Content Warning: PTSD, child abuse, sexual assault
After a long hiatus, I wanted to make a comic for the five year anniversary of the original launch. I kept trying to come up with a topic that was “worthy,” but in the end I went with the story I was motivated to tell on the day that I began telling it.
This weekend I went out to this same beach with these same kids and the same kite was flown. It helped me remember the trip I talked about in the comic about my affinity for Charlie Brown, so I thought I’d share this again.
Three years ago I posted what is likely the most important comic of this project so far. I did it to purge my demons, but also in the hopes that it would reach others who had also been assaulted and give them some comfort.
Since then I’ve heard from people both privately and publicly who have told me that my story helped them with theirs. That still overwhelms me. I don’t advocate that all Survivors tell their stories so publicly, but helping others where I can (in my work, in my group therapy sessions, in my presence on social media) has been a balm to the hurt that was done to me. You be safe first and foremost, but if you can safely tell your story and you feel so compelled, then know that it could be a help to someone out there who needs it. Someone who might be feeling alone and could use a stranger’s voice telling them that they aren’t.
And if you haven’t read this before or even if you have and just need the reminder: You’re not alone.
When you read yesterday’s Life and How to Live It daily comic (if you read yesterday’s Life and How to Live It daily comic), you read the last one.
The project itself isn’t dead. I’m not done writing about me, my family, my thoughts, my experiences, but I am done doing this in a daily format.
The reasons are varied, but the biggest are that I’m ready to do other things that I don’t have time for while keeping this daily format running and the simple truth that the end of 2016 into the beginning of 2017 was one of the most difficult periods of my life. It isn’t just that I became overwhelmed and got behind, it’s that something in the stress and the grief burned out whatever was driving me to do this daily and it became less a salve and more a duty.
One day, I just thought to myself, “What if I don’t do this anymore?” A weight fell from my shoulders and my whole body relaxed. At that moment, I knew I was done. I wrote and even made more comics than have been published, but I remembered that I wanted to do this for at least three years when I started it and decided to end it there. By not knowing that it was going to be the last comic at the time that I wrote it, I got to stay true to the random nature of this project, which felt right.
In the future, you can expect a return of something closer to the Monthly Comics that I did when this first began. Memories, experiences, rants, and maybe a biography or two. Think less American Elf and more American Splendor.
While I’m recharging my batteries, I’ll be acting as a custodian of the work that’s here. There are three full years of daily comics (over a thousand in all) and I know that there aren’t many of you who have read every single one of them. Maybe none. I’ll be taking care of the work I’ve made while I decide how best to add to it.
I look forward to making more comics for you and already have nonfiction and fiction plans in the works. I’m not done, I’m just ready for something new.