trigger warnings: references to abuse, descriptions of suicidal ideation, self-harm, and coping mechanisms
I want to be a storyteller, and yet you can see that this blag — the only means I have of expressing myself in a deep, meaningful way — has lain abandoned for months. It makes me feel guilty. I see my friends going about their lives, being strong and powerful; and then here I am, wishing I was dead, watching the world go by, without the words I need to explain myself, to explain why I’ve done nothing while my strong friends have taken beatings without my backup.
To explain myself is difficult. How can I do it without explaining all the strife I’ve been through? I’m dominated by my past: by the abuse, the betrayal, the crying. Oh Athea, there’s been so much crying. You might think that with so much raw material, it’d be easy to write shit down. Like every time I put pen to metaphorical paper, an explosion would happen and an hour later, I’d have a few hundred words; it’s supposed to be my craft, after all, the thing I’m best at and gives me a reason for living! —but no. Getting all that down on print is difficult.
Disentangling myself from all my baggage is next to impossible. There are little tricks I can use to make it a bit easier — writing everything as fiction helps provide a nice layer of abstraction. *"What? No, I’m not writing about myself, brain. I’m writing about this other completely unrelated person that just happens to share all my experiences and demographics."* But that doesn’t help when I’m talking to my psych — bloody amazing psych — or when I’ve got an idea I can’t fit into that mold.
$psych has been suggesting some interesting reasons why it is I’m so fucked up — I know I shouldn’t say it that way, I know that I’m actually deserving of love and shouldn’t use such charged, stigmatizing phrases to describe myself, but it doesn’t bloody feel that way, at least not now. It came up in the context of my relationships: I should stop sabotaging my interactions with my girlfriends, who keep me remarkably stable; but I think it’s more about sabotaging my agency, as a whole.
It feels like my default state right now is nonverbal. I’ve spent a lot of time making my computer setup pretty (though YMMV) just so it’s easier to veg out in front of it. This has made going through school a fucking nightmare, it has made trying to autodidact — which has worked in the past — crash and burn. I hate it, I want this response to die, but it won’t, because as hard as it is to believe, my mind thinks it’s a defense mechanism. It was, back from the days when I had to shut up and go comatose else process that everything I thought I knew about my family was crumbling before my eyes, but it’s not needed anymore.
That’s part of the reason behind feeling suicidal, too. Things were easier to deal with when I told myself that there’s a way out, that if things were any worse I wouldn’t have to deal with them. And that it’s even my fault all of this is happening, that it’s my fault I’ve angered everyone, because if this world was worth a damn, there had to be a reason behind all this fucking pain.
After more than two years, most of the things I learned during that period of abuse are still there. Trying to force remove them hasn’t worked, but then… what do I expect? You can’t violently rip out parts of the kernel and expect the operating system will be stable later. I hate to say it, but I rely on going nonverbal, on receeding into myself, on feeling uncomfortable if I don’t have at least three plans to kill myself filed away in the back of my head. I sabotage, subvert my agency because it feels as if I shouldn’t have any.
I don’t know how to change that, exactly. I find solidarity in war stories, in talking with people who have been through shit. I found the energy to write this because I read the acknowledgments+foreword+introduction of Colonize This! and felt safe, surrounded by people who understood at least a little bit. But this ain’t sustainable, of course. The book runs out of pages at one point or another. I don’t know how to keep going, how to get from here to a point where I’m a prolific coder; or where I’ve finished my pokemon fan-fic; or where I can draw well; or where I have the spoons to write about any damn topic I please; or where I’ve made a video game; or where I do Let’s Plays for fun and profit; or even where I’m alive and consistently happy.
In part, this is an apology for all the fights I’ve missed and all the friends+lovers my apathy has alienated. In particular, I’m thinking about all the people back east that I left