPLAIN IT TO ME! I DON’T UNDERSTAND! If you like it because you see yourself in Bella then I’m sorry but you are a BAD PERSON and you should take a good look at how you view the world and the people around you! If it’s because you like Edward and/or Jacob, then I still don’t see how you can like this book because the whole thing is about them wanting to be with a girl who doesn’t deserve ANYONE’S love! I DON’T GET IT!

Ugh. Whatever. Till next time, check out The Llama’s take on these chapters (she goes into way more detail on the first half of chapter 7 than I could). I’m going to curl up and weep that this got popular.

Q&A: Forgiven

What is the one thing you’d most like to be forgiven for?

Here’s where I get to be a smug prick because The Llama’s answer to this was in depth and thoughtful and heartfelt.  My answer?  I don’t have anything I need to be forgiven for.  I’ve made mistakes, obviously.  I’ve been a prick.  I’ve hurt people.  Anyone that claims they haven’t either doesn’t know they actually have, or is lying.  But I always either realize what I did and ask forgiveness, or I don’t want forgiveness for it.  Chances are if I’ve done something horrible to you and not apologized, I either have no idea I hurt you, or I kind of hate you and think you deserved it.

I am, and have been most of my life, very self-aware.  I have always had anger issues, because my dad has anger issues, and I learned from the best.  But because I also have serious guilt issues and self awareness, I have always known when I was getting mad at someone who didn’t deserve it.  I usually try and stop myself before it becomes a problem and in recent years I’ve actually managed to stop myself from getting incredibly angry in the first place most of the time.  But when I can’t, and I end up being a dick to someone who in no way shape or form deserved to be the focus of my rage, I isolate myself as quickly as possible, then as soon as I’ve calmed down, the first thing I do is seek the person out and apologize and explain why I was in such a fowl mood and tell them that my mood is not their fault and they didn’t deserve what I said to them.  And it is always something I said to them.  I have NEVER physically hurt someone in anger.  And I never.  Ever.  Will.  …Well, there was that one time in high school where someone pissed me off when I was leaving a dance, which is a pretty easy time to piss me off because I get antsy around that many people, and I was trying to just walk away, but he put his arm on my shoulder and tried to pull me back because he wasn’t done being pissed yet, and I whirled around to tell him to fuck off and leave me alone, but he was closer than I realized and I accidentally ended up smacking him upside the head…  But that was genuinely an accident (he was bigger than me and had a history with drugs and fights.  I’m not stupid) and I apologized almost as fast as I’d hit him.  That escalated a bit after that…  But I don’t think that counts.

Admittedly I am less good at apologizing when I get snippy at family, but they also know me well enough by now that most of the time when they get me angry it was on purpose because they think it’s funny.  Or my mother is asking me the same question 18 million times because she has a selective memory she likes to claim is just ‘bad’ but in reality she just immediately forgets things she doesn’t deem important enough to remember and then has to ask again later because, hey, it actually WAS important and you should have listened the first 8 times I explained it!  But even then the rage is just a snippy comment and then me trying to be extra helpful as an apology.  And yes, her memory really is actually perfectly fine.  She can remember all kinds of things with no problem whatsoever.  The things she forgets tend to be simple little things that it’s fine to have to repeat once or twice, but she will ask the same question 5 times in one day, or tell us the same story every single day for a week (‘us’ is me and my sister) because she ‘forgot’ she already told us.  Personally I think she’s just got that story on the brain and just wants to keep talking about it so she ‘forgets’ she already told us and brings it up again.  And again.  And again.

So yeah, there’s not really anything I want anyone to forgive me for that I haven’t already been forgiven for.  Reading this back over again reminds me why I’m single…