Monday, May 16, 2022



Hello Invisible Audience,


Today I want to talk about what I call Shittyversaries.


I know, I know—I’ve been doing a lot of swearing in my posts lately, but you know what? Sometimes the best way to describe something is to include a swear word, and in this case specifically I think it fits.


Shittyversary is the name for something I think most of us have but few people talk about: dates of crappy things that have happened to us that make us sad or angry and or just all feely. These include—but are not limited to—death anniversaries of loved ones; dates of accidents that changed our lives forever; dates of miscarriages and other equally bad news.


Shittyversaries can also include dates that remind us of things, too, even if they weren’t always shitty. Since I broke off contact with my parents, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, my parents’ birthdays and their anniversaries also fall into this category. 


It’s not often talked about, but the truth of the matter—so far as I have experienced it, anyway—is that even the best decisions we make for ourselves do not always leave us feeling irrevocably 100 percent happy. Even though I know it was the right decision to cut off contact with my parents—a decision backed up by every therapist I’ve had since—it does not change the fact that I grieve the ways my reality is different from other people’s that I know. 


I have two friends who send me messages on Mother’s Day and Father’s Day telling me that they’re thinking about me, and it means a lot. One friend reaches out to me on the anniversary of the last conversation I had with my parents for the same reason. In turn, I have friends whose parents or spouses have died; who have had shitty things happen to them whose dates I have put into my calendar so I can let them know that I’m thinking of them on that date. 


To be honest, Invisible Audience, it feels more important than remembering their birthdays. Most social media platforms have an option to share your birthday; none of them have the option of sharing a shittyversary with the world. And let’s be honest—it doesn’t always feel good to announce to the world that you’re feeling down on any given day, let alone on a day when everyone else seems to be celebrating the relationships they have with their parents. It just feels important to acknowledge the underside of the beast—the part of us that mourns loss annually just as we celebrate annually—a way to acknowledge both sides of the coin that makes us human. 


There’s another reason why I think this is important. Even if I try not to acknowledge a shittyversary, my body knows it’s happening anyway. I will be merrily skipping along, going through my day-to-day activities, and over several days I will start to feel myself plummet into either irritability or weepiness. I will be tired, withdrawn, and starting to reach for my coping mechanisms. Then I’ll have a thought and look at a calendar, and there it will be: a date slowly approaching like a stalking predator that I cannot avoid or outrun. It is infinitely better when I look that predator in the eye and acknowledge it. It doesn’t make it hurt less, but at least then I know why it hurts as much as it does, and I can plan accordingly.


Sometimes these shittyversaries fade with time. Sometimes they don’t. I think that’s beside the point. Our culture is so steeped in positive thinking sometimes—and so scared of acknowledging the reality of death—that I think we forget how much is known about how naming a thing can reduce its power over us; how honoring a shittyversary can make it less shitty. For us, and for others.


Love and shittyversaries,



 P.S. Do you have a shittyversary you wish someone would remember for you? Shoot me a message (morganfraser444 at gmail) and I'll put it on my calendar to reach out to you on that day.

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