Today’s Questions are courtesy of Ease the Ride. They are both the hardest questions and the easiest questions to answer of all the blog awards, because there are really only three of them, and I had previously written a blogiversary post that, in theory, should have answered all of them. It was the post I intended to post for my one-year blog anniversary. I never posted it, so now it has become a blog award. The questions are as follows:
1) Write a paragraph of something positive about yourself
2) Briefly tell the story of your blog
3) Give two pieces of advice to new bloggers.
The bitter truth is that I started my blog on the weekend before my birthday because my birthdays are serious traumaversaries for me. I don’t much talk about it on this blog, because I’m not as far along in confronting the narratives of the trauma that happened directly to me as a child as opposed to that which happened to others while I was supposed to be “protecting them,” but let’s just say you don’t become responsible for someone else legally when barely an adult yourself unless a lot of things have already gone wrong. The systemic abuse in the 9th Circle of Hell is part deux of my trauma bad movie series, but so far it’s the only part I’ve gotten semi-comfortable sharing on this blog.
My birthdays started as traumaversaries because I was an undiagnosed non-neurotypical kid who failed to fit in and paid for that, especially on days when I should have been able to follow such a simple “script” as “have a party and don’t eff it up.” Later, my birthdays further became dates associated with 9th Circle of Hell systemic abuse. I was scheduled to defend my thesis on my birthday, because my birthday happens to be the last day of class for most universities. That alone might have been stressful enough, but successfully doing so might have started to provide some alternative memories to coexist alongside the bad. It might have, at least, if the first time I had to legally fight against an abusive agency (and lose, in my mind, as it only got a slap on the wrist) hadn’t been two or so days after my thesis defense. I had to confront the existence of abuse, prepare to speak to it, and prep for my thesis all in the same week. Oh, and the bureaucracy of academia told that me there was no option to reschedule. Defend, or leave the program sans degree. I have the degree, and the guilt to go with it that maybe if I’d not tried to balance both, I’d have done better. (Or maybe, given what I’ve learned in later go-arounds, the outcome in the 9th Circle of Hell would have been just the same and I’d have wasted my academic potential anyway. That’s what my Partner and therapist think, at least.)
I started my blog on a rare weekend before my birthday in a rare year in which I had a job that hadn’t turned sour yet, and nothing seemed to be wrong (yet) in the world of the 9th Circle of Hell. I started my blog in a rare moment where I dared to think that maybe I had started to escape the birthday curse. I naively wrote the words “I’m in a good place emotionally, but would like to be in a better one,” and I jumped with the typical ADHD leap-before-you-look exuberance into blogging. Fear of failure had been the worst symptom of trauma and ADHD for me forever, so what better way in this new-and-improved world to confront it than to write a blog that celebrated failure?
It was a great idea. This blog has provided enormous comfort to me when my naive belief that things were finally getting better turned out to be a bit premature. When 2018 gave that horrible year of testifying on my birthday a run for its money in horribleness, it was less isolating to at least be able to scream it out on this blog (when I had a voice left to scream, at least.) I will thus give the same advice to other bloggers that I gave to myself when I made the decision to start to blog: write the things that scare you the most and write the things that don’t always make you look good. It’s the best help you will ever receive from a mental health blog. But, also write the good things. Don’t only write the tragedy, or years later you will only remember the tragedy. Trauma and ADHD both lead to very non-linear memories, so if it isn’t written down it doesn’t exist. That’s why there has been levity in Lavender and Levity from the start, even before I discovered Improv. On some level I knew if I didn’t write some humorous or just mundane posts, too, that I’d lose access to those memories later. If you go through enough trauma, you’ll fight for the good memories. So, write the things that scare you the most, but then write the things that save you from them, too. Your future self will thank you.
The post I wrote for my one-year blogiversary post was supposed to be lighthearted. It was supposed to be one of the levity posts, not one of the traumaversary ones. Unfortunately, because I truly am an irony magnet, I literally spent this past birthday and my first blogiversary testifying in a closed court with no electronics. Yup, it was another one of those birthdays. I kind of figured that blog post was gone for good. There’s finding levity in the face of Hell, and then there’s pretending your birthday doesn’t suck balls while you’re in court.
I spent my blogiversary with Cheez Whiz for Brains instead of finishing my idea for a silly parody ala my Christmas post. Well, Ease the Ride has given me a second chance to make a normal impression. So, my honest answers to her three questions are above. My “not everything in this world has to be all trauma all the time” answers will be in a post I finish later tonight. They will take the form of a Messages in a Bottle dated from my true one-year blogiversary, expressing the kind of appreciation for how far I’ve come and the hope that just maybe I’ll be lucky enough to experience a better blogiversary date next year. (If anyone wants to send positive thoughts to the universe, also, that the final resolution of this particular go round that started with the court date two months ago will ultimately accomplish more than just a couple of names on a list of substantiated abuse and maybe somehow, someway, actually make something better at the regulatory level, I’d most appreciate it. I can use all the post-birthday good vibrations I can get!)
And, well, check back later for that other post. As I tend to do, I spent so many words writing the intro to the Messages in a Bottle that now I have to make the actual back-dated entry a separate post!
Need a recap of anything I’m talking about in any post? Check out the Glossary of Terms.