xenologer: (Lisbeth)
Other people do a funny thing that doesn't make much sense to me. See, there are people who want me to fall apart, because apparently me falling apart is part of being friends with them. I can see the reasoning, but it makes me angry.

I know why it happens in at least some cases.

There are people who measure intimacy by how often they see me in moments as weak as theirs. There are people who measure intimacy by how frequently they are permitted to be present during a total breakdown. The only language of love that they understand is being caught in someone else's wreckage; is it any surprise that the best way they know to be a friend to me is to drag me into theirs?

So they wish I'd cry, to assure themselves that if I cried they'd be allowed to see it. They wish I would bleed, to assure themselves that they're the kind of person I'd turn to for help. They want me to need their advice about a situation they can't help me with, because me being let down by their lack of wisdom and perspective is a fair price to pay if it means that they get to congratulate themselves for being someone I'd ask.

When they don't get what they want, when they go for too long without seeing any histrionics, they feel isolated and unwanted and unloved, and so they try to carve out of me what they need to feel included. I'm not saying that it's a constructive response to loneliness to hurt the people who aren't hurting enough where you can see it happening, but I am saying it's a thing people do.

There's a certain intimacy in a good fight. Everything is laid right out and everybody is getting a lot of emotional stimulation and everything in the world besides you, us, this... it all fades. Drama is the only way some people know how to feel connected to other people, to feel engaged, to feel like they are effectual and like the world they're in can touch them with anything meaningful.

Fuck those people.

I find them so distasteful that I'm not even going to focus on them here, because I don't keep them around. I'm primarily talking about your garden variety emotional vampire habit of lashing out at all the people around them to prove that there are living breathing bleeding humans close enough to strike. I'm talking about the usual, "I'm hurting! You need to hurt too!" misery loves company sort of act.

I'm talking about the people who see my armor as a barrier between them and me. But you know what? Maybe it is. If you're going to try to sink your fangs into me and drag me down into your misery with you, you're damn right that the armor is there as a barrier between us. If your only way to feel close to me is damaging to me, you're not going to persuade me that you're the victim here because these steel plates keep catching in your teeth.

I know it's rooted in love, but lots of awful things can be rooted in love and still be awful. I'm not confused about where this is coming from; it's a very real desire for closeness and fellowship with me. I'm just not going to adjust my ways to make people feel loved at the cost of my own stability.

I have too much shit to do to pretend to be less strong or less wise than I am for the sake of consoling people whom I could only comfort by staging a catastrophe my life doesn't need and handing out tickets to only the most select of audiences. I have too much shit to do. I've got real shit to do, and if anybody can help me it's not these people. I'm not going to apologize to these lampreys for my refusal to speak to them in their dysfunctional love language that requires others to bleed affirmation.

Date: 2012-12-09 09:48 pm (UTC)From: [personal profile] tamouse
I sometimes wish dw had "like" buttons.

+1

Date: 2012-12-09 10:15 pm (UTC)From: [personal profile] stardreamer
stardreamer: Meez headshot (Default)
Something we all need to think about sometimes, because I think most of us have encountered these "foul-weather friends". I'm not as compassionate about them as you are, because IME the kind of personal affirmation they get from watching their friends having hard times is at least partly a feeling of superiority. And fuck that, I'm not there for their entertainment.

Date: 2012-12-09 05:41 am (UTC)From: [identity profile] admnaismith.livejournal.com
Wow, you just can't win. If they don't want you to always be The Rock and never crack no matter how much stress there is, they want you to fall apart so they can feel better. Whatever you're doing, it's the wrong thing. Fuck that.

Your armor is part of you. It is warm and comforting and protecting. I feel safer walking with a friend like you. Doesn't mean I won't have your back just as much when shit gets real.

Date: 2012-12-09 05:44 am (UTC)From: [identity profile] virginia-fell.livejournal.com
Yeah, for some people it's BE AVAILABLE AT ALL TIMES FOR MY NEEDS AND BE AN INFINITE SUPPLY OF SANITY FOR ME followed intermittently with WHY DON'T YOU LET ME IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIN?

Fuck that indeed.

Date: 2012-12-09 10:24 am (UTC)From: [identity profile] charlycrash.livejournal.com
Damn, I so know the lyrics of that particular song by heart.

Date: 2012-12-09 10:48 am (UTC)From: [identity profile] virginia-fell.livejournal.com
Right!

"Be my stability! Be my rock!" A day later. "GOD IT'S LIKE YOU'RE MADE OF STONE." An hour later. "Be my rock!"

Like... what. No.

Date: 2012-12-09 10:57 am (UTC)From: [identity profile] charlycrash.livejournal.com
Exactly. KINDA HARD TO DO BOTH AT ONCE.

Date: 2012-12-09 11:03 am (UTC)From: [identity profile] virginia-fell.livejournal.com
Very much so.

When the expectations contradict, the best I can do is obey my own judgement and expectations be damned. I'm just glad that my life has given me enough reason to trust myself to do just that.

Date: 2012-12-09 09:56 am (UTC)From: [identity profile] charlycrash.livejournal.com
I have one word of response to this post, and it is "Lynne". In 72pt type.

Date: 2012-12-09 09:57 am (UTC)From: [identity profile] charlycrash.livejournal.com
Actually, maybe the one word is "BPD".

Date: 2012-12-09 10:09 am (UTC)From: [identity profile] virginia-fell.livejournal.com
Yeeeeaaaaah, you know what's up.

Date: 2012-12-09 10:12 am (UTC)From: [identity profile] charlycrash.livejournal.com
Just a bit.

She was forever wanting me to have explosive ragey fights and cry all over her. She never seemed to understand that I do have a tendency to lose my shit quite easily but, and this is extremely important, only in my head. I swallow back the bile and try and stay calm and rational because that's what de-escalates the situation and brings things down to a level where you can deal with them sensibly. Like goddamn adults do.

Date: 2012-12-09 10:46 am (UTC)From: [identity profile] virginia-fell.livejournal.com
That behavior is just... it's just fuckin' impossible. And yet variable interval reinforcement can make it very very hard to escape once it has really gotten rolling.

I'm just so so so over it.

If anyone is going to resent something as important to my sense of self-worth as my willingness to maintain control to protect everybody's emotional health and to work constructively on the situation rather than valuing it as the god damn gift it is, they can just go away forever, because I don't need that. I don't need it, and clearly they don't love the same things about me that I do, so I don't know why we'd even be friends.

Tired of it. I am trying to be more at peace with shit and less rageface even in situations that warrant it but it's really hard for me to be polite when I'm responding to this act. It's hard.

Sometimes I think I need the Barack Obama anger translator from Key & Peele. Like, I'm sitting there de-escalating like a goddamn pro and "what I hear is X" and "well have you considered Y" and "this is too important to me to be reckless and flaily about so I promise this actually is a sign that I love and respect you" and then maybe I have someone next to me acting as an interpreter.

Image

Date: 2012-12-09 11:03 am (UTC)From: [identity profile] charlycrash.livejournal.com
It's just depressing how little insight people like that clearly have into what actually creates some sort of happiness in a situation. I can appreciate why people feel that way about it all, I just think it's really unhealthy way of looking at it. And I can appreciate why people do a hell of a lot of shit I also think is really really fucked up.

Idk about you but it makes me really resentful always having to be the grown-up in situations like that. Frankly, it makes me feel like a sucker - it's like, right, you're just going to give in to all your worst impulses and wave your arms and scream and because of that I always have to be Mr Stable Adult so this whole situation doesn't spiral out of control. Well, guess what, sometimes I need to be crazy as well. And I need you to be there for me at those times.

Date: 2012-12-09 11:04 am (UTC)From: [identity profile] virginia-fell.livejournal.com
Yes. Yes yes yes yes yes.

The contempt is awful, and as long as that dynamic continues, there's no getting rid of it.
Edited Date: 2012-12-09 11:04 am (UTC)

Date: 2012-12-09 01:35 pm (UTC)From: [identity profile] fatpie42.livejournal.com
People want to feel powerful. It's a weakness we all have.


When you openly show that you are upset or distressed when they want your support, it makes them feel even less supported, even less powerful.

But when you openly show that you are upset or distressed and they are not currently in need of support themselves, it makes them feel more powerful. They can feel their sense of worth and of purpose increase by being able to share and soothe your pains.


I suppose this all sounds pretty manipulative of them, but then again there's a part of all of us that seeks order. We want things around us to be easy to handle. When people have difficulties, we don't like to see them as long term matters which may never end. We like solutions, the quicker the better. The idea that someone is suffering in silence often bugs people because they want to be able to solve it. Solving problems makes them feel good, it makes them feel powerful and it makes them feel more able to ask for help when they have difficulties of their own to be dealt with. - So, without in any way justifying the way they are treating you, it's probably worth remembering that they are only human. ;)

Date: 2012-12-10 12:02 am (UTC)From: [identity profile] afro-dyte.livejournal.com
ext_118625: (Default)
I've met people like that, and "Ewwwwwww" is about all I can say about that.

Naturally, I give them a wide berth and keep discussion as inconsequential as possible.

Date: 2012-12-10 01:30 am (UTC)From: [identity profile] virginia-fell.livejournal.com
Yeah, there's pretty much no such thing as a constructive and healthy social connection to people who actively want people around them to be flailing wrecks (either by selecting wrecks in the first place, or trying to turn people who aren't wrecks into them).

Date: 2012-12-10 08:49 pm (UTC)From: [identity profile] afro-dyte.livejournal.com
ext_118625: (Default)
And when you introduce gender, race, and sexuality into it, there's a whole 'nother ugly dimension to that dynamic.

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