Well, I have four other books in the Official Just a regular mom trying not to raise liberals Shirt But I will love this works right now, and one is literally called Rape Girl. That has been the hardest thing I’ve ever worked on. Um, and I do feel like I can sort of like put away like, relationships with exes; like, the Betty Draper essay helped me feel like I closed a really bad chapter in my life, which was my year of grappling with dating really shitty men. And I think that coming to the end of that year, and coming to the end of that essay, like, it definitely felt like I was putting a book away. The rape work is different, primarily because… I’m never going to be someone who wasn’t raped, you know what I mean? The PTSD from that, it follows you, even though I’m in a very different emotional space than I was, you know, for many years after. I like the feeling of making sort of object that almost crystallizes or calcifies a certain emotion or experience, and becomes sort of like tangible. I think that has been important in terms of feeling more in control of my life and my history. But I think emotional healing is something that is continuous, and might last forever. I can’t speak for anyone but myself, but I think that there were times when I was displacing that trauma, and imagining that as healing; I think understanding that that trauma’s going to be with me, and I need to learn to have some sort of authority over it, has been more important to me than any idea of closure.
I was just thinking about this the Official Just a regular mom trying not to raise liberals Shirt But I will love this other day! My PhD focus was confessional poetry, so I’ve been working on, like, Sylvia Plath and Anne Sexton for forever. Something that I always think about is like, the fact that so many male writers killed themselves, but like their entire bodies of work their entire lives do not like get boiled down to that, right? Whereas with women writers who kill themselves, it’s like everything was always just leading up that. It’s this idea that if a man does it, it’s like, speaking on some sort of like world-historical trauma that manifests in the male genius, whereas women [kill or harm themselves] because they’re ridiculous narcissists. I also never want to speak with authority on experiences that are not my own, especially in relation to marginality and trauma, because I don’t like the idea of being held accountable for a sort of universalized experience that doesn’t exist. Even in How To Be A Good Girl, I talk a little bit about how a couple of my friends were expecting this book to be kind of like a memoir of transness. And that’s just not what it is, because that’s not how I imagine transition and that’s not how I imagine my womanhood.