I’ve been thinking a lot about my last post and I think it was pretty hypocritical and dumb. I scream into the darkness about people who are dumb for blaming the system and then I still get so, so angry at people who are close-minded or misogynist. That’s pretty exhausting and silly. Yeah, maybe anger is a powerful driving force, but so is anxiety- holding onto things so that they can drive you to create is effective in the short term, but limit the emotional growth that art and life are about. There are a lot of people who I feel mistreated by who dislike me because they feel mistreated by me as well. And we’ll always see things differently and want an apology and the relationship to exist on our own respective terms, I’ll want them to be eternally respectful of my feelings and wants and needs and they’ll want me to do the same. A lot of people don’t understand that asking for boundaries in a relationship to feel safe is different than demanding contact to feel reassured and safe. That insisting on privacy and respect for personal space is a request that it is an invasion to deny since those things are basic human rights [probably, I’m not gonna google UN or anything]. Some people [MEEE sometimes in the past] see their overwhelming need for closeness as a right they are also entitled to, and while it feels equally important for their own safety and confidence, it is not something that you are entitled to, not a need that a refusal to meet can be categorized as disrespect unless it disrespects the terms of some kind of contract you’ve agreed on about the nature of your relationship [silent, legal, pattern, whatever]. If you aren’t comfortable with someone having such boundaries, the insisted distance makes you feel rejected or hurt, the right thing to do is either respect them and wait patiently, hoping that they will be lowered by respecting them, or just walk away- it is a violation to break an established boundary, whereas it’s not a violation to refuse to give into someone else’s desperate desire to break it.
This is the grey area in rape, abuse, lotta stuff. If you manipulate, threaten, trick or badger someone into doing something they aren’t comfortable with, is it a violation? What if the manipulation is deliberate? What if the threat is just intimidation, not direct physical violence? What if the aggressor is drunk and not entirely in control of their attack?
I think there’s a lotta stuff there that’s really hard to condemn people who are so unaware of their emotional reality. And I don’t think being angry or viewing yourself as a victim makes you stronger [IN THESE SPECIFIC SITUATIONS. NOT RAPE OR REPEATED PHYSICAL ABUSE OR OTHER CLEAR VIOLATIONS AND LIFE OR DEATH TYPE STUFF WHICH IS HORRIBLY COMMON AND REAL] I just think that despite feeling violated and scared a lot of the time I was in my last relationships, I wasn’t a victim. I was a participant. And in some ways I was just as bad, because by succumbing and not standing up for myself and not leaving sooner, I was a liar. They didn’t realize how unhappy I was because jeez, first of all they were really unhappy too, and also because I stuck around when I didn’t want to and didn’t demand what I wanted like they did. I can’t keep pretending I’m angry at people for not realizing how much they were hurting me when silently allowing an emotional gap to grow hurt them just as much.
Abuse is a strong word. Predator is a strong word. Some people are too out of control of their lives and their emotions to realize that the only way they know how to be close to someone is to feel like they have total control over them, and when it feels like their grasp slips their raging id takes over. But at least in my case, in spending time with people like that, in sometimes BEING someone like that, they are no more unhealthy than the people who continue to enable that while pretending they aren’t festering with silent resentment. This is the anatomy of a dysfunctional relationship. It’s a cliche for a reason, but until you can accept yourself and treat yourself with compassion and respect rather than trying to hurt yourself or find ways to validate yourself, you have no damn business letting someone else become your sexual and emotional partner. If you can’t control your emotions, you’re not gonna find someone else to do it for you.