So. Very. Busted.

This morning, my partner sent me an email after reading my last post. She told me she thought I might need an intervention, and I agree with her.

She pointed out to me that I had said that I hadn't found the strength of will to stop reading toxic crap which made me ill, and that I had come to the conclusion that I would just practice "soul-puking" as a remedy.

She suggested to me that this was like having psychic bulimia (and also mentioned how I had violated about five of my own clearly-stated personal principles in the way that I wrote the post --among them -- "what you resist, persists", stating opinions as if they are "what is so", my judging of other people in ways that are a precise mirror of the judgments I don't like in them, etc.).

You know, I fucking adore this woman. She has the strength to tell me the truth, even when it's uncomfortable, and a clarity of insight that I treasure.

Sure, I shuffled my feet a bit while we talked about this, and had a (very slight) internal pout that my spiritual integrity won't allow me to just rant and spew with impunity anymore -- but in fact, these thoughts had been nagging at me, even as I wrote the post.

I won't "take it all back". In truth, those thoughts are in me, or I wouldn't have written them. However, I want to take responsibility for them, and if I rant, I want to at least be fully conscious that I'm ranting.

So, I want to state that I think I spoke in a way that was irresponsible yesterday. I judged and separated from and tantrumed in a way that doesn't reflect the world that I want to create. I did that. No one "made"me do it. There is no justification.

I'm still puzzling over this conundrum -- about how to effectively shift the toxic energy that I see in the dialogue between humans.

I realized today that a lot of the stuff that I see in the pundit-sphere that gets under my skin is really a triggering of un-resolved shit with my own history -- Christians pronouncing edicts from the high ground while acting in ways that aren't consistent with what they claim as their morality, blatant lies being told (and then denied or discounted), etc. -- I think the "danger, danger!" that rises up in me when I witness this stuff is the numb horror of a child who was abused while the "Happy Christian" facade was fastidiously maintained.

I don't want to ignore the voices of bigotry and hypocrisy.

I don't want to become them either.

I want to respond and not react.

So, I'll go back to my puzzle. I won't give up.

When I was thinking it through yesterday, I was actually aware that "soul-puking" was probably not a great solution in the long run -- I mean, you don't keep eating the poisonous mushrooms once you've been in for a liver-transplant, after all. It's one of those times when my wit-demonz got a hold of me, and I opted for a nifty, witty wrap-up rather than a long, thoughtful analysis.

Damn. And. Not Damn.

I now raise a flagon of the Champagne of Beers to my stalwart, thoughtful, and brave mate -- who helps to keep me on track. I am a very fortunate dyke.

Posted byPortlyDyke at 7:35 PM  


Bradley said... October 13, 2007 at 1:54 PM  

I'm sure you've read it before, but I would reccomend taking another look at James Baldwin's essay "Notes of a Native Son." At the end of the essay, he describes the same phenomenon you're talking about, I think-- concluding that people have to hold two ideas in their heads at all times: One, injustice is a commonplace in our world, and we can't let our frustration with this fact turn us into hateful people; and two, we can never accept that injustice is commonplace.

I'm paraphrasing here, 'cause the book's in the other room and I'm quite comfortable here on the couch, but you get my drift-- we can't become hateful as a result of the hatred around us ('cause that hatred's unavoidable), but we also can't stop trying to build a world without hate. Words to live by, really. Baldwin's awesome.

For me, I try to make a distinction between being angry, and being hateful. For example, the things Michelle Malkin wrote about that poor boy make me very, very angry-- but I've got to stop short of actually hating her if I want to remain true to my own code of ethics. So, after a few deep breaths, I conclude that I actually just feel sorry for her. I mean, can you imagine how badly it must suck, to be so full of hatred that you attack children? She must just be a miserable person.

Coincidentally, that's one of the ways I've come to deal with trolls on blogs and messageboards, too. I mean, sure, the misogynists who occasionally invade Feministe and Feministing and Shakesville are irritating, but any man who actually hates women is a man whose life is much emptier than mine. My favorite drinking buddy is also my favorite colleague, and happens to be my perfect sexual partner and confidante. How awesome is that, and how sad is it that some people refuse to allow themselves the same happiness?

I feel like I'm rambling here, but I just wanted to let you know that you're not alone in struggling with these issues.

"Tony" said... October 15, 2007 at 4:21 PM  

Just wanted to make sure you knew, that last two comments by that awful Tony guy were actually made by me to mock his views. I'm sorry to have upset you, but I wanted to make sure you knew! The sad thing is, no one doubts that he would say something like that, and I hate acknowledging that people like that exist and can affect my life. <3

PortlyDyke said... October 15, 2007 at 8:19 PM  

Just so you know, whoever you are impersonating "Tony" -- I don't condone that behavior and I don't engage in it.

I wouldn't like someone impersonating me, so I don't impersonate others.

Regardless of what commentors at other sites say, I let their words stand as their words, and do not put words "in their mouth" or take advantage of their anonymity.

I just checked comments at my site and found this here. I want to make it clear to you that I think this action is not in alignment with what I hold as ethical and does not match with my own sense of integrity.

I also think that it does not serve the purpose of the equal rights and treatment that I want for all human beings (even people who say things I don't like).

Phydeaux Speaks said... October 17, 2007 at 4:52 PM  

Hey, PD! If you can tear yourself away from that thread, I've got the Phyre burning tonight!

literarycritic said... October 17, 2007 at 6:23 PM  


You said on the-thread-that-will-not-die:

I want to live in a respectful world, and I want to act respectful too.

I couldn't agree more with this. I figured I'd go ahead and come over here and contribute something, small as it may be, before you make your next post.

I think the real problem with holding a respectful debate is that plenty of people have respect for other people's ideas, at least in principle -- as in, they'll argue them out rationally and calmly -- but not many people have respect for other people's feelings when they don't agree with the ideas. That's why, even when people have the same idea, the way they express it leads to unnecessary hate, anger, and fear-mongering.

The way I see it, the ideas being expressed and the feelings the debaters have about them can be kept separate -- most of the time. I lost my cool completely when Lee started telling me he had no reason to believe my story, but I shouldn't have. I should've taken time to breathe, cool down, and respond by spelling out what was wrong with his ideas, without going into what was wrong with him personally. That's exactly what arby did.

Now, it was much easier for arby to do that, because it wasn't his story Lee was doubting. But the fact remains: I'm an adult, I know how I feel and why, and I should be able to express and explain myself in a debate, even when the attacks feel personal.

So, like I said over there, it may sound new-age-hippie, but yeah. Focus on the feelings -- as in, not hurting other people's. If you can, echo back to them how they feel and why. You do that, and you've got a guaranteed foot in the door. Then all that remains is to explain, in the same tone, why you disagree.

It works almost every time. The people it doesn't work on, if you keep your cool completely, will be revealed clearly and objectively for what they are, without you ever having to resort to hating them, or even expressing anger.

That's the only way I can ever leave a debate feeling good about myself, anyway...

literarycritic said... October 17, 2007 at 6:32 PM  

Also --

There's no reason to show them how angry you are with them. (Especially trolls.) You can tell them "I'm angry with you" without saying "You're an asshole." See? You weren't rude! Then they have to listen, or they are an asshole. And most people know that, including the person you're disagreeing with.

TheCunningRunt said... October 17, 2007 at 9:36 PM  

Gurrrl, you've got balls (figuratively speaking) to try to shoot for the high ground when so much shit is airborne in your world. You stand as an example of both the Road Less Traveled and the path of righteousness. Kudos.

And lest the important role of your excellent partner be lost in this shuffle, I'd like to testify to your good fortune in having such a stellar partner at your side on this Journey.

How the hell anyone can maintain that two people such as you aren't deserving of equality and of their respect is absolutely mind-boggling!

Lambness said... October 18, 2007 at 8:50 AM  

Perhaps, in this karmic universe that we occupy, those souls who choose to be the spewers of bile do those of us who devote ourselves to making love go round a favor, by the law of physics that causes every action to have an equal and opposite reaction? Your experience is such an excellent case in point--you grow conscious of how and why that spew road feels, and doesn't work, and you redouble your efforts to create that which aligns with the beautiful, instead. And because of your honesty in your process, we all get to say, "Yeah! That's right! We want to do it differently!" Thanks, PD and Partner, for doing that.


"Tony"/"thinnerdyke" said... October 18, 2007 at 3:22 PM  

I know what I did before was childish and goddamned trolling (it did amuse me, I can't lie...) but I hope my recent comment left a smile on your face! From reading your comments on "the thread that will not die", I know you're an intellegent person, and I gotta say, don't let these idiots ever beat you down! :)

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