There are times in life when it’s natural to feel a bit shattered. Moving into my own place for the first time since the pandemic — sans partner or even roommate — has shown me that there are some things I can only process if I’m alone.
Without the distraction of people, school, or even pets in my periphery, I’ve come to finally acknowledge something I’ve been avoiding until now: This fucking sucks. I’m in the very situation I’d hoped to avoid, and the me from 6 months ago would’ve lost it if she’d known what was coming. I’m even…
“You really are truly breathtaking. Make sure whoever gets to kiss you on New Year’s Eve knows that. Remind them, because they should feel lucky.”
Upon hearing this, I felt my cheeks flush. I felt both seen and called out at the same time.
While I didn’t kiss anyone at midnight with the countdown to the new hope offered by 2021 — a relief, truth be told — I knew I’d been needing this reminder. I’ve spent so much of my time getting accustomed to being taken for granted that it’s alarmingly easy to slip back into that mentality.
I’ve learned a hard-earned, mindful kind of vulnerability over time — the kind that involves me actively prying myself open so that other people aren’t tasked with that labor. It requires me to be raw and naked, like an oyster without a shell. All I’ve got to show for it is this pearl everyone’s after, but it’s beautiful, and it’s mine.
This habit of extreme openness often lends itself to my assumption that other people are just as aware of who they are and what they want. However, I’ve learned through trial and error that not everyone is comfortable with…
I’ve been so exhausted lately that I’ve been uncharacteristically static. I’ve felt frozen, partially because I have no comfort zone anymore. I honestly can’t decide which sounds less appealing: the idea of feeling less over time (as everyone assures me I will) and letting go of what it felt like to love and be loved, or the alternative prospect of getting stuck in the defeat of this upside down reality in which I suddenly find myself.
It’s everything. From waking until sleeping — and even sometimes in dreams — I’m surrounded by reminders of what life was like merely a…
Most of us who have survived trauma are used to having to do hard work on ourselves and patch up the pieces of us that got damaged. If you tell us we missed a spot, we are often eager to fix that. The assumption remains that we are fundamentally broken and will always need more fixing.
The “I need to fix myself” mentality combined with someone else’s flaw-finding “You need to fix yourself” mentality is a terrible duo of trauma-driven mindsets. They’re so compatible that they’re incompatible.
So who are we without our flaws? …
“I want you to be around,” whispered her small, mousy voice. She looked up at me with sad, yellow eyes and reached up for a hug.
“Let’s make sure it lasts at least 20 seconds,” I said as we held each other.
“I’m already counting,” she replied. These hugs — the ones that we both knew might be the very last ones we’d share — lasted more like a minute each. She would pet my head, and I’d hold on as tight as I could, being careful to not hurt her frail body.
She passed away last night, but I…
CW: Language, trauma, mention of abuse
This is for me. It’s just where I am today — no formulaic formatting to gain readers, no attempts at hiding my emotional turbulence, and no sugarcoating. This is stream-of-consciousness, unabashed rage from yet another angry chick on the internet. Read on if you think it matters for some reason.
For the longest time, I thought, ‘I’d better not write publicly about (name any abuser here) because then they’d think they have more control over me, and that would make them happy. …
Allow me to officially denounce a common misconception about my situation: I’m not looking forward to this.
I’m not, in fact, blissfully going about my days in an ignorant haze. In my calendar, I didn’t pencil in “Have an abortion” between “Get a pedicure” and “Visit Mom.” I’m not a murderous villain, and I haven’t any hairless cats to pet while hatching my evil plans for infanticide and laughing maniacally.
I hate to disappoint, but it’s not that simple. I’m sad about the whole thing.
You’re probably waiting for me to tell you that I can’t carry a child to…
(Don’t try this at home).
I’ll never forget the day one of my mentors (the oldest living sword swallower in the world) taught me how to fire an audience. We were in Key West on Mallory Square, and he was showing me the ropes for performing at the nightly Sunset Celebration on the pier.
“I’m probably going to have to fire this audience,” he told me as a quiet, uptight looking crowd trickled in to see his show. “What do you mean?” “Haven’t you ever fired an audience before?” “No, actually. I’ve always done the show to completion, even if…
“There are some things you just can’t work on by yourself.”
Intellectually, I know it’s highly unlikely that he’s actually in some sort of danger. Still, my mind wanders incessantly into its favorite catastrophic scenarios: mugged and shot to death, drowned by falling asleep in the bathtub, drugged by a sinister stranger, shark attack, or simply that the lack of contact is intentional for some other nefarious reason.* Certainly, the farewell kiss at the airport was our very last, and I will have to console my grief by snuggling up with his pillow as I mourn.
*Update: He’s not dead…
Sociologist / mental health blogger / sword swallower [firstname.lastname@example.org]