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.
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.