August 3rd, 2004

multiple user

No pity. ...shame. No silence.

Someone pointed out, in a locked post, that emotional abuse is just as real as physical abuse, though it doesn't leave marks that can be photographed.


From 1996 to 1999, I was emotionally abused. I was taught that I did not deserve to be listened to, that I should not do what I knew was right, that if I participated in a political protest I was making a scene, that if I had inappropriate emotions I was crazy. I should not protest when I was not held equal. If he had something that needed to be done, I should drop everything to make sure it got done; if I had something that I wanted done, nothing would be dropped...

And I knew there was something not right, and I stayed anyway. And I started to agree with the restrictions. And I grumbled and grouched and complained and let myself be smacked down again every time I tried to tell him I didn't think it was right, and it was my fault anyway for letting him intimidate me.


Now that it's not happening anymore, it doesn't seem so bad. I haven't cried about it in a long time. I haven't been stricken to voicelessness for maybe a year. My head has rearranged itself so that the front isn't the one who's taking all the damage anymore, and the creative self, the little who used to be catatonic and mute, is cocky and verbal and can come out and speak in words to people.

Before him, there were already a few of us: a bored and lonely Lunatic was hit with what must have been adolescence-onset depression, and fragmented more strongly along the lines that were already set up from childhood school/home dissociation. Before, mostly, we gossiped between ourselves, because it was safer to be friends with ourselves than with the other high school students/non-geeks...

After him ... after him, there was the one who took the damage, the one who couldn't speak to express anything he might disapprove of, the one who made sure the whole collective didn't get her hands on any knives when she was alone (and made sure we were never alone), and the one who just wanted to kill him.

I remember when I was amazed and dumbfounded that Mona had spoken aloud with words to another human. We'd thought that she would never speak. She'd learned that it was too dangerous to speak, and when it was too dangerous to speak, she'd come out so the words would stay inside. She wrote or fingerspelled, but one day she started talking. It took a long silence before she would talk, but she talked. Word by word, she learned that if she talked about how she felt, she wouldn't get smacked down, she would get hugged and reassured and clonked over the head gently with schoolbooks if she started freaking out. It took years, but maybe, finally, the worst is over.


I'm Joan. I'm a survivor of emotional abuse.
No pity. ... No silence.
running, bomb tech

Dreams

Dreamed, among other things, about a dragonfly who had gotten her wings all smushed up, but was being taken home from one intersection through the next long block to the next major intersection as a familiar. On the way, she changed from a dragonfly, strictly speaking, into some sort of thing with a paper abdomen.

I walked directly from that dream into the next, where I was supposed to be the TA in my college Ben Stein lookalike math prof's class. He was challenging me to see if I would be a fit TA for his class, asking me to write down on the whiteboard the math problem that he was dictating to me, to see if I put it down correctly.

Evidently one of the students walking in took exception to this and began an immediate dislike of me. First he said something very inappropriate, and then he decided on a public humiliation of me. He handed out pencils and pencil covers (paper of the right size to wrap around a pencil and glue there) and the images on my two pencil covers were enough like the images on the pencil covers of the others to not cause comment, but clearly mocking me (the images were of cartoon women, not particularly attractive ones), but if I faced him up about it in front of the entire class I would look like I was the one being oversensitive and jumping at shadows and paranoid. I couldn't face him down, so I instead traded pencil covers with the Old Lady Monitor, who was quietly appalled that the young man would be so crass.

More things happened, and I wound up picking him up and carrying him outside and having a little word with him while I held him up by the collar (not ordinary hold-up-by-collar, this was his entire body horizontal in the air with his face on a level with mine) and had a few words with him.
running, bomb tech

LJ client idea

If your LJ client checks LJ for friends page updates, have LJ client detect if LJ is in fact *down* (as far as the client can tell) and notify, and also notify when LJ starts to be back up again.

Would save angst for users, IMNSHO.