Tag Archives: recovery

Bad Posture

„Child, you have bad posture!”

“Hold yourself more upright, you will have so many problems with your back when you’re older!”

“Don’t slump your shoulders, it’s unattractive!”

“You’re tall. Don’t try to be on eye-level with everyone else!”

I’ve heard these and a thousand other sentences like them when I was a kid. I’ve heard them from my parents, from my friends’ parents, occasionally even from strangers. And I’ve tried. Oh believe me, I’ve tried. Because, you know, they were grown-ups. Grown-ups are always right and you do what they say. But it never worked. My posture never got better and the first time I had a near miss with a herniated disk was at age 21. So yeah, my back took offense.

Back then, it seemed simple. I was too tall. It was another failure on my part that I couldn’t keep my spine straight (it’s the wrong moment for bi-jokes here, my dear friends!). Another thing were everything was wrong with me, with the fact that I liked to be alone and read and watch TV. If I was only sportsy or applied myself more or whatever else, I wouldn’t have failed everyone with my bad posture like I did.

It occurred to me only very recently that that was bullshit. That not once in all these long lonely childhood years did anyone ask me:

“Why are you slumping your shoulders? Why are you making yourself smaller?”

If someone had, it might have occurred to me even back then that I was trying to take up as little space as possible. That I was trying to make myself smaller to present less of a target. I didn’t want to be on eye-level with my peers. I wanted to be smaller than them, so that they would overlook me and stop torturing me.

I’m not saying one question would have saved me. It’s unlikely I would have answered. But it would have been nice. One question about why my doodles turned all my work sheets into graveyards instead of just a “that looked better before”. One question about why I wanted my jeans washed so often instead of just a “don’t be such a princess, you’re wasting water and the jeans wear down too quickly”. One question. Maybe it would have saved me.

Maybe it will save someone else. If you ask. Go ask. Have the courage. Don’t assume. Ask.

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On Self-Censorship

Today, I censored my blog. I deleted the post about heteronormativity because it upset someone. That person is important to me in real life and it hurt their feelings. I never intended for the post to hurt their feelings or to be a reflection on their personality at all, actually. But it did hurt their feelings. So I deleted it. That’s what you should do, right? That’s what a good person would do, right? Also, not a big deal, right?

I strive to be a good person. I really do. Only, this blog was supposed to be my safe place. Where I could explore without repercussions what things meant to me and how I wanted to deal with both my own issues and with the societal challenges I encounter. It was the place where I wanted to think things through but not censor myself like I do everywhere else.

I broke that rule today.

Now I’m guessing I could have done several things differently:

  1. I could have written in an old-fashioned paper journal with a lock instead of publicly online
  2. I could have written only about safe things
  3. I could have used imaginary instead of real life examples of how societal conditioning influences our lives
  4. I could have just ignored that I hurt someone’s feelings
  5. I could have not given any people who I know in real life the URL of this blog.
  6. Now that it’s too late for that, I could post only kitten pictures for the rest of my life to minimize damage

But none of these sound particularly appealing to me. None of them sound particularly me.

So while I won’t put my last post back up (though it was brilliantly written – in case you haven’t subscribed and thus have missed it forever, you’ll never know the true spark of wisdom, ahem) (yeah, yeah, I was kidding, it was okay, though, and a few people liked it before it got deleted, so shout-out to you guys), I want to at least get a couple of points about heteronormativity back up because I still believe in them:

  1. When someone says “I don’t think there is a gay love story there” when talking about your OTP: I really wish they would say “I don’t think there is a love story there” instead. Because even if they don’t see the chemistry or can’t decipher any of the subtext, they felt the need to narrow it down to “gay love story”. As if “gay” was the part that counts. When the part that counts is “love”. That makes me sad. In my happy bubble, the world is divided only in “there’s love” or “there’s no love” without any constraints or conditions.
  2. Dude-bro world, you got me more than once today. Heteronormativity, I concede. You win. But one battle isn’t the war. This isn’t over yet. I’ll keep fighting.

That said, I’ll retreat to my happy rainbow bubble to regroup. Come find me there if you want to talk to me. I didn’t like today’s experiences very much. So I will now regroup and rethink where I want to go with this blog and with myself and the way I express myself. Heaven girl out.

the past is lingering & an act of kindness

I have made myself sad. It happens. I should take better care of myself, I guess. I have been reading a story late into the night, and it is beautifully written and sweet and loving, but it also features past abuse quite heavily and I should have known better than to read a story like this, no matter how much love there is in the present for the characters.

Because there are days when it doesn’t matter that you have been leading a good life for many years. That you are safe and loved. I’ve been working hard for this. For this place where mostly things are good and most humans in my life are people I can trust. But days like today there is a queasiness in my stomach that won’t go away and a sadness in my mind that lingers.

So I try to be kind to myself. I try to remember all the good things I’ve built without cringing at the thought because I fear that even just thinking about them might be enough to alert the powers that be that I do not deserve them. If I remember all the work that went into it, it eases the fear of having it snatched away from my like a dream. If I remember all the work, ít eases the impulse that I should be punished for everything good that happens to me. The impulse that in lieu of anyone else punishing me I should be punishing myself.

The sun is shining outside my window and that is good. The past is lingering, yes. It sits in my stomach and my chest, it tingles in my fingertips and bleeds onto the paper. But a lingering sadness is okay. There is light and there are colors. I will hold onto those. And I will be kind to myself today.