Well, Psycholobitch promised writing about how to make good out of bad and all the sprouts that arise out of living with the contradictory messages of Fucktardia. This personal ethnography of Fucktardia is going to take some sifting through.
One thing I have been struggling with mightily is dissociation. Some days I wake up dissociated. How do I know? First of all, I don’t want to get out of bed. Second of all, I am spacy. I will get up, gather my things to take into the shower with me, walk and get a drink, try to remember if I gathered my things to take to the shower and what time is it? Do I know where my keys are? Do I have enough time to wash my hair? I space. Things seem to move without me being part of them, including my own body. I walk into the kitchen not knowing how I got there. This is not part of the forgetfulness of age. Because of my trauma history, this is a daily amnesia that worsens during a bout of dissociation. I am also anxious for no reason, as in, completely anxiety-ridden that anything I say can and will be used against me. And depressed. A perfect day starts to look like a day lying in bed, not seeing anyone, zoning out on TV shows, not having to talk to or look at anyone, not getting out of bed.
I did some reading, which is what I do to try to wake up, to bring me out of denial, to try to find out what the physiological mechanisms of dissociation are. I Googled “dissociation and PMDD” since I am premenstrual and both my grief and my dissociation are stronger premenstrually. In reading about dissociation, inevitably I read about straight-up trauma, and I have two responses: first, relief that my struggles can be named and categorized and that there are ways to heal, and second, deep sadness at the long-term effects.
Reading about the long-term physiological effects of childhood trauma is depressing. It really does affect your very cells. I am getting better at being aware of what is happening, but it is almost like being aware that you are underwater and can’t take a breath. Or that you are an alcoholic and you are aware that you are drinking. Not that I had any control over my environment as a child. It just means I have to constantly be an overcomer.
Making good out of living in abusive contradiction, where people were so blatantly incongruent, in other words, gaslighting, means I have to deal with my dissociation. I grow sad as I realize how much of the traits of dissociation are part of my identity, how I didn’t know that I was trying to protect myself by checking out. Dissociation has affected my work life, my friendships, my relationships, my work quality, my quality of life, and my sense of life. I haven’t meant to hurt others and it takes an awful long time for me to relax and trust into relationship. I’m sure others have perceived me as spacy, awkward, unavailable, and passive. One therapist pointed out to me about my first husband that I never complained. Hello, dissociation. I always have deliberately held to the fringes of life, not wanting to get too close, not wanting to make too many waves. Avoiding conflict, not having opinions about things, not remembering, spacing out. Holding my breath again to make myself go away, just like I did as a toddler. They won’t notice. I won’t risk myself.
Protecting myself like that worked in the abusive environments I’ve been in, but they have taken me out of the flow of life. And away from truly uncovering myself as a person. The gift of the state of contradiction, of being around constant gaslighting, is waking up and seeking the truth. When I first started researching NPD and my own trauma issues, I wanted to know the truth. I had lived in lies for so long, I didn’t even know what the truth was. Fucktards disregard the truth. It becomes kind of funny when you still have to interact with them and watch them deny the truth. You can show them the emails where they said something and they will still deny it. You can show them the contract they signed and they will deny it. Somebody made them do it. Somebody switched it on them. The Devil made them do it. Growing up with those constant warpings of reality taught me to question my own sanity. People I loved told me what I saw and what I believed and I didn’t question them lest I end up bruised and beaten in some way. You just didn’t question.
But now I know, and they taught me that I can trust myself. They taught me that the truth is, I am a rightful human being with needs, desires, and wants. And fear, too but whatever. They taught me how to teach others the truth, and how to speak their truth. They taught me, through their adherence to lies, how to be clean and clear and honest. It is constant work, I won’t lie.The habits of mind are still there. I still ask myself if it happened, whatever the current Fucktardian “it” happens to be. But then I look at the data and wake up. Yes, it happened. This isn’t the Emperor’s Fucking New Clothes or some superfluous opinion. This is the gotdamned TRUTH. Lies and holding on to lies starts to just feels shitty..icky…terrible.
So thank you, fucktards, for taking me to the truth and for helping me learn to re-associate the truth with the TRUTH. What you gave me was lies even though you packaged it as Gospel Truth and it had nothing to do with God. I had to find Truth through the sludge of gaslighting and the tar of manipulation, but I’m there now ,baby, and it feels too good to leave. Bring all your bullshit. I got all the Truth.
This gives me somewhere to go…to work with those parts that want to hide and see if we can update them. To also push myself a bit more to connect to life…to be in a room with others and not feel like fleeing, to be interested in the flow of life.