There’s a lot I’ve wanted to say lately and I’ve been unable to. Whether it’s due to illness, massive amounts of schoolwork and paid gigs and deadlines, or even that I simply don’t have the emotional bandwidth to say it all right now. I’m angry, this I know for sure, and it’s an emotion that’s been building for a while now.
There have been several posts I’ve been meaning to write. Since it seems silly to do so now after too much time has passed, I’ll summarize here…
One thing that’s been bugging me a lot is that people often tell me that I’ve got it all together. I’m working two jobs, running companies, still writing (yes, even with the massive amounts of homework), and when I’m not sick, I’ve even been able to maintain some fun time. Even in school, I’ve been worried I’m not doing well. It’s been so long since I’ve been and I jumped in full-time in some pretty heavy classes. Yet, each time my grades are announced, I’m doing well.
On the outside, it really looks like I’m succeeding. And in many ways, I am. But I’ve also felt like a fraud. Not in the imposter syndrome sort of way, but in the, I’ve really not gotten it all together way.
What I mean by this is that I have a box of mail that’s still unopened, which means that I miss things that are important. And mind you, this is only personal mail. Anything to do with my press or the nonprofit gets opened right away. So this is very much a self-sabotage thing. I’m also eating unhealthy. I panic when tests are coming, despite doing so well. I’m not getting enough sleep. I’m not exercising anymore… And yes, I’ve been sick. But these things have been going on for a little while now.
To add to matters, I have been dealing with triggers. Many of them. Some because of what I’d discussed in my last post, but others because I’ve been learning about memory and how it works. It’s forced me to see—maybe before I was ready to—that I haven’t had repressed memories at all. I’ve often said that I did, but the truth is, they’ve always been here. I just didn’t like to think about them. So I’d push them aside or bury them under busyness.
I’ve also been learning about personality disorders and the science behind them. How certain medications work and why behaviors can elevate or get worse for these folks every time they watch or read something that dumps a bunch of dopamine in their system. Even for those not diagnosed with a disorder, I’m beginning to understand why those dopamine hits we get from even things like text messages and Facebook are so bad for us. I’m also learning the difference between hallucinations and delusions. They aren’t the same… This information has been difficult. I’ve been hurt by a lot of people with personality disorders and while understanding the science behind their behavior is helpful, it’s been bringing up emotions that stem from their actions. It’s good, because I’m dealing, but unexpected so early on in my studies.
While the bulk of my triggers do seem to be settling down, I’ve also had strange things happening. Like a relative going missing and being found dead (I sure hope they do an autopsy because damn), and that is playing into my current emotional state. It’s making me spin. Then there’s the Me Too meme… Holy fuck is that sending me for a spin too. And not because people are posting it, but because of the toxicity that’s emerged out of it.
While I fully intend on writing a piece about my brand of feminism (as it completely relates here), that will have to wait just a bit longer. What I will say, however, is that it was hard enough to post that meme under my legal name. I’ve only felt safe doing that under my pen name and more and more now, I’m branching out and sharing under both names. Though very tame under my legal name.
It was already hard to post that. And I was so sad and yet full of joy as I saw others posting too. Not happy they’d been abused, of course, but happy they felt safe enough to speak out.
During this time, I posted a gender-neutral post. The reason being is that while in most other circumstances I’m all for lifting just women’s voices, or just people of color, or any party being oppressed, sexual abuse is the one area where I will not—ever—use just one gender/sex in my meme. It’s not that I don’t feel women are more harassed than others, or at least, those identifying as women, but that sexual abuse—by nature—is designed to silence us. We are shamed and alienated so that we never tell. We’re often told that no one will believe us. That it’s our fault.
Sexual abuse is already alienating and shaming enough without us adding to it.
This last week, though, I’ve seen so many that I once had respect for, shame those that aren’t cis female for posting Me Too. I’ve seen women posting shitty things telling men to fuck off because this isn’t about them. I’ve seen women attempting to shame other women because they dress too sexual. All while claiming to be feminists, which is supposed to be about equality. I’ve seen victims speaking out and being attacked for it. I’ve seen men and women claiming that it’s some new trend and the people taking part are trying to be ‘cool’. And worst of all, most of these people posting didn’t even know where the hashtag came from. If they had, they likely wouldn’t have been trying to shame others for coming forward.
For those that don’t know, the hashtag came from a woman named Tarana Burke. She’d thought of it after hearing a heartbreaking account of how this young girl was being sexually abused by a family member. Tarana couldn’t do anything for her and sent her to talk to someone else there and she remembered the girl looking back at her, confused as to why she was sending her away when she’d just opened up to her about something so horrific.
All Tarana could think as she watched the girl walk away was, “Me too.”
The hashtag has been around for ten years and while it began as a way to help young black women that had survived sexual abuse, it turned into a movement for all victims as a way of connecting to one another. A way to say, “I see you.”
I feel the same way. I want my fellow sexually abused brothers and sisters to know that I see them. I see you… It wasn’t about women for me. It was about supporting others if they chose to come forward.
I am still seeing so much shaming though. I can hardly get on social media right now. It’s been this way for a while, but it’s gotten far worse.
Thankfully, I have ways of coping. Lately, that’s been working with D and having lots of sweet, sexual tension building up. Every time I learn and grow I gain a better understanding of who I am. And that makes me feel more confident and happy. This work I’m doing with D is giving me the safety I need right now to make these leaps in growth in a fun way. I feel it’s important to point out that last part because it’s not that I wouldn’t grow or eventually get my triggers dealt with, it’s that he offers a way to work on myself and through my triggers with delicious fun. It makes the hard work less hard. And that makes it bearable.
There’s a lot in this post. I wanted to narrow it down to just one topic and write multiple posts (though there will definitely be one about feminism) but right now I really just needed to get this all out. Even if it’s in short bits.
For those of you that are used to seeing me on Facebook a lot, know that I’m cutting back. It’s too much right now. It’s doing more harm than good for too many of us and I’m no longer seeing its value. Twitter isn’t much better. I’m not leaving it as that’s my only means of contact with many of you, but I’m definitely cutting way back.
I’m also continuing to work on the things that need work. With yummy fun, but I’m doing it. Writing just helps that along.
I think if there’s one thing that I want folks to take away from this, it’s to stop being shitty to one another. Period. Just stop. Two wrongs don’t make a right. They actually create more hatred and pain. With the way things have been going, we have an opportunity to wake up and implement change on a grand scale, but we can’t be aiming our guns at one another in the manner we have.
Please, be kind. To yourself and others. We’ve had enough pain already.