Thursday, January 29, 2015

Male Privilege and Social Desirablity

Eli and I were talking about how I would get treated differently if I were male, and how some of my traits are more undesirable because I'm female. I honestly never thought much about this before in terms of my personal experience. I know that there is a lot of sexism and male privilege in the world, but I always thought that in terms of what I personally want to do - which is lots of cuddling and talking about feelings and being able to cry when I want to - I was much better off being female. I do think it would be less socially acceptable to do those things if I were a guy, and I'm not saying that I want to be a guy, but I did come up with some things that would be totally different for me if I were male. (Note: I am not saying that all male people have the traits I'm about to describe. I'm saying that when a male person has these traits, it's just way less undesirable than when a female person has the same traits).

1. Being clingy would be more acceptable, I think. Right now I identify very strongly as a clingy person and I am trying very hard to push that word through as a perfectly fine way to be. But if I were a straight guy who had a girlfriend and wanted to see her all the time, as much as I wanted to see my boyfriend, I don't think it would be so undesirable. It wouldn't be called clingy. I think it would be perfectly normal and socially acceptable for me to want to spend a lot of time with my girlfriend, and it would perfectly okay for me to feel entitled to spend that much time with my girlfriend, in a way that it was never okay for me to feel entitled to spend time with my boyfriend.

My boyfriend's social circle disliked me because I was clingy. But what I'm realizing now is that if things had been reversed - if my boyfriend had been more clingy and I had wanted to spend much less time with him than he did with me - I think his social circle would have disliked me just as much for the opposite reason. If I were a straight guy, it would just be way more socially desirable for me to expect to spend all the time that I'd want to spend with my girlfriend.

2. Not being well-rounded would be more acceptable. Female people are expected to be good at everything. I mean, look at Hermione - she's good at essentially everything. Harry is only good at certain things, and even by the end of the 7th book, he never becomes as skilled at everything as Hermione does. And yet Harry gets to be the star and have all the glory while Hermione is under-appreciated a lot of the time. This is just one example, but I feel like most positive female characters are portrayed as being good at everything, while male characters can be extremely skilled in one area and incompetent in everything else.

I have absolutely zero interest in being good at everything. I have zero interest in multi-tasking or being detail-oriented. I want to have extreme interests in a few things and be basically incompetent in everything else because I really don't give a damn about everything else. And I think it would be more acceptable to be that way if I were a guy.

3. Only doing what I want and not having any sense of responsibility. I don't do any chores or housework. I've never made my bed. I don't know the names of any cleaning products because I don't use them. I don't know how to cook and I'm not interested in learning. I leave perishable food out on the counters for hours because I forget to put it away, and then I still eat it without a second thought because what's the big deal? The other night I managed to flood my sink without even turning the water on. (Seriously - I hadn't run the garbage disposal in so long that water literally started flowing up from the sink when I wasn't even running the faucet. It was quite freaky). If I were a guy, none of this stuff would be so undesirable. I just think there wouldn't be such a high expectation that I would do any cleaning or responsible stuff in the first place.

4. Being entitled would be perfectly acceptable. I plan to do what I want when I want to and have absolutely no interest in earning anything: "I earned this cookie because I had a salad for lunch," "I earned a night off because I studied all week," etc. For years I have been trying desperately to break away from this culture, to live in a world where we eat cookies and go out on a Friday night because we want to, NOT because we did anything to earn it. I rarely hear all this stuff about "earning" things from guys. Something tells me that if I were a guy, I wouldn't have to run very far to find the culture I'm looking for.

5. I wouldn't feel like I had to tiptoe around and be polite to people when I don't want to be. Being polite would be a bonus, not an expectation.

6. The fact that I don't want kids ever would be way more socially acceptable. I understand that if I were a straight guy and wanted a girlfriend, I would have to find a girlfriend who also didn't want kids. But I just have a feeling that if I were a guy who didn't want kids, the number of people I'd date who would just expect me to want kids, or expect me to change my mind after I've explicitly said that I don't ever want kids, would be a lot lower. Just a guess.

I'm working on a book about emotional validation right now. If you had asked me a year ago, "What would be different if you were a guy?" I would have assumed that that would make everything worse because it would be less socially acceptable to be so focused on feelings. If you had asked me the same question a few months ago, after the breakup, I would have said that I'd probably sell more books if I were a male author and get taken more seriously. But if you ask me now, my answer is that I probably wouldn't be writing this book. I'm just not sure I would have experienced enough invalidation to write an entire book about it.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Clinginess and Male Privilege

I identify very strongly as being clingy and it is not something I am planning to change. I am going to keep pushing that word through until I am only surrounded by people who are okay with me being clingy. Clingy is not anything that I ever plan to stop being.

Here's something interesting about clinginess: Eli and I were talking last night about male privilege and how certain traits of mine would be less undesirable if I were a guy. And I realized this: if I were a straight guy who had a girlfriend and I wanted to see her all the time, as much as I wanted to see my boyfriend, I don't think it would be so undesirable. It wouldn't be called clingy because clingy is an undesirable word. I think it would be perfectly normal and socially acceptable for me to want to spend a lot of time with my girlfriend, and it would perfectly okay for me to feel entitled to spend that much time with my girlfriend, in a way that it was never okay for me to feel entitled to spend that much time with my boyfriend. I don't think I would ever have to fight for this. I don't think I would have to tell everyone, "I'm clingy, and I'm not planning to change, and if that's not okay with you then you can fuck off!"I think it would just be acceptable for me to want to be with my girlfriend all the time and be in constant contact.

Most of my boyfriend's social circle didn't like me because I was clingy and wanted to spend a lot of time with him. But what I'm realizing now is this: I think that if it were the other way around, if my boyfriend had been more clingy and I were the one who didn't want to spend as much time with him, his social circle would dislike me just as much for that. If he complained to his friends and family that he never got to see me because I was always off with my family or friends or doing my own thing and wasn't willing to make enough time for him or check in with him, I think they would have disliked me just as much as they disliked me for being clingy. I'm not sure it was ever really about being clingy. I think it was about me being something that he didn't want me to be, that the guy in the relationship didn't want me to be.

If I were a guy and had a girlfriend, I could complain about her not spending enough time with me and other people would take my side. I could also complain about her being too clingy and the same people would still take my side. Funny how that works, isn't it?

I'm not a guy, so I will have to spend the rest of my days telling people to back off if they don't approve of how clingy I am. But I just thought I'd show all of you how things would be if they were reversed.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Why Harriet the Spy Is my Fictional Hero

I saw the movie Harriet the Spy when I was 8 and read the book when I was 10, and I felt a strong bond with Harriet right away. I've written about this topic a bit before, but now I'd like to go more in-depth about why I've always felt such a deep connection with Harriet the Spy:

1. Most children's media has this assumption that you want to be around other kids and get along. It assumes that you are interested in playing, interacting, sharing, and cooperating with other children your age. Many times, stories and TV shows take it a step further and assume that getting along with other kids is important to you - important enough that you are willing to sacrifice other things you want for it. I saw so many stories and TV shows where kids had a conflict over what they wanted to do, one kid went off on their own because they didn't want to do what the group was doing, they found that it was no fun being alone, and they realized that doing anything with a group of friends is better than being by yourself. The end conclusion always emphasized how important it was to get along with other kids.

As a child, I could not relate to any of this. I had no interest in sharing or cooperating with my peers. I could take or leave playing with other kids. I generally preferred to play by myself, and I always preferred to do what I wanted to do by myself than to do something I didn't want to do with other kids. I never found that I was happier joining in a game that I didn't feel like playing than I was going off on my own. Getting along with other kids was just not something that interested me at all.

Harriet the Spy was like me. She only cared about her spy route and her notebook and never concerned herself with getting along with her peers. She had friends, but spying came first for her. She turned down lots of social invitations in order to do her spy route by herself. That is a rare thing to find in stories aimed at children. Harriet said that if she had to choose between being a spy and having friends, she'd pick spying. The first time I heard Harriet say this, I felt like she was speaking directly to me. I would have made the same choice.  I had never met a character like her before.

(Note: I have much closer relationships with my friends now, so this isn't true for me anymore in the literal sense. But Harriet says this at a point where her entire class hates her, not just her best friends. I would choose my best friends over anything, but if I had a choice between doing something I wanted to do and being liked by my peers, I'd pick doing what I wanted to do. Every single time.)

2. There is a common plot line in children's stories and TV shows where one kid is doing something that the other kids think is uncool. The kid gets teased and decides to stop doing the "uncool" thing in order to fit in with their friends. Then they feel bad because they really want to do the thing, and an adult comes along and tells them that they should just be themself and that true friends accept you for who you are.

I understand the importance of stories like this, but again, I could not relate to this at all when I was a kid. I never stopped doing something that I wanted to do in order to fit in with other kids, and at the time, I did not understand why anyone else would. I knew perfectly well that I did not want to be friends with anyone who wouldn't let me do whatever I wanted to do. I never needed an adult to tell me that.

Harriet is the same way. She never backs down no matter what. Even when her friends ditch her because of what she wrote about them in her notebook, even when her entire class gangs up on her and forms a spy-catchers club specifically to torment her, she still will not stop spying and writing in her notebook. And what I like best is that her actions don't come off as some adult-driven message of standing strong in the face of adversity. Harriet just does what she wants because she wants to, and the possibility of stopping never even occurs to her, no matter how many people hate her for it.

3. Harriet truly lives in her own little world in her notebooks and doesn't care much about the real world. I do have a big attraction to stories where the main character writes in a journal and we get to see into their internal world, which is why I love Amelia's Notebooks and the As Told by Ginger series. But Harriet's notebooks are different in the sense that she's more disconnected from real life. Even though she spies on real-life people and writes notes about them, she does it because she finds their lives interesting as an outside observer. She doesn't write about stuff that involves herself, like wondering who she'll ask to the school dance. Even when she writes about her close friends, she does it from a disconnected point of view, like she's just observing them rather than being personally invested in what happens to them. She treats the people she spies on like characters in a story that she likes to read, but is not a part of.

Harriet and I are very different on this because I am very much invested in other people and things in my real life, but I do basically like to live in my own little world like Harriet does. And in any case, I think her point of view is fascinating.

4. Harriet is untamable. I use the word "untamable" a lot nowadays, but I think the first time I used it in recent years was actually to describe Harriet. Harriet's parents take her notebooks away because of all the trouble they've caused, and she's not allowed to have notebooks at school (I never quite understood how this worked - it seems like she'd need notebooks for her schoolwork and she could write her personal stuff in those notebooks if she had to, but it's not really explained).  When her parents take the notebooks away, she flat-out refuses to function. She doesn't do any of her schoolwork at all, she treats her classmates horribly, and she carves things into her desk at school since she doesn't have paper to write on. Sometimes adults will take things away from kids hoping to make them behave and "earn" those things back, but Harriet won't play that game. Harriet is not willing to do anything until she has her notebooks back, and her parents are finally forced to give in.

5. The story doesn't simply end with Harriet apologizing. Harriet wasn't writing about her classmates on a public blog that everyone could see. She wasn't spreading around rumors and gossip that would hurt people. She was writing in her private notebook, which someone else grabbed off the ground and started reading without her consent. In the movie, a girl who doesn't like Harriet grabs the notebook, but in the book, it's actually Harriet's best friend who picks it up, and her friend never apologizes for that. Even though I hadn't started writing in a journal yet myself, I understood that Harriet could write whatever she wanted in her notebook and that the other kids had done something wrong by reading it. I knew that I would never, ever apologize if something like this happened to me. But I also knew that in a story like this, Harriet would be the one who had to apologize and set things right again, even though it was the other kids who had done something wrong.

Harriet's nanny Golly tells her that she's going to have to apologize and she's going to have to lie. She explains that sometimes you have to lie, and that Harriet will need to lie in order to fix things. I had a hard time understanding that when I was younger, since my instinct back then was to be completely honest all the time, but I appreciated the acknowledgement that it was a lie, that Harriet was not actually saying that she did anything wrong by writing what she wanted in her own private notebook.

When Harriet says that she would pick being a spy over having friends if she had to choose, she also says that maybe you're not allowed to have both. I understood that feeling. I understood the feeling of, "No one likes me because of this thing, but it's not something I'm willing to change in order to have friends, so maybe people like me just weren't meant to have friends." That has crossed my mind a lot throughout my life.

Golly says to Harriet, "You're an individual, and that scares people, and it's going to keep scaring people your whole life."
Harriet: "My whole life? What do I do?"
Golly: "You stay true to Harriet and accept the cost."

I had seen countless children's stories with the message of, "Just be yourself and everything will turn out fine!" As someone who was being myself, I knew this was not true. I felt like Golly was speaking directly to me. It was the first time that anyone in a "be yourself" conversation had told the truth.

Harriet's friends never do apologize for reading her notebook, which does bother me, but the way that they come back together is mutual because they start to miss her. They get tired of being against her and want to be friends again, and I think that deep down, even though they're upset about what she wrote, they do know that it was her private business and they shouldn't have looked.

At the conclusion of the story, Harriet becomes editor of the school newspaper and writes true, positive things about some of the people who had read the bad things she wrote about them in her notebooks. She also does a "retraction" of all of the mean things she wrote in her notebook. It's a clever way of apologizing because by retracting the mean things from the newspaper, she is basically saying that she's sorry people saw the notes and were hurt by them. She never actually says that she is sorry for writing what she wanted in her private notebook or that she shouldn't have done it.

There are two things that make me really happy about the ending. One is that Harriet uses her passion order to fix the problem, rather than reducing it or learning to "balance" it with other things. And the second is that the conclusion goes beyond getting back together with her friends and not having everyone hate her. In writing the school newspaper, Harriet grows as a writer, which is what she had wanted to do from the start.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

The Story of a Good Guy

Once upon a time, there was a good guy. He was good because he did something very nice for other people. He made pizzas for them. This guy loved to make pizzas, and he loved to make other people happy by bringing them pizzas. He always gave away pizzas for free, asking nothing in return. Everyone agreed that he was a good guy.

Although he never charged anyone for his pizzas, he got things in return that were more than money could buy. Things like friendship, popularity, and social power. While he never directly exchanged pizza for favors, he could ask anyone he wanted for a favor and they would do it for him. They felt like they owed it to him since he had been so nice to them by giving them pizza. He could easily get a group of people to come to any event he wanted as long as he promised to make pizza. And whenever he had a conflict with another person, everyone would jump to his defense no matter what he had done. Regardless of anyone else's claims, people couldn't see how someone who makes free pizzas for everyone could have done anything wrong. He was a good guy, after all.

He shared his niceness with everyone. When someone said, "No thanks, I'm not hungry right now," he'd still give them a pizza. When someone said, "No thanks, I don't like pizza," he'd still give them a pizza. When someone said, "No thanks, I can't eat pizza because of health issues," he'd still give them a pizza. He'd often complain to his friends when people got annoyed with his pushing pizza on them, and his friends agreed that those people were being silly. All he was doing was being a good guy.

Then one day, he met someone who couldn't afford to buy enough food for their family. When they asked him if he'd make them a free pizza, he hesitated. He had never stopped and thought about how much of his own money he was spending on pizza ingredients. And when he looked at it that way, it didn't seem fair for him to be making free pizza for someone who couldn't afford it. It was clearly their own fault that they couldn't find a job to support their family. He turned down their request.

Then he met someone who loved pizza, but just couldn't handle making it. The physical effort involved in going out to buy all the ingredients, assembling the pizza, and safely taking it out of the oven was just too much for them. When they asked him for a free pizza, he hesitated again. He had never minded the work involved in making pizza, but after hearing this person explain how difficult the task was for them, it just didn't seem fair that he should do all that work for them. They should either deal with the work or accept that they can't have things like pizza. He turned down their request.

Then he met someone who was going through a very difficult time and could barely bring themself to get out of bed. They hadn't been eating enough lately since the effort involved in getting up, getting dressed, leaving the house, and having to interact with other people in an overstimulated environment in order to buy food was just too much to handle. Some days they would sooner let themself starve than leave the house. When they asked him for free pizza, he hesitated yet again. He had never given a second thought to the everyday tasks he needed to do in order to make pizza, but it really didn't seem fair to give free pizza to someone who was going to wallow in bed all day. They should pull themself up and get their own pizza. He turned down their request.

At the end of the day, he met up with his friends. He told them the stories of the people who had asked for his pizza, and his friends all rolled their eyes. How could those people expect anything from him? They weren't his problem. People really needed to take responsibility for themselves. "So," the guy said, "You guys up for some free pizza?"
"Well, we did just have dinner," his friend pointed out.
"And you already made us five pizzas this week," another friend added.
They all smiled at each other. "Who are we kidding? Of course we want pizza!"
So he made a perfect pizza to share with his friends, and they all loved him for it.

After all, he was such a good guy.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Party Tip

I told my ex from the start that I never clean up anything ever, and that he wouldn't want to live with me because he's neat. He thought it would work for some reason. I think he secretly thought he'd get me to clean even though I was so clear about never cleaning anything ever.

But there was ONE time that I actually did care about cleaning and he disapproved of it.

I've grown up reading American Girl books and all of their party tips. I love hosting parties when I'm up for it (which isn't now), and I've always loved collecting party tips and writing my own. One of the biggest party tips I figured out on my own at a young age, something that no book or magazine ever told me, is this: Don't leave anything out that you don't want to do at the party. This includes toys and games that you don't want people playing with at the party, and just general stuff you don't want people touching. This is a very good party tip. Leaving out a board game in plain view that you don't want to play at the party is just asking for trouble. So when I told my ex about this party tip of mine, and how I was putting away all the stuff that I didn't want to do at the party (and this was MY party that I happened to be hosting at his place, not "our" party), he completely didn't like what I was doing because it was so controlling and manipulative and inflexible, even though this is the best party tip I've ever come up with. Doing this when I was younger would have avoided almost every party problem that came up. I need to write my own party guide that includes tips like this one and sell it and make more money than American Girl.


Link

I've been following The Pervocracy for years, and I can relate to this now:
(Not that I ever wanted to report anything, or that I would even want to now, but I relate to this a lot)

http://pervocracy.blogspot.com/2012/02/why-i-didnt-just-call-cops.html

I can REALLY relate to reasons 1, 4, 5, 9, 10, 11, and 12

(With 11, it's not so much doubt as it is a very clear, "No, this didn't ruin my whole life so I don't feel right at all ruining his whole life, even if I had the social power to." All I'd really want is for him to understand what he did and actually feel bad about it, and have his family and social circle believe me and disapprove of his behavior. But no, I'm not looking for external punishment and I don't think that would do any good.)

Done

I am done with fetlife and munches. They were never for me, and it's one of those things I just kept doing and doing hoping that something would come from it, but nothing did, and after what happened at the last one I went to, I am truly done. Part of what kept me staying was that a blogger I follow who goes to lots of munches kept insisting that they were all pretty much friendly and welcoming, which is not actually true for everyone. (And it's kind of hard to make a blanket statement like that anyway when there are tons of munches all over the world, but I live in the same general location as this blogger). The other reason was that my friend wanted to go, and wouldn't be able to go if I didn't drive them. I knew that I could simply drop them off and go do something else and then pick them up later - that's what I'd do if I had no interest in an event and my friend just needed a ride - but something about that just felt so active. Active in the sense that, if it were just me alone going to the munches and I decided to stay home, that's a passive move. That's just saying, I don't feel like going tonight, which could have nothing to do with the munch actually being bad. But to drive all the way there and not stay when it would be way more convenient to stay is more actively avoiding the munch, and I had to admit to myself that it was actually making me feel worse, rather than just being something that wasn't my favorite thing to do.

I've deleted my picture and "about me" info on fetlife. I haven't actually deleted my account in case I want to use it someday, but now people can basically tell that I'm not using the account and will not contact me. I also deleted the link to my sex blog. I've decided that I don't want to actually delete the sex blog because I worked very hard on it and it's a project that I'm proud of, and I don't think that I should have to delete something that was ultimately mine because of bad things that happened in our relationship, but I do want to stop actively directing traffic there for now.

I have no idea how many hits I've actually been getting on that site because I haven't logged in for months. It's just kind of painful to read because it's something I wanted to continue and can't, so that hurts a lot. But that blog was how I told my secret that I have held inside for literally my entire life, so it will always be special to me in that way and I am not going to scratch the whole thing because of what happened with my ex.

You Give an Inch, I Take a Mile

I would only ever date someone who would have respected my choices when I was a kid. I don't mean when they were a kid too, I mean if now, as an adult, they would have respected my choices when I was a kid and not made me do things I didn't want to do. This is a requirement. This means that I will probably not date anyone ever again. Not in this lifetime. Not in this world.

I did what I had to do to get by as a kid. I'm sorry, but if someone is completely disrespecting you by taking over your life and forcing you to do things you don't want to do, you have EVERY RIGHT to tell them to fuck off no matter how old you are and how old they are. Age doesn't make a difference. I do not regret any disrespectful things I did to adults, and I only wish I had done more of it.

I was a give-an-inch-take-a-mile kind of kid, but that's because what I WANTED to do was literally miles away from what adults had me doing, so I SHOULD have been taking those miles in the first place, not waiting for adults to give them to me.

My ex never approved of my tactics. Towards the end, I used to tell him stories like this one just to annoy him: When I was younger, brushing my hair always hurt my head and was miserable. But I quickly learned which kind of brushes and combs hurt less than the others. I liked wide-toothed combs and brushes - the wider, the better. I figured that the wider the brush was, the less work you'd have to do because some of the snarls would be so tiny that you could pass the brush over them without actually untangling them. It felt like I was getting away with something, and I loved it. At some point, my mom found this really wide-toothed comb, and I used only that comb for years until I lost it somewhere at college.

At some point when I was younger (around 8-10 I think), I read that it's not sanitary to share hairbrushes. I couldn't care less about something like that. It wasn't something that personally grossed me out or anything. But when I read this information, in a book written by Adults Who Know What's Best for You, I decided that I would cling to this idea that you're not "supposed" to share brushes for sanitary reasons because then I would not have to use any brushes or combs that weren't mine. I knew people would accept this reason more than they would accept my real reason. One time I was staying with my cousins for a few days and forgot my hairbrush, and I did not brush my hair for about three or four days. My aunt wanted me to brush my hair, but I insisted that you weren't "supposed" to use anyone else's hairbrush because I knew anyone else's brush would hurt my head and be more work than my special wide-toothed comb. (I lucked out that my mom wasn't there. I was just with my dad and I'm not sure he even noticed that my hair wasn't brushed).

When I told this story to my ex, he didn't like it. But when I told it to my friend Eli, ze didn't even see what was so devious about it. Ze said to me that this story was on the level of saying, "I was hungry, so I ate food." You do what you need to do to get by in a world where people won't respect your consent and your real reasons for doing things, where most adults are assholes who think they own you.

I would only ever date someone who would be on my side when I tell them stories like this, who would have respected my consent when I was a kid.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

The Price of Being with Me

A couple years ago, I used to do a particular task as a favor to my mom. Then one day when I offered, my mom said no. She said that while she appreciated the thought, I was always in a bad mood for the rest of the day when I did this task, and since she had to live with me, it wasn't worth the price.

I am quite expensive in this way, and I told my ex that from the start. I said that I don't do roommates. I gave him this long list of things that I was NOT willing to compromise on, and I told him that what would work for us would be living as next-door neighbors in an apartment complex. He just kept insisting, with no evidence, that we would someday live together.

I told him that I will never suck it up and deal, and that someone telling me to suck it up and deal is a friendship deal-breaker. I said I was not willing to function and he didn't believe me. Not willing to function is kind of like the situation that I described with my mom above. Everything had a price, and my prices are very high. If you drag me to do something that I don't want to do, I am not going be someone that you want to be around afterwards. Every good quality that I have is contingent upon certain needs being met, and if those needs are not met, I will not have those qualities anymore, and I will definitely not be a nice person anymore or function. I will shut down. I will be polite for about 30 minutes, and that's it. That's my threshold. After that time is up, if my needs aren't being met or if people aren't being nice to me or are pushing me to do things I don't want to do, I am not going to keep being polite, and I really don't care who I'm with, even if it's my boyfriend's grandparents. I am not willing to do what I "need" to do in that situation.

He said to me one time, after two years, "You know what I just realized - you really don't want to have to do anything." Saying that to me, if you really know me, is on the level of saying, "You know what I just realized - you have hair on your head!" I'm serious. I had been so explicit about not wanting to have to do anything from the start, and he acts like he's just made some new discovery. But worse, he said it like a diagnosis, like I was the one with the problem rather than the people and society who try to make me do stuff.

My prices are sky-high and if you can't afford them, don't buy the product. Believe me when I say that I don't do roommates. Believe me when I say that I'm not willing to do A unless B happens. Believe me when I say that I am only doing something under certain conditions, or with a certain understanding of how things are going to be.

When someone tells me that another person spent an entire trip or event complaining and ruined the fun for everyone else, I always side with the complainer. Why? Because I've been in the position of having a bad time while everyone else is expecting me to have fun, and let me tell you something - there is not a lot of acceptance of people who aren't flexible, chill, laid-back, go-with-the-flow types. There's not even a lot of support for people choosing not to go to things that they know won't be for them. There's not a big acceptance or understanding of high prices.

I have high prices. Either pay the price or don't buy the product.

Friday, January 9, 2015

Friendship Litmus Test

Your friend says, "I have really bad associations with green walls. If I'm in a room with green walls, I could become depressed for several weeks." You say:
A. "What's the big deal about green walls? You must have to be around green walls sometimes, right?"
B. I'll fix you by bringing you into lots of rooms with green walls.
C. *shrug* "Okay." [One week later] "My grandma invited us to stay over for the whole weekend and I already told her yes. Her whole house has green walls, but I figured you wouldn't mind."
D. "Okay, thank you for letting me know. I'll make sure I don't push you to go into rooms with green walls."

Do I even need to say which answer I'm looking for here? 

(Choice C is totally my ex).

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Boundaries

I am DONE with people who do not respect my boundaries. Absolutely 100 percent DONE!!!!
Respecting my boundaries means:

1. Respecting my physical boundaries and not touching my body in any way that I did not consent to. This means not poking my zits when I've said not to, not pulling my hair when I've said not to, NOT fucking me when I am screaming for you to stop, and not continuing to do any activity when I say STOP out of character even when we are in a scene where you have control. You don't get to curl up in a ball and act like I did something wrong by telling you to stop or speaking out of character, and you DO NOT get to stay in character when I am speaking out of character.  We are playing a game and I have every right to stop playing and to speak out of character unless we negotiate otherwise. I understand that this is not a risk free activity and mistakes will happen and sometimes I will get hurt, but when boundaries are violated, I need a sincere apology and to know that you will try not to do the thing again. I can't have someone acting like it is no big deal.

2. Not pushing me to do things I don't want to do. Pushing includes pressuring, badgering, and guilt tripping me into doing things that I have said I don't want to do. This includes asking me to do a thing repeatedly after I have said no several times. This counts as pressuring even if I don't actually change my behavior as a result. These can be concrete things like going to a party or joining a club, more general things like pulling myself up by bootstraps and dealing with things when I have expressed an unwillingness to do that. This also includes pushing me to become something that I have not stated I want to become, such as more social, flexible, involved, etc.
This also includes being *forced* to do things I did not want to do when I was younger, such as going to school. I did not consent to going to school, nor did I consent to ANYTHING that I was forced to do in school. I did not consent to sitting still and listening to stuff I didn't care about, I did not consent to any of the schoolwork I was forced to do, I did not consent to being away from home, I did not consent to interacting with other kids when I wanted to be alone, I did not consent to having a structured day when I wanted to have an unstructured free for all day. There is no amount of making school more fun that would have made my experience a consentual one. My experience was not okay and I will never forgive the adults who forced me to do things without my consent.

No *adult* has ever respected all of my boundaries.  Not one. Comparatively speaking, I've definitely had my boundaries respected  way more than other kids did, but that is not so much a compliment as it is a horrible criticism of everyone else.  I have a few friends who respect all my boundaries, and I love them so much and I will never ever let them go. But as for everyone else, I am done. If I think of how many people have respected my boundaries vs. how many who haven't in the course of my life (and yes, being a child counts as part of my life) it's a lottery. I'm playing a lottery, and you know what? I'm done playing. Done. I quit.

I am done meeting new people. I am done trying to make new friends. And I am done leaving my apartment. Other than a couple of things I'm stuck doing, I am locking the doors to my apartment and never coming out. I am clinging tightly to those who respect my boundaries and rejecting everyone and everything else. I am hereby retracting what I said in The Unencrypted Truth about wanting to give people my initial trust and trusting the reader to take me seriously. I am now saying that if you don't take me seriously, you can't be in my life. I am dead serious. I am not leaving my apartment ever again and I am not meeting new people and playing the lottery again. I'm locking my doors and never coming out. And I DO NOT want anyone pushing me to come out. That is a boundary. Respect it.

Monday, January 5, 2015

Your Editor

I wish that program hadn't been such BS. Nothing against the school as a whole, it's a perfectly fine college, but we both know that this particular program was BS. You even said it to me. I just wish you'd had one normal grad school professor with normal grad school standards. JUST ONE. Just one so I could have said, "You know what? I don't feel like editing your paper even though I promised I would, even though you need me to rewrite *cough* I mean, edit your paper in order to pass the class. Have fun retaking this class again next semester while I go to beach with my friends! See ya, wouldn't wanna be ya!"

I Don't Know What to Say...

I need to make some phone calls and actually talk about this with a few more friends, but not now since it's the middle of the night. I'll try to bring myself to do that this week after work. Try to. I talked to a close friend today and they made me feel a gazillion times better and more validated and more like it's okay to feel how I'm feeling right now. I'm just very confused. What I know for sure is that I need to share this with a few more friends.

So, I'm having a very hard time deciding if I should confront him about a particular thing. A thing that I never did confront him about. I definitely want to. I mean, the whole point of going by Amelia was to stand up for myself and confront people and not let people walk all over me like Nikki did. And I can honestly say that sending my college essay to all the deans at my school was the best choice I could have made in that situation. Even though the response wasn't the best it could have been, I am so proud of myself for sending that straight to the deans, and I would have regretted it if I hadn't. The difference this time is:
1. When I made the choice to send that essay to deans, I knew I was cutting ties forever and I was okay with that. I knew that I wanted nothing to do with the school, and I was not going to need to go back to them for anything. I don't feel like I'm ready to do that with him. Like, I still miss him. I want to cuddle with him and smack him at the same time. The feelings just go back and forth, back and forth in my mind, from one second to the next. The part of me that still misses him and wants to cuddle says that I can't confront him about something that would definitely end everything forever, and I don't trust that if I showed up at his door, I could actually stand my ground and confront him without wanting to cuddle and cry in his arms. And even if I were willing to not do that, even if I just felt angry and didn't miss him at all, I'd still have to worry about the social circle. With the college essay, I really made a decision that I was okay being done with the school forever - that in case that essay got around and became hot gossip among all the staff there, I didn't need any more recommendations from professors. I didn't need anything from anyone, and I was okay being done with everyone there for good. But while I'm not exactly best friends with his friends, our social circles are still connected, and the fact is, no one would believe me. My close friends who are done with him will believe me, but no one who is still friends with him will believe me. The circumstances in which I'm bringing this up just make it hard to be believed, and he's got all that social capital.
2. I'm talking to a rock. Not to say that I expected the college deans to take my issues seriously (I didn't), but the difference is that none of them were directly involved. There's no issue of me saying, "YOU did this to me," while the other person claims to have no memory of it, because I wasn't talking about anything that they specifically did to me. My friend thinks it's not gonna go anywhere and I'll just be more upset after, which I can see happening. There's a memory issue here, and it really is like trying to talk to a rock sometimes.

Okay, then the issue with telling other people (mainly my friends - I have no intention of making a public announcement) is:
1. I am still kind of terrified about not getting believed because of the circumstances in which I'm bringing up this issue. Like, why would I bring this up now if I didn't bring it up at the time. And I have written evidence (my own doing) that goes against what I'm going to say. It's all cognitive dissonance of course, and I've done this before, writing happy stuff that wasn't entirely true. But when you have to tell someone, "Don't listen to what I said before, listen to what I'm saying now that contradicts what I said before," it's just a scary thing hoping that you'll get believed.
2. I don't feel entirely right about this because I don't feel as bad as I should feel, meaning, as bad as a lot of people normally feel. It doesn't jump out at me as being worse than anything else that I've been complaining about recently, so I feel uncomfortable using the words for what happened. It just doesn't seem fair to people who feel much worse than I do for me to just go around saying that this happened, because it really doesn't feel that way. But it still feels like *something,* and I don't feel like I want to just let it go. It's really confusing. I sort of feel like a statistic now and I hate that feeling.
3. I feel confused because I still love him and miss him.
4. Here's the big one: I started feeling horrible in December, and I started posting lots of stuff on Facebook about how bad I was feeling. Most of what I posted had absolutely nothing to do with this thing that I'm talking about right now. Nothing at all. One day, in the middle of all of those days of feeling horrible, I was hanging out with Eli and rattling off all these things that had happened in the relationship that I was upset about, and this thing just sort of came up. And I looked them in the eye after I said it and was just like...oh my god...did I really just say that? And I guess it goes along with a bunch of other related things that I had told them about, but that I hadn't made public knowledge on Facebook or my blog. But my concern with bringing up this issue is that, like I said, this doesn't feel as bad as other people are probably expecting it to feel for me, this doesn't jump out emotionally as being so much worse than everything else, and so I'm worried that this is going to come off as a justification. I'm worried that the reaction will be like, "Oh! NOW we understand why you were so upset and writing all that negative stuff on Facebook. Now that we know you had a really serious issue, everything you said is totally justified." That is the absolute last thing I want because most of my feeling horrible was before I had even remembered this particular bad stuff, and that was totally justified on its own. I've just been having a lot of trouble lately with people not treating me like anything is horribly wrong (which it is!) and pushing me to function, mainly at work and with my family. So I just don't want my sharing this particular thing to be what makes people be more understanding about my not functioning, because this is not the whole point of everything that's wrong and I was totally justified before I remembered this anyway.

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Bad Things

My name is Amelia, and I do bad things. I don't do good things. I have never had any inherent desire to do anything good. Not really. I was forced into a system that told me to be good when I didn't want to be good. I mean, for all I know, the real Amelia could be someone who does really horrible things. I don't know because I never got to do the horrible things I truly desired. I never had any interest in walking away and being the better person. I ain't into self improvement. I just wanna do what I want, what's good for me, and do BAD things, not good things. Here's how it works:

1. Walking away, letting it go, forgiving and forgetting - Nope. Not something I am ever willing to do.
2. Do something constructive about it - Meh. This is better than the first option, so I guess I'll do it if there's really no other option...
3. Do something destructive about it - HELL YES!!!!!!! I am a destructive person and I have always wanted to do destructive things and I'm always getting pushed to let things go, and even when I don't get pushed in that direction, I get pushed to do something constructive instead of destructive. Hey, newsflash everyone - I DON'T WANT TO BE GOOD!!!!!!!!!!!! If I want to do something bad, I WANT TO DO SOMETHING BAD!!!!!!! I am not looking for fucking substitutes! If I want to play in the mud, I want to play in the mud. REAL mud from outside that will make a total mess when I come inside. I don't want to be redirected to that fake sand substance that doesn't make a mess. If I want to play in mud then I WANT TO MAKE A MESS!!!!

So I'm gonna make messes and do lots of destructive things, and if I personally find that I feel bad afterwards, I will stop doing them. If I don't, then I won't. I have a feeling I won't feel bad because truly enjoy destroying things. If upon my college graduation I was given the choice of either having my validation book published and read by lots of people and definitely making a difference in people's lives, or I could burn my college to the ground so that it didn't exist anymore, I would choose burning my college to the ground. Hands down. Even if I knew the book would be successful and help lots of people, I would have rather seen the school be erased from this planet for good. I am dead serious. That's what I would have chosen. The only reason I'm writing this stupid validation book right now is because I don't have the means to do what I REALLY want to do, but maybe I've just been scared. Maybe sweet little Nikki was just being scared. This is Amelia talking now. Amelia does the destructive things that sweet little Nikki could only dream of. There is no more of """"your"""" sweet little Nikki. The several quotation marks are to emphasize the invalidity of that term. I was never yours. Not really. You just liked the idea of having a girlfriend and the idea of what you thought I was, but if you could honestly read my novel and say, "I can't believe my sweet little Nikki wrote this," you had no idea who the fuck you were dating. """"Your"""" sweet little Nikki is gone forever because she never existed. I ain't just a good girl gone bad, I'm a fake girl gone real.

And you know that time you said that it "hurt you" to hear me read the really dark poems I wrote in college? YOU FUCKING LIAR!!!!!!! It could not have hurt you or you wouldn't have made me feel that bad again and have to write more poems that are even darker than those. I am writing a new round of poems, and this time they're all gonna be way darker and harsher, with more SLAM and less elitist college English class in them. I'm gonna write poems that will scare you way more than those controlled structured poems ever did. And I'm gonna deface public buildings and possibly your home too, because doing graffiti has always been a dream of mine. Seriously, it's something I wanna do before I die, and I'm gonna do it. I am Amelia, and """"your"""" sweet little Nikki is DEAD!!!

Saturday, January 3, 2015

What if I Couldn't Tell Lies?

I was once reading this "Would You Rather?" book that asked if you would rather not be able to keep a secret or not be able to tell a lie. I knew right away that I'd rather not be able to tell a lie because not being able to keep a secret just sounded so much worse. If I couldn't keep a secret, my friends couldn't share intimate things with me and I couldn't be trusted anymore. My desire to choose not telling lies was mainly based on how bad I imagined it would be to not keep peoples' secrets.

But recently I've been thinking that maybe it would actually be nice to not be able to tell lies, just for its own sake. I mean, sure, there would be extreme cases where this would be a horrible idea, like if someone was hiding from a murderer and I had to lie about their location. But in normal, day-today interactions, I would really love it if I just didn't have the ability to lie. Even with simple things like, "I'm good, how are you?" when I'm not good - I hate it when I say that, and I would be much happier if I were honest all the time no matter what people thought about it.

Now, you're probably thinking that I would lose friends and everyone would hate me if I couldn't even tell white lies, but I really think that it would work just fine for me, and that anyone who didn't want to be my friend because I was honest all the time is probably not someone I should be friends with anyway. This trait would filter people out earlier on so that I wouldn't get betrayed later. I don't want to be betrayed anymore.

As for the question of "Won't you be hurting a lot of people's feelings?" the answer is to that is no. First of all, not being able to lie doesn't mean that you have to verbalize every single thought that comes to mind. If you think someone's new haircut doesn't look good, you don't have to lie about it necessarily - you can just not say anything about it. And when someone asks you if you like something, you can usually come up with something nice to say that doesn't tell a lie. Like, you can say that something really suits a person's style, even if it's not something that you personally like. If you don't like a present, you can still thank the person and say, "It was really nice of you to think of me!" or something like that that puts the emphasis on the thought rather than the gift itself. I think I can handle most of those situations without actually lying if I need to.

As for other situations, where I have to make excuses for things, I would be much happier to just be honest and not have to make fake excuses. Much happier. Because most of the time, even if I'm worried I'm going to hurt someone's feelings, it doesn't have much to do with them individually. For instance, most of the time when I'm stuck swallowing down food I hate just to be polite,  I just don't like that particular kind of food, but there is nothing wrong with the way that the person prepared it, or anything that they did. Most of the time when I don't want to do a particular activity, it is the activity that I don't want to do, and it does not have much to do with the person who invited me. I also may not go because I don't feel like being social, which again, has nothing to do with the individual person who invited me to be social. If I don't want to sleep over at someone's house or I don't want them to sleep over at my house, it is usually because I don't like to sleep away from home or I don't feel like hosting someone overnight, which is again, not anything related to the individual person. And if it WAS related to the individual, I would really, really like to be honest with them and say, "I don't want to come to your party because you make me feel bad about myself." I regret every single time that I didn't say that. Another thing I've ALWAYS wanted to say matter-of-factly is, "Nope, I never had any intentions of doing that. I just said it to be polite because you asked me in front of your grandparents." Of course, in this world I wouldn't have lied in the first place, but still. Not being able to make fake excuses would mean I'd have to stand up for myself and say that I was not doing what someone wanted me to do, and they would either have to accept that or buzz off.

I'm just wondering what college would have been like if I couldn't tell lies. Or my high school years. Or the three years with my boyfriend and his family and friends, which wouldn't have been three years.  Not being able to tell lies would be difficult, but I could work around the rough spots. I would only draw in people who were really okay with everything.

Friday, January 2, 2015

What I'm Doing Now

I have recently moved from the "horrible" zone of the chart into the "bad" zone. I've been doing A LOT of things this month that I did not feel well enough to do because I had committed to them already and wanted to see my friends. In fact, I've done a lot of things THIS YEAR that I wasn't well enough to do. Including New Year's Eve. I was not feeling well enough to have my New Year's Eve party AT ALL, but I had already said I would, and I figured I'd feel sad if I spent New Year's Eve alone. I didn't *want* to cancel it, anymore than I'd want to cancel if I'd had the stomach flu, but in either case, I was not well enough to have it. I'm glad I had the party because I'm really glad I got to spend that time with my friends, but I do feel a gazillion times more drained now, the same way I would if I'd had a party while I was physically sick. And I have a sinking feeling that canceling because I had the stomach flu would have been way more okay than cancelling because of how bad I was feeling, even though the stomach flu would be preferable to me based on how bad I've felt this month.

I am not doing stuff I don't feel well enough to do anymore. I am not planning to leave my apartment anytime soon and I do not have a deadline as to when I will want to. I am in the "bad" zone of the chart right now, and it will be a long time before I feel like doing anything outside of that zone. My next social event that I'm definitely committed to is about two months away, and I am not committing to anything else in the meantime. (I did RSVP to a party that is about one month away, but it's a big enough party that I don't think anyone will be upset if I cancel at the last minute. I'm going to wait and see how I feel).

The other thing I'm not doing anymore of is risk-taking. I am getting hurt a lot lately with risky things I've done, and I'm not doing that anymore. I'm going to shut out the real world and live in my own cozy little world where nothing bad can find me. By risk-taking, I'm referring to doing things that I know have the potential to make me feel much worse emotionally. I went to a discussion event earlier this month that I was absolutely NOT feeling well enough to go to, and I knew based on the event description that there was a very high chance that I would feel a gazillion times worse afterwards. I chose to take this risk because I was feeling so bad that I just thought it was worth taking a chance on and that it might be worth going in order to see a friend and meet a new friend. But it was not worth going. Yes, I had a nice time visiting my friends, but the event itself was HORRIBLE for me and set me back so far and it was absolutely not worth it. It was my mistake, and I am not taking risks like this anymore. If something seems like it might be bad, I'm not gonna do it. End of discussion.

I am planning to do a lot of cuddling and talking about feelings with my friends, and do quiet, introverted things until I have an internal desire to leave the house and engage with the real world again. And I am going to treat emotional risks the way I treat physical safety risks. I am going to take them very seriously, not do things that I suspect will make me feel bad, and not hang around with anyone who pushes me to do things that hurt or demands any kind of explanation for why I'm not willing to do them. (That's not what happened this last time, but that is what happened most of the other times).

Here are the things I'm excited to do right now:

Read the whole Babysitters Club series - the regular books and all of the little sister books. I loved these when I was younger and still love them now, but for some reason I never finished the series.
Read The Enchanted Forest Chronicles - a fantasy series that my friend lent to me.
Read books by Madeline L-Engle - she wrote A Wrinkle in Time which is still one of my favorite books. I've only read a couple of her books but I really want to read more.
Do more coloring and drawing. My friend gave me this cool coloring and drawing book, which I'm really looking forward to starting.
Work on my validation book in a nice cozy setting.
Write more quizzes for my quiz book.
Work on other writing stuff like my blog and stories. Whatever comes to mind.

This list is subject to change if I change my mind. I'm planning to do what I want when I want to and not have any goals or plans.

And I want to make another thing very, very clear. My interest in introverted activities does NOT mean that I am less interested in fun or that I value my weekends less. This sounds silly, but it is what a lot of people assume - that extroverts are party people who place a high value on fun and introverts are more studious and conscientious and more likely to be studying on a Friday or Saturday night than extroverts are. I am a hedonist and having fun is absolutely at the top of my list, the activities that I like to do are not "lesser than" big group activities with a lot of stimulation. If they ask about overtime at work again, I will NOT NOT NOT be doing any more overtime than people who get drunk every weekend would do. My personal life is NOT going to become less important just because it's going to be non-social.

So it's gonna be a lot of warm fuzzy cuddling and talking about feelings with friends and doing calm, quiet, activities without a lot of stimulation. I don't have any idea if or when I will want to do bigger things again.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Activities I'm Willing and NOT Willing to Do When I Feel Bad

I've been figuring this out about myself for a long time now, and I think I've finally got it.

When you get sick, no one expects you to be able to do all the things you can do when you're not sick. Well, if I'm not feeling well emotionally, I am NOT willing to do all the stuff I'd do when I am feeling well. Here is a picture to explain what I mean:


The pink circle labeled "good" represents all of the things that I am willing to do (things that I am just not willing to do aren't on this chart). This shows that I am willing to do all of the activities that I will do only when I am feeling good. When something is a little wrong and I am feeling so-so, the number of activities that I am willing to do decreases. When I go from feeling so-so to feeling bad, the activities I am willing to do decrease again, and when I go from bad to horrible, they decrease another time.

Here is a list of the activities that fall into each category. Keep in mind that the outer circles are inclusive of the inner circles. When I am feeling good, I still really enjoy doing the things that are in the "horrible," circle, but when I'm feeling horrible, I have absolutely no interest in doing anything outside of the "horrible" circle, even if those things would interest me when I'm feeling better. Each level up is an *increase* in the activities I will do, but still includes what I was willing to do when I felt worse.

When I'm Feeling Horrible:
Talking to a close friend about my feelings for a long time.
Cuddling.
Writing about what's wrong in an incoherent, not-thought-out way.
Watching TV or movies.

When I'm Feeling Bad: 
Writing about what's wrong in a more coherent way.
Writing about stuff not related to the problem. Working on my writing projects.
Reading books that make me feel good.
Coloring, drawing, doing quiz books, any kind of solitary creative activity.

When I'm Feeling So-So:
Doing quiet activities with friends who understand that I'm not feeling well. (Even if we are not going to spend the whole time talking, I am only with people who understand what is wrong and are not expecting me to be functioning normally).
Doing physical activities that are mostly in my comfort zone, such as jumping on the trampoline.
Going to small group events where I feel comfortable around most of the people, and at least one person in the group understands that I'm not feeling well. This could also mean hosting an event.
Going out and doing sort of mellow things, such as bowling or mini golf.
Visiting new places that are on the mellow side, such as trying a new restaurant or walking through a new park. 
Doing more stimulating activities that are well within my comfort zone, such as going to the trampoline park. I wouldn't call it quiet or mellow, but it is completely in my comfort zone because I go there all the time.
Meeting a few new people who I have a reason to believe I will get along with. (A reason meaning that a friend said, "You should really meet so-and-so, you'll like them," as opposed to meeting new people I know nothing about who happen to be at an event).

When I'm Feeling Good:
Any kind of big group event where I'll be interacting with lots of people I don't know.
Anything that involves being only with people who I'm not close with and can't talk to if I feel bad.
Anything extremely stimulating, such as going to an amusement park or walking around a big city.
Any physical activities that are out of my comfort zone.
Anything that involves being out all day and not being able to just go home when I feel like it.
Anything that involves sleeping away from home.

There is a lot of grey area between these circles, because there's a lot of grey area in terms of how stimulating something is or much it's out of my comfort zone, but this is a pretty decent guideline.

I do not always adhere to this list strictly. Sometimes I will do an outer-zone activity that I'm not up to if I've already committed to it, if I'm desperate to see someone, or if I have a reason to believe that the specific activity might make me feel better or accomplish something good for me.

An important thing to keep in mind is that, while I can go from good to horrible if something extremely bad happens, I generally will not go from horrible to good if something good happens. I will travel through the phases of bad and so-so before I reach good. So, if I was feeling horrible recently, I am not going to be interested in good-zone activities anytime soon.

Also important to keep in mind is that this chart sort of serves as a priority list, or a list of how much of these different kinds of activities I want in my life. The activities I'm willing to do when I am not feeling well are the most essential things to me, and are the things that I want the highest concentration of in my life. (With the exception of watching TV. That activity is only in the center because it is effortless and something I am *able* to do when I can't do anything else, not because it's a high priority). I definitely love a lot of activities that fall into the good zone, but those things are not as important as cuddling, talking about feelings with friends, spending time with friends, and doing the things I like to do by myself. If I'm not able to do the things closer to the center of the circle, my life will fall apart completely. But if I cannot do the things in the outer circle, I can live on the inner circle stuff for a long time before it would start to become a problem.

And most importantly, the only way that I move from one level to the next is by getting my emotional needs met at each point, which means lots of cuddles and talking about feelings. If I do not have those needs met, I will not feel better and will not become interested in outer-level activities just because some time has passed. 

Priorities

What it’s like to be with someone who does not respect your priorities:

Me: (At home, typing away furiously at something I care about and have waited all day to work on): “I don’t know what to do about my hand problem. It hurts so much but I’m not willing to slow down because of it.”
Him: “You’re gonna have to slow down or else you won’t be able to type anymore at all.”

Me: “I don’t know what to do about work. I’m hurting my hands constantly! There’s the data entry, ripping and tearing invoices, opening UPS boxes for hours, lifting boxes, throwing heavy bags of coupons around for hours, everything I do is making my hands hurt worse! I’ve tried to slow down but I feel like I have to do the best I can or they won’t hire me, but I am NOT willing to injure myself for something I don’t care much about.”
Him: *Shrug*

Me: “I don’t want to do this particular thing again because it’s aggravating my hand problem a lot. We can still do other stuff, it’s just this particular thing I want to stop doing for now.”
Him: “Okay” *Shrug*
Me: (Second time): “Hey, I said I don’t want to do this anymore because it hurts my hands.”
Him: “Okay” *Shrug*
Me: (Third time): “I SAID I can’t do this anymore! It’s making my hands worse!!!”
Him: “Okay, you’re lecturing me, why can’t you stop lecturing me? This is so annoying. Waaaaaah!!!”

My priorities are my own and I will NEVER EVER EVER put up with this kind of thing again.