Time: 18:24
Listening to: Usseewa
Topic: Neocities, college, mental health

Before starting this off, wow, I got to 10k views on the Neocities counter and 200 on my index counter! I don't put a lot of stock into numbers here because that's a lot of what drove me away from social media. That and... algorithms (shudders). However, it is still cool to think that there's been that many people who have stopped by and seen the site. I started it in March, a little over four months ago, and I've already gotten so much better as HTML and CSS. Neocities is the primary site I'm using nowadays. With the summer break being over soon, I probably won't be making big updates as frequently. But I'm excited to keep working on the site and start making some layouts, graphics, and such for others to use.

Now for the mental health topics, completely unrelated to the Neocities ones. I wonder a lot of the time if I should've gone into psychology as a major. I really have two and only two subjects that I've always been naturally talented at. Those are English and psychology. I chose English because it's a bit more broad and there's more you can do with an English bachelors compared to a psych bachelors. To do what I wanted with psychology as a career I'd have to get a masters for sure. But now... well... I'm definitely getting an English masters so it didn't matter much in the end. And depending on how I do with that, I may very well end up going for an English PhD. Really though, it depends on how much my love of studying holds out. I think if I do a PhD, or even a masters, it has to purely be because I enjoy it. I can't put that kind of effort into something for just money (and to be frank, if I was only thinking about money I would not have picked English).

All that said, I've started reading more books about psychology lately. The impetus for this was increased struggles with CPTSD. The thing is, I've known about dissociation as a symptom for a long time in a super vague way. A big part of what makes CPTSD distinct from PTSD is the level of dissociation it has. I have a lot of friends with similarly (or more) complex mental health. Hearing them talk about dissociation made me think, "Okay, something weird is going on here," and I began researching and trying to talk to my therapist. Researching was really shocking in a way because there's so much information about CPTSD I'd never heard about.

I think dissociation tends to get talked about a lot in extremes. In other words, people tend to talk about more mildly impairing dissociation or very severe dissociation. There's also quite frankly a ton of misinformation out there about it. So unless you really dig and put in the time to read books and studies, I think it's easy to get a very misrepresented idea of what dissociation is. I'm not going to pretend I know everything. I'm not well read and I'm nowhere near my actual therapist in terms of knowledge. However, learning even a little bit has been very eye opening.

A lot of my emotional and identity issues stem from this. My emotions are either a 1, barely there, or a 10, so much I get caught up in them. Once that 10 passes and I'm back to 1, it's hard to even remember the things I thought or felt. I don't connect very strongly with who I used to be in a time sense either. I feel more like my life has been these disconnected stages which I can't really feel or relate to rather than one nice continuum. There's a way I usually describe it to people. It feels sort of like watching a character in a movie. If asked, you can describe his actions and the plot easily. However, it's all in third person. You don't feel his emotions. You may be able to take a guess. Maybe there was some narration so you know part of his thought process. However, that internal experience is disconnected. You are watching him rather than being him. Except this is all still, undeniably, you and it's happening within your own head.

I've been really scared to talk about all this, to be honest. It's been seven months now of reading, journaling, discussing with my therapist, and thinking over what's happening in my head to even be able to phrase it. I'll give myself a few hours to think this over before I actually decide to upload it, just to make sure I even want to put this out there in the world. But I think I do. I want to be able to talk about this one day without the same level of shame and internal fear that's been plaguing me every step of the way. The fact I can recognize this is happening is actually a pretty good sign that I can start to do something about it. Or at least, I hope it is. Therapy has been tough because CBT worked well for some of my other CPTSD stuff but not really for this. More than anything, I just want to make some level of progress and start feeling like I am myself rather than that only being true a good 70% of the time.