September YNAB analysis

Maybe I should be doing further ado. I could be pointing out that I went to Japan with my parents in August and refrained from buying anything with “new” money. I had some Japanese yen from way back when and spent that, but if I hadn’t had it, I wouldn’t have bought anything.

Motto of the story: don’t carry cash. Ever.

So yeah, maybe I should add in some head patting to the self-flagellation. IDEK.



So, books are still a problem, as usual. *sigh* Some days I wonder if it’s even worth fighting that one. I’m tempted to just relabel the category as “prozac” and be done with it. Certainly back in the day when I was taking Wellbutrin, it cost well over that amount every month. Win some, lose some, eh?

Good news is entertainment went down to just my Spotify subscription. I’m debating stopping that also, since it’s going to take me what, only about 12 months at $20 for me to crawl back into the black as is already. But I have a thing about paying for the stuff I consume so I’ll probably keep it going rather than shell out the couple hundred dollars to pay for the tracks I listen to. One of these days I’ll do a cost analysis and see, but for the moment I might just let it slide.

Ah, letting it slide, the nemesis of saving money. :D

Aaaaaand, I exploded my toiletries category. My handkerchiefs were getting a bit too holy for my taste, so I got some new ones. Yeah, about $150 worth of new ones.

I did do the math; the handkerchiefs I got back in March of 2011 have lasted me this long and even with the calculation of laundry, I was still ahead. Not ahead if you start counting labor, but eh, what is?

So total for Sept was $366.68 and it’s going to take me about, oh, also about 12 months to recover from the handkerchiefs. Sweet.

If I count the $100 I paid to E to schlepp my boxes from my old place to my parent’s house and I do, that’d be $466.68 and an object lesson in “never trust anyone not to stab you in the back” and “why an emergency fund is a good idea” and most importantly, “why having a fucking income is next to godliness”.

If I get a windfall, it’s an even toss as to whether I should slot it toward my book red or if I should just stick it in an investment vehicle somewhere. Or I might stick it in toiletries because I hate seeing that red. We’ll see.

And yeah, part of the deal for October is I need to write down the title, author, and review of every book I buy.

August YNAB analysis

Without further ado:

August YNAB


So. Books. Still a problem. Obviously.

Me, in pained accents: “Katia, what am I going to do with you?”

Entertainment was not too hot either. Kev got me into playing Fallout Shelter and I totally went and got some microtransactions going. *sigh*

Me: “You know, self, there’s only so much you can play the depressed card, right?”

Total outflow was $189.58, so technically still within bounds, but meh.

And now for something different…

It’s interesting, to be without my own income for the first time since I was eighteen.

So it’s been about, what, three months since I came back to Taiwan? Which, since I used “back” again, I probably really should try to unpack that a bit at some point. I keep being surprised by it, but it keeps slipping out anyway, so maybe I really should think harder on it.

So since I don’t really have “income” right now, just a sort of allowance/stipend thing, I figure it’s a good chance to get on that hyper-focus on budgeting thing. Or, you know, it’s another way to procrastinate, I don’t know. Probably the latter, to be honest, but on the other hand, I really do need to be putting all of my expenditures under a magnifying glass at the moment. Or at least, the trend of spending if nothing else.

I do have some money put away, but I really don’t want to drain it unless I really have to.

So, starting from July…



To clarify, my parents are still paying me $100/month to deal with their rental property and my mom has very graciously decided to pay my Doctors Without Borders monthly donation. That means I have about $100 of my own money that I’m pulling per month for non-negotiable stuff like clothing, books, and business expenses. Theoretically I’m going to try my best to not touch it, but I figure not budgeting for it is a stupid idea.

So, July is not all that pretty.

I went way overboard on the books. Not surprising considering that I was stressed and I tend to binge read when I’m depressed, but not good either. At least it was low triple digits…

Entertainment isn’t looking too hot either, but the reason for that is because I had to replace my Kindle after it got lifted from my pocket in Sweden. Yeah. “Had to”. I know.

I spent $95 on a five book cover credit, which I think was a steal but that did put me over budget.

In all, not terrible, asides from the book binging. I’m trying to figure out how to cut down on it and I usually have varying stages of luck. Sometimes going completely cold turkey and not looking at anything that isn’t free works, but sometimes it doesn’t on really dark days, especially if KU is being particularly slushy.

I’m wondering if forcing myself to write a book review on everything I pay for would work. On the other hand, I usually start paying for books when I’m too depressed to roust myself out of bed, so I’m not sure how well that would go.

Ugh. Having no willpower sucks. That delayed gratification challenge? I suspect I would have failed at it… On the other hand, part of the problem isn’t so much delayed gratification as I tend to just fwomp when I can’t see that things will get better if I delay my gratification. It’s not like I’m going to get more money if I hold off on buying more books if I technically have the money in the bank.

Well, in terms of interest, maybe, if I saved the money and bought stocks with it. Maybe that’s the ticket – every time I hold off on buying a book, I transfer the money into an account I then funnel into my stocks.




Pre-nups and pragmatism, oh my

The topics do sort of run downhill together, don’t they? One just leads into the other.

Thene mentioned something about marriage and permanence and the thought brought pre-nups to mind. Whereupon we move into yet another question of pragmatism versus cynicism.

At this point in time, I think I’d definitely want to sign one if I were to marry. Getting out of my previous relationship was complicated by financial matters and that’s something I never want to revisit. It was by turns hurtful and humiliating.

Further in those thoughts, I think some of my friends were surprised when we learned that another of my friends, X, had signed a pre-nup involving such clauses as  a bride piece, being paid/awarded for having children, and if I recall correctly, even a bonus for how much time they’d been together. Some of them were openly dismissive if not outright opposed to the notion.

Unpacking various aspects of the idea, keeping in mind that the majority of my thoughts is going to boil down to “society sucks, so a person saying that future hubby is just going to have to suck it up and share the spoils is fair” :

- the bride piece makes sense if you consider that in certain cultures, even today, a divorcee is considered to be less attractive than a similarly prospected woman who had never been married. In another way of looking at it, a man usually gets more promotions and higher raises than he would have otherwise once he’s married. I don’t think it’s particularly unfair to request a cut of the wealth. So I wouldn’t say no to one, but it’s not something that I’d ask for in a pre-nup.

- consider the “mommy penalty” for having children, being awarded money for having children makes perfect sense. It’s not just the financial aspects of it either, but a woman can have health complications arise from having children. In a way, I see it as a pre-negotiated sharing of the various consequences of having children that aren’t usually adequately addressed. Definitely wouldn’t say no to this clause and I’m unsure that I wouldn’t bring it up.

- Bonuses for amount of time spent together. At the moment I can’t really think of anything to justify this, so it’s something I wouldn’t ask for and probably wouldn’t want even if someone offered. I can see the rationale – a woman’s worth as considered by society is based off her youth and therefore the pre-nup assigns a value to her time spent. Also, the longer a man is married, the more respectable he’s seen to be. Not completely unfair to request a bit of that pie, but again, not something I really can throw myself behind.

All of the above really boils down to a simple notion: the protection of a woman’s interests after the man she married no longer cares about her well-being. And you know what? I’m very not-surprisingly completely in favor of that.

I’ve seen way too many tragedies occur because a woman who was a stay at home wife or mother was dicked over after a divorce. I myself have felt a shadow of what it is like to be without recourse for what was owed me after a relationship ended.

My aunt is still with her husband after she caught him cheating on her in their bed because of money. Another aunt remained with her cheating husband, even after he told her that he didn’t care if she and their babies lived or died while she was on bedrest for a problematic pregnancy, because of money. My grandmother never divorced my grandfather despite his many, many abuses and infidelities… because of money. I know women who stay with men who aren’t good for them… because of money.

I don’t think it’s unfair at all to try and negotiate the care of the more disadvantaged spouse ahead of hand, while you still love each other and presumably care about each other well-being. And I use those particular words very carefully: if I were the bread-winner and my husband wanted to be the one to stay at home to take care of the children, I’d be perfectly in favor of putting money into an account for him so he wouldn’t have to ask me for money for his own stuff. Being a house-spouse can be a part-time job to full time job depending and being a stay at home parent pretty much is a full time job. It’s perfectly legit to be recompensed for such.

Sure, it’s nearing the end of 2015 and it would be nice to think that society doesn’t suck that much, that people wouldn’t suck that much after things have been broken off that they wouldn’t take care of their obligations, but that’s just not fact at the moment. I’d be perfectly happy to revisit and revise should that change, but I don’t think it is going to in the near future.

Especially since I’m living in Taiwan at the moment; the situation here really makes me wonder why anyone would get married without a pre-nup. Heaven knows the horror stories abound: one aunt had to save pennies off the grocery money to buy underwear because her husband was so tight-fisted.

And then, of course, there are the basics:

Things that I would definitely want addressed in a pre-nup at this point: clarification that there is to be no shared debt; specifications on what happens to a shared home/vehicle in the case of divorce; separation of any income post marriage, none of that community property stuff; child support; child care; and custody of children.



Quantum of Solace

Thene mentioned this before:

The Governor paused and looked reflectively over at Bond. “You’re not married, but I think it’s the same with all relationships between a man and a woman.  They can survive anything so long as some kind of basic humanity exists between the two people.  When all kindness has gone, when one person obviously and sincerely doesn’t care if the other is alive or dead, then it’s just no good. That particular insult to the ego – worse, to the instinct of self-preservation – can never be forgiven.  I’ve seen flagrant infidelities patched up, I’ve seen crimes and even murder forgiven by the other party, let alone bankruptcy and every other form of social crime.  Incurable disease, blindness, disaster – all these can be overcome. But never the death of common humanity in one of the partners. I’ve thought about this and I’ve invented a rather high-sounding title for this basic factor in human relations. I have called it the Quantum of Solace.”

Bond said: “That’s a splendid name for it. It’s certainly impressive enough.  And of course I see what you mean. I should say you’re absolutely right.  Quantum of Solace – the amount of comfort.  Yes, I suppose you could say that all love and friendship is based in the end on that.  Human beings are very insecure. When the other person not only makes you feel insecure but actually seems to want to destroy you, it’s obviously at an end. The Quantum of Solace stands at zero. You’ve got to get away to save yourself.”
It’s become a sort of shorthand, a touchstone, a reminder.
It’s not just a reminder that humanity is a goal, not a guaranteed state of being, it’s also that everyone’s line in the sand is different.
What X defines as being adequate humanity might not make the cut for Y and yet it might be the height of coddling for Z.
The smallest possible unit; the baseline below which if you fall, everything shatters.
I was talking to my cousin the other day, exploring the idea of being in a relationship and when it’s worth it. I finally summed it up for myself thusly:
Assuming that your own baseline while single is either at zero or plus one, adding another person should always raise it to at minimum plus two or three for the relationship to be worth staying in.
I’m not currently looking for a relationship because I’m currently at zero with the needle wavering between plus and negative one.  I’d only want to look when I’m at a solid plus one heading towards a plus two. There has to be something in the tank before you go diving because there’s always going to be something out there that’s going to drain you before buoying you and the latter isn’t guaranteed.
I admit, there’s also a wee bit of man-hating going on right now, so that cynicism isn’t something I want to bring to a new relationship either.  Also, let’s be frank here – no one really heads into a relationship with someone who is knowingly a zero or a negative. It’s not fair to anyone and it’s mostly a waste of time and effort. It could be a learning experience, but seriously, how many of those does any one person need?
No matter what that person brings to the table, no matter what requirements you or they have, no matter any of the standard quantifiable stuff – the real question is “am I happier with this person than I am single”?
If you cannot answer that with a solid “yes”, then it’s time to get the hell out of the relationship.
Something else that took getting out of a relationship to figure out: if you can’t see yourself marrying the person in question, then you need to grow a spine and some guts and break it off.
I didn’t understand that at first and I don’t think my ex really did either.
It’s another line in the sand that I looked at and didn’t see for what it was. He might have known, but either I didn’t understand what he was trying to say, or he didn’t know how to distill his feelings into something that I could comprehend.
It went both ways, which was the funny part. He kept dragging his feet on talking to my parents about getting married and threw a hissy fit in the ring store when I dragged him there and  I told him verbally I didn’t see being able to marry him towards the end. We hurt each other with our reticence, but we were both unwilling to really step back and say “yep, not working” and abort.
If you can’t imagine marrying someone, then something’s wrong there. If there just isn’t that urge to “put a ring on it”, then the emotion just isn’t there. And when the emotion isn’t there, then clearly the two of you together isn’t anywhere near a sufficient positive balance.
That simple. It’s not even math.
Are you really happier with him? Or is it just fear and habit?

The sins of our fathers

More on babies and love and marriage and general shit.

Yeah, I’ve been thinking about this a lot, but in my self defense it’s only been, oh, about four or five months since I really resigned myself to the end of a ten year relationship. If I go by what I’ve heard before, which is a month for every year, I figure I still have more than half a year to go.

Seriously though, this came up the other day when we were at lunch. I was talking with my aunt and my cousins and of course, significant others came up again. And of course, there was that song. And then there was that lovely, depressing, uplifting, heart-shattering book by Barbara Bretton…

I heard from someone once that we are our forefathers, that we reincarnate endlessly as our own descendants so long as we fail to learn our lessons, that we can never get away from the cycle until the day we achieve enlightenment.

Wow. Okay. That brings the whole “sins of our fathers” concept to a whole new level of crazy.

I don’t know if I believe it or not. Color me agnostic.

What I do know is the trope of families reenacting the same dramas over and over again, of families beloved by tragedy, of families who can’t seem to get on HEA train, so on and so forth.

My family, both sides, fall into that trope.

My mother’s side is exhibit A of “what not to do” in terms of marriage. My grandfather abandoned my grandmother early on, after getting five children on her, and proceeded to spend the rest of his life with various “secretaries” and mistresses and “housekeepers”. My eldest aunt married someone who gives her stomach ulcers and they seem to lead mostly parallel lives. My mother seemed to have an okay marriage, up until the point where my father really went off the deep end with his midlife crisis, and it’s now kinda at the point where much as I love my father, I think it might almost be best if they divorced. My third aunt married a man who pursued her relentlessly, thinking that he would be good to her, and he was frolicking with another woman while she was bedridden with their children. Then she had a sequence of boyfriends, none of whom worked out, and now she’s with a man who doesn’t really make her truly happy. I don’t know much about my little aunt’s love life, but she and her husband mostly seem happy with each other. Then again, they both work more than sixty hours a week, so god knows when they would have time to get on each other’s nerves. Then there’s my uncle. His wife left him for another man, came back because she (no joke) had lupus and was on the verge of dying, and he succumbed to the blandishments of another woman while she was gone/recuperating, and now the two of them seem perpetually caught in some twisted kind of limbo where he apparently still hangs out with his mistress and yet is still married to his wife and lives in the same house as hwe.

My father’s side…

Welp, there’s my fourth uncle, who probably drove his wife to religion (devout, devout Buddhist) because, dude, that man can be a pill (said by his own brother). Loud, abrasive, judgmental, impatient — yeah, it runs in the blood. Good man, despite all that, but just not the easiest person to be married to.

There’s my aunt, the eldest in their family, with five boys trailing after her, who caught her husband cheating with a woman in their bed.  She’s who I think of when I think that it does a woman no good to be all blade and no sheath. A lovely woman, generous to a fault, and active in the community, but… I suppose her husband tired of her being a fishwife, deserving of it or not.

If my father’s recollections of his parents’ relationship can be believed, his mother was an endless nag and his father long-suffering and their fights legion and legendary. If he can believed, his father went to his grave complaining about what his wife had kept him from achieving.

Then there’s all of their friends and relatives. I don’t think I know of a single happy marriage in any of my grandmother’s circle of friends and I can’t think of any happy marriages in my parents’ generation either.

Then there’s my generation, with my cousin and his wife who is at best indifferent towards his family and my other cousin whose wife loathes his family and then there’s me. We don’t seem to be doing so hot either. Before you ask, there’s a lot of drama going on with the daughter in laws. It’s not so simple as saying “fuck it” and leaving it alone except for holidays.

So let’s not talk metaphysics and quackery. Let’s talk about environment and learned behavior. Let’s talk about role models and expectations and failed expectations. Let’s talk about the society they grew up in and the world we grew up in and whether or not we take on their broken dreams through osmosis.

In a way, it’s not about just me. Of course I want a happy ending for myself. Despite my airy words and casual gestures, of course I want it all.

But it isn’t just for me.

I want something better, something more lovely for my children if I have any. I want them to be happy, to be secure in a world where they know that their parents love each other and them and would do anything within their means to cradle their family in safety and love for as long as they reasonably can.

I’m not talking helicopter parenting. I mean that bone-deep assurance of being loved, of knowing that you are loved for you, that there is someone waiting to catch you if you should fall. I mean the knowledge that there is possibility of a HEA out there for you, that it can be done, that not every marriage and relationship has to end in bitter acrimony.

Sure, I know there’s the lottery winners, but in the same way that people often don’t believe that what tragedies that touch other people will descend upon them, it’s hard to believe in fairy tales when everyone you know intimately says otherwise.

It’s not so much a happy ending for me. I think I could live without the traditional happy ending. I could probably get over it and deal, eventually. I just don’t want this for anyone after us. If our family doesn’t know how to be happy, if our family can’t figure it out, isn’t it in a way better to just cut everything short?

I just don’t know.



I will be… Beloved

Yep, the capitalization is intentional.

I heard a song today, a song that made tears sting my eyes. In sorrow, perhaps. In rage, maybe.

白狐 White Fox

我是一隻愛了千年的狐  -  I am a fox that has been in love for a thousand years

千年愛戀 千年孤獨 –  A thousand years of love / a thousand years of loneliness

長夜裡你可知我的紅妝為誰補  -  in the long nights, do you know for whom I apply rouge

紅塵中你可知我的秀髮為誰梳  -  in this world, do you know for whom I comb my hair

我是一隻守侯千年的狐  -  I am a fox that has waited for a thousand years

千年守侯 千年無助  -  a thousand years of waiting / a thousand years of helplessness

情到深處看我用美麗為你起舞  -  let me use my beauty to dance for you (in my love)

愛到痛時聽我用歌聲為你傾訴  -  when love is painful, let me use my song to speak for you

寒窗苦讀 你我海誓山盟銘心刻骨  -  (when you were) studying by a cold window, we vowed forever to each other
金榜花燭 卻是天涯漫漫陌路殊途  - (when you) succeeded at the exams and married, we were lost to each other

能不能讓我為愛哭一哭  –  may I cry for (our) love?
我還是千百年前愛你的白狐  -  I am still the fox that fell in love with you a thousand years ago
多少春去春來 朝朝暮暮  -  how many years have passed, how many days and nights
生生世世都是你的狐  -  I will be your fox for all of my lifetimes

來生來世還做你的狐 — (repeat of the above and then…) next reincarnation I will still be your fox

Additional clarification:

The lyrics said that she has 守侯 waited for a thousand years. But, really, that phrase is more than that. 守 can mean to guard and 侯 means to wait (often with anticipation), so it carries connotations of safe-guarding and expectations. It’s not just waiting, essentially. It’s not sitting around doing your own thing, with a book or your own life, it’s waiting with anticipation for something eagerly awaited, something precious that she is keeping safe.

寒窗苦讀: to study by a cold window – usually used as a metaphor for how difficult it used to be to be able to pass the Imperial Exams. Usually used in conjunction with ten years, as in cold window ten years, as a shorthand.

It seems that he saved her a thousand years ago, when she was a fox, and now that she was able to take on human form, she came to him while he was still in his poor, struggling days, and they vowed their love to each other. The usual is that for most scholars back in the day is that they had to spend a lot of time studying and was thus often starving/broke because they didn’t have the spare time to work. That’s part of the whole “cold window, bitter study, ten years” thing.

Then, he made it, passed the imperial exams, and then got married. Back then, it was not uncommon if you were first or second in the exams, that the emperor would give you a princess or a noble to marry, or often if you had a sponsor, the sponsor would give you their daughter in marriage. It’s implied that he married someone else because of that sort of thing and so she made like the little mermaid and turned to foam or something.

Just …no. No. No no no no no no no no.

Thene and I were talking kink the other day and she mentioned that some people have a kink for pining. I came back with the retort that I got over that kink by the time I graduated from college.

I really want to take that fox by the shoulders and shake her. A thousand years and you haven’t learned better? Get your heart broken, be betrayed, and you haven’t learned enough to say “fuck it” for next lifetime?

This is what’s considered romantic, which is the frightening thing. Talk about socialization and brainwashing.


If I had a thousand years, I’d do something with myself. If nothing else, I’d teach myself to be self-sufficient. I’m a fox who has managed to break the laws of the universe enough to be near immortal and take human shape – dude, I have much better things to do than pining over some wretch who doesn’t appreciate me properly.

You get one chance. You betray me and we’re done. What’s this bullshit about doing it all over again? No. Just no.


I need some “fuck you and the horse you rode in on” songs to get that out of my head. So much nope.

On the other hand, I totally want to fanfic this now. Of course, she’s going to dump his sorry ass once he betrays her and find some other hot fox to run off into fairyland with.

Soft. Softer. Softer still.

What’s in a name?

My cousin said the other day that she liked 君 (jun), word for ruler or lord or gentleman, the word that our names share, because it was more 霸氣,  more domineering, more confident, more more, all those things that a girl might want in her life in this world.

I love that word too, but I don’t know that I want to keep it.

What I thought, but didn’t ask was: what has being hard brought me anyways?

A reputation for being a force of nature. Broken expectations that shattered my love. Ruined health from all the anger and despair I choked down with the notion of being strong. A bitter spirit and a cynical mind. Being thought to be impervious and thus fair game. Simultaneously the person who surprises people with my love of long hair and longer skirts and the person once compared to a declawed kitten.

The thing is, it’s not enough to be hard. It’s not enough to be domineering, arrogant, and unrelenting. Not unless you’re prepared to go all the way, dive off the edge of the world, and declare yourself to be an island unto yourself.

Logic. Reason. Sobriety. All tools that I used to keep myself safe when in actuality I was drowning in denial.

According to the Chinese stars, I carry three tigers, a torch, and three knives; the horoscope for my faults say that I “possess a significant capability for damage”.  Essentially, I’m a walking arsenal, a one-person army. My brother laughed and said that my new nickname should be Godzilla.

The thing is, like I said, it’s one thing to be Alexander the Great or Genghis Khan, but it’s another to be Cleombrotus or Napoleon. Or worse, someone who isn’t even noted in the annals. Either you go all the way, or history will sing of someone else.

All of the fortune-tellers that I’ve met have looked at my stars and shook their heads. One of them, more recently, said that my independence and stubbornness was … all right in this day and age. His tone said it all, that it was good that I was born in these times because if I were born in an earlier age, I would have been sent home to my parents in disgrace as a wife discarded for lack of virtue.

I know it.

I look in the mirror and I see a hard woman. An unhappy woman. The lines between my brows. The grooves that bracket my mouth. The downward tilt of my lips in rest. The awkward way a smile sits on my face when it’s not buoyed by genuine mirth.

Ignorance is bliss. I’ve always thought thus, but in the past I would push past it with the thought that if I could not be soft and content in my ignorance, I could persevere, could push past with sheer will and surmount everything that stood in the way of my happiness.

But no.

In my stupidity and youth I made a fatal mistake.

I thought I could be a sword, lethal to obstacles and a sharp tool to gain me what I wanted, what I needed. But I wasn’t. I was a dull chef’s knife, one prone to slipping and cutting into the hand wielding it, inefficient and cursed.

No. I don’t want to be one of those women who use their femininity as a weapon. I don’t want to be demure and resigned either.

However, there has to be a happy medium, one in which I can set aside my constant need for revolution and be content with defending what I want and need.

I don’t want to be a broadsword, nor a needle, but perhaps I can be a soft sword. I’ve always been fond of that (mythical?) weapon and I should have taken a hint from that. Soft enough to be used as a belt when at rest, resilient enough to be wielded as a whip, but capable of driving into stone when infused with will.

The key right now is deciding what I want, what battles I will fight, and what lines are drawn. If nothing else, at least I have the enviable chance of being able to figure that out right now.

There is a poem that goes “ten years I have honed my sword/ never has it been tried/ now I show it to you/ and ask what injustice is there”.

What sword have I honed and what injustice is there?

Take a deep breath and…

When you have to start a conversation with “don’t freak out, but…”, it tends to mean that said conversation doesn’t really tend to happen.

How do you tell someone that you’re thinking about suicide? That dying seems like a winning proposition, that everything just seems unbearably hard, that the burden of dealing with this shell, this drama, this day, you, just makes you want to curl up and stop breathing?

I’ve thought about suicide for decades.

I remember learning about God at Harvest, the Catholic school I went to briefly when I was in second grade, and coming home to pray at night to be taken away. If I should die before I wake… oh how I wanted to die before I woke again. Still do, if you want to know.

I remember praying to the buddhas and the ancestors when I was in fourth grade, that my life should be taken and tacked onto my mother’s so I could just go. Softly, gently, full of relief into that welcoming dark.

I remember pressing the sharp edges of my wood carving tools into my skin when I was twelve, resulting in my mother screaming at me about how terrible it was of me to threaten her that way. How sinful it would be, to desecrate the skin and flesh given to me by my parents. No, no mention of how I felt, whether I needed help, if I had trouble, if there was anything anyone could do to ease the pain.

In the end, that’s the problem, isn’t it?

Almost everyone takes it personally when someone commits suicide or talks about it.

Suddenly it’s no longer about my pain, my life, my choices, but the pain of other people, whether or not I’ll ruin the lives of other people, about how this one gigantic choice isn’t actually mine to make at all.

So I don’t talk about it. I talk around it. I mention it and then I shy away from saying the truth as soon as I see that first instinctive recoil, the defensiveness roaring forth until it’s not about me anymore but about them.

The truth?

If someone offered me a completely painless and surefire way to die right now, I’d take it.

If someone said they could erase me completely from this world, no memories, no pain for anyone, and that it would be quick, I’d go for it, even if there was pain involved.

Don’t ask me questions like whether or not there’s anyone worth staying alive for.

The brutal truth is that no, there really isn’t. Think about it; don’t take it personally and think about it.

I’m in this life 24/7, which means an almost constant battering from my various health problems, depression, and other people’s applied drama.

Isn’t it better to take a step back, realize that no one really wants to be responsible for someone’s happiness around the clock, that no one cares enough to shelter my ridiculously fragile mind from the world, including myself, and accept that it is what it is?

Sure, with sufficient money and enough insulation from the world, I might be content, but is it really worth that effort for anyone? Is it even possible?

I don’t actually think so. So why not die if given the chance?

People like to say that “it gets better”. The thing about that is, no one actually wants to put a timeline on that shit.

It’s been twenty or so years, give or take a couple, and I still don’t believe that whatever pleasure I’ve gotten outweighs the misery. Odd how no one else really agrees that two decades is enough time to say that I’ve given it a good faith effort.

Wouldn’t it be better, to die and allow my organs to be harvested so that someone who actually wants to live, can? Too bad that isn’t an option or I’d hop right on that. Just imagine, my one death might mean that many other people could live. Where’s the bad in that?

One of the only things stopping me at this point is that I’d feel sorry who had to find me and it seems a waste when my organs probably could go toward some good use. On the other hand, considering the poor sod who had to find Kayleigh’s mom’s exploded remains, not killing myself doesn’t really mean anything in the grand scheme of saving anyone horror.

I’m honestly at the point of laughing whenever someone goes “what would you do if you only had six months to live?” because I would cheer, take out all of my savings, and just go to town.

I don’t want to hear “it gets better” because you can’t guarantee that. You really can’t.

I don’t need to hear “what can I do; I’d love to help” because there’s nothing you can do and it’s pointless to pretend otherwise.

What would be helpful is if this post helped even one person realize that sometimes talking about suicide isn’t about a call for help; it’s not an accusation; it’s just a fact.

Hi. My name is Katje and I want to die and no you can’t help and I don’t want help.


This has been running through my mind for the last few days.

Ladies and gentlemen, listen up please, I don’t want to be your hero.
No, I am not open. Parts of me are broken.
Do yourself a favor; save yourself. Don’t pick me, find someone else.
Why’d you want to bother? Find yourself another.

- Darren Hayes – Hero

I’ll leave it open to question as to whether I’m thinking about myself or another because honestly I have no clue. I don’t like to think of myself as broken, but I’m starting to believe that it may be so.

Something else that’s been spiraling in my mind: if this is what we owe each other, just let us wipe the slate clean because I don’t want to see you again next lifetime. If this is what you call love, if this is what you call devotion, if this is what I have to expect from such declarations, then I want no part of it. Just leave me alone. The darkness is safer than you ever were.

I wavered about it, but I decided I’m going to do this, this one time, and then I’m going to be done. I’m going to write it and forget about it until maybe one day I have cause to remember it. Remind myself to never give out more than you’re willing to lose forever.

I’ve always tried to adhere to the ideal of “love like you’ve never been hurt and will never be hurt” because life is honestly too short to punish myself and other people for the sins of others.

The fact that I’ve been reconsidering that stance lately breaks my heart more than anything else I’ve ever encountered, but I cannot budge from the ledge I find myself on.

I’ve been called stupid by all of my female relatives and most of the men too and what burns is that I’m agreeing to it. What I did, that is not something I would ever condone someone else doing. If someone on Quora asked me about it, I’d be all “get the fuck off that crazy train before it crashes and burns in loony town”.

Ex boyfriend owes me nearly 2k. This is all stuff like his portion of the utilities, his take-out food that accidentally got charged to my card, various other sundries, and almost $300 of it was when he charged his meds to my card (without asking beforehand, by the way). He’s really dragging his feet on figuring out his finances and returning it, despite knowing that right now I have absolutely zero income. I’m currently living on my parents’ dime and sufferance and I have absolutely no spare cash in the bank. If I want to grab a snack or a book, I have no wherewithal to do it with. It’s not only stressful, it’s also humiliating.

I have no cushion because of a variety of reasons, not least of which is because we only just paid back the last of the credit card debt amassed under my name to the tune of nearly $16k due to a blend of our poor spending habits, my retail therapy, and two semesters of his college tuition. It’s also because my ex was sending me some money each month to help cover my expenses because just my income wasn’t cutting it and he quit doing that about the time he realized I was serious about moving to Taiwan because of my health issues. So there were about two to three months near the end where I was coming up short and had to dip into what little reserves I had.

I can’t begin to describe the icy feeling in my chest when I think about what that means in terms of how much he cares and how he cares.

To be clear, ex was helping with the bills because, as he put it, “you paid for my living expenses and bills for months while I didn’t have a proper job and was a regular raider in WoW; it’s my turn to pick up the slack”. So in case that needed more clarification, technically, he owed me, by his own admission.

Thene pointed out that the promise was made when we were assuming “in terms of an ongoing sharing of support” and that “originally he was doing it so you could build a writing career that would later contribute to household support” and that ” now your writing is not going to ever contribute to his household in the future, it doesn’t make sense”.

I find that hysterically funny in the “oh god, do you ever know someone?” sort of way.

For one thing, it was never verbalized like that for me. It was always phrased to me as “you took care of me once, let me do that for you in return”.

For another thing, if all this sort of thing got wiped clean at breakup, then divorce lawyers would all be out of a job.

For yet another thing, it’s not in me to withhold a promise or support or affection just because our relationship changed. The more fool I, I believed him when he said we were best friends, that he still loved me, that he still cared about me.

Well, so much for that.

I could have been fine if he was going to go with the non-amicable breakup. Just let me know that you don’t want to be friends, that you don’t care anymore, that you really couldn’t care less if I were plummeting to the depths of Hell in a handbasket. I’m a big girl; I could have dealt. What I cannot deal with is the lies. Ye gods, the lies. Stop lying to me and stop lying to yourself.

Let me just be very clear: I would never treat a friend this way and if this is how you treat your friends, then I don’t want to be your friend.

I would never have left a friend in the lurch the way he did. If I had promised to help support someone, in return for their previous support no less, I would have kept on with it. I know this because back when another friend needed a place to crash for a few months, I just sucked it up and dealt with it because I had promised. That was even without owing that friend anything except my word and back when it was a significant hardship to do so. Nice to know that ten years of supposed love isn’t worth jack in the end.

I would never, ever, ever keep money that I owed a friend from them, especially when I knew that they needed it. The fact that he apparently absolutely doesn’t care that I’m in this sort of a bind says volumes about how much he values the friendship. Lovely to know that he gives no shits about how humiliating it would be to have to ask my parents for money for personal stuff.

So he can talk for hours at me about his new girlfriend, ask my advice about dating the new squeeze, but then play least in sight when I poke him about my money? Not really giving me any warm and fuzzy feelings here.

I don’t want to give him the power, but it’s a struggle because now I have this cynicism about love and friendship and promises that I never used to have. To be fair, it’s not just him, but a confluence of other factors and other people. But ultimately, he held most of my trust, if nothing else, because I believed that ten years of loving and fucking someone had to have some bearing, but no.

It’s fine. I’ll be fine. Like I said, I’m going to write it down and then I’m going to move past it. There was this, this marker, and then nothing more. Past the broken promises. Past the graves of wishes past. Past the dreams of yesteryear.

Next time going in, I’m going to be a little more careful. Never bet more than you’re willing to lose. I bet too heavily and I lost in more ways than just this, but if this was the price of admission, then consider the tuition paid.

If this emotion is what I owed you, then consider us even. You’ve broken my heart enough for a lifetime. If you owe me now in tears, then consider us square. I do not want to be entangled with you any more. Not this lifetime and certainly not the next.

As for the money, I need it and I want it, but honestly, if that’s the price of seeing someone clearly, then I suppose it is what it is.