Featured
Posted in Uncategorized

Introducing “Alice Tortoise”

My name is Alice, and this is my blog, “Alice in Blunderland”. I will be posting about a large variety of subjects, including but not limited to mental illness, fandoms, recipes, puns, life skills, funny stories, recovery, and my journey on this crazy adventure of life.

Why “Alice Tortoise”?

While tortoises are fantastic and adorable, it is not through an affinity for the creatures that I chose my name. It is actually a mix between of a pun and a play-on-words. In the original Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll, the Mock Turtle is telling Alice a story:

‘Once,’ said the Mock Turtle at last, with a deep sigh, ‘I was a real Turtle.’

These words were followed by a very long silence, broken only by an occasional exclamation of ‘Hjckrrh!’ from the Gryphon, and the constant heavy sobbing of the Mock Turtle. Alice was very nearly getting up and saying, ‘Thank you, sir, for your interesting story,’ but she could not help thinking there must be more to come, so she sat still and said nothing.

‘When we were little,’ the Mock Turtle went on at last, more calmly, though still sobbing a little now and then, ‘we went to school in the sea. The master was an old Turtle — we used to call him Tortoise — ‘

‘Why did you call him Tortoise, if he wasn’t one?’ Alice asked.

‘We called him Tortoise because he taught us,’ said the Mock Turtle angrily: ‘really you are very dull!’

(In Lewis Carroll’s dialect, “Tortoise” and “taught us” are pronounced the same)

I thought it fitting, as my posts should always teach you something new, change your point of view, or inspire you!

I am a pansexual punderful pundit, a friendly fandom fanatic, and an Aspie with an affinity for alliteration.

I am Alice Tortoise, and welcome to my blog!

Advertisements
Posted in Mental Illness In General, Recovery

Anorexia Part 1

TRIGGER WARNINGS: Eating disordered behaviors, anorexia

 

Anorexia part 1

 

A trained gymnast

Walking a tightrope for my entire life

The line between functionally ill and dysfunctionally ill

Is a thin one

 

A ballerina

Shrinking myself to be delicate, small, graceful,

Easily lifted

Still easily shattered

 

A cheerleader

The flyers were told to lose pounds of themselves

So that they could be tossed and flipped

That much more easily

But after the season their final performance

Was being tossed

To the side

 

A dancer

Spinning, spinning, spinning,

Never becoming dizzy

But i am dizzy

Today

Yesterday

Circles and spirals

Are not the same

 

Her

Strong, confident, kind, funny

My best friend

She is bigger and stronger than me

She does not break easily

She does not spin or shrink or walk or throw

But she

Is more beautiful

Than i

I

I know how to hurt myself

So that others might benefit

But she

She

She knows how to love herself

For both her benefit, and others too

I don’t know how to learn that

I’m scared

I know how to shatter

I don’t know how to mend

I don’t know how to exist

I’m scared

I’m scared

I’m

I’m

I

Teach me

Posted in Abuse, Mental Illness In General

Momma Taught Me

TRIGGER WARNING: Severe physical/emotional abuse, eating disordered behaviors, attempted murder, sexual assault, sexual abuse, body image, fatphobia, food restriction, exercise addiction, dieting, medical abuse, withholding of medication, medical gore description

.

.

.

.

.

.

Momma taught me to hate.

Momma taught me to hate myself from the moment I was born

Not wanted

Accident

Burden

I cost too much to feed

So my sisters taught me not to eat three meals a day

And if I did

Throw up

To teach me better

Momma told me it was okay

Momma told me they were right

They tried to hang me, drown me, stone me

Each time failed

Momma did nothing

One day a misspoken word at school within earshot of a teacher

Questions

Adults I don’t know asking me so many questions

Momma had to move out with my oldest sister

Her momma and her momma’s husband kept me and my other sister

Momma went away for awhile

One day there’s a letter in the mail, an invitation

Momma’s getting married

She wants us to be flower girls

Momma wants me again

For a day

To show me off

But I take it

Momma fights for custody of us again

Momma tells me I ruined it the last time

Momma tells me not to tell anyone what her husband does to me

Momma says it’s a secret

Momma says I’ll break the family apart again

Momma says I ruined her body

Momma says I made her fat

I made her boobs sag

I gave her stretch marks

I gave her acne

Momma says I made her ugly

Momma says she is jealous of my body

I hit puberty

Momma says I’m getting fat

My stomach pokes out a little now, under the belly button

Momma makes me wear loose clothing

She makes me hide it

Momma says I’m bigger than I think I am

Momma says I eat too much

I start tying a scarf around my waist

Tight tight tight to stop the growing

It hurts it leaves red marks that turn into bruises that turn into welts

I can’t tie it at the same tightness anymore I still grew

Momma tells me she loves me as she ties it for me

Tight tight tight

Momma said we needed to spend time together

We watched “The Biggest Loser” and she told me what exercises I needed to do

She told me I couldn’t eat certain things to lose weight

One week it’s dairy, the next it’s candy, the next it’s mac and cheese

I kept growing and none of her diets for me worked

I had to take medication

Momma said people use that medication to lose weight

Momma said I didn’t really need the medication

Momma wouldn’t let me take my medication

I couldn’t eat anything after a day

I couldn’t drink anything either on the next

I was throwing up and I couldn’t stand by the third

Momma had to take me to the hospital and I was given my meds

I could have died

Momma still didn’t believe I really needed it

Momma said if I was stronger my sisters couldn’t beat me anymore

Momma said to work out more

Maybe if I’m strong enough I’ll be good enough

Momma taught me that it was my fault

Momma said I antagonized her stepdad to make sexual comments to me

Momma said I was too sexy

Momma said it was my fault my boyfriend hurt me

Momma said I was the abusive one

Momma taught me to hate myself

Momma taught me to never smile

Momma taught me to starve myself

Momma taught me to work out to the point of hurting myself

I was in a fight once

Only once

My ribs were broken

Up and down either side I could run my fingers between the bones

Momma said I was faking it

Momma said if I didn’t work out I would get weak

I made myself work out every day still

Momma taught me to

Sometimes I passed out

Once I spat up blood

Momma said it was okay

Momma said I was faking it

Momma taught me to ignore my pain

Momma taught me to ignore my body’s warning signs

Momma taught me to have an eating disorder

Posted in Abuse, Mental Illness In General

When Mothers Teach Hate

TRIGGER WARNING: Abuse, sexual abuse, medical abuse, eating disordered behaviors, su*cide, attempted murder

.

.

.

.

.

Mothers

Depicted as graceful, compassionate, loving, forgiving

Mine was malicious, jealous, manipulative

When other mommas were stringing candy heart necklaces around their little girls’ necks

Mine was walking out of the room as my sisters tied a noose around mine

When other mommas were packing lunches for their daughter’s first day of school

Mine was teaching me to throw mine up without making a mess

When other mommas would remind their daughters to take their medicine

Mine withheld mine from me until I had to be hospitalized

When other mommas tied a bow on their daughter’s dresses

Mine knotted a scarf around my waist to keep me from getting “fat”

When other mommas watched Twilight with their daughters

Mine made me watch The Biggest Loser

When other mommas taught their daughters consent

Mine made me hide her husband’s sexual abuse of me

When other mommas taught their daughters how to eat

Mine taught me how to starve myself

When other mommas kissed bruises

Mine explained them away

When other mommas taught love

Mine taught hate

When other mommas created life

Mine took my desire to live

Posted in Asperger's/Autism Spectrum Disorder

“Aspie”

An explanation of the term, and why you need permission from the person to use it.

 

Hello, for those who don’t know me, I’m Alice Tortoise.

I’m Autistic.

I was diagnosed with Asperger’s, but it’s actually on the Autism Spectrum now, and is what we call a “functioning” label.

Functioning labels are offensive to the majority of the Autism community, btw.

I don’t have Asperger’s, I’m Autistic. The difference is the mentality. Functioning labels created a sort of division in the Autism community, and in society itself. Sometimes people with the diagnosis of Asperger’s thought they were “better” than people diagnosed with regular Autism. They thought it was better to be able to pass as neurotypical. Because disabilities like Autism are stigmatized.

People think that Autistic people are

Stupid (which is a slur btw)

Violent

Rude

Spoiled

Immature

Dependent

Incapable of making their own decisions

 

But we aren’t. We aren’t any of those things. Some people’s symptoms can be extreme to the point where they are dependent on a caregiver, but that doesn’t make them any less people.

 

People with Autism are

Intelligent

Capable

Compassionate

Loving

 

The distinguishing between Asperger’s and Autism is pointless, and, well, ableist. It ignores that Autism is a spectrum, and that someone who would have been seen as “high functioning” won’t be because they are nonverbal, and things like that. Functioning labels are seen as very ableist. We do not exist to hide ourselves and pretend to be neurotypical.

Now, for the term “Aspie”. “Aspie” is a term used to identify people on the Autism spectrum, especially those who were diagnosed with Asperger’s. It is a community term, so it is not seen as ableist as “Asperger’s” (which would be a label put on them by a doctor who most likely is not on the spectrum). Some people self-identify as Aspie’s. The difference is that it is a self-given label, not a label from someone else. This is important to point out, because this also means that it is not okay to call someone that, even if you know they were diagnosed with Asperger’s, because it is a term for them to use. If someone self identifies as an “Aspie”, they still might not want others to call them that. It is a very personal term. And it is inappropriate to ask to call them that, just like it would be inappropriate to give someone a nickname that they didn’t like. You don’t pressure someone to let you call them that.

If the person gives you specific permission to call them an Aspie, that is when it is okay to call them that. But it is not used to talk about them, especially to strangers. It is not a substitute for their diagnosis, it is more like an adjective. So you wouldn’t post or say “my friend/sister/kid is an Aspie”. They aren’t an Aspie. They’re Autistic. It is more something you can use when talking to the person themself. For instance, if you two are talking, and your friend says “The color orange really hurts my eyes”, you could ask “Is that an Aspie thing?”. It is really only used with them, and not used to identify them to others.

It can be confusing, especially when you aren’t on the spectrum, but if there is a question about whether or not you can call someone an Aspie, the answer is probably no.

Anniversary Post

Today is the 1 year anniversary of my blog’s creation! In the past year, this blog has had:

1,815 views

1,332 visitors

25 posts (about one every two weeks statistically, but it was more like one every few days last summer and one every few weeks/months during the school year)

I’m gonna post a check in (hopefully today) where I’m gonna let you guys know where I’m at with mental stuff, as well as disclose some new information to you guys. I feel it’s only fair that I’m honest with you about my struggles. I don’t want people to come here and think that I’m one of those hyper-positive “think positive to cure your illness” bloggers. No. I have more energy when I’m doing better, and I’m more able to type out posts that make sense. That doesn’t mean I never have relapses or spirals. It doesn’t mean that is where my normal functioning is. I want to be open and vulnerable to you guys, be honest about my experiences so I don’t alienate people who need to hear them. I want to speak my story to you guys, my entire story, not just the parts I can put a positive spin on. Life is messy. Mental illness is exhausting, and it’s messy too. So I want to be honest. Totally honest. I want to help you guys answer the questions that run through your minds when you’re in that dark place, because they run through mine too.

I wanted to thank all of you guys, not only for putting up with my puns, but for coming to hear what I have to say, and even for sharing it with your friends.

I appreciate all of you!

– Alice Tortoise

Posted in Abuse, Mental Illness In General, Recovery

To Those Who Bullied Me Last Year

TRIGGER WARNINGS: Abuse, bullying, victim blaming, gaslighting, suicide, self-harm, emotional abuse

 

 

I stepped onto campus with a bigger smile in my heart than on my face.

I was free.

I grew up in an eternally abusive situation. It was all I had ever known.

I wanted to run away since I was six. I decided to stay, to wait it out, to do well in school and get into a good college. Once I escaped to college, I would never come back. I would be free. I would be able to make something of myself. I knew I was smart enough. But was I strong enough?

Staying in an abusive situation has nothing to do with strength. I had that wrong. I have my own preoccupation and disordered thinking about strength, but that’s for another post.

I grew up facing every kind of abuse that exists. Verbal. Emotional. Physical. Sexual. Economic.

I had no self esteem. I’d never been allowed to develop it.

One of my favorite days is the day that I received my acceptance letter to both my top colleges. I told myself I would soon be free. I had counted down the days since I was a kid, rough estimates of course, since at eight years old I couldn’t possibly know the move-in date.

I arrived to move-in with very little. But I felt like I had everything. I had my freedom. I had my room keys. I had my future. And I could leave my past behind, right?

Wrong.

18 years of constant abuse will have an effect on mental health. Most people experience the fight/flight response for a few seconds to a few hours. I was in it for eighteen years. This suppressed my symptoms for the most part.

Soon after arriving to college, I started to feel safe. I let my guard down, little by little. My symptoms began to show themselves. I have more mental illnesses than I do fingers. I started having panic attacks where I would hyperventilate until I passed out. I had nightmares every single night, waking from them constantly, waking at 2 am sweating and shaking until the panic attack overtook me enough that I passed out. I didn’t understand living in a dorm. I was raised in a house where toilet paper was rationed out, where doors could not be locked, where privacy did not exist. This misunderstanding of social norms and acceptable behavior cause a lot of issues with my hallmates.

It did not go well.

Doors began to be shut and locked when I walked down the hall. The bathroom would empty when I walked in. No one would talk to me. No one would even look at me. I didn’t understand why.

I had mentioned at the first hall meeting, on the first night, that I had Autism. I said that I didn’t understand social norms. That if I did something wrong or inappropriate, to tell me what I did, how it came across, and what to do next time. Yelling will trigger me, as will being mean about it. But people thought it was on purpose. People said later that they had tried to talk to me about it but that I would roll my eyes at them. I don’t remember any conversations like that, but if it was vague at all, I would not have realized what they meant anyway. I can’t control my facial expressions very well, and if I rolled my eyes, I didn’t even realize it.

Later people said it was because they didn’t want to have a conflict or confrontation. But what they did instead was bully me.

I’m still hearing things about it, over a year later. That so-and-so thought I looked like a cancer patient after I buzzed my hair. That someone else thought I was faking the panic attacks. That such-and-such thought I talked about the abuse too much. That I needed to get over myself.

These people don’t understand what they did to me. I moved out of the dorm because of how toxic the environment became. I moved out of the dorm to escape their glares and their silences and their locked doors. I moved out of the dorm because they made me want to die. And I did. I wanted to die.

I had two friends on that hall. My roommate, and a friend who is now a best friend, who still supports and helps me to this day. They kept me alive, and they didn’t even know. My roommate had no clue that it was that bad, that my main reason to stay was the fear of having her be the one to find me. I’ve been the one to find a friend before. I could never do that to her. She and my best friend gave me hope, supported me, let me talk out the abuse and unravel and made me feel safe.

The night I moved into my new dorm, they helped me. I was having a very bad panic attack, due to my nightlights not being bright enough, and the darkness triggering me. At one point, I was barely conscious, my former roommate was sitting on the bed with me holding me to her and stroking my hair. I couldn’t move or speak yet, they didn’t know I could hear them. But I heard them. She was saying that she was worried about me rooming by myself, that she didn’t know if I would be safe, that I might get worse.

I’ve never felt so loved.

I made a promise to a friend of mine a long time ago. I promised to her that I would never ever ever take my own life. I intend to keep that promise. And I reaffirmed that promise that night, as I half-sat and half-lay against my roommate’s torso, feeling her breathing and the vibration of her speaking, as my best friend ran to her room to get a nightlight for me to use until I could buy another. I could never take my life. I could never make these people grieve for me. I could never put them through what I’ve been through.

To the people on my hall last year, who bullied and outcast me to the point of me wanting to take my life, I forgive you. I get that we were all stressed out. I get that you didn’t understand that I didn’t understand. You weren’t trained to deal with someone like me. But you should make an effort to learn. You aren’t bad people, but what you did was wrong, and how you dealt with the conflict was very wrong. You hurt me. What you did was not okay. Please learn from it.

To my friends who continue to support me and love me, I love you guys. I love you guys so so much. You saved my life without even knowing it. You make me feel safe and supported and have helped me through so much. You help me get through the bad days and laugh with me on the good ones. You work constantly to be wary of my triggers, to better understand me, to make sure I am safe. You spent countless hours comforting me during panic attacks. You taught me how to trust. You showed me what love is. You protect me when I need it, and support me when I can fight the battle myself. I came with a lot of emotional baggage, and you’ve continued to help me unload it, to throw out what doesn’t serve me, to help me carry what I can’t process yet. I love you so so much.

Posted in Mental Illness In General, Recovery

Worthless: A Slam Poem

TRIGGER WARNINGS: Abuse, Transphobia, Racism, Anxiety, Depression, Self-hate

 

Worthless

 

When did you decide you were worthless?
You used to be young, and full of hope.
No matter the landscape of your childhood, you hoped.
Poor kids hoped for a day where they didn’t struggle with poverty.
Trans kids hoped for a day where their body would reflect who they really were.
Kids of color hoped for a day when they would be treated equally, when the color of their skin wouldn’t ever matter, wouldn’t put them at higher risk.
Kids in abusive homes hoped for a day when they would be rescued, when the pain would stop and they would be showed love and mercy.
Kids struggling with mental illness or physical illness hoped for their symptoms to become more manageable.
Who washed away all that hope?
Was it one single incident?
Or was it many, many incidents, building on you like chains, choking the breath out of your lungs and your throat like a poison, ripping the hope out of you bit by bit until you were afraid to hope, afraid to dream, afraid that the darkness would seek it out too and that you would be left with nothing?
Now, we are scared to hope.
We are scared to dream.
We burrow our secret hopes and dreams, we shove them into the old dusty cabinets of our minds and pray that the dust settles before the darkness comes back and finds the hiding place
We glance at the cabinet from time to time, we know what is in there, but we dare not to betray our own secrets
When the darkness goes away for a while, we sometimes work up the courage to open the cabinets and gaze upon the hopes and the dreams, only to shut them away again.
Unrealistic
Unrealistic
Unrealistic
we say to ourselves
We dare not to hope and without hope our dreams seem like kingdoms in the sky, magical, mythical, and out of our reach.
When you enter recovery for any kind of disorder or trauma, you start to realize things, and remember things.
You remember the words that attached the chain, link by link.
You remember the bullies
You remember small things that made big differences
Small things can make big differences
Small things can change anything, everything, with the right timing
Those things your brain says to you, those hurtful, terrible, awful things,
They aren’t true.
We live in the world of technology, hurtful things can be said to us through text, in a post, in a chatroom
There is not always a voice with the message
So when you read the message
the voice is your own
My sister sent me hate mail.
In one of the letters she said “your friends aren’t even your friends, they just pretend to be your friends because they pity you”
It wasn’t true
But I read it, she didn’t say it, so to my brain, I was saying:
“Your friends aren’t even your friends, they just pretend to be your friends because they pity you”
So now my brain tells me that, day in, day out, when my symptoms flare up, when I have a dispute with my friends, always
It doesn’t make it true. But I still believe it sometimes, when I’m hurt and vulnerable
So many little things, even just a single word, can add links to the chain, make you hate yourself
Look at each of your chains. Try to understand their origins, see if you can decipher what they say.
Would you say it to your younger self?
Would you say it to yourself if you were speaking to the version of you at three, four, five years old?
You have to know that those chains do not define you.
They are not who you are.
Maybe it was one person who shackled you with them.
Maybe it was many.
Maybe it was a book, or a movie, or a magazine, that made you think you were worth less than you are and worthless as a person.
They were wrong.
When did you decide they were right?
I swear that they were not right.
You are worth recovery. You are worth love. You are worth respect.
You are worth it.
Let yourself hope. Let yourself dream. And let yourself love your self.