Slippery, Can’t Speak

I used to be so different than who I am today, and yet I feel like sometimes I just haven’t made any progress whatsoever. I’ve made leaps and bounds when it comes to my opinions, religion and sexuality, but what of my coping skills?

In high school, I dated a lot. I developed something that I call my Charm, and I used it to flirt and get compliments and build up my self esteem. When the buzz of a new relationship was gone, so was I. I didn’t really do much physically with any of my boyfriends in high school, but emotionally, I got around. (I’m ashamed of my behavior now, but I can’t exactly change what happened in the past.) I used to take pride in the fact that no guy could hold me down- I cheerfully called myself slippery so any prospective boyfriends, and they took it as a challenge, but never succeeded in catching me. I was slippery.

I try to convince myself that I’ve changed, using the fact that I’ve happily had one boyfriend for a year and a half. It works, and I feel better- until something like this happens.

Today, Clark tagged me in a stupid misogynous joke that one of his friends had posted on facebook. It was meant to be a joke, but the activist in me couldn’t let it go, so I took the opportunity to say that it wasn’t appropriate.

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The photo is above. Obviously a joke, and obviously not appropriate. One of Clark’s friends commented below mine, and said “Clark, I think its time to upgrade.” I may have overreacted, but that just made me angry. So I commented back and replied that the upgrade comment was inappropriate and uncalled for. Long story short, I just ended up not replying back anymore, after feeling disrespected and having my feathers ruffled.

I pointed out this virtual exchange to Clark over lunch, and the first thing that he said was, “Rachel, they’re morons! I can’t believe you sunk to their level.” Sigh. I know he probably didn’t mean to, but he definitely implied that I was a moron. Then he said, “It’s just a couple of jokes.” He knows how I feel about those types of jokes, and he knows that I think that they subtly perpetuate oppression in society. I’m honestly still feeling a little shocked by his reaction, because I was hoping for some understanding of why this situation annoyed me.

My temper flared and then went cold, and now I can’t really talk to him right now. I tried, and I nearly started crying (because that’s what happens when I get angry). Thing is, my coping method for pretty much every argument is to run away and hide for a while until I can sort myself out. This frustrates Clark, and it frustrates me, because I hate feeling like I’m not strong enough or put together enough to sort out my emotions properly, or express myself. I become slippery when things start to go downhill.

I guess it is (technically) a good coping method- allows me time to cool off and collect my thoughts. But I hate running from things. I hate feeling so weak about what I think that I can’t even put it into words. I detest this whole situation, and it makes me kind of wish I just hadn’t replied at all. I feel so disrespected, not only by Clark’s friend but also by Clark, and my feelings were kind of trampled over today. So what did I do? Apparently the only thing I can do- run. I’m hiding out in my room waiting out the toxic emotions right now, and attempting to objectively process.

I wish he knew how I felt about this. I wish I could tell him, but it’s hard to feel emotionally safe around him right now. I wish I could talk to him, but I just kind of shut down and I can’t do it. I wish he would have followed me. Why the hell do I do this to myself? Am I even justified in having negative emotions over this? I’m frustrated over a slight, and I can’t tell if it is just my imagination or not.

So many stupid wishes, but that doesn’t change the fact that I’m slippery right now, and I can’t really speak. After all of the work I’ve done, I’m still slippery in a way, and sometimes I can’t even hold onto myself well.

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5 thoughts on “Slippery, Can’t Speak

  1. I’m in total agreement with you – that was not a funny joke, and yes, I also agree that it’s a subtle way to continue the oppression. Nor was the upgrade comment an acceptable comment, and while he may not feel comfortable saying anything, I do hope that Clark says something to that person about the inappropriateness of that comment.

    I’m not sure if this will help in any way, but I grew up in a home where it was encouraged to deal with everything right when it cropped up. There was no taking a breather or giving space to collect thoughts. This often led to someone (most often, my mother) feeling like she was attacked when the other person expressed how they were feeling…namely because they had not been given time to collect their thoughts and calm down. I think your coping tactic is a good one, and to me, it does not show weakness. I see it as a wise move, showing that you know yourself and what you need. Having been immersed in the opposite end of the spectrum, I can say there are times when I really wished I’d been given the time to step away from the situation to think about it and calm down.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. We did talk it through, and it was a miscommunication (as usual). I know technically my method is decent, but the way I go about it leaves ice between us and stresses the relationship. At this point, I seem unable to remove myself peacefully without storming off and injuring Clark’s feelings. That’s the part that is the problem-the minute a conversation becomes difficult, I clam up and then run away as soon as I can. I’m definitely a work in progress, but I really appreciate the understanding and support☺ thank you!

      Like

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