Tuesday, July 30, 2013

ATYT: Malicious blood relatives

Remember: when dealing with these types of people, recite the Miranda warning in your head. In this case, you are extorted by your human need for safety and security to remain silent, because EVERYTHING you say or do will be used against you for no particular reason.

I wonder if we are all related to someone who plants seeds of hate towards their own relatives, no matter how young or old, whether or not they have met, or no matter what the frequency of their interaction, for their own entertainment.

I also wonder where they get that attitude from. Was it the way they were brought up, is it in their blood to HATE HATE HATE HAPPY LUCKY AMAZING RELATIVES MUST BRING THEM DOWN THEY CAN’T BE THAT PERFECT

Is it their culture? Does it even have anything to do with them being relatives? Maybe they are just really spiteful people that have too much time on their hands. Or they are too insecure and unhappy with their lives that they can’t stand seeing other people happy... whether they’re blood-related or not.

I am unfortunately related to such relatives. I’m telling you, it’s not just one or two of them, they’re a large group. They’re basically a small community (I’m from a large family), with only one or two people that are genuinely nice, who I believe I can trust.

Fortunately, I have a bigger support group consisting of relatives as well. They are the complete opposite of Team Negatron: they congratulate you for your achievements, have got your back all the way, pray for your success and happiness, are pleased when they hear about your accomplishments, really, truly care about you, are affected when you are faced with misfortune, appreciate and love your company, oh, I could go on...

They’re another story (a better one, too), so let’s stick with the cancerous team. They want nothing but to make up stories behind your back, twist your words no matter how innocent they are (thus you can never trust them and must keep in mind that they are just professional ass-kissers), just to make things intriguing and interesting, they gossip A LOT, do not appreciate beauty, take advantage of your kindness, do not consider your convenience, are insecure and dangerously envious, Jesus, this could’ve been a shorter paragraph if I just enumerated the Seven Deadly Sins.

I always try to piece together everything I know about each and every one of these relatives to figure out what could have made them so nasty.

I get it: they don’t have the best childhoods. However, when you are over 21, you are responsible for your own actions and decisions—my mother always told me that. There is no excuse for bad behavior.

Why did they choose to be so negative? No wonder they get seriously ill when they’re ill. I’m talking about deadly diseases that they harvest within themselves out of so much hatred and butthurt.

Here’s how I deal with this sad bunch of garbagemouths:

1.     Avoidance. If they are my friends, followers, or whatever in any social media account, I make sure everything is private. Otherwise, I just don’t connect with them on there. I’m the same way offline, for my own (and other loved ones’) safety. These people get bored of their lives that they just need a little something about you to spice everything up with carefully-crafted intrigues. I keep any form of exposure to a minimum as much as I can—this is a must. Not to mention it usually works, and I am usually at peace, until...

2.     Acting professionally. My dad, being a good guy who believes in the saying ‘blood is thicker than water’, cares about these people no matter how troublesome they are. (But let me tell you one thing: good guy dad has been screwed over and over again by these people in many ways that no human being deserved. Dad’s forgiveness level: Jesus, because I’m pretty sure Team Negatron members are Judas’ descendants.)

To respect dad, we sometimes meet these people, typically during somebody’s birthday or holidays. I don’t ignore them—I greet them with hugs and kisses or fist pumps and ask them how they’ve been. I talk with them, albeit cautiously. I don’t act fake smiles or act excited around them, because I am not, but I try to be pleasant.

When they have questions, I give short answers, and avoid sharing feelings because of their habits to twist words and make you look bad. The key is to use all your positive energy to shield yourself from further scrutiny... or you can always act busy with your smartphone.

Sometimes, they will intentionally start badmouthing other people, usually somebody you know, in front of you. There are times they will want you to be their audience. I immediately hold a hand up and let them know I am not interested in such negative things, especially if it’s their victim’s business. I show them I’m not into sticking my nose into every goddamn thing, not at all. The stubborn ones just keep going and even solicit an opinion on the insignificant matter (whatshisface got somebody pregnant and now he’s broke, whatsherface is being a rebellious teenager) but I politely tell them that it’s none of my fucking concern, so I don’t want to hear it. It’s just the right thing to do.

3.     Acting smarter than you think you’ll ever be. This one’s pretty easy if you’re a smooth talker. If you’re not, well, shit. Run away or something. Pretend to have diarrhea, I guess. What I do is I try to give intelligent opinions or answers whenever I am engaged into conversation. They will still call you ugly and make fun of your mannerisms (as if they don’t have any) behind your back to other people you know, but at least they can’t call you stupid. I’ve learned this kind of the hard way. Good news is, they’re stuck in the past, thinking I’m still ignorant and sheltered, but they can’t be more wrong. I’m done being bothered by that.

4.     Being fiercely happy. If you can emit a light, do so at all times. Especially in pictures, because you try not to see these people too often. I can’t do that, though, so I just take many happy pictures. These evil witches will do everything to find some dirt about you so they will approach the people closest to you—friends, other good relatives, your parents. I used to hate having pictures taken, but I now welcome it, knowing that those little shits will never see me cry or frown or anything. I’m happily buying groceries with my mom! I’m happily having dinner with my parents at this restaurant! I’m happily catching up with my good friend! We love each other so much, we’re hugging! They’ll hate me more for it and they’ll be pushed to find some garbage about me harder, but they’re so butthurt that I really don’t give a crap.

5.     Forgetting. Believe it or not, unless somebody talks about them, those evil relatives are basically nonexistent to me—no shit. I will never forget the year that I forgot I had this one relative—know how I remembered her? She made up some story about how I was lesbian and had a girlfriend (she also used to tell my dad I was suicidal... which I’ve never been, LMAO) and told my dad (unfortunately, even when he’s a generally nice guy, dad doesn’t seem to always be ready to give his best daughter the benefit of the doubt), and the misunderstanding, in turn, alarmed him. Thankfully, we have Mrs. Otrera, who will never in a million years believe that I could kill an ant. An exaggeration, but you know what I mean.
I don’t mind having the notion that about half of my relatives don’t exist. There’s a reason I’ve never been close with that lot, and that I spent the most awesome time with a bigger, better set of relatives—it’s because I wasn’t meant to be a bad fruit. No matter how much those shitheads insist that I’ve always been a rotten kid and I will grow up to be nothing, even they know that those are wishful thinking.

Doesn’t this make me sound like an asshole? It probably does, but I’ll never be as bad as they are. If they were the tiniest bit nicer, I’d be a fucking saint. A cherub, even. They’ve tried to make my parents’ lives hard, hated on my mom and I for no reason other than we’re better, more sincere people than they ever will be... or that we’re simply different from them. We don’t have so much hatred in our hearts. We try to see the best in people, even when it’s hard to, sometimes.

I only have one message for those nasty relatives: take care of yourself—a black heart will kill you.


Monday, July 29, 2013

ATYT: Creeping on Alaska

I’m ashamed to have barely read over six books in the past six years, so I downloaded a ton of e-books to remedy that. I downloaded novels from authors with resounding names first, then ones with compelling plots. I figured I needed to read more local books because local literature is so rich, and it portrays (what you already know about) your culture on a deeper and more edifying, yet intimate level.

Dear All: this is not a review. I don’t do reviews, because I feel that to be entitled to review something, especially literary pieces, music, films or visual art, you have to have at least enough knowledge about the subject in general. Also, people should be able to trust your taste somehow, and your analytical abilities.

When I try to think of an example of a bad review, I remember one of my friends from my previous job talking about awful food blogs over lunch. As we struggled to keep the food in our mouths, we listened to her vocally fake-blogging:

“The dish was so........ good. I can really taste... the salt and the pepper in it. It’s just so... great!”
“It has a hint of... what do you call it? Sugar!”

Obviously because I’m a master of none (except convincing people to agree with me/unconscious hypnotism???), you can’t really trust a review when I make one. Not until I can trust myself with that.

Ergo, here’s my deal with J. Green’s Looking for Alaska: after reading a third of it, I’m not sure I can say that I like it. I want to like books, no matter what the genre, for the simple reason that books are the shit. I used to believe every that no book is bullshit, but for some reason, I keep picking up the wrong books all the time. Seriously, every time I decide I don’t want to read them any further, my heart breaks. So my heart broke over and over again with every page of Alaska.

Forgive me, Mr. Green, but your novel reeks of Hugh* (other than that... it's pretty awesome). I him Hugh because I don’t care enough to look up a fitting name (oh, really, Lil, but you care enough to explain, to get defensive when nobody even cares?), but mostly because majority of the letters spell UGH. And that is the feeling I get when I come across Hugh: ugh.

Before I continue, I think this dude needs an introduction—

Hugh was one of the horrible men I fell hard for, for no particular (and most probably foolish) reasons when I was in my late teens. He was intelligent and funny, but creepy, intolerably eccentric, abusive, inconsiderate, stubborn, thick and slow (believe me when I say that people with high IQs can be slow and thick, UGH). He emotionally blackmailed me on purpose both to punish me; oh, and there’s a 99% chance he considered my suffering rather orgasmic. But, more than anything, Hugh was just weird, just too goddamn weird...

He liked vore, and had a mouth and stomach fetish. By stomach, I mean the INSIDE of the stomach, where you digest food. He wants to be peed on and vomited on (good lord...). He claims to be submissive in bed, which I’m sure is boring, and likes to go down on women not because it pleases them, not because he likes the act itself, but because he likes being sat on, being underneath, and feeling like the woman is towering over him. In the end, his vorarephilic ass will get the better of him. And you, if you even consider dating him.

Listen, if you’re into vore, feet, scat, or whatever, dude, I don’t care. But once you cross the line (e.g. talking about things I find disturbing, which may or may not involve your strange fetish, after I politely ask you not to) I get mad. I get furious.
Ladies and gentlemen: Hugh!

Okay, Pudge from Looking for Alaska may not resemble Hugh, and I’m still trying to put my finger on what exactly I find Hugh-like (a.k.a. annoying) about the protagonist. They must be on similar intellectual levels, also the fact that they are tall, have strange-looking bodies, have lewd thoughts about girls, the lack of romantic relationships in their lives, basically, their creepiness towards girls. It doesn’t help that I share some qualities with Alaska, who Miles lusts after, and that Alaska’s boyfriend, Jake, sounds a lot like my Miles*.

So, every time Pudge is creeping on Alaska (checking out her breasts, curves, counting the layers separating his skin from her skin), I can’t help but visualize Hugh creeping on me; and I get pissed. I know it’s in the past, but the fact that he’s still around, and would sometimes talk to me makes it hard for me to read this book. Oh, I’ll finish reading it, all right, because what makes it worthwhile is John Green’s writing style. I think it’s witty and funny, and I’ve noted so many good quotes. The writing also reminds me vaguely of how I used to write back in college... oh, I can be vain, all right.

Change of topic, as mister pukeface doesn’t deserve too much space on this blog. Today, I went to claim my last payment from my old workplace and saw a lot of people I missed. God, was the place nostalgic. Everybody noticed a change of style and the welcome weight gain, which I claimed was from getting enough rest and not skipping meals and... general happiness (or lack of work stress).

My interview with the real estate firm went pretty well, too, and I discovered the job was also pretty cool. I just hope it doesn’t mess with my health again and that I thrive in the marketing field. I guess my plan, as of now, is to slowly inch myself closer and closer to Art, and not freaking jump from one area of expertise to another. I hope to get a follow-up call from that company, and that they don’t snub me like the other great businesses I applied to. :(

Because even when I’m tired and the light at the end of the tunnel seems to be far, I have to keep going, never slowing down, because I’m always one step closer when I’m trying. Jesus help me.



*Code name/s

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Lilith: What has changed since then

One of the many things I considered before I decided to go back into blogging was the radical change of my life’s scenery today from a few years ago. Let’s see: a few years ago, I was still in university, biting my nails over my future each day. A few years ago, I wanted to live on my own (I still do, because... who doesn’t?), but it was a much bigger deal back then, because I was not expecting to spend my money on something more expensive in the near future. I would sleep so early at night, around 7-8:00 p.m., to wake up extremely early in the morning, around 2-3:00 a.m., so I could talk to the guy I liked. I had 3 a.m. “dinners”. I’ve never had a dog give birth. I was more single than not. I looked better because I regularly went to a martial arts class. I was unemployed. Unemployed.

I have a caffeine problem right now. I don’t like the taste of acid of my tongue, not to mention the unbearable pain brought about by Being A Fucking Woman at certain times of the month, so I tried withdrawing from coffee. It was fine at first, until my body (yeah, right) realized that it’s what jumpstarts me every day. It’s what launches me into the damn moon. But in the afternoon, a nagging feeling drags me to the kitchen to make myself another mug. I know... another. Mug.

I think I’ve gotten so used to the sour/bitter taste in my tongue that I probably wouldn’t know when to stop, even when I have to. I wonder if decaf will help.

I am currently floating between ‘single’ and ‘taken’ and it’s not the most comfortable thing. I’ve had some serious issues with Miles*... and for that reason, I’ve stopped being too reliable. I mirror his indifference, much to his dismay, but hey, you should get only as much (or less) as you give if you’re an asshole.

I am still being punished for making the stupidest decision in my life: leaving (read: not ‘quitting’, as my previous boss so insistently asserted when I handed over my resignation letter) my job without a replacement job.

When I look back on the day of my resignation, I wonder how things could have turned out if I chickened out. I was about to meet a new client, my first own account, the day after I planned to submit my letter (my boss was on sick leave that day). If I stayed longer, I probably would have been promoted around this time. Something tells me, though, that I would have broken down at some point, because I was a zombie even before I resigned.

God, you should’ve seen me. Gray skin, eye bags, stringy hair... my body was a thin layer of flesh covering bones.

I couldn’t sleep, did not want to go out during the weekends, barely ate because of stress and depression, hated myself everyday for going to work. I knew from the very beginning that pursuing a career that I knew I wouldn’t like would someday take its toll on me... and it did early on... but it did that more and more, each event worse than the previous one.

I’m still somehow relieved I left, because things could have only gotten worse. It wasn’t really the people, not the clients, not the environment. It was definitely not me. It was the nature of the job that I didn’t like—I always knew I wasn’t made for that line of work. I still thank heavens all the time for giving me the opportunity to survive for a year in a harsh environment, to have the best training ground in my career life, for the lessons and the great people who entered my life. I still made the right decision, and it could have been a very good one had I immediately started job-hunting.

No. I rested for two months. When I started seeking work again, it was hard. There’ve been many interviews, but none of them felt right for me. I am trying to make the right decision this time, but it’s now gotten so difficult that I am just about ready to jump on any opportunity, no matter how much I know I’ll regret it later on.

I hope I don’t have to. I have been heartbroken by three potential employers just because I thought the job would be perfect. I am desperately holding on to hope, but running out of time doesn’t really help you stay positive.

Tomorrow’s my interview with a big real estate business. I’m guessing if I am ever considered for the post that it will be a challenging job, but I still hope to be picked. Nothing is more important to me now than getting my brain cells, my life going again.

If I never find myself working in a non-profit organization, I’m fine with working for a big name. I’ll just have to wait for another opportunity for that one—when I have an established career, I guess.

The ironies of life are amusing! When you’re used to looking at both the negative and positive of every option, decision and situation, you often realize that you’re better off where you are now than somewhere else. It’s the second half of the year and even when I am not earning, I am healthy, happier than if I stayed at my old workplace, look better, and can draw and read and write for leisure all I want. I’m supposed to get married in two years, supposed to have my own place around this time, but NOPE. But I have a fairly good relationship with my parents, and now that I am at my age, I realize that that’s actually pretty cool.


Dear Readers, this is Lilith Otrera. Welcome to Surrealistic Realism. Yoroshiku onegaishimasu.



*Code name/s

Saturday, July 27, 2013

According to yours truly (ATYT): The problem with friends

I cannot believe I am starting a new journal, one that, I hope, I will be able to maintain for a very long time, because of a not-exactly-friend friend that I got into a fight with today.

Let us leave the introductions for later.

In my experience, most bad "friends" want to stick around when they need you for something—fun, laughs, entertainment, advice, ranting and complaining, companionship (both good (they like being with you) and bad (they feel awkward being alone and you’re the only one around who can accompany them)), tickets to some concert, prestige, popularity, oh, I can go on...

It’s unfortunate that I can only name two out of all of the friends I’ve ever had who have never used me. In fact, I think I’ve used them and owed them. However, if you know me, you’d know that I’d love to give back, and more, simply for their friendship. Knowing that they know that makes me happy.

I have been betrayed so many times by friends that I loved so much. One small misunderstanding and they up and leave. This first type of ‘friends’, don’t even bother to ask what was really going on in your head, if it was possible they misunderstood you and jumped to conclusions. No—they just assume the worst; that you had evil thoughts, you betrayed them, pushed them away for selfish reasons, and didn’t even bother to apologize.

Then again, why must you apologize if you did nothing wrong?

If somebody else dug a hole for you, and you were desperately yelling down for them to stop, but they ignore you and keep digging, all you can do is sit by the mouth of that piece of land and wait until they come back up. The problem is, they never do.

They’re ex-friends with you.

There are other types of Judas friends. The second one would use you and use you and use you and assume you’re okay with it (you are... at first, until you realize that you are being exploited). They make themselves available for you but inwardly resent it, and fail to hide it. They make excuses to stay away from you, but come around when they need you.

A subtype is one who forgets about you because of distance, but goes out of their way to be with others on a daily basis. This subtype, however, uses you in a good way. They really, truly want to be with you, but are distracted by the goings-on in their lives (which include other groups of companionship). They are just a little irresponsible—which you can be, sometimes. Some best friends can belong to this subtype.

Sometimes, this type can be a little more infuriating because they are overly detached, but still call you by the secret nicknames you made up together back when they used to not take you for granted. They will appear accommodating, but will find other ways to show you that you’re only getting the short end of the stick. An example? They would never go to your favorite aunt’s funeral to comfort you if you hadn’t mentioned that one of your cousins, who they like, will be there as well.

What a world we live in, eh? Is there a way for humans to evolve personality-wise and character-wise? In a positive way? I wonder. No, no... I’m not talking about culture. Unfortunately. Insensitive jerks have been around for ages; jerkdom has just been accomplished in distinct ways as dictated by culture. But jerks are jerks, whether they’re dressed in corporate wear, gowns, tights, robes or animal skin/fur (I imagine a slideshow of images portraying assholes executing their most holy assiness in said clothing).

There is also a subtype of user friends that love to insult you. I guess they want to feel more superior to you (one good thing about this is, they probably put you on a pedestal) or better than you because they are insecure about some things. That’s how they use you. They’re okay companions, really, they’re even fun and easy to talk to. But they make you feel small the way only people you look up to, who have the right to, make you feel small, minor. These people don’t push you to do better, though, they just make you feel insignificant.

Today I had my first fight with Ilom*. I never predicted a fight in our relationship, but I did predict a falling out of some sort caused by my being... user-friendly.

Ah, he finally snapped. He was in a bad mood today (he hasn’t been in a genuine good mood since the end of last year), but what set today apart is the severity of his foul mood. He was angry about something that happened. For some reason, I started talking about the lesser issue that was embedded within a bigger one. This led to telling him that I have possibly racist conclusions about a western group. He kept pressing to find out what this observation was, but I feared that he would, indeed, find it offensive. I made a joke out of it. I said:

How to make Lil tell me what she thinks about said western group:

1. Offer her some gourmet pizza
2. Don’t be part of western group (which he is part of)

It was a joke, that obviously meant I couldn’t tell him. Still, he pressed. Said the pizza was no problem, but he can’t undo his citizenship. So I said, ‘hey, too bad’. He said it was too bad, for me, as well. I didn’t know what that meant so I told him I’m fine. He then told me that he does hope so, but even if I wasn’t, it didn’t matter, because the fact that I didn’t want to share what I thought about something made him want to do the same. I just said ‘okay’.

I think the fact that I didn’t sense he was pissed, or possibly did and didn’t care about it, pissed him off. He wants me to be scared, feel guilty, or want to apologize. Basically just drop to my knees crying, or something like that. So he said, ‘later’, and told me to remember what happened today. I wasn’t sure if he was angry, so I just mirrored his response and assured him that I will remember. I thought he was going to leave, but again (and trust me, because I am good at reading people), because he was dissatisfied with my casualness, he continued, saying that he will miss our openness—at which point, I said, huh?

He began to explode. He said I’ll ‘fucking regret it the next time’ I ‘tease him like that ever again’. I was shocked. I told him I wasn’t teasing him and asked him to explain. Ah! He finally won. He had the upper hand. He said ‘no’, because I didn’t want to tell him what I thought about those certain group of people.

I was appalled. He said he was going to leave before he loses it; while I was in the middle of replying. Thankfully, I, who never allow people to end a conversation without letting me explain, sent him messages to his phone at my expense. I began explaining. Then I revealed to him what I thought about his people. He came back on just to tell me that hey, it wasn’t so difficult to admit that, was it? He left once again, and that was it. I was livid.

I don’t think we’ll be talking for a really long time, even when he’s around. I’ll make sure of it.

I used to allow that, allow friends to push me around, use and abuse me and disappear when I need them and not feel bad that they weren’t there for me. You, Ilom, said you would not tire of me. Said you would not leave me. I believed that, because in my darkest moments you were there, and you did not tire of me, and you did not leave me. You were up all night because I was hopeless and needy. Nobody sticks around for that.

I told you that one day you’ll end up as one of the unfortunate types of friends I’ve associated with; those people you called ‘garbage’. One day, you won’t think I deserve better; but you kept telling me that I’m talking about an event that never was, and never will be.

You know that one of my worst insecurities had something to do with people I care about treating me unfairly. You implied that you were better than those people. I also recall you saying that the only things that will make you hate me are death threats and lies. There obviously is no reason for me to threaten anybody, especially you, and I may be keeping things from you, but I’ve never lied. Now that you know that there are things I haven’t told you, I hope you’re not pissed. Everybody has things they don’t want to talk about.

Good, trusted friends of mine have told me that those who don’t value you don’t deserve your time, your thoughts. They deserve nothing from you. Somebody said, ‘a girl doesn’t need anyone who doesn’t need her’, and unfortunately, I agree (for the most part).

If you cannot stand the fact that I was uncomfortable about sharing an unqualified inference, and (quietly, gracefully) explode over it, and threaten me by saying you will never forgive me if it (what you assumed I was actively doing) happens again; implying that you will probably never talk to me anymore or disappear from my life, then by all means, Ilom, get out of my life, because you have always been free to do so.

If it angers you twice as much that I will not beg and plead for you to stay, please, blow your top off. It’ll make you feel better afterwards, anyway; plus, the emotional energies in the world will be more balanced (you know, as compared to when people bottle everything up inside so they can harvest food for malignant cells in their bodies).

You obviously don’t need me, the way the user friends I had didn’t need me. They can take me or leave me and just like you now, they do not see any value in simply being friends with me. You, they, want me to be superhuman—always patient, always there, always giving them what they want, always offering comfort, solace, time, effort; and never crying, never getting angry, never saying anything that would even slightly piss them off (from ‘I think prostitution should be legalized globally’ to ‘I don’t like gummi bears’—(readers, they are only examples)).

I have been working on being less needy and dependent, and I am improving every day. I am not as available as I used to be and I will never make myself available to anybody until I can trust them with my life. I am tired of learning the same lesson over and over again—that you cannot connect with people if you do not open up; but even if you do, a connection is never guaranteed.

I don’t need this, because I am strong, despite all the tears, despite the violent thoughts, despite my shortcomings, despite my mediocrity. Everybody has varying levels of these. But I am inherently strong. Whenever I think I’m breaking, I let it happen, believing the darkness will eat me up. I wake up the next morning with a harder shell, and realize I was never truly broken. I never have been broken, because there is an unseen part of me that knows how to fix it whilst delaying it.

Ilom, I valued your friendship, and I am heartbroken at the possibility of us parting ways. I wish we could stay friends, I like you, and I love you truly as a good friend.

But I loved all those friends that have hurt me in the past, too. There’s a bitter taste at the back of my tongue whenever I remember what they did to me, but I miss them; I miss them so much, and I wonder, every now and then, if there’s anything I could do to have them back. (And then I could start over—not be too needy, ask and not worry about giving back, be all over them one day and disappear the next, be that kind of friend. Then I can keep them around again.)

But I’m not ready for that, Ilom. They hurt me, you hurt me greatly, for the shallowest of reasons. You hurt me just as much as they did, if not slightly more, because you promised you never will, and I believed you.

I cannot be friends with you, dear. I don’t deserve to be thrown around anytime and not be bruised, and scared to approach you. I will not allow that... I have not allowed that for quite some time now.

I am constantly learning, dear. There is no excuse, not stress, not anger, not fatigue, not misfortune; for treating a human being who all but cares for you, this way.

But for all it’s worth (because maybe I was insensitive and thought you were more okay than you actually are), I’m sorry. But my pride and dignity assure me that I still don’t deserve this treatment.



*Code name/s