Just hear me out.
Just hear me out.
Remember the days where I wrote on here somewhat regularly? I mean, they were the early-to-mid 2010’s, and blogging has certainly gone by the wayside as of the past…like…what is it, 3 – 4 years now?
I didn’t stop writing because the trend began dying down, though. I stopped writing because of TRAUMA *throws glitter bomb*
While I do still post on my private Facebook and public Twitter, I’ve mostly stopped doing the thing where I process thoughts and feelings and patterns externally through writing intended for public consumption. Processing in such a way is still helpful and important to me! But trauma and anxiety and the constant hustle of trying to exist left me without any wherewithal or ability to pull words together.
Content note here for discussion of suicidal thoughts and plans, self-injury, and self-harm through disordered eating as a result of intense body hatred.
In July, My Giant and I moved to the RVA-region (southern Virginia), where I’ve had the ability and absolute privilege to rest. Or at least, to not have to hold down a regular job, allowing me to focus on my physical and mental well-being.
It couldn’t have happened too soon, honestly.
This past year, I’ve relapsed into literally all of my self-harm coping skills. I’ve cut myself 3 times, after a literal 17-year hiatus. I still have the scars from the last time I did it several months ago. I have several workable suicide plans, all concocted in the past 12 months. And in the past couple of months, I’ve fallen back into disordered eating as a form of self-harm in response to the intense body hatred I feel.
It’s literally been absolutely everything I could do to stay alive.
I started therapy somewhat recently, with the plan being to use EMDR to help me be able to put in place healthy, useful ways to process my traumas. I hate that the word has to be plural. But it is.
This week, my therapist gave me the blessing/encouragement to start writing again. Because we kind of narrowed down one of the major roots of all of my trauma:
I feel incapable of being an accurate witness to my own life.
The cause of that? Literally, evangelicalism. Literally, Christianity.
Y’all, I thought I’d processed through all that shit back in my 20’s. But here I am, 3 months shy of 33, reeling because it turns out you can’t just magically get over nearly a quarter century of mental, emotional, and physical trauma. And I hate hate hate that “trauma” is the most accurate term I can use for my upbringing.
As much as I hate referring to the literal entire world in which I was raised as “traumatic,” in a way, it’s really helpful to name it and accept it. It’s a spark of hope. Embers glowing that if there’s a name, there’s a solution. I’m not left alone in the dark.
I guess it’s my own atheist version of “name it and claim it,” huh?
We were meant to live for so much more.
It seems my penchant for using pop culture in my subtitles is back. It really is 2010 all over again.
But all this to say: I’m going to be writing here again, with more purpose but a little less precision. I’m not able to bring an educated academic reading of the rise and impact of evangelicalism to the table, and I’m no longer expecting myself to do that. I am able to talk about the incorrect and harmful things I have believed and struggle with today, and where they originated. I am able to talk about myself and my own experiences. So I’m going to do that.
My therapist and I talked a little bit about how one of the Big Ideas of Evangelicalism is that God is meant to supply for and meet every need a human can have. God is the ultimate answer. And as a result, that led to me disconnecting from my own body, my own emotions, my peers and my lovers. So my core longing is for connection.
There’s not a “God-shaped hole” in my heart. There’s not a “God-shaped hole” in anyone’s hearts. We all were meant to live for much more…which I guess means I’ll be writing about hopeful existentialism at some point, too.
Welcome back. Thanks for reading. I hope you stick around for more thoughts as I start to more earnestly deconstruct the diseased and rotting structure Christianity set up in my brain. It might piss you off. In some ways, I hope it does. It’s like that saying: the truth will set you free, but first it will piss you off. Regardless, I hope you’re able to take something away from it. I hope you feel less alone. I hope you see areas where you can find a bit of freedom for yourself, or give a bit of freedom to others.
I’ll see you in a few.