Updated: May 21, 2020
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(DOES it sound like I recorded it in one go without ever listening to it? Yep. No shame. Otherwise, this shit isn't getting recorded or posted. No need to tell you again about the inner critic in my head. I'll learn as I go, like a real Traumatized Motherfucker)
Onto the original post:
I’ve been writing and rewriting… posting and taking down… all of my writing from this year. Don’t get it twisted; this project is always on my mind and I write for it regularly. I have no issues with sitting down and putting words on paper. But then a week or two later I tear everything apart and go back to the drawing board.
My problem is, I don’t know what an appropriate introduction should look like in this space. Do I tell you about my symptoms? My reasons for starting this project? My lifetime of trauma? Maybe that’s too much? Just the past ten years of bullshit? The past two years? The past two months?
There’s no shortage of places to start. But, I don’t want to bore you with my trauma manifesto. I don’t want to push my daily drama on anyone. And I don’t want to make this “about me.” In short - there’s so much to say, and I have no clue where to begin.
So, after months of flowery bullshit, depression dumpster diving, and traumatic autobiographies… it seems like I should start with the hardest, most uncomfortable option. The thing I struggle with most. The personal deficit that creates loneliness and disconnection.
The vulnerability option.
What’s more interesting than learning what got someone real fucked up? How can you learn more about me than if I lay out my inner shitshows? What would be more humanizing and connecting than learning you have the same onslaught of self-criticisms?
So I’m going to lay it out. All the shit I don't tell anyone until 2 years into our friendship. Let’s go through a quick roll call of MY personal traumas. Short, sweet, and mostly-inclusive. Here’s what I’ve been trying to tell you for months, in less words.
Early life: grew up lonesome, bullied, poverty stricken, surrounded by domestic violence and opioid addiction
Mid life: worked retail, put myself through college, fell into cancer cell biology, lost many relationships, acquired chronic stress-induced illness and suffered massive uptick in mental illness.
Recent life: moved CHI to ATL, left my reputable job, started indie art business, failed indie art business, joined new harassing workplace, endured abusive relationship, left abusive relationship, lost it (all), joyously on my own and redesigning life.
Things I tell myself: You look old, you’re ugly without makeup, your stomach looks fat, your body is getting flabby, you aren’t womanly, you annoy everyone, you have an off-putting personality, you’re not as smart as you think you are, you’re an imposter, you’re a burden, you’re doomed to be alone, everyone makes fun of you
Things I hide from the world: real hair color, real skin color, real face, real self, real self-hatred, real life story, real struggles every day
Lifelong Struggles: slowing down, sleeping, eating right, body composition, confidence, fear, guilt, low self-worth, accepting "time," performing self-care, letting go of resentment, financial panic, feeling “love,” trusting others, making friends, keeping connections alive
My symptoms: anxiety, crippling depression, self-hate, self-guilt, self-shame, shaking, hives, shallow breathing, stiffness/muscle tension, migraines, insomnia, exhaustion, chronic illness, inflammatory responses, agoraphobia, acid reflux, appetite loss/gain, racing thoughts, constant agitation, feeling that there isn’t ever “time,” panic attacks, dissociation
My fucked coping mechanisms: defensiveness, shutting down, building walls, isolation, drinking, smoking, eating straight peanut butter, going to bed at 7pm, sleeping aids, crying in bathrooms/closets, starvation, bothering my friends, working until my eyes bleed
Improved coping mechanisms: getting into nature, reading, writing, singing, drawing/creating, listening to podcasts/audiobooks, talking to my mom, exercising appropriately, reaching out to new folks
Recent Successes: trusting myself, reducing anxiety, focusing my thoughts, exercising, eating, sleeping, controlling physical symptoms, learning, finding new passions, sitting with discomfort, tackling effed core beliefs, seeing humans as humans…. being vulnerable?
Phew! That’s a good start, as far as incredibly personal intros go, yeah?
I’ll dive deeper into, well, all of this…. But at this rate I’m going to need a few years, the abolition of my first and second jobs, or development of concise writing skills.
For the time being, I hope this served as a digestible “get to know you(r inner demons).” Satan knows, I’ve got plenty of them dancing around in there. They got some junk in the trunk and the dance moves to move it.
If you connect with any of these vague details about my silly traumatic life - shoot me an email any time. You can be more descriptive than I was - your shit don't scare me. Let’s rap. firstname.lastname@example.org
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