“i don’t want to write about trauma. especially now that i’m not traumatized.”
“she said: ‘i don’t think abortion is a big deal. my friend’s friend had 13 of them.’”
“something bad didn’t happen to us. we found something bad and now we’re going to be like, ‘fuck it.’”
Sara Ahmed,The Cultural Politics of Emotion (via negationparty)
well, there you go.
Judith Herman in Trauma and Recovery (via psychologicalsnippets)
since i like my trauma aestheticized i usually read literary trauma theory, not clinical trauma theory. this, however. when i told couples therapist #2 that it was impossible to live talking about kids one minute and how we were going to break up the next her eyes lit up and she said “that’s real. that’s relationship trauma.” of course, this was the same therapist who asked me to compare my boyfriend to my exes, while he was sitting next to me. i refused, obviously. what kind of an asshole do you think i am? seriously.
i put on some chloe perfume, because i like cloying, and took a really long walk. then i ran into this and was like, oh, oh. i tried to make the whole event a little more perverse by walking all the way around the hospital to figure out where it was that my room was, based on what i remember being able to see, and i sort of figured it out, but not enough to take a picture. “i should’ve known” came on and i smiled a little, deleuze quote etc. etc. i had a few anti-epiphanies while i was walking along the side that had all the windows i could see myself in, like, “wow, i’m wearing the same coat as i was that night. wow, i’m wearing the same purse as i was that night.” but i’m pretty much always wearing the same coat and purse. then exactly the right taylor swift song came on just as i got to the door of my apartment so i walked around the block a few more times so i could listen to it twice. the whole experience was super-cleansing and totally in keeping with the ways in which i’ve been writing about trauma and the unexpected pleasures of unpredictability lately. there might be a better word than “pleasures.” now i need to stay up late and get these 2500 words in order. last essay.
lauren berlant, cruel optimism
“what happens when experience is systematically denied—could produce trauma or rage or experience of being crazy or going crazy”
—old notes from freud class on dora
cathy caruth, unclaimed experience: trauma, narrative, and history
“I hope you will find ways to work with the OCD not just medically but also intellectually, emotionally, and spiritually in order to find the daily practices that work best for you in order to manage your daily life. Given your interest in affect theory and your work in this most recent chapter on spirituality, I do think there’s a way that you are seeking something through your intellectual projects that could really help you here but you’ll need to dig deep and also be willing to explore the emotional dynamics of your life as a scholar.”
Remember how I sometimes find my dissertation advisor intimidating? Can you imagine how fraught I was over disclosing my recent health issues to her? I waited anxiously all week and then received this message in response. Even when traveling abroad, even when far away, even when finishing her own project, she pushes me to find my own spirituality, to practice self-care, to find healthy ways to mesh my personal and private and political lives, and I am reminded all over again why I want to work with her. I cannot believe how lucky I am to have such a mentor.
this is exactly what i want to read, especially today, when i was just talking about her beautiful book.
i remember the first 24 hours in the hospital obsessing about how i had possibly just accidented myself into totally fucking up my phd, which is one of the only things i ever really wanted. i lay in bed and thought, well, i guess i’ve always had my fantasy backup plan, and i guess i am going to finally work at planned parenthood or a women’s health clinic, and live in some small town, maybe on the ocean, and it’s okay that i won’t publish in academic journals, because after work i can go home and write on tumblr. then maybe whatever was in the IV kicked in, and whatever medications were in my body dissipated, and i was like, wait, WHAT?
if you are going to have OCD or depression or anxiety or a really bad year that ends in a really bad drug interaction, this is the right little corner of academia to do it in. everyone is kind and supportive, even casual in the right way, and maybe encouraging of it becoming part of your work. i will probably write about this for the rest of my life or at least until i get feminist bored of it. i will definitely always feel really lucky that i had such a soft landing and hope that one day, when my students have OCD or depression or anxiety or really bad years, that i will be just as generous as everyone has been with me.