Jul. 23rd, 2009

fersakyn: (sad kitty)
I had a fairly social day. I went down to Irvine, had lunch with a friend from grad school (different department) and her coworkers, ran some errands, and attended an informal get-together in memory of a friend's wife. He didn't want to do an actual memorial -- he's already done several in Germany with her family and has one more to go later this month in San Francisco with her friends from college -- so talk of his wife was fairly low-key, and it was more a catching-up with old friends session.

My friend, the one I had lunch with, and I had discussed how we'd be bored out of our skulls if we ever opted to be stay-at-home moms/wives. She said that she just felt better with paid work that let her socialize, gain skills, and learn more things. I replied that without work, I get hyper-critical of myself. Nothing is good, everything needs improvement, and on and on. I start obsessing over how every minute detail, from my nails to my getting the PhD (took too long! should've been finished sooner! so-and-so only took SIX YEARS to finish! I should've been more like her!), is just wrong, wrong, wrong. She was kind of horrified to hear that the self-criticism extends so far. I even start to think that I'm fat (intellectually, I know I'm not at all overweight; in fact, I'm probably slightly underweight since I don't exercise enough -- not enough muscles versus flab -- and see, there's another example of self-criticism!).

I need gainful employment.

The friend, whose wife passed away this year, and I talked after the get-together about this and that. He, in reference to the above-conversation with the other friend, said that living at home probably demoralizes me further since my mom is hyper-critical of me, and I most likely have internalized all the negative judgments. I told him that I already knew that, but that her constant habit of cutting me down has led not only to my internalizing those opinions, but also aping that very hyper-criticism itself. And the eighteen years of that kind of behavior means that my habit of being all doom-and-gloom about myself is a pretty entrenched habit. Just recognizing it doesn't mean that I can stop doing it. I fall a little too much into OCD to just stop. It's easy for me to be obsessive/compulsive, and therefore brooding on how much I dislike this, that, and the other about myself and my life is really, really easy.

Working and keeping busy help a lot. I'm less likely to be obsessive, at least in a negative fashion, when I'm too busy with other things. *fingers crossed for job offer*

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fersakyn

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