Visiting Sadness Is Fine, But I Don’t Live In It

There’s a fine line between wallowing in self-pity and working through things for art. Not everyone gets it.

Taru Anniina Liikanen

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Photo by Louis Galvez on Unsplash

For the past year, I’ve been writing a novel that has made me dig into some of my negative experiences with men.

The story I originally plotted started morphing into something personal over time. While it’s still a novel and the characters and plot are fictional, the book does now, in the editing stage, include events from my real life.

From attempted sexual assault to a toxic affair, I’ve been digging up and reconsidering feelings I had forgotten long ago, as well as events I had never considered relevant before now.

I’ve also been working on jokes about these topics. I’m finally ready to talk about them in public, without fear of people identifying others involved in the events or judging me. I just don’t care about it anymore.

What I didn’t expect, though, was that other memories in which men have been aggressive toward me started popping up.

And, more significantly, situations in which the good guys were nothing but a disappointment, when those who could have defended me did nothing, said nothing. Closed their eyes and ears instead of stepping up.

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Taru Anniina Liikanen

Stand-up comedian and recovering political ghostwriter. Finnish by birth, porteña at heart. Bad jokes frequent.