One of the things that always seems to get me in the worst trouble is making jokes at what, on the surface, appear to be moments when joking isn’t allowed. Like while dressing a bullet wound or after hearing absolutely awful news. “What the fuck so are we still playing D&D, Sunday?” Something like that.
Yeah on the surface that’s a pretty shitty thing to say. It’s kind of stupid, obviously sounds very self-centered, oblivious, etc.
Now that I’ve told you a little about myself (child abuse/kidnapping survivor, attempted murder survivor, depression, anxiety, alcoholism, sincerely the worst morning breath ever and I’ve smelled some doozies I tell you), I’d like to take a chance to see how many of you can understand why I joke at the worst of moments.
It’s a defense mechanism for sure. When people are laughing they usually aren’t trying to kill me. There were a couple times I told jokes just to survive. It’s long past the time where I care anymore if you believe me. Time is growing short and the people who need to believe me will.
But I’ve also seen how laughter can make it easier for people to release. A little joke at just the right time, a chuckle, the flood of tears. It’s one of the ways I’ve been able to be there for others, show compassion. One of the best feelings in the world, for me, is that of feeling like someone else’s bedrock. Like I mattered. In this moment, whatever it is, this person turned to me for comfort. What an absolute gift. Here I am, this dipshit who loves to have his kids pull his finger, needed by another soul in pain. Humbling.
Right now there’s a fire burning just up the road, the smell of smoke is strong enough that one of the wolves got her schoolday canceled and we just kept the other cub home. My neighbors (family it turns out, remember I mentioned Mitochondrial Eve?) are being displaced. The news is hard lately, on a local level and certainly on a grand scale.
I’m sad today, knowing how much trauma there is in the world and how little I can do about it on a macro scale. I suspect that may be true for you, too. But what if, and I’m just spitballing here, we worked together?
I have no interest in promoting this blog as some means of fame or capitalism, I am never going to ask you to retweet something or whatever. I’ll post charities I dig and you can donate or not. How much skin you have in the game is entirely your choice. What you choose to do is up to you, you’re a grown up and can make your own decisions. But if each of us reading this right now picked one person to reach out to and check in on, we’d all have someone we knew we could talk to.
I’m going to go do just that.