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Intrapersonal Investigations

Explorations into how we interpret actions, communicate intentions and can relate to the world in a healthy, uplifting manner.

My way out of this: plans edition.

Welcome to the new year;

I’ve been struggling, railing against a world where there weren’t a lot of futures laid out for me.

The one future that *was* well laid out is cleaning. I need a vehicle to do this. I can start on the bus but really I don’t think I’m going to make that 500 dollar a month goal to get a car by the beginning of next year.

What I need to do is ‘take a break’ from smoking… and I don’t know if I can.

What I need to do is start making around 800 dollars a month. And then I would have the car by about summer.

This is really problematic for me. I don’t know how to start this without a car and I don’t know how to get the car.

It’s fucking horrible.

Once I have the car I can start marketing my business. Not through my personal profile but through a page and posters/word of mouth? I don’t know.

Cleaning is the one skill I have and it could help me. I hate doing it. SO MUCH. But I am good at it and I can make enough money to save for school. I can work around my schedule at school. I hate this but I need to do it.

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Protected: What this means to me: Meme edition

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Releasing fish into the river: Your government is supposed to ensure that you have a decent river to fish from.

This morning I saw this image:

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It isn’t like this and this simplistic image is so… wrong. This image was published by the factory owner up the river who wants to be able to keep putting their polluted run off into the stream. They made this image and published it to the residents beside the river because the government has told the factory if they want to keep operating they have to collect and treat their run off. That would be expensive and troublesome but would keep clean and healthy; the stream from which everyone gets their fish.

The government has hatcheries that deposit fish into various places in the stream ensuring that the people have fish to catch. They were elected to steward the stream and keep it full of fish. They take back some of the fish you catch if you catch over a certain number of fish because they know that there are some people with better rods and some people have nets, and other people can afford traps so that they can catch fish without being on the riverbank.

The factory owner placed his factory in the industrial part of the river where the only people down stream are the poor and has distributed the image to the people up stream who have traps and live near hatcheries. Those people are now voting for representatives that used to work for the factory.

The fish factories can and distribute canned fish to those that cannot catch their own fish. They have a government contract funded by the fish taken back from fish trappers and depend on the government giving them the contract.

The fish factory employs people who cannot afford their own rod; which in this economy is everyone, and they train them for specific jobs. Those people sometimes rise to the point where they are making enough fish that they feel they have ‘made it’. They believe in the factory and vote for representatives that will help the factory because they feel that helping the factory is helping them.

Small employers are able to give their employees rods but when so few people get real fishing training as part of their education (it’s your right to teach your child to fish however you see fit!) it can be hard to find employees that are able to best fit your small business model. They balk at the idea of increasing the amount of fish per hour they pay their employees because they aren’t netting the fish they used to since the factory moved in upstream. They will never get the government contract to get fish to the poor because they aren’t ‘large scale enough’ to deal with the poor fishless majority. They also vote for the representatives that will help the factory because they want to be a factory one day and want that help. Some factory representatives claim their policy regarding fish hatchery production and stream maintenance IS good for small fisher companies. They lied and are brazen about it because the factories have been influencing the government and cutting the fishing education system for over a decade.

They begin closing the fish hatcheries. Everyone suffers as fewer baby fish are released into the river as everyone removes their hands from this system that once worked for all and now works for few and they begin to point their fingers at random places screaming “YOU’RE TO BLAME!” when they return from a once peak fishing hour with only stunted, polluted fish in record low numbers….

The factory owners smile and produce another image claiming the government is ineffective at keeping fish in your basket but still wants to take your fish. They continue polluting the stream and using their advanced production means to rifle through the fish that are already there leaving fewer than ever before for the people.

People without fish and means to catch fish are blamed for being unproductive members of society because they have no fish to tax while the government already stopped taking fish from the ones who had the most fish and were ensuring the stream was polluted and is unhealthy for all to receive less fish from.

And the factory owners smile.

 

Protected: Fear and Loathing: A childhood. Part two.

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Protected: Fear and loathing: A childhood. Part one.

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The parable of the bus: Masculine aggression is rarely penalized in a serious way versus the benefits it can potentially bring them.

Violence is easy. Threatening violence is even easier. In a world that continues to reward humans for aggressive behaviour, I do not believe that we will ever live free of violence. This is my colloquial understanding from watching my father first be delighted by the benefits that aggressively violent behaviour can reward him with… and then begin to misjudge the situations where he was vindicated in acting in an aggressively violent way to be that he felt he was ALWAYS vindicated in acting aggressively and violently. From the time I was four or five I watched my father increasingly behave violently to shop personnel, a parks guide once, administrators and ever increasingly… towards my family itself. The cops got called on him more and more and he began to curtail his public behaviour in favor of treating his family worse. Eventually he lost much of his family and most of his life as he knew it. And I don’t know more about his life to say how he’s dealt with this or internalized it to become a good person or not.

But I run into people that remind me of my dad all the time. I used to be drawn to them until the stunning pattern was that people like my dad are incredible assholes and are terrible to be around unless you have AMAZING boundaries with them. And they don’t love boundaries so they have to be subtle and clever and rock hard.

A few days ago, I saw a man on the bus who reminded me of my father. Like he had probably lost everything for one reason or another and was now older and alone and just wanted some human engagement. He was desperately trying to engage the mother of a toddler aged little girl in conversation. The mother wasn’t terribly responsive and didn’t seem to want to continue the conversation but that didn’t really matter to the old man. He was paying a lot of attention to the child.

Stop here: Men are accused of inappropriate behaviour towards small children for doing the same things that women do. This is true, and it IS harmful… but there’s a reason for this… and the bus featured heavily in my feed during the metoo hashtag outpouring of hurt.

So being aware of this, I was trying to swallow my personal judgements of the man and also keep watching the interactions because I was so nervous about the way it was unfolding. I thought he must have known them or something until the little girl who was in FULL TODDLER mode decided that she wanted to sit closer to the man and her mom admonished her that “we don’t sit next to strangers on the bus”. And because the girl was in full toddler mode she then HAD to sit next to the forbidden stranger. It CERTAINLY didn’t help that the creepy man beckoned the child to come closer after her mother had told her no. Looking back… THIS is the thing that was inappropriate and it was REALLY inappropriate. If a child’s mother expresses any disinterest in having her child sit next to you… you DO NOT beckon that child to you. I didn’t have the mental facilities to point this out at the time and I really am kicking myself for not doing so.

So toddler moved seats possibly because mom was worried that she would throw a huge tantrum if not allowed and didn’t want to disturb the other riders*… but the toddler was also a toddler and so she wasn’t good at (or interested in) sitting so she wouldn’t fall. So she lost her balance and both the mother and the old man reached out a hand to steady the child.

Stop here too: Full disclosure… I don’t remember when the man took his hand off the child because my attention got diverted but I saw that he absolutely kept his hand on the girl well after her mother had her. His hand lingered.

And then any attention I was paying this situation got diverted by the teenager behind me shouting at him to let go of the kid. Thereafter shit hit the fan.

Part of the reason I don’t exactly remember what happened next because everything about the situation was so triggering for me the details of it are lost to me. I know that the old man became extremely offended and started loudly threatening that he would “put (the teen) down” among other threats of violence and got up to move towards the teen (and me). I’m familiar with this kind of behaviour and also EXTREMELY triggered by such behaviour. Thanks Dad.

The bus driver (an amazing pro and star at what he do) got the man to sit down and calm down a bit (WHILE DRIVING!) but the man just quieted down his threats of the teenager. I was appalled thinking if the small child remembered anything it would be this part and was in poor control of my choices of words as I was livid. I told the man to stop talking and interrupted him every time he opened his mouth until he got mad enough that he was either going to do something that would get him facing legal consequences or leave altogether. He chose to get off rather than have those things happen and I’m certain felt soooooooooooo persecuted. Really. He’s such a nice guy, if only people wouldn’t be jerks to him he’d be his awesome self and no one would have problems! Clearly that was everyone else’s fault and not his…

1: What were we waiting for? If everyone on the bus or even half of us were looking at that situation going down wondering if the mother knew that guy that kept talking to her and finding that NO. She doesn’t know that guy or want her kid sitting near him but HE absolutely wanted the kid sitting nearer to him….

Well fuck. For fear of offending someone we were just going to wait until AFTER something inappropriate happened to a child?!

2: Dude proved himself to be WILDLY INAPPROPRIATE with a child. That teenager was a kid. A kid who overcame a whole lot of self preservation instincts to try and stop something bad from happening. That kid was not a bystander and while they instigated a disturbance they did NOT cause the disturbance.

3: The disturbance was caused by the old man threatening violence in response to being accused of touching a child inappropriately. The correct response in that situation would have been to remove hands from the child and state “that’s not what was happening, I was just steadying her.” And if he had done this I feel fairly certain that everyone on the bus would have told the teenager to shut up.

4: A combative man threatening violence on a teenager was kicked off a bus. But he got a day pass from the bus driver to keep him happy (and not violent). The cops weren’t called, and the man faced a half hour penalty to his time. This is all. I’m not urging greater consequence. I’m not decrying that this is the only consequence he received. But I do want to point out that this man’s gamble of threatening violence in order to defend himself against accusations of inappropriately touching a child on the bus totally paid off. No formal accusation was made and because the situation was so quick he was gone before anyone had time to properly think.

5: I told the teenager to save it for the serious stuff after the situation resolved. But you know what…? That situation was serious to the teen. Or they wouldn’t have said anything. And I really don’t want the fear of retributive violence to stop this teenager from acting in the future. That bus driver had your back. I had your back. If you ever get those feelings that caused you to act while seeing a child alone…? Please don’t let this situation stop you. Other people will have your back.

6: The teen had the mom’s back. The rest of us didn’t. I worry that she would feel judged by his call out. But the more I think about it the less comfortable this woman seemed with everything that was happening. I really think that we live in a society where parents are given a raw deal. Our culture both polices what they do and also encourages all strangers to leave them alone in some perversely WRONG attempt to make sure that children aren’t behaved badly to by strangers. When it’s family/friends who are the most common culprit in child abuse. Well. That’s not very effective because the good strangers who would help out a parent (hold your child while you put stuff in your car or put stuff in your car while you hold your child, catch your kid running away from you before they hurt themselves, or otherwise)… well. They stay away because they’re strangers. And then news outlets, anchors and websites all have the gall to imply that the newest child that got away from their parents and died somehow is the sole fault of the parent for not being hyper vigilant. These things happen in crowds and the crowd didn’t stop it either. And all the while people with actual negative intent towards children are just waiting to find one alone (because no one would talk to a strange child on their own SURELY its parent must be near) or looking for a way to make friends with a parent of a child. It takes a village. And not a village of bystanders waiting to pass judgement on a parent for something everyone could have prevented.

7: Back to the appropriate response part. If that man was interested in being a kindly older gentleman… why wasn’t he a kindly older gentleman with the teen? Why didn’t he just state the teen was wrong and thank the teen for his attempt to protect a child…? What if his kindly old man behaviour prior to the accusation was a facade for what was really underneath… which is what we saw as soon as the man was offended? How can we change this so that we live in a world where avoidance of aggressive action is venerated above all else? What about a world where someone stating that “that’s not what was happening, but if it had been you’d have done a good deed.” would be seen as the MOST logical response to such an accusation rather than doing what you always do when you want to make someone recant their statements… threatening violence. As if a statement recanted under such threats could be seen as being recanted in good faith or as if the violence displayed doesn’t uphold the original accusations.

One factor that could contribute to making the 21st century an era of peace would be a wider appreciation of the failure to resolve problems by force. The use of force may control people physically, but it won’t change their hearts and minds. You can only do that on the basis of trust and friendship. ~ The Dalai Lama.

In the future… I’m going to commit to acting far sooner in a situation like this to prevent this sort of thing. If I ever see a woman who seems uncomfortable with the attention a man is giving her… regardless of whether she has children or not… I am going to engage her in friendly conversation or interject myself into their conversation as a buffer. This is my lesson that I have learned.

* Parents: I don’t mind if your baby/child is screaming. That’s just what’s going on for them at the time and they’re riding the bus too. I can and will dress down anyone who gives you remote guff of any kind for your loud child on the bus. If it bothers people so much THEY can get off the bus rather than you.

Sigh. Facebook is triggering…

A friend of mine linked to this facebook post: https://www.facebook.com/lovewhatreallymatters/photos/a.710462625642805.1073741828.691679627521105/1747981005224290/?type=3&theater

Here’s what I was going to say in public until I remembered I had a blog: This perspective of family is alien to me. I strongly have always chosen not to have children and likely will until my physical capacity for such is long gone (the plan has always been to foster to adopt ever since I was a child). I can hardly imagine the perspective of finding the consequences of toxic masculinity affecting toll on your son when you tried your hardest to give them a healthy perspective on life.

 
Facebook is making me cry a lot which reminds me I’m so far from where I want to be where I can just love this and not speak of what it means to me. My perspective of family feels tainted by a general violence and being directly witness to it’s effects and not fully realizing what now seem like fundamentally direct correlations that I needed years and therapy and years of therapy and just years away from the situation to begin to make. The male ‘provider’ figure (who was a crummy. CRUMMY provider, but liked the title and so took it for himself and though there were good things there were many bad bad things) in my family broke things all the time; and rarely cleaned them up unless he broke a lot of things in private.
 
And yet almost everyone in the family acted surprised when my younger brother became the type of person to break things– our father especially. And yet break things and scream my younger brother does, he has quite a fucking problem with it and I don’t talk to him anymore… likely never again until he does a LOT of therapy. I don’t really know how my older brother and sister in law perceived it other than that they tend to agree that Dad was not the best model. They live far away and I’m a crap auntie really. Like. REALLY.
I have to send some kind of cards this year.

Protected: Group discussion points based on Lasting poly foundations post.

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What if you’re actually using oppression to yank someone’s chain? What does that look like?

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“I thought you needed the money.”

It’s a simple phrase. You may have heard this in response to refusing someone’s money making opportunity. You may have used it on someone when you thought you were going to save their bacon but really they turned down what (in your mind) is a good opportunity.

Please remember. I move through the world as a person who has never truly felt economically safe. I have little to no experience operating the way that a person who takes for granted the idea of having enough money to pay their rent and all their food and bills at the same time AND do any saving at all. That hasn’t been a reality for me for well over five years. And even when it was happening I was detrimental to those efforts for my ex-husband because I truly didn’t really realize that life didn’t have to be the way it was for my family.

Your economic opportunity for me is highly unlikely to contribute to my feeling economically safe. ESPECIALLY if it is a one-time, non-reccurrent opportunity.

So if I won’t really find it as beneficial to have the financial reward (when I consider bussing and walking and spending an hour at least of my time each way to go get fifty bucks to clean for two hours which is my absolute MINIMUM….. I don’t feel respected when you LEAN ON ME AND ACT LIKE I’M NOT ACTING IN MY OWN SELF INTEREST.

“Oh. I thought you needed the money.” becomes this catty horrific thing that implies that the person you’re disappointing knows anything about you or your needs and that their expectations have been let down. Clue. If you really needed the help to have someone take over your job for you a) you might need to pay more to someone to do a one off job that you do concurrently because you value the stable income but the person you’re offering the one off coverage while you’re away and unable to do the concurrent job you value having and would like to have when you come back from whatever you’re doing instead…. well. That sucks but it might be a thing. It’s not reccurrent income for them. It’s FAR less valuable. or b) truly come forth and be vulnerable and ASK FOR A FUCKING FAVOR. If you need me to do something for you I’m often very happy to do it. If you act like you’re doing me a favor by asking me if I need the money that you’d get from doing this reccurrent job you want to keep… then I’m probably going to tell you I’d only charge that little if I had my actual business doing that thing with a car of my own and had six other contracts that day also for that price. And seeing as how I don’t have that… I won’t be doing it.

Are you sure; if you’re so bent out of shape that I’ve refused your GENEROUS offer that you feel beholden to offer me for some reason AND THEN lean on me for refusing…. why not go to any of your other needy friends? Why not take your amazing opportunity (to help you and then thank you for helping you like it was the person helping you that got helped) and offer it to your other people? Perhaps you’ll be more likely to ask for the help you need rather than act like you’re giving someone a gift the next time.

Please. Remember that people have been holding money over my head for as long as I can remember. I have looked on at other people’s lives with money in wonder and despair and confusion for as long as I can remember.

And I hate being controlled with it. Get off my head you great green goob.

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