I am not crazy: I am traumatized

I have ptsd, at least I presume I do. No one gives enough of a shit to offer me an evaluation, and I will be absolutely honest here, I will not touch antidepressants ever again – they really don’t do anything but make me worse, and I have no interest in valium or xanax or whatever else they are currently sedating people with, so what is the point anyway? Besides, I am not crazy, I am traumatized.

Being chased for a block and a half by a man who threatened to beat my son with his shoe, for the crime of being Asian-looking, threatened to push me into the road, and made movements to do both these things, has set it off badly. I am struggling to control my breathing, my heart thumps at every sound, I flinch at my own clothes rubbing against my back. It is not much fun. I flinch because I was tortured for years. I flinch because before that I was abused as a child, and then life was not much fun after I ran away from home. Every time I have run from trauma, there seems to be another trauma waiting to haul me into the undertow. I fought. I got off the streets, and into college, I got a degree. I got out of addiction, got a good job and taught in Japan. I got out of Japan….you get the idea…

So when I try and admit to being more shaken up than your average human being at this monster chasing us and trying to hurt us, I get “Don’t be triggered. Don’t let it define you.” For fucks sake, people! Listen to yourselves.

Being “triggered” is not some woman throwing a privileged temper tantrum in a shop because she doesn’t want to wear a mask over her face. Being triggered is not baulking over someone’s opinion that you don’t like: being triggered is a deep body memory of past abuses, a psychic scar that won’t ever heal. So fucking what if you consider this response crazy? I would say I would be a pretty odd person to not be scarred by trauma!

But then again, lets face it, people do like to look down on crazy. I mean, I do it too. The guy that attacked us, I dismiss him as crazy, because who in their right mind would do that, and he clearly had got into some very powerful drugs of the stimulant kind. Crazy, man. It’s crazy. Crazy is used so nonchalantly it has lost all meaning.

Crazy gets levelled at women, triggered is the new “hysterical”. Don’t get hysterical (root, of course being womb, the word insinuating that the crazy is linked to the biology). Conflating someone’s reaction to extreme trauma with a privileged temper tantrum, usually thrown by racist anti masking right wingers is just a little bit insulting and simplistic, don’t you think?

I know we are meant to be ashamed of having any kind of damage, that is to our souls or minds, I know we are meant to accept the stigma of mental health issues, and just accept that it is our fault we struggle with things others don’t, except I don’t much feel like taking it and not saying anything, any longer. I refused to be shamed. I won’t stand by and let other’s be shamed by the ignorant and self-proclaimed superior, either.

We need to talk, to not stigmatize mental health issues. I have been accused of having “bipolar disorder” by a fellow blogger, in a truly awful example of both remote diagnosis not by a professional, and of using mental health conditions as a way to put me down. Horrible stuff. It upset me terribly. Bipolar – which incidentally I do not have – is not something to be swung as a baseball bat of an insult, it is a life altering condition. Yesterday I was accused of having “T___p delusion syndrome”. Nice. Again, made out as crazy because I don’t agree and really don’t care to argue the point.

If you struggle with your mental health, I am on your side, I am here for you. Let’s talk about it, and bring it out into the open. You are a survivor, a fighter, a warrior. If you are into putting people down, and using the same old boring clichés, that denigrate people’s suffering and struggles, perhaps you should look at yourself and why you do that. Maybe your own mental health needs some attention.



  1. leendadll

    I despise the “don'” and “do this” comments. It’s too late for “don’t”. And do people think reactions are choices? Hey, here’s a thought… “don’t be an ass about my experiences and reactions!”

    I’m really sorry there’s no magic cure… at least none I’ve heard about.

      1. leendadll

        I love, and actively encourage, being called crazy. I’m extremely open about my mental health struggles. I only worry when, like the start of this week, “suicidal ideation” or fantasies of being put on psych hold, merely to get away from some stupid drama, start kicking in.

      2. The Paltry Sum

        I am glad you feel able to talk it out. Hope things are going better at work. I am glad you feel able to reclaim the label “crazy”. I can’t, I find it derogatory a way of dismissing me, and it really offends me, but totally am behind your embracing of it!

      3. leendadll

        Well, I was part of the movement to reclaim “queer”. And I’ve worn “fag hag” as an honor, even when my gay friends hated it.

        I’m probably okay with crazy because no one’s used it against me.

        I hear the intent, not the specific word. Learned that when my gay boyfriend used “the C word” every 2 seconds solely because it bugged me and he wanted me to get over it. I did, and now throw the word around FAR too easily!!

      4. The Paltry Sum

        I had a couple of close male gay friends, but was not really popular – you know how most gay men seem to feel about dykes.
        I have no issue with swearing…trying to moderate my language for more genteel company is the issue! Cunt is still bringing out the big guns, will always be. I don’t use it- cunts are beautiful, and lovely, asshole, prick are far more apt!

      5. leendadll

        Well, yes and no. One of the other teachings of my gay friend was to call a guy a cunt before they could say it to me. As he promised, men don’t know how to respond when a woman uses “the worst insult in the world” on them!!

        So, yeah… men use it misogynistically (made up word?) but I never related to it as anything other than an insult… no gender identity to it in my mind.

      6. The Paltry Sum

        My gosh, I would be too scared of getting knocked the fuck out. Cunt is gendered, it should not be an insult. Im reclaiming it, baby! Only to be used in love!

      7. leendadll

        Yeah… this was back in the… 90s? Pretty much only the ActUp Fairies used it.

        After spending 20+ years living in the gay male world, I still find it hard not to say HomoDepot… but I have to remember tgat no one currently in my life knows I was a very well known hag back in the day (there were very few of us back then).

        I prefer “gay” and “lesbian” (and “celibate by choice”) but am okay with using anyone’s preferred terminology… words are just words. Pronouns have never mattered to me and that’s reinforced by my Spanglish-speaking neighbor who mixes them up all the time.

      8. leendadll

        Lol… a friend learned, at school, that Lowe’s was specifically designed to appeal to women. Do women cruise there?

        My male side really shows at hardware stores.. I can spend hours looking at tools, trying to justify their purchase.

      9. The Paltry Sum

        Love of tools is not gendered! Women can love tools and useful things! Gender stereotypes are so ridiculous. No women cruising Lowes…in fact as far as I am aware the only dyke pick up places have been bars…and they are ALL gone now.

      10. leendadll

        It’s been really weird to watch gay and lesbian bars disappear! I remember an owner complaining that the proliferation of coffee houses hurt their business a lot. Public acceptance and mixed crowd bars killed it. I obv support acceptance but it’s too bad people no longer have the experience that I did…walking into a bar and thinking, “FINALLY… I’ve found my tribe!”

      11. leendadll

        Really? I’m guessing there are a few gay bars still open in WeHo but the crowds are now mixed. I only knew of 2 lesbian bars and they closed long ago. Women too sensible to meet at bars??

      12. The Paltry Sum

        Back in the day, I used to go to a particular really great dyke bar, my male gay friend was turned away a few times – depended who was on the door, and he was very very Queeny. Heck, my hair was considered too long and they almost turned me away once, before I protested! I may have had to pointedly kiss my girlfriend outside the bar that time…

      13. leendadll

        I remember my gay friends makin some big deal about being cool with me “switching teams” after a long time fag hag came out as lesbian*.
        A couple hours later I made put with some chick for fun and they lost their minds!!

        *I was getting drink refills and the bartender, a good friend, was giving me disapproving looks. I followed his eyes to realize the female friend who’d come out was playing with mt boobs. Yeah, they’re that non-errogenous… I didn’t notice on my own! I’ve always said “they’re as erroneous as my elbows!”

      14. leendadll

        I figure it’s some weird ambient effect of liking different genders and disliking the opposite. Gay men and lesbians who got along used to be as rare as true fag hags. I haven’t been in a gay bar in years and have no idea if they interact now.. do you?

        The last club I frequented was accepting of anyone and anything. I used to say, “if you show up dressed as a squirrel in the middle of July, all that’s going to happen is that you’ll find out who’s really turned on by squirrels!” At one of their finale parties, someone unknown to me IRL* showed up as a chipmunk, which was close enough to crack me up!

        *I went online when I got home and found out the chipmunk was someone I followed on fb. Contrary to my statement, some told her “I HATE chipmunks!” and punched her costume. I think it only happened because the party got a LOT of PR and more than half the crowd was newbies.

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