I am having a complete identity crisis.
As revealed earlier today (in a private tele convo, so you are just hearing about it now, unless it was you I was speaking to), I could hardly tell when I was having fun in a situation until I was probably 30. This factoid might enlighten you as a precursor to my current crisis.
I am calling it a crisis, because defining/redefining myself is having a HUGE impact on my ability to function. Wait, maybe that’s the indicator for needing professional intervention. Anywho, it is what I am currently experiencing.
I am unemployed
I am existing solely as a caretaker for my son
I do not have a profitable passion
I am not sure that I have any passion
I am not even sure if I like the tea that I am drinking
And now, after a few weeks of Twitter silence, the Pakistanis have returned to insult me.
Not really me, of course, because they do not know me. They think I am some old male controversial Pakistani political celebrity elder statesman kind of person.
I have been ignoring them for months.
Typically what happens is that a Pakistani tweets something ‘@’ ing me, thinking they are connecting with the politician man. Then someone else retweets, someone else adds comments and retweets, and their friends retweet and their friends retweet and so on. For a few years, I would even be tweeted by news outlets as if I were this Pakistani man of political influence.
Yes, this has been going on for years.
Yes, I know that I can change my twitter handle.
Are you still with me?
For a long time, I used these ‘@’ tweets as my own personal entertainment. Not to mock the feelings of the people tweeting their passionate political views, but more so to challenge myself to find tongue-in-cheek ways of responding that I clearly am not the person the tweet is intended for.
I would reply to the individuals who started the threads, and enlighten them that they were tweeting the wrong person on the wrong continent/time zone/interest level etc.
Then Brooke Shields did that Funny or Die with “Check yourself before you wreck yourself.” I added that as a hashtag to most of my replies when I was mistweeted (poor mistweeted me!).
For example (handles changed to generic @soandso’s for them, and @me for me – words otherwise copied exactly as tweeted)
A Pakistani tweets:
@soandso @soandso @soandso He @soandso has also started rat race of inducting men loyal to him rather then party like @me
@soandso @soandso @ soandso @soandso it’s MY party and I can cry if I want to #wrongsoandso #checkyourself #beesrbuzzin
If the ‘@’ tweets turned scary or inappropriate, I carefully went through the threads and blocked the tweeters. Sometimes this would take me days (500+ re-tweets).
After a few years, there was a tipping point where it seemed like most people recognized that I am clearly not a controversial Pakistani elder statesman.
One time, maybe three years ago, some men that I corrected in a mistweeted thread, even sent me notes back with some Insha’Allah’s, and a prayer.
On a few occasions I have included women’s advocacy links in my responses – where it seemed appropriate.
My family are all terrified that I am now on some government watch list. Whatevs. Maybe they can figure out who I am and report back.
A very few times on twitter, I have also been mistaken for a Canadian museum society. Unfortunately, I do not speak or read French, so my potentially amusing responses really failed here.
The point is, I do not know what the hell I am doing.
I am not even clear on who I am.
Obviously, though, I am not a Pakistani elder statesman or a Canadian museum society. So there’s that then.
THIS is what PTSD does. This is what abuse does.
Take good care of yourself and your neighbors.
Love, Ms. Herisme xo