I’ve struggled with returning to blogging for so long now, whether micro or full bore, heedless and headlong logorrhea. Many reasons. My therapist has been encouraging me so I’m trying. The ongoing Elonpocalypse which alternately horrifies me and fascinates me like a burning tower full of birthday clowns has got me thinking even more about blogs and blogging and the independent web. Trash fire or not, social media killed (or at least severely wounded) blogging not just because it made publishing simple for the common person but because it made discovery and curation of our personal cones of silence trivial. It was easy to surround ourselves in a warm blanket of common opinion, fellow travelers walking down the path alone.
As I was maundering over this, I came across a recent post from a blog that’s been silent for so long I don’t actually recall why I added it to my RSS feed. In the moment it struck a chord for me in a way that’s hard for me to articulate. It seemed fortuitous, the struggle to start over.
The door creaks softly as I push it wide.
It’s not complaining, really, just surprised
That anyone would come. I, mesmerized,
Breathe deeply, lift my chin, and step inside.
The house is still ineffably itself.
The places where we talked, or laughed, or wept,
Abide (albeit cobwebbed and unswept).
And written there atop the mantle-shelf:
Say what you mean. Bear witness. Iterate.
Ah. This is why I came. It’s getting dark.
It’s time to light the world up with this spark.
To shine. To make some light. Illuminate.
For what has been, and what is yet to come,
Again the door is open. Welcome home
A comeback implies you were ever anywhere of note in the first place, so that doesn’t sound right. Reboot? But that’s when you start over with the same initial conditions and see what happens this time around and that doesn’t sound quite right either. A new start would suggest that I’m leaving the past behind. But how could anyone really do that?
I read back through my previous posts and two things jumped out at me: a drift toward link blogging and so much anger. Not that link blogs are bad, I follow several of them, so that makes me more of a link blogger blogger and that’s just a waste of time. Anger, though.
So I burned it all down. I don’t know what to call this. Restart, maybe. The problem I have is that I don’t really know who I am. Everything I know about myself is defined in relation to someone else. TJ’s husband. C’s father. F’s caregiver. I don’t know how to introduce myself without including another person.
I want to do it differently this time. I want to be myself, the guy that lives inside my head, not who I’ve been before. Authentic is what I think they’re calling it now. Which is a trick when all you can think to tell someone about yourself is “I’m just some guy.” I can’t write a bio for myself, I’ve tried for years and I can’t believe it. It’s boring or it’s bullshit or both. But mostly it’s that I don’t know what to say because I’ve never thought there was anything to say.
I’ve learned a lot about myself the last three or four years. I hit the wall as a single caregiver and, in a fit of panic that I was going to lose my wife, I earned myself a visit to a psychiatric hospital. I was admitted with suicidal ideation though, to be honest, it was more that I didn’t care if I died, not that I was actually intentional. I never had a plan. Am I trying to make myself feel better? Maybe. There’s a lot that I’ve learned that I don’t know, if that makes sense. It’s part of the identity thing.
Anyway. So I had a breakdown, spent a week in a psych unit. Not too long after that I was tested to see if I was autistic, something I’ve wondered about for a long time, at least as long as I’ve been able to look at myself and think, ‘dude, something is fucked up here.’ Well, I’m not autistic. The testing psychologist said I’m pretty nerdy, but I am pretty far from autistic. Rather, her impression was that I have PTSD. So there’s that.
PTSD is my official, recognized by all the publications diagnosis. But in reading up on it, I’ve come to believe that I have CPTSD, or Complex PTSD. CPTSD is a variation on the theme that is seen mostly in children who’ve been abused or neglected. Unlike PTSD, people like me rarely have one single catastrophic trauma like a rape or a war. CPTSD is built on top of lots of little things, early events that persons might not even remember. And I don’t remember a lot of it, but I do remember some. Enough.
Turns out that I actually do have ADD too. I was treated for ADD as a child (they called it hyperactivity disorder then) but, I thought, “grew out of it,” only no. Turns out that CPTSD and ADD frequently go hand in hand such that I’ve read some speculation that one predisposes the other.
So I’ve been looking back at my life through that lens and pieces are starting to fall into place which isn’t actually that satisfying. A lot of times it really fucking sucks. Like this last therapy session I had on Friday. I spent most of it recalling how badly I was bullied and how no one ever really did anything about it. I mean, I didn’t just have a bully, I was the town punching bag. My one “photo” in my sophomore yearbook was a picture of three or four of the boys who terrorized me standing in front of lockers. The caption read “fucking assholes ABC&D have Darrin Blankenship trapped in a locker.” Yeah. The part that really hurts, aside from there being a couple of hundreds of these out in the world, is that at least one adult signed off on that, didn’t think it was a big deal.
So, yeah, school was fucking bullshit and I am trying really hard to not fall into a spiral of angry and futile revenge fantasies. Because I don’t want to be that guy anymore. It’s hard, though. Really hard.
I don’t know. Maybe this is therapy, maybe it’s just more jerking off. Maybe I’m showing up, like my therapist says. So, this is me. Whatever that means.