First things first – the biggest news of the year isn’t that I got top surgery. It’s not that my partner and I became an internationally recognized legal entity…
I’m moving to Berlin. The one in Germany, not New Hampshire. I went into some details about it on my Patreon in an open-to-everyone post, so you can catch up on it there (and also support this new future where I get to make art again but still have to pay rent while you’re there, if you’re able). I’m also resurrecting my youtube channel.
So if you want to see what my life is like in Berlin, go hit that subscribe button.
Once More with the Feelings
A lot has been happening all at once, and after 5 years of therapy I’m finally at the point where I can manage to not run away from feeling all the things. It’s exhausting. It feels fitting that ending this chapter of the first 30 years of my life comes with a ton of grief. The move has unsurprisingly brought up a lot of memories and feelings I’ve been ignoring or working around for decades.
Moving when I was a child was unnecessarily terrifying. There was the time we were almost homeless because my parents decided to let our home go to foreclosure rather than stop paying someone else’s mortgage, and the time we moved to GA just as I was beginning to make friends and was forced to lie about my true feelings about it. Moving to Berlin (a place I’ve never been) is bringing up some similar feelings but I’ve been giving myself what I needed when I was a scared kid – space to feel whatever ways about it I happen to feel. I can be both sad that I’m leaving most of my friends and everything I’ve ever known behind, and excited about living somewhere different at the same time.
My Papa (my dad’s dad) died last week (not COVID thank fuck), and I’ve been feeling a lot of the same loss I did when my parents disowned me. When I had to write my family to stop using my life to punish my siblings with, I said that if they wanted to have an actual relationship with me instead of the caricature they want me to be, that I would be here. My Papa stayed out of the snitching drama but I didn’t hear meaningfully from him, or any of my other (adult-to-me) relatives since. That was 8 years ago.
I’ve been grieving not just for him but the slew of memories that suddenly came back of the childhood I was never allowed to have. I’ve been mourning the relationships I can’t have with my parents & grandparents unless they have a change of heart; I can’t hold my breath for that.
Growing up, my parents would brag about how I was the iron lady and never had or expressed any feelings as if that were some kind of strength. I’ve been trying to overcome that survival mechanism for the last 12 years and I’m finally at a place where I have enough tools and therapy to give myself this thing that was made out to be so dangerous. To let myself actually acknowledge and have a feeling or a need without shame or guilt.
For the last couple weeks I’ve been sitting with myself and the decades of grief and pain and sadness and anger and just witnessing it. Letting it take up space in my body for as long as it needs to and then watching it dissipate until the next series of memories resurface. It takes so much energy, and it’s so hard because my instinct is to run away from the discomfort, but it also feels cathartic.
My parents took so fucking much from me, some of it I am only able to begin to comprehend now that I’m an adult and almost 13 years removed from their house. I am giving myself room to feel as many ways about that for as long as I need to.
This is revolutionary for me.