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I Am Broken And That’s Okay

For as long as I can remember, adults were trying to diagnose me with something.

Even when I was in elementary school, as low as 1st grade, teachers told my mother that I was likely suffering from ADHD or Autism or something of the like. In hindsight, I DO have autism (and very likely I also have adhd, but there’s neither here nor there), but that isn’t the point. The point is that people were always trying to explain me instead of accept me. I “wasn’t like the other children”, and so thus I warranted explanation. My behavior warranted explanation. Somehow being different, in any sort of way, was tantamount to being a traitor to my country. Exiled from my own peers, often by my own peers even, and with no fair trial whatsoever. I guess that’s America for you, though, especially the american school system.

Now, as an adult myself, I’m told daily to revel in my differences. Now my peers are a community of acceptance, and whenever I even remotely acknowledge problems with myself, someone will make me feel bad for that too. So, feel bad for being different as a kid, and now feel bad for feeling bad for feeling different as an adult. Alright then. But what nobody ever seems to think about is what if I literally cannot revel in my differences? What if someone has been broken down so much that they cannot rise above their negative experiences in life, the bad life lessons they took in about themselves via others? What about those people? I think all the time how I will finally get better, put my issues about me behind me, and learn to like the things that make me who I am, and who I’m NOT.

But I don’t know that I can, at least, not fully. And I think we should accept that about people too. We push so many stories out about people who’ve ‘recovered’ from their trauma or overcome their ‘disabilities’ as if they’re something to overcome in the first place, but perhaps we should also just accept that some people are just…indefinitely sort of broken? I feel like every goddamned week I see some new “woke” article praising someone overcoming the things that broke them as children or hurt them as adults, and we share these articles on social media without even thinking so much as, “Wait, why would someone break another person to begin with?” We never actually ask the question of how they got to that breaking point, or how they started recovering, we just are happy they’ve “recovered”, because I guess, now, they’re useful to society as an example to other broken people, a lot of whom can’t recover in the first place, so to see those articles while scrolling their news feed could be rather damaging to their already fragile psyche.

I’m not telling people to stop trying to recover. I’m not telling people who have recovered to not be proud that they have. But I AM saying that perhaps, for those people who are so damaged beyond repair and yet still manage to get through every single day with that mindset, we should acknowledge them too, simply for still being here. Simply for continuing on. God knows it is so hard to wake up every single day and find purpose, I grapple with my lack of reason for being every minute that I am awake, but I still do it, and isn’t that worth applauding? Do we have to reserve our praise for only those we deem have earned it, and not the people who’ve still, somehow, despite all the years of feeling bad and doing poorly, managed to survive? Sounds like bullshit to me. Start appreciating the people who are broken and yet keep living. Those are the strongest people.

A lot of people can recover.

Not everyone can live being broken, though.

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I’m Maggie. If you like this thing I made, you might like some other things I’ve done, like my 2015 novel “You Ruined Everything”, my podcast network “The Feel Bad Network” or my feed over at Ello. You can also find some published work for sale over at my Payhip , buy prints/stickers and more at my online store on Big Cartel, or support my work at my Patreon! Anything helps & is appreciated, thanks!

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Close To Monsters #74

CTM74

This weeks comic is brought to you by the sad realization that candy doesn’t bring you overwhelming joy anymore.

Buy My Book!  Support Me Via Patreon!  Visit My Online Store!

I’m Maggie. If you like this thing I made, you might like some other things I’ve done, like my 2015 novel “You Ruined Everything”, my podcast network “The Feel Bad Network” or my feed over at Ello. You can also find some published work for sale over at my Payhip , buy prints/stickers and more at my online store on Big Cartel, or support my work at my Patreon! Anything helps & is appreciated, thanks!

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Close To Monsters #73

CTM73

This weeks comic is brought to you by the fact that your OS won’t work with every emotional upgrade.

Buy My Book!  Support Me Via Patreon!  Visit My Online Store!

I’m Maggie. If you like this thing I made, you might like some other things I’ve done, like my 2015 novel “You Ruined Everything”, my podcast network “The Feel Bad Network” or my feed over at Ello. You can also find some published work for sale over at my Payhip , buy prints/stickers and more at my online store on Big Cartel, or support my work at my Patreon! Anything helps & is appreciated, thanks!

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PORCH #16

PORCH16

Fatigue Flakes, Breakfast Of Losers.

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I’m Maggie. If you like this thing I made, you might like some other things I’ve done, like my 2015 novel “You Ruined Everything”, my podcast network “The Feel Bad Network” or my feed over at Ello. You can also find some published work for sale over at my Payhip , buy prints/stickers and more at my online store on Big Cartel, or support my work at my Patreon! Anything helps & is appreciated, thanks!

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PORCH #15

PORCH15

And to your left, you’ll see The Cavern Of Sadness, a short stop off The Cave Of Wonders.

Buy My Book!  Support Me Via Patreon!  Visit My Online Store!

I’m Maggie. If you like this thing I made, you might like some other things I’ve done, like my 2015 novel “You Ruined Everything”, my podcast network “The Feel Bad Network” or my feed over at Ello. You can also find some published work for sale over at my Payhip , buy prints/stickers and more at my online store on Big Cartel, or support my work at my Patreon! Anything helps & is appreciated, thanks!

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Close To Monsters #71

CTM72

This weeks comic is brought to you by the fact that they only care after you’re gone.

If you like this comic and wanna read a new one every Monday a week early, subscribe to my Patreon, for just a measly buck a month!

Buy My Book!  Support Me Via Patreon!  Visit My Online Store!

I’m Maggie. If you like this thing I made, you might like some other things I’ve done, like my 2015 novel “You Ruined Everything”, my podcast network “The Feel Bad Network” or my feed over at Ello. You can also find some published work for sale over at my Payhip , buy prints/stickers and more at my online store on Big Cartel, or support my work at my Patreon! Anything helps & is appreciated, thanks!

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You Keep Saying You Want To Fix This

I left my mother and cut her out of my life back in early 2015.

After years of feeling like she didn’t understand, much less care to understand, me, I finally started speaking to her again in late 2016 or early 2017 at some point. Even then, our conversations were rather limited to that of what television we’d watched recently and shit like that, mostly because that was all I could handle discussing with her. I haven’t spoken to anyone else in my family in about 5 years now. Then, in mid 2017, my longtime girlfriend and I moved to Texas, and within 4 months or so, everything went belly up and we nearly found ourselves homeless. Thankfully, I found us a new place to live, and things were okay for a while, and then my mother decided, just on a whim, to move there as well, to be “closer” to me.

At first, it was alright enough to see her again. I’d visited her two times prior to this, but this was the first instance of ongoing constant exposure to her again, and for a bit, things seemed okay enough. We went to lunch, we saw some movies, we just generally hung out and celebrated birthdays and for the first time in forever, it seemed liked when she said “I just wanna fix everything”, she was being honest about it. And then it started again. The attitudes, the mood swings, the daily calling and dropping by without even telling me, which made me exceedingly anxious (and, in her defense, would make me anxious no matter WHO it was, not just her) and the somewhat snide, underhanded remarks.

Here was a nearly 60 year old woman telling me “you need to find me a place to live” and generally wanting me to fix her entire life when I, a moderately autistic young woman, can barely keep my OWN life together on a day to day basis, especially at that point in time when we were in constant fear of being evicted because our landlady was ALSO somewhat psychotic. But, all that said, we managed and I continued to put up with her, and we’d fight and scream every now and then at one another, but eventually we started talking again after a week or so and things resumed as normal until another screaming match occurred. Keep in mind, these screaming matches aren’t like something a kid and a parent would (or SHOULD, for that matter) have. She’d show up, she’d get me riled up over something, then she would leave, knowing I would break something in anger or hurt myself because of what had just happened and spend the rest of the day in a terrible mood.

This wasn’t random. This was calculated planning. She KNEW what she was doing. And why do I say this? Because she’d done this for years before, just not in such an obvious manner. See, the thing about people like this, who do things like this, is eventually they get sloppy. For a long time, especially when doing it around other people, they’ll be cautious, they’ll make themselves seem like the victim, but then they’ll just stop caring and do it anyway, because fuck the consequences. Eventually, they just stop caring about doing it well and just keep doing it because they don’t know how to function otherwise. And here’s the kicker: people her age, other people, expect their children to take it and accept it and say ‘it’s just who they are’ or ‘they’re my parents, I have to deal with it’ or ‘I really need to help them’ when in reality…IT IS NOT ANY OF OUR FUCKING BUSINESS AND THEY ARE OWED NOTHING FROM US.

I told myself this for years. It was the only way to keep myself sane in a continually abusive household growing up, and I told myself “I don’t have to love these people, I don’t owe them anything for doing the bare minimum of child rearing”, and everyone told me how wrong that was. Now? Now I see everybody say that. It sort of helps, seeing my peers vindicate me now, but I wish someone had backed me up back then too. Maybe things would’ve been different.

Eventually, my mother kept blaming all her failings on me and my girlfriend, and tried to move out of the state of Texas two times before coming back because she just can’t not have control over me. Then, our landlady finally decided, and for good reason because she shouldn’t be a landlord, to sell the property we were living in. I turned to the only person I knew could help get my girlfriend and I out of there. My mother. So, my mother rented a moving truck and my girlfriend rode with her while I rode with another friend, and all together we drove back to New Mexico, to my girlfriends parents place. My mother continued to tell me things like “You need to stay with me in a hotel because I can’t be alone” and “You need to help me whenever I need it” and while I agreed to help her, because she’d helped us under the guise of kindheartedness but really because she craves total control, she kept insisting that I drop everything everyday and devote all my spare time to fixing her life.

And then, about a week or so into being back here, her car disappeared from the hotel she was staying out. She wouldn’t answer her cell phone. Suddenly, she was just gone. A few days ago, my girlfriends mother asked the hotel manager, whom she’s friends with, what happened to the woman staying there, and they told her she’d just up and left. She still hasn’t called. She still won’t answer. She just left.

And this is where I feel conflicted. One part of me is relieved. Thank god, now I can get back to my work and my life and not be stressed. And yet…and yet there’s a huge gaping hole inside of me. People KEEP leaving. People who insist they want to fix things. People I SHOULDN’T be hurt by anymore because I should be so used to being hurt by them by now. But they still manage to do it. It makes sense why I have trouble believing anyone committing to me or sticking around, because my family was so broken for so long, and then everytime they say they want to fix things, they STILL. JUST. LEAVE. The thing is, it isn’t so much, I’ve realized, the fact that she just up and left without telling me that hurts. It’s more the hope I keep having that somehow things will be fixed. Somehow my mother, my whole family, will suddenly come to their senses, get back together and everyone will be happy and loved. When you grow up without feeling connected to the people you’re related to, the world is a fucking cold and empty place, no matter how many people you replace them with.

Friends? Lovers? Doesn’t matter. They ease the pain, but it’s still there. I appreciate them, but they aren’t the same. I don’t have parents. I just have severely broken people who demand I fix them when I can’t even fix myself. I’m what I’ve come to call a Living Orphan. My parents aren’t dead, but they aren’t here, nor were they ever, really, and it hurts so fucking much every single day.

But what hurts even more is knowing how sick she is. There’s something wrong with her, and I know this, and I can’t tell her because she’ll deny it so it can’t get fixed. Now and then, when we were in Texas, and she did something even remotely nice, like bring a pizza over for dinner, she’d sit and smile at me and she’d say “Aren’t I the best mother ever?” and I’d just smile back and nod, while inside my heart is breaking because she believes that, and she so badly wants it to be true. She really thinks she’s the best mom ever. And I so badly want her to be that when she asks, I just tell her yes, and we sit there.

In silence.

Lying and unaware.

Eating pizza.

And sometimes it hits me that that’s the best things will ever get, and it’s time I just moved on.

Buy My Book!  Support Me Via Patreon!  Visit My Online Store!

I’m Maggie. If you like this thing I made, you might like some other things I’ve done, like my 2015 novel “You Ruined Everything”, my podcast network “The Feel Bad Network” or my feed over at Ello. You can also find some published work for sale over at my Payhip , buy prints/stickers and more at my online store on Big Cartel, or support my work at my Patreon! Anything helps & is appreciated, thanks!