YAY CHRISTMAS! (not)

Christmas, and the entire holiday season from Thanksgiving to New Year’s, has always been hard. Always has been, probably always will. There’s a lot of reasons for that but those aren’t the focus of this post.

The focus of this post is “people who aren’t willing to accept that certain things are triggering and that the triggered person knows their body/mind and what they need to be safe.” On Christmas Day. Yeeeeah.

[trigger warnings for: references to fundamentalist Christianity, references to abuse, PTSD attacks and triggers, insensitivity to needs, whatever the term is for “non-mentally-ill-‘splaining,” and general ass haberdashery.]

So, this started out with being given “a gift” of a rolled up set of papers entitled [dun dun duuuunnh] “The True Meaning of Christmas.” oh, lovely, do I really have to do this? I was totally wary given just the title, but I knew that if I didn’t get it over with I would be plagued with nerves and general “what if” scenarios. So I read it. And holy shit, do I wish I didn’t.

The diatribe includes such gems as “for most people, this would have been a bad year, but because I have Jesus…” [unwritten “if you don’t have Jesus of course your year will suck,” plus “if you have Jesus and your year sucked, UR DOIN IT RONG!”], blaming his wife for their divorce, “I cannot imagine how people can make it through this life not knowing Jesus, or having a rock to cling to when the storms come their way,” and a list of “ways to change the world” including [but not limited to]:

  • ringing bells for the Salvation Army [yeah, I’d rather not give gifts or my time to a discriminatory and homophobic “charity”]
  • making a deal with the local gas station to fix tires for “needy people” for free
  • providing a week of childcare to a single mother looking for a job
  • “take blind people to the grocery store to help them find stuff and shop”

… and so on. All with the underlying, unsaid implication that if you don’t do these things, you’re not changing the world or being awesome or being a ~true Christian~ [this would be hard, since I’m not a Christian…], with judgment dripping from every word.

And given how … generally drippy this thing was with condescension and ick, I got pretty badly triggered. Apparently that’s how I spend Christmas now, trying to reign in my PTSD attacks. lovely.

Anyway, so I made a post to Facebook saying that
“oh yes, peachy, just what this Pagan who comes from an abusive “Christian” fundamentalist household wanted for Giftmas: a proselytizing letting saying that things have been donated to the gospel mission in my name.”

cue freakout. someone I’ve been having trouble calling “a friend” for a while posted the following:

“Eh, move on. You’ve got bigger shit in your life to deal with.”
and
“They’re going to keep on pulling this bullshit with you until you either A.) cut them out of your life permly. Or B.) turn the other cheek and realize people won’t change and go on your merry way.
Bullies love when you bitch about them.”

apparently me posting a vent about a serious trigger in my space is “bitching” and something that this person will AUTOMATICALLY know about… since they’re not my “friend” there anyway.

Me: seriously, C?

how the hell do you think you have the right to tell ME, the one impacted, how *I* should be reacting? This is my facebook, a place where I can fucking rant, and I get told off for being hurt over something that ruined a lot of things in my life? yeah.

peachy.

C: Those things could be helping somebody indirectly. You have every right to rant, but I sometimes worry that some of your health problems are from you worrying a lot about what those folks do.. You have your health, your schooling, your future, your life to worry about. Screw the rest of ’em. I care about you enough to not want to see you go deeper because of someone else’s dickhead move.

Me: I think I, and my doctors, will be the judge of whether or not “worrying a lot about what those folks do” has a negative impact on my health, be it physical or mental.

and this is not just “worrying about those folks,” this was something sent TO ME that triggered MY PTSD, that brought up MY PAST, specifically because of references to the Christian fundamentalist entity.

yeah, so apparently she’s just doing it for “my health,” not taking into account that I really do know my own body and mind, and that sometimes venting really is the best immediate thing to do, and that she [as an outsider] really has no cause to be telling me how to think, feel, or act.

This just ruined my day. Ruined. I don’t know what to do, or where to go from here, because this was someone I thought was a friend. Thought, past tense. Now I just need to relax [hello, Doctor Who Christmas Special!] and calm down. If only I could have some vodka while on the vicodin. If only.

on family and home

there’s a lot of stuff rumbling around in my head right now, but the main one is on “real” family vs “chosen” family, and “going home for the holidays.”

Some people well, actually, most people assume that when I talk about how I’m having fun with “my family” that I’m referring specifically to my blood family. I have no reason to do this, unless I’m talking about the rare get-together-things with my extended family that lives up here — and I refer to those as “a party with the cousins” or whatever.

It seems, some days, that it’s impossible to have a “chosen family” that is closer and more awesome than your blood family, just because that’s the impression that one can get from society and how family is portrayed in the media. Family is valued above all else, and I’ve even been told that I need to just “get over” my “angst” so that I can be a good daughter and honor my parents and blah blah blah. Seriously. The same person said that the abuse doesn’t matter, because the family is the most important thing.

I have a family. My family is my boyfriend. My family is my best friend in New York. My family is my mentor in Colorado, my previous play partner in Colorado, my friends in Oklahoma and California and New Jersey and Kansas. My family is my friend in Olympia who has saved my life in so many ways it’s impossible to list them all. My family is Shakesville, and Fugitivus, and Polimicks, and Shapely Prose [which is now sadly closed], and Two Whole Cakes [used to be Fatshionista].

A family is not always connected by blood. Experiences, friendship, trust, honesty, respect, and love are what holds a family together, and if a person’s blood family violates any of those it is a person’s right to break off and isolate from their relatives.

It is not wrong for any person to separate from anyone, even their blood family.

In that same vein, “home” for me is nowhere near my parents. Home is with my boyfriend, or my flat at school. I will be going home for the holidays, but I won’t be seeing my parents. “Going home” is not synonymous with “going to your parent’s home” and I’m tired of the two being conflated. I’m tired of correcting, time and again, that I don’t see, speak, hear from, or care about my parents.

Open your minds, people. There are those of us who were irreparably damaged by our “family” and we’re tired of hearing the push that family [meaning our blood family] is THE MOST IMPORTANT THING OF THE HOLIDAYS, GOD. It’s triggering, it hurts, and it’s not necessary.

Facebook and PostSecret: saving lives, one at a time

I couldn’t sleep tonight.  And … tonight, perhaps… perhaps it’s a good thing. It’s an inspiring story … of readers of a semi-obscure-ish blog banding together to help save someone’s life.

Trigger warning: suicide, lots and lots of talk about prevention, mental illnesses… yeah, it’s pretty much all here.
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