Saturday Links for Looking, 12/3/11

a motley assortment


Design*Sponge 2011 gift guide — with all the gift suggestions handmade!

7 truths about writing from Ann Beattie (“Without these things, many contemporary American short stories would grind to a halt: fluorescent lights; refrigerators; mantels”).

Broken-hearted humanity… and how to be kind when the answer is no.

Do you spend your time the way you’d like? From A Design So Vast.

I read The Joy Luck Club as a Chinese high-schooler, too. Way more fraught than you might think. Jenny writes like a star for Rookie mag about stories and culture.

To rise. To survive. To thrive.

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Emotional Permanence

compassion & care, mental health & illness

-image by pierofix-

H tells me that I have no sense of emotional permanence. This is a problem that has existed for me since I was conscious enough to know to be afraid of loss.

I have a hard time understanding that people can still love me in a lasting way despite being upset, angry, or disappointed with me at any given time.

Or, more clearly, this is what I mean: when a loved one is upset with me I have a dramatic and over-exaggerated internal/external reaction. In the past this entailed overwhelming thoughts of suicide. Drowning myself in the bathtub was a common trope. I become desperate. I expect that they will never love me again; this throws me into a panic. I apologize profusely in hopes of fixing the panic and remedying the rough patch. Even the acceptance of my apology never feels like enough, and so I often revert to habits of time-tested coping, habits that I have spent years cultivating, habits that are self-destructive.

I’ve been told that this tendency of mine has taught my loved ones to be gun-shy about expressing any form of upset with me – even if I deserve it – no matter how small. I feel this is a sort of emotional hostage situation that I’ve built up over the years. Don’t say it or I’ll shoot the baby.

This is unfair.

(Sweetheart, even if you fuck up I’ll stay. Even if you say the wrong thing or do the wrong thing I won’t leave you. I love you despite this one incident this one morning. That’s not going to change.)

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