CW: suicidality, mental health struggles, the questionable community vs who shows up, isolation, body image
I took about 10x the normal dose of klonopin last night. I knew better from past experience to think it would kill me, but I wanted so desperately to have a vacation from this constant state of anxiety I vibrate through on almost a daily basis and sleeping for half a day sounded like a good start. I have not felt this low in a while and I know exactly where it comes from- money. Lack of money. Working multiple jobs nonstop and still never having enough money to get by, while living in a city where people squander money on all sorts of frivolous shit while stepping over the homeless. And I'm doing better than most, I have resources to throw a fundraiser or get paid through Patreon (though, less every month). Most people don't have that.
Feeling like giving up is a difficult space to be in. To talk about it is to stir up drama, to be attention seeking, someone people want to avoid. Yet if you don't talk about it and just silently self harm, or maybe even succeed in your attempt, the survivors gather around to discuss how shocking it is, why didn't they ask for help, if only they had reached out.
We are killing these people. We are making a choice to prioritize other things above mental health, and this is obvious because look to the funding. We build multiple new stadiums while people can't get access to food stamps and medical care. This is on us. We make time for what we care about and people who are being pushed out of homes threatened in the streets, raped by community leaders, we don't actually care, because that;s not where our time and money goes.
No wonder people are dropping like flies.
Maybe I'm just judging from my feed, but people are suicidal all the time. They reach out in a myriad of ways constantly, and they are patently ignored, or at the very least, told how strong they are and that they can do it. I know this is a sentiment that means well, honestly I do, but it's a kind way to say 'stop whining and pull yourself up by your bootstraps... no, no, don't hang yourself on them, you're getting this all wrong, please go back to being a part of society that doesn't challenge my ideas that hard work fixes everything".
I can only speak for me, but during a given week, probably about 20-30 hours is on paid labour. The rest is on giving rape counseling to marginalized people with no where else to go, a traumatizing experience that is left only to me because my original cofounder left when it got too difficult and my coeditor is being accused of assault and has stepped back out of respect. Which is fine, take care of yourselves, right. But who the fuck takes care of me, and the nightmares I have of graphic rape every night. I am regularly told that my activism is fake, that I'm a horrible person because I feel that abuser/victim is a violent and dangerous dichotomy that can and does hit us all at some point in life. I genuinely think the queer "community', or some portion of it, wont be happy til I'm dead, at which point I'm sure they'll valorize and maybe steal
my fucking work.
Oh, ok, right, bootstraps. I'm so strong. I'm a survivor.
Fuck that discourse. I am not surviving, here, I am barely scraping through. And I have a "community" of over 8000 who want to engage with me in terms of staring at my boobs or maybe being snarky on my wall, but maybe 6 who actually SHOW UP. And I'm wearing them out. There will come a time where they can't anymore. I know this, I've seen it happen before, and I don't blame them. It's hard to take care of someone who's anxiety is so strong they sometimes can't leave the house without bursting into tears.
I feel like I am often asked to help with events, fundraisers, signal boosting your projects, making your performance a success, giving you extensive counseling, mediating issues.
But you don't ask me out to a party. You don't ask me to dinner. You don't ask me on a date. You don't want me to participate in these spaces, you want me to work them, for free. You are not my friend, you are a coworker who doesn't really indicate any value for my work, and that fucking hurts my feelings. I notice it.
I see you, person I did lots of unpaid, heavy event work for but who doesn't think I'm pretty enough to hire for performances.
I see you, person who says I'm too intimidating to approach but only sleeps with young slender people and doesn't acknowledge me in public.
I see you, person who wanted help with their fundraisers but won't signal boost mine.
I fucking see you. And I'm not mad. I'm disappointed and hurt.
We drain members of our community willing to fall for the "do-ocracy" myth and expect them to have the resources to keep doing it ad nauseum. And we also abandon them to their own devices, rarely offering to inconvenience ourselves to be there in their times of distress, and yet when we wake up to find they've shot themselves or jumped the bridge we are selfish enough to be angry at THEM for not, what, being more clear they needed us? That clarity is usually there, when you look. You just choose not to see because there's some fun event or a hot date and that's more important. I'm not mad, not really, I just think it's unfortunate that so much of this is preventable. Many of us cannot afford therapy, which is from $40-80 a pop and often not covered by Obamacare. We certainly can't afford involuntary hospitalizations, which cost upwards of $5000 a night... leading someone who is suicidal and panicking about money now with debt to fight as well. Many of us give up then.
Shout out to Courtney and Nick, who would have driven an hour to take me out to a diner or given me a place to stay - honestly I refused because I felt ashamed to be crying for hours with no indication of if it would end. We isolate ourselves believing that to be kindness to others, even if it creates a downward spiral of mental health, because we love you and the last thing we need is to scare you off. Having this intensity of feelings seems like a guarantee for scaring people off and we're already pretty isolated. I am honestly terrified my lovers are going to leave me over this, and I've been bottling up for weeks how bad it is because I need them... but then I also feel if I do completely crash, I need them to know its not their fault, but the fault of a culture that demands individualism at any cost.
I would be lying if I didn't say a certain amount of this is the desire to shed my flesh. I know, I know, I'm a fat activist and am therefore required by law to love my body. When left to my own devices, I feel good about myself. But then I leave the house, and I see how people look pityingly as my lover, a fit white cis guy, and disgustedly at me. I look on Facebook and it feels like every woman I know says to love their body but are also posting regularly about the diets and gym work they do and how they feel SO MUCH BETTER, and all the praise they get for being SO GOOD is like a slap in the face. I go to a sex party and watch people approach and flirt with him and it's like I don't even exist, despite being one of the first members, because my rolls act like an invisibility cloak. You can say whatever the fuck you want about body confidence- I have it, plenty of it- but it's other people who make me feel tolerated at best and an inconvenience, a flaming hoop standing in the way at worst. Ok, no, maybe at worst is the impression that my fatness disgusts others to the point they can't even be around me. This is why I require flirting with me to be purposeful and direct, because no, threesomes don't "just happen" in my world, they are often spaces of trauma and being left out and trying to smile while digging a fork into my thigh because I don't want to be the killjoy yet again. When I live in a world where almost every woman I know is obsessed with being fit and hooking up with each other, my body is a lonely monstrosity and I am ashamed of it.
These are all things that lead to my feeling of valueness. Like sure I get it I have value as long as I'm promoting your book or performing for free at your event or running your fundraiser campaign, but god help me if it's something I need you to give me back. That's just selfishness. And maybe thats the gist of all this- if I was truly true to my selfishness, I'd have fucked off long ago. I am genuinely afraid to say no to being generous because I'm afraid if I do my uselessness will be laid bare- my body's grossness, my lack of effectiveness as a solo non-non-profit who can't get a paid lecture much less a book deal because who gives a fuck about consent. And that's when I'm not being told I do it for the rock star cred, to be popular and liked, because I guess endless rape and death threats is indicative of how much people love me. I get about 20 more messages telling me to kill myself for being a fat SJW whore than telling me I'm doing something good.
Eventually that will probably kill me. I don't want that to come as a surprise, but I want you to know I really did do the best I could. And god, please, I don't want to be pitied. Look, either you want to start taking this shit on, confronting fatphobia in sex spaces verbally and consistently, refusing to let social norms about how flirting with fat girls devalues you somehow impact what you do, hire BBW women to perform in your spaces, ask someone chubby to join you for a threesome and then actually pay attention to them, offer to take on making meals or cleaning for your local overwhelmed and completely underappreciated SFW, pay for their damn patreons and fundraisers knowing that this is about their survival.
Pity is bullshit. It's the time for action.