Hi, I’m Lavender and I’m a geek.
You’ve probably already picked up on that by now, but just in case you haven’t, telling you my Partner and I have been eagerly anticipating the Pokemon Go Community Day with abundant tyranitars for weeks now probably confirms it.
Today was a rare good day. We went to one of the biggest parks in our city. We each managed to collect enough candy to evolve multiple tyranitars, and we participated in some rare legendary raids with enough people to actually win (even though we *cough* don’t have enough friends to field a team outside of these community days due to *cough cough* social anxiety). We both even managed to get high-level shiny tyranitars to evolve. (It seems only fitting that someone with ADHD – stereotyped as “ooh, shiny” – should need shiny pokemon). My spoons did give out before my phone battery and the event did, but with appropriate planning for water, meds, rest breaks, shade and cooling aids, I lasted longer than I expected to. The heat and sun weren’t unbearable, and we stopped for burgers and ice cream sandwiches in the A/C when I needed to rest.
Today was a good day, which might lead some readers to wonder if that means things are starting to get better. Are things “okay” now, since I went out and enjoyed myself? No, sadly, they are not. Nothing has changed in my personal list of torments since last week. I’m still a zombie. My boss still screams at people. He screamed at me this week when he sent a text thirty minutes after the official end of the workday. I didn’t reply that same night because I was legitimately at Improv and had my phone off. It was late when I finished. He screamed again about how I didn’t care about the company when he accused me later that week of not having replied to another important email. He didn’t seem to care that the email he wrote about how I made “zero” effort to respond was literally sent as a reply in the thread directly in response to the email where I had contacted him about what he asked. If we don’t respond anytime he wills it after hours, we gamble with our jobs. If he doesn’t even bother to read the very emails that he requests to be sent to him, it’s still on our heads. (And it would probably mean instant firing if I were ever to dare ask for the apology that a reasonable person might offer to someone they went off on about a supposed failure that didn’t really happen. I know I desperately need out of this workplace, but I’m still not in a place mentally or with the other trauma in my life to have the capacity to job hunt right now. It’s still all just too damn much to cope with most days.) The 9th Circle of Hell is still Hell, and the wheels of justice for the abused remain as rusted as ever even with so-called “positive” momentum recently.
Nothing has actually improved, and it’s a pet peeve of mine when people insist on viewing any attempts to maintain a semblance of normalcy in a world of chaos as indications that it must all be fine now, must not have been that bad to start with, or – worst – that I’m a selfish bitch (yes, those are words I’ve heard many times as part of my own personal experiences of trauma) for trying to maintain my sanity during it all. We made such an effort to go to Pokemon Go Community Day not because things were okay. We made that effort exactly because they are so very not okay. I’ve tried to outrun trauma in the past, and no matter how hard or how far I have run, the 9th Circle of Hell always catches up. I fear it will always catch up unless I ever fall so far as to actually become the selfish person that I’ve been accused of being from the time of my earliest memories. I know I can’t outrun the hard truths, but that makes it all the more important that I run away just often enough to run towards some good days.
To survive these many bad days, it is imperative to forcibly insert good days sometimes. I have lived the heartbreak of watching someone else self-destruct: refusing to live because they have so deeply internalized that somehow trauma makes them unworthy of ever feeling joy. Not only does trauma not make a person unworthy, brooding on it continuously in between the worst times actually weakens you when the worst inevitably comes anyway. Sometimes going to Pokemon Go Community Day is more than self-care. Sometimes it is a survival mechanism.
Things are not “okay,” so please don’t assume that choosing to buoy myself with one good day in the midst of Hell means that I’m selfish, making up how bad things are, or am in some other way horrible. I’ve heard that far too often in my life. There will always be a part of my brain telling myself those things as I catch pokemon in the park, but I’m trying to listen to my Partner when he claims self-care is survival for both of us. I don’t know if I can silence the roar of the past enough to believe him, but if I hear it again from someone new, I’ll sick one of my new pocket pre-historic monsters on them. (Or maybe, I’ll just roar at them myself. I’m supposed to be being more decisive, after all.)
Sometimes even the undead have to live a little, and I’ll defend our right to do so vociferously. Also, this post will not be categorized under “Something I Failed at Today.” I got the pokemon I came for, and that so-called failure my boss screamed at me about wasn’t actually my failure at all. It was his.
(Speaking of the undead, I do wish a zombie girl could catch a break from her ghostly cousins once in a while. I was on the tier of the Mew capture progression that required catching multiple ghost-type pokemon immediately before the recent spate of special events started. My Partner had managed to catch his ghosts just before the events, and he has his Mew already. Since the festivals have started, all my ghosts have disappeared! Oh, well, I guess this gives me time to perfect my excellent curveball – or more realistically for my Partner to perfect his excellent curveball. Hypermobile fingers probably mean that making an excellent curveball is the one and only challenge I will cheat on. Pokemon Go is good for my mental health, but the rare physical challenges in the game still aren’t the most inclusive of my physical health.)
Tyranitars are olive green dinosaurs, and the shiny ones have purple armor plates. Have some green-and-purple Where’s Whoopsies in honor of Pokemon Go’s best rock attacker.