Tag Archives: star trek

judgments, criticisms and star trek

I’m afraid of judgments and criticisms, real or imagined. I take them hard, at their face value, and I carry them with me, forever.

For example–

  1. 17 years ago a kid on my school bus said I looked different (not in those words, of course), and I still believe I look different, in the exact same way.
  2. Ten years ago a classmate said I was stupid because I couldn’t verbalize my thoughts, because of my anxiety. Now, whenever I have trouble connecting with my thoughts, I tell myself I’m stupid.
  3. Two years ago a co-worker said I wasn’t approachable because I never smile. To this day, I still feel like I’m unapproachable, in every single situation, and I put immense pressure on myself to smile.

To me, all judgments are objective truths. I know that sounds irrational–and it is–but sometimes my logic is irrational.

In a Star Trek episode I watched today, Data found it puzzling that human beings feel the need to compete with one another. Counselor Troi clarified by saying, “Humans sometimes find it helpful to have an outsider set the standard by which they’re judged.”

“To avoid deceiving oneself,” Data said.

That’s exactly how I feel. The way I see myself is based not only on actual judgments, but on how I believe people perceive me. I use imagined, or hypothetical, judgments to paint a picture of myself, so I don’t deceive myself. They keep me in check, and they fuel my perfectionism.

I don’t want to be judged so I visualize how people could judge me in a given situation, and then try to “correct” my behavior so I don’t fall prey to those very judgments.

What’s more, more often than not, “correcting” my behavior means mimicking how others act. I need to fit in so bad because I don’t want to be judged, I can never be who I am. I can never be me. I just stay in the background, avoiding people and keeping my mouth shut.

Finally, this form of thinking–trying to guess future judgments–takes me out of the present moment and causes undue anxiety. By not being present, and instead focusing on the future, I take myself out of a non-threatening situation (because these thoughts usually come when I’m either doing nothing or something mundane) and put myself into an anxious, hypothetical situation, which causes anxiety and stress that would not be there.

tuesday’s binge

On Monday I was super productive during the day. I spent over seven hours in the library getting caught up on school work, free reading, and working on my blog. On Monday night I started crashing. I felt it first while watching a Star Trek movie. I felt lethargic. And sad. Very sad. After the movie, my girlfriend and I decided to go for a walk. I put on my shoes and grabbed my cell phone and noticed that my mom had called. That’s when it hit me hard. That’s when I knew. It only took a few seconds, but I imagined my entire conversation with my mom: what I’ll say, how she’ll respond, how I’ll respond to her response etc. I imagined telling her how I really feel. How depressed I really am.

I felt very tired on our walk, and later, while we were reading in bed, I leaned over, rested my head on girlfriend, and cried a bit.

Yesterday, in the library, my feelings increased: I feel weak. I feel flat. I feel depressed. I have no energy. I have no desire to do anything. I have nothing. Thoughts kept coming, and when I finally pushed them aside, I pressed my eyes into my hands. Tears came. Pushing harder, more tears came out. I felt like I was squeezing a lemon for its juice.

I wondered what I’d done to deserve this.

I watched people in the library. Going from person to person, finally settling on one. Male. Tall. Muscular. He was reading a thick novel. I could see him smiling so he must have been happy. I wanted to follow him the rest of the day, watching his life unfold. Maybe if I follow him long enough I’ll become him?

I pushed my thoughts aside again and spent another few hours in the library. Then I went home, grabbed my bike, and rode to the store.

This is what I picked up–

That’s 28 oz of ice cream, plus a large vegetarian sandwich with everything on Dutch crunch. ~2000 calories

I didn’t feel much at all afterward. I know I should have felt something. Like sadness or regret or shame. But I didn’t, and I actually felt bad that I wasn’t feeling anything. I think I was just content. I didn’t really feel anything until my girlfriend called like twenty minutes later, and even then, the feelings weren’t about myself: I felt like I had let her down.

After we talked, I went right back up to the library and started working again, as if the binge had never happened.