Telegram Ma'am Issue 14

Written by Maranda Elizabeth

This is an older zine that Erica recommended to me, and since I'm planning on reading the newer issues soon, I thought it might be useful to have my thoughts written down here as a reference for later.

Telegram Ma'am is an ongoing personal zine by a woman who feels that she communicates best by writing. I can definitely understand and relate to that. I'm a babbler on the telephone, if you can ever get me near one, and I have to feel very comfortable with you to open up in person.

My issues are not nearly as severe as those described here, however, as Maranda very frankly talks about her personal mental health issues and the troubles she has with doctors and their ilk as she tries explaining her issues. Professionals seem to think they know how to treat her before they've had to chance to hear her side of the story, a tale that appears all too frequently based on the people I know, both in real life and in their writings. It's like there's a mental health cookie cutter you need to fit into, and if your shape is not quite right, they'll make you fit anyway.

Reading this essay on her problems makes me feel like I want to reach out and help, which probably isn't any better than the reaction of the professionals. It does, however, show how sharp and personal the writing is in this zine. After reading it, especially the list of destructive actions she's taken over the years, you can't help but feel something--and maybe relate just a bit, too.

After finishing Telegram Ma'am 14, I definitely want to read more from Maranda and am glad Erica has more of her zines handy. If frank personal discussion is something you want to see in a personal zine, I'd definitely see about picking up an issue. 14 is probably unavailable, given the limited printing of zines, but you can find more recent issues at Click Clack Distro.