Saturday, November 17, 2001

The grumble monster is giving me shit again. Tempting me to rename him "Guilt-Trip Man", with his sidekick "Mudslinging Boy" I'm beyond the stage of anger by a long way, and I find my main response to all this is to shake my head ruefully and go on to the next email. I'm sorry that it's not getting better, and I worry about how badly he must be feeling to lash out so frequently but is it really worth making any effort when I'm going to get shit from someone no matter what I do?

I will not always be consistant, and I won't always be able to put my feelings towards someone into words, I am after all (mostly) human, but I try very hard to make sure my actions don't contradict what I say. It would be dumb of me to say I don't feel comfortable giving someone the opportunity to have constant contact with me, then hand them my cell phone number. Yeah, sure, I can chose not to answer, but even repetative voice-mailing can feel like harrasment. I am trying really hard to be fair, but I can't ignore my own misgivings.

When it comes down to it isn't it up to me how I chose to behave? If I give every sodding person I meet my phone number, apart from one, that's my perogative. Not a very good one addmittedly, but I don't see why I should feel guilty for sticking to what I'm comfortable with. I reckon I'm allowed to keep some things private if I feel I'll be harrassed if I share. It could be paranoia, but it's paranoia fuelled by direct experience. Oftentimes known as "caution"

Just because I'm saying I'm hurt and afraid of being hurt more, it doens't mean no-one else is hurt, or allowed to be upset. All I can legitimately comment on is me, it's the only thing I have the most direct experience of. And knowing me as I do, I can guarantee that guilt tripping, accusations, hissy fits and pouting are not the way to my heart. In fact they've been pretty conclusively proved to be the most direct route OUT of my affections.

Maybe I'm only trying to be civil to assuage my concience after supporting him for five months against my better judgement, then leaving him to fend for himself with nothing to show for it but a nice apartment, a new bed and a car. Maybe I'm only staying in touch so I can get my money back. If I wanted it back that badly, I would have a lawyer already working on it.

Actions really do speak louder than words, if you say you don't want something, but take it anyway, it's obvious you want it, but were trying to convince yourself or others that you weren't greedy (or needy, as the case may be). If you say you want to stay, but then leave, you wanted to leave all along. If you say you want to be friends, and then grouch and whine and accuse when someone doesn't fulfil your expectations or requirements, you want a servant, not a friend. If you claim to respect someone then violate their privacy, you never respected them, or you don't know the meaning of respect. If you say you're hurt and resentful, but still make some attempts at contact, then maybe, just maybe it means you don't want to sever all ties and pretend the other person doesn't exist.

Right now it seems like whatever I do or say I will be accused of being underhanded and playing "mind games" I'm not controlled enough to play mind games for fucks sake. I made damn sure of that after experiencing a fair portion of mind games from "friends" years ago.

I read somewhere recently that you can assess a man's character by how he reacts to a woman, a child and a flat tire. It seems trite, but it's a good analagy. That little "test" can show how they deal with people who are generally percieved to be of a "different species" (thus drawing analagies to both sexism and racism), how well they relax and play while still being responsible with a small person, and how they deal with an annoying inconvenience. That's the crux here: dealing with adversity is the biggest test of a person's character. Whether you stomp and rage at a small setback, or smile and get on with it, your whole attitute to life is encapsulated in how you deal when things go wrong. Or even when they just don't go right. Especially when it's something small. Throwing a tantrum at something small is easily the biggest brightest warning light possible. Responding to misfortune with bitterness and accusations comes a close second.

I was extremely angery and bitter when I arrived in San Diego, the angryness dissolved quicker than I expected, and the bitterness only rears it's head infrequently. The worst thing left is the feeling that I have been foolish and not taken care of myself or my future. I hate helplessness more than anything, and I managed to impose it on myself AGAIN. Not good.

Now I am trying my best to establish myself as an independant being, the financial aspect of indepedance being the most important for now because you can never be truly emotionally independent unless you're a hermit. It's not easy to suddenly have so many more things on my plate to think about, but I'm surprising myself by not being terrified and running back to Mummy and Daddy. There've been ups and downs of course, but the majority of it has been me bieng frustrated at myself, and at things not taking off. Now they ARE taking off my priority is to keep them going and to keep myself from going back into a hole. Yeurp, my priority is ME, becasue if I don't look after myself then someone else will end up having to do it, and that's not fair on them.

If that's offensive, then so be it. I think it's a pretty good balance, because if I take care of me, I'll be better able to help other people take care of themselves too, rather than making it harder for everyone. You help no-one by being self destructive, especially those who care about you.

So, no, I'm not going to do absolutely everything I can think of to assuage the wrath of the grumble monster. I can't if I'm going to be a happy sane person, I need to feel safe from harrassment. The grumble monster demands respect, but respect cannot be taken or demanded, it can only be earned. I'm beginning to suspect that he would rather have pretended respect than actually earn the real stuff.

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