I’m going to make a goal : 500 words a day
I don’t write anymore. I can’t tell if it’s from the C-PTSD/autism/bipolar or just general hopelessness mixed with all of the above. I struggled with a lot of suicidal ideation the past two weeks, and it only got a little lighter when I wrote a post adjacent to it. Then, I, unexpectedly, got a galley of a book of poems that makes me think I need to write to what’s hurting me (which at least I’ve distinguished is not my mental illness necessarily but events that I don’t know/cannot properly react to. or. “It’s not the tragedies that kill us. It’s the messes. ~Dorothy Parker) instead of running away from it.
I’m taking it as a sign that I need to try again.
Five hundred words (or more) here everyday.
Drafts/lists/little stories/dog training updates/vents/stream of consciousness– doesn’t matter. I’m just coming here to show up and make a mess on this crisp white page. To remember that I can and that I should and that at the end of the day, what else is there to come back to (besides God, for me)?
So, let’s start slow.
I listen to Next To Normal whenever I feel like I’m on the verge/in the middle of a breakdown (so I listen to it at least once a month). What I’m going to anger about for a second here is this: the premise of the musical is about a family struggling with mental illness after a tragedy. The focus takes place on the mother, Diana, who is bipolar depressive and how her family, Dan, her husband and Natalie, her prodigy daughter handle her mental instability while (as it’s revealed throughout the musical) dealing with their own.
As Diana goes through medical treatments, including ECT after a suicide attempt, we see her attempt to make her delusions and depression and dissociation make sense. It’s not until, while under hypnosis, that she remembers the root of her breakdown — the inexplicable loss of her child at a young age. The true spoiler comes when, after Diana finds her memories and decides to leave, the audience learns that Dan has been able to see Diana’s delusions (or ghost?) all along. He just never said anything.
Storywise, it’s an excellent twist and plays out really well in a theatrical space. In terms of humanity, it’s some fucking bullshit. Dan claims to love Diana but continually invalidates her emotions, tries to numb her pain and memories with medicine, lies to her about her memories once they’re lost due to ECT, and keep her as the “crazy” one so he doesn’t have to deal with his own reactions to trauma. As long as he’s able to “fix” her, then he’s alright and it’s some of the most selfish shit I’ve ever seen.
What I’m getting at here is this musical does help me when I’m struggling with feeling seen(I Miss The Mountains when my emotions take a vacation and feeling anything would be better than feeling nothing at all, Wish You Were Here when I’m dissociating and can’t come back, and You Don’t Know whenever someone tries to tell me “it’s not that bad”, which to be fair is true–it’s worse) but it reminds me to hold on to my memories as tight as I can. If a white woman, someone extremely more privileged than me, can be taken advantage of like this, then how much worse could it be for a black autistic traumatized trans person? The answer of course is “The limit does not exist”. That’s another reason I’m doing this five hundred word project. There have already been times where people try to rearrange the stories I know to be different. I’m not here to dispute people’s stories. I’m just trying to tell the truth, cause for so long it was (and is) so dangerous for me to. But being quiet certainly isn’t doing me any favors either.
Stick around, or don’t, do what’s best for you. I’m gonna keep talking to my void. See if it feels like talking back.