Thought Catalog


You Can Sense The Dead In Wasco, Oregon — Especially At The Just-Us Inn

Posted: 29 Sep 2015 08:26 AM PDT

Wasco, Oregon is a tiny, tiny town with a big history. You can feel it too. There aren’t any elaborately designed buildings of old architectural charm. You won’t find any of the bells and whistles associated with most historic towns that lends you the feeling it may be haunted. No…there’s none of that — which may be why I was a little nervous about this one.

beetlejuice

The Just-Us Inn was built in 1889 by Levi Armsworthy and his sister Sarah. From the stories I heard and the actual research I have done since my visit, it served as a courthouse at the beginning where public trials and public hangings took place. Also, a hotel and from what I was told, it was also a brothel of sorts (I didn’t find that in my research).

Today, it is an inn that offers monthly, weekly, and nightly stays. As sad is it is for me to say this, it doesn’t feel like it gets much traffic. First off, it’s in an area where most people would not be traveling to unless they had a specific reason to. It’s off the beaten path. Second, it’s not the most updated of places and unless you know that in advance, it might take you by surprise. I think though, this is how the spirits like it. I think whoever comes there is drawn there for a reason and I think whoever stays there does so by their granting alone. Any others would be too uncomfortable and leave. Which is how they like it. They “drive off” (or at least they like to feel they do) those who they don’t want and welcome the ones they do want like old friends.

I picked this inn because it was around an area we wanted to take a weekend trip to…and  because of its rumored hauntings, of course. Once we got there, I put in the code to the front door (only way to get the key) and unlocked the door…only to walk in on a man eating soup while sitting on a couch. Now, do you ever have those moments where you lock eyes with a person and you know this is not going to be some random, ordinary meeting? This was one of those times.

The man was friends with the owner and he knew we were expected. At first, I tried hard to focus on our conversation as I let the rest of my senses scan the room and put my feelers out for the unseen. That is until I really looked at him, as he felt compelled to trust us enough to share his recent struggles in life. I saw them all around him. Oh yes. They were popping in and out from behind and to the side and I would watch as they would attach to him — connect to him — in mid-sentence and the man would stop talking and stare into space.

I wanted to tell him why that was happening to him and wanted to ask him if he noticed when he did it…but I refrained. My boyfriend put his arm around me, which is a code for us. Although he doesn’t come out and readily admit it, he is quite gifted and always knows when something is occurring with me. It’s a true gift to me, really, since having that kind of understanding and support for something so bizarre is rare. Anyway, as he was talking with the man…that is when I saw the one thing I don’t ever enjoy seeing. A shadow figure darting out of the corner of my eye. I am not a big fan of the shadow people.

This one had me intrigued though because it wasn’t a full figure I saw. What I saw was something dark black shadow darting to the right of my eye and floating at the top of the ceiling. It knew I would see it. So the fact that it came forth at the very beginning had me wondering why it was presenting itself. The others I saw and sensed were benevolent. So what was this one? I didn’t want to really find out.

I did finally ask the man if he knew he had “friends” with him. He immediately spilled his feelings about how he felt them often and how they played tricks on him all the time. I felt that too…a trickster in the house. Harmless and far more entertained by his own shenanigans than the ones he is playing tricks on.

We left and came back later that night.

Because I saw the shadow person earlier in the day, what I normally would have been up for, I was no longer up for. Like going to the other floors of the empty inn and/or doing a session in the attic. Nope. Once I see shadow people, I opt out. My choice and not for everyone. I just choose to protect myself in that area. May be wimpy or may be wise.

First thing I did was take some pictures in the room. This first picture is of the curtain area of a 2nd small bedroom in the suite. Do you see the snarled face?

Provided by the author
Provided by the author

Here is another picture I took a minute or so later…not as prevalent?

Provided by the author
Provided by the author

Next, I just began to ask them in my mind’s eye to communicate. I do the same thing I do with human beings. I introduce myself…tell a little about myself and make sure they know I mean them no harm. As an hour or so went by I could sense they were hesitant. I said to my boyfriend that they didn’t quite trust us yet. They were curious, but staying back.

Provided by the author
Provided by the author

That is when I decided to place my Zoom H1 out in the kitchen and let it record the empty rooms. You will see the table in this picture that I placed it on. The long kitchen table. Our suite that was downstairs as well. Alone in that kitchen, the recorder picked up some compelling activity.

The first EVP I got was when we first arrived back that night and my boyfriend and I stood in the entrance of the inn. I explained that they could speak into the red light on the device I was holding if they wanted to be heard or communicate. What I got was a female voice that sounds like she is saying “Huh” at the beginning of this short EVP. Like someone would say if they were perplexed about something.

Next, I captured what sounds like something directly hitting or flicking the recording device.

Next, glasses clinking and moving in an absolutely empty kitchen in the Just-Us Inn.

Next, what sounds like glass tinkling followed by a very faint giggle at the 12 second mark?

Lastly, a bunch of knocking in the kitchen and what sounds like faint talking/mumbling in the background.

I was very frustrated to find that one of the EVP’s I captured could not be picked up once I transferred the file to the software. I can still hear it on the ZOOM H1, but not in the software file. It was the sound of the singing monks that I also picked up in EVP at The Palace Hotel. I will continue to try and see what can be done to be able to post that. I found it fascinating that they would show up again!

Lastly, I want to share my personal experience, even though I am not sure how to even begin to put it into words.

After falling asleep that night, I had an experience that I have not had since my teens. It is not a pleasant one and actually one I hoped I would never have to feel again. The feeling of when something overtakes my body and I am paralyzed. Unable to speak or move. The first time I experienced this was when I was 12 years old. The next, at 15 years old and now at the Just-Us Inn. In this experience I awoke to the feeling of something wrapping around my neck and squeezing tighter and tighter like a python would feel. As I tried to say my boyfriend’s name to wake him up, I could not speak. As I tried to scream, I could not make a sound. As I tried to get myself to kick my legs so I could hit my boyfriend to wake up…literally because the upper half of my body was completely smothered by this thing and paralyzed…I couldn’t get myself to move. I really hesitate to tell this story because to someone who has never experienced something like this, it sounds absolutely insane.

Through me gaining complete control of my fear and panic, by controlling my breathing and going deep within to the surety that nothing has permission to do this to me and commanding that I be released, I finally was. Instead of waking up though, I directly went into a dream of seeing my boyfriend talking with a lady from his high school. She was petite and had short blonde hair. My boyfriend is 45 years old, so high school wasn’t just yesterday. In my dream I knew they were friends on Facebook and my boyfriend was telling her about a guy from high school that had committed suicide. I then saw her start talking to another man (without my boyfriend there anymore) and she was asking him if he had heard about the guy that committed suicide. She couldn’t remember the name that my boyfriend had told her though and so she walked off and around the corner from this guy. All the sudden she ran back around the corner and shouted “Matt Cummings was his name!”

I awoke with a jolt and immediately woke my boyfriend up and began to spew forth all that had just happened. I watched by boyfriend’s face as he came to and the look of shock taking over as he was hearing my words. Stuttering on his words, he began to tell me he had only one friend on Facebook from that time period…who after she friended him years ago, he has never communicated with. She is petite and has short blonde hair, but the most shocking of this whole story is he had two friends commit suicide from high school. One had the first name of Matt. The second man had the last name of Cummings.

Absolutely unbelievable.

Why did this happen? I can’t say. I do feel that maybe the public hangings that took place on the property has to do with the entity that is still sticking around at this inn — one that is the energy behind such trauma and experiences. Why I was given the information about my boyfriend’s high school friends, I still am not sure. One of them hanged themselves and the other jumped out a window. Maybe they were trying to connect with me. To communicate. In a place where others too have met somewhat of the same fate? I can’t say.

I just know that come sunrise, I packed up my things and we left early in the morning. Do I feel there is a dark presence at the Just-Us Inn? I feel that the shadow figure that made itself known to me at the beginning of the day is a protector of sorts. I also saw a woman with dark brown hair and a longer face. Larger features. Hair up with tendrils around her face. She was quite lovely. The trickster…felt like a jovial man. Maybe this shadow thing is kind of the security for the place. It has been in jeopardy of being torn down in the past. Somehow, it always gets saved. Maybe they don’t like too many visitors in their little inn and they make sure it stays that way by having this dark thing flex its muscles a bit?

All I know is from my personal experience alone, I do 100% believe it has paranormal activity. Add that to what was captured from the recordings and I wholeheartedly back up that belief. TC mark

This post originally appeared at The Closet Clairvoyant.

Here’s 31 Horror Movies You Can Watch On Netflix For Every Day Of October

Posted: 30 Sep 2015 03:16 PM PDT

1. Scream

Scream
Scream

Classic 90s slasher film fun — “What’s your favorite scary movie?”

2. Haunter

Haunter
Haunter

A fresh twist on the ages-old ghost story.

3. Sleepy Hollow

Sleepy Hollow
Sleepy Hollow

Tim Burton’s breathtaking visual murder mystery with bonus perfect Johnny Depp cheekbones.

4. The Awakening

The Awakening
The Awakening

A spooky English thriller with great tension and a solid plot.

5. Carrie (2013)

Carrie
Carrie

Refreshingly good remake of the timeless Stephen King film — “They’re all gonna laugh at you!”

6. Tales From The Darkside: The Movie

Tales From The Darkside: The Movie
Tales From The Darkside: The Movie

Campy, spooky, and full of surprising cameos.

7. The Babadook

The Babadook
The Babadook

A horror story rooted in real life almost as much as the mythical monster lurking between the pages.

8. The Omen (1976)

The Omen
The Omen

The creepy original that makes you think twice about having kids.

9. Oculus

Oculus
Oculus

An interesting new take on the haunted object trope.

10. Halloween Resurrection

Halloween Resurrection
Halloween Resurrection

The only “Halloween” movie available to stream (other than 6, which btw, BOO), so of course it made the cut.

11. Rosemary's Baby

Rosemary's Baby
Rosemary’s Baby

Another chilling classic that also makes you question if it’s wise to procreate — especially with the devil.

12. V/H/S

V/H/S
V/H/S

One of my all-time found footage favorites — “I like you.”

13. You're Next

You're Next
You’re Next

Murder, mayhem, and dinner with your parents all wrapped into one.

14. Saw

Saw
Saw

The birth of torture porn and also a damn good twist ending.

15. Scream 2

Scream 2
Scream 2

More Ghostface fun, but in college this time.

16. Pet Sematary

Pet Sematary
Pet Sematary

Because sometimes, dead is better.

17. Inner Demons

Inner Demons
Inner Demons

“Intervention” meets “The Exorcist” meets my heart.

18. Wes Craven’s New Nightmare

Wes Craven's New Nightmare
Wes Craven’s New Nightmare

My personal favorite Freddy Krueger movie and meta as fuck.

19. Dead Silence

Dead SIlence
Dead Silence

Creepy puppet mystery with bonus Stabby Old Inmate from “Orange Is The New Black”!

20. The Blair Witch Project

The Blair Witch Project
The Blair Witch Project

The ultimate found footage film — “I’m so scared right now!”

21. Cujo

Cujo
Cujo

A fun, furry screamer that will make you double check you got your dog vaccinated recently.

22. The Ward

The Ward
The Ward

A good excuse to look at Amber Heard for 88 minutes.

23. Children of the Corn

Children Of The Corn
Children Of The Corn

Creepy kids and cornfields and basically a PSA to never visit Nebraska.

24. Hellraiser

Hellraiser
Hellraiser

All the scariest kinks you never knew existed, other dimensions, and also hell puzzles!

25. Devil's Pass

Devil's Pass
Devil’s Pass

Found footage fun based on a real unsolved mystery.

26. Leprechaun

Leprechaun
Leprechaun

Without beating around the bush: silly as fuck.

27. Banshee Chapter

Banshee Chapter
Banshee Chapter

Intense documentary gone terribly wrong.

28. House Of The Devil

House Of The Devil
House Of The Devil

Slow-burn spooky Satanic Panic freakout.

29. The Lazarus Effect

Lazarus Effect
The Lazarus Effect

A star-studded creepfest about the dangers of playing god.

30. The Grudge (Ju-On)

Ju-On
The Grudge (Ju-On)

Japanese horror at its finest.

31. Scream 3

Scream 3
Scream 3

BECAUSE YOU WATCHED THE OTHER TWO SO YOU’RE WATCHING THIS ONE TOO. TC mark

The 9 Nastiest Things I’ve Said To My Boyfriend That Got Him Off Immediately

Posted: 29 Sep 2015 09:26 AM PDT

Twenty20
Twenty20

When it comes to sex, there’s nothing quite like thinking you’re doing one thing and then taking a sudden turn into an even hotter territory. That’s why I love dirty talk, you can say anything that pops into your head in the heat of the moment, the less you think about it, the better. Plus, you don’t even have to **do** any of the things you are saying, you just have to say them and act like it’s the hottest thought you’ve ever had in your entire life. And it gets your partner hot because they’re thinking they are this rockstar lover who inspires this new height in your dirty creativity.

These are some of the lines that have turned a completely normal sex session into some of the most exciting memories I have of our relationship. (For the lines my boyfriend is used to get me off, read this one.)

“You’re going to make me come”

Of course from the minute you start having sex you’re telling guys you’re going to come. It never gets old, because, come on, but it does feel exciting to switch it up every once in awhile. He told me he felt revved up by this one because it was phrased as if the whole act was out of my control. He was fucking me and the orgasm was an irresistible outcome of that reality.

“Fuck me, Daddy”

This was after he told me it would be hot. I don’t know if this is a good idea to spring on a guy mid-sex. Unless it’s a one-time hookup and it would turn *YOU* on, then go for it and see what happens.

Anyways, he told me he thought it would be hot and so everything I said the entire night was “_______, Daddy” and each and every time I could see the reaction in his face. It was brand new territory and I extra excited by the vulnerability of saying something so dirty, coupled with my boyfriend’s intense enthusiasm — it’s one night I always think about when I’m sans boyfriend and trying to get myself off.

“Will you come on my face?”

When we started dating, it came up at a boozy late dinner that he had never done this before. He didn’t say it, but I knew he really wanted to. It’s so ubiquitous in porn, and how ubiquitous can a sex thing be before you want to try it? So I waited a few weeks and then I phrased it as if it was an urgent request (and it kind of was, I like it). I think this was the most immediate and eager response I’ve ever gotten from him.

“Cum inside me”

The first time after we stopped using condoms. It was incredible.

“Please let me come?”

This was well after the Daddy thing when I realized he got super turned on by dominating me just a little bit.

I liked the way this one felt when I said it. It was like the orgasm wasn’t work, it was just sitting there waiting for him to give me permission to have it. Maybe it turned the whole thing into a placebo effect but insisting that he had this magical ability really did make me come, when he said I could. And of course, he loved feeling that powerful or skilled or whatever it takes to get someone to orgasm on command.

“You’re playing with fire”

I said this absent-mindedly when I was laying in bed reading and my boyfriend was reading emails on his phone and tracing his hand up and down my thigh. I don’t think he realized how much it was turning me on and I was just warning him that he was starting something he needed to finish. But the thought that a fairly innocent touch (I was still in my dress from the day) could have that effect was a big aphrodisiac for him. Things immediately got dirty.

“I can barely walk”

Men fucking love making you sore from sex. I’m not sure if it’s some kind of latent misogyny but I can also admit that a small amount of soreness can be fun. Every time you get a little twinge of pain you also remember what it’s from and smile in whatever public setting you’re in because you have a secret: you’re having really hot sex.

This phrase sent as a text in the morning is like a talisman for good sex that night. Even if you don’t have plans to be together you can’t just walk around all day thinking about a girl going through her day sore because you fucked her so good and not want a repeat performance. Make sure to use extra lube, though.

“I can be as loud as you want”

This is when we had rented a cabin in basically the middle of nowhere and one of the things we had been excited about was the lack of normal sex noise constraints of city living. No matter where we went, there’s just nowhere in city limits to let completely loose. There are always other bodies and ears near by to be cognizant, if not respectful, of. This was his clue that it was on — there was no reason to have inhibitions out here.

“You get me so fucking hot”

Guys like a confidence boost just as much as we do and the golden rule of good sex is that the better you make someone feel about the sex, the better it ends up being. I usually say this around the edge of foreplay when I can handle anymore touching and teasing without his cock being inside me. I love making sure he knows it’s about him. It’s not just random sex, he is the one getting me so uncontrollably turned on I can’t be held responsible for what comes out of my mouth or what my body does. I’m in it to be in the moment and respond to the way he makes me feel. TC mark

17 Drake Lyrics That Prove He’s A Fuck Boy

Posted: 29 Sep 2015 09:00 AM PDT

1.

"How about you and all your morals
in that outfit that you borrowed
make the most outta tonight
and worry bout it all tomorrow."

Okay, respect where it's due: this is the smoothest "cheat on your man" line in recent memory. It's so casual, so fun.

2.

"Shallow nigga but deep enough to have gone swimmin'."

Do I really need to explain this one? For those not hip, he means swimming in pussy.

3.

"The good girls went silent on me
they got a boyfriend or left for college on me."

So-called "good" women are leaving Drizzy Drake in the dust. Why? If he's as sweet as a lot of you say he is, he shouldn't have to go through this.

4.

"I'm prolly just the reason that you learned your lesson."

The exact lesson we can only guess but it's not hard to imagine. The lesson being don't date a self-absorbed asshole like Drake. Don't do it. There are so many better options out there.

5.

"Yeah, I'm the reason why you always gettin' faded, take a shot for me."

Don't get me wrong, I love this whole intro. However, the question needs to be asked: how fucked was their relationship that now she's getting wasted with her "latest"? What did he do to her? Talk about a subtweet. @ her, Drake. @ her.

6.

[Every line of "Marvins Room"]

What about this song is not the fuckiest thing you've ever heard? Whole song is Drake getting super fucked up and leaving his ex a voicemail that goes, "Fuck that nigga that you love so bad, I know you still think about the times we had… I'm just sayin' you can do better." I mean, yeah, same, we've all been there but to immortalize it in a hit song on a hit record is PEAK fuck behavior. He's so petty he even has a soundbite of a girl saying, "Are you drunk right now?"

Plus the actual verse is almost laughable. (Okay, not really, I cry to this song regularly, but that's because I, too, am a piece of shit.) "Bitches came over, yeah, we threw a party. I was just callin' 'cause they were just leavin'" — he really called his ex girl while he was fucked up with OTHER WOMEN to say, "Talk to me, please."

7.

[Every line of "Practice"]

Okay, first of all, how dare Drake sample Juvenile and bite the whole goddamn chorus of a hoodrat song and make it a smooth track about his rich ass booty calls. I'm so offended and so in awe at his gall. Anyway, "I can tell that you've been practicing. All those other men were practice." Incredible seeing as how they've been "talking for so long" and are "finally" meeting "in person." For those not hip, it sounds like Drake slid into some Twitter honeys DMs and flew her out for the sex. I gotta respect the game, but to make a whole song about it is some real fucky behavior. Also, shout out to, "You can even call me daddy, I'll give you someone to look up to," for being so unnecessarily vicious.

8.

"Brand new girl
and she still growin'
Brand new titys
stitches still showin'.
And she just prayin that it heals good,
I'm bout to fuck and I'm just prayin that it feels good."

Yikes.

9.

"Girl, don't treat me like a stranger, girl, ya know I seen ya naked."

This line is both "LOL" and "same."

10.

[Every line of "Own It"]

Really, I'm just pissed about the fact that Drake made a song about how his heart belongs to some girl but it still sounds like he's talking about pussy? Somehow? Honestly.

11.

"How ya feel about
comin' home with a
nigga for the night?
If ya nervous, hit the lights.
I know we only fuckin' outta spite cuz ya man don't
do ya right."

Maybe this isn't fuck boy Drake. It's possible that this is what many scientists call "reliable side dick." In which case, he's a humanitarian. God bless you, Drake. God bless you.

12.

"She just wanna smoke and fuck, I said, girl, that's all that we do."

Imagine hearing that from some random kid with a goofy smile at a party. Imagine how insufferable you know he is off of that snippet alone. Again, in the words of John Lennon, "Imagine."

13.

"Someone that's so proud to be with me, she walk right up to her ex, look him dead in the face and say, 'You ain't got the juice like that.'"

To be clear, homie is so insecure that he needs his current girlfriend to walk up to her ex and say, "Drake is better." Read the title. Fuck boy.

14.

"I only text her, man, I never call."

Okay, true. If he's not calling you just to talk about your day then he really is a canine, a dog.

15.

[Every line of "How About Now"]

It's a three minute rant about being friendzoned. Years ago.

16.

"She gon be upset if she keep scrollin' to the left."

Whatcha got on there, Drake? Nudes? Yeah, probably a ton of nudes. Maybe some sex videos various women. I mean, yeah, your girl might be upset over something like that. Glad you're bragging about it.

17.

I'd really like to take this opportunity to mention that "Girls Love Beyonce" should win a Grammy every single year just for existing. Thank you.

"Lemme getcho ass alone, lemme make you say my name…" TC mark

Why I Ate ‘Worse’ To Become Healthier

Posted: 29 Sep 2015 07:51 AM PDT

Flickr / Steven Depolo
Flickr / Steven Depolo

To the casual onlooker, I've always been the pinnacle of health. My abs have always been tight, my legs have always been slim, and my arms have always been delicately sculpted. I have always been that girl who cooks barley and kale and drinks water bottle after (reusable, of course) water bottle every day.

And it was mostly wonderful. Guys loved me, girls wanted to be like me, and I was respected by everyone for my "clean eating."

But none of the people praising my "body goals" body knew how unhealthy I truly was. In the name of health, I almost completely eliminated fat from my diet. I ate copious amounts of green vegetables and berries and very few filling foods. I limited my desserts to small pieces of heart-healthy dark chocolate. I was following all of the rules of being healthy.

But I was far from healthy. Since fats, oils, and sugars are widely deemed "bad," I pretty much wasn't eating them. But in reality, eating only produce and whole grains isn't a healthy way to live.

After years of being obsessed with finding the latest superfood and politely declining decadent desserts with my friends, my body was exhausted. I was so intent on staying healthy that I'd forgotten about the spiritual benefits of eating good food with good people. I'd forgotten the joy of licking a drip of cookie dough ice cream before it falls. I'd forgotten the comfort of forkfuls of oven-baked macaroni and cheese.

Eating only fat-free, sugar-free, processed-free, and carb-free had made me joy-free and I was no longer okay with that.

I'm now a solid 10 pounds heavier and I'm rocking some awesome stretch marks. I still eat kale and try to avoid most processed foods, but I'm also eating "unhealthy" things like full-fat goat cheese and egg yolks in my omelets and almond butter on my toast.

Not counting my macros or measuring out serving sizes of leafy greens has left me with plenty of time to peruse the shelves at my local library and get lost at the nearby botanical gardens.

Since breaking many of our society's "health rules," I'm now healthier and happier than ever. TC mark

What It Feels Like When Negative Self-Talk Creeps In

Posted: 28 Sep 2015 11:59 AM PDT

episode-01-03-1920
The Leftovers

I know what it must sound like to you whenever those ugly words start pouring out of me.

Every time I tell you that I'm so stupid, I'm a failure, everything is my fault and so on and so forth forever into eternity, you must think that what I'm really doing is asking a question, namely: Do you agree that these things are true?

Or else maybe it comes off as a command: Tell me that I'm wrong. Tell me that I'm worth it. Validate me.

Maybe it sounds like a dare or a taunt: Go ahead, fight me on this. Just try.

It must seem like I'm looking for some kind of reaction – a hug, or an eye roll, or something in between the two, an affectionate sort of "there she goes again" crossed with "don't worry, you're not monster."

The truth is that when I fall into the spiral of negative self-talk, even when my words seem to be directed at another person, they're almost always meant for me and only me. These words are also a compulsion, and in the way of many compulsions they act as a sort of charm or a spell to ward off something worse. They're a way of beating everyone else to the punch, and they also function as a funny type of pep-talk. But even when I say them publicly, they're never meant for anyone but me.

Sometimes it's almost like I have to say something out loud in order to know whether it's true or not. It's similar to how I can't memorize something unless I've actually muttered it through several times to myself, except that it's more like I have to shape my mouth around these vile thoughts about myself to see if they have a taste of truth to them. A thought seems so insubstantial that it could be anywhere on the realm of possibility, but a spoken or written word – well, that's a different kettle of fish, isn't it?  A thought is like cotton candy, melting and disappearing the moment you try to properly consume it; a word has heft. Speaking or writing something gives me the chance to weigh it against reality, to see which side the scale comes down on.

Negative self-talk is also a way of loudly and triumphantly declaring all of the terrible things you worry that other people are thinking about you. It's a way to take the sting out of an insult, a way to toss your head and wink like you don't care. Theoretically, what's the hurt in someone else calling you stupid or ugly or pathetic if you've already embraced those awful things yourself? It's a pre-emptive shedding of your emotional clothes before another person can come along and lift up your skirt; it's biting your lip, hard, so that you don't feel the needle in your arm. But of course you do still feel the needle, and even when you invite people to stare at your naked feelings their gawking sneers still hurt. You're not really beating anyone to the punch, you're just pounding away at yourself like a schoolyard bully landing one hit after another on some poor, defenceless, cowering kid.

Whenever I talk badly about myself, it turns into a sort of Harry Potter Devil's Trap situation – the harder I struggle and the more I tell myself to stop, the worse it gets. Like, if I start of by saying that I'm stupid and can't handle even the smallest things, then it escalates to saying that calling myself stupid is proof of my own stupidity, and having this meltdown is proof that I can't handle my life, and then anger and shame that I'm letting other people see me going through this, with every added layer just making me feel worse and worse and worse about myself. Once you're down in that pit, there's no way out – you're just scraping your fingers against the walls, unable to climb or dig through and ultimately only hurting yourself more. My own negative self-talk validates my low self-esteem, and in my rational moments I know that. But when I'm feeling awful about myself, the only way to fix it seems to be to drive the knife deeper.

I know that the negative self-talk serves no real purpose, no matter how I try to frame it or justify it, but it's hard to quit. It's an internal groove on a record and whenever my mental needle slips into it, the music needs to play the whole way through before I can put on something else. I'm slowly learning to pull off the needle mid-song, but it's hard. If I tell myself to stop at the wrong time and I can't or don't for whatever reason, then that just leads to feeling awful over the fact that I'm still going. Right now I'm at the point where I can pick out harmful thought patterns after the fact; later, once I'm not sobbing stormily and feeling like the world is ending, I can look at what how wrong and harmful what I was saying about myself was. But when I'm in the middle of berating myself, I'm not in a place where I can listen or change – it's like this howling mess that blocks out or distorts anything that doesn't agree with what it says.

So I'm working on this. Along the same lines, I'm learning to Take A Compliment. Whenever someone trots out something nice about me, I just breathe deeply and say thank you instead of explaining to them all the particular ways they happen to be wrong. Sometimes, if I'm not too consumed in the haze of panic that compliments set off in me, I'll remember to compliment them back. I hope that someday my negative self-talk will work along these lines – like, whenever I feel the compulsion to do it, I'll just take a deep breath, smile, and say no thank you, brain. Not today. I'm too awesome for your shit right now. TC mark

How Much Do You Need To Spend On A Wedding Gift?

Posted: 30 Sep 2015 08:46 AM PDT

Flickr / Pritya Books
Flickr / Pritya Books

Start at $100 and add or subtract accordingly.

  • The wedding hashtag fills you with an inexplicable dread (-$15)
  • The bride and groom kind of remind you of Brad and Angelina (-$75)
  • The bride and groom kind of remind you of Bebop and Rocksteady (+$75)
  • You still can't forget that one time in college when the bride told you, "You know, it's so great that you don't care what everyone says about you" (-$50)
  • A class-action lawsuit prohibits you from participating in open bar events (-$65)
  • You have a sneaking suspicion the vows will include the words "eternity," "cherish," or "yacht" (-$40)
  • You have a sneaking suspicion the vows will include the words "death pact," "blood orgy," or the Budweiser "Waaazzzzzzuuuuppppp!?!" (+40)
  • You're ten years older than the couple (+$50)
  • You're ten years younger than the couple (-$50)
  • You have no idea how the old couple is and you don't give a shit if they live or die (-$95)
  • Now you have to get all those blood stains dry-cleaned out of your nicest suit ($-30)
  • You have a hilarious prank planned for that whole "If anyone objects to the union of these two people, speak now or forever hold your peace" part (+$85)
  • The bride is deliberately going through with this whole cruel charade even though she knows you had a totally major crush on the groom in 10th grade (-$55)
  • The bride is in your Myspace Top 8 (+$80)
  • Your connection to the bride is so distant that you need some bizarre justification to explain why you're there, like "Well, she's my best friend's cousin's tennis doubles partner, but she lets me use her HBO Go password, so we're basically family…" (-$60)
  • You're a fun-loving, memorable guest that any wedding would be lucky to snag (-$30)
  • You're such a fun-loving, memorable guest that the groom specifically begged you not to ruin the wedding (+$60)
  • You put $500 down on "18 months" in the divorce pool (-$25)
  • It's a destination wedding (-$40)
  • The destination is Buffalo (-$95)
  • Entering a place of worship tends to make you break out in hideous sores, levitate several inches off the ground, and recite backwards Latin in a guttural growl (+$20)
  • You didn't get a plus-one even though you had a boyfriend when the invitations were sent out. I mean, you guys have been broken up for five months by now and the whole thing turned out to be a pretty humiliating catfish situation, but still (-$50)
  • You're resentful that you weren't chosen to be in the wedding party (-$40)
  • You're resentful that you were chosen to be in the wedding party (-$80)
  • Every wedding that is not your own is a welcome opportunity for your mother to use the term "spinster" (-$30)
  • Three words: mashed potato bar (+$40)
  • Three words: Insane Clown Posse (-$40)
  • The invitation, which arrived in an ornate box, was handwritten by a calligrapher and delicately arranged in an intricate series of bows and ribbons (+$30)
  • The invitation was a terse message composed of individual letters cut and pasted from various magazines and newspapers in the menacing manner of a ransom note (-$30)
  • The invitation was a summons requesting you to appear in a court of law at an appointed date and time with a group of your peers for the purpose of rendering a verdict in a trial (+/- $0. This is not a wedding invitation. You have been summoned for jury duty)
  • You view the happiness of others as a personal affront (-$70)
  • There is no God and all is pain (-$100)

How much did you end up with? TC mark

My Wife And I Stayed At The Stanley Hotel And Experienced Something Out Of This Realm

Posted: 30 Sep 2015 01:06 PM PDT

paurian / CC BY http://2.0 / Via flickr.com/photos/paurian/446058876/
paurian / CC BY http://2.0 / Via flickr.com/photos/paurian/446058876/

My wife and I are interested in the paranormal. We never really had "close contact" with spirits or anything like that, but we knew we wanted to. This was why we booked a two-night stay at the Stanley Hotel. We, being avid Stephen King fans, specifically requested Room 217. That's the room he "found" inspiration to write The Shining.

When we arrived, we were amazed at how grand the hotel looked on the outside. Imagine a four-story tall Colonial house, except as a giant mansion with a red roof. On top of that, the backdrop is the Rocky Mountains. It took our breath away. Now, we went into this expecting not too much. After all, going into things with high expectations usually meant high room for disappointment.
Nothing out of the ordinary happened on our first night there. We went on a ghost tour, explored the hotel, and had a delicious dinner in the lounge. It was our second and last night when things got…hairy.

I woke up around 3 AM to a loud thud. I sat up in my bed wondering what in the heck could've made that noise. Then, hearing creaking above me, I assumed it was a guest upstairs suffering from insomnia (or too scared to sleep) walking around in their room. But that couldn't explain what I experienced next. All of a sudden, I was overcome with a bout of lightheadedness. Then I felt like something had gone terribly wrong. I felt anxious. Terrified, even. I heard what seemed to be electricity crackling in my ear. I swear I saw something out of the corner of my eye. I quickly threw the covers over my head and hid. That was when something whispered my name.

"Teddy?"

I almost pissed myself, but I recognized the voice. It was my wife.

"Teddy," she whispered. "I had a weird dream."

"Oh yeah?"

"Yeah. Someone was bent over the bed, I can't really remember who, but I remember it was a woman…or something. This thing was whispering something in my ear. Teddy, I can still feel its breath tickling my ear."

Forgetting about my lightheadedness, I jumped out of bed and ran to the light switch. I must've made quite a commotion because as soon as I hit the switch, the creaking ceased and the feeling of dread slowly dissipated from the pit of my stomach.

My wife shook her head when I told her what I had experienced. "That was something," she said. "I don't care to ever experience that again."

"Me neither."

We ended up staying awake for the rest of the night and watched some late-night shows. This entity, or woman, or whatever it was, kept itself away from us.
When we checked out, I asked the concierge if anyone had stayed above us. She looked it up on her computer and said, "No, it looks like it's been empty all weekend. Did you want to book that room for another time?" TC mark

Brought To You By American Horror Story: Hotel – Premieres Wednesday, October 7 at 10pm E/P on FX.

4 Things To Know If You Are Going To Date A Girl With Depression

Posted: 29 Sep 2015 12:35 PM PDT

Twenty20 / andriana56
Twenty20 / andriana56

Everyone comes with baggage, right? And isn't it really annoying when people follow that up with, "But you just need to find the right person to help you unload it"? It is annoying, but it's also true.

I have depression. It's a little strange to say now, because it certainly doesn’t have the chronic effect it once did. Depression crippled my life in many ways – at times, in every way – but my love life took one of the hardest beatings. Because dating with depression is nearly impossible. And I am still navigating through that maze, but I can dispense some pretty good advice to those who have elected to "unpack our baggage" with us. (Barf.)

1. It's not a choice, it's not a lifestyle, it's an illness.

Sure, we are living in a time where people can elect a gluten-intolerance, dedicate a lifestyle blog to glamorizing the trials and triumphs of coordinating an outfit, vacation at a rehabilitation center for "exhaustion", or hire a therapist for our dog, but mental illness is not trend soon to be passe.

Just as no one wakes up and decides, "I think I'll have cancer today," no one wakes up and thinks, "I think I'll have a mental illness today." She cannot "snap out of it" or "just be happy." She nurses her mind each day. For many, the illness isn't taken day-by-day, but hour-by-hour.

The closest thing I can compare depression to is life with a phantom limb. You can't see it, but damn you can feel it. And just the same, you can attempt to explain the sensation to someone, and but they'll insist it's in your head, it's not there, or not real altogether. So you're walking around with a heavy doom, that no one else can see.

Just as someone suffering from any other disease, she will want to talk about it, she will be affected by it, and so help you God, she will want pull her hair out if you offer her a cliche as a remedy.

2. Only date someone who has, or is, seeking treatment.

I have dated people before seeking treatment, during treatment, and since going to therapy.

I know it sounds harsh to deprive a person struggling with mental illness of a romantic relationship, but I have experienced first-hand and seen second-hand that the person with the mental illness will make their partner their whole world, and at times, their punching bag.

In the past, I have hung onto partner's words like it was the gospel and internalized everything they said to me, and about me, to an unhealthy degree. Furthermore, when the relationship would dissolve, my depression spiraled until I spun myself sick into a psychiatrist’s office.

Since seeing a therapist and having time to understand depression, and recognize my triggers, I'm a much happier and healthier person to be around. I am able to set emotional boundaries and foremost, have a healthy relationship with myself first.

And it is then and only then, that someone can have a healthy relationship with another human being.

3. Her emotional space may vary.

There may be days she needs a little extra emotional attention, and there will be days she is distant and aloof. I'm not suggesting that you allow this sort of tug-of-war treatment all of the time, but know it may very well happen. And know it's "not you" necessarily, she's running breathless in a maze of her mind. Just ask her where where she wants you to stand.

4. You will not and cannot be her cure.

If you know nothing else, you both must know and be reminded – regularly – that a relationship is not the cure to depression. Her demons will not be freed because you are running with a sword in hand ready to fight them. Her pain runs so deep within her veins, therefore a simple caress won't aid her handicap. (After all, you're not Jesus. But nice try.) If you try to fight her battle, you both will lose. You can't save her, but please, please be there for her. TC mark

30 Painfully Stupid Things Men Say To Women Because They Just Don’t Get It

Posted: 30 Sep 2015 05:47 AM PDT

Twenty20.com LariStreule
Twenty20.com LariStreule

1. Calm down.

2. You’re acting crazy.

3. You're acting like you're on your period.

4. You took all that time to get ready, and that's what you decided to wear?

5. What's your problem?

6. You're a bitch.

7. You're a cunt.

8. I was just kidding!

9. Well, my ex was OK with it, so I don't see what your problem is.

10. Wow, you really talk a lot.

11. You may want to think about using some mouthwash.

12. Are you sure that you showered?

13. I told all my friends about your secret, and none of them think it's weird, so you need to just relax.

14. Yeah, I noticed that thing on your forehead, but it's really not that bad once you get used to looking at it.

15. It's OK that you're upset. Girls are supposed to get all emotional.

16. You've got a lot of style, and that's more important than looks, anyway.

17. How do you feel about threesomes?

18. How much did you say you weigh again?

19. I know she's pretty, but she's just a friend.

20. Nah, you're just big-boned. I can look past it.

21. Do you ever wish you looked like your sister instead?

22. You’re just like your mother.

23. You look fantastic for your age! Really, I was surprised at how old you really are.

24. Thank God you're not like other women.

25. Quit acting like such a girl.

26. You look really tired.

27. You need to smile more.

28. When you shaved down there, I think you missed a spot.

29. What's with the eyebrows?

30. Don't you think you already own enough shoes and purses? TC mark