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everybody hurts - shadows of echoes of memories of songs — LiveJournal
j4
j4
everybody hurts
Feels like last night is just a blur of blood and tears.


I just can't deal with always having to protect sion_a from the terrifying world that he's constructed around him, the world where everybody will apparently respond to the slightest word or glance from him with physical violence. I can't always be there to tell people "No, he doesn't want to be touched" (no, he doesn't take sugar).

Not that it's his fault if somebody assumes that everybody always wants to be stroked and pawed-at all the time, but it should be his responsibility to do something about it if he doesn't want it.

Stress with sion_a made me less able to deal with other stuff. Everything went pearshaped for reasons I can't quite establish, can't quite see/remember through the haze of drink and hurt. Sometimes I really do think that a lot of people would be much happier without me around. :-( I always just seem to end up hurting all the people I love.

And trying to describe it all at this distance just feels empty and numb and meaningless. Which is about how I've been feeling for most of today so far. People are saying things and they're just not connecting; it's times like this when I really do feel that it would be better to feel bad than to feel nothing at all.

Mildly surprised to see giolla there last night; even more surprised that he was trying to talk to me. It did appear that all was not quite as fluffy as usual in matching-tattoo land, though, so maybe he just got confused without wildeabandon leading him around on a chain.

Current Mood: None, or other
Now playing: Drugstore: Songs for the Jet Set

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bopeepsheep From: bopeepsheep Date: April 30th, 2003 05:20 am (UTC) (Link)
I'm going to bring a book with me Friday that you might appreciate, given the first two paragraphs of this. More details by email if you want, it's not really something I'd write on here.
From: kaet Date: April 30th, 2003 05:42 am (UTC) (Link)
Fwiw, I feel a bit like sion_a about this too. The first two paragraphs ring pretty true for me. I avoid lots of social things if I think there's a risk of that kind of thing. People usually can't tell until they sneak up behind me and touch me and I jump six foot whereas they can creep up and shout boo and it'll hardly register.

Not that this probably helps much, :(.

j4 From: j4 Date: April 30th, 2003 06:40 am (UTC) (Link)
The not-liking-being-touched isn't so much the issue (I think most people want to have some kind of choice about who touches them and when!). And it wasn't creeping up from behind, it was somebody assuming that "I know this person" equates to "I can fondle this person without worrying about whether they want me to", as far as I could tell.

But do you really feel that there's no way you can ask people "please don't do that" no matter what they're doing to you? Do you assume that if you say "Please don't do that" then the other person will interpret this as aggressive, offensive, confrontational, and promptly beat you up?

If so, I guess the next question is can you explain why you feel like that?

I just find it really hard to understand. If people do things to me that I don't want them to, then I'll ask them to stop. If they persist, I'll tell them to stop. I don't do a very good impression of a doormat.

...

And it really frightens me to think that somebody I love simply wouldn't think they had a right to resist if somebody really did attack or assault him. I can't be there to protect him all the time, I need to feel that he'd at least try to protect himself, but at the moment I don't feel that at all.
sion_a From: sion_a Date: April 30th, 2003 07:55 am (UTC) (Link)
Do you assume that if you say "Please don't do that" then the other person will interpret this as aggressive, offensive, confrontational, and promptly beat you up?

I think (and I've been thinking about this a lot since last night) that what I'm mostly thinking is that "Please don't do that" will be ignored. That, in the general case, if the person is doing something I don't like with hostile intent, they will take such a reaction as encouragement to persist; or if they're doing it because of socialization differences (eg the classic "geek with no sense of personal space") then they just won't get it. Or, as in this specific case, I don't want to cause offence/upset by telling someone that what they're doing as, AFAICT, as a friendly gesture isn't that welcome.

I've also been trying to figure out exactly what it is that I'm uncomfortable with, as there's a complexity there that also contributes to having trouble saying anything. If it were a simple "don't touch" that would be one thing -- but it's not that easy. Quite apart from the (obvious?) fact that I'm happy for lovers to touch me in ways I wouldn't like from friends, and friends in ways I wouldn't strangers (in fact, "don't touch" probably does go for strangers) exactly what I'm happy with from friends is not easy to define. First cut appears to be something like "hugs are OK, stroking clothes is OK, touching head or waist or stroking me is not".
j4 From: j4 Date: April 30th, 2003 08:19 am (UTC) (Link)
That, in the general case, if the person is doing something I don't like with hostile intent, they will take such a reaction as encouragement to persist

So basically you're assuming that there's no way of stopping people who are doing things to you with hostile intent? That scares me.

if they're doing it because of socialization differences (eg the classic "geek with no sense of personal space") then they just won't get it

They don't have to "get" it; if they have any sense of respect for other human beings then they should respond to a polite request to stop doing something that makes you uncomfortable, however bizarre it may seem to them. (If they care, they can always ask "Why does that bother you?") I mean, unless the thing that's making you uncomfortable is something that they honestly can't help.

Or, as in this specific case, I don't want to cause offence/upset by telling someone that what they're doing as, AFAICT, as a friendly gesture isn't that welcome.

If they're doing it to be friendly then this presumes that they like you, right? In which case, they probably don't want to do something that upsets you or makes you uncomfortable. So you're better off telling them.

I mean, hell, I think kissing people is a friendly gesture, but it's only any use as such if it's welcomed by the people I'm doing it to. So I don't kiss people who I know don't like it. e.g. I try not to be too huggy/kissy with J-P, because I know it stresses him out -- I want to be friendly and affectionate towards him, but I don't want to upset him in the process, because that would defeat the object of being friendly/affectionate!

First cut appears to be something like "hugs are OK, stroking clothes is OK, touching head or waist or stroking me is not".

I think it's only really the stroking-clothes-being-okay that makes that complicated. The rest seems a fairly simple divide between friendly contact and more sensual/sexual contact. (Stroking people, if you don't have a fairly good idea already that they're happy with it, really is a bit presumptuous, IMHO.) And you don't really have to explain that stroking clothes is different -- if you particularly want them to stroke your clothes, then okay, you'll have to explain it; but you managed to be "a vegetarian" for years because it was too complicated to explain that you liked some meats but not others -- can't you manage to say "I don't like that" without getting into more complicated explanations?

With the stroking clothes thing, I generally just ask -- "Wow, velvety, can I stroke it?" -- though of course that presumes that the other person is capable of saying "No". Asking people before doing stuff is a good strategy, though, generally; and people who don't ask first should be prepared to get told "oi, stop" from time to time.

Basically if they're well-intentioned, they shouldn't object to being asked not to do something that's upsetting you; if they're not well-intentioned, better to find out (and hopefully get them away from you somehow) before things go too far.

I really do think that very few people who you meet in e.g. goth clubs will be actually aiming to assault you or even just piss you off or anything, though. They're much more likely just to be clueless muppets who haven't yet acquired any kind of social/sexual maturity, who see a pretty boy and think "oo! shiny! stroke it!" -- and you'll be doing them a favour by reminding them that people should be allowed to have a choice in whether or not they get mauled by overenthusiastic goth kittens.
From: kaet Date: April 30th, 2003 08:20 am (UTC) (Link)
I was a bit ham-fisted in my reply. I guess I was confusing two different feelings. The first is to do with body image. I really dislike my body for a fair few really quite strong reasons, and being touched particularly, say, my waist or beard-area, is like touching an open sore, it's something that you only let people with a very delicate touch do. I like either not to be aware of my body, or to hide it in theatre; touching me inteferes with that defence mechanism.

Do you assume that if you say "Please don't do that" then the other person will interpret this as aggressive, offensive, confrontational,

Yes. I'd expect to be asked to explain myself, or for someone to say oh, go on and me have to explain why and they'd probably have no end of theorems and strategems and justifications and precedents, and I'd end up getting all confused, say the wrong thing, and then end up accidentally agreeing to it. Or else they'd respect me in a biconny I respect your right to sit in the corner while everyone else enjoys themselves or I'm not a puritain freak, but I gallantly defend your right to be a puritain freak kind of way.

and promptly beat you up?

I guess kind of beat me up. I often end up playing mother in these situations and it's amazing how many times this means sacrificing things like sleep or food to sit in hospitals, calling ambulances, talk-down people freaking out, coaxing people out of toilets, convincing people to put the knife at my belly down, and so on, if you're taken as being agressive, offensive and confronational, even if you don't mean to be. Okay, so rational people wouldn't do that kind of thing, but I don't know many (any?) of them and a good proportion of the world seem to be off their head much of the time. The alternative, to leave them, or not to be asked to help, is much worse for me, and would hurt me more. So either way, I would lose out. So I tend to avoid situations like this developing, if possible. I know that's kind of selfish, but I've only a certain amount of energy, and sometimes things go wrong anyway, because of illness or bad fortune or because people are having a really bad time so looking for further trouble by confronting people is usually inadvisable.

I don't do a very good impression of a doormat.

The thing which is limiting in my self-abuse is often that I'm not really a very agressive person and, whoever you aim it at, I think you need a certain amount of aarrrgghh! to cause harm. There are many times that I relish the opporunity to be hurt without me having to try to do the hurting. I like to think that I would fight, it's a pathetic state of affairs reallt, and irresponsible, but I probably wouldn't.

I'm only speaking for myself, here, sion_a is probably very different, :(.
j4 From: j4 Date: April 30th, 2003 08:52 am (UTC) (Link)
[body image]
This stuff all makes perfect sense.

I'd expect to be asked to explain myself

Personally I think "Because I don't want you to do that" is a perfectly good explanation, and anybody who won't accept that is being fairly insensitive.

Maybe I've just been really lucky with who I've met, but generally I find that most people do accept "I just don't want you to", and even those who try the "oh, go on" will usually get the message the second or third time, when "no" is repeated louder and firmer. There shouldn't be any need for explanations (although if people are sensitive etc. anyway then I often want to explain stuff to them).

Or else they'd respect me in a biconny I respect your right to sit in the corner while everyone else enjoys themselves or I'm not a puritain freak, but I gallantly defend your right to be a puritain freak kind of way.

Gakkk. Yes. That sort of thing winds me up lots. "Your kink is FREAKOID WEIRD-ASSED SHIT but honestly it's okay." Die die die die die. ... Spot the person who's not going to BiCon this year.

[people freaking out]
I'm not talking about being aggressive and confrontational, just about being assertive enough to ask people to stop doing things you don't like. And if these people, whoever they are, really cannot respond to "Please don't do that" without attacking you with knives, then frankly they need serious help; caring about them is one thing, but nobody could expect you to put yourself in that kind of danger -- and what's going to happen when they interact with somebody who isn't prepared to let them walk all over them?

The thing which is limiting in my self-abuse is often that I'm not really a very agressive person

In that case I'm glad you're not more aggressive... Mind you, there is a difference between aggressive and assertive. I don't think you have to be aggressive (or violent) to be assertive; possibly quite the opposite, in fact.

*hugs* though anyway (careful hugs, without touching any sore spots) -- and I'm sorry if this is all awkward to talk about.
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