I am so lucky to be obsessed with new materials right now.
I feel incredibly fortunate to have the privilege of staying safely at home, and then as if the universe is being wildly generous, I am also really excited about some mixed media work. I made this Jeweled Sacred Heart, which you see here in our hallway lit by actual fire, with the 3D Printer Pen my mom-in-law gave me for Christmas.
Like many trauma survivors and childhood sexual abuse survivors with C-PTSD, I am feeling calm and focused.
I’ve been seeing disabled, chronically ill and survivor folx on twitter, Medium and The Mighty talk about how they feel clear and cool. For the first time in a long time, our insides match the outside. This isn’t a good feeling, but it is a different feeling than feeling like you are wrong for how you feel. Or being told you’re crazy for how you feel.
My nervous system feels lined up with the world in a way that it never usually does.
And I feel powerful, because I’m endocrinologically in touch with all the resources that helped me survive my abusive father, adolescent sexual attackers, professional harassers, and life-long severe depression and OCD.
It’s true that my night terrors have ramped up, and the nightmares are harder to shake off when I wake up.
But unlike so many chronically ill and disabled folk, I have all my medications on hand.
Who knew that my American habit of hoarding meds, developed in my early 40s when for a short period before Obamacare I was both uninsured and uninsurable, would come in handy? Well, me, I knew. Because I’ve always expected this.
If you’re disturbed by GenXers in your timelines yelling “Wolverines!” and seeming … almost relieved ???, please know: it’s the first time in decades the world’s messaging matches the daily messaging of our C-PTSD endrocrine systems.
I told my husband that I imagined this time when we signed the lease for our flat.
“You did??” he replied, astonished. Of course I did. This, or the water wars, or dirigibles of starving Southern Hemisphereans landing at Tempelhofer Field and taking, deservedly, the food and medicine we should have been giving them all along.
As an ’80s teenager I used to jolt awake at a crack of lightning in my Chelsea bedroom, thinking, “That was it. The bomb.”
You don’t ever shake that off; we are all refugees of some terrible part of the timeline or the planet.
It’s just that the West has never wanted to admit it, has never wanted us to raise our voices or amplify the voices of all the other sufferers.
I myself couldn’t really hear the voice of my own trauma until I came to Berlin and got on good German health insurance.
Until I went to the ER and never got a single bill. Until my husband and I pulled ourselves from a burning building.
Turns out social justice is the most important thing in the world.
We all matter. Our burning hearts are one.
Hearts Afire shadowbox
Hearts Afire embroidery