On repairing the world

Gender only exists when we make it exist. But in so many aspects of our lives, it blatantly exists — especially if you grew up in a place where it was unexceptional, where it permeated everything like radon.

Let’s start here: If you do bad things while thinking, “I am an evil supervillain,” chances are, you’re probably just nuts. That’s not to say you didn’t abuse someone. It’s only to say you’re not a cartoon.

The prosaic answer is usually the right answer.

Something that has been weighing on my mind lately is the difference between how male and female anxiety disorders are treated. One of the weird benefits of being tarred as the hysterical gender is that you’re more likely to think, “I need to talk this out. I need to try CBT.” But if you’re raised in a sexist time warp and trained to believe you should be stoic at all times, you’re going to think you’re alone, that you are the problem. When you’re taught that it’s better to be a monster than a “weakling,” you’ll go to any lengths to become the monster.

Having pain doesn’t make you weak. It makes you human.

Comprehending your own pain doesn’t make you self-indulgent. It makes you responsible. And when you heal, you’re not just healing for your own sake. You’re healing for everyone you would otherwise hurt. It is far less responsible to throw up your hands and accept that you’re a scourge. No. The only way to learn how to control your patterns is to get a professional to help you identify and control them.

I’m really glad that no one reads this blog. I’m not writing this to help anyone. I’m writing it because it’s the truth.