In A Pinch, Humor Can Provide Some Much Needed Therapy
There are two quotes by Erma Bombeck, the great humor writer, that resonate with me after my dark days experience:
- “Laughter rises out of tragedy when you need it most and rewards you for your courage.” and
- “There is a thin line that separates laughter and pain, comedy and tragedy, humor and hurt.”
I lost my health insurance early in the game, so I had no choice but to make my way through my trauma recovery flying solo with no way to access and pay for professional counseling. Therefore, I had to do what I could do on my own to ‘therapize’ myself. I used the internet, other people’s blogs, Barnes & Noble, Audible.Com, and YouTube.
I’ll leave it at this: there are many voices out there claiming to be ‘experts’ on the subject of narcissistic abuse in relationships—some good, some not so good. But that’s a whole different essay subject.
What Is That On Your IPad?
As I sought to heal my own wounds, not only did I write countless essays and journal ad nauseam, but once I got my humor back I made hundreds of parody videos poking fun at my ex and my various detractors. I posted them on YouTube under many a pseudonym.
I would find songs with pertinent lyrics, add beautiful still images, and time the image transitions to coincide with lyrics at just the right moment to drive home the zingers—all from the comfort of my car.
That’s because I was essentially homeless. By ‘essentially’ homeless, I mean that I had no residence of my own. I was, however, able to sleep at friends and relatives’ homes at night. But not wanting to be in their way [and in order to allow them to have privacy and uninterrupted family time], I generally didn’t slip in until after 10PM—at which point I would take my shower and go directly to bed.
I would then be up/out in the morning. I would sit in my car in a rotation of safe shopping center parking lots around from sun up to sun down. Other times, I would loiter at various Panera Bread locations until they closed. Because I still had a laptop and an IPad, I just appeared to be studying or working on some type of project.
Creativity To Go
I was very fortunate in that I had an unlimited data plan grandfathered-in on my wifi-enabled IPad. So, with that, even when existing as a transient confined to my car day in and day out, I had everything I needed to blog. Everything I needed to make videos wherever I happened to be.
In other words, I had Word Press, my ITunes library, IMovie, and access online stock photos apps—all right there on my IPad.
In a three year period of having no purpose and nothing but time on my hands, I made over 200 parody and serious videos. I wrote twice that many essays and posted them online.
My emotions were still really raw at the time, so the majority of my videos were targeted directly at my absconded ex husband. Some of the more in-your-face ones were of songs like ‘Exes and Ohs’ by Elle King [still on the internet] … ‘He’s Just A Gigolo’ by David Lee Roth [long since deleted] … and ‘For The Love Of Money‘ by The O’Jays.
Caustic ones aimed at my workplace frenemies were videos that I did of songs like: ‘Backstabbers’ by The O’Jays and ‘Smiling Faces’ by The Undisputed Truth. Predictable.
Anger With A Happy Face
The impish SNL skit writer that lived deep inside me helped me find a great deal of relief through those creative dalliances. Meanwhile, my remaining [true] friends repeatedly goaded me on, perpetually asking: “When are you going to get angry?! When are you going to fight back?!”
The answer to that question was that I simply couldn’t.
I couldn’t because I was unmeasurably offended—stalled in the hurt stage and unable to move on to the much needed stage of anger. It was as if I had become stuck in a circular reference in Excel. I persistently asked ‘How could he/she/they do this to me?’
The anger of my true friends was understandable. They’d suffered right along with me during this long drawn out ordeal and wanted to recoup their investment. They wanted [and still want] so badly to see someone [anyone!] exact a pound of flesh from my ex, the other woman, my old bosses and underlings, and the many flying monkeys.
They—like me–soon realized that my writing of snarky essays and my doing parody videos making fun of all those people WAS my anger slowly working it’s way to the surface. For lack of a better way to put it, I had corked my anger and covered it over with cement. I had to wait until I found [what I deemed to be] a socially-acceptable way to vent it. But I finally did. It was humor.