bathroom diaries don’t say much. they haven’t written much and they hardly share their stories. my bathroom diaries were never written on paper. i never had time for them in between the chops, cuts and drops of dealing drugs. my bathroom diaries were written into my body: my bones, muscles, heart, senses, instincts and my brain. trauma memories are re-embodied experiences. they are inscribed into the body to be re-lived. over and over again. bathroom diaries can tell it all.
bathroom diaries tell it all but i don’t want them to. i just want it to top. i don’t want to hear, see or feel the stories anymore. i finally got diagnosed with PTSD this year. along with persistent amphetamine psychosis. the doctor said my addiction has been remissioned after over 7 years of abstinence. i really thought all of these body memories would go away and pass through me.
its not just bathrooms. but also confined rooms. spaces that are secret and less travelled at night: stairwells, elevators, alleyways, cat walks, parking lots. the night fall silences these spaces. i’ve been confined to bathroom stalls to be robbed for drugs. i’ve been set-up in stairwells. i’ve survived two home invasions. i’ve had knives pulled on me, been in fights, knives against my throat. i remember an old time friend saying “this is the game of drugs. there are no rules and people do whatever the fuck they want to”. it’s actually the disruptions to the expected that re-animate the memories of my bathroom diaries the most.
the swift opening of that bathroom door as i’m about to enter is enough to startle me, to make me jump, to trigger memories of bathroom diaries. torturing trauma triggers traps, that trip traps, trip traps. i can’t help it. i get triggered. i am a survivor of violence. i am a survivor of a masculine terror, of a masculinity that i could never live up to. but i often question what i have survived if i live with trauma and if i continue to live in a world ruled by the terror of masculinity. is surviving having fear? of getting jumped, getting robbed, getting attacked. i don’t live in fear all the time but there are signals that trigger traps.
bathroom diaries tell a little bit of my reluctant relationship with trauma. accessible, barrier-free, single shitter, all gendered restrooms inhibit the re-telling of memorized stories from bathroom diaries. this space is a sanctuary for rest. will my bathroom diaries ever stop re-writing the story? i don’t know. someday, i just hope so.