Like a lot of people with mental illness, I spend a lot of time fronting. It’s really important to me to not appear crazy, to fit in, to seem normal, to do the things “normal people” do, to blend in. It’s a form of assimilation for safety, but something deeper than that, where hiding my own identity for survival is also tearing me apart…
As a defense mechanism, fronting makes a lot of sense, and you hone that mechanism after years of being crazy. Fronting is what allows you to hold down a job and maintain relationships with people, it’s the thing that sometimes keeps you from falling apart. It’s the thing that allows you to have a burst of tears in the shower or behind the front seat of your car and then coolly collect yourself and stroll into a social engagement…
We are rewarded for hiding ourselves. We become the poster children for “productive” mentally ill people, because we are so organized and together. The fact that we can function, at great cost to ourselves, is used to beat up the people who cannot function.
Because unlike the people who cannot front, or who fronted too hard and fell off the cliff, we are able to “keep it together,” whatever it takes.
s.e. smith, I Hide My Mental Illness
(Read the whole post. It’s really worth it.)
tbh i really want to print this out and give it to every member of my family so that they know wtf is going on with me, because it’s funny, but as much as i thought i had a close knit family, i didn’t even know that most of them don’t even know i haven’t been able to work for the last almost three years because of this, or that i haven’t been able to leave the house most days, or that i need a ride or some kind of accompaniment in order to get out on other days.
and yeah, i used to joke about what i’d do when i finally “snapped” or “lost it” but i stopped making that joke years ago, as i got closer and closer to the edge of my apparent sanity, from which i’ve fallen several times already, and from which it is a long, arduous climb to recover, and from which i am currently dangling precariously without much of a safety net.
so it does scare me when i read about these stories about “mental illness so scaryyy” because, dear reader, i have something to hide from most of the people around me. suddenly i won’t be the one they know, i’ll be the one they’re afraid of, or they one they pity, or the one they whisper about when i’m not around or they think i’m not listening.
or all of the above.
but yes, please do read it. the highlights are here, yes, but what’s not here is important too.
And if you don’t believe me, you’ve never been a married woman who kept her family name. I have had students hold that up as proof of my “sexism.”
My own brother told me that he could never marry a woman who kept her name because “everyone would know who ruled that relationship.” Perfect equality – my husband keeps his name and I keep mine – is held as a statement of superiority on my part."
I might have reblogged this already but it’s so good I don’t care.
Kyriarchy in action. (via transstingray)
Also the study where they had women and men talking in a discussion and when women spoke around 30% of the time, men perceived them as dominating the discussion. They didn’t consider it “equal” until something like 5-10% of women talking. (via dumbthingswhitepplsay)
Voila. A beautiful example of why fighting for equality becomes a gross exaggeration in the eyes of the oppressors. (via curiouslycool)
was absolutely phenomenal. I’m exceptionally grateful that I had the opportunity to sit in on her presentation of the work she had done related to her book.
Wow. Rebecca Skloot is coming here next Wednesday.