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Be a sledgehammer.

This picture and the title will make sense in time, give it a minute.

“Are you still writing?”

A friend of mine recently hung out for the first time in a while. It caught me off guard because I realized it had been a long-ass time since I’d seen her, and it’s been even longer since I wrote anything.

The thing is, my life completely cracked open this year, and I’ve been piecemeal working through it. I haven’t really known how to talk about it in a way that shed light on things other people might be silently struggling with without trauma dumping on the internet. I went into Q&Q wanting to create a place I could do shadow work about things I know other people grapple with in life when you’re queer, neurodivergent, recovering religious, or too awkwardly not in control of your body for sports.

The short version is that I cut my entire family off. I’d compare the feeling to ripping off the band aid, but it’s more like when someone else rips a band aid off you and you realize you didn’t need the band aid anymore. I’m glad the band-aid got ripped off, but I certainly do wish I’d been in a space to have decided to do it myself. In the process of this separation from blood relatives, this blog and me writing about my life experiences came up among different people, and I feel it’s important I talk about that a bit, because I kinda just started writing stories about growing up and coming into myself without really taking a poll on what people wanted to hear about. I just found a platform with a mic in front of it in a semi-empty room and started giving a comedy routine. And obviously, I have a plentiful amount of readers and fans. I can barely leave my house. The paparazzi is everywhere. Life is a nightmare. Anyway.

When I write stories that involve other people, I take extra care to make sure that enough of their identity is omitted, unless part of the identity is a crucial point to the story, in which case I make sure to obtain proper consent, and not publish if the person isn’t comfortable with it. I do this in regular life too, frequently telling stories about a friend, without ever indulging how I know them, where I know them from, or what role we serve in each other’s lives.

Because when I’m writing my stories here, they are my story. It’s to talk about me, my experiences, and how I’ve been affected and grown from certain events. This means there’s actually a lot I don’t put on the internet for public consumption. I have many secrets in my brain soup, and I’m not about to give them out without making a profit, you know? (for legal reasons that’s a joke) I keep a constant eye on how many spoons I have, and if I don’t feel I could hear someone telling me they don’t believe me, or blame me, I just don’t tell the story and I pick something else. That’s what’s made this year such a struggle. So many things happened that I can’t figure out how to tell in a generalized enough way, or in a way that doesn’t cause me to relive too many events I’d rather just be done with. And I don’t mean for this to sound as though I’m sad or distraught. I’m truly not. I’m having a blast right now. I don’t think I’ve ever been happier or healthier in my life. The problem is that I’ve experienced an oddly consecutive and seemingly ongoing series of life events that have dredged up all the behavior patterns that became the reason I’m in therapy (can’t be too mad about that, though. I love my therapist, they’re very cool and I enjoy getting to do therapy with them. U da man, K).

The thing is, multiple people in my blood relatives read my blog, and I get a feeling they’re under some weird impression that I’m just like…looking for the slightest fuck up so I can write about them on my blog like this is tumblr in 2010. Which is funny, because everyone who actually loves me in a healthy way knows I have a blog and they don’t feel threatened by it. Not once has any one of them become standoffish or clammed up to “be careful of what they say to me”. If anything, I’m the one using it as a joke threat if they make fun of me or inconvenience me in any mild way. Like how I’ll say “This is transphobic” whenever something moderately inconvenient happens to me. I’ve been threatening a good friend of mine, Justin, with putting him in my blogs and he’s repeatedly yelled “DO IT!”. Shoutout to Justin for finding the funniest way to support my endeavors with this ongoing project.

So, because I’ve tried and failed so many times to hack this out, I’ll just spill my brain soup onto the page to see how it arranges itself. In this calendar year alone, I have:

  1. Learned that the person who was once my best friend in the entire world had a stroke and heart attack, resulting in PT and a one month hospital stay.

  2. Learned that I was the last in my family to know all of that.

  3. Officially cut contact with my blood relatives

  4. Realized I was groomed in my young adulthood by a trusted adult and family friend

  5. Learned that my childhood best friend did not at any point consider me to be his best friend.

  6. Learned my childhood best friend’s best friend was my biggest bully growing up.

  7. Learned there was a facebook group for organizing my 10 year high school reunion that I wasn’t invited to

  8. Learned that a woman I went to high school with suddenly and unexpectedly passed away

  9. Struggled with getting back into the job market, experiencing many job rejections

  10. Was told that a job I was all in on was no longer going to be moving forward due to a lack of company funding for the position

  11. Struggled with getting proper Gender Affirming and Psychiatric Care due to medical incompetence

  12. Experienced several severe depression episodes

But in the past year alone, I have also:

  1. Experienced the largest and most profound metamorphosis, shedding several unhappy things internally.

  2. Decreased my anxiety and general discomfort surrounding who I am as a person by cutting off several people.

  3. Discovered new career paths that fit into my interests and skillsets.

  4. Lived, Laughed, and Loved with my gorgeous knock out of a wife.

  5. Got visited by one of the loves of my life and her gorgeous baby daughter who is a delightful tornado of chaos

  6. Found a personal style that makes me feel like I’m seeing myself in the mirror, and make me proud of my appearance

  7. Stood my ground and set boundaries on multiple occasions, and patted myself on the back for it as a reminder that that shit feels GOOD.

  8. Taken control of my health and medical life, and took initiative to see people I needed to see, and get processes started that were long overdue.

  9. Spoke to many people and had many conversations where they communicated something they appreciated about me, and I was able to genuinely appreciate it instead of swatting it away and punishing myself.

  10. Found God in everyday life. They say “I’m nonbinary, you fuckers”. I didn’t say that, I’m just the messenger.

  11. Discovered a wealth of career resources

  12. Am making plans for a good friend to come live with us and turn this into a place where we celebrate everyday life

  13. Got a top surgery date scheduled.

  14. Visited chosen family and celebrated the big and small things.

  15. Fallen in love with all my friends, and met some new ones that I’d like to keep around for a long time.

Life has been happening to me this year, all at once or none at all. It’s a weird feeling. It has its’ own timeline that I am not privy to, nor in control of. It’s like I’m coming out of a cave I’ve been in my whole life, or unzipping a jacket where the zipper was stuck a la Mrs. Toggle’s Zipper. It’s been a test of patience and self-confidence to be sure, but it’s also an interesting experience feeling like some external entity is stirring the pot continually on your simmering life where you’re just a vegetable floating in the life broth, chillin out.

It honestly fits in to my life since last May when I took time off from work to care for my mental health. I thought I was gonna be ready to go back to work in 3 months and it’s like no matter what I’ve pursued and thought I needed, life handed me something completely different and it ended up being more lovely and magical than I could ever imagine.

So my great big takeaway from life happening in the most chaotic and direct of ways is that you can either roll with the punches or not but either way you’re gonna get punched. And that’s ok. Because life isn’t a person, so if you hit back it’s not a felony. And when I hit back, I don't Bella Swan the situation where I hit back and then break my feeble hand. I am Peter Gabriel with a sledgehammer. I am an unstoppable force of wreckage and 80's alternative music.

Remember kids, never get caught when you commit a felony.

Salute, Mi Familia.

- Charlie


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