off topic open thread

Open Thread for Personal Stuff: Very Belated May 2014 Edition

Le chien, so chic
Le chien, so chic

An open thread for personal stuff, continuing from here.

As usual for these threads: no trolls, no arguments.

681 replies on “Open Thread for Personal Stuff: Very Belated May 2014 Edition”


I don’t know if she’ll actually be mad, I”m just super anxious and worrying right now.

*Sorry, that second sentence wasn’t directed at Marie directly, it was supposed to read that if she wanted to get hold of you urgently, then she should have rung you rather than texted you. Texting is still viewed as informal, at least in New Zealand, so for example when people here have been dismissed via text (which I find unbelieveably cold as well as incredibly rude), the employment court here has said that the person hasn’t been dismissed.

Marie: If she were pissed, she’d have called. I don’t think you have anything to worry about. She most likely found someone else. It’s good that you want to help her, but her life isn’t your emergency.

Aregnti: sorry to hear about your fishes.


yay for purple hair :3

and yeah in US texting is viewed as informal too.

pallygirl: Dismissed from a job by text? And here I thought a text message breakup was cold.

Oh, not me personally, but yeah there’s been a couple of cases to go in front of employment court here where an employee has been dismissed by text. I think at least one of them was a casual worker. In each case, the judge ruled that a dismissal by text (or any change to employment conditions by text such as start time) wasn’t legal.

RE: Luzbelitx

it got is name because that’s where the Spanish stole the silver… but even that, is part of our story).

I didn’t know that! You learn something new every day, especially on Mammoth. (And this is way nicer than chimpanzee spunk.)

RE: marie

It’s okay, I miss texts all the time. (My phone plan is month by month, so sometimes I get caught out and no texts or calls reach me for a day or two.) It’s really not the best way of keeping track of someone, and accidents happen.

Argenti, I’m so sorry about your fishies! Lots of non-contact hugs.

Wanting a new pet isn’t being bad or not mourning. You’re not forgetting the ones gone, you’re loving someone else.

Marie, seconding everyone about texts. Someone needs to talk urgently, they ring. Expecting people to be checking their damn phones all the time, let alone arranging things that way, is both rude and stupid.

Pallygirl, purple hair, excellent!!!!

Marie — yep, that’s just silly. If it’s time sensitive, you use a medium you know the other person received — the damned phone or in person. Best bet is probably a simple “hope you got Monday sorted and sorry I missed your text until today” type message (calling may help get he point across if you’re up to it)

Thanks again all. I’m trying not to think of the mass fish grave (we have a sorta pet cemetery in the yard, started back with my poor runt of the litter decades ago now). So at least they got a proper burial, sorta.

And w00t for purple hair!

@Marie, I send a text specifically so as not to interrupt the person I’m sending to. They can get the message whenever, and respond whenever. If it’s urgent, I call. I don’t think a reasonable person would be mad at you.

@Argenti, I’m sorry about your fishes. I’m glad the puffer’s okay.

@Luzbelitx: I hadn’t heard about the impounding, but I’ve been kind of avoiding the news lately. I googled, but it doesn’t seem to have made the news in Canada.

Holy fuck, I just read the article on the Guardian’s site. What the actual fuck. World, we need to get the finance industry under control.

So my dad just sent me an email.

Summary: “I banned you from the house for your own good because you decided to go to your friend’s place right away without calling me and because I was protecting you from your step-mother, who made fun of your long hair in a recent FB picture. I’m such a wonderful father who makes all sorts of difficult decisions for the sake of family peace. By the way, you are still a sinner for existing because being trans is against Islamic morals. You brought this gender identity crisis[*] upon yourself. I love you unconditionally!”

*Yes, “gender identity crisis” is literally the term he used to describe my transness.

I feel so triggered right now. I don’t know if things will ever get better for me. Every fucking time I try to clean up the mess that’s my life, someone comes along and emotionally manipulates me into going back to square one. Or square zero, rather.

Ally, I can only say remember that this is really early days in getting away. You’ve no idea how much things might, almost certainly will, change for the better. You haven’t got clear of the toxic environment in your family yet. That’s the major step to take – you’re sort of poised, foot in air, in the middle of it. Don’t give up, don’t assume these shitfaces are going to control you forever.

Don’t go back to the man with the common decency of a stool-sample.

You are awesome, and amazing, and I think you are a far better woman than I am. I’m 22, freaking out about the first time a friendship gets weird.

You’re 19, and have gotten yourself out from under an abusive tyrant, sorted out way more complicated gender issues than I can adequately comprehend, started on the way to fixing the complex gender issue, and faced down scads of uncertainty, heaps of arseholishness from jerk-folks, and you persevered.

You are way stronger than you give yourself credit for, and you are a fantastic woman.

You can get through this.

Don’t get me wrong: it’s okay to be anxious, and have bad days, weeks, months, years…But, you are strong.

Your dad’s just a slime-ball who can go bathe in skunk musk to make his physical and metaphysical odors match.


I just opened a magazine that has the hide to call itself All About History. It has a piece on the battle of Agincourt (1415). It has pictures. One of them claims to be of Charles d’Albret, the Constable of France who was killed at the battle.

The picture is actually a portrait – a clear, colour, easily-recognizable-even-at-that-small-size portrait of Charles d’Albert, duc de Luynes. He was Constable of France, all right, but he was born in 1578 and died in 1621. He was Louis’s first favourite.

Sure, maybe a typo resulted in that picture being selected. But did nobody even look at the picture? Did nobody who works at a FUCKING HISTORY MAGAZINE know the difference between a 17th century man and a 15th century one? Did not one of them have a fucking clue about stuff so basic to their subject, let alone the matter of actually doing picture searches or checking what the fuck they typed?

Fucking incompetents.

Yes I have written to the editior, minus the swears.


Maybe you should apply to be the editor or proof reader or something of said magazine. Clearly, you are better at it than those currently on staff.

And kitten video.

I have been reading a lot about PTSD and I’ve come to the conclusion that I have it. My behavior is typical among those with PTSD, especially those who have PTSD as a result of abuse. Few other mental disabilities other than PTSD can account for my constant hypervigilance, my intractable self-loathing and feelings of guilt and shame, my nightmares of abuse (which have been occurring more and more often over time), my frequent anxiety attacks, my avoidant behaviors (I refuse to talk to my dad on the phone for any reason, I get anxiety attacks whenever I obsess about potentially interacting with abusers, etc.) and my overall detachment from people. Contrary to what some may assume, I have no problem considering myself to have PTSD. In fact, it’s comforting in a way because I feel like I can now gain a much clearer understanding of a large bulk of my mental illnesses.

@ Ally

Ya know, that would not surprise me at all, considering what you’ve shared about your ‘relationship’ with your father.

All the more reason for you to set and enforce clear boundaries when it comes to interacting with people, and him in particular.

Wouldn’t surprise me either, Ally.

I wouldn’t call not talking to your father avoidant behaviour. AB sounds more like it’s about avoiding ordinary but stressful situations, when one has social anxiety. I’d call it intelligent self-defence. There’s nothing to be gained from talking to your manipulative, hateful abuser, least of all when he still has such power over your mind and is trying his damndest to get you back in his physical power. Every time you make or allow contact, he proves all over again what an unrepentant piece of shit he is, and you come away feeling worse.


It is certainly also a form of self-defense, but that doesn’t change the fact that it is an example of avoidant behavior. I’m very sorry if I seem like I’m jumping on you, but I prefer to be able to label said behavior of mine as avoidant. If I ever get rid of this mental illness, I will certainly still avoid abusers as much as possible, but it would be motivated by self-defense alone rather than a combination of self-defense and avoidance of trauma triggers.

No, it doesn’t feel at all like you’re jumping on me, Ally: if anything the reverse. I’m squicky about the term avoidant behaviour at all, because it just sounds like “oh well you’re just a weakling and coward” – it isn’t supposed to, but always leaves that bad taste in my mouth, because it’s used as much of things like being afraid of public speaking as of the appalling things you’re defending yourself from. Who wouldn’t avoid abusers given the option? Who wouldn’t avoid trauma triggers?

All of which is a tl:dr attempt to explain my problem with the phrase, which is probably coming out poorly, since I’m not saying you shouldn’t use what works for you.

… I think I need a coffee.

Every fucking time I try to clean up the mess that’s my life, someone comes along and emotionally manipulates me into going back to square one. Or square zero, rather.

Not “someone”, your father. Block him. Block his number, block his emails. Talk to your therapist about the PTSD, because you’re probably right about that, and you can learn some specific coping skills. But seriously, block your father. Every interaction you have with him, and every time he contacts you against your wishes, he violates your calm. Cut him off as much as you possibly can.

The rest of your family will still love you, and I strongly suspect they’ll entirely understand why you need cut some ties.


that makes sense. It sucks that you have PSTD, but I’m glad figuring it out is helping you.

Nth’ing the “that makes sense”. And as for avoidant behaviors…DSM version means avoiding triggers, in short — be they things most people would avoid (abusers) or things most people have to problem with (sex…rapist ex’s can go pet cactī)

The bootstrap implications of the term in common usage don’t negate the meaning in terms of mental illness.

Ally, as for the nightmares, it isn’t exactly a miracle drug or anything, but you might want to ask your psych about prazosin, it’ sat least made mine more manageable. Usually.

Argenti – that’s interesting, and not at all surprising, about the separate meanings, and the DSM one being much more specific. Typically, when I checked the term (on, I think) it was all about social anxiety, like walking out of a party or avoiding studying subjects that mean you’ll have to do public speaking. Helpful, not.

[CN: child abuse]

I finally called my dad today. He told me that my step mom really isn’t worth seeing because, as he described her words, she basically was explicitly transmisogynistic towards me. She “jokingly” said “If he [sic] is going to look that girly, then he [sic] might as well start having a girly strut in his [sic] walk, too!” while laughing at a picture of me with long hair (kind of like the one I shared earlier in this thread).

She also apparently calls me worthless, lazy, and helpless behind my back despite openly claiming to be caring towards me and saying that I should be grateful for all she has done for me. My dad said it bothered him only because he perceived it as an attempt to make him upset (although he didn’t express any indignation at her for actually expressing her eagerness to bully me – to him, all that seems to matter is how he felt). My youngest sister has heard those words as well. And apparently when she heard the transmisogynistic remarks, she became very distressed and almost started crying in response.

I believe the story from my dad because my youngest sister (the most harshly abused child in the house) has always been the most attached to me. Her relatively strong attachment is a result of me protecting her from abuse. She vividly remembers the times I was openly angry at my father for being abusive to her. She also remembers all of the times I’ve called people out for bullying her and explicitly telling them things like “Please stop it, she’s obviously hurt by what you’re doing to her.”

It really means a lot to hear that about my little sister, because I have always been the most worried about her. I’ve always worried about hurting her feelings by leaving the house, making her feel like I never cared about her at all and was a failure of an older sister. But maybe I really have had some positive impact on her. She may have to face worsening abuse over time but hopefully she will keep internalizing the lesson I’ve tried to instill in her: that she doesn’t deserve to be treated that way and it’s never her fault if she gets hurt. I used to tell her things such as “It’s okay to cry” and “He should never do that, and what he’s doing is never okay no matter what” (during a particularly violent and threatening episode involving my father). By the way, this is the same little sister who told me that I should be allowed to “look like a girl” if I want to. (She literally said “I don’t care if you look like a girl. Be confident in your looks!” when I joked about long hair making me look femme.)

Of course, my father had to say something extremely disturbing regarding all of that. He said that he didn’t want my step-mother to make fun of me and therefore disturb my youngest sister. He added that he didn’t want to see her have her feelings hurt because he knows she loves me especially for protecting her from my father’s own abuse. He actually fucking said that.

Anyway, I’ll be seeing them on Saturday at my uncle’s house. It will be one of the last times I will see them for a very long time because apparently they are going back to Morocco in July for an indefinite amount of time with their mother. Due to being an ultraconservative country, my little sisters will potentially face even worse physical abuse because the laws regarding child abuse are more lenient there. I can only hope that their mother will be kind to them.

So at least a few times before I leave, I want to be there for them and try to teach them more survival strategies. They will most likely stay there until they grow up to be legal adults. It’s such a heartbreaking situation. There is literally nothing I can do for them. I can only hope that they won’t hate me by the time they grow up and are exposed to a heavily transmisogynistic family environment.


My previous therapist referred me to another one in Santa Cruz, but I really need to conserve money and get a job, so I can’t afford therapy at this time. I’ll certainly talk to a therapist about my PTSD, but I’m not looking for a diagnosis from her (unless I need it for some prescription). I don’t have a problem with self-diagnosis.

(I’m sorry if none of that made sense. I’ve been high all day in order to numb myself and obviously I’m not good at writing while high. Today has been a day of stressful phone calls and numbing myself with fast food and ice cream while stoned as fuck.)

It was all too clear, Ally.

I can only say, keep yourself safe while you’re around them. I know you desperately want to see your sisters, and it’s heartbreaking what they are going through and likely face in Morocco, but I’m nervous about what the shitfaced abusers (plural) could do to you while you’re there, including following you when you leave.

I also am trying to figure out a furtive means of coming out to my little sisters before they leave this country. I’m thinking about secretly handing them a letter and asking them to read it in the absence of any adults. And ask them to throw it away after they read it. Maybe that’s a bad idea, though.

I don’t think that is a good idea, really. Too easy for an adult to see the letter and demand they hand it over, and that gets them and you in even more strife.

BTW when you say their mother’s taking them to Morocco, is it a visit or permanently? She isn’t leaving the shitface of the male persuasion, is she?

Ally, I wish so much that there was a way to help your sisters. They don’t deserve to be raised by such awful people. But it is good that they have you so that there is someone in their lives who really loves them.

I don’t know about their citizenship status completely, but I’m pretty sure they’re US citizens. They lack legal recourse though because my parents are good at hiding evidence of abuse. My step-mom frequently rants about the CPS and thinks they’re out to get her. (Unfortunately for my sisters and fortunately for her, the CPS doesn’t really seem to care, probably because my step-mom is good at acting like a decent mother.) It’s all to be expected. We live in a society that doesn’t give a shit about survivors and instead obsesses over the imaginary specter of false allegations.

I guess I won’t send my little sisters the letter. I don’t want to potentially hurt them indirectly in the manner kitteh described. It just hurts to not be out to them. I’m afraid they will never know me as their sister. I hate this fucking world.

I don’t know if their stay will be permanent. I have faith that they will come back to the US, even if it won’t be until they’re 18 and 19 respectively. But they will stay for a very long time. And I also don’t know if my step-mom wants to sever the marital relationship but it can’t be ruled out. She has reasons to come back to the US as well.

I wish they could be in my care somehow. But I know I can’t possibly support anyone else right now, let alone provide them basic amenities and essentials. I’m so worried about them. I’m afraid of never hearing from them again. They are such sweet, adorable sisters. I can’t stand this.

My step-mother used to say she loved me. She used to even defend me from my father’s verbal abuse. We used to vent together about my father’s shitty behavior. But all along I was a “worthless”, “helpless”, “pathetic”, and “lazy” to her. I trusted her and this is the “kindness” I get in return. She hates me. She hates my guts. She never loved me in the first place. Maybe it’s because I really am that horrible deep down inside. I don’t know.

I’m nervous about what the shitfaced abusers (plural) could do to you while you’re there, including following you when you leave.

Worst comes to worst, I’ll go on the bus to an obscure part of town and find an alternative route. And then midway there I could ask my friends to pick me up.

Maybe it’s because I really am that horrible deep down inside.

Ally, enough! You are NOT horrible and it’s your indoctrinated jerkbrain saying you are. Those are the lessons your abusers taught you, and they’re all bullshit.

Do you think your little sisters are being abused because they’re horrible inside? No, you don’t, and why should you? You know that’s fucking lies. It’s also fucking lies about yourself: you are a GOOD person.

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