I don't want to be

Love is hard work.

I don't want to be

From vavva_92 on Flickr. Click image for original.

Content note: talk of self-harm, sexual assault, suicide.


I used to be a songwriter. Or at the least, a writer of poems. Then I basically stopped for a long, long time. For some reason, though, lately I’ve been turning back to poetry to express some of my thoughts. So I share this with you all (though it was originally meant only for me, then put on Tumblr, but I think maybe I should share more personal things on here that might not be so polished). Continue reading

Still here, around the web.

Happy December!

My apologies for not writing more often over here. I’ve been keeping pretty busy with work and life in general, along with fighting a fresh battle with depression that has kind of been keeping me pretty focused on just getting through day-to-day life.

I have been writing here and there, however, and wanted to give you an update about some of that!

I wrote about my first experiences in a Halloween shop, along with describing my experience with Halloween up until now, over on my personal Tumblr:

Scary things — even things that were supposed to be scary for fun — were wrong. They made light of true evil, making it more palatable. They were representatives of the real demons, ghouls, witches, Satanists.

That was the horror — what I was taught either explicitly in ways that I can’t quite recall or implicitly from just believing in Christianity, was that those things were real. So representations of them were personally horrifying, and anyone who thought they were funny or totally fictional I deeply distrusted. After all, they were supporting true evil, so who knew what they were capable of?

My friend wrote an excellent piece about how to respond to someone who regularly deals with PTSD or anxiety attacks, and I contributed my own piece as well:

Keep in mind that this is pretty specific to me, and it’s taken me a year or so to figure out what exactly I need during these attacks. Your mileage may vary, whether you’re the one with PTSD or the one trying to help someone else. jaythenerdkid storified some other great ways to help someone who is having a panic attack(though her list doesn’t cover PTSD, and I’ve found that my PTSD episodes need to be handled differently than a panic attack…hence this post).

My old college, good old Bob Jones University, held a week of chapel services about a “biblical” view of homosexuality, and I did my best to scream about it as loudly as I could while pointing people to the wonderful organization that is BJUnity. I storified my screamings so if you missed it on Twitter, you can still read my take on the sermons.

I’ve also started a new side-blog called Plymouth Brethren Dropout. I want to provide a resource for others leaving the Plymouth Brethren movement to see assembly distinctives and theology and practices dissected in a critical, meaningful way. In the past few years, I’ve found a lot of support and healing through various forums and support groups pertaining to purity culture and Christian fundamentalism at large, but I’ve been unable to find such a place online that discusses the particulars of the open assemblies. So I decided, in the absence of such a place, I would create one. On that blog, I wrote about my journey from a very dedicated assembly girl to the liberal feminist I am today:

I thought of how often I heard preachers opine about how it was against nature and against God for a woman to have authority over a man, only to say in the next breath that the silent covered worship women offered during the Lord’s Supper was surely sweeter to God than the rumblings of the men. How often they repeated that the Bible was clear in its separate roles for men and women, but assured us that didn’t mean that we didn’t have an equal standing before God. How women who held careers rather than staying home were looked down upon for not fitting the ideal of the homemaker, and women who remained single beyond their 20′s were viewed as too strong-willed to be able to submit to a husband. The constant assurance that they held women in the highest respect, which was exactly why they had to rule over us for our own good. Yes. Benevolent sexism certainly fit the bill.

The more I learned about the systems of inequality in our culture, the more clearly I could see how the assemblies dehumanized and oppressed women — and I’d internalized it all

I’m also still running the Zeldathon tumblr, though that’s definitely taken a bit of a back-burner in the last month.

I hope you all are doing well, and I hope to be writing a bit more often in the weeks to come. Love to all.

The passing of a mentor.

Content note: mention of suicidal ideations.

slattery_computer

One of my favourite art teachers of all time died yesterday evening after battling cancer for just over a year. I was fortunate to be able to communicate the following to him before he died, but I wanted to share with everyone else as a tribute to him.

Here’s to you, Michael Slattery, enthusiastic artist, kind-hearted soul, best of men.

Continue reading

Because I can’t not: writing in community.

Since publishing the admission of my deconversion from Christianity, I’ve been questioning myself an awful lot (to put it quite delicately).

Maybe I shouldn’t have written it. Maybe I should have kept playing along so I didn’t hurt anyone. Maybe I should have kept it all to myself for the rest of my life. Maybe the timing was bad. Maybe I should have consulted with anyone who would have been upset about it before publishing. Maybe, maybe, maybe…

I keep coming back to the same answers. I had to write it. Lying to everyone for the rest of my life would have been more damaging to us all than telling the truth has been. There was never going to be a “right time” for it. Consulting with those who would be hurt by it would have only served to delay then intensify the pain, because their displeasure wouldn’t have kept me from publishing.

That leads me to two questions that apply both to that post in particular but also to my entire blog:

  1. Why did I write it, and why do I write in general?
  2. Why did I write it publicly, and why do I write in public?

Continue reading

I am sad; or, how my language sometimes says more or less than I feel.

Today, I am sad.

When I say I am sad, I mean that my depression has increased noticeably and maybe even a little bit alarmingly.

I have read people saying how they hate when depression is described as sadness, because it’s so much more than that, and sometimes sadness isn’t even really a part of it. And I suppose that’s true. I don’t begrudge them that frustration with language.

When I say I am sad, it’s because I don’t really have words to explain what’s happening. It’s because it’s easier for me to say, “I am sad” than it is to explain what I actually mean.

And, if I’m honest, it’s because saying “I am sad” is easier than owning to myself how bad things can get. Have gotten. Will get again. It’s my way of downplaying something that is all-encompassing and overwhelming and frightening and stifling and maddening and exhausting and devastating.

An acquaintance once described me as someone who always uses superlatives. I don’t like you, I adore you. I don’t dislike math, I abhor it with every fiber of my being. I am not happy, I am jubilant. I am not annoyed, I am frustrated beyond belief.

I am that person who has distorted language in the extreme, so that truly extreme things have no words left to define them. They’ve been all used up in my trivialities.

So when something extreme happens, even something that others cannot see because it is an indefinable but powerful and frightening shift within myself…I have no words. Only small words that someone who is not me might use to describe a non-happening in their life.

And so today, I am sad.

I don’t have any other way left to me to describe it.


Just a note: there is no need to be worried about me. Today is just another part of the cycle of depression for me. I am okay. Or rather, I’m not okay — but that’s okay.