xenologer: (one)
Narrowing down my effective social circle for a while. The number of instances of people treating me like I am invulnerable because I won't collapse if they treat me like a mere human? It has reached a certain threshold. Beyond this threshold, I start removing these well-meaning fumbling moral infants so that their mistakes don't continue coming out of my hide.

Don't break commitments to me without doing me the basic courtesy of letting me know when those commitments are becoming burdensome to you BEFOREHAND. Don't use the fact that I keep my commitments against me. Don't use the fact that I have standards for my behavior to sacrifice me for the personal growth of your pieces of shit for friends and family. I am not your meatshield and I am not their scratching post.

I'm hesitant to assert my humanity because I don't identify particularly well with it, but please at least try to recall that I am a fellow sapient organism and have enough respect for yourself to apply the same standards of care and consideration to me that you apply to the delicate flailing baby glass flowers you call friends and family. It's been years since I treated myself as obligated to endure shitty treatment just because I can, so you can catch up to that or you can get the fuck out forever and lock yourself in a tiny box until you have learned how to be a member of a socially-oriented species.
xenologer: (Lisbeth)
Blunted affect is a motherfucker.

I am working to break out of this ossified shit that has kept me rigidly controlled so that I don't flip out and become a terrible person. There is a low ceiling on anything that implies or requires intimacy and I need to loosen up. That is a risk. I need to be willing to take the risk of loosening too far, of getting carried away by impulse.

Unfortunately, if I keep my emotions in a cooler to be sorted through and pulled out always according to my own mental rules, they are far away when I want them. They might be further away than I can reach.

So how is this for an experiment. People ignore my feelings and that I have them and that I have any needs, because I keep myself under careful control so I don't become a terrible person. What would happen if I just straight-up told people when they are being shit? What would happen if I just said what was on my mind? What if I spoke the language they speak? Can they take what they dish out? Is it really how they want things to go? What if I just fuckin' gave it to them?

People don't believe they've hurt me until I bleed in a bowl and pour it on them.

Fine.

Maybe then I will spend less energy protecting everyone else from my feelings and a little more energy actually getting to feel any of the good ones. Maybe other people can protect themselves from me for a fucking change. Those whose emotional equilibrium is only sustainable as long as nobody else hits them too hard with an awareness of hurting someone? They can just fucking crumble. I am done.
xenologer: (arggghh)
So a white lesbian couple was able and willing to spend a helluva lot of money through a sperm bank to create an infant that'd look like its parents. So they tried to do that. Only, and here's where the audience gasps, the baby came out black!

So naturally the sperm bank did screw up. Obviously! And this perfect baby is just what got people asking the right questions about the care this medical establishment was taking with patient autonomy and care. So okay. As long as the parents aren't really gross and racist about the fact that their daughter is Surprise Black, this should be the kind of thing that can end okay.

Except HAHAHA OF COURSE they are gonna be super racist.
In the suit, Cramblett lists some of the difficulties she faces in raising a mixed-race child, saying she's unwelcome in the "black neighborhood" she visits to have Payton's hair done, fears her intolerant and homophobic parents will not accept her daughter, and that it would be a hardship to relocate to a racially diverse community as therapists have suggested.


BOO FUCKING HOO holy crap.

The sperm bank made an appalling screwup that they should be penalized for. The fact that the parents already got a very expensive set of procedures refunded and the sperm bank effectively did them for free? That's a penalty. If they want to sue the sperm bank QUIETLY for the trauma and suffering of raising a mixed baby, I guess that's cool if they're gonna put it in the little girl's scholarship fund so that she at least gets some benefit out of it.

This whole "I am going to make a nationally-publicized stink about my Black Mistake Baby" thing? Hell no. The only thing here that they're going to be hard-pressed to keep from wounding this child is this thing right here they voluntarily did. They told the whole nation that their baby was made wrong, and that the girl's race is an integral part of her not being the child they wanted.

I don't get the vibe that the parents are making some kind of thoughtful argument about transracial parenting and its potentially-painful effects on a child whose parents aren't qualified to teach her how to survive as a different race than they are. They absolutely look like white people who had a knee-jerk freakout at having been given damaged goods.

I'd feel a lot better about these two if they'd refused to have anything to do with any press coverage that might imply this baby they so desperately wanted is a problem because she's not white enough. Give the finger to the press who want pictures or interviews and focus on the fact that the sperm bank was being negligent and this perfect baby was only the reason people started asking questions.

And hell, I say this as someone who is just overall uncomfortable and frankly disapproving of the "spend fifty grand to create genetic offspring because if we adopt it won't be Our Real Child" norm that this is a part of. The clinic screwed up and the people who do this hella fucked up thing I hate (going out of their way to create their own personal infant rather than doing for one of the kids who needs a home already) deserve to have a better expectation that their reproductive autonomy will be respected and they'll be able to control whose baby they actually end up giving birth to. I say this as someone who--if these women were me and a partner of mine--would not have created this child at all. If it were me, this baby girl wouldn't exist. And STILL. I am worried about her. Because she does exist now.

This couple absolutely are victims of serious negligence. They're just ALSO extremely frigging contaminated by white supremacy and they are actually SO RACIST that they're still prioritizing themselves and their comfort in their racist-ass white neighborhood with their racist-ass family over this unacceptably-blackened little baby who's gonna grow up and learn how her parents celebrated her existence.

They can be victims and still be showing their racist asses in how they respond to the situation and the degree to which they (fail to) protect their baby girl. Those things can both be true.

More commentary here at TheGrio. The comments on the entry are pretty good as well, just in case anybody was thinking that this is some kind of white guilt inflation that no people of color actually see a problem with. Ay Lovelace also has great commentary on FB (with a similarly great comment thread).

I'm just really appalled. This poor kid. I wouldn't have created that kid in the first place, but she damn well exists now and she deserves better than this kind of public spectacle from her parents and even I can see it. I'm glad they've "bonded with" their little girl, but I hope someday they give her a fucking apology.

Summer

Sep. 29th, 2014 06:53 pm
xenologer: (happy!)
It's a good day. Hot wind gusting through open car windows, Living Dead Girl blaring on the speakers, and me savaging a giant honeycrisp apple at the stop light, chewing down to the juice and sucking the core until the tendons in my neck stand out.

Summer isn't quite dead yet.

It's a good day.
xenologer: (bye bye)
I am queen of guilt deflection. I explained in a very value-neutral "conflicting access needs" way why I unfriended someone, and when they said, "that hurts" in reply I said "Okay. That's a risk I took knowingly."

I basically came up through the gaslighting and guilt Weapon X Program, so no. Nobody is going to get me with those things.

xenologer: (do not even)
Why is it that the people who most hate conflict are the ones who end up escalating conflict into apocalyptic fucking nightmares by FREAKING OUT whenever they aren't being treated like they're made of glass? This self-fulfilling thing is tiresome to watch.

Seriously, the more nervous someone is about conflict, the more nervous I am learning to be about them, because it's not the brash and overtly dickish cold motherfuckers who can get close enough to do really serious damage with their flailing. It's the weak. It's always the weak.

I get so tired of them.
xenologer: (Ravenna)
I grew up being referred to as "a firecracker" and "a pistol" and still getting slammed down every time that cute sparky spirit was being directed at them (the horror!)

Over time it just felt more and more like I was being praised for being a spirited horse. The only reason a lot of men want a strong woman is so that they can feel even more manly for being able to break a higher-level beast than the next guy did.

Makes me wish I could poop on them just by lifting my tail. Horses know the way.

Sadly, pooping in public is frowned upon, so I will have to settle for shredding every man who thinks he can use me as his personal attack dog. No, boys, you don't get to treat this bitch however you want and still have her fight for you, and being on the other end of my leash isn't as fun as you're thinking. What it really means is that the only person who isn't safe from me is you.

Boys.

They just don't think sometimes, do they?
xenologer: (happy!)
If I were a toon, this would be easier.
My feelings could escape however
whenever
as whatever
they needed.

When you tell me nobody has called you adorable since 1999
but in 2000 I started carrying a torch for you and never stopped
I cannot prove you wrong.

Tamping the secret down inside
this well-worn bottle of mine
resistance of compromising confidences is unconscious
I cannot speak of this
but that's all right,
because I cannot speak this.

As a secondary measure my body
gives way to strange impulses
it wants to split open and
spray joyous trilling organs from its cracks,
raining candied memories in your lap.

If I were a toon, this would be easier.




*...two bits

hands

Jul. 22nd, 2014 02:12 am
xenologer: (angel/11)
Had a dream that some non-humanoid species were complaining about disguising themselves as humans because our hands are too weird and inconvenient. "Any time you want to pick something up you have to wrap your hand around it." The sheer annoyed bewilderment in their voices when they said that...
xenologer: (angel/11)
Sometimes I want to tell Mitch that Brian and I are poly. The only problem is that I know that he would tell my mother, and my mother would pretend to be fine with it… until she had too much to drink. Then all of a sudden she would have all kinds of things to say about the way that I live my life and she would invent whatever she needed to so that it would fit her idea of what kind of person I am. I think the most insulting part of all would be her assuming that I’m as much of a failure as a human being as she has always been. I don’t want to hear theories about how weak and stupid I am. I don’t want to hear her compliments that she only gives when she wants to follow it up with a slap to the face.

So unfortunately as a result Mitch does not get to know. I cannot trust his wife.
xenologer: (Ravenna)
I have feelings, and sometimes those are not actually sensible things to be sharing. I share my feelings when they provide someone useful data as to how to treat me well, either by affirming what's good or clarifying what is not an effective way to coexist with me. As a result I don't really vent at people unless I have some other independent reason to be doing so. If I am venting to you about something you have done, it's because I have concluded that a more detailed map of my emotional terrain would be useful for you.

Most of the time that isn't necessary. A simple explanation ought to be enough! People should just believe me when I articulate the "when you do X it makes me feel Y because I tell myself Z, so I need you to not X," sort of thing. They shouldn't need to see the wounds and have the blood flung in their face.

The known bug of this particular system is that if I can think of a reason not to divulge, I am prone to using it as an excuse, as a way to bolster my resolve to avoid sharing simply because I do not like sharing. The harm of this is limited because an actual tactical reason to share can override that. The harm is still there, though, even if it is mostly just the further ossification of my insides rather than any kind of outward damage to my social network or the people in it.

Still, I do have a journal. I do have a space which is ostensibly designed for me to talk about my internal life, and the only people who read it are the people who have decided for their own reasons that they want to keep an up to date map of my terrain.

So here's what's eating at me.

Read more... )
xenologer: (Ravenna)
My husband doesn't need to see your boobs, written by a woman who is emphatic that she doesn't need women with bodies she envies to stop showing them off, but just to realize that the visibility of their hotness is a stumbling block for her marriage because... well... hotness. Right?

At first I was annoyed. My brain went straight to, "Are you kidding me right now?" This is the kind of logic that results in so much ugliness toward and between women because of the bodies we live in, and here's more of it from a woman who describes herself as committed to social justice. At first I was angry. Then I read more, and the more I read the sadder I got. Honestly, look.
I know you don’t mean anything by it. But I need to share one more thing with you.

When your bare shoulders and stretchmark-less bellies and tanned legs pop up, I not only worry if my husband will linger over your picture. I worry how he will compare me to you.

As I wrap myself into his arms at night, I wonder if he is seeing you there instead of my mess of a body left over from pregnancy. I wonder if he thinks I’m lazy and that I don’t take good care of myself. I wonder if he wishes I looked more like you than who I really am.

And then the insecurity monster comes back to bite at our relationship again--me, begging for affirmation, and him tiring from saying the same thing over and over.

At the end of this I just wanted to sit her down and tell her that her worth is about more than how well she places in some kind of bullshit competition among women for Best Boobies Evar(TM), a competition in which every woman below 1st place loses all measurable value. I know what she's been taught, because we have all been taught it. All women know this stuff: the value of beauty above all, and one particular youth-worshipping fatphobic whitecentric standard in particular. We all know it. And you know what? We're all taught that other women are the problem, too.

I wanted to comment on her entry, but I don't have an account there and she probably requires one at this point because so many people are yelling at her for how ridiculously burdensome her message to hot girls is (which it is, yes) when quite frankly this woman is hurting from a lot of the same crap that hurts us all. Someone has to be the first to say, "Sister, this isn't a competition. This isn't a zero sum game. We're not enemies just because you envy my cup size or that girl over there has a thigh gap. We're not enemies."

So here's what I take away from her entry: What a painful way to live. It would never have occurred to me that my marriage extended into other women's shirts, and I've never worried about protecting it from competing bustlines.

I guess I'm not sure what other people could do to adjust for this stumbling block in your marriage. It seems like she doesn't want the women whose pictures cause such problems for her to throw on a niqab, but it sort of feels like she does want them to do SOMETHING. Is that accurate? What can anybody else do when the very shape of the body they live in is so upsetting to her? Would that really get at the root of the problem?

Her husband loves her and she is the one he wants, or else he would be with some 19 year old DD hardbody with a thigh gap. He's not with one of those women. She is the one he wants and hers is the body he has chosen out of all the billions of other ladybodies on the planet. He knew the hardbodies were out there, and yet he made an informed decision for himself that she was the one. Seeing another set of boobs isn't going to shake that, because he already knew those boobs were out there. He made his decision. He chose her.

If you have a hard time accepting that as the real truth of the situation, then I can't help but worry that even if all the hot young things covered themselves up and hid themselves away, these thoughts would still be eating at her because she'd know the skinny teenager boobs were out there somewhere, waiting to invade her marriage.

I hope she finds a solution to this. Doesn't seem like that's going to happen until she really names and locate the problem, though. I don't think it's that the existence of perky girlboob is a threat to her marriage. I think it's that she is having trouble reassuring herself that women have more to offer than perky girlboob, that she has more to offer than that. But she does. Look at her and all the amazing stuff on this blog! The best boobs in the universe couldn't undermine that, so I don't know why the owners of The Best Boobs Evar(TM) should worry about it happening either. Their boobs aren't hurting anyone.

I occupy a middle ground where I do compare myself unfavorably to other women, or even to myself at other times in my life, but other women also have told me outright that they use the way I look as a way to bludgeon themselves for not being good enough. I have to live with the knowledge that every time I am visible near them, they are picking me up and using me to hurt themselves, like I'm some kind of convenient psychological poison they can't even relate to except as an avenue to emotional self-harm. Do you think that feels good to me? Do you think I feel victorious and exultant at the defeat of another woman by my unstoppable invincible booty? No, of course not. In that situation nobody is happy! The whole thing is just one big perpetual misery machine and sometimes all you can do is look at those feelings, accept that they are there, be aware of the actual reasons they are happening, and don't try to get other people to accommodate the cruel parts of your brain in the hopes that appeasing the jerkbrain is even a thing that can be done.

Your jerkbrain is going to be a jerk. The women you are so toxically envious of? I can say from experience that their brains are definitely being jerks to them too, and saying it's because someone else is walking around having an enviable body shape. They aren't your problem. They aren't your enemy. The jerkbrain is our enemy. Not only does your jerkbrain not deserve to control all these other women, it doesn't deserve to control you. Nothing good comes of it.

“We can't hate ourselves into a version of ourselves we can love.” ~Lori Deschene


Jerkbrains gonna be jerks.

You cannot appease them.

The absence of visible hot young boobies won't appease them.

If your boobs are the most perfect perky boobs on the planet, that will not appease jerkbrains either.

They cannot be appeased.

So I'm not gonna listen to your jerkbrain, and I hope someday I can stop listening to my own. I hope you can stop too, Lauren, because this self-hate is going to dog your heels until you do (no matter what anyone else looks like or where they do it or whether your husband can see).
xenologer: (bye bye)
Logicgate and I have decided that my personal polysphere is basically Paradigm City.

Here. You'll want to play this in another tab.

Nobody in our poly/kinky/gamer/burlesque monkeysphere appears to have any memory of their past. If they are smart enough to figure out how to operate cell phones and each other's genitals, they can have something of civilization. People can survive without knowing what did or didn't happen in the past. And each day they try their hardest to do just that.

Logicgate was concerned that because she has memories, she will be murdered. But I reminded her that she has the option of achieving mecha apotheosis instead, which is the option she is choosing.

Me? I perform a much-needed job in this city of amnesia. We even made a list of all my (pro bono) clients, and it was surprisingly long. Embarrassingly long. Such a long list, growing name by name without me noticing. Looks like even I live day to day playing out this role, the role of Paradigm City negotiator, without any memory of how I got here. But memories, like nightmares, sometimes come when you least expect them, these memories that tell me I am this person we call blueXenologer.



No matter what, no one on this planet can possibly know everything... no one. Just because it comes naturally does not mean it's my destiny. When others turn away from the lessons of their own pasts, do I always need to be the one to remind them? When they turn their eyes away from their own memories, leaving them in the dark that causes humans such instinctive fear, can I conquer that fear for them?

No. No one can conquer another's fears. Even when it comes as naturally as opening an umbrella in the rain, even if my memories tell me that it is what I have always done, people are not ruled by their memories. We have choices. Some people like to stand in the rain without an umbrella. That's what it means to live free.
xenologer: (one)
First off, here's some basic background on psychopathy and how it gets discussed, for those here who don't spend a lot of time and effort on this kind of thing (which it's cool if you don't because we all have to do different stuff so we can come together and pool our data and have that be useful).

In addition, while the terms "psychopath" and "sociopath" are often used interchangeably, not all medical professionals agree that they are equivalent. I'm going to use them interchangeably here because they occupy the same space in what I have to say, but in other contexts the differences can matter quite a bit.

There's also a blog and accompanying message board run by people who are willing to be identified as psychopaths and sociopaths or as having anti-social personality disorder.

To empaths--a term that gets used a lot by diagnosed psychopaths to refer to people whose emotions and cognition are more typical--a psychopath is a frightening monster, because after all... without guilt, who can be good? Without fear, who can be good? Without empathy, who can be good? This is a well-known sort of concept of a psychopath, and I'm not saying I cannot understand why it's so common. Criminal psychopaths have been studied far more extensively than non-criminal psychopaths (to the point that it's actually very difficult for anybody without a criminal record to get a diagnosis), probably because when people commit awful crimes there's a stronger urge than there was before to figure out what makes that person tick.

I think what I'd like to do is give another perspective. I'm not saying it's more correct or that all people should come at things from this perspective, but it seems to me that a lot of empaths are very very bad at considering what they look like to psychopaths, (which I suspect to be because empaths are "normal" and normal people don't have to care what Others think of them because Others aren't really whole valid people, which is a hilariously hypocritical attitude for empaths to have toward psychopaths, but I digress).

So I am gonna speak from a personal perspective here for a moment, so this bit'll just be about my background, my understanding, my perspective, and how I have changed as a person over time. I tend to use both first and third person pronouns when I talk about both sociopaths and empaths (for reasons I am about to explain), but since I am presumably talking to more empaths, that makes empaths more likely to be the "they," as my whole purpose is... sort of to Other the bejesus out of you so that you can walk with me through what that looks like.

Meeeeeeee

Read more... )

Okay so we get it Xeno you're a big giant freak. Why tell us?

Read more... )

Sociopaths vs. ...versus whom, really? Who else is there? What's the actual opposite of a sociopath?

Read more... )

It'd be nice if things were a little different, and even if I am not sure what I'd change, low-empathy individuals wouldn't be the only ones making adjustments.

Read more... )
xenologer: (do not even)
TW: Game of Thrones is 40% good and 60% racist hilaribad

We've had convos in my journal before about racist Eurocentric fantasy and so I obviously knew what I was getting into with Game of Thrones but oh my god

nobody warned me about the "thank you" thing

"I do not know how to say thank you in Dothraki." "There is no word for thank you in Dothraki."

I mean aside from her clearly beginning the process of civilizing the hypersexual violent darkie savage with her magic white poontang of compassion and reason... can we just spend a minute and sit with THE DOTHRAKI DO NOT HAVE A WORD FOR THANK YOU

they do not have that



I like the female characters, and knew I would. It's just pretty clear that they're only for white people. ALSO I get the feeling that with all George RR Martin's ingenuity with tormenting his characters, the only misery he can think of for women is sexual violence just over and over and over. I keep wanting to get myself to a place of willful enjoyment, but all I can think about are the following two things:

1. It's pretty sad that fantasy boards that are blatant rip-offs of this setting and plot constitute progress in the land of Misogynist Whitelandia roleplaying. How fuckin' sad.

2. the dothraki do not have a word for thank you

Thank goodness for the Lannisters. I don't think I could deal with this without their smarmy behinds. No word for thank you. What the shit. halp
xenologer: (one)
Following belenen's excellent entry about core values, I thought I would set down some that I've come to thanks to a combination of self-examination and conversations with other people who appear to be neuroatypical in a way that I am/have been (more on this in another entry perhaps). For Reasons I sort of think of myself as operating based on rules like with AI design, and so rather than sorting by core values and secondary values, I'll sort by supergoals and subgoals and try to explain the interactions between them.

My morality and ethics and personal qualms and preferences feel intuitive to me, but that is because I know what I mean by certain terms and how important they are relative to other things. The structure is actually fairly rigid. There is an extent to which these aren't reflected in my behavior, but that discrepancy is created by failure to implement them, not a failure in the goals and subgoals themselves.

So here are some personality parameters. This is the Me Manual to the best of my current ability to articulate it; an AI which had my memories and this goal system should be a fair approximation of me as a person. Goals aren't ranked within their categories, though it's possible with some thought I could test out how my internal system prioritizes them and come to something a little more precise.

SUPERGOALS are goals that, when endangered, act as dealbreakers for anything they touch.
  • Improve. This effectively just requires aggressive, frequent, and proactive debugging. I actually do read self-help books in an effort to detect and address flaws and just generally rationalize the whole system. It's better to find and at least be aware of any bugs before they come into play, so in the spirit of "ounce of prevention" it's best to continually seek areas for improvement. Current areas include: patience, concentration, and level of contempt for others who fail to meet my standards.
  • Meet own standards. Basically, don't be a hypocrite. If someone has done a thing which caused me pain or broke some rule, this adds an extra imperative to check myself for that thing to ensure I get opportunities to shore up any shortcomings there. This rule takes certain things (examples: lying, gaslighting, sexual coercion, suspending goals when having an emotional experience, coughing with my mouth uncovered, etc.) off the metaphorical table of my options not because of the harm they would do to others but because of the harm they have done to me. The precise applications of this rule depend on both my own personal history, and my ability to extrapolate from my experience to find analogous experiences in the lives of others (example: despite me not really understanding the myriad complexities of gender and sex, misgendering is off the table because of my ban on gaslighting).
  • Do things on purpose. Just because a decision is quick or intuitive does not mean that it does not need to be intentional. Nothing else can be achieved if decisions aren't required to be considered before being made, if cost-benefit analysis is ever not required. Doing things reflexively is generally inferior to doing them deliberately, unless the reflex was itself deliberately instilled (which can happen).

SUBGOALS
  • Expand awareness of other kinds of life experience. One of the best ways to find new diagnostic tools for myself is to get to know other minds as best I can. There are many kinds of lived experience that I can most efficiently learn to map by listening to people in question as they self-report. More data on minds is good, though giving up an opportunity to get more data can be justifiable if acquiring it would conflict with a supergoal.
  • Indulge. Something which only brings me joy need not justify its value any other way, provided the pursuit or acquisition of it doesn't interfere with a supergoal.
  • Match my contribution to the world with what I think it should have more or less of. This is only a subgoal because there are cases when my contribution to the world needs to be set at a lower priority than the supergoals; after all, I am not guaranteed to improve myself by improving the world, but if I set improving myself as a priority I am guaranteed to improve both myself and the world.

NON-NEGOTIABLE FACTS are things which are to be treated as true regardless of empirical support. For some people this may be a claim such as, "Jesus Christ died for my sins," or may be a value statement such as, "There's no excuse for violence."
  • That which can be destroyed by the truth should be. This is potentially a self-breaking rule; its job is to condemn to eventual destruction any alleged facts which do not stand up to factual examination (including this rule if necessary). It's in this category to prevent anything else from being there.
xenologer: (vagina)
In Chonburi with my friend Logicgate who is getting bottom surgery because she's a fuckin' gangster who is doing an awesome thing.

The flights were great, because international flights are great when your baseline is USA domestic flying. On our last leg from Qatar we had this guy sitting in the aisle seat and I was at the window. He drank enough double gin and tonics that I don't know how many he drank. Sometimes he ordered coffee, so I figured that meant he'd at least had some things which weren't alcohol, but NOPE. Turns out his coffee had brandy in it. Soooo he just got progressively more and more hammered (in fact, Logicgate has dubbed him Captain Hammered), and got proportionately more obnoxious.

At the start of the flight he was offering to help us stow luggage and stuff just because he was on the aisle and is a dude and we're not so sure. By the end of the flight he was poking Logicgate and narrating her responses to the movie we were watching (seriously, telling her "you are laughing!" when she is laughing is not useful data sir but thank you) and when she was not responding with enough attention he switched his focus to me or something?

He was telling her to smile and she didn't respond, and since she was being my social bulletsponge by being physically between me and other people (I FUCKING HATE BEING TOUCHED Y'ALL), I chimed in there with, "She'll smile when she wants to. No, she'll smile when she feels like it." He got desperate and tried to reach across her to me. I don't know if he wanted to touch my face or what but I looked over and there was just this hand all of a sudden like an object in a 3D movie flying at the screen for no reason and she deflects his hand and I am sitting there like "WHAT IS GOING ON."

We were watching Tangled, because one does, and I shut my window shade because I had a glare on my screen. He told me to open it. He didn't ask; he told me. Now, I would accept that this is a language barrier thing because he had a fairly thick accent and so allowances must be made for less than perfect fluency, but if his fluency dropped it was because he'd gotten plastered on the flight, so I just told him, "No." He repeated his imperative and I said, "No. I am watching a movie." Because, sir, if you try to make me choose between your interests and Flynn Rider, I am sorry but Flynn is a fine piece of computer-generated mancandy and you will not be happy with the outcome of that ultimatum.

So that was very silly!

The hotel is nice, and there are plenty of places nearby to eat. We also met other people who either are here for surgery or are here for a reunion since they met on previous occasions for the same thing. They are AWESOME. Logicgate observed that selection bias is on our side here in a big way since the clinic has a lot of patients staying here basically all the time, but I am just delighted that we had random people come colonize our dinner table and hang out with us.

We have a common area on our floor with four chairs and a little table and suchforth, and I definitely plan on camping out there on the regular. If I want to just read quietly by myself, I will do it there so that hopefully I will attract others to use the common space because that is what they are for. Then we can all get our introvert on when necessary without actually needing to hide in our rooms. That is my plan.

After dinner, more hilarity ensued.

I complimented one of the hotel employees on her shoes (they were these gorgeous red-bottomed stilettos), and she did a little dance in them to show she could, and then TOOK THEM OFF AND GOT ME TO WEAR THEM.

I was figuring she was just showing me, but no, she really wanted me to put them on.

So here's what's ridiculous.

She looked at my feet and knew that our feet were the exact same size. I cannot even estimate how well something will fit my feet by looking and she was just like yep you should wear my shoes and let's see you walk in them! so I did.

They were super comfortable! Mostly though, like.... omg how did she know my shoe size?!
xenologer: (one)
Follow-up to the entry about my alleged feelings:

I Skyped with him and reminded him of, like, my basic humanity, and he is sorry that he spoke about me in a way that made it seem like he had forgotten about or didn't appreciate our friendship and my, like, emotional presence in it or his life or whatever.

I think he did need a reminder to jolt him out of the Suffering Solipsism and I have given it to him. I'm still a little wary, because not everybody would even behave this way at their worst, but I managed to eliminate the 3-4% probability that he'd just say, "Um well yeah of course I think that. If you had real feelings you wouldn't be able to control yourself so well."

Probability eliminated.

He said that he was coming to some wrong conclusions about things, a lot of things. He also acknowledged that it put our friend in a weird position to phrase all these things like they're stuff she's obviously going to agree with and be on board with.

I reiterated to him that I'm not yelling, I'm not deliberately hurting him just because I'm hurting, I'm not doing any of that stuff. I reminded him that this is normal, that he can have this all the time, with everybody. Basically it was just my obligatory reminder to him that I am not a magical being who is uniquely capable of discussing hurt feelings in a non-abusive way.

We did laughing and joking and stuff, too, when possible. I always try to do that when I am talking to someone about (relatively) heavy shit. Nothing gets done if I just batter the other person with everything that is terrible about them; exchanging smiles and jokes throughout the process are my way of making it clear that they have reason to not just... give up and flop down in defeated despair.

He asked if we were cool and I told him that I'll probably be a little wary for however long he's up in the canopy of the crazy jungle (which is like being in the crazy tree except moreso) just in case there is further fuckery, and he said, "No. No, I will try to limit it to listening to good advice, acknowledging it is good advice, and then not doing it. That is as crazy as I will get."

I laughed. "So, business as usual?"

"...Yeah."

"Okay. Take care dude. Talk to you later."

So despite strong physical symptoms of anxiety before having this conversation, it has been had and it went more or less the way I thought it would, which happened to be the best case scenario in which only a vanishingly small portion of his distress was automatic guilt to be thrown onto the self-pity pyre, with the bulk of it being a recognition of what was actually not cool here. That's important to me. Apologies aren't all that useful to me if they're reflexive, given automatically as a pacifying measure. Comprehension is important; it's helpful to double-check that what I'm saying is actually being recognized.

Thanks, all, for being with me as I process.
xenologer: (Ravenna)
So at the end of August, I posted an entry about my origins as a person that just explains some stuff about dissociation and what a good friend of mine refers to as a change in management. If you cannot see it, sorry. You probably oughtta be on my friends/access list if you are interested in that kind of thing.

Suffice it to say I was not the so-called "core" member and did not become the scaffolding of this new person voluntarily, but believe I have done such a good job becoming a person that my sisters' faith in me has been entirely vindicated. Emotion was not my job, but I have grown into it without ever losing my awareness that thinking before I express feelings is not only wise but compassionate. I will brag about this all day and all night because I am proud of the emotional impulse control that I have built. Unless you're the kind of person who remembers when they first began to feel things personally, the enormity of getting savvy with those feelings may escape you, but trust me. I am a badass.

It's a big deal.

My closest friends tend to appreciate this, as it means that when I am experiencing Feels I'll be less likely to throw away all moral and ethical standards and all of the self-respect which is the foundation of my integrity. I can generally explain what is causing my unrest and I'm pretty good about suggesting solutions while remaining open to brainstorming from the person who hurt me as to how we can avoid this sort of thing in the future.

In my opinion, this makes me a really fucking good friend. Being a good friend or partner does not, in my opinion, require empathy or social skills, although they help. All it requires is that nobody sink so deeply into Suffering Solipsism that they depersonalize others into two categories: threats or need fulfillment machines (to use Franklin Veaux's phrase). All it requires is the ability to experience pain without forgetting that other people are real, and whole, and relevant. It is a point of pride for me that I managed to unlearn some bad habits I was taught growing up so that I do not just throw a great big tantrum and lash out at everyone if I hurt. The fact that I do not respond to pain by exploding into the emotional equivalent of a tornado of spinning blades is a skill that I had to go out of my way to learn because it was the right god damn thing to do.

I even have friends with whom I have shared vulnerabilities, vulnerabilities where they are concerned. This entry is about one such person, about the now-distant aftermath of one such event. I do not do this easily, and for those people who were talking to me during and after that conversation, doing so left me shaken and a little disoriented because it is so contrary to my nature to attempt to prevent someone from harming me by exposing the vulnerabilities in my emotional armor rather than pre-emptively shoring them up.

He learned things about my past: past abuses by family members, by romantic partners, by the forces of random fucking chance, and because of my own whole-hearted pursuit of codependency. I did this so that he'd see that it's possible to go from wading through codependency that leaves both emotional and physical scars and emerge out the other side whole, and healthy, and able to provide a level of competent and heartfelt sustainable support to others that simply is not possible from a position of codependency.

It was a candid conversation about the reasons so many of us have stayed with abusers out of a sense of obligation to them, and about how few people who urge us to leave have any idea what the landscape of the situation is actually like. It was frank and for me it was a rare moment of vulnerability resulting in a sense of common experience that is rare and certainly never guaranteed.

This was at the end of May, if my Gmail logs are accurate.

This is a person who has referred to their internal sense of me as a consistent voice of self-respect and responsibility. So I'm good enough to be classified that way, at least in his mind.

This is a person who is attracted enough to me to have the Fetish Secrets conversation and give advance consent in case for whatever reason he and I were to hook up while he wasn't entirely sober. So I am definitely good enough to fuck.

This is a person who has ceased to discuss his codependency with me not because of any of the myriad reasons why he might not do so for his own health and well-being or the state of our friendship or whatever. There are many many good reasons why he might have ceased to talk to me about any of this, and for a good couple of months I assumed that those things must be in play, and it would've been a good sign if they had been. It would have been a sign of him being willing to defy the expectations of others for the sake of taking care of his own self.

Until about a week ago, nobody had ever in my life called me a "stone cold bitch" and made it seem like anything but the highest praise. Guess who managed it?

Yeah.

More details and (alleged) feelings. )
xenologer: (happy!)
So rings are a thing for me. They are a Thing, even. I have rings I wear every day and they mean specific things or help me keep my focus on certain tasks, all that. I only have one or two that I switch out to any degree at this point.

Well, I have a spoon ring that I got when I was five, my mother hid from me for more than a decade so that I wouldn't lose or break it, and which I have worn every day since I filched it back for myself as a young me. But it's so old and made from an actual spoon, so it's kind of bendy and ready to snap.

Brian bought me this.

He knows rings are a big deal to me (I have three I wear at all times and another that I wear every day in addition) and that if he wanted to get me one he'd have to get one that replaced a ring I was going to have to stop wearing anyway soon so that I "wouldn't have to make any hard decisions." That is so many things he paid attention to! That makes me feel good. He saw me favorite it on Etsy and apparently went into the bee folder in my favorites and ordered this one for me!

Bzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

April 2016

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