It’s okay not to be okay

My adjustment to Trumplandia has been difficult at best. I’ve watched my friends lose hope, march, and become incensed by the swift changes surrounding us. It only took 2 days in this new world before I ended up in the “Mental Health Access Centre” in a local ER because I just couldn’t stop the panic attacks and I just wanted to die. 

Before I went though, I had the foresight to shut down my Facebook. It’s been difficult to not see the posts of people I care deeply about, but the drama is so triggering and everyone is either telling me to “get over it” or that the world is about to explode into Nazi Germany and because I am in multiple targeted groups it is my absolute duty to fight. 

No. It isn’t. If I were emotionally strong enough, I would fight. The rage I feel could power a thousand suns and I know that, but I am not emotionally capable of this fight. It’s the reason I need others to fight for me. I need people who aren’t emotionally unable to fight and who have the strength to fight to actually protest. I need to avoid the news because it frightens me. I need to be reassured. But mostly, I need people to stop demanding my presence in the rebellion. I feel guilty for not fighting, but I read and I share my ideas and I silently fight in my own way and through others. 

I am not okay, but I am okay with that… for now.

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Whatever you say, your worship

I’ve spent the last fortnight trying to process the death of Carrie Fisher. There will never be words enough for it. Nothing I can write will ever fully convey my grief and loss for a woman who I never met, but looked up to my entire life. But, I need to try.

My birth coincided with the release of Return of the Jedi. In fact, my brothers are also Star Wars babies. P was born in time for A New Hope (if you’ve met him, it’s sadly apt) and B was the harbinger of The Empire Strikes Back. 

She was, as many young girls born before the Disney Princess craze can say, MY princess. She was a badass. She was everything I was going to be. I would save the galaxy, tame my own Han Solo, have fantastic hair, and be a self rescuing princess. When I was four, I landed in the doctor’s office after an afternoon of playing Star Wars with my brothers. On snow days we would watch the whole trilogy. Later, in middle school and high school, I would spend rainy weekends playing with Legos watching the trilogy over and over and over again. Princess Leia defined my dream for the woman I would become. Maybe not necessarily a space princess, though I still think that would be amazing, but a strong, no nonsense woman would be perfect for me.

As an adult with a mental illness, Carrie Fisher once again became my hero. While our diagnoses were different, she made it less shameful. She showed me what pride looked like and that a mental illness doesn’t make the princess disappear. In fact, it helps you get away with dressing like one on a daily basis. She helped me see that even if I spent today lying in bed, eating ice cream, and crying, tomorrow I can get up and move on and, in a few weeks, maybe laugh at it. Her skilled writing has made me proud to be a writer and I wish I had as strong a voice. When she returned to the screen as Princess, sorry, General Leia Organa, I was so excited I cried when I saw her on the screen. Look how far my heroine had come. Still fighting the good fight and kicking ass. This was everything I needed from her. 

I have often said that the celebrity death I could not handle would be Julie Andrews, and I still believe that will be a dark day for me, but the idea that Carrie would leave never even crossed my mind. She seemed immortal in her humor and tenacity, and not just because of her iconic character. She was so funny, so raw, so beautiful, so honest, and one of the most beautiful people to have ever walked the planet. She was my hero. She was my princess. She always will be both to me. Thank you Leia for showing me the way and thank you Carrie for showing me how to make it okay in the end. I already miss you.

New Year’s Resolutions

I have looked around me at a world with no Carrie Fisher and lowered my standards. This year, it is my intention to be a better person than Donald Trump. I’m not attacking his politics because he isn’t a politician. He’s an overrated prick of a person and this should be taken personally.

My plan, should it go smoothly, is to not grab anyone’s pussy (or penis – an added courtesy) without consent. I don’t intend to force myself upon anyone simply because they’re beautiful. If I build a wall, I will make it an emotional wall. I will support and love my fellow man and when confronted with someone who is cruel for no damn reason, I swoop in like a pissed off turkey and educate their ignorant asses. I will not have an extramarital affair – something I didn’t realize was difficult until looking at his track record – and I will not make incredibly creepy public statements about my child’s fuckability. Instead, I will leave his awkwardness to speak for itself. I won’t walk around with an unearned sense of importance and spend my insomniac nights tweeting attacks at people who don’t give a shit about me. Instead, I will continue to lay in bed watching Bob’s Burgers and wish I had more of Louise’s qualities instead of being a Linda. 

In 2017, my goal is to be better than Donald Trump.

Nature or Nurture…

I’ve listened to many conversations lately regarding a close friend of mine. He was abused as a young child and, at times, lashes out. So many of these people I thought were trustworthy have begun saying that there was nothing else his parents (adoptive) could have done, so it MUST be genetic.

That thought process pisses me off so much. By that logic, my having been abused means I could suddenly turn into my parents. I could become a self obsessed narcissist or an alcoholic jackass at any point. When I mentioned this, all voices fell silent before a chorus of “of course, we/I never meant YOU”. Yes, yes you did. 

As adults, admitting, confronting, and dealing with abuse we suffered as children, is seen as weak. The stigma around it if you’re male is even worse. I’ve been told I need to get over it. Live in the now. Let the dust of the past settle. Let it go. Just think happy thoughts. Or, in other words, deny, deny, deny. Stop talking about it all together. For those people, if I have to have them in my life, I don’t talk about things with them anymore, if I ever did. Ignoring the past though, isn’t an option. The longer you ignore it, the harder it is to deal with. 

From my support groups I’ve been in, I’ve often been told how lucky I am. I got out in the winter of my 31st year from my primary abuser: my mother. I was lucky because so many of them had to wait until their 40’s, 50’s, and 60’s and even then a lot of it was because their abuser died. 

Confronting your past isn’t shameful. It’s brave. Going up to those who hurt you and telling them (when you’re ready) to fuck off, is an amazing and liberating moment. For me, the euphoria lasted about a year. Then it was replaced with an enormous sense of loss. I’d lost my fantasy parent, my actual parent, 2 brothers, half a dozen uncles and their wives, and countless cousins. I was alone. Singular. If not for my wife, I would have only my child, my 91 year old grandma, and an aunt I had wished to have as my mom my whole life. That kind of loss affects you, but not as so many would think. It makes you stronger. It makes you resilient. It makes you brave. 

I finally lost it a couple days ago, when the topic of this friend came up again. This time it was about how he was a lost cause and maybe it was time to walk away. I told them they were right. Our friend doesn’t need people who see the worst in him around anymore. He deserves better than they are ever going to be willing to give. My outburst was seen as combative and bitchy, but that’s okay. Their smug sense of charity was gone and I’d shown them a mirror. Sometimes, when those who are supposed to nurture you, years later, you have to do the work yourself.

Sorry guys

I’ve been really bad at this lately, but then, it’s been a bloody awful month. Liam is in full teenager mode and the whole month has just been a fight. I don’t think I’ve had a harder month as a parent. It’s gonna be spotty for a bit, but I promise I will keep coming back when our schedule allows.

Puppy snuggles

It’s been a rough week. Lots of stress, lots of crap I don’t want to deal with, etc. But today was really nice. A good doctor’s appointment, lots of writing and ideas, and now I’m sitting on our porch watching the cat lick his butthole. Ah the good life. I’ve been enjoying a warm autumnal day reading out here and my puppy even climbed up and slept on my chest as I hummed to her and read. I don’t think there’s anything more satisfying than her little body relaxing into complete trust as she falls asleep on me. Seriously, guys, you should snuggle her.

Yeah yeah I know..

It’s been a while. I’m learning how to navigate the muddy waters of an adolescent boy in Junior High (it’s still called that here) who has ODD. To be honest, this has been the hardest month of my life since Liam was a newborn – oddly though, it’s the same month of the year. I’m hopeful that things are going better now. I’m scared that it is just a calm in the storm. I’ll write as often as I can, but this has just taken over my life.