Justice Demands You Feel Better

'A Touch of God' by Jaap Joris Vens via Wikimedia CommonsA few words on mental health and the dystopia we’re not in:

I’ve been struggling lately. A huge weight of depression in a kind I thought long gone landed on me a few weeks ago. There was a huge difference from the old bad times, though: now I have tools that I know work to help against this. But for the last few weeks, I have also felt like I shouldn’t use them, like I didn’t deserve to feel better. Didn’t deserve help.

Anyone reading this who doesn’t outright hate me will immediately recognize that as also symptomatic. (Anyone reading this who does… what are you doing here? Get a hobby. Take up the oboe or something, sheesh.) Thing is, that doesn’t matter. It’s as real as anything going on inside anyone’s giant grey walnut can be. If you’ve been through this – in which case, hang in there, I’m sorry you are hurting – you know it can’t be argued away, not directly. Someone says you deserve to feel better, you reply ‘No I don’t and here’s why…’ and it gets more entrenched.

But what if it’s not about you at all? What if it is a matter of justice? [Read more…]

Going Down the YouTubes

TV Camera Operator, by Mitchell Hobbs via Wikimedia Commons

So, the Great American Satan alerted us here on FtB to the existence of a brief “Youtube Walkout”. For the next four days, until the 14th, we encourage you not to watch, embed, or especially upload content to YouTube. This is in response to their new terms of service which include the chilling clause saying that they reserve to right to “delete any account they deem commercially unviable”. That’s laying the groundwork to kick out anything they don’t deem to be pulling in ad revenue for them, which of course disproportionately affects small channels and marginalized voices. See Marcus Ranum’s analysis of this for more details and some useful links.

I agree with everything Marcus said there, but in fact… he didn’t go far enough. You see, it’s not just a matter of Youtube being even worse youtubery garbage than usual, which is saying something for a company that so egregiously polices, demonetizes, and hides queer content that they’re being sued for it. Twitter just announced new restrictions on content. Last December, Tumblr banned NSFW content and thereby took a chainsaw to their userbase and traffic. Facebook (and therefore Instagram) has always been shitty about queer content but now they’re willing to delete anything that even HINTS at queerness or sexuality.

[Read more…]

Message in a Time Bottle

Timepiece Monument, by Florin Huluba, via Wikimedia Commons

[CW: depression, verbal abuse]

I’d say getting email about one’s first post is a good sign that was a good post, and indeed that happened. For the sake of confidentiality I won’t say anything about who it was from or the remainder of the content, but they asked me two questions that I found interesting enough that they are worth another post:

Is there anything you wish you could go back and tell your parents about having a child with depression? (Or anything they did know that you’re glad they did know?)

Is there anything you’d want your younger self to know, if you could?

Those are difficult. And in some respects the answer is darker, I think, than the asker was hoping for. As I mentioned in that previous post, I don’t have major depression, I have c-PTSD, which presents with depression and a massively overwhelming inner critic as symptoms. That’s in my case, of course; those are extremely common symptoms among sufferers of c-PTSD but nothing is universal. As the name implies, however, complex post-traumatic stress disorder is not something anyone can be born with. Like its more widely accepted cousin PTSD, it is an involuntary reaction to trauma… which means answering these questions necessitates inquiring about the origins of that. [Read more…]

The Grift at the End of Mental Health

"Mental Health" graffiti. From Infers Group via Wikimedia Commons

One thing I have absolutely been through the wringer over is mental health.

I half wonder if it would somehow be interesting to collect my comments on this very site, because I have been here long enough that for most of the time – everything but the last two years, in honesty – my issues were uncontrolled. They were uncontrolled because they were unidentified; and they were unidentified because, by and large, nobody bothered to look beyond the first ideas. It’s one thing to go by “if you hear hoofbeats, assume horses, not zebras” but to keep saying ‘horse’ when you’re staring at a stripy black and white walking barcode is taking it much too far.

To be clear: I disagree heavily with Marcus (whose blog I follow assiduously) on this one topic. I believe that psychology and psychiatry very much are scientific disciplines. Empirically, there are hordes of people out there whose lives have been improved immeasurably by psychological techniques and psychoactive medication, so something must be working. But there are also hordes of people (smaller ones I hope and believe, albeit an anecdotal opinion) who aren’t helped.

[Read more…]

Hello Actually Narrow But Vociferous Slice of World!

Hi folks! I reckon most of you who might look at this post at least have seen my handle around, probably complaining bitterly at someone who is being a dicknostril, especially about trans issues. The plan here is to show off mostly the not so angry sides of my personality – which I would like to think is most of it, but hey, who knows.

I’m grateful to the existing Beloved Ruling Class here on FtB for accepting my application. I’ve been here for a long time – I’ve read Natalie Reed, Zinnia Jones, Crommunist, and Ed Brayton here; I’ve seen the dark moments when a bloggers were expelled for racism or plagiarism; I was here for Ophelia Benson’s grand final flounce and the sad passing of Caine – and have a lot of respect for the bloggers here. I’m honored they’re willing to take a chance on including me among them.

I will of course comment from time to time on current affairs. This may be a little difficult, since most of FtB is American and I am Canadian, which means I am slightly insulated from happenings south of the 49th and sometimes it is hard to have an opinion of them other than INTERMINABLE SHRIEKING… but I’ll try! Right now the deepest thought I have in that direction was what I posted on Twitter:

You know, if I were writing about a milquetoast centrist politician running to be the first gay President, I would consider the name ‘Pete Buttigieg’ to be WAY too on-the-nose.

There is a touch of the Cuttle about me too, so I will leave you with this limerick (complaining about transphobes, ’cause I still gotta be me):

Some ‘feminists’ (only in name)
Who love to fan trans hatred’s flame
Get all of their cash
From men who are fash
Which proves that they’re all just the same.