xenologer: (always shine)
TW on this whole entry because I am sure there's gonna be a whole lot of ablist shit in here that not everybody needs to see me wade through and get over. Also .gif action is happening, which I am going to start trying to remember to warn for specifically.



Sometimes holding my shit together has its disadvantages. Sometimes I (briefly) envy the people who don't.



Most people have a limited amount of fucks to give. They give these fucks out through a process of triage: those in most dire need of fucks but who can potentially still be saved will get all the fucks. You don't want to drop off either end of that sweet spot in the middle, or no fucks for you. You're on your own.

It's worse to drop off the "you cannot be saved" end of other people's triage, so make no mistake that I'm aware of that. I'm not sitting there, though, and this is my personal journal for my personal bullshit, so I'm going to talk about where I do sit: the other end of other people's triage.

You see, if you hurt my feelings and hurt them terribly, I will probably not cry. Crying never got me shit. Crying made things worse.

If you are fucking up my life, I will probably not even raise my voice with you. Raising my voice has always gotten me dismissed as the bad guy and it's a bad tactical move that not everyone can afford to indulge in.

If I hate you for what you've done, I will get icy and I will get unkindly straightforward, but I also won't lash out at you. Some of us know where excusing that could take us, and whether you appreciate it or not we're doing you a solid.

So how the hell is anybody supposed to know I'm hurting? Surely those are the only ways that anyone on the planet has ever communicated their problems! They are the only human options! The problem with me is that I am not communicating my issues in a way that anybody else can possibly understand or take seriously, so really in a way this is my fault. I should cry more.



The secret to knowing what's going on with me is that if I can trust you or if I need you I will tell you, you patronizing fuckface, and if you don't believe me because surely nobody who is hurting could possibly hold it together to calmly explain that fact, then you must be fucking new here because that is what I do. If you're looking for an implosion, you will never see me hurting. If you're waiting for me to be a suicide risk before I am fucked up enough to hold your interest, I might as well give up on you now.

Anyone who wants to know how I am doing is just going to have to believe what I say when I say it. If I say I am having a difficult time, either inquire further or don't, but do not assume that I am fucking with you or do not know what I am talking about.

I'm proud of the fact that I err on the side of locking down entirely, because for some of us that has always been a fucking survival skill. If you haven't learned it, you wouldn't have survived my life. But you know what? If your only mechanism for seeking support or coping is to collapse loudly and destructively enough to slow down passing traffic, I wouldn't survive your life either, because not all of us can just do that. We are not wired that way, because that's not how we learned to survive.

Some of us had to keep our shit together and fight.



You know what you get when you can keep your shit together and fight? People are impressed by you and then walk away. You know what you get when you can stand and fight? You do it alone, while everybody leaves you to go help the helpless.

It's hard not to envy them at least some of the time.

I think the best thing I can do for me right now is to excise some of those people who will never stand by me until I am hanging off a cliff and there aren't any more appealingly-helpless damsels in line of sight. I should know by now that I'm not their type.

Odds are if you're reading this I am not talking about you. I have regular journal readers who have stood by me when I'm less than invincible, but have never walked away from me when they figured I was good to go it alone. I think having you is what has made it so clear to me that I can do better than I have been with my choice of confidantes. I'll leave them to their beloved catastrophes. They can wander from outbreak of drama to outbreak of drama and never realize that they're chasing it.

That life isn't for me, though.

Truth is, I'm awesome. Sometimes when you are awesome, people let you down and ignore you because they're pretty sure it won't slow you down. Sometimes, when people are a dick to you, it's a really backhanded asshole-flavored inconsiderate Bad Friend Compliment.

I need to work on considering it one. It's hard to do that without at least a little smugness creeping in, but I think I need to stop beating myself up about that. You know who's proud of their coping strategies and what it means they've survived? EVERYBODY WHO HAS EVER NEEDED ONE.

So you know what? I'll just do that. I had a boyfriend in high school who mistreated me, and even he knew what I was worth on some level. Early on in our courtship, when we were still writing each other long notes on pilfered legal pads and hiding them in the debate supply closet like it was our personal post office, he told me that I reminded him of the microbes that can survive in glaciers or the bottom of the ocean, places that seem by their very nature to be inimical to life and yet... there it is. There I am.

He was right. He tested that endurance, tested it sorely, but he was right.

That's the real reason I don't give up the stoicism in favor of collapses that will make people notice me for a moment. The real reason is that I might have it relatively easy now but I didn't always, and I am a tough bitch as a result. I am not going to give that up just because my friends are designed to see it as an opportunity to give me less. That's on them. I'm just over here being the person who survived my family. Friends like these didn't help me then, and they're not going to help me now.

Maybe I want them, but they're right. I don't need them; I don't need what they're giving away to other people. I have what I need.

A few random thoughts

Date: 2012-12-31 11:52 pm (UTC)From: [identity profile] admnaismith.livejournal.com

You really ARE Awesome. You ain't boasting on that point.

There's the whole "From each according to her ability; to each according to her need" thing. You can do much, and so much is demanded of you. Other people are more *visibly* needy than you, and so their needs are met first, and maybe people forget that you have needs, or they figure you'll live with your needs not met. It ain't fair. Sometimes it seems like withdrawing may be the only sane choice to get them to appreciate the importance of meeting your needs...but then, by the time they realize that Ashleys don't just grow on trees, maybe you don't feel like coming back to them any more.

It's also tempting to surrender to Teh Dramaz and throw fits to get your needs met, like other people do, because Squeaky Wheel and all that. Knowing you, you maybe have never done more than think about going there, because you wouldn't respect yourself if you did that. You haven't missed much. I *have* surrendered to that temptation from time to time, and when I have, it has never ended well, not once.

I'm reading The Meditations of Marcus Aurelius right now. It's the best of the stoic works, and I've found that it gives me comfort during times like this, sometimes only as a reminder that I'm not alone, other times with a pithy little saying that gives me what I need to keep going.

(hug)

Date: 2013-01-09 12:27 am (UTC)From: [identity profile] victustempestas.livejournal.com
Late to the party but:

So how the hell is anybody supposed to know I'm hurting? Surely those are the only ways that anyone on the planet has ever communicated their problems! They are the only human options! The problem with me is that I am not communicating my issues in a way that anybody else can possibly understand or take seriously, so really in a way this is my fault. I should cry more.


You have all my fucks and my feels for this point alone. I, too, am one of those people who just sucks it up and gets shit done. A point of contention I have had with friends in the past is that they say I won't let them help me, when it's not true. I just happen to be faster at coming up with my own solutions than anyone else and so by the time they try to come back to help I've already started to try and fix things. Rather than understanding that there's still room for them to help and offering me support they back off sheepishly and leave me to my stress and insanity because clearly, I've got it all under control.

You know what you get when you can keep your shit together and fight? People are impressed by you and then walk away. You know what you get when you can stand and fight? You do it alone, while everybody leaves you to go help the helpless.


Yeah... All of my feels.

Never change who you are, never sacrifice your strength. I still deal with resentment issues whenever I see things like movies (especially ones aimed at young girls and women) where a truly strong female character is ~changed~ over the course of the film to soften her and only then, when she allows Male Lead to save her, is she happy. I refuse to believe that sacrificing my self-sufficiency and ability to cope dooms me to loneliness and unhappiness, and I refuse to believe that it would likewise doom any other genuinely strong women.

Date: 2013-02-02 03:37 am (UTC)From: [identity profile] chasingtides.livejournal.com
ext_21906: (Default)
I just re-read this because it's immediately relevant. Thank you for it.

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