Saturday, August 28, 2010


Why do I have such a hard time accepting this? Well, let’s see. There’s the fact that I spent most of my life having everyone around me DENY my very real medical problems. From the time I was 14 and told my mom I’d kill myself if she didn’t send me to therapy (to which she replied, “Stop being so melodramatic”) to my broken right ankle at 23 (she let church friends pray for me rather than lending me money to get it set by a doctor, despite the fact she no longer believed in faith healing and went to doctors for her OWN needs at this point) my pain has never been real.

No one’s pain was real to my grandmother. In the entire book “Born in Zion” detailing over a dozen birth stories, she never once admits to a laboring woman being in pain, always merely “some discomfort.” Of course my pain was never real.

Then there’s the fact that you can’t SEE a mental illness by looking at my body. I’m 27 and in fairly good shape. I have really healthy hair and four working limbs. I am not disfigured or maimed physically, just psychologically and that… no one else can see unless you let them. And I spent my whole life practicing hiding my pain.

Because of course, sometimes I refused to let them deny me. I went through with my suicide attempts and I got sporadic brief periods of time with therapists (though always with the complaints of how much time it took out of her day to drive me, how much money it cost her for me to not be making real progress, and of course, a quiz for everything I discussed in my private session that she had paid for.) If I had to, I’d make them see my pain, but there was always a price to pay for forcing my mother out of neglectful denial, her preferred mode of parenting.

I want to pretend that I can get better anytime I want to, and that I just enjoy spending all my time in my apartment on the computer. I want to pretend that I’m just “quirky” not actually “disabled.” I want to be able to write this without soaking my kitchen table with tears, buut I can’t.

It hurts so much to speak this truth. You Anteaters, before anyone else, know how much I share and how willingly. But this is one for some reason, one I can’t seem to forgive myself of. PTSD following abuse? Sure that makes sense. Anxiety & depression? Easily understood, and common enough to be sympathetic to a broad audience. The eating disorder? Well, that’s not nearly as hush-hush as it used to be,w ith several memoirs out (the most haunting and riveting of those being Marya Herschberg’s “Wasted”.) Divorce? Drug use in my teens? Skipping school? Hardly noteworthy in the 21st century unless you’re a repressed religious prick. Abortion? Well, even if it isn’t talked about I know 1/3 of the women out there have had one also so even if the news decided to treat it like an anamoly, I know how common it really is.

But Social Anxiety Disorder? How the hell does that work? As someone recently said, “If someone with 9,000 YouTube subscribers has social anxiety, what the hell do you consider a social butterfly?”

I used to be so extroverted. I performed my first solo at age 3, with the Lake Carol Baptist preschool choir (“Jesus Loves the Little Children.”) I was a musical theater major in high school, and a Middle East studies major in college – in the hopes of going into diplomatic work, of all things. And now I can’t leave a very, very small space without feeling overwhelmed and assaulted by everyday sights and sounds. Every person is a visible threat. Every motion kicks in my fight or flight instinct. I can’t bear the onslaught of advertising, speeding cars, loud music, sudden noises… It is all simply too much for me.

The thought of ever driving a car again makes me jump in my chair and cry out, a particularly annoying symptom that’s been happening quite often lately. These symptoms of terrific fear at the slightest movement from my boyfriend are hard for him to bear, as well. He does not want me to be afraid when he picks up a book. Neither do I.

But even just the thought of leaving the apartment to meet with a therapist fills me with dread and heart-racing anxiety. My neighbors, with their noisy children and loud slamming of the door, the assholes downstairs with the mini-bike, and the drunk guy who got arrested a few weeks ago (with two patrol cars directly beneath my window for over an hour! Fun unless you've ever been arrested!)

How did I let myself get so scared? Of everything?

I wish I could wish myself well.

I wish faith healing worked, and homeopathy, too. I wish anti-depressants did something other than make me hallucinate and feel like killing myself, but they don’t. None of them. And it’s just really, really hard to admit to myself that I can’t fucking fix this with hope and optimism. And that just feels so self-defeating! And the only reason I’ve managed to survive so much is that I *don’t* just lie down and quit. No matter how bad the depression is, I DO get out of bed. I DO take care of my son. I TRY. But I am still neurotic and crazy and terrified of the world around me.

I don’t want this ugly truth to be part of me. All the other things were more manageable. As bad as the eating disorders were, they never kept me locked in a box, a prison of fucking fear. It’s humiliating to admit that. No one wants to be afraid, and I still have to fight the lie I was indoctrinated into, that fear is the ultimate sin – the biggest taboo.

I spent my life being groomed to deny reality, and this is one truth I do not want to have to face. I do not want this to be true. But it is. It sucks, but there’s the fucking truth. I hate it. I wish it wasn’t so.

I spend all my time on the internet, because I have nowhere else to GO.

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Sunday, August 1, 2010

Pompous Drivel Lies

Sorry I haven't been here in... shoot, nearly a month? I blame YouTube.

I had so much fun doing counter-apologetics on the blog, I thought I might tackle one on video. So, I've been reading and skewering The Purpose Driven Life (does it drive anybody else half as crazy as me that the freaking TITLE of that book contains a grammatical error?)

I doubt I'll be able to do any writing outside of this for the next two weeks, till Little Man starts Kindergarten (big boy!) because in addition to suffering through Rick Warren, I need to get LM his booster shots, school supplies, etc.

I'm also looking into DVD production. I've decided to package my abortion videos together, with closed captions and tons of well-cited factual information added, for sale. I'm waiting to hear back from Guttmacher Institute on setting up a proceeds contribution. As many people as I was able to reach with a YouTube video, I'm sure we all know people who aren't online or don't have access in a private setting (if you're using the library's internet access, maybe a video on abortion isn't something you can watch right there.)

Yes, I'm sure anti-choice people will jump all over this claiming I'm trying to make money off my abortion. More like I'm trying to make money off the job I spend all my time on - being a semi-public figure with a clearly stated opinion, and an unapologetic attitude. But I wouldn't be releasing THIS video set (as opposed to my series on growing up in a cult) if I didn't think people needed to hear it. A percentage of the proceeds - depending in part on the final cost of DVD reproduction, packaging, etc. - will be going to Guttmacher, or the National Network of Abortion Funds (NNAF). I'll keep everyone here informed as this moves forward.

Till then, here are all those videos I've been making instead of hanging out on my blog lately. You can always keep up with these yourself by subscribing to my YouTube channel. For the next month, I'll be putting out at least one vid a day. I know, I know, I set myself up for this bout of business. ;p

So here's where the reading gets good (or at least, really funny.)

I'm off to record Day 10 now!

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