Nov. 22nd, 2015

the_deep_magic: (The Pillow Book)
Let's jump right in, then: many of you know that I'd been working as a victim advocate for survivors of sexual assault, and that I quit last month, packed up, and moved home.  I plan to be here through the holidays, and then... ???  I'm still working on the next step, but I want a fresh start.  This will be my seventh or so fresh start if you begin counting at undergrad.

And yes, I am unbelievably lucky to have the opportunity to do so, including the time off beforehand to clear my mind and remember how to be a person again instead of an advocate.  There is overlap between the two, of course, but I'm having to relearn how to feel my own feelings, rather than feeling on behalf of someone else.  That's quite easy to fall into, particularly when you've got an endless well of righteous indignation to draw on.  But I don't want to talk about my former job.  Or rather, I really, really do, but shouldn't because of (again) embracing my own feelings and can't because of confidentiality.  I've no doubt bits of it will slip in here and there, because it was something I lived and breathed for so long.  When I took a week off to go to Comic Con this summer, I was shocked -- SHOCKED! -- to find that people talked about things other than sexual assault.  No, really.

I probably would have quit my advocate job anyway, since my plan from the beginning was something like "Let's see how long I can do this job before I completely lose my mind." (Pro tip: not a good plan)  However, in addition to the not-insignificant vicarious trauma I've incurred along the way, I've been going through some primary trauma of my own.  I haven't talked about it online for reasons that will become obvious, but I'm coming up on a year anniversary of what happened, and I'm realizing I need to process more of it externally.  I've been in therapy, of course, but much of that was focused on getting me first through the immediate aftermath, and then surviving in a job that was draining all my emotional resources.  In a way, it's kind of insane that I kept doing that job, but I also believe it helped me stay on my feet.

I got out of the habit of journaling, not only on LJ but on paper, and I think it's pretty obvious that I haven't been writing much at all.  I've been off work for more than a month now and this is the most I've written of anything.  I want to start writing fic again -- quite desperately, in fact.  But this is what's on my mind now, and I wonder if maybe I need to write it out first.  I've gone back and forth on whether to post it to the internets because I'm a bit leery about indulging in the overly confessional online culture.  It's easy to do and impossible to take back.  But I've decided to go ahead with it for several reasons: a) none of the information would be damaging to me or anyone else; b) I can't seem to summon the motivation to journal for myself, so maybe having an audience will help; and, most importantly, c) when I've posted about personal struggles before, I've gotten some really invaluable support.

So here's how this is going to go: everything I post that's personal will be friends-locked.  I'll friend just about anybody who requests it, particularly if I recognize your username from another medium.  By which I mean Twitter, because that's all I use these days.  Whenever I make a new post, I'll try to remember to post the link to Twitter... otherwise I don't know that anyone will see it at all.  Perhaps this goes without saying, but even if we're internet-friends, you don't have to read any of this if you don't want to.  I recognize that not everyone wants to read the emotional word-vomit of people they barely know, but at this point in LJ's life cycle, I can't imagine you'll be stumbling across my posts by accident.  Still, I'm not going to assume anyone has or hasn't read this.  Please comment if you want to -- I'd actually love to talk with people about this, instead of just to them -- but don't feel like you have to.  I have no desire to exhaust your supply of pity.

What I would like to see happen here is that I say what I need to about my personal life, but it eventually becomes interspersed with witty, eloquent musings about pop culture until I have a functional blog once again.  What I would really love to see happen is that I resume writing fic.  What may happen is that I post this post, and then abandon the whole project and wait another year and change before posting again.  Or I just use this space to bitch about Tumblr until I slowly fade into irrelevance.  Stay tuned to find out!

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June 2016

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