Growing Up Archive

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  • Inertia

    I have been literally paralyzed these last couple of months. I began working towards a college degree in September of this year. Initially I chose one course, hoping that by the time it was over I’d have a better idea of what I wanted to major in, since I am interested in so many things and the choice seemed impossible. If anything, it’s made the whole thing worse.

    This Kid Don’t Stand A Chance

    I can’t imagine living past my 20’s. I don’t know why. Maybe its the eating disorder, the depression, the increased chance of being the victim of violent crime due to being black and queer.

    Naming Names – Putting Agoraphobia Into Words

    I still don’t know how to talk about agoraphobia. I’ve been trying to figure out how to explain it to people since I was 16 years old, but I’ve been largely unsuccessful at putting it into words. I’ve mostly just stayed quiet about it and used vague “anxiety” euphemisms to describe why I can’t hang out / go to work / go to class / go grocery shopping / whatever, and have also spent a lot of time struggling to come up with “legitimate” ways to account for what I do with my time while NOT doing these things, especially since spending [lots of] time alone or in my “safe zones” is actually super positive for me. For almost 20 years, I’ve had no concept of how to talk about this enormous part of me that has both limited me in humongous ways and also shaped me into the wonderful weirdo that the people close to me know and love.

    Tales of the Mental Hospital (Chandler) – Part 1

    It is my pleasure to introduce the newest series, “Tales of the Mental Hospital” to QueerMentalHealth.org. Spending time in a hospital can be an unpleasant and scary experience for many of us. Taking a more lighthearted look at our experiences can be healing for many of those who have had to stay in a mental hospital for some time. Chandler came up with the idea to write about his experiences, and after discussing it together we decided it would be a great idea to make it into a series here. We encourage anyone to add their stories to the series as well!

    During my formerly frequent stays to various psychiatric facilities in MO & FL, I’ve met quite a few characters. They’ve ranged from scary violent psychos, to hilariously deranged schizophrenics, to the just plain bizarre. That statement also includes some of the people who worked there. Sometimes, the staff is just on the wrong side of the desk.Needless to say, each separate hospitalization was a truly unique experience. With all the E/N depression threads I’ve seen pop up, I think now is a good time to share some of the hilarity that an inpatient psych hospital can offer. That’s right, the hospital can be fun.

    Mental Illness and Romantic Rejection

    “I just don’t think I could handle that kind of rejection.” – George McFly

    When you’re a little obsessed with your own mistakes, and you can replay every stupid thing you’ve ever said in your head, dozens or hundreds of times, until you become the biggest idiot in the world and can prove it mathematically, you tend to take some things a little harshly. Romantic rejection isn’t easy for anyone, but experiencing it with a healthy dose of depression and obsession is a whole lot less fun.

    My Coming Out of the Dreaded Closet

    I would like to welcome the newest member of our writing team, Chandler. In his first post with us, he tells his coming out story. Thanks for sharing with us, Cascadia!

    When I was a young boy, I had the life of many. I played with toys, I broke stuff, I tried to fix stuff, I even stuck a knife into an electrical socket! All boys do this when they are young, they are adventurous and playful. Ages 0-9 were pretty normal or what one would call normal. At age 10 I knew something was up. I felt this weird attraction toward other boys of my same age. I didn’t know what it was so I shrugged it off. I went through all of my pre-teen and teen years knowing something wasn’t right with me. The boys in school turned me on. I hit puberty and all hell broke loose with me. There was a boy in my class, whose name was Brandon. I couldn’t stop looking at him! He made me feel weird inside.

    Envy

    Trigger Warning: mention of abuse

    When I was a freshman in high school, my English teacher assigned the first essay of the semester. The topic was “time I felt different”. This proved to be a surprisingly difficult topic for me to write about. Why? Then, I had no idea what it was like to fit in. I had no frame of reference.

    On Death, Depression, And The Moments Of Solitude That Follow

    Trigger Warning: Death, Depression

    My brother passed away of this month. He was a young man, only 23 years old and beginning his life. He, like the majority of my family, suffered greatly from mental illness. We shared depression, anxiety, and OCD. Though, sadly, his mental illnesses seemed to grow as mine began to ease.

    But now that he is gone, I am yet again forced to work and understand my depression. I always wished it were something tangible that I could hold within my hands and pull layers away to physically understand it. I want to be able to understand the immensity. The silence. The deafening noise that combats that eerie moments of peace.

    My Experience with Bullying (Katie)

    Trigger Warning: Bullying, School Violence

    I had never even met these kids before. One of them came up to me while I was at my locker and just said “Whatchu been sayin’ about my mama?” I had no idea what he was talking about – I’d never even seen him to my recollection. So I basically ignored him and went back to dealing with my locker.

    Shifting Identities

    I have roughly four major identities. I am autistic. I am mentally ill. I am asexual. I am genderqueer. The first three identities, I have known about for a while. They’re concrete. My autism won’t go away tomorrow. Neither will my mental illness. I won’t suddenly wake up with the desire to fuck people. Yet, being genderqueer is different. I might go to bed agonizing over one identity, yet it’s gone in the morning, replaced by a different identity.