Posted: March 27, 2013 at 9:29 pm | Tags: relationships, responsibility, stuff, thoughts
*trigger warning for discussion of rape*
So this is for those people who fail to consider other people before looking for their own emotional resolution. Those people who demand closure or their emotions handled when the epicentre of something bad happened to someone else they know. I do get that generally we are self centred individuals who think about our own suffering before others, but we should perhaps consider not opening our mouths when someone else has every reason to be suffering or grieving more than we do ourselves.
It is not the job of the person/s who are in the epicentre of some terrible event to consider the feelings of other people who are peripheral to the epicentre. The epicentre sucks, and the concentric circles of closeness from that event also suck, but they suck less and less than the epicentre.
Let me give some examples, one that I’ve experienced myself even. When a partner of 18 months left me to be monogamous with his other partner, someone I had hoped to receive some sympathy from when I told them the news was upset with me because I didn’t think of her feelings in telling her this news. She expected me to sympathise with her over the loss of a potential relationship she might have had versus the actual relationship I’d lost. She was angry that I didn’t sympathise with her, even though I was completely unaware of her potential relationship. She’d made it all about her and failed to consider where the epicentre of hurt was in this instance.
Another scenario, one I’ve heard more than once, when a relationship breaks down and someone not in the relationship exclaims their disappointment at the relationship breaking down, wanting some kind of support for their pain over hearing that the relationship is over, without any consideration for what the person is telling them feels about it.
Just like when someone discloses to you that they’ve been raped, the focus should not be on the listener’s feelings about the whole issue:
Maintain the focus on her. This is tricky, because each rape victim is unique and the response they need from you may vary from person to person. I have in the past said not to react with anger, because that puts the victim in the position of having to talk someone down from committing murder or assault, but I’ve since heard from rape victims who felt that anger in response to their stories was helpful and cathartic. So I will amend my earlier statement to say that expressing emotion, even strong emotion, is probably fine, but do it while remembering that this moment isn’t about you so much as it is about the victim. Communication is very valuable here: “I’m going to kill him!” is very very unlikely to be helpful, but saying “I know this isn’t about me, but I’m just so furious at him. Is there anything I can do for you?” is one way of expressing strong emotion while still affirming that you are there to help the victim, rather than she being there to talk you down from homicide or console you at being confronted with rape culture*. [ana mardoll's ramblings]
So, if it isn’t about you, don’t make it about you. Be there for the person at the epicentre of tragedy, because if that was you, you’d want exactly that. Don’t make the person/s at the epicentre have to care for you and take time away from processing their own emotions and reactions about the tragedy, don’t give them more work in having to care about you.
This has been your friendly PSA for the week.
Posted: December 30, 2011 at 4:12 pm | Tags: stuff, thoughts, year in review
I can’t say I’m sorry to see 2011 go. It’s been a pretty shit year for most people I know, there have been bad relationship breakups, deaths, illness, and other stressful events. I’m hard pressed to find three positives for the year to focus on, in amongst all the crap that has gone on.
My trip to Malaysia earlier this year was a big highlight for me. It was warm, interesting, cheap and fun – and a well needed break at the time. It would have been more awesome if my two other partners could have joined me, but it was a great place to visit and I’ve love to go again.
My girlfriend finishing and submitting her thesis was a definite highlight – all that work and learning over (for now), and she has a life again!
I suppose the third highlight was finding my feet at work and being given my own project to run (with all the support I need to run said project). Settling in, making friends and finding security in my job has taken a huge weight off my shoulders.
In relation to my resolutions for 2011, I learnt some Spanish cooking, but nowhere near enough – but then work and stress ate heavily into my free time, I continued going to the gym, but not as much as I would have liked (see previous reason), and I climbed all the stairs (certainly while I was in Malaysia).
So yes, not a stellar year, and one which I will toast the fuck off out of on Saturday night when we welcome in 2012.
Posted: October 19, 2011 at 9:47 pm | Tags: Language, stuff, words, WTF
Pain is temporary. Quitting is forever
No and no… and no and no and no and no
Neither of those two statements are true. Pain is not always temporary, and to suggest it is makes those who live with chronic pain either non-existent, or delusional. Some pain is temporary, and some pain is not.
Quitting is not forever. Quitting is just a thing. Sometimes it can be about personal boundaries, abilities, or coping capacity. Sometimes it can just be because you are done and don’t want to continue. Sometimes it can be because you’ve changed your mind. None of these things are necessarily permanent – though of course they could be, but that doesn’t mean that all things you quit are.
So, poster on the wall at my gym, kindly take your offensive slogan away and sod off – because fire… the effects of that can be permanent.
Posted: September 26, 2011 at 10:16 pm | Tags: me, stuff, thoughts
It’s not a new problem for me, the problem of running out of coping, running out of caring, running out of energy beyond what is strictly necessary, but it is a problem that I have successfully managed to avoid for some years now, and so it snuck up on me with warning signs I’d forgotten how to read, and now I’m at the bottom of the barrel.
I could have seen it coming if I remembered the signs, but it’s been a long time since I ran out of everything that the signs were quite unfamiliar to me, until I hit that brick wall and stumbled backwards, landing on my arse and looking quite surprised with the world.
So the past few weeks have been really hard emotional work for me. I’m an introvert (in the MBTI sense – I recharge by being near alone/alone), and so when I fill my calendar up with social engagements, and not sufficient time to spend recharging, I’m far more likely to hit that wall and sit up, blinking at it. It takes a lot longer to recover once I’ve hit that wall than if I’d taken the time to myself to recharge before moving onto the next big (or small) thing.
It hasn’t helped of course that in the past 2 months my husband and one of his partner’s have ended ended their relationship (no hope at all of rekindling that, and she left him so he’s been really upset about that), a friend died and we’ve provided support to his partner and other friends who have needed it (and my husband went straight there when he found out and helped with the police report and other emotional supporting needs), spent a weekend in country Victoria with some lovely women, some of whom were working through issues – to which I gave hugs, a shoulder to cry on, and listening (as well as cooking and cleaning). The following weekend (this wasn’t a wise move), I visited my parents and… well did parenting work. This was the week after the funeral. I then returned to Melbourne, had dinner with a friend, saw Bangarra perform Belong (highly highly recommend that if you ever have the opportunity to see them perform – will write more later), went to a gig (saw Mareike Hardy and Gotye occupy the same room), celebrated International Celebrate Bisexuality Day with a meal at the pub with my bisexual community, and then went out on Saturday night to dinner and then a burlesque themed show with friends… that’s when I knew.
That’s when I knew that I had nothing left, almost nothing left for me, and certainly nothing left for the group I was with. I was numb, distant and somewhat irritated (though that last bit had probably far more to do with the venue than anything else). I left early, went home and sat around a bit before I went to bed. I decided to spend Sunday doing things for me (playing computer games, looking at my garden, etc), and not going out to the birthday yum cha that we’d been invited to. My husband started off on his way there, found out that the one person he was going to see wasn’t going to be there, and then came home and fell into a deep depression.
I had very little left, and so tried to do what I could, unsuccessfully, and then found a great, albeit temporary, solution – Doctor Who. We’d not seen any of the second half of this season yet, and now we’ve caught up.
Being close to running out of everything, and the running out of everything, has seriously messed up my blogging. I have all these ideas that I want to write about, but haven’t had the concentration, time, or energy to do so. But soon, because for the next several days I’m the most important person to me and I’m going to do what I need to do, so I can continue to, when I have my energy back, do what I do for others.
Posted: July 6, 2011 at 10:25 pm | Tags: identity, stuff, thoughts
I sponsored a child last week with Plan (a charity I highly recommend). I didn’t select a gender or a country trusting that Plan would set me up with whatever they needed for their aims of sponsoring children. I received the details of the child on paper at the end of last week, and as I flipped through it all I noticed that Plan highly recommended that I write to my sponsored child and could do so electronically, including attaching photos. It was made clear that any photo submitted should not show signs of materialism, and that my letter to my sponsored child should be about things we have in common in order to not upset the child with the things that they may never have.
This, of course, all makes perfect sense, and so I started thinking about the things that we have in common. I am growing some vegetables in my garden for us to consume, not exactly something we have in common because if my crop fails, I can just go to the supermarket and buy food, whereas my sponsored child and his family and community will face a much harder time if their crops fail. I have a family, he has a family, so we have that in common. I have been to school and he is going to school, so we can talk about school subjects, learning goals, and where those things can take us as we grow up/older.
There was a point to mentioning this, which has slipped my brain, but that’s ok, it may or may not come back to me as I continue to ramble on about things.
On Sunday my computer catastrophically went splodge. My husband was quite upset about the PC dying as it happened on his watch, so to speak, as I was out grocery shopping at the time. I shrugged and said it was ok, which surprised him as he thought I’d be upset. My PC has been giving signs of throwing in the towel for a while now, and clearly Sunday was the day for everything to fall over. I will be upset if the dying of the computer takes out one of my HDDs (the one with all the photos on it), but everything else is backed up, or available elsewhere. I was planning to buy a new PC with my tax return anyway, this just brought everything forward by a month or so.
So this weekend I’ll hold the brief funeral service before taking the PC (minus the valuables – HDD, RAM and graphics card) to the great recycling centre. We’ll farewell the PC in the style it was accustomed to living – perhaps not with the all nighters I made it do regularly.
I’m typically a calm person, I have a very high frustration tolerance and don’t often get frustrated with things, I am resigned to bad traffic, delayed or cancelled trains, that phone call just as I’m leaving the office, and stuff. That doesn’t mean that I’m never frustrated or angry, because that does happen, but just that it often takes more to make me angry than it does some of the other members of my household. And as well, if anger isn’t going to be useful (ie being angry for 2 weeks while my computer is replaced is a bit much), then anger is not the response I typically choose. Feminist flash rage happens on a daily basis.
It’s not that I think to myself that there are others in the world who are far worse off than me (as I think that’s a terrible thing to do to yourself) when something like my computer dies (or my house floods). I just process it differently and put it in the bucket of things I cannot control so will not spend time fretting about. I’m privileged enough to have sufficient savings to be able to borrow against to replace my computer – even if it is going to take 2 weeks for the custom build I’m getting. I’m privileged enough to be able to typically access reliable public transport, have a relatively flexible workplace, have a reliable car and to live with others who will hear my frustration and anger when it is present, whether it be about the rantings of ill-informed political commentators or many things failing to do what they should at once.
Posted: April 3, 2011 at 6:38 pm | Tags: angry, me, stuff, thoughts
There are some people I know, who I think are fantastic in many ways, who have a trait that tends to bug me a lot. It’s this, an ability to tolerate/indulge certain (mostly negative) behaviours from individuals because they need to be that right now, or that they need to feel that it is ok to be that right now. The thing that gets to me most, is not that my friends tolerate/indulge these behaviours from these individuals, it’s generally that I am expected to tolerate/indulge this behaviour as well.
If I complain about one of these people and say, “Ow, my eyes have been sporked“, then far too often I feel that the other individual (often masculine oddly enough) will be defended, and I am expected to attempt to compromise around their behaviour and it’s negative impacts on me. I feel that I am expected to be the grown-up while the other person is often indulged in whatever tantrum, bad behaviour, etc, that they are undertaking that I am objecting to. “Oh but you don’t know where they are right now” and “But they’re not really like that” aren’t good enough. Compromise is not a one way street.
If someone is being an arsehat, then I’m going to call that out. I understand that the support I’m going to get from some of my friends is going to be seriously lacking, but that’s going to be ok. Because right now, I clearly need to be angry and intolerant of all arsehatted behaviour. I will be spending a lot more time being intolerant of arsehats and the negative impact that has on me. Because it’s time we all grew up.
Posted: January 31, 2011 at 10:47 pm | Tags: poetry, stuff
The leopard stairs are soft and furry
The whiskers tickle your feet as you creep upon them
Softly purring, quietly sleeping
You hope they don’t awake
The spider stairs are sticky and flimsy
You never know if you will make it home
They’re always hidden in the dark corners
Waiting for you to approach
The eagle stairs are loud and hard
Dangerously high and perilous
These stairs soar and glide in the thermals
Before rapidly diving downwards
The shark stairs are sharp and raspy
They wend sinuously through the deep
Hunting, you or something like you
It’s best to not take these stairs
The elephant stairs are long and memorable
The gentle, warm wrinkles or repeated journeys
Slow moving but attentive
These stairs are good to take
The human stairs are regular and boring
Symmetrical and repeating
No fun, nor joy in these stairs
We are stuck with the mundane
Posted: January 25, 2011 at 1:04 pm | Tags: age, body, ouch, stuff, treatment
It hit me (briefly) today that I am now officially middle aged. It should have hit me at my last birthday when I was official middle aged, but these things take time because I rarely reflect on my age as anything other than a near random number. In a few weeks I turn 36, which also is relatively meaningless to me – I don’t really assign any value to my age so much as my state of mind, capabilities, capacity, fun, happiness and security.
The only reason this has become relevant now is because I have tendinitis in my hips, which makes moving sometimes stiff and difficult (especially if I’ve been sitting cross-legged), and means that most nights I’m waking up in pain from lying on my side (either one). This was finally diagnosed by a physiotherapist last night, and it can be fixed, but apparently it is a common ailment of middle aged women who have started going to the gym (all boxes I tick – as I don’t tick the ones about being pregnant or carrying young children on my hip). Emedicine has a helpful article which states:
Gluteus Medius Syndrome and Trochanteric Bursitis
The gluteus medius functions as a primary hip abductor. It originates at the external surface of the ilium and inserts onto the posterior lateral surface of the greater trochanter. This muscle is innervated by the superior gluteal nerve (L4-S1).The greater trochanteric bursa lies directly lateral to the greater trochanter. This lateral growth of the femur abuts the tensor fasciae latae and lateral quadriceps muscles. The bursa provides lubrication and cushioning to allow the muscles to flex and extend over the trochanter without damaging the muscles. It also cushions the tendon before the attachment of the gluteus medius and minimus. Bursitis in this area can be secondary to changes in activity or training, biomechanical problems lower down the leg, or from direct trauma. These conditions lead to increased pressure of the muscles against the bursa and trochanter—with resultant inflammation.
Pain will occur with hip flexion such as walking, climbing stairs, or getting out of a car or a chair. Nocturnal pain while lying on the affected side is common. A snap is occasionally felt or heard in the lateral hip with flexion or extension.
Gluteus medius syndrome involves tenderness to palpation of the gluteus medius muscle, which can be triggered by sudden falls, prolonged weight bearing on one extremity for long periods, activity overuse, or sporting injuries. Most commonly, this situation is observed in middle-aged women who have embarked upon a vigorous walking program or who have started working out at a health club. Patients may present with pain that is transient and worsening over a time period, a Trendelenburg gait, and weakness. These symptoms specifically affect runners, as there is tilting of the pelvis with running. It is important for the clinician to examine the patient for a leg-length discrepancy.
Hip-abduction strengthening should be avoided in the initial stages of gluteus medius syndrome because it only provokes tendinitis. As the acute stage resolves, hip-abductor strengthening is important and is best achieved in the aquatic environment. [emphasis added]
So, no hip flexing, stretches or other such fun things for me until I get better. Because it is getting worse at the moment, and if I do a Body Balance (my favourite gym class) class and do the hip flexing track, I suffer for it for a few days later. But at least I know (that and the flare up of an old lower back issue/injury) what is wrong with my body right now and that I can be put back together. It’s no fun waking up repeatedly during the night while my hips sing a song of agony, trying to find a position to sleep in that is not painful. So I have around 24 weeks of physio go to through (thankfully I have sufficient money to pay for that), 6 – 12 weeks for my spine and then another 6 – 12 weeks for my hips. And then… stuff!
Posted: January 13, 2011 at 10:35 pm | Tags: annoying, gah, stuff, thoughts, weather
[I'd like to state at the very beginning of this post that I am having a small whine. I, unlike Queenslanders who have been affected by the floods, have a roof over my head and haven't lost family, friends, belongings, pets, or my house. If you want to donate to the Queensland flood relief fund go here]
For the past few days, I haven’t been living in Melbourne, well I have, I’ve been living back in the tropics. The warm nights and warm days, with very high humidity have put me in mind of my time on Christmas Island versus living in Melbourne. My tiles are covered in condensation, meaning we have towels all over the place, my carpet is damp (and smells of wet sheep or carpet depending on your point of view) and the humidity level inside the house are currently at 98% (only slightly below being immersed in water (this is a joke)).
My back garden (have I mentioned that we’re situated on clay soil?) has taken as much water in as it can, and has flooded into the garage, so for an hour after I returned from the gym we bailed out the back yard, moved stuff that shouldn’t get wet in the garage higher, tried to seal the garage against further inundation, swept excess water from the garage, and then bought cat litter for the poor kittens who don’t want to go to the toilet in a lake.
This La Niña, although successfully having broke the drought for much of Australia, has been incredibly destructive. My parents have had their property flooded twice, and this time they’ve evacuated because the reservoir upstream from them is above capacity and the Government is concerned about downstream residents. I’m wondering how many of us want the drought back.
Posted: January 1, 2011 at 10:27 pm | Tags: stuff, thoughts
It’s now 2011, and probably is now across most of the globe. After a chat with my sister earlier today and reading a tweet from MyMilkSpilt which said:
This NYE do yourself a big favour: don’t resolve to lose weight. Set activity & home-cooking goals instead, if you wanna ‘get healthy’!
I thought I’d write down my resolutions for this year. I’m trying to make relatively concrete resolutions about things that I am able to control. The happiness of others, for example, is not something I can control, so won’t be on my list of things that I’d like to achieve/happen this year.
- Cook more often – I cooked a lot last year, more than I have other years and consequently I ate a whole lot less take-away than previous years. I want to continue this into 2011, because I’m an awesome cook and I really love cooking. I know I’m privileged by both being able to cook and generally having time to cook (as well as a partner who will also take turns in cooking). I will also attempt to learn more recipes and cuisines. I had fun exploring Moroccan last year and this year perhaps I should try something else as well.
- Exercise – Last year was up and down regarding exercise with time, health, stress and dramas getting in the way. This year I want to get to the gym twice a week (at least) and to walk more and climb more stairs. I do actually like being active and the way my body feels (after the initial shock). So more of that please.
- Travel – I will travel to places this year that I have not been to (and places that I have, and really like). I have rough plans to travel to Byron Bay and the UK, so will travel with an open mind, a willingness to have fun, and understanding that things don’t always go as planned.
- Writing – I plan to blog more, and not always write long, detailed and deconstruction posts, but just quick short ones pointing out things that interest me, annoy me, or have made me think. I might even participate in NaNoWriMo this year to write out the novel that is forming in my head (or another one if I finish that one first).
- Believe in me – I’m going to spend more of this year (than I did last year) believing that I am entirely capable of what most people believe I am… well the positive things…. the negative things will not be listened to.
I hope that 2011 is far, far, far more awesome for everyone than 2010. Do you have any new year resolutions that you’d like to share?