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371 pages, Paperback
First published October 29, 2013
The shelter worker said, "This one hates everything and she doesn't know anything, and I hope you aren't planning on taking her outside ever because she's more like a bear than a dog, really, and unfortunately, she can scale a seven-foot-tall fence like the fucking Spider-Man.
And we were like, "Sure, why not."
“Desperation breeds ingenuity”
But my experiences slowly flattened and blended together until it became obvious that there’s a huge difference between not giving a fuck and not being able to give a fuck. Cognitively, you might know that different things are happening to you, but they don’t feel very different.
I don’t just want to do the right thing. I want to WANT to do the right thing. This might seem like a noble goal to strive for, but I don’t actually care about adhering to morality. It’s more that being aware of not wanting to do the right thing ruins my ability to enjoy doing the right thing after I’m forced into doing it through shame.
“I had tasted cake and there was no going back. My tiny body had morphed into a writhing mass of pure tenacity encased in a layer of desperation. I would eat all of the cake or I would evaporate from the sheer power of my desire to eat it.”
"As soon as you became aware that eating huge amounts of salt is really, really uncomfortably salty, you should have stopped eating salt. That's the solution. The solution is not to begin eating pepper to cancel out the salt."
Fear and shame are the backbone of my self-control. They are my source of inspiration, my insurance against becoming entirely unacceptable. They help me do the right thing. And I am terrified of what I would be without them. Because I suspect that, left to my own devices, I would completely lose control of my life.