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Intrapersonal Investigations

Explorations into how we interpret actions, communicate intentions and can relate to the world in a healthy, uplifting manner.

On top of the chariot or under it: you will move forward with life.

I am struggling lately. Festival come down is always hard for me because I don’t feel like the life I lead is very magical… and yet I worry I am a squib, doomed to know the magic and see it… but not to be able to make it with any regularity.

A friend today gave me a piece of tidbit information on someone’s life that I was overwhelmingly triggered by. It was about a person who graduated with what would have been my class if I’d been more militant about planning my divorce. Apparently their job with the city is up for grabs temporarily, friend speculated maternity leave.

I couldn’t even deal with it. I could have had that life and I threw it away. I never would have succeeded. But its so easy to dream. Its so easy to long for a future you probably never had a chance at… and so easy to blame yourself for having been on the same footing as someone else who was just more well balanced, more ambitious and smarter.

But I don’t feel we were ever on the same footing. Regardless of where we were and what was helping us stay there. I fell.

And I have been under the chariot ever since.

I have seen some semblance of feeling in control again. But I don’t know how to harness all this ME. Coming back from the festival I have felt more me than ever. More able to rise to meet my challenges. And alternately as high as I fly there I plummet thinking that  no, I don’t have the internal strength to do the things I need to do and be able to be successful…

Perhaps the failures are inherent to the model. Perhaps it is deficient and needs to let go of the dream in order to forge a new life out of what remains at a more modest station.

Or perhaps it never had a choice about whether or not it was going to engage the world… perhaps the only choice was how.

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Hurt yourself, hurt others, or heal yourself: The choice is yours.

I saw when I was very young that I had the option to hurt others in order to deal with my pain. I told myself that what WE were doing for US was that we would never consciously hurt others. THAT was not who we (Amie and her inner self) were. She does not destroy others.

She will light herself on fire and see who warms their hands. She will burn brightly to remind others that sparks exist. And when her embers are going out, she will rely on others to set her spark again. It was so unsustainable.

These days I want to be a controlled burn. These days I’m working on healing myself.

Because I realize now that the option is not hurt yourself or hurt others… There’s another way. Heal yourself.

It’s harder. But it’s worth it.

I knew going in that polyamory had the skills that I personally needed in order to change myself from a victim to a survivor. But I didn’t realize how hard it would be to gain them. How wonderful it could all be if I could just gain the skills without the painful lessons.

But that’s not the way it works.

How do you heal yourself? I remember reading advice on how to heal yourself and hating it. CONSUMMATELY HATING IT. Always hating it with every core fiber of my being because they made it sound like it was SO EASY. To just love yourself. To just accept yourself. To just love others and accept them for who they are because we are loving and accepting ourselves.

I hated the fucking advice that admonished me for NOT loving myself as if because I was not doing that I would never be able to love and accept others.

I find that many of the people who are MOST loving and accepting of others have a hard time accepting and loving themselves.

But when we are here for ourselves, we can never be alone. This is the dichotomy of boundaries and self protection that we are never taught…. because the fear of being alone is held over us so powerfully.

We are free to chose what we do. As long as we are intentional about our choice we can always revisit it later.

I got the poltergeist blues: update edition.

I had the pleasure to attend a local festival of music and art as a site crew volunteer.

I had a wonderful time despite the stress of my father being on the site crew in full ghost mode.

Everyone loves him there… I only told a few people he was my dad and I made sure that they understood that I wasn’t calling him a bad person just saying that I don’t talk to him. The volunteer coordinator that randomly freaks out at anyone and everyone almost was absolutely WAY nicer to me than she was to other people… because she likes my dad.

My dad was at his most charming and vivacious. He was at his most generous.

My dad was helping. He was there to do a job.

So was I. And we did our jobs.

I am proud of him for holding it together. I am sad that all he needs to do to impress me is NOT harass me. NOT be aggressive with me and NOT follow me when I leave upon seeing him coming. I’m proud of him for not telling everyone he worked with that he’s my dad.

I’m angry my bar is so low.

I am angry suspecting that if he ends up doing more stressful things for the festival that he may revert to his yelling and freaking out ways.

I am disgusted feeling like the coordinator that yells at everyone treated me better because she enjoys my dad.

I am a whole lot of things.

But I held my standards for myself. I was gracious. I was wildly helpful. And I didn’t smack talk him.

I did get two conflicting reports of how much he talked about his son. One from a man I trust far less than the one who told me he said a LOT about his youngest kid. But I only asked two people.

And I tried to protect myself from a whole bunch of people telling me how great he is by keeping it to myself.

He’s a charming guy. He wants to be liked. Everyone wants to be liked. He did a good job.

No one wishes more than me that I could enjoy a music festival with him. No one wishes more than me that I could interact with him and not have to worry about him talking about my family to me. No one wishes more than me that I could have the relationship with my father that strangers get to have.

No one.

I got the poltergeist blues. Woaaahhhhh.

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My father hasn’t been the man I thought he was since I formed that opinion of him. And the opinion I formed was highly informed by the relative lack of information I had when I was young.

I created a person that not only no longer exists… I don’t believe he ever existed. My philosophical, embattled, and creative father may have existed. But that view of him is so marred by his many flaws that created so many harms for the rest of my family to overcome.

But he’s still around. Not only casting water all over the flame of his memory in my mind… But quite literally setting fire to other family members’ lives.

I got the poltergeist blues, woaaahhh, the poltergeist blues.

There’s more to your metaphor than can be imagined in any one philosophy…. Horatio.

A friend of mine posted a quote that I liked: “Some people are born on third base and go through life thinking they hit a triple.” By Barry Switzer.

There’s so much more to this metaphor than I can possibly concisely describe. But watch how I try.

If ‘the game’ of society can be reduced to a ball game that we all ought to be working together to play and I believe it can… then there are people who are born on third base and think they made it home every time all on their own efforts. There are people whose parents worked hard and were able to give them a good pitch. There are people who were able to turn around a really bad inning with some help to set them up for an easy pitch that not everyone gets. There are people who had a good pitch given to them and then have gone on to hit every ball because they work hard. There’s people who struck out even though their parents gave them a good pitch and that good pitch was the only one they were ever going to get…

But beyond that you can still get tagged out. You can run on a fly ball, you can drop your foot from the base without meaning to. You can still fuck it up… and maybe you fuck it up bad enough to spend some time in the outfield… maybe you raise your kids there and try to give them all the skills that you were given so they can get back in the game…. maybe you forget how to play because you spend so much time there.

This baseball metaphor works for me. But the important part is that we’re all TOLD we’re playing baseball. Even if the world is ‘geared’ for the middle class, those from the upper class have an easier time moving within it. They are the best set up for success… they’re not playing baseball. They’re playing T-Ball. And they’re superb at it! How could they not be? There are many people composing whatever I think the upper class is who are WORKING HARD at their T-Ball game and getting far as T-Ball superstars… BUT MOST OF THEM STILL THINK THEY’RE PLAYING BASEBALL STILL. We’re all told we’re playing baseball and that striking out is a possibility…. and sure. Some of them do strike out.

In the middle class you can strike out easier still. And I think this is why they look on at the T-Ball players when they strike out with sympathy… they know what it’s like to strike out… just not while playing T-Ball. They’d like the same level of sympathy extended to them though… because they’re a valuable player they swear… not like those weird people who seem to be doing UFC in the outfield that always strike out whenever they get called in to play.

And in the outfield? The lower classes and criminal underclasses. Well… we were told we’re playing baseball but we really haven’t seen the ball in a long time… in fact, every time we actually get the ball while we’re out here in left field we dutifully throw it back but everyone who is hitting the ball seems to be hitting it out of the park and it never really comes back… (get it? Because when the rich get money it goes in their bank account never to be seen from again? Haha. Classic trickle-down theory. So great.) But so if we could get the ball that’d be great… but we kind of started playing our own game where we hit each other because we never get the ball anyway.

And when we get the ball? Well we can dream and we can try but we’ve never really played baseball and our parents maybe didn’t tell us any tricks on how to play this game and none of the information in school really made sense because we’re definitely doing some sort of UFC out here… so we may not hit the ball that far. We may not hit the ball. We strike out a lot when we get up to play because we never had the practice….

Its more than a ball game. It’s a mind game.

 

The psychiatrist.

I was so offended about a diagnosis of BPD that I bitched at the first psychiatrist until they left it off their diagnosis.

I’m still offended. But only because BPD seems to be the new ‘this person is at fault for their own condition’ diagnosis that they use to not help you.

Because according to Dr. Talarico I am so fucked up that there’s just no point in doing anything long term to help me achieve safe, stable housing of my own because I’d fuck it up anyway. So I need to do a whole bunch of things that won’t help me get safe stable housing so that I can not be fucked up because only then will I deserve housing.

It’s funny because the fact I don’t want to use up my five visits with each practitioner until I’m ready to actually deal with my mental health proactively apparently means I’m just avoiding seeking help. Fuck you you smug fucking shit. I have five visits with each of them. They never mentioned whether it’s five per year but I don’t think it is. I think it’s just five visits. And if I use them up dealing with my ‘mental health’ that is really affected by my housing situation first, I won’t have them to deal with my actual mental health problems which I’m not sure at this point what they are because my housing situation has been so onerous for so long.

Apparently this means I don’t want help and maybe I’m not nearly as fucked up as they thought originally. But also so profoundly fucked up there’s no point in helping me. Yay.

I want to die rather than see him again but all he’d do is shake his head and chortle “Wow. People with BPD are so pointlessly crazy, it’s a good thing we never helped her. She obviously didn’t want help.”

Update: I’m still struggling with this. Like. A lot. I took a book out on dealing with BPD and apparently it’s all about how people with BPD often create a story of trauma to justify their shitstain behaviour to others.

Which plays out because most of the support groups for BPD are about dealing with people who have BPD rather than having it yourself. None of my symptoms of BPD are about harming others and when they have been I have dealt with them to make them NOT a thing because I attempt to move through life only uplifting others. Almost all my symptoms are personally destructive not externally destructive.

But. Lighting the book on fire rather than returning it is probably one of the more BPD things I could do. .-.

…. sooooooo… the fact I really want to light it on fire is  perhaps a problem…

Understanding is a trap.

Symbolic interaction is a branch of sociology that looks at the way that we perceive objects and symbols in our world. We have rote understandings of categories and often our understanding of other humans is blind to anything that might threaten its foundations- and while this can blind us to bad things and we want to avoid this… it can also blind us to good things and this is equally not good. When we rely on our understanding of someone to explain their actions it can be an extremely limiting thing to do to someone even if your understanding is charitable. What you perceive as a mental health issue may not be what you think. Relying on understanding to avoid having to listen to people or pay attention to what they are doing versus saying sets us up for failure.

How many times have I run into people that have an entirely different understanding of someone I know than I do? Many many times. Sometimes I know this person well. Sometimes I don’t. More often I find that for myself, I have used ‘understanding’ someone to take the place of communication, boundaries and healthy relating.

If I do this, others may too and I’ve seen situations between people and myself and people and other people go down because something fundamentally changes their understanding of someone. How often has my mother told me to keep many parts of myself to myself for fear they be used against me? Often. How hard did I rail against this thinking that if I could just explain it right I could MAKE people understand me? Very. How many times have I used the words to describe my life and understood that the person I was hoping to understand me only understands what they can understand from their own life perspective and rarely more? … on some level? Almost always.

I can only speak to how I perceive the world.

I used to think that understanding was a necessary component of any relationship that a human could have. Subsequently I spent six years with someone who fundamentally could not understand me and refused to try for the painful work it might take them to do so. Instead we spent years using the same language to describe different things and feeling a false understanding that laid the foundations for a shit castle when it became clear that there would never be understanding on either part. That I would always feel trapped and they would always feel abandoned.

The work that was required for me to stay with them would have been entirely self serving, I was better off with them than without them. I would have been settling, to my own benefit. They are happier without me and I am a more whole person without them. Which is what I wanted regardless of how hard it has been.

I think we have the option to understand ourselves. Being open to outside perspectives that don’t fly with your own understanding and being able to reconcile them into a new understanding is fundamental and often lacking in humans. It is often extremely beneficial to avoid this hard work because the benefits of knowing ourselves intimately are so ephemeral and useful in all skills but unattributable as a specific skill.

But outside perspectives are externally based and almost always lack the necessary information to be fully rounded. Most external perspectives on my life at this point are “why can’t you just get a job and work hard at it and only it and see where that takes you?” and to fill them in on the reason why gives them a whole lot of other things I need to explain in order for them not to take the significant words (mental health, life stability, personal choices) and construct their own sentence about my life that isn’t exactly true.

I do think that strangers have one of the clearest views on us. I’m highly personally invested in this because I met a lady randomly in a vaguely rough area of town (we’d seen a dude get sucker punched and then kicked out the night before) and she told me I must be doing something wonderful with my life because just from the way I spoke I was so intelligent and my voice was so calming and that everything was going to be ok.

Super invested in that outside opinion.

But the reality is that I present well until stress comes and I create a lot of that myself because I’m unable to let go the flawed coping skills I learned as a child for dealing with a reality on two different fronts that not everyone had to deal with. I perceive reality quite differently from day to day and sussing out what’s in reality and what’s not is incredibly hard for me.

And as to outside opinions I feel I cannot trust them. People want to create a narrative of you they understand. Even if they don’t have all the facts… I had always prided myself on being explicit about the things about me so that people could form the right opinion.

But symbolic interaction (as a sociological thing which is still as close to religion as I get) is where humans can observe the same thing differently. Is a beer can on the side of the road a sign of irresponsible drinking or a sign of a good night out? Depends on the viewer. In this way I can tell people about my life and they won’t understand about my life…. they will understand my life based on their experiences of what I describe. NOT what I describe. I feel it’s rare that people will listen and attempt to reconcile what is described with what they think of first.

I now believe that the idea that we can understand others and understand symbols (anything, a thing, a concept, a house, a famous person, a piece of writing) in any objective single way is harmful to our society and our brains.

But I do believe that we can connect with people. And that connection isn’t based on understanding. For me connection is noticing the flavour someone adds to a room and loving it. Not all flavours of person are for all people but some are more palatable than others. Some flavours interact well and others do not.

I feel like the assumption that connection does not require understanding explains vague “i hate this person even though I don’t know them” feelings for people that cannot reconcile connection without understanding and the people who mistake understanding for connection.

And if that’s the beginnings of hated, it’s also the beginnings of love as we come to understand the people we are connected to.

Politicians who have personally experienced child poverty in Canada as children.

Representation is important right? I got to thinking about this somehow the other day and came up with a question the internet had no answer to. How many politicians in Canada grew up on welfare? How many were poor in Canada and rose to the level they did? I don’t care how they did it… I don’t care if it’s part of their bootstrap success story and they use it to cut welfare rates for kids like me. I don’t care why. I just care that it’s  possible.

So I looked at around 300 MPs wikipedia pages and garnered little to no information. I’ll admit that I stopped at 300 and didn’t finish the rest of the 38 because I was just so tired of it. I was at the time also sending them all an email to ask if they had experienced child poverty in Canada as a child and if so, for how long?

From wikipedia:
There’s a politician that dropped out of 9th grade, educated himself and rose to the position of MP for the shady side of Hamilton.

There’s a politician that grew up in said shady side of Hamilton. But it isn’t clear as to whether he was poor or he was just surrounded by poor people.

We have almost the same number of people who immigrated to Canada from conflict areas as First Nations politicians and neither group perfectly fits my research paradigms. I likely can’t even begin to imagine what they’ve experienced. I would never want to denigrate that or dismiss the weight of it or to say that the weight of my experience is like theirs. But I am looking for politicians who might conceivably have a nuanced understanding of my experiences spending much of my childhood on welfare.

And there’s a lot of women and minorities which pleases me. But little info on what their parents do.

If there WAS info on parents it was almost always for a politician under the age of 40: parents were lawyers, parents were politicians, parents were political volunteers, parents were cops, parents were teachers, there were a few working class backgrounds but not many.

From my emailed question:
I gotta say I absolutely shit the bed on politicians with last names A-B. They got a weird email with no real details on why I wanted the information. One has since responded openly but I don’t expect a lot of super warm responses. Politicians with last names C-Z got this email:

Greetings and hello, I’m trying to answer a question for myself that I have not found any research on. Thus I am conducting my own. Contacting you is only part of my research but could circumvent a monumental task for me trying to find the answers to.

The question is if any current Canadian MPs or MLAs have personally experienced child poverty in Canada.

It would help me greatly if you were able to tell me if during your childhood your family spent any time on welfare, and if so, how much time?

I am defining my research by considering a person whose parents were collecting welfare during their childhood as having had an experience of child poverty in Canada. I realize there are other experiences of child poverty and if you feel you have one, please elaborate.

Lack of response will indicate to me that you have not personally experienced child poverty in Canada.

Thank you for your time.

So far:
One politician experienced child poverty such that they knew their family was accepting help from social programs and this was until sometime in their teen years. This is enough a part of their identity that their aide knew of this.

One politician knew that their family was having rough times during a time when they moved a lot and doesn’t know the specifics of how the food got to their table but recognizes it may have been difficult.

Alex Nuttall: Has publicly gone on record about his childhood on welfare: https://www.thestar.com/news/insight/2016/07/29/rookie-mp-owes-his-rise-to-barrie-delacourt.html

I’ll update this as I go along.

An Inspirational night of traumatic comedy with Mercy the Clown.

Intro and greetings and salutations and compliments to the crowd. I’m a messed up human here in a clown nose to talk to you about all the ways I’m messed up in the hopes that one) you will laugh, and two) you might learn something. Maybe about messed up humans. Maybe about yourself even.

TW: Trigger warnings, I think they’re important and I’ll explain why later but for now let’s leave this at: You may find this talk triggering.

  • If you find yourself plagued by memories that don’t usually bother you but for some reason you just can’t get them out of your head… you may be triggered.
  • If you find yourself confused by why you’re SO MAD about the content of this act or just SO MAD in general after this show… you may be triggered.
  • If you find yourself counting things that you are able to avoid counting because you know that you have OCD but it’s usually more manageable than this… you may be triggered.
  • If you feel like you’re going to have a heart attack and die panicky… you may be triggered.
  • If you find that in the coming weeks you can’t remember barely any details about this show at all other than that you were physically present and not drinking or doing drugs… this implies (to me) a level of disassociation that says you might be triggered kind of ALL THE TIME.

Disassociation is a strange term; not everyone knows it so I’ll explain it at length, but in my own words: Disassociation is when your mind leaves your body. It’s fun and dandy when we’re in traffic and we don’t want to be there so POP, mind goes elsewhere and all of a sudden you’re turning into your driveway with no real recollection of driving there. Disassociation is also a tool taught to people who have any likelihood of being tortured. But it’s all well and good to be a soldier disassociating on purpose and it’s a WHOLE NOTHER STORY when you’re a child that’s learned to continue existing by disassociating because living in your body in reality is TOO painful.

And BING BING BING. That’ll be one of our topics for the evening and is also one of our prime sponsors! This act as part of a larger act composing Mercy’s ENTIRE LIFE has been brought to you by: Flawed Coping Mechanisms. Just because you can continue existing via this tool does not make the tool useful later. In fact, it is the inverse of that.

I learned about disassociation in a second year sociology class about identities; in a section of my textbook defining people with persistent issues surrounding identity as a result of trauma. And here I am as a twenty one year old whose known since she was thirteen or so that there was something seriously wrong and I’m thinking ‘Uh oh. What does this mean if I do that?’

So if disassociation is new to you, this doesn’t mean I am telling you that you are bonafied for sure as fucked up as I am and need help before you do all kinds of crazy things… But it is (perhaps) an indicator that… maybe. Something is rotten in the state of denmark…. if you can follow the metaphor that denmark is the state of your mind and you’re hamlet. So listen to Shakespeare kids if you don’t want to end up stabbing someone’s dad through a curtain… if you can follow the metaphor that the curtain is your crazy ass rationalization of why it’s ok to stab someone.

Now I’ve heard it said; once, that wearing a red nose makes you a clown as much as wearing a tutu makes you a ballerina, so we’ll be dispensing with this- – take off clown nose- – because I don’t need no stinkin’ clown nose. The funny comes from inside, and it sure is all I can do to laugh these days because it’s all so hilarious. And because I heard it said once I shall proclaim it now: tragedy and comedy are two sides of the same theatrical coin. Things can be tragic and hilarious and things can be hilarious because if they’re not hilarious they are tragic.

It is hilarious being a person that lives with trauma. Living with trauma is HILARIOUS because it makes you do all sorts of fun and exciting things. And as a person on the inside wonder ‘why do I do all this fucked up shit…?’ (We’ll get to talking about the fucked up shit) but you start to piece it together eventually. And I spent about seven or so years actively working very hard on uncovering what in the actual fuck is wrong with me… and about fifteen or so knowing something was probably fucking wrong with me.

And only now can I accurately, with precision; and IN RETROSPECT, pinpoint just HOW a sane person could have actually gone about not doing those crazy things I did.

A huge part of this pinpointing has been learning what triggers are as a whole concept… and then learning what MY triggers are, these are two very different things. Your trigger isn’t just when the same thing happens to you. Or is referred to. Or shown. Or discussed. Your trigger is anything that brings you back to the place where your trauma feelings were made. And this is why it makes me mad to see people resistant to trigger warnings.

The trigger warning isn’t really for the traumatized person. I handle conversations about bullying very well. Know what I don’t handle well? Laughter. For years I thought if someone were laughing they were laughing at me and it took many many excursions of crazy to realize that some people laugh when they’re nervous.

The funnest part about my triggers is that they’re so complex and so weird that not only can I not predict them, I can be in situations and places and with people I thought were safe, I *KNOW* are safe because I’ve been here before and done the things… but -pow- something’s different! Situation/place/people NOT SAFE! And I do something crazy. Like quit yet another job because I’m so well acquainted with the idea that if I have a problem not only will asking for help NOT help but it will make the problem worse… like completely cut off friends and burn bridges based on patterns I haven’t talked to the pattern person about. Like swearing in a professional setting where you’ve been talked to about how swearing is not ok and you have firmly dedicated yourself to NOT SWEARING in that scenario. Overwhelmingly it has been proven to me that I can’t avoid my triggers and I can only loosely know what they are.

So if a trigger warning isn’t for me… whose it for? Why do we need more trigger warnings and not less? Well. A trigger warning is for the rest of the world. A trigger warning informs them that there’s traumatized people running about and this is one thing that traumatized people might be traumatized about. I put a trigger warning on this talk because I can’t tell what you’re going to take from this. I specifically don’t talk about the traumatizing things that made me traumatized. It was hard to edit all the personal exposition of the WHY of my crazy out of this talk about the practical business of living with the cray cray. I don’t think that removes the need for a trigger warning. I think it actually makes the trigger warning MORE necessary.

Because the human language is a fuzzy and imprecise; an over complex and too simplified thing all simultaneous and at the sametimelike. English is language fun. It’s the subjects and places and people that we feel safe in where we let down our boundaries that we end up getting triggered the worst. If I lead you into this talk with no warning it could be triggering it could be really easy to just laugh and joke about how crazy I am and end up hurting someone in their journey who isn’t in a similar spot to where I am in my journey.

Language is one of those great levelers. I can mean potato to be food that goes in one’s mouth, or I can mean potato as in I put too much food in my mouth and now look like a potato. Where we come into this being a problem is communication. “That’s a potato” is entirely defined by what you’re describing as a potato. What if you’re trying to describe a concept or feeling that isn’t tangibly present to give definition to your words?

And so there’s a process to communication: what we describe a thing that we have perceived about the world and we do so through the level of communicative skill we have; our verbology; our thesaurasaurianness, as we perceive that thing. What we communicate then lies in between you and the person you’re trying to communicate with and they perceive what you say through all the layers that make up how they perceive the world and this helps them understand what it even is you’re talking about and formulate a response which they convey to you through THEIR communication abilities.

Which all makes me surprised and grateful that we aren’t just flinging our poo at each other all the time.

Because humans perceive the world differently. It’s one thing to say this but it’s another thing to know it and one of the best ways to know this is to have a super twisted perspective. I’m weird. I know other people can be at least as weird as me but I’ve also met people who are weirder. When you’re young, you think everything that happens to you is normal and then grow up to find out that maybe your normal isn’t everyone else’s normal.

When I took a cultural anthropology class, one of my favourite professors would patiently remind her class of caucasianish, middleclassish students to ‘take off your ethnocentric glasses!’ those glasses; through which we see the world, that contain our cultural values, opinions and hang ups that we must take off if we are going to view another culture through a remotely objective lens. One of the ways that she used to analogize culture to this group of caucasianish, middleclassish students that collectively didn’t get it was the kitchen dance.

The kitchen dance is what happens when you get your whole family together for a holiday or other event of significance where food is cooked. Everyone whose in the kitchen knows what they do in the dance, everyone has their role in the kitchen and through this way that the family jives together creates our family experience. Where this becomes super apparent for us is when we go to our partner’s family gathering and we maybe don’t know what to do in the kitchen dance. Maybe your kitchen dance includes men and your partner’s family kitchen dance does not. Maybe you come in and jive super well with the kitchen dance and everyone’s cooing about how you’re already a part of the family.

What if your kitchen dance is a no holds barred; no topics sacred brawl? What if all the moves you learned at home don’t actually help you in a rational and sane dance with other humans because you’re standing there ducking and weaving and trying not to get hit when someone’s trying to give a good frame and actually dance with you.

This is how miscommunications happen. This is how we can feel like we’ve been explicitly clear to someone about something and then have them do exactly the thing that we did not want… the words we use do always not mean what we think they mean. And yet we keep using them because we’re tapped on options beyond learning another language.

So those crazy things I did. I’ve alluded to a few things that are sort of crazy but did you think I was joking about it? Let’s go through it.

I am pretty fucking crazy. I’m here on stage in a costume telling you how crazy I am. Trust me, I’m leaving somethings out.

 

Recently, I let my roommate eat all of a jar of honey I’d felt rather strongly about and then saved the jar for her on the off chance that she had thought it was her honey and would surely be mad at me for eating my own honey because she might think it was hers. I came clean about this when they asked if I was leaving my jar for tea to go into and explained that yes I had wanted to do that but wanted to make sure she didn’t think the honey was hers. She did not; in fact, think the honey was her honey and urged me to see honey as a communal resource. I had been viewing honey as a high expense food item and would not have used her honey and only bought my honey when I’d gotten a job (that I lost because I was crazy). Because honey is for wage earners.

Once upon a time, I threw a diaper at a teenager. And the super secret point here where a sane person would have done something different to avoid finding themselves yelling incoherently and hucking that diaper at a teenager and then having to get into a trailer park level screaming match with the teenager’s mother… what a sane person would have done is throw out the diaper that appeared in their yard randomly one fall day.

What a less sane but still working on being sane person could have done was to ask their partner to throw out the diaper that appeared in the yard.

What I did was different than that. Knowing what my problem is so that I can ask for help with the problem is hard for me. What I did was stare out at the diaper resentfully and try to figure out it’s existence as if that was going to do something about this irrational feeling of trespass to find a diaper in your yard you didn’t plant there. Eventually after ruling out my elderly busybody neighbor and the road which was about twenty feet and a hedge away… I decided it was totally the people who lived behind me who happened to have a herd of children. So over the winter I stared at the diaper of resentment and stewed.

So lo and behold one fine spring day when I was staring out resentfully to the yard I saw  cloud of dust in the back corner. There was a teenager emptying their vacuum into my yard. At this point, my vision blurred and rationality stopped being a thing for me and the aforementioned crazy happened.

And this last concept in my crazy is that I’m suicidal. Suicide is and has been one of the first things I think about in response to a problem for over a decade and that’s really only since I put together the concept that if you want to… you can actually die and stop living. I was thinking about suicide before I had the concept fully down pat that living was a thing we do and its a thing we can not do if we do things to make that happen. I was clued into the idea that it may not be a super good sign about your childhood if you were thinking of all the ways you could die so that you could not live at the age of eight and nine. I only really conceptually figured out the idea of suicide at around fourteen or so.

But as an ADULT. I came to the conclusion not too many years ago that it was probably my life’s purpose to kill myself publicly and gruesomely when I was eleven years old when my personality changed and when the bullying was the worst. If I had, my crazy brain tells me, perhaps the international community might have looked at bullying before columbine. And then my crazy brain told me that not only did I miss out on my one chance to give my life meaning…. that I was probably responsible in part for school shootings.

I dealt with that. I figured it out. I rationalized that no, probably no community; not my local community and certainly not the international community, would view my young tragic death in context of anything other than itself.

Surprise surprise a few months later when I realize that maybe I still have a chance to redeem my life’s purpose if I suicide in protest of another issue. And that’s how I ended up getting rounded up by the police and trucked into the psych ward. Because we don’t tell the governmental workers on the phone explaining how something’s messed up about our paperwork and now we get to wait just how suicidal we are. Our mental health resources hard at work. You can bet those cops had me within an hour.

I will never not think about suicide. What this means for me is that taking care of myself and choosing to LIVE is an active choice every day. Simple things like self care are hard to make yourself do when you’re not one hundred percent sure that you will not end up running into traffic. I work on this.

But more than that, it means that I have a twisted perspective through which I see the world. The way that I have continued on is that I decided that you (I) don’t just get to give your life to a cause the easy way. If you (I) are dedicated to a cause you will always be able to give more to that cause with your LIFE and your actions throughout it rather than your life by dying for it. There is nothing in suicide that you can’t do better by living. If there’s thirteen reasons to off yourself and stick it to someone… you’re ALWAYS going to stick it to them better by living and reconstructing your life’s meaning for yourself.

So hey there. *Snap fingers* potentially disassociating audience. Yer awful quiet there. I know that the funny dropped off a bit at the end but this is the vital information that I want to share with you. And so I’ve told you the ways that I learned a lot of this information. And if the way YOU learned about this information is sitting here in this audience… let’s have a talk after the performance. There are resources that can help.

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