America, Day 14

Woke up to…another attack of the past. I guess I should be happy it’s coming up to be healed but at the same time it’s kind of a drag.

I’m getting more and more familiar with the sensations of them now though. Much of what I am experiencing are things from my post-suicidal period in my late teenage that I did not get to fully comprehend or process. Life back then felt like a perpetual low-level panic attack was being diffused throughout my body. I probably would have been diagnosed with GAD had I not already had the diagnosis of depression.

But that was in the past. In the now I am far stronger than I was before then, and a combination of prayer and well wishes dispel it well enough. Also the realization that well, sometimes it doesn’t go away immediately and that’s ok. We can live the day without needing to handle everything. There will be time aplenty to heal.

For some reason went to listen to this :

sang a bit and ended up crying a lot. The English version really didn’t do anything for me but the Japanese one opened up a lot…well that should come as no surprise now should it? Also, I vastly prefer the Japanese lyrics. Music therapy is pretty helpful.

My friend was actually still home when all this was going on and so I felt abashed when he came out of his room. Still more than a bit embarrassed when I’m crying my heart out and there’s someone in the house. Which is pretty normal I guess.

I contacted another close friend of mine from the past and at the end of my introduction he was a bit like “whoa that’s a lot to take in at once.” I have to remind myself other people are living more comparatively normal lives and to go easy on them (and myself!)

I sometimes also wish this was a normal travelogue and I’d, you know, actually go out and see sights and take pictures of them. Nope, you get lots of internal images instead. But like I said travels can take place both inside and out.

Decided to go take a rest after all that emotionalism. Probably the right course of action. After that a short walk, and then I called another old friend.

She shared something that I feel is worth blogging about. “A lot of people think that shared trauma is the basis for a relationship, but I think giggling together is probably better.” Wise words!

Then it was time to go to my cousin’s house, which interestingly enough had the exact same street name as my friend’s.

I played with her kid a bit while dinner was being delivered. Kids always make a feel a little complicated. I love kids so I’m generally glad to be around them, but I also wish that I had the happy, loving childhood that they are having right now.

But then at the same time I also reflect with compassion that how my parents treated me was probably how they were treated when they were younger…actually they were probably treated worse. I get angry and then I feel compassion and then I get envious and then angry and then…all part of being human I guess. I’m pleased to report that usually compassion predominates. Guess all that therapy really helps!

Time for dinner…burgers! This is the first time I’ve had American food on my trip…oh wait no I had a pizza for lunch earlier.


Gave the elevator speech about my life story again and I let them weigh in a little bit on what was going on. Lots of good comments and question, no space to relate them all, but my aunt also concurred that there was no danger of burnout. If you like something, and you’re good at it, you’ll do well. It often energizes instead of enervates.

She’s also all about concrete things. She once told me “I don’t understand you psychological people, you’re always talking about things that don’t exist.” I must admit I can’t quite agree with that, but I can see the point of having something real to hang your hat on, so speak.

She also mentioned that it was pretty miraculous that I managed to derive such strength from video games and anime, It was. It still is. That’s why I wrote a whole fucking book about it. Caught up in my past battles as I sometimes am (also nothing to feel ashamed of) I sometimes forget that it’s a miracle that I am even here. That indeed, everything is a miracle and we often don’t realize it.

A quote from Albert Einstein seems appropriate here :

“There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.”

As you can tell I love my aunt a lot. I really, really do. She’s helped me a lot more than I even ever realized.

Got to catch up with my cousin some more, which was really good. I don’t think I’ve ever been able to speak to her at length about personal matters, which I did some of.

The visit yielded more prereaders for the book, for which I am most grateful for. My most valuable prereaders are those without any knowledge of games or anime, so I know what a non-fan thinks.

I had some delicious cookies courtesy of my cousin, which I forgot to take pictures of because they were too delicious. I don’t have the recipe but I’ll share that when you have really sweet cookies like these, some sea salt sprinkled over it (not too much!) brings out the flavor a lot more. It’s the same principle as why people in Japan sometimes put salt on watermelons.
More memories as they drove me home. The green road signs and the long freeways still elicit powerful emotions from me. The motels across the roads with names like “America’s Best” and the fir trees that dot the sides of the roads.

Still, it’s good to be here. I thank my friend once more for her advice. The child within is healing even as my adult self comes to grips with reality…only to discover that reality isn’t so bad after all. There’s no need to escape when there are no enemies to run from.

I also no longer feel so horrible when someone doesn’t listen to what I have to say or interrupts. That is another old wound from when I was much younger and NO ONE listened to the important stuff, which I had the right to speak and be heard by. It’s also nice to not feel that I have to share everything with everybody…which is of course impossible to do in the first place.

Family is always important. It’s good to have close relations whom you can trust and be trusted by. There is a certain intimacy between family members which you can’t find elsewhere.

And like I told my aunt, no matter what else has happened in my life, I have also always been blessed by having many good and true friends, who have given me a lot in many different ways. I mean take this trip, for instance…I’ll be staying with friends almost the whole time! That’s a lot of savings right there, not to mention shared experiences.

Came back to watch some new anime with my friend (that’s basically all he does, besides work…BQ you know that’s true, don’t deny it) I was pretty cold to Rainbow Days and Re: Zero but Kiznaiver looked really interesting. Wanted to watch more but I was sleepy and also not 19 anymore so I couldn’t fight off sleep and just watch anime the whole night. I also have blogs to write and appointments to keep and all of that Real Life ™ stuff to do. Such is life.

More musings about anime in general :

I can’t quite turn off my translation sensors whenever I watch subtitled anime. I noticed that Funanimation and Crunchyroll have differing quality of translations…Osomatsu-san had a REALLY GOOD ONE (I don’t think I could do as good a job!) but most of the others were weaker.
I spotted the old kludge of multiple commas in a sentence more than a few times, a sure sign of weak translation. There were some errors in definition as well. But generally I doubt the audience really cares or knows because meaning gets across okay most of the time. Professionally though, I can’t help but pick apart the sentences that bother me. 仕事の癖はそう簡単に治りそうもない. (Not so easy to fix work habits.)

Trying to level up my E to J as well, and not just my J to E. As with everything else on this trip, we’ll see how it goes.

I still can’t find it in myself to watch the majority of newer anime…for one, I don’t like the flat colors and thin lines. Though I have another cousin who has the exact opposite reaction – she can’t stand the thicker lines of old anime. I guess it boils down to tastes and what you grew up with. A chance Facebook comment comes to me “don’t be an anime snob/elitist.” Also very true. I would be the last person in the world to rain on anyone’s parade.

A lot of my resistance I guess comes from my past (like so many other things) in that I wished for the world to stop moving until I could get back on my feet and participate properly. But there’s no time like the present, and no trains to catch.

Still not going to watch Love Live though. Ever. Okay maybe just one episode, for analysis and research purposes.

Another long day. Sweet dreams everyone.

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