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Open Thread for Personal Stuff: February 2014 Edition

catsdriving

An open thread for personal stuff, continuing from here.

As usual for these threads: no trolls, no arguments.

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Kiwi girl
Kiwi girl
6 years ago

@Fibinachi: don’t be hard on yourself over this. It’s really easy to be an outsider and give advice because I’m not having to deal with all the emotional crap as well. I have missed “obvious” decision options I “should have” taken when it’s been me in the middle of emotional crap. If you want, you can frame it as: when one is in the middle of a fight-or-flight situation (which this is), higher level cognitive functioning tends to go out the window.

So none of this is “on you”. This is what happens when people deal with enormous amounts of emotional crap.

I hope you’re feeling better about yourself. Stuff your sister, it’s *you* I’m concerned about.

katz
6 years ago

Fibs: Even if she was the awesomest sister in the world and your absolute favorite person ever, it would still be your ethical responsibility not to do her academic work for her. You’re doing the right thing.

Ally S
6 years ago

I agree with everyone else here, Fibi. I think you’re making the right decision.

Ally S
6 years ago

I recently told my trans-friendly aunt about medical transitioning, and she did react with some concern because she’s not very familiar with such medical treatments in general. But at the end of the email she said she trusts that I’m being careful enough because she thinks I’m already careful with my younger siblings and cousins. I know it’s just a small thing, but it really made me happy to hear that from her. So many people I know think that transitioning is self-destructive.

cloudiah
6 years ago

And yay for Ally’s aunt, and yay for Fibi choosing ethics over familial pressure. Which can be hard.

emilygoddess
emilygoddess
6 years ago

I got my bills paid, and less than a week overdue! Maybe later I’ll actually send out my Xmas gifts.

Depression sucks, you guys. I’m so ready for winter to be over.

titianblue
titianblue
6 years ago

I’m handing out kitty hugs to anyone who’d like them. I have an excess to spare. 🙂

leftwingfox
6 years ago

Hey all. Sorry for this, but I think it’s worthwhile.

One of my favourite movie critics, Maryann Johanson, at http://www.flickfilosopher.com, currently has a subscription drive at her website, looking for more readers.

I’ve found her clever and insightful, and she has good taste in geeky movies. She brings a good feminist critique of Hollywood films that tends to be lacking in a lot of mainstream reviews. She’s trying to run the website solo and ad-free on a subscription model and could really use some additional support.

Please take a peek, and consider subscribing.

Thanks!

(PS: Very glad to hear about reunited kitties and good aunts. 🙂 )

LBT
LBT
6 years ago

Well done, Fibinachi. I agree, she didn’t deserve your help. Our brother was less of a dick, and I STILL refused to do his damn homework for him as a matter of principle. If I had to go through the damn busywork, so did he, because that’s not something that goes away as an adult.

kittehserf
6 years ago

@Fibi, If you feel like being mean, write it for her and print it out. When she sees you and asks for it, set it on fire and tell her she sucks.

I think I’m in love

kittehserf
6 years ago

I cheated on an essay once, something for fourth-form maths. Wouldn’t have made any difference to my scores, I was failing anyway, and mercifully I could drop it at the end of the year. It just saved me some headaches when a friend gave me hers from the previous year.

maggiesausage
maggiesausage
6 years ago

Back in my day, the going rate was a bottle of wine for copy-editing, and a fake ID for a stint as research assistant. Full-on ghostwriting wasn’t even on the agenda!

kittehserf
6 years ago

LOL the black economy of academia!

Kim
Kim
6 years ago

Speaking of movie reviews, does anyone listen to the We Hate Movies podcast? They basically talk about a movie for 2 hours and talk about all the terrible things about it (and sometimes how that terribleness makes it awesome). It’s 4 dudes who swear a lot, make a lot of jokes and do impressions. It’s often really funny. They often skewer the problematic tropes you see in movies and probably didn’t even notice when you watched the movie as a kid.

Their latest one is about Mrs Doubtfire. Obviously Mrs Doubtfire isn’t about being trans* but there is some transphobia in it anyway, and they call that out. They call out the rascist impressions, the stereotyping of gay people, and the main characters creeptastic behaviour, which is totally condoned by the movie. But they do it all in such a matter-of-fact way, like of course these things are terrible. It doesn’t even need to be explained.

So yeah, it’s nice to see the sort of things we talk about here discussed in a place that is outside the feminist/social justice circle.

Bina
Bina
6 years ago

Gawd, just read about Lana. So sad. She made me laugh a lot. I miss her.

Ally S
6 years ago

I couldn’t make it to the support group. It was canceled. I can just go next week, but this still sucks.

kittehserf
6 years ago

Bummer. 🙁

Brooked
Brooked
6 years ago

Wow, my condolences to Lana’s family, she was a real pistol on the board.

Nova
Nova
6 years ago

Hi everyone. It seems like forever since I’ve been here or been able to reach out to anyone, due to my internet usage being tightly controlled and monitored. However, I am still very much alive and, for the first time in a long time, I am in a safe, comfortable, happy environment.

The story is horribly sad and I don’t want to share it in public, but suffice it to say that things were so awful that I loaded up the mess makers and moved far away, with only what would fit into my car. It’s a 100% total start over situation, but I do have a lot of help and support in doing it, which is incredible.

Physically, I’m in bad shape. It’s going to take a couple of surgeries and I’ll probably have problems for the rest of my life anyway. The scars are pretty bad, especially the ones on my face. Emotionally, it depends on the day. Usually, I can just ignore everything, but every once in a while, I’ll think about something that happened and it takes a lot for me to stay calm about it. Occasionally, I wake up incredibly grouchy and can’t really be around anyone for about an hour or two after I get up, probably from nightmares. Most of the time, I have no real feelings about it and, as the mental health professionals that I had to talk to about the abuse were shocked speechless, I’m not sure that this is healthy. I switched off emotionally a long time ago, but I have a feeling that I’m repressing an awful lot.

But, I’m alive. The mess makers (including the PUF, who is still obsessed with climbing into my sweatpants) are alive. I have a chance to start over. I have loving, supportive people in my life who care about what’s best for me. Given the hell that I’ve been through for the past year or so, I honestly can’t believe it’s real.

I’ll probably be around more, here and there.

cloudiah
6 years ago

Hi Nova, Sorry for what you’ve gone through, and glad you are now in a much better environment. Do you think it would be worth finding other/better mental health professionals?

In any case, we’re glad to have you back around. I’m dragging out the big barrel of hugs, which also has kittens, ferrets, clown loaches, and wombats. Please take whatever you need.

Nova
Nova
6 years ago

Hey Cloudiah! Great to see you as well!

The mental health professionals that I had to talk to were treating someone else, but I was asked to help them with background information. It was a hospital setting, where I can imagine they’ve seen and heard almost everything, but I managed to bring them stuff that they’d never come across before. They were actually really good and probably could have helped me a lot, but they weren’t mine and my insurance wouldn’t pay for them anyway.

I do need my own mental health pros, if for nothing else than to make sure that I’m not going to have this all flooding in and giving me a nervous breakdown. My first priority is a job and to create stability for me and the mess makers. I do know that I have PTSD, but it’s not so bad that it’s interfering with my life that much.

Hugs are always appreciated. I will have to pass on the kittens, ferrets, clown loaches and wombats. If I bring one more animal into this house, I’ll be moving to Hotel Toyota!

Ally S
6 years ago

I’m having another triggering conversation with my dad right now. God help me.

kittehserf
6 years ago

Then cut him off, Ally.

Ally S
6 years ago

Basically what happened is that my sister is pretending to live here in the house even though she is living at her boyfriend’s house, and she doesn’t want my dad to know that because he is super conservative and strongly opposed to pre-marital relationships with non-Muslims. So tonight she lied and said she was sleeping in my room tonight, but when my dad called me he asked me to give my phone to my sister so he could talk to her, and of course she wasn’t there so I had to tell him that she’s not currently at the house. (That’s the most I can tell him without letting him know that she’s not living here.)

The conversation is over but tomorrow’s conversation will be even worse if it happens. It’ll all be about how my sister is an indecent liar (even though she herself is lying in order to avoid the emotional abuse from him) and how he doesn’t trust any of us and how we all need to be ultra-religious and how great of a father he is even though everyone hates him.

I can’t ever cut him off. He’ll always get me no matter what. Like I don’t even know why I’m trying anymore. I feel trapped. I’m really sorry if this kind of venting is bothering anyone. Maybe it’s bothersome to see people giving me the same old suggestions and me just hurting myself more and more by not listening. I’m sorry.

cloudiah
6 years ago

Ally, you don’t need to apologize. You’re the one dealing with what you have to deal with, with poise and fortitude.

And I do hope you get to a place where you don’t talk to your father at all, honestly.

These things are not counter-posed.

Ally S
6 years ago

I just wish I didn’t feel so alone, you know? I know I’m here with my mom and a few other family members, but I feel disconnected from everyone. I can barely even articulate my feelings on what I really want. I feel so upset at myself for being so terrible at trying to fix my life. I could be spending all of my free time honing my programming skills so I can have a chance in the job market but I have so little energy and hope for the future that I just spend the day lying around in my bed. I could really be somebody of value, but instead I’m just wasting away like this.

cloudiah
6 years ago

Ally, that’s jerkbrain talking. We know you, and we all know you have value.

It’s not surprising you have low energy for yourself. You’re using a TON of energy dealing with over/covert attacks on your very existence. It must be exhausting.

All the hugs. Please be kind to yourself.

Ally S
6 years ago

My dad also told me “So far I have not found any Islamic evidence that your lifestyle [me being transgender] is allowed.” He’s presuming by default that I’m committing a sin. It’s like he’s trying to kick me while I’m down.

Kiwi girl
Kiwi girl
6 years ago

@Ally, you have enough to deal with, without covering for your sister. Is there any method you can think of which will enable you to get off the phone from your father as rapidly as possible?

Ally S
6 years ago

@Kiwi girl

He just keeps going on an on, as if he’s entitled to talk to me regardless of the circumstances. And if I ignore him for a while (which is what I’ve been trying to do) he becomes furious and out of control and starts making threats here and there. His treatment of me is just going to keep eating away at me no matter what.

katz
6 years ago

Ally, I just wish your dad couldn’t talk to you at all. Every time he talks to you he just makes you feel like shit. He really sucks.

Kiwi girl
Kiwi girl
6 years ago

@Ally, yes your father does not appear to respect anyone’s boundaries, regardless of boundary type. It’s a pity your group was cancelled as I was hoping that there might be someone who has been in a similar situation to yours, who would be able to offer some “been there, this worked” advice – unfortunately I can’t. 🙁

Is it too uncomfortable to say something like “dad, as I said, I have to go, bye” and then just hang up? Alternatively, is there a religious leader that is sympathetic to transgender people and could intervene?

It sounds like your dad is trying to change the situation through his force of will (and he sounds like a bully who normally gets his way). I have no idea what your dad is capable of, and so I cannot tell if what I am about to suggest is safe, physically, for you or not.

Basically, as others have said, this ongoing contact with your dad is not helpful. It is unwelcome harrassment that serves no purpose other than your dad thinking he might influence your “lifestyle”. Would it be safe that, when you start talking to your dad, you lay out some boundaries about what you are comfortable/not comfortable with talking about? This is basically allowing you to say your groundrules. Then, if he transgresses those boundaries, tell him clearly which boundary he has transgressed and also that if fails to observe one of your boundaries, you will end the conversation. And then if he does it again, hang up on him.

Again – only do this if it is safe for you to do so. While this has little to no chance of making your dad change his mind about you being transgender, it will punish him for harassing you. The reward is that if he is actually nice, he gets to talk to you for longer.

If you ever emigrate to NZ, you’re welcome at my place. And it would be an international toll call for him. 🙂

Ally S
6 years ago

My dad might be calling really soon as the night (or early morning, rather) progresses. He is expecting my sister to come home tonight. If she takes “too long” to call back from my phone, he will most likely start calling me and my brother obsessively and perhaps call the police on us to “make sure you’re okay.” I promise I’ll be okay no matter what, but I’m either going to stay up all night or end up contacting a crisis hotline.

kittehserf
6 years ago

Ally, like cloudiah said, it is jerkbrain talking.

You’ve mentioned having real trouble articulating what you feel to your family – would it help to write it instead of trying to say it? You’re extremely articulate in writing, you explain difficult concepts very well, and you certainly convey your distress and how trapped you feel.

Would telling your mum and sister things in letter form be easier? I really think you need to let them know how bad this is, and the three of you at least block the male parent from communicating. The whole thing of feeling so alone is a vicious circle if you can’t tell them things, and how can they support you if they don’t know how to?

Besides, WTF good does your father do any of you? He’s abusive, with every last twist and turn that goes into that, and he’s done you all huge harm, he makes you feel wretched all the time. None of this is on you, it’s the outcome of being raised by a man who should frankly not be allowed loose in society. Can you three stand together and say ENOUGH with this PoS who happens to have biologically engendered you and your sister? I think you’ll have to, eventually, and surely that’s implicit in the idea of moving to Washington – you’ve said you want peace away from your family.

cloudiah
6 years ago

Ally, I just wish your dad couldn’t talk to you at all. Every time he talks to you he just makes you feel like shit. He really sucks.

And he’s so good at it, he makes you think feeling like shit is your own fault. Abusers are master manipulators. He is VERY good at this.

We’re not as manipulative, so sadly I fear that in some ways we can’t help as quickly (because we also can’t hurt as quickly). Just know we care about you, Ally.

I’m going to sleep now. Or try to — insomnia’s been bad lately. But I’m leaving the bucket of hugs out in the middle of the room.

kittehserf
6 years ago

I’d like to manipulate Parental Unit into a room with a lego carpet and lock the door on him.

Ally S
6 years ago

He even asked me “Do you think I am an abusive father? Have I abused you?” when I was on the phone. How could I ever answer that question with any answer besides no when he’s the one asking me? I feel sick.

kittehserf
6 years ago

That’s what he’s trying to achieve, Ally. He knows perfectly well you aren’t able to say HELL YES FUCKSHIT.

You will one day, though.

Ally S
6 years ago

Fortunately, it seems that I have actually slept somewhat, even if it was just for 5 hours. And though I expected that I would have to call a suicide hotline, I ended up not doing so because I was able to calm down myself enough so I could sleep. Unfortunately, I don’t feel relaxed at all and I feel nothing but dread. Looks like today will be a day of staying at home and talking to angry family members.

Argenti Aertheri
6 years ago

Nova!! I’m so glad to see you! I meant to email you and ask how you were and then life got in the way and here you are! It’s terrible that he hurt you bad enough to need surgery, but I’m glad you and the furballs are safe, and you have my email if you want to message me.

Ally — even if you had said yes, he’d have denied it, played gaslighting games about how you must be misremembering, it’ll be easier on you, at least for now, to just not confront him. You don’t have to deal with him, he’ll make it seem like you do, but you don’t. I need to go digging, not for his sake but for yours — I saw a special not long ago on trans Muslims, I’ll find it for you.

Argenti Aertheri
6 years ago

Here you go Ally — http://www.hrc.org/resources/entry/stances-of-faiths-on-lgbt-issues-islam — not only are you allowed to be trans, there’s a fatwa permitting GRS.

samantha
samantha
6 years ago

Just thought you would find this interesting. And we wonder where these guys get their ideas about women!

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2014/04/10/1290863/-TX-Gov-Abbott-R-Advisor-Charles-Murray-No-evidence-that-women-are-significant-thinkers?detail=email

grumpycatisagirl
6 years ago

Hey Samantha, I mentioned on some other thread that I found a copy of that manchild article you were looking for but I don’t know if you ever replied to my comment – didn’t keep up on whatever thread it was. So if you’re still looking for it I have a PDF.

samantha
samantha
6 years ago

Hey, grumpycatisagirl, I would love that pdf. Sorry that I have been so absent, but illness and my bone-on-bone knees have had me in a truly horrid mood this past week or so. Sigh. I can barely walk these days.

Bleah! Getting older can be SUCH a drag! 🙂

grumpycatisagirl
6 years ago

If you want to drop me a line at the e-mail address katekeepdown [at] gmail.com, I can reply to you with the PDF attachment. Sorry your knees are giving you trouble. 🙁

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