Open Thread

Open Thread #2

The Open Thread is a forum for readers of my blog. It is an opportunity to leave comments and start discussions that do not fit under an existing post or which would derail ongoing debates.

A new Open Thread will be posted whenever it seems suitable. There is no fixed time interval and no set number of posts.

Every Open Thread is easily accessible via the “Open Thread” category on this blog.

37 thoughts on “Open Thread #2

  1. I went to a bar near my house the other day for lunch. I was feeling really low. There were three people there including me, the bartender and one other guy.

    The bartender was a girl who commented “you’ve got some sadness behind those eyes.” I had injured my hand at work that day (not severely, it only took a day and a half to heal), so I said that was the reason despite the fact that my depressed state was darker and deeper than that. The three of us had a nice chat. Eventually the guy left. The bartender was a girl. After I finished my meal, she got me a beer and said “this one is on me. I like talking to you and this is the only way to keep you here.” She then shared some pretty crazy stories from past relationships. Part of me wanted to share why I was really depressed. I wasn’t attracted to her and she had a boyfriend, so I wouldn’t have been cock blocking myself. But a really loud part of myself that always comes up during these moments got activated and said to me “don’t spew your emotions all over this person. You don’t know her.” This part of myself always seems to stop me from sharing things that are bothering me with people. I know therapy is good for airing out these kinds of things, and I have attended therapy before. In fact, I’ve worked with 3 different therapists. However, funds are tight at the moment, and the last couple of times I attended, I came away thinking that the therapist failed to provide any useful feedback. Part of me felt as if I wasted my money. I’ve had some productive sessions before, but I’m hesitant to spend money on it at present.

    I considered this open thread as a place I might share, but even as an anonymous poster, I fear how I’ll be received. I worry that people will think I’m “spewing”.

    Does anyone else understand what I’m getting at? Am I being too vague? Am I missing the point of the open thread? I’m still feeling rather low and part of me wants to talk about what thoughts I associate with the depression, but another part of me stops me from sharing.

    1. It seems you’re a bit lost, and so was she. I’d say your primary objective should be to figure out what you want to get out of life. Once you have a sense of purpose, your depression is likely to disappear. Also, I’d urge you to stay away from alcohol as you seem to be in a particularly vulnerable state.

      1. I posted a long reply, but it said the site can’t be reached. This reply is to test to see if the length of the post had something to do with it.

      2. Are there studies indicating that even moderate alcohol consumption can exacerbate depression? I typically drink draft beer, which has lower alcohol content here in Utah, and I haven’t been drunk in a very long time.

        As far as purpose goes, I’m learning web development. I’ve got one project under my belt, which I used to learn front end fundamentals. Now I’m working on one to learn back end, but it’s taking longer than it should due to some sleep issues and the depression itself occupying WAY too much mental bandwidth. I’m working on getting the sleep issues fixed, but it’s tough as I work part time from 4:30 a.m. – 7:30 a.m. and my house carries too much sound. I can hear my roommates’ footsteps upstairs.

      3. Ok, shortening the post seems to have worked. My initial post that didn’t go through was more thorough. Would you mind me posting in chunks if I have any lengthy posts going forward?

      4. There was a very long post of yours which went through fine. If there is an issue, just split up your comments into multiple parts. As far as I can tell, it is a very rare occurrence. One of my readers sent me a comment he was unable to post. I did not have any issue with Firefox, but for some strange reason, it didn’t work with Chrome.

      5. Ah ok. Firefox worked fine. I work as an unloader at UPS in the morning. The thinking was it would allow me to get a lot of web development done during the day. Obviously, my thinking was flawed. I’m working on getting a job with more humane hours.

      6. Of course, the issue is that an early-morning shift ruins a large part of your day. That would even be the case if your work wasn’t physically demanding. Maybe look into getting a security gig in a safe place like a library.

    2. Maybe I can direct you to something that worked for me.
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intensive_short-term_dynamic_psychotherapy
      Feel free to ask any questions.
      Oh, and, let me make a guess (no need to comment if you don’t want to): You do not have the best relationship with either one or both your parents.

      @Aaron
      “Once you have a sense of purpose, your depression is likely to disappear. ”
      Sorry Aaron, but that won’t do it. And frankly, I consider this just a more nuanced version of “get your life together”, which is just not applicable for most folks with issues like he describes.
      You can have a sense of purpose, but the desire to harm yourself because you feel guilty of something will fuck you over (doesn’t have to be rational). Been there done that.

      1. 1/ I read the wikipedia page. I’ve done some similar work with previous therapists who were familiar with Internal Family Systems. I perceived some overlap there. Nonetheless, I’ll look into this more and see about working with an ISTDP therapist.

        Since you asked about my family, I’m going to take this as an invitation to divulge my background. I apologize if this is too “spewy”.

        I was raised Protestant. My grandpa was actually an Episcopalian priest. I was homeschooled for a couple of years, and put in public school in 2nd grade. I struggled to process and comprehend instructions, which resulted in my teachers reporting to my Mom that I was misbehaving, which resulted in spankings (sometimes from Dad, sometimes from Mom) and groundings.

        That year, I was diagnosed with ADD (minus the H chromosome) and put on Ritalin. I went from a B student to straight A’s and became a zombie-like person with little appetite. My teachers loved me all of a sudden, of course.

      2. 2/ In the 4th grade, some odd behaviors showed up (i would compulsively scrape the wood surrounding my pencil lead to make sure it was perfectly even, I also had an aversion to pressing my pencil hard enough to make it legible, my printing was thus often too faint to read). In 5th grade, I had a teacher instruct my parents to raise my dose (I think I had switched to Adderall at that point), which they did. The month that happened, I developed tics or involuntary facial spasms. My parents then put me back to my original dose, but the tics did not subside.

        The tics and the meds coupled with the religious stuff regarding sexuality made navigating puberty utter hell. I even got a promise ring when I was 15 years old.

      3. 3/ In high school, I experimented with only taking the meds on test days. I would sort of go through phases where I’d take the meds, and then discontinue. The cycle endured through most of high school. I also couldn’t keep up with the upper level/advanced placement workload. This coupled with school starting 30 minutes earlier than junior high, caused me to be known as the biggest classroom sleeper around. I slept ALL THE TIME in class. I was so tired, I could sit upright in my chair and fall asleep uncontrollably. When I walked across the stage at graduation, my buddy told me that everyone around him said “i wonder if he’s going to fall asleep when he walks”. Why my retard parents didn’t put me in on-level classes and sacrificed my sleep is beyond me. I guess they thought I was too smart for on-level and that they simply needed to motivate me to stop underachieving. I still have bad sleep issues, but I am working my best to sort them out.

        I still had the tics my freshman year of college. Sophomore year, things started to look up. I’d been off the meds for awhile and the tics had subsided to a point where a friend commented that they were “almost not noticeable”. I was an antisocial zombie growing up, so I decided that I should push myself socially. Despite my social difficulties, I managed to get accepted into a fraternity (partly due to the fact that I sing and play guitar well). This year was not a cakewalk, but I thought it represented a chance to come out of my depression and start socializing.

        At the end of the year, my roommate hung himself on my ceiling fan. I was in my hometown when I got the call. All of my housemates were still in the university to do some end of year partying. I went back home to find a summer job.

        I got a job waiting tables, but I didn’t make it through training and was fired. I was salivating at the idea of driving back up to my college town that weekend as I was so miserable and thought that being around a bunch of friends and fraternity brothers my age would be healthy. After I was fired and I mentioned to my folks that I was planning on going to my college town that weekend, my Mom made this bitch face and said “with what money? You need to stay here and find a job. We’re not paying for you to go party.” The entire summer, my folks bitched me out for sleeping in and for taking too long to find a job. They didn’t give me the space to be sad frankly. I still struggle with my roommate’s death.

        Junior year, I got my first girlfriend. Of course, she’d had her share of traumas. The relationship deteriorated, but when I tried to end it, she threatened to kill herself. Since my roommate did that, a year before, this was horrifying. And she made this threat on three separate occasions.

        Since then, my parents have done some nice things for me. They gave a couple of half assed apologies, but eventually, I got some heartfelt and genuine apologies from them. They paid for 80% of my teaching certificate, which allowed me to live and teach in Vietnam for a year and a half. That was a great experience. However, I fear that our relationship cannot be fixed.

        I had a friend who was verbally and one time physically abusive who I cut out of my life. He used to occupy TONS of mental bandwidth. Now, he occupies maybe a tenth of the bandwidth he used to. I am horrified at the idea that I may have to cut off contact with my folks for an indefinite period (I genuinely don’t want to cut them out forever).

        When I was young my Mom got very sick. She was misdiagnosed with ulcerative colitis when she actually had Crohn’s Disease. Due to this, she had her colon removed unnecessarily. She will never digest and absorb nutrients as well as others.

        I fear that if I cut off contact with my folks for a year, or however long it takes, I will inflict a wound that will accelerate my Mom’s aging process, but if I don’t heal, and I carry this rage, it will accelerate my aging process.

        If cutting off contact with my family is necessary to achieve the same effects as cutting off contact with my friend, then I am horrified at an almost existential level.

        There’s other relevant details of course, and more I could say, but this is already very long.

        Thanks for reading.

      4. “If cutting off contact with my family is necessary to achieve the same effects as cutting off contact with my friend, then I am horrified at an almost existential level.”

        Yeah look, I mean… I’ve done the same. It’s been almost 10 years I haven’t spoken to my mother. But uhm… man, I gotta go back at some point and go talk to her.
        I did succeed. Beyond measure. I gained experience and wealth, all by myself, but I can’t forget where I come from.
        See, the problem is that when I ran away from homeI needed to fix some of my shit on my own, and as much as I wish we could have done it without the separation, I know it’s just a wish. So here you have the two possible scenarios of the deal: either you go out there and get your life going all by yourself, but you pay the price by feeling the pain of the separation, OR, you expose yourself to the significantly high probability of them dragging you down while you try to start walking on your own feet. The reality is that they need therapy as much as you do.

        All I can say is that I have no pity for you, but I definitely have empathy. So, I guess, you’ll go out there and do your thing and get help and pull off that big show and become your own man. You’ve been through lot of shit, but you kept going. Don’t forget that – after all it’s not you who was hanging from that fan, you somehow… kept on grinding. It’s good to be reminded that one is a fighter. Sometimes, with all the fighting we forget that…
        You’ve got a long way to go, but the starting line is already behind you. Everything depends on you. It always does.

      5. Thanks a lot for taking the time to write that. I’ll consider some sort of temporary estrangement. I’ve actually been contemplating a move to Kiev. Maybe those two decisions will go hand in hand.

      6. Are you from that region? (i.e. language is not a problem for you?)
        What do they speak there anyway? More Ukrainian or more Russian?

    1. I think there is quite some confusion on behalf of the authors. Meditation is not mindfulness. Furthermore, more or less any activity can be performed in a mindful state, including watching wildlife documentaries.

  2. I have a less serious problem than Herkerderker. Try to help me with it. I’d highly appreciate it.

    I have met, spoken to and spent time with some amazing hot asian women. I remember every time I see a hot asian woman I am drooling over her, almost. Then there are instances where I think they are special asian women and not representative of attractive asian women in general. I don’t have yellow fever but my yellow fever has gotten as serious as it can get. Yet, in my mind I believe I like Teutonic women.

    This is driving me crazy. I am thinking of dumping my asian fuck buddies and moving to Switzerland. WTF is happening to me?

    TL;DR, I am highly attracted to hot Asian women yet strongly believe I am only attracted to hot Teutonic women. Which is not true yet is a remanent of how I lost my virginity. What can I do to embrace my yellow fever that I clearly have?

    1. Move to an Asian country and see how u like it. Snag an English teaching certificate either before u leave or when u get there. They’re pricey but you’ll make the money back fast if you live n a cheap country like Vietnam. Pay for english teachers is good and the cost of living is low.

      1. Thanks Herkerderker. I already live in an Asian country. I don’t think that is a problem for me. Its just that I have a belief of Teutonic women being superior in beauty to others. Its a belief thing based on with whom I lost my virginity and not anything else. I know for a fact that Asian women are in fact superior but who knows why I say the opposite when I speak.

      2. Ok. Sorry, but I don’t think I understand your issue. It sounds like you like Teutonic and Asian girls.

        Maybe you dig Asians, but “vibe” with westerners?

  3. Maybe I’m not totally understanding your situation, but if it’s that you’re convinced Asians are superior, but you’re stuck with some part of you that’s left over from when you lost your virginity, then I’d say try total immersion. Have you learned the language of your country? I only learned a small amount of Vietnamese when I lived there, and never became fluent.

    In order to learn Asian languages, some people report needing to stop using English. Maybe, immerse yourself in the culture and people for a year, and then if you’re still thinking like moving to Switzerland, then give that a whirl?

    1. I do speak the local language very fluently. Not only that, I speak the languages of countries in the general region as well. All together, I am able to converse well in three asian languages in addition to english and french. Total immersion is already the case.

      But my issue is not exactly an issue either. To put it simply. I think asians are inferior in every single way although I am much attracted to them.

      I know no one else can help me on this. But this a plague that is giving me massive amounts of cognitive dissonance. On one hand, I like hot asian girls and on the other, I think they are inferior to western girls and therefore, don’t want to date them. Funny how the mind plays games on you, isn’t it?

      1. One big thing is the culture actually. Mainly the part where the rich foreign husband has to pay for the upkeep of the wife’s family members which definitely includes her parents plus some brother of herself or some more fools like that. That’s not the only reason but unless if I have a very long term relationship with a westernized asian, that’s almost a given.

      2. If you don’t speak German/Swiss-German you have ZERO chance of picking up one of the “Teutonic” girls.
        Hint: they are practically not to be found in the big cities and they keep to themselves. My blue/grey eyed, quasi blond hair girlfriend comes from a village with a population 1073 as per Dec 2017.

        Oh and your French won’t help you in your search because the Romandie is to diluted with the genetic pool of shit that the French brought along with them. Unless you want to go more Portugese/Spanish/Italian genetic pool mixture that is. Many of those there – which can have its pros, too btw. Portugese are quite conservative and good housewives.

        TLDR: forget Switzerland

      3. I know you said you come from Switzerland. So, I take your word for it. But my ex fuck budddy is Swiss so, I am not exactly out of it. But I met her in Asia. That may have changed the dynamics you mentioned above.

  4. Hi Aaron, what are your thoughts on Montessori Schools? (Or other alternative systems – we have briefly touched on confessional schools before)

    1. I think it depends on the quality of the public school system whether Montessori is a good choice. One issue I see with them is that they seem very appealing to coffee house leftist parents. On the plus side, the dregs of society normally don’t send their kids there. If the alternative is between Montessori and a solid public school, maybe a German gymnasium that teaches Latin as a third language and is situated in a very conservative area, I’d say the latter wins out. However, if the alternative is your typical shitty state-run school — recall that most children are born in the underclass — then Montessori wins hands-down. You’ll have to get more involved at home, though, to make sure your kid makes proper progress.

      1. Thanks.
        And, concept-wise, does the premise that kids are fine to be let alone in organizing themselves seem legit to you?

        About the Latin – why do you find it so important? Is it because it’s a logical language?
        I’m happy to have had French as third language instead, which can be quite complex and challenging, but at least it’s still in use. That being said, contrary to English, where you can take your school English to London and survive very well, the school French one learns does not help you in holding a normal conversation in Paris. The ear needs more practice then in English – they speak very fast in France and they don’t pronounce very clearly. So… French is kinda limited in terms of use tbh.

      2. I looked some more into it. Montessori does not carry you all the way to the end of high-school, so eventually they’ll have to mix with regular people. I’d look into how easy it is for them to to switch to a regular school. In Germany, options seem to be quite limited if they spend nine or ten years in a Montessori school.

        I find Montessori education preferable to having some dumb and poorly-educated woman ‘teach’ trying to teach. Let the kid spend a few hours however it wants, and at home your traditional wife teaches Neutralrandomthoughts Jr. how to read and write, and basic mathematics. Your typical primary school in Germany doesn’t really do that anymore, after all. Thus, Montessori avoids the damage of public schooling. (Words can’t express how much disdain I have for German primary and secondary education.)

        The benefit of Latin is that it is hard. It’s the only subject in school I had to put a real effort into. Yes, it’s a logical language. Also, your kids get to learn about arguably the greatest empire that ever existed.

      3. “Thus, Montessori avoids the damage of public schooling. (Words can’t express how much disdain I have for German primary and secondary education.)”

        Some of your views must be from personal experience when you were in school, others from observation when looking at it now. Can you list some points of what bothers you most?

        On private schools in general, would you rather do that, assuming you can afford it?
        One of the issues there is that there might be a clash of your minimalist lifestyle with rich kids who at age 12 have a Louis Vuitton scarf for like $300 around their neck. The so called “Bonzenkinder”.
        Tough call tbh, because contenwise private schools will be better, but the social structures the children are in are hardly representative for the rest of the society. Though, all in all, this scenario is still preferable to what we had go through, that is putting up with all the muslim fucktards who do nothing but fuck up the spirit in school.

      4. My issue was more with the anti-elitist culture. (We had one surviving Muslim who got washed out in grade 12 and only due to the intervention of some leftist teachers by bending the rules was he able to stick around for that long.) I had teachers who actively prevented us from taking part in national contests by withholding materials. If you did well or very well, your fellow students treated you like a pariah, and so did some teachers. I had several teachers who boasted about how poorly they had done in high school. My English teacher boasted about taking about twice as long for his university degree than suggested — back then there was no pressure on university students. The university simply recommended you finish within a given amount of time, normally four to five years.

        Private education in Germany is a mixed bag because you normally have underperforming kids of rich parents and very few gifted children. In my hometown, there is a private “Gymnasium” that is infamous for taking in kids that didn’t manage to get into a public school. At the extreme end, Schloss Salem, for instance, is not so much known for the caliber of its students, but more for the very deep pockets of their parents. This is a bit different in the US or UK, where places like Andover or Harrow do stress academics. Also, there are plenty of German private schools that offer the IB, which are of poor standard. So, in my opinion, those schools are mainly a means of social exclusion. That seems to be the case with all or almost all German IB schools. Yet, it is different in other countries, where you also have IB schools that are affordable on a regular income, but which have relatively rigorous selection procedures to ensure the quality of the student body.

        I have friends who went to very expensive boarding schools in Germany, places that are about as expensive as Salem, but closer to their home. The consensus seems to be that it can be a very painful experience. You’ve probably heard of stories involving hazing rituals and mobbing. Also, teachers and guardians may cover up even serious misbehavior of kids. Overall, it’s clearly a preferable alternative to your average state-run school, but hardly the paradise for your kids they advertise themselves as.

      5. Thanks for your extensive reply.
        I raised the topic as my boss has two wonderful kids who went to private school here in Zürich and one can clearly see the impact. To be fair, he could afford it to have a SAHM “in place” for his kids and he is just a fantastic father overall.
        Consequently, looking forward to my kids on day I was trying to gather a feeling for alternatives to public schools, where my experience is the same as yours – calling it disappointing would be very diplomatic.

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