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I have given up wishing I had one nice person in my life and would settle instead for one who wasn't completely fucking unhinged. Just one.

And if they could also refrain from reporting everything I said and did back to the unhinged people, this would rock so hard I would actually think I was in heaven chilling out with god.


Aug. 27th, 2013 01:20 am
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Today I was informed, without apparent irony, that 'going to work and socialising' are 'what life is all about.' By another person whose disabilities prevent her from doing either.

OK, that's not entirely true. She could socialise, albeit with some difficulty as she's slightly deaf and English is her second language, but her primary carer is an ableist fuck who demands complete emotional dependence as well as physical dependence, and mocks, blocks, or otherwise undermines any of her charge's attempts to do anything outside the house or connect with any other people. This woman maintains that her adoptive daughter 'doesn't have feelings' and talks about her like she's a freaking rescue dog. 'Oh she doesn't like me going away because she thinks she's being abandoned again and she doesn't understand I'm coming back.' Uh, no, she doesn't like you going away because YOU have rendered her completely reliant upon you. And also you have this tendency to lie about where you're going, which can't help.

I just sat there. I wanted to tell her that life is about so much more than the things we can't do. That although it is cruel and ableist of her carers to assume that she's asexual, celibacy in itself isn't a terrible thing. That work is miserable for many people, and it's wrong for people to shame you for not being able to do it when you're NOT ABLE TO DO IT. That it isn't, actually, massively unusual not to have friends. That even if you're not earning money, you still have value. There are films and TV shows, there is music, there is food, there are sunny days and affectionate dogs and so, so many things which allow me to continue to live even though I can neither work nor socialise. That I could not understand why her carer was just sitting there and letting her spout this self-loathing shit, because what the fuck kind of care is that, guilt-tripping someone every time they go shopping?

But I knew I would be judged if I said this, that her carer would be confirmed in her belief that I am a lazy parasite, and so I just sat there.

I used to assume that people who cared for and lived with disabled people would automatically be more clueful than the rest of the general population, but no! It is just like how living with someone from Eastern Europe has failed to make her civil to Polish waitresses. She is quite happy to jump in and speak on behalf of the person in the wheelchair, exactly as if she were completely unaware of people in wheelchairs saying that they have issues with being treated as if they were invisible. I think she actually is unaware of this. I am not quite sure how she has managed to remain unaware of this, but then she also thinks it is ok to refer to people as 'coloured' so I think she is ignorant of pretty much everything that has happened in the world during her lifetime.

This. I don't know how you could love someone and not try to learn their alphabet. Even if the alphabet is hard and you are stupid. You are supposed to try.
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It strikes me that unquestioning acquiescence and mindless cheerleading are pretty much the exact opposite of the qualities which make effective activists. Or, indeed, useful human beings. (Not of course that people have to be useful, but it's generally better for their self-actualization if they are.)

What I am seeing is this awful dynamic where women who have already been socialised into believing that their own opinions and thought processes are not to be trusted, because hi, that is what bullies and abusers do to people, are being further cowed into not asking questions, not dissenting on even the most minor points, and, I suspect, in a large number of cases (including my own) not saying anything at all. They have to walk on eggshells if they don't want their commenting privileges revoked, and even that may not be enough, because it's in the nature of eggshell-walking that you can never tread lightly enough unless you actually have the power of flight. Which, you know, most humans don't.

I mean, the only two comments I've made there have been met with swift thread-closings, and that's after spending at least half an hour drafting and redrafting them so they actually get published and I don't get banned. And I'm sufficiently paranoid and a sufficiently nuanced writer that I could possibly get another two or three through before my thoughtcrimes were noted and the banhammer fell, but my problem is that I am not often moved to comment by stuff I think is 100% correct and awesome. I am driven to have my say on posts which I don't totally agree with. I am contrary. I am rebellious. I do not have massive amounts of truck with authority. I am too much of a goddamn feminist, is my trouble.

I feel like this would not be a problem if Melissa just quit pretending her site was for anyone other than her and her BFFs. It would make the onerous task of moderation significantly easier if the only people allowed to comment were those who have already been vetted. Obviously one could never be allowed to suggest this because that would be telling Melissa how to run her site and OMG DEHUMANISING! And it might make it harder to get donations.

But now! I am going to unsubscribe, because life is too fucking short to keep obsessing about my exclusion from a party I am no longer interested in attending.
ambergris: (Default)
My single sister is whining about how much she hates Valentines Day and I am like, meh, whatever. I cannot get upset about this stuff anymore. Celebrate whatever holidays you want, this one has nothing to do with me.

This is what bugs me about so much feelgood self-improvement rhetoric. This idea that everyone has a right to be loved. No. It is not a right, it is a privilege. Everyone else on the surface of this planet has the right not to love you, and their right to choose trumps your sense of entitlement. If you're a child then your parents have a duty to love you incurred by their decision to inflict life upon you; but people neglect their duties all the time and it's not as if love is something which can be compelled. So no.

Which makes me think, not for the first time, that love privilege is a Thing, because clearly your life is going to be substantially easier if you are easy to love, and something of a struggle if you are unlovable. If you have people who care about you, you will cope better with whatever other shit life has to throw at you. And not everyone does. I keep googling variations on 'how to recover from depression when surrounded by abusive people' and there is NOTHING out there. There is plenty of advice on disentangling yourself from abusive people, but it is heavily reliant upon you not being depressed and having non-abusive people who are willing to help you, ignoring the fact that interacting with abusive people is fucking depressing and that they are also really good at cutting you off from non-abusive people. Not that they needed to make the effort in my case, since by the age of about twenty I was like 'ok, enough of this crap now, NO MORE PEOPLE.'

I was just so damn tired of everyone turning out to be untrustworthy. Still am. But I don't delude myself that I somehow deserved any better, because people are what they are, and I am what I am, which is not pleasant enough to draw pleasant people to me. I am not good at pretending to be nice; and even if I were, I would be reluctant to add falseness to my list of flaws. You only get found out in the end anyway.

Sometimes I wish I lived in the Middle Ages, when hermitude was a valid lifestyle choice and the church would give you the means to pursue it. There are some people who are just not a good fit with society, and we should be allowed to wall ourselves up in our cells, dreaming our dreams and thinking our thoughts, without third parties trying to control our behaviour or guilt-tripping us about our failure to be 'normal'.
ambergris: (Default)
So I was feeling kind of weirdly triggered by the way that anyone daring to disagree with the slightest aspects of Shakeville's postings on Jacintha Saldanha was getting shut up and sat on and silenced? I don't understand why exactly it is so terrible to point out that Princess Diana had a complex and mutually exploitative relationship with the media, or that Saldanha's identity wasn't actually made public prior to her death (we still don't know anything about the other nurse involved, which is as it should be), or that there was an entire culture of gross 'practical jokes' at the Australian radio station and that maybe it's unfair to put the entire blame upon two individuals, choosing to ignore the environment they were working in and the bosses who remain largely anonymous and unhounded by the media. Anything that doesn't directly serve the 'pranks are evil' agenda must be hushed immediately. Yeah, the 'pranks are evil' agenda is important. But so is a lot of other stuff, like how economic conditions in the UK forced Jacintha Saldanha to live and work away from the support of her family, or how catastrophically Westerners fail to understand Asian concepts of shame and losing face, or how the international media really needs to get over its inexplicable and occasionally fatal obsession with a bunch of random posh people who sometimes get married and have babies.

And I realised, that if those things were not safe to say, there was no way on earth I would ever be able to express my reservations about bullying the bullies, or assuming them incapable of experiencing sincere regret, or the appropriateness of calling them 'shameless dirtbags' when you have just been talking about how abuse can kill people. Because, you know, white people who work in the media and have a proven deficiency of empathy obviously have no triggers whatsoever and can take whatever is thrown at them.

And then I thought: whoa, you have been considering yourself not good enough for a space where it is not even safe to say that bullying is not OK. A space where they are fundamentally uninterested in anything anyone else has to say. The china shop is an echo chamber. It's not about you being an elephant. It's about you not being a mirror.

Which is fair enough, because I don't get to dictate the terms on which other people choose to blog. But I am kind of angry with myself for letting myself be cowed by it. Making myself feel inadequate because the straitjacket didn't fit.
ambergris: (Default)
A short selection of things my family have considered it acceptable to say to me in the past year:

  • No wonder you have no friends

  • You have had every advantage in life. You're just too lazy to get a job.

  • You can find yourself somewhere else to live

  • Why don't you just kill yourself?

  • I hate the sound of your voice

  • You are dirty and disgusting and you smell

Then there are the more subtle forms of abuse by outsiders. The pseudostepmother who thinks it's OK to make you stand in the corridor when your dad is in intensive care because 'it's a different kind of love'. The pseudostepfather who pretends you don't exist. The waitresses who pretend they can't see you, the cashiers who demand ID even though you have grey hair, the Big Issue sellers who hassle you. All the little unkindnesses.

My sister's best friend lied to her that she had cancer. My pseudostepmother omitted to mention the fact that her rich husband was twenty-five years her senior and had a granddaughter. My mother lied for over a decade about having an affair. I don't know anyone who is honest. I don't know anyone who isn't judgmental. I don't think I even know anyone who is nice.

It is a lot like my phobia of dentists, actually. It doesn't deserve to be called a phobia because it is entirely rational, and justified, and based upon empirical experience. And when I overcome my fears, it turns out that I was right to be afraid. Guess what, dentists do inflict unnecessary pain on you in exchange for vast quantities of money! Just like they did before you stopped going!

I was scared of traffic even before a car knocked me over. If I'd been that little bit more anxious, it would have saved me from getting in an accident and the greater anxiety that resulted from that. Yeah, anxiety stops you living life to the full. But sometimes it's the only thing which keeps you alive at all.


Jan. 13th, 2012 10:06 pm
ambergris: (Default)
I know I am mostly burned out on people in general, but sometimes I'd like to have a friend who didn't think that 'fat' and 'autistic' were terms of abuse. And who didn't think it was ok to fling said terms of abuse at me on a semi-regular basis. And who didn't judge me constantly. That would be cool.

Actually, if I knew anyone like that I probably wouldn't be so jaded with the concept of humanity in the first place. But I don't. So I am.

I am moving in with someone who still thinks it is ok to make fun of people because you don't like their shoes. If I wanted to devote my life to someone with a mental age of twelve I'd have got myself knocked up when I was twenty-two. Oh wait, I couldn't. I was incel when I was twenty-two. Oh well, never mind.


Feb. 28th, 2010 07:22 pm
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I don't know why some people think shouting at a depressed person is an appropriate way of dealing with an admittedly exasperating situation. Seriously, what do they think will happen? Depressed person will leap to their feet declaring 'yes! you're absolutely right! I am a lazy good-for-nothing, but now you have been so good as to alert me to the fact, I am going to stop! I am now going to get dressed in my smartest clothes and reward you with a cup of tea before going outside and magicking up a fabulous life for myself!'

It seems to me far more likely that depressed person will merely snivel a bit.

Some people are so miserable and powerless in their own little lives that making other people suffer is the only source of joy they have. I learned this at school.

I am perpetually afraid of becoming one of them.


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