CW: Mentions of assault, personal trauma, suicidal ideation and men being awful. It’s a bit of a vent to be honest.
I am simultaneously very good at reading people and very good at not seeing obvious things.
One of the podcasts I listen to (which I really hope is not run by a TERF but she gets close enough for me to worry sometimes) ends with a sign off about trusting your intuition. Instinctively I get it and disagree with it, because that’s for all the people who don’t pay attention to themselves right, who need to be encouraged to believe themselves? At the very same time I doublethink to myself;
“What about all the subconcious biases that we all have that lead you to think that there’s threat when there isn’t, that lead people to judge the mentally ill, the sick, the disabled…”
Yet, it doesn’t tend to be the mentally ill, the sick or the disabled that set off my alarm bells, for all of the apologists constantly telling me that such and such a person isn’t a danger, he’s just autistic. For fucks sakes as someone who has a lot to do with autism in her professional life this one especially irritates me.
I find it very interesting that I have a level of hypervigilance that lets me recognise some abusers and yet I haven’t got a clue about others. We’re pattern finding animals aren’t we, but we only recognise patterns that we’ve seen before.
Do you know the really fucked up thing about having had any sort of trauma? It leads you to think that nothing else can really touch you so you go into situations that would absolutely floor other people again and again with supreme confidence and you’re going to be right up to a point but there is always going to come some situation or other that is worse.
For me, I wasn’t really bothered emotionally going into the house with the abusive partners who would occaisionally pin me against a wall because being pinned against a wall is something that I know I can deal with and I was absolutely certain I knew how to deal with him. As well as weirdly aware of the fact that one day I might be wrong about that.
I used to send people my location via my phone in case it ever escalated but I was mostly thinking about that in terms of evidence in case I wound up dead. Ahh, suicidal ideation my friend, what a fucked up and beautiful relationship we have.
The kid with the knife who went for me in a classroom really screwed me up though because that wasn’t something I knew how to deal with and it made me feel completely powerless and like I’d utterly fucked up.
I suspect in both instances I would make different decisions now I’m medicated for the Anxiety and Depression.
I have made some truly awful decisions in regards to men, I’m almost forty so obviously, as a sexually and romantically active woman since my teens, I’ve been in a variety of abusive relationships. I’ve managed to avoid the ones that would hit me but y’know look up coercive control sometime. I should also remind people that The Jellicle is a fucking sweetheart and presumably if we were monogamous I’d be beautifully less aware of such things.
“Trust your instincts” says Laura at the end of each podcast. But I know that mine are broken. Don’t all women think that their instincts are broken? Because aren’t we constantly fed a narrative of women making things up? The idea of the women who lie about being raped and despite the statistics that false accusations are something like 5% of all accusations we still have it half in our heads. And the other thing that we’re fed is that we’re supposed to make nice and bring these poor dear fucking socially inept men out of themselves. They’re adults and they can fucking behave like it.
So I check out who else says they’re ok and give them the benefit of the doubt and I keep being proved right, that there are some abusive sorts that I really do recognise, and I need to do as Laura says because I can recognise some patterns even if I’m oblivious to others.
This week yet another man proved me right and I could really do without that because it usually means that I have to look at women I respect and go, yeah I’m going to trust my gut over yours because *this one* I recognise and I’m actually not believing some sort of unknown stereotype.
I’m pretty down on men lately, because I have had two years of being messaged by random blokes who are pretty desperate and their go to line seems to be about how utterly and completely amazing I am. I actually double checked with a guy who does pretty well for women to see if I’d gone completely gay in this year without shagging a man because isn’t someone telling you how wonderful you are supposed to be a good thing?
No actually, if it comes out of nowhere it’s really not a good thing, it’s the same as the abusive fuckers hiding in plain sight and pretending they didn’t do anything wrong. It’s being fucking gaslit into thinking you’re important to someone who just wants to get his end away.
Men lie and women are made to feel we do because of it and I fucking hate it.