I Just Can’t Do This Right Now

I know I said that I would respond to yesterday’s blog post about Aura Blogando’s response to SlutWalk today. I should, and I will, but just not today. I just can’t do it right now. Emotionally, mentally, I need some time. A few minutes ago, I finished reading one of the most blatantly transphobic pieces I’ve read in a long time (on FoxNews.com about Chaz Bono) — someone linked to it on Facebook, and I ignored the voice in my head telling me to just skip it. And the sheer transphobia of it (not at all masked by a pretense of pseudo-science) just makes me want to cry. Usually, I’d dismiss it as the utter b.s. it is, or I’d get angry and in the mood to fight injustice. But right now, it just makes me want to cry, or hide, and that’s how I can tell I need a break. 

When I woke up today, I checked my phone (as I do first thing every morning) and I saw an email notification of a comment on my blog. Someone was furious about yesterday’s post and decided that I think “white people don’t deserve to speak,” that I think “white people, in general should step down from all forms of activism and social justice, and then just let people of color do everything,” that I think “white women need to just shut up and deal with” being raped, that I “hate white women,” and that I would be pleased “if all white people jump off a cliff and die.”

I ruthlessly shoved it out of my head for about an hour to make my cousins breakfast and drive them to school before returning to my computer and . . . falling apart a little. I should develop a thicker skin and learn how to better deal with that kind of vitriol, but I just can’t right now. I may have sent a friend a really awful, rambley Facebook message beseeching him to stay away from cliffs; I was a mess and not thinking clearly at all, and I’m not entirely positive I was completely awake (or maybe I was in shock, but I don’t remember what else I wrote, just that it was probably embarrassing and involved an irrational fear of him being hurt by a cliff).

And then I spent a fair amount of time responding to comments on Facebook and trying to explain, for example, that systemic racism and white supremacy doesn’t mean that all of the individuals involved are racists and white supremacists. Then I moved on to comments on this blog and likely messed everything up (and just refused to repeat everything I had written on Facebook, even though it was relevant). And now I just don’t want to deal with it anymore. Not today, at least.

I think I’m running low on my emotional reserves — y’know, when life is getting you down, and you find some kind of inner strength to figuratively pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and just carry on? I feel like I’ve used up a lot of mine just dealing with moving away from my life in Chicago (and more importantly, the people I’ve left behind). And I’m not sure how to recharge. I used to do so every Wednesday at Genderqueer Chicago, and when I went into the TJLP office, and all of those random events at which I’d see fierce, fabulous people (because basically everyone I know in Chicago is wonderful) — bars, panel discussions, community events, classes. They’d all help me believe in the world again.

And now . . . I’m so tired. I feel stagnant and disillusioned. And it seems like every time I check Facebook (currently my most reliable source of connection to any kind of community and thus not something I can easily give up), I see a new link about transphobia, or homophobia, or classim, or white privilege, or the prison industrial complex, or the ways in which the criminal legal system in this country fails its people, or something else that makes it harder to remember what we’re fighting for. I haven’t felt that “the world is beautiful and amazing” feeling in a while, and I miss it.

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One response to “I Just Can’t Do This Right Now

  1. Ryan, You arent asking for suggestions or advice, but if its ok with you, Im going to make one, based on personal experience, unplug for a while. Turn off the computer, dont bother with updating posts right now, go take a walk along one of the beautiful trails around Reston. Enjoy the Springtime. Do some walking meditation. Take a break and take care of yourself. Those of us who have a hard time not empathizing with everyone and every case of isms and phobias often tire ourselves out with worry and sadness because the world isn’t as wonderful as we wish it was. But if we dont take care of ourselves, we can’t fight the good fight. Be good to yourself, do something you love.

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