I got my sense of humor from my problems…

It’s been awhile since I’ve shared anything I read on xojane but here’s a good read from the site. It’s an article about women with a good sense of humor being hilarious in their own way and not because they think like men.  The article even goes on to say women are funnier than men.
I don’t know if I agree that women are funnier than men (as opposed to just as funny) but women are pretty damn hilarious and not because we think like men.  There’s a part of the article where the author talks about going to see the Ellen show live and how charming and silly Ellen was, she even danced with the audience.  That really stuck with me because it reminded me of my favorite kind of humor; quirky and absurd humor, which made me think duh, of course, women are funny in our own way and maybe even funnier than men because we face so much adversity and many people develop a lot of character by overcoming adversity.  True, there are always exceptions and sometimes an individual’s trauma is so complex and hideous that the survivor loses her sense of self.  Still, I find that often in these situations, under the layers of trauma, there are wonderful, bright and super funny people.
I know this is true for me – I mean that my hardships have made me funnier, not that I’m bright and wonderful. I mean, I am but … haha jk.  Anyways, I’ve led a privileged and overall idyllic life but chronic stressors and perceived crises weave in and out of my bucolic Vermont childhood memories.  My childhood was beautiful and quaint and a key adult in my life was severely traumatized and had yet to truly process and heal from the trauma.  So for this person in my life, anything that didn’t go just so was a disaster.  This person in my life had experienced a sudden, devastating loss and as a result, exuded a vibe of constant impending doom that I internalized and became someone who feels constantly on the precipice of utter disaster.
As life went on, I experienced more stress; abusive relationships, news of rapes in my dorm or in my neighborhood that terrified me as I was convinced I’d be next (thanks to that core belief that the worst case scenario would happen to me), enduring something at age 22 that shook me to my core and of course and finally, being exposed secondhand to so much unimaginable trauma and violence in my work in the DV field.
There have been times in my life where I’ve had nightmares several times per week for months on end.  There have been times when my nightmares spilled into my day and flooded my mind with graphic images that had never happened to me but still felt so real they left me trembling and terrified.  I’ve spent months struggling to get out of bed and when I manage to get up all I want to do is escape reality and crawl back into bed, preferably in the fetal position.
But I’ve gotten through and carried on.  I have a good education, career, home and husband thanks to my upbringing in an upper middle class family and also thanks to the many ways I’ve learned to cope and learned to truly value life (my own and others).
Something that’s gotten me through all this is my sense of humor.  I wasn’t always funny and in fact I used to be quite awkward (and tbh, I still can be!).  But as years went on and I overcame stressor after stressor, I healed and came to see these traumas as part of my painful but sweet life experience.  And out of this emerged a strong, compassionate, cerebral, bold and hilarious person (if I do say so myself!). And yes I have plenty of areas for improvement too.  Who doesn’t?!
The thing is that for most of my life, I’ve found humor in life on a daily hourly basis.  I end a meeting about a stressful topic and people remark, “Wow, even after talking about all those awful things, you’re still able to smile” and I just keep on smiling, recognizing that life is a devastating, beautiful and ridiculous experience.
I laugh easily and I find almost everything hilarious.  But not rape jokes or any jokes told at the expense of others (though I do regularly poke fun at myself and I like to see this as a sign that I don’t take myself too seriously).  I’ve also found that hardships have made my mind sharp and given me the ability to think quickly on my feet.  And these traits translate nicely into witty humor.  I love laughing with others and making them laugh.  I know that my sense of humor may not be apparent on this blog because I’m talking so often about serious issues.  But I truly take pride in the fact that I laugh easily and at the end of the day, I can always see the beauty and comedy in life.
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