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Each of the terms in the title are words in the modern lexicon of dialogue. They mean something in context that is different than the literal meaning of the words. They are short-hand forms of speech used by many people, especially young people, when they are having intimate conversations with people they know well. This diary is a defense of modern vernacular and why we use it with people we care about.

Two diaries included STFU! in their titles this week. The second was a rebuttal of the first. The power of the vernacular term STFU! is apparent in the way both diaries express an urgent desire for more authentic connection.

Dear Men, STFU!

The first diary is ironic because in choosing a provocative title, the author deliberately invited attacks on himself and his desire to discuss male complicity in sexual violence. That is a man, doing some very heavy lifting, in terrain where angels fear to tread. It is an urgent call to men to practice being present, as a witness, to embrace the unspoken along with the spoken as women tell their personal stories.

STFU! Really?

The second diary is also ironic because the author's admissions include an implicit willingness to be vulnerable. He may be willing to hear the direct experience of another human being but he's not sure because vernacular like STFU! shuts him down. For him, and many others who recommended the diary, STFU! is a trigger that impedes their ability to engage. It's a trigger that takes them out of the present and shifts their internal focus to ugly memories of the past, when someone in authority made them sit there and be quiet while being lectured. It might recall to mind the relative helplessness of a child or a teen verbally battered by a parent or teacher who uses violence in their words and demeanor to berate and humiliate them. Those wounds are on the inside. Harsh words don't leave a bruise on the body, but they can leave a mark on the soul.

For the second author, STFU in the title was so repulsive, he didn't even bother to R-T-F-D. Yet, he wrote a compelling rebuttal. Both authors received hundreds of recommends and vigorous participation in the comment threads.

This diary is dedicated to Empty Vessel and gjohnsit.

Context matters

The actual meaning of these words and phrases depends heavily on context. Let’s begin with the urban dictionary.

Get Out!
Expression of disbelief, usually over something too good to be true. A phrase containing 'get out' usually ends with an exclamation point.

Bruno: And so all of the digits matched! That's 2.5 million right there, dude!
Ed: Get out! That's awesome!

In some contexts and in formal speech, “get out” usually means "leave this space immediately!" But in modern vernacular it can be an expression of joy. The context changes the meaning entirely.

An important aspect of context is the level of intimacy between the parties to the conversation. Most of us drop many rules of formal conversation when we are speaking to people we care about, when we are speaking to intimates. Many conversations this past week about sexual violence and misogyny involved very personal disclosures. IMO, many of the derailments involved an obvious desire to avoid frank disclosure of intimate violence. Some of those objecting, diverting, changing the subject, were deliberately and persistently attempting to shut the conversation down. They constitute an implicit rejection of the right to have such intimate conversations on the internet.

The most versatile word in the English language

Consider various uses of “fuck” listed in the urban dictionary. Many people still object to its use, as profanity, because for hundreds of years speaking directly about sex was considered profane.

fuck
1. The universally recognized "F word"
2. N. Implying complete and utter confusion
3. N. a really stupid person
4. V. To procreate
5. adj. Can be used to modify any word for more passion
6. Int. Expresses disgust
7. Int. Expresses complete suprise and joy (sic)
8. adv. Can be used to make a command more urgent
The F-word adds context-dependent richness to informal expressions of emotional experience. Compare, "That's so ridiculous I can hardly believe it!" with "WTF?!" The short-hand acronym is much easier to say and to type. In contrast, as used down below in the diary, "WTF is a trigger?" is used simultaneously to a) liven up a technical explanation, b) to soften emotional tone, and c) to signal tacit recognition that some readers may need a patient teacher to help them grasp the unfamiliar concepts. In that context, WTF is used as an informal invitation to learn, along the lines of, "Are you skeptical about this term? Don't worry! You're not alone. I won't diss you or make fun of your ignorance. If you engage here and read this, I will help you. I'll break it down for you." The context transforms the meaning of WTF? from shock and ridicule or outrage to a welcoming invitation to engage. Written expressions of WTF and STFU have diverse meanings that depend on the informal nature of the author-reader relationship.



In 2014 the vast majority of the time, when people include the word fuck in their expressions, they mean something far removed from fornication. To reject its many forms in modern vernacular is essentially a demand that formal language be used as a threshold for conversation.

The effect is to limit speech because it declares “out of bounds” many ways that people speak to each other in casual conversations they have with people they know well. A rejection of informal speech often amounts to a dismissal of “the other” as unworthy of serious attention. In many contexts a rejection of vernacular includes an implicit assertion of superiority. In our context, in diaries and comment threads over the past week, a rejection of the expression STFU! was often an assertion that intimate conversation about violence against women can be interrupted and dismissed without consequence.

Bearing Witness


The title Dear men, STFU! conveys a deep desire for less belligerence and bluster. It includes an implicit invitation to men to set aside everything they thought they already knew about sexual violence and focus on someone telling their story. To be present as if you could actually walk in someone else's shoes for awhile. Dear men, STFU! is an invitation to become more authentic, more intimate, to keep listening even when you don't understand. The diary models for men how common habits interfere with what many men and women want, the experience of being heard. It is an invitation to stop debating, stop problem solving, stop asking "How did this happen?" It's an invitation specifically to men, to practice, here at Daily Kos, listening to someone important, a wife, a daughter, a partner, a friend as they tell their stories, in their own vernacular and on their own terms, rather than demanding that they first conform to yours before you'll even "let them" begin.

Dear men, STFU! is an invitation to bear witness.

In the second diary the author took offense to the title and admits he is rebutting a diary that he didn't read. He states clearly why STFU! is a barrier to engagement, for him. It stands in his way. He doesn't get why other people saw the same term, STFU! as an invitation to engage more deeply. There is some merit to his rant and many Kossacks agreed. He calls us to be more aware of how violence creeps into our vernacular where it doesn't belong.

On the other hand, if someone can't be bothered to read the diary, and then posts a rebuttal anyway, are they even ready to listen? Isn't that just having an argument with their own imagination? Did he want active dialogue? It's not clear. He honestly admits to a significant laziness about the topic of sexual violence, and for that, many readers dismissed his point of view. But wait. That means an author took time to articulate his outrage against what he imagines about a topic he admits he doesn't understand, a topic he can't be bothered to read about. The experience has been so bad for him that it makes Daily Kos seem like a worthless place to be. To his credit he didn't just leave. He invited witnesses to the conversation he’s been having in his head up to now. I stand in awe of such courage.

STFU! Really? is an invitation to bear witness to the way violence in language interferes with intimacy.




Operational Exhaustion

In a sketch on Euphemisms, George Carlin mocks the way that language has changed, “squeezing all the humanity” out of a term that needs to describe a state of extreme pain and distress. “Shell shock” became “battle fatigue” became “Operational exhaustion” became Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).




Shell shock referred to an altered state of being in people who were exposed to violence. They were exhausted beyond their capacity to resolve their conditioned fear response and their nervous systems were stuck in a state of alarm long after real danger had passed. The conditioned fear response occurs in all animals and is an essential mechanism within our survival-based evolutionary learning system. A simple example of conditioned fear is teaching children not to touch the stove by bringing their hand close enough to feel pain.

When we are calm and rational our nervous system is in balance. The parasympathetic nervous system (restorative brain chemistry) is balanced with our sympathetic nervous system (threat response and survival brain chemistry). PTSD occurs when a person's normal resilience to violence or threat of violence is disrupted and their nervous system is unable to resolve their survival response, (Freeze, Fight, or Flight), and return their body/mind to a state of calm readiness. This is important and bears repeating. We are calm and alert, and able to think clearly, when the parasympathetic branch of our nervous system is in balance with the sympathetic branch.

WTF is a trigger?

Many triggers help us all to stay alive. They are part of our evolutionary response to survival threats. They activate our sympathetic nervous system and flood our bodies with stress hormones. That's why they work. They compel us to focus and change our immediate behavior in ways that increase the survival or our species.

Effective triggers are impossible to ignore. The horn of a fire engine alerts us to an emergency. In traffic the fire engine horn is so repulsive it motivates people to change their behavior, to stand back or get out of the way. It is essential communication that helps first responders go quickly through crowded streets to the persons in distress.

After danger has passed and the triggering stimuli turns off our parasympathetic nervous system can bring us back into balance. Studies of breath and breathing have shown that when we inhale our sympathetic system is dominant, and when we exhale our parasympathetic nervous system is dominant. When you take long slow breaths and consciously slow down your breathing rate your brain gets the message that danger has passed. That's the neurochemistry behind the phrase, "Take a deep breath." That is why meditation works. It's why coherent breathing works. With training, it is possible to interrupt an anxiety attack in 3-5 breaths simply by lengthening your exhale.




Any stimulus associated with a traumatic event can become a trigger.





In PTSD a trigger is like a loose switch that can initiate a freeze, fight, or flight response associated with a prior traumatic or terrifying event. Some people have disturbed sleep after watching a violent movie. During sleep our brains can't distinguish images of the movie from actual threats in real life and in real time. Loose triggers are why people have nightmares. Those memories and images can activate a biochemical response, releasing adrenaline and other stress hormones, even during REM sleep. When awake, a loose trigger activates a neurochemical switch that can take someone's awareness out of the present moment, and refocus their attention back to an earlier event in their life. In that sense being triggered is like having one foot in the present and one foot in the past. Being easily startled, or being triggered by trauma-related cues, is one symptom of PTSD. The resulting disorientation in the time dimension interferes with focus on the task at hand and can be debilitating.

WTF is a trigger warning?

In her beautiful diary, Green Mother sorted through some common misperceptions about PTSD. She explained what triggers are and why trigger warnings matter.

Putting that trigger warning out is a mindful step, that tells the world we are intelligent enough to comprehend the depths of trauma, and strong enough to care for those who have been affected by it.
Trigger warnings help vulnerable people get on with their lives. An ace bandage on a sprained elbow prevents further injury during the time a vulnerable joint needs to heal. In the same way, trigger warnings help people avoid further injury while they heal from prior exposure to violence. They help vulnerable people navigate their way around content that can reinforce past trauma. It's the reason the Nickel Mines and Sandy Hook Elementary Schools were torn down. Forcing young children to go to school where there classmates had been murdered could trigger them and interfere with their recovery.

Trigger warnings might not be possible

People learn to cope ahead. If a trigger is truly unavoidable they learn to manage what happens afterward. I have an unavoidable trigger associated with fire engines. It maps to September 11, 2001, when I lived across the street from a hospital emergency room. Living there for many years, I was accustomed to the ordinary sounds of traffic and the comings and goings of that ER department. My earliest awareness that morning, that something was terribly wrong, was the sound of multiple emergency vehicles arriving one after the other, in rapid succession.

The horn of a fire truck became a trigger. It's a very specific trigger. Not an ambulance. Not a police car. Not any other kind of horn or siren. A firetruck. It is my only remaining trigger to that horrible day. If I'm on the street and a fire horn blares nearby behind me, I usually get triggered. My heart will race, my breathing will become rapid and shallow, I'll burst into tears or feel an overwhelming urge to run. Sometimes, even 12 years later, I lose awareness of my surroundings. It can take me an hour or more to calm down and focus on anything else. Being triggered means awareness and experience of the immediate present is overwhelmed because some stimuli has activated a compelling internal focus on the past.

But if a fire truck blares their horn anywhere in front of me, within my visual field, there is no neurochemical trigger to disturbing memories of that day, there are no tears, and there is no urge to immediately run away.

Why does my visual field matter?

First and foremost, triggers are a neurochemical survival response. The information flooding in through my eyes is more important than what I hear, and it anchors my awareness in the present moment. My eyes automatically map the emergency signal as external distress. My brain learns from the visual cortex that there is no immediate threat to my own life. My mind quickly understands that an attack like 9/11 is not beginning again.

But wait. I wasn't in the buildings that fell and I didn't have to run anywhere that day.

A skeptic might think I'm making this up, that I'm just adding drama to enhance a story, that I just over-react. They would be wrong. So where does the urge to flee come from? Triggers can be subtle and complex and mapping their origins can take a long time. This is one trigger that is straight foward and easy to understand. The urge to flee is one form of conditioned fear response. It's real human biology doing what has kept us all alive long enough to reproduce. Bursting into tears is autonomic nervous system overload, signaling a need for help. It's so primal it's the same biochemical cascade that causes an infant to cry in response to the sound of other babies crying. It's a mechanism that amplifies a survival signal. It helps to ensure that babies in distress receive necessary attention from adults nearby.

In this example, the urge to run is a neurochemically-triggered behavioral response to an internal perception of imminent danger. The trigger flips a switch in my brain that activates my freeze, fight, or flight survival mechanism, even in the absence of an imminent threat to my own life. The medical term is dysregulation of a fear response. The danger is in my imagination, but the biochemistry has very real effects.

Listening to the silence between the words

George Carlin made an important point about the way euphemisms dilute and diminish our ability to describe a state of extreme pain and distress. In recent weeks, I’ve read posts by Kossacks I respect that show they have little or no comprehension of trauma. There was a diary about trigger warnings in which some Kossacks said they think people who talk about triggers are ginning up faux outrage. The ignorance on display was alarming.

I felt embarrassed for them and very disappointed. How could my progressive brethren be so clueless? I suppressed an urge to reply that they should STFU.

Why?

As disappointing as it was to read those comments, they weren’t hijacking the diary. They weren’t posting the same assertions again and again across multiple diaries with no respect for the topic of the diary. They were participating in a discussion and they honestly didn’t know that their flat rejection of the entire concept could be hurtful to those who cope with PTSD every fucking day. Their honesty exposed a vulnerability and their courage. They were willing to expose their internal dialogue to public scrutiny. They were earnest enough to say, “Looks like BS to me. I don’t get it.” I cherish and respect that willingness to engage the topic.

I raise my hat to all the women who have shared their stories here and in the #YesAllWomen Twitter campaign. I thank all those who stood with them and supported them. The two diaries I'm defending both deal with the language of violence and the hidden way that violence creeping into our vernacular shuts down authentic dialogue. This is why I read Daily Kos. It's why I blog about gun law here. And it's why we'll listen to your story even when you don't R-T-F-D.

The way to peace is through more of this, not less.  

Thanks for reading.

7:13 PM PT: h/t to 2thanks for a Twitter notice.

Stop using #YesAllWomen. Now use #EachEveryWoman. I do not tweet, but I understand the originator of the tweet was getting death threats.

... Not sure how changing the hashtag could fix this.

by 2thanks on Sat May 31, 2014 at 04:46:55 PM PDT

Sun Jun 01, 2014 at  3:10 AM PT: Edited typos and expanded the first paragraph of section titled "The most versatile word in the English language" and added 2 sentences about verbal abuse to the Intro.


Originally posted to Courtesy Kos on Sat May 31, 2014 at 04:12 PM PDT.

Also republished by House of LIGHTS, Sluts, KosAbility, Barriers and Bridges, and This Week in the War on Women.

Poll

Have you ever deliberately modulated your state of anxiety or distress simply by slowing down your breathing? By deliberately lengthening your exhale?

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| 92 votes | Vote | Results

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Comment Preferences

    •  Links to a few of the many diaries (28+ / 0-)

      dealing with misogyny, sexual violence, and trauma this past week. There are many others. Feel free to add links to your diary, or any others that touched you, published any time frame, not just the past week.

      I wonder what it would be like to be a woman unshaped by fear

      Measuring The Unmentionable (Updated)

      No - You Don’t Get a Gold Star

      Dear Men, STFU!

      Comments by Women Only Please

      Comments by Men Only Please

      STFU! Really?

      It’s about time this culture had a serious discussion about PTSD

      "The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.” — William Arthur Ward

      by LilithGardener on Sat May 31, 2014 at 03:39:45 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Diary on PTSD and resolution of trauma (10+ / 0-)

      A reader's suggestion:

      Mindfulness in a Round Pen by by drnatrl

      David was anxious, nervous, afraid of being hurt. He was busy looking for danger, pacing, exhibiting behavior that might be expected from any animal of prey in an unfamiliar environment. Johnny moved quietly and deliberately, as if to try to calm him by his peaceful presence.

      Image

      Johnny is a quarter horse who was rescued last spring by Escalante Springs Equine Rescue and Rehabilitation on the southeastern edge of Tucson. He and his horse pal, Brownie, were living in a small pen next to the Old Nogales Hwy. They were neglected and starving to death. Finally a passing motorist called Animal Control. [...]

      "The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.” — William Arthur Ward

      by LilithGardener on Sat May 31, 2014 at 06:24:53 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Trigger Warning - profanity and comment history (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      kfunk937

      We've all read Kos's rule and this is a site for adults. Profanity is expressly is allowed.

      There is a thread below, a dialogue with AngryAllen in which I tried to imagine what it's been like for him, and men like him. People who begin reading the thread may find it disturbing, but if you read all the way to the end, I think you might join us in exploring how people learn, how people decide what is true about posts they read on the internet.

      I explored how profanity changes the emotional tone. I show how comment history can be taken out of context and used abusively as a battering ram. We call blogging here dialogue, but posting on the internet is not speech and it's easy to forget that we don't actually have a common vernacular.

      It begins with his opening post:

      I have to admit, STFU made me avoid those diaries (8+ / 0-)

      Granted, women's rights are not a debate, but it remains a discussion.  Discussions/dialogue are the most important source for education and the exchange of ideas.  STFU closes that door and the reason that I intentionally avoided and will continue to avoid those diaries.
      http://www.dailykos.com/...

      As, of this moment it ends with these two:
      http://www.dailykos.com/...
      http://www.dailykos.com/...

      I hope readers who read the whole thread feel free to post what they think about it, good and bad, (with profanity and without). Does any of it make people feel like they are walking on eggshells?

      "The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.” — William Arthur Ward

      by LilithGardener on Mon Jun 02, 2014 at 06:42:47 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Terrific diary on health avoidance by La Feminista (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      kfunk937

      She talks about feeling like shes walking on eggshells. I struggle with that too, even here in my own diary.

      Here's and excerpt:

      Sometimes You Have to Stop Reading the Comments by by LaFeminista

      [...] It then went on

        In recent days, the news has read like a litany of hatred and intolerance. It once again demonstrates how misogyny is an international problem, transcending borders, socioeconomic circumstances, racial divisions. Of course there are other factors – mental illness, religion, poverty. But this much is clear: there are men on this planet who vehemently hate women. Not all men, I am compelled to add here. Never all men. [my bold]
      Personally I would have not put the addendum at the end, and just stated, there are men on this planet who vehemently hate women. It's a sign of a defensive position when you then have to justify a truth.

      I started reading the comments section, and quickly realized there was not any point as the defensive addendum now became the focus of attack. I then just sat there getting at first angry, then shook my head, then gave up reading them. [my bold]

      "The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.” — William Arthur Ward

      by LilithGardener on Mon Jun 02, 2014 at 08:02:08 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  PTSD: Fear, Anxiety and the Extended Amygdala (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      kfunk937

      h/t 2thanks

      PTSD: Fear, Anxiety, and the Extended Amygdala by CompoundF
      (from 2007)

      In previous diaries, we showed how:

      chronic stress mounts central stress networks to increase central stress signaling, which leads to increases in fear and anxiety, hyperarousal and vigilance, addiction, impulsiveness and sensation seeking, long-term changes in memory, and how stress-related juices amplify emotional memory.  In this diary we will look at an anatomical neuronal macrosystem, the so-called "extended amygdala," and how different parts of the extended amygdala may be processing cues for specific aspects of aversive experience, namely stone-cold fear versus more "free-floating," or generalized anxiety.


      Each of the linked diaries are also worth bookmarking and reading. It would be terrific if we could republish each diary. Does anybody know Compound F?

      "The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.” — William Arthur Ward

      by LilithGardener on Mon Jun 02, 2014 at 09:10:13 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I will have to bookmark and read (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        LilithGardener

        that series as soon as time allows.  Couple of pieces.

        The stress response starts in the hind brain, before it communicates the trigger to the frontal cortexes. We are talking millisecond responses. As a young child, my 18 mo older sister used to hold me down and tickle me til I couldn't breathe. I told every boyfriend "Do not tickle me." One day at work a doctor passing behind me reached out and tickled my left lower chest. The next thing I knew, my right fist was coming away from his solar plexus as I heard the air coming from his mouth. (He walked on as though nothing had happened..)

        Stress hormones released by triggers are handled differently by women and men. Men are able to dissipate the hormones faster than women - mostly due to larger muscle mass.  This creates a problem for women because the next stress trigger just adds more hormones to the level she already has. A high stress day will likely lead to crying. Crying tears have stress hormones in them, lubricating tears do not. (Now, does it make any sense to let a crying baby stay in a crib without any attempt to hold it?)

        On breathing, extended exhalation is one part. Using the nose to inhale is another. There is a difference in where the air goes from the mouth or nose, and there is an oropharyngeal sensor that tells the hind brain air is coming through the mouth, triggering a stress response.

        During gestation, high stress in the mother's life affects the fetus brain development, resulting in a larger hind brain and smaller frontal cortexes.  This continues in early childhood if the stress is environmental and continues to affect the brain development. Some of those phases are time limited - it can't be made up later in life if not completed in the normal time window.

        So the cycle of poverty is significantly created by high stress, which ultimately leads to more violence in life from people reacting to triggers before the frontal lobes can function.

        Another place in the brain also seems vulnerable to triggers. Fascinating new preliminary study is on the medial prefrontal cortex and learned helplessness. The thinking at this point is that the animal (and presumably people) had a significant experience with being helpless to stop pain. At some point the animal gives up trying to help themselves- even when they could. The supposition is a trigger switches something in the medial prefrontal cortex, creating stress, anxiety and depression. The researchers found some animals could unlearn the helplessness.

        This brings to mind the word self-efficacy, which is the sense of whether one is capable of doing something or not. The combination of knowledge here makes me think of a child being frequently berated, and possibly spanked or hit, because they had not done a chore, their homework, or something else correctly. Seems like a very likely set up for learned helplessness in humans.

        My experience with language started with a grandmother called 'the walking dictionary'. I learned that if you truly wanted to communicate, you had to know the meaning of the words. Swearing was considered unnecessarily rude and lacking intelligence or vocabulary.  As an RN, I learned to talk with people who had not been raised that way and found communicating with them was not difficult and sometimes easier. The frankness leaves less room for confusion.

        I also became fully aware that, like it or not, the meaning of words change over time, and like everything else, it has gotten much faster. The best, fastest change is in the word 'marriage'. ;)

        "People, even more than things, have to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed and redeemed; never throw out anyone. " Audrey Hepburn "A Beautiful Woman"

        by Ginny in CO on Fri Jun 13, 2014 at 05:18:50 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  General point on the concept (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          LilithGardener

          of violence in vernacular.  I developed a sensitivity to how other people might be distracted and react to a word that is unnecessarily harsh, rude, etc.  In teaching patients about their self care, it was enough to deal with the realities of their life style changes.

          I grew up in a household and friends who were comfortable with stimulating conversations. As time has changed that, I have become careful about language that would escalate a tense situation into something possibly less controlled or dangerous. This can be especially important when stressed out family of sick patients get so upset, the patient becomes more anxious and stressed out.

          "People, even more than things, have to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed and redeemed; never throw out anyone. " Audrey Hepburn "A Beautiful Woman"

          by Ginny in CO on Fri Jun 13, 2014 at 05:29:13 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Nicely done, Lil. Thanks (19+ / 0-)

    I really liked your reframing: "They were earnest enough to say, “Looks like BS to me. I don’t get it.” I cherish and respect that willingness to engage the topic."

  •  Stop using #YesAllWomen. Now use #EachEveryWoman. (14+ / 0-)

    I do not tweet, but I understand the originator of the tweet was getting death threats.

    ... Not sure how changing the hashtag could fix this.

  •  thank you (17+ / 0-)

    LilithGardener. I have been triggered a lot this past couple weeks and I have complex PTSD. I breathe, and go back in and read another diary. I hope I'm processing something, at the same time I am dealing with so much anger and have little tolerance for anyone even mildly threatening to me. It's a little scary to be in this place.

  •  Miss Manners says STFU please (14+ / 0-)

    Couldn't have said it better myself

    Happy just to be alive

    by exlrrp on Sat May 31, 2014 at 05:01:20 PM PDT

  •  I have to admit, STFU made me avoid those diaries (8+ / 0-)

    Granted, women's rights are not a debate, but it remains a discussion.  Discussions/dialogue are the most important source for education and the exchange of ideas.  STFU closes that door and the reason that I intentionally avoided and will continue to avoid those diaries.

    •  Is it the proganity or the belligerent tone (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      joedemocrat, 2thanks

      that repelled you?

      "The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.” — William Arthur Ward

      by LilithGardener on Sun Jun 01, 2014 at 05:53:48 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Neither (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        LilithGardener, 2thanks

        Mostly I felt that it was intentionally exclusionary.  Personally, I don't like being preached to, regardless of topic.  If I'm made to not feel welcome in the discussion, there's no hard feelings, I just move on.

        •  What does it take to make you feel welcome? (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          joedemocrat, 2thanks
          Discussions/dialogue are the most important source for education and the exchange of ideas.
          There were more than a dozen diaries about domestic and sexual violence against women. Were any of them sufficiently welcoming to you?

          Did you...

          Read them?
          Share your thoughts?
          Reply to someone else who dared to tell their story?

          "The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.” — William Arthur Ward

          by LilithGardener on Sun Jun 01, 2014 at 07:47:14 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I read some (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            JJustin, LilithGardener, 2thanks

            I read a few diaries.  Some comments.  Then I noticed a change from some men to all men being lumped together.  The words became more aggressive until the stfu nonsense.  I recc'd a few comments and made a comment or two along the way.  I was made to feel out of place and it worked.  I've moved on, much like this diarist who said he's even going to take a Kos break.  I won't be engaging on this topic here at daily Kos.

            •  Are you aware how visisble (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Lonely Texan, 2thanks, martydd

              your double standard really is?

              If I read English you say you're no longer going to exchange ideas at all on a topic that you care about just because aggressive language made you feel unwelcome? Because foul language, like STFU, is just too harsh for you?

              STFU closes that door and the reason that I intentionally avoided and will continue to avoid those diaries.
              Is this what you mean by it's still a discussion? Does agressive foul language like this close the door for you?
              Can you read?

              How the fuck would you know?

              Take your head out of your a$$

              I'm sorry to put you on the spot but I didn't have to look very far to pull out those examples of your double standard. I'd respect someone who says, "Meh, too much meta. It bores me."

              Spare me your hollow excuses, please. Your comments show you aggressively use foul language whenever you fucking feel like it.

              "The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.” — William Arthur Ward

              by LilithGardener on Sun Jun 01, 2014 at 01:49:12 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  I never said the profanity bothered me (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                JJustin, LilithGardener, 2thanks

                The tone was the problem for me.  It could have read "shut the hell up".  Same thing to me.  If the women only wanted the men to read and not reply, then that by definition is not a discussion.  I choose not to engage in that type of construct.  And because of the way those diaries were framed, I don't feel compelled to emotionally invest in the that topic here at Kos.  I may comment here and there, at my leisure and on my terms.  Why does that bother you so much?  

                •  It seems almost like you never actually talked (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Lonely Texan, 2thanks, martydd

                  to a woman before. At least not a passionate one. You think because I throw a little fuck into the conversation, that I'm upset?

                  How the fuck would you know?

                  It's extremely common to hear men trashing talking one day, (because it's ok for men to be belligerent, bellicose, or profane whenever they feel like it), then whining about aggressive language the next suddenly finding all kinds of fucking reasons why they can't stay.

                  And sorry Allen, blaming women for expressing angry feelings with strong language and aggressive tone is the most common fucking reason of all. If you're ready to stop sounding like a cliche, you might bother to RTFD.

                  WTF?



                  Disclaimer - This comment contains adult language that could trigger someone. It could be misunderstood as evidence of the author being upset. It could also be an example of the vernacular discussed in the diary. If you're not 100% sure you might want to bookmark the diary and read it again until this comment makes sense.

                  "The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.” — William Arthur Ward

                  by LilithGardener on Sun Jun 01, 2014 at 03:24:14 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Your assumptions are all wrong (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    LilithGardener, 2thanks

                    I've been happily married to a beautiful, passionate, well adjusted NORMAL woman for over 20 years.  My 13 year old daughter follows my dear wife's wonderful examples.  I revere the women in my life.

                    Your obsessive focus on profanity baffles me.  I told you that the profanity doesn't disturb me.  Yet you cling, bitterly to the assertion that it MUST.

                    Your middle paragraph is just plain silly and isn't applicable.

                    I'll admit that your last paragraph gave me a chuckle.  I didn't blame women for anything.  I merely pointed out that I wasn't interested in having the conversation that you insist I have.  I stopped reading when it was clear that my input wasn't wanted.

                    I've answered all your points, yet the only question I asked of you remains unanswered.  Why does it bother you so much, that, because of the tone of those diaries, I am disinterested in engaging?

                    •  I'll answer your Q. (Next comment, I promise) (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      2thanks

                      But first, I don't understand why you think that I care one wit what you choose to avoid on the internet?

                      First, why do you think I'm upset?  (Fact is, I'm not.).

                      Second, why should I, or anyone else for that matter, give a flying fuck what you read on the internet?

                      I'll give you a headstart on Q 2: "Well, Lilith, You published a 3000 word essay about vernacular and triggers and how it can be a barrier to understanding, so I.... {you finish, please, with whatever is true for you.}



                      Disclaimer: I appreciate very much that Angry Allen is willing to continue this demonstration showing how the  paucity of information in these threads leads to judgment and defensiveness. I only know that he sometimes posts in my diaries on gun law and I vaguely remember his posts as a pleasant and knowledgeable fellow. Lives somewhere in the midwest, maybe Illinois. Until today, I never looked at his comment history. PS This was not planned in advance.

                      "The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.” — William Arthur Ward

                      by LilithGardener on Sun Jun 01, 2014 at 04:46:35 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Your questions (2+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        2thanks, LilithGardener

                        Your were the one who asked the questions about why I wasn't interested in participating:

                        " Is it the proganity or the belligerent tone (1+ / 0-)
                        that repelled you?"

                        " What does it take to make you feel welcome? (1+ / 0-
                        There were more than a dozen diaries about domestic and sexual violence against women. Were any of them sufficiently welcoming to you?"

                        And, you shouldn't care, at all, about what choices a stranger makes on the Internet.  Which is why I was so curious about why you've kept asking me about it.

                        •  Thanks, Allen - It was an experiment in learning (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          2thanks

                          and dialogue. (With consciousness of how little we really know about the person we imagine we're "talking" to.)

                          The long and short answer is that I do care, obviously, or I wouldn't have written 3000 words about vernacular and triggers. The short answer is that I don't care at all. It doesn't matter to me who reads what on Daily Kos. It's a big space. I try to engage with whoever shows up, (within reason), unless it's really boring and I imagine you do the same.

                          But I do care, generally, about how people learn, how people decide what is true. I didn't start out knowing this thread would go this far. You and 2 other readers took time to post about why STFU was repulsive. The two  authors also dropped by and took my what I wrote seriously. That was very rewarding for me because I feel that I was able to share some of what I've seen and experienced with people divided into good guy/bad guy tribes. I wondered where did all these strong judgmental and defensive emotions come from in people who've never raped and who've never been raped. Might it have something to do with vernacular and virtual "mirroring?"

                          So my interactions with you in the past have been matter of fact and pleasant so I tried to imagine what it's been like for you in the diaries you will now be skipping. I tried to model how vernacular, which is spoken speech, shared by a group, gets distorted into misunderstanding so easily in these threads.

                          First I tried to model good listening skills. Then I tried to model bad mirroring skills, and then I experimented with how nearly worthless it is to pull quotes out of someone's comment history and repost it as if it proof of something out of context. Context of the thread and the original diary matters!

                          Then I just followed where you went, responding how I imagine some of those threads might have played out as people got defensive, as people were jumping to conclusions and looking for reasons to sort their chosen opponents into good guy/bad guy categories, peppering in more profanity, sprinkling in ad hominems, just to keep it real (rather than academic)...

                          You and I both know that there is absolutely no reason to remain engaged in a threads that no longer make sense. And each person is free to set that boundary wherever they like. No one is obligated to reply.

                          But it does matter how we "behave" toward one another, because we all leave an emotional wake. We have no visual or body language queues to help us modulate what we say. We can only see how our posts impact others if they reply and tell us.

                          What did you think? And why did you keep replying? Was there a point when you were tempted to walk away? If so what prompted you to keep going?

                          "The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.” — William Arthur Ward

                          by LilithGardener on Sun Jun 01, 2014 at 05:59:05 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  I continued my dialogue with you, because (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            LilithGardener, 2thanks

                            Because in the past I have felt that despite our disagreements, that you were an honest broker.  You managed to keep your own biases under control while reporting what you believed to be "truisms". I have a lot of respect for that.  I also understand that 2 anonymous beings on the Internet aren't going to solve any issues, great or small, but it does give me a modicum of satisfaction that at the very least I can interact with someone, on issues that we disagree about (for instance, gun rights) and come away feeling better about the state of things because of the manner in which we carried ourselves.

                            I have dedicated my entire life to my family and my career.  I am loyal and stick with things, until the biter end.  That translates to this, this way.  I have a tendency to linger longer than most, as long as I feel respected during the interaction.  I've made nearly 1000 comments in the 1 short year I've been here.  The closest you will come to find any "disrespect" from me in them is when I called another member here a "simpleton". I don't engage in order to get the last word or to convince anyone I'm right.   I engage because I savor the dialogue (if deemed worthwhile) because so much of who we are we learn from other people.  The key is finding the rights ones to engage with in the first place.

                    •  This was perhaps the best comment, Allen (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      2thanks

                      In the whole thread because it illustrates so well that one party can throw in colorful language, ad homs, and subtle insults for whatever reason to shift the emotional tone intentionally.

                      But sometimes it's just fun to curse, and the other party has no info to cue them that someone throwing the F-word around is actually a happy person in the moment.

                      And here you show how one party really can choose to simply to not take the bait. When one party starts to escalate, the other party need not mirror that. They can stay calm and present. (or just walk away).

                      Most of all you modeled how most of us want to be understood, and when we feel we're being manipulated or  misjudged or pidgeon-holed we will often work hard to defend ourselves.

                      I really appreciate your participation here.

                      "The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.” — William Arthur Ward

                      by LilithGardener on Sun Jun 01, 2014 at 06:17:32 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

  •  This is a great diary. (17+ / 0-)

    I've also rec'd some other diaries on this topic.

    I've read comments by multiple kossacks who were triggered by all this. That should not happen here - not ever to anyone. I was moved when I read these comments.

    In my life, I've had trouble with anxiety. I've been triggered on Daily Kos. Not recently and for different reason, but it did happen to me. When I tried to talk, only one person seemed to understand. When people are very upset there is usually a reason and they need to be listened to and taken seriously.

    I didn't follow all this at first, and I initially didn't fully know what was going on. But there's one kossack who's comments really helped me understand.

    I want Daily Kos to be a community where we all are made to feel welcome. We SHOULD have diverse groups and people here from labor to people of color to women to environmentalists to LGBT to gun control people & more. The site is strongest and most effective when ALL those groups feel welcome and empowered. Yes, we will have people here who are more passionate/interested in one topic over another. But we all need to make sure that everyone feels welcome and empowered.

    •  I couldn't agree more. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      kj in missouri, joedemocrat, 2thanks
      didn't follow all this at first, and I initially didn't fully know what was going on. But there's one kossack who's comments really helped me understand.
      You're welcome, Joe and thank you for sharing. If you have time, I'm sure some readers would benefit from a link or two to comments that really helped you understand what was happening here.

      "The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.” — William Arthur Ward

      by LilithGardener on Sun Jun 01, 2014 at 06:01:00 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Hey Lilith (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        LilithGardener, 2thanks

        This comment here

        This is another comment.

        •  Thank you, joedemocrat. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          joedemocrat, LilithGardener

          You have added immensely to the value of this already valuable diary.

          William

        •  Both get why minimization - as strategy - is toxic (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          joedemocrat, martydd

          to discussion. When someone is telling a story, listening first, debating later, if at all, is even hard for many of us who want to listen. It's especially hard to pull off in comment threads.

          Joe, thanks for these links. They're so helpful that I'm posting them here and hope people will click on the links and read both threads to absorb the context.

          It's amazing (22+ / 0-)

          So, so many women have been triggered, and have suffered flashbacks, have lost sleep as a result of what some men have posted this week. I doubt any of us find it "boring." How amazing that you do, though. How amazing that your response to the absolutely disgusting comments that are in the hiddens right now, is to pretty much yawn.

          by moviemeister76 on Fri May 30, 2014 - LINK
          Okay. Take a look at this exchange: (58+ / 0-)

             

          Sparhawk:    Why are you afraid? (0+ / 0-)
             The statistical likelihood of anything happening to you are close to nil.
             Me:  What an interesting statistical point. Glad you (1+ / 0-)
              asked, asshole.

              Maybe because I was raped at 12 by a group of teenage boys while I was trying to track down my horse who had busted through a fence.  Did I tell anyone? No.  They told me they'd set fire to the stable where I kept my horse and kill all the horses inside if I ever told.

              Maybe because at 17, the CPO who was in charge of the Navy Base where I'd been hired to be a lifeguard at the family pool called me into his office, closed the door, and pulled down my swimsuit top to expose my breasts.  I stepped on his balls since he was sitting down and ran for the Captain's office.  I did tell him, but all they did was transfer that bastard.  "He's a family man, and you don't want to hurt his family, do you? How about we give you a raise and forget that unpleasantness?"

              Maybe because while on a business trip in Ireland I was assaulted from behind by a man who tried to drag me into his room.  Suffice to say, I was lucky enough to break the bastard's nose, they caught him, I filled out paperwork.  I left the country a couple of days later.  Whatever.

              Maybe because I took my best friend to the emergency ward with her broken face after her physician hubbie got pissed that she was mad that he was being unfaithful.

              Maybe because I know students who have to be excused from school to appear in court against their rapists.

             Oh, and I guess this [my sharing that I'm afraid to go to my car alone at night in a mall parking lot] was fresh in my mind, maybe because, I know this woman.

          Yeah, he was trying to minimize our stories and voice -- my fear -- as being statistically insignificant.

          by bkamr on Sat May 31, 2014 - LINK

          "The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.” — William Arthur Ward

          by LilithGardener on Mon Jun 02, 2014 at 08:45:15 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Thank you, LilithGardener! (17+ / 0-)

    I've only been around here since the Edwards fiasco, read through the writers strike, and many of the other cataclysms that have shaken the DK firmament. Even though I don't comment much anymore, I've read a lot of diaries.

    But I've never read one I admired as much as this one.

    If I may be so bold as to see your diary in two halves, the first a calm, intelligent, compassionate exposition of decidedly different diaries using the same term to almost opposite purposes; the second the best explanation of triggers and PTSD I've seen here.

    I'd timely read all the diaries you discuss, recommended all but one of them. That the one was neglected probably puts me in one of the "camps".

    Reading your diary just now I became keenly aware of my lack of compassion, lack of willingness to go the extra mile to understand the pov of that diarist. You've certainly helped me overcome that.

    I learned something here today, something useful and important.

    Thank you, LilithGardener

    War beats down, and sows with salt, the hearts and minds of soldiers." Brecht

    by DaNang65 on Sat May 31, 2014 at 05:13:42 PM PDT

  •  I have a visceral reaction to STFU . . . (15+ / 0-)

    regardless of context.  Having come out as a gay teenager in a fundamentalist Christian household and rural community pre-Stonewall, I've too often had to muster strength against nearly irresistable force to not only silence me, but eradicate me.

    I've stayed out of the discussion until today, and then only very selectively, as the arenas in which they have been playing out definitely do not feel like safe space for me.  I have been horrified to watch people I view as important allies leveling charges against each other, quicker to decide who is on "the right side" than to listen.

    BoiseBlue's currently rec-listed diary drew me out of my shell for better or worse.

    •  I'm so sorry that Daily Kos began (4+ / 0-)

      to feel unsafe for you, that you felt you had to tip toe around some people who's expressions surprised and disappointed you.

      It's easy to feel like we get to know people here, but then something happens to rip the lid off and we realize we've only seen a small slice of how they see the world and how they respond when they've been pushed beyond their comfort zone.

      {jgilhousen, can you imagine me now, reaching through the interwebs to give you a cautious, gentle, virtual 2 minute hug.}

      I really admire that you stopped here to comment and share how belligerent expressions, whether profane or not, can create a minefield that shuts people out.

      "The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.” — William Arthur Ward

      by LilithGardener on Sun Jun 01, 2014 at 06:37:27 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Thank you very much. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        LilithGardener, 2thanks

        And forgive my belated response -- multitasking is not my strong suit, and somehow I missed that there was a reply to my comment as I popped in and out of DK yesterday.

        Although I was an early user of the toobz, and SysOp'd a fairly well trafficked online "bulletin board" way back in the days of dial-up modems, I do seem to be more comfortable and productive in "in person" discussions than online.  Social constraints seem to prevent the level of incivility (most of the time), and one has the advantage of verbal and visual cues not present in pseudonymously posted texts.

        But, I'm getting far enough afield that I may have crossed the line into threadjacking.... and I started this comment merely to express appreciation.  So, back to the beginning.  Thanks.

  •  There are so many comments saying it (19+ / 0-)

    far better than I am capable of right now, but thank you so much for this compassionate, wise, vitally important post.

    Your work is deeply meaningful and I hope many take the time to read and ponder.

    I certainly will be.

    Thank you, Lilith Gardener

    There is something in us that refuses to be regarded as less than human. We are created for freedom - Archbishop Desmond Tutu

    by Onomastic on Sat May 31, 2014 at 05:36:26 PM PDT

  •  Last Sunday, when I wrote, "Surely, I am not the (19+ / 0-)

    only woman around here who has been raped" I thought about adding a trigger warning to the diary but decided that the title should provide the needed warning. I have since wondered if it did.

    •  the title sufficed (13+ / 0-)

      I willfully have gone into many diaries that I knew would be triggering but if I hadn't I'd have been left with only the misogynistic hate of that little murderer's manifesto. Being alone with that in my own head would have been awful. So while my sadness and anger have deepened in some cases I wouldn't have missed any of these diaries. I appreciate all who made honest and sometimes very courageous contributions.

    •  Thank you, Susan (7+ / 0-)

      for stopping by and posting a link to your diary. Thanks so much for your invitation to readers to discuss your diary here.

      I added a link to it upthread with the other links, including an excerpt of your background and training, and directing folks to come on down here to chat with you.

      "The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.” — William Arthur Ward

      by LilithGardener on Sat May 31, 2014 at 06:42:56 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Title worked for me. (6+ / 0-)

      The Summer of Legitimate Rape, with its series of ghastly statements, each new one worst than the last, absolutely did me in, as far as reading rape diaries and the long threads of women relating their personal experiences.

      Don't get me wrong, I strongly support the existence of these diaries, and know how vital they are.  I just can't go into them any more.

      That summer's discussion of 'children of rape' -- and somehow particularly a long response thread on John Scalzi's 'Whatever' blog -- made me finally boil down an aspect of my life into one sentence:  I was/am the child of a marital rape planned long beforehand in order to impregnate my unwilling mother to force her to have a child at a particular time so my father could have 'his' two children after the first was born by Cesarean section.

      I had known of this event for 40+ years (age 19) and was able to articulate it as a 'marital rape' by my late 30s-early 40s.

      But it wasn't until that long Scalzi thread that I was able to  turn it into one sentence, and the full horror of what my Dad had done, and what my Mom had suffered, came home to me.

      It also made my mother's treatment of me perfectly comprehensible; it was the only way she could get a little bit of her power back, over what my father had done.

      So this, now, is what rape diaries trigger in me.

      When Gore Vidal died, Charlie Rose did a retrospective of Vida'ls appearances on his show over the years.  In one segment, Charlie raised the issue of PTSD.  Vidal's face lit up.  He leaned forward, eager to speak, his left hand outstretched as though holding a book, his right hand flipping through invisible pages.  He had learned something, he said, from a psychologis:  PTSD is like a palimpsest.

      A palimpsest, he explained, is an old parchment document that was scraped down and re-used over and over.  Shadows of old documents showed through each successive layer of writing, and these layered documents often captured lost history.

      'This psychologist', said Vidal, ' said that each new event that triggers the traumatic memory' -- he paused for emphasis -- 'triggers the last, most recent memory, the memory of the last time you remembered.  And that memory of the most recent event holds all your memories of all the previous events, so that all the memories are present in the current event.  Like a  palimpsest."

      Charlie uh-huh'd but didn't get it, as he so often does.  But I was stunned.  That was exactly right:  All the memories, of all the memories, of all the memories, in an almost infinite regression, flooding the mind in one moment.

      So now, a 'trigger' around rape or sexual violence includes everything from the sight of that boy's body silhouetted against the setting sun as I was surprised by the impact of my back on the ground, to knowing my mother's forced impregnation, with vicious political arguments and far too many of my sisters' stories rolled in.

      That's the palimpsest that opens now.  So I can't dive into fresh wounds.

      •  Moving, so poignant (5+ / 0-)

        I am so, so sorry. The ways that rape accrues to the next generation is still in the realm of the unspeakable for many people. Thank you for telling us your story here today, CroneWit. For letting us bear witness.

        Have you ever tried to tell someone and have them either fall totally silent or dismiss your injury, saying, "It happened to your mother, not you"?

        Feel free to go on. Or stop. Whatever you'd like to do. I'm listening.

        "The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.” — William Arthur Ward

        by LilithGardener on Sun Jun 01, 2014 at 09:19:24 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I think this is the first time I've publicly (8+ / 0-)

          written it -- although I may have written about it in a distanced way in another thread as an 'example' of sexual violence.

          This is the first time I've written about it while remaining fully emotionally engaged. and the first time I've written about  'the palimpsest' as encompassing all of the sexual violence I've encountered, including my direct experiences and those I've shared in at second- and third-hand.

          I haven't spoken in any real way with anyone about this, because due to poverty and disability I've been pretty isolated from the kind of listening space provided by the right kind of living human beings.  But that's OK:  The isolation is a hardship in terms of ordinary human day-to-day things, but I'm used to doing my deep-process stuff alone.  When the time comes that a particular thing is ready to come out in words with the emotional content integrated in, I know I've reached a milepost about that thing.

          After this last difficult week, your diary's thread was the place where this particular thing wanted to come out.  I started out to explain why, even though I've been very active in this week's relative threads, I had not been present in the rape diaries, even just to tip.  It's not that I felt/thought those diaries were unimportant -- far from it!    I just knew that my workplace was in those other threads, and that entering rape diaries would just cut me to shreds and open too many bleeding wounds at once; and that my bleeding would serve no purpose, while my presence in those other threads would, or at least might.

          One bit I didn't share, that I now want to mention, is how grateful I am that my 9-year-old self had enough sense to realize that I had no 'Mom-juice' -- didn't know how to mother, so that it would be a very bad thing (for the children) if I were to have a child.

          I learned that one Sunday when and aunt and uncle came to visit us.  The aunt (married-in, not bloodline), worked at a Salvation Army store sorting incoming merchandise, and would have loved to have had a girl.  She brought me the most wonderful present she could think of:  A baby doll (6 month's size) and a cardboard suitcase jammed full of the nicest baby clothes she came across over several months.  The grownups went into the kitchen to talk, and I opened the suitcase in the hallway outside.

          Now, I was a little puzzled over what Aunt Jane was thinking when she brought me a doll -- dolls didn't interest me at all.  But I liked Aunt Jane and wanted to be polite, and putting parts together was fun, so I put each outfit on the doll, one by one, putting one on, taking it off, putting on the next one, until I had put on every one.

          Other than enjoying color and texture, I had had no Fun.  Hadn't gone into that internal state of enjoyment that playing with 'parts' usually brought me.  But . . . isn't the plain fact of 'playing with dolls' supposed to contain some intrinsic enjoyment?

          I looked at the doll, and glanced at the doorway, were the voices of the grownups came out to me.  I thought of the difference between Mom and Aunt Jane:  Aunt Jane had washed my hair without pulling, with a shampoo that didn't hurt my eyes, and put it up in metal rollers (OW!; 'the price of beauty' Jane said); she had laid on the bed with me after my bath for a long, long time, and tickled my feet (FUN!  Giggles!).  

          I looked at the doll again, and looked at the door.  There was something missing, some kind of Mom-thing, Mom-juice.  Jane had it; Mom did not.  And I didn't have it, because Mom didn't have it, and if I had it playing with the doll would probably have been at least a little fun, but inside myself there was only Empty where Jane had Feel.  So if I had kids I would be with those kids the was Mom was with me.  This was a wrong thing to do to a child (the walls of the Empty were woven of sadness, abandoned); so I determined then and there to have no kids.

          It was a wise choice, the right choice, and prudent.

          ' . . . don't got no children to be grandma for --'; those words of Laura Nyro come to me now.  I have brief, occasional moments of regret when I envy the delight of grandchildren enjoyed by so many -- and even my mothers learned to delight in her grandchildren by my sibling.  And sometimes I wish for a moment that I had some younger person(s) in my life who had some family obligation to come over and help with Spring Cleaning and lift heavy loads.  But almost every piece of furniture I own slides or rolls, and heavy loads can be broken down to smaller loads, and it would have been a grave wrong to give birth to children who would have been raised by my mother's daughter.  Even the delight of grandchildren would have been an unspeakably selfish gain, if the price for that had been passing along the Empty, and making another person bear that burden.

          That's all I'll write for now.  I still have to go back to a previous thread and tear some young misogynist a new a-hole, if the thread hasn't timed out.

          Work.  Work is what saves you.  So said Granny Weatherall, in the story, and she was right.

          [NB:  'The Jilting of Granny Weatherall', I've forgotten the author.]

  •  Very nicely done, Lilith. (14+ / 0-)

    I hope that the quality of debate will improve,
    but I fear we will remain Democrats.

    Who is twigg?

    by twigg on Sat May 31, 2014 at 05:44:35 PM PDT

  •  Thank you so much for this. (14+ / 0-)

    This diary is exactly why I read DKos.

    People act on the outside how they feel on the inside. If you acknowledge it, you can change it.

    by Raggedy Ann on Sat May 31, 2014 at 05:54:05 PM PDT

  •  Very nicely done! Love George C. I miss him. (15+ / 0-)

    I've been amazed at the number of women who have been willing to give voice to their truths and experiences, here.  It's been heart rending, but a beautiful act of unfolding courage to witness, as well.  Good on all of us (men and women) for that.

    Plutocracy (noun) Greek ploutokratia, from ploutos wealth; 1) government by the wealthy; 2) 21st c. U.S.A.; 3) 22nd c. The World

    by bkamr on Sat May 31, 2014 at 05:55:14 PM PDT

  •  I really hate trigger warnings, or most things (7+ / 0-)

    that are associated with the term.

    I know, I know, that makes me a cruel asshat, but I think it has gotten to the point of absurd. A) The people who write about things that may be a "trigger" are most likely going to write it in a way that is sensitive to people who might be triggered.

    But B), and most importantly, most people aren't triggered by written words. They're triggered by smells, sounds, visuals, etc.

    I rarely read anything regarding child abuse, and I've found it's incredibly easy to avoid for the most part, although even headlines can make my stomach churn.

    I don't know. I just think the "trigger" thing has been overplayed. I mean, there's a certain common thing that makes me panic when I see it but I don't demand that others view that with sensitivity. How could anyone know that a certain candy makes me want to rip my skin off?

    They can't, and I don't expect them to. It's a powerful trigger for me, but I'd never dream of telling people to never mention it or to warn me before they did.

    I just don't get it. And I know how insensitive I have come across in this comment.

    P.S. I am not a crackpot.

    by BoiseBlue on Sat May 31, 2014 at 06:20:57 PM PDT

    •  I think you are right (4+ / 0-)

      There are some people that confuse being upset with having a major trigger.

      Or having a major trigger with the end of the world.

      It's OK to be upset.  Often it's the most humane reaction you can have.  Do we want to avoid hearing thing that make us upset?  Is that helpful?

      People's emotions on a subject are often the most powerful weapon.  Should we encourage people to deny and hide?

      I also have irrational triggers, and I don't expect anyone to protect me from them.

      I also have rational triggers.  I see them in the same way.  I don't avoid them, because you know what - it was horrible, but I was right.  So I am happy to speak to them.

      I like negative emotions in a way.  They at least make me think.

    •  I hear you BoiseBlue, and they do have a serious (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      joedemocrat

      downside risk. I didn't put it in the diary because it was already too long, so I'll explain it here. You might already know this, so I'm posting this for people who don't.

      Avoiding triggers forever can actually lead to phobias the same way that a crutch used to long can impair full recovery. The boundary between healthy avoidance during vulnerable periods of recovery and unhealthy avoidance is very fuzzy and individual. A significant and proven treatment, called exposure therapy, involves gradual exposure to the trigger in small, incremental steps, such that the traumatized person can experience "small doses" of anxiety, fear, shame, etc. (whatever the dysregulated response is). In that way they can experience survival based learning in the present that  eventually disconnects the trigger to the past.

      "The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.” — William Arthur Ward

      by LilithGardener on Sun Jun 01, 2014 at 08:22:34 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I once raised a student's grade a full point by (12+ / 0-)

    teaching her how to breathe. She was a first generation college student, trying very hard, making good use of the TA's hours, but very frustrated because she believed her test performance didn't reflect what she knew. After talking with her for a while, it sounded like she had test anxiety so we talke about that for a bit. Then I introduced her to the idea of intentional breathing and breathing from the diaphragm.

    From then on she excelled.



    Is it true? Is it kind? Is it necessary? . . . and respect the dignity of every human being.

    by Wee Mama on Sat May 31, 2014 at 06:28:41 PM PDT

  •  I have had both (8+ / 0-)

    being triggered and having panic attacks.

    To me, they are completely different.

    I cannot go in a vehicle going up and down steep slopes without freaking out.  In this case, it is more like typical panic - I want to flee, I feel incredible fear, I cry etc.  But the fear is external and identifiable, and the physical reaction is just as you would expect from getting very upset.  I don't know where this fear came from - I have a form of narcolepsy so I think it came from a dream I experienced as being real.  My mother-in-law thought it was a bunch of nonsense, until she shamed me onto a San Francisco trolley - and then had to deal with me - a serious and "sensible" person normally, melting down into tears in front of a bunch of strangers.  She won't do that again.

    I have another trigger that is really weird, definitely caused by my narcolepsy.  I suffered for a while from an abject fear of the guy who sings the "I Had the Time of My Life" ad for Sandals.  I always fall asleep watching TV - perhaps a bad move - and a narcoleptic episode occurred giving me a waking nightmare while the commercial was on.  But the fact remains I became afraid and nauseous to the pit of my stomach for about 2 years whenever that ad played.  The guy who sang that song represented someone I trusted who did something completely vile.  I don't know what.  I don't know who.  But the emotions were there.  

    Yes, I know it's funny.  My husband initially thought it was hilarious.  But it is still a real emotion, even though the cause is not real.  Which confirms some of what you said.  The brain is a funny thing.

    I am not surprised you can be triggered by fire trucks.

    So yes, triggers are real and horrible, and I know that there are people who get triggered who have it so very, very much worse.

    But an actual panic attack is completely different, and for me, much, much worse.  Your whole body goes completely out of whack, the hyperventilation can cause severe tetany that you can feel swallowing your body bit by bit until you have been curled up into a tight ball.  

    I sat in a car being rushed to the ER feeling the tetany creep up my legs, through my hips, across my chest, into my arms and hands, and I knew when it reached my brain I would be dead.

    I was wrong, but that is nothing like being triggered.

    Your heart is pounding out of your chest, and everything - I mean everything - is WRONG.  The fear you experience is of what is going on inside your body.  You absolutely know you are about to die.  I have been rushed to the emergency room three times with it, before I learned how to deal with it.

    It takes weeks to physically and mentally recover from it.  You end up like a weak, empty shell only able to stare at a wall for QUITE some time.  A panic attack is nothing like being panicked, or being distraught.  

    Being triggered is a genuine emotion in reaction to an external event.

    A panic attack is a physical syndrome currently with no known cause.

    I think it is only called a "panic attack" because women suffer more from it, and we all know how "hysterical" we can be.

    But importantly, a panic attack is not triggered - it can, and always has for me, come right out of the blue.  As it has for my friends and both of my sisters who suffer from them. That's what makes them even more frightening - you never know when one will strike.  You no longer feel comfortable driving.  You start planning your life around how you can live safely if another one occurs.

    The reason slow breathing helps is because hyperventilation is one of the causes of the symptoms.  You start breathing more rapidly than your body needs - and this need not be noticeable, and the oxygen levels in your blood rise, and the carbon dioxide levels plummet.

    This reduces blood flow to the brain and causes something calledhypocapnia, of which anxiety is a symptom, not a cause.

    When you breathe slowly, you reduce the input of oxygen and help stabilize the levels.  Which in turn makes you feel less anxious.

    As far as my own triggers go, I do not expect everyone to protect my feelings.  Nor could they possibly.  I know these are my issues, and just something I have to deal with.  I can't imagine telling people they have to warn me before talking about SF or vacations.  I do not have the right to not feel uncomfortable.  And as a matter of fact, I went out of my way to play the song over and over, and research the singer, and face my fears, and it actually helped.  Hills in cars - well, I can't face that yet.

    However, I do think that those who have triggers from real and very violent experiences have had very different and worse experiences that I, and I would be the last to speak to their fears.  After all, I am only triggered by a commercial and hills.  I know in my mind, those fears are not real.  Other people have not been so lucky.  Their fears are only too real.

    But I will say that being triggered and panic attacks are not at all the same.

    Sorry that this is a bit OT, but I learned a lot about this and thought the information might be useful to some.

  •  I learned the value of slow breathing.... (5+ / 0-)

    ....a long time ago as a means to deal with the pain from the multiple surgeries I underwent as a child for my orthopedic disability (post-polio).  And, to this day, the smell of ether or something similar sometimes acts as a mild trigger for me.

    See the children of the earth who wake to find the table bare, See the gentry in the country riding out to take the air. ~~Gordon Lightfoot, "Don Quixote"

    by Panama Pete on Sat May 31, 2014 at 07:35:39 PM PDT

  •  Very well said and explained (10+ / 0-)

    Seems fair to me.

    Nice linguistic content analysis.  Really unpacked terms and explained their varying usages.

    "Empty vessels make the loudest sound, they have the least wit and are the greatest blabbers" Plato

    by Empty Vessel on Sat May 31, 2014 at 08:15:41 PM PDT

  •  thought provoking (7+ / 0-)

    You really gave the diaries a great deal of thought.
    I'm not sure I really spoke on such a personal level, but you made me question where my negative reaction to the term STFU comes from.

     However, the two commenters in just this diary, Angryallen and jgilhousen, both didn't participate in those diaries for no other reason than because of the term.
       That's a very small sampling of what I am sure is a much larger community that got shut down because of the negative phrase.
       I can't think of a situation where shutting down people before trying to engage them can ever be a good thing and provide positive results.

      Thanks for taking the time to write this

    "The oppressors most powerful weapon is the mind of the oppressed." - Stephen Biko

    by gjohnsit on Sat May 31, 2014 at 09:30:22 PM PDT

    •  I obviously didn't like your diary (8+ / 0-)

      And I do not agree with your diary, but lilithgardner's diary made me dislike your diary less.

      Peace.

      "Empty vessels make the loudest sound, they have the least wit and are the greatest blabbers" Plato

      by Empty Vessel on Sat May 31, 2014 at 09:50:25 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Verbal abuse is just coming into awareness. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      gjohnsit

      It's so common people think it's normal, even warranted. It's about where corporal punishment was a generation or so ago.

      You're welcome, gjohnsit, and thank you for reading. And no, you didn't speak on such a personal level. You were able to explain in clear and articulate terms exactly why the usage bothered you and that you're at Daily Kos to debate ideas not listen to stories of outrage, pain, and lingering fear. You wrote in language that made it sound like you couldn't care less. But I sensed, "The author doest protest too much." My read of the emotional tone was that someone who didn't care wouldn't bother to write a diary about why they couldn't get past a 3 word title.

      Knowing that many people are completely unaware that they have any triggers, I was really just making an educated guess, and probably projecting some of my own experience into my reading.

      "The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.” — William Arthur Ward

      by LilithGardener on Sun Jun 01, 2014 at 09:48:43 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  GF Brought Book On Verbal Abuse On Car Trip (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        LilithGardener

        I nearly had to throw it out the window. I think we eventually locked it in the trunk.  It was simply triggering too many memories from previous relationships  to be reading it on vacation!

        Men are so necessarily mad, that not to be mad would amount to another form of madness. -Pascal

        by bernardpliers on Sun Jun 01, 2014 at 01:58:00 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  I have to disagree. (4+ / 0-)

    Being told to "Shut The Fuck Up" is in no way, shape or form an invitation to dialogue. It is, in fact, the exact opposite, verbal violence designed and utilized to demean and marginalize the target of the phrase. Why would I ever listen to anything that started off like that?

    And yes, I did read the diary.

    •  I don't know. Why would anybody? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      joedemocrat

      I agree with you that Shut Up! and Shut the Fuck Up! are violent provocative phrases. They are used to command attention.

      Why would I ever listen to anything that started off like that?
      I don't know. Why would anybody? All I know is that probably a thousand readers did, and hundreds of them even recommended the diary and congratulated the author for a well-written post. Aren't you the least bit curious? (Not saying you should be.)

      There were more than a dozen diaries seeking to engage men and women in a dialogue. Most of them didn't have STFU in the titles. Which ones did you find most engaging?

      "The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.” — William Arthur Ward

      by LilithGardener on Sun Jun 01, 2014 at 07:39:07 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Controlling the language of the land (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LilithGardener

    controls the law of the land. Is that your objective?

    •  My objective it to engage bystanders (0+ / 0-)

      Thank you for dipping your toe in the water here. I could take it a number of ways, and since I love puzzles, I'm going to interpret it as a curious, cautious, and provocative test question. If I'm reading you right, giving you the benefit of the doubt, I'd say you're not sure if you can trust me, so you've hidden what you care about inside a riddle.

      And since I love riddles, here's my reply.

      "There has been an awful lot of silence in men's culture about this ongoing tragedy of men's violence against women and children." - Jackson Katz
      "In the end what will hurt the most, is not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends." Martin Luther King
      Imperfect as their profanity laced language may be, many men and women are showing their willingness to engage the subject, and join the struggle. Do you know what is stopping you from speaking up about domestic and sexual violence against women?

      "The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.” — William Arthur Ward

      by LilithGardener on Sun Jun 01, 2014 at 07:14:41 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  As to your last question, the answer is simple: (0+ / 0-)

        Nothing.

        I pose you no riddles; I seek no rhetorical shelter; and best of all, am perfectly happy for my views and actions to be evaluated at first hand.

        My comment reflects my judgement that the "Trigger" paradigm, as often presented here, seems an attempt to, dare I say, bully speakers into adopting phraseology that if not used, paints them as unfeeling or insincere.

        More explicitly, I generally don't accept that:
        -- Profanity provides any meaningful validity as to a speaker's sincerity or commitment;
        Thus, to me, 'WTF' and 'STFU' are merely lazy verbal rubbish (in shorthand, no less), not worthy, in any context that I can see, of the analysis you feel the need to accord them.  
        -- What one says should be sanctioned the same way, in kind and under law, as what one does;
        One might argue that they are not so treated now, in the main. But from my vantage, there are many pushing for that outcome.

  •  Fuck Fuck Fuck Fuckity Fuck Fuck Fuck Shit (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LilithGardener

    I haven't been pulled into any of the bickering, but people get drawn into that sort of thing when they are at a tough point in their lives. 20 years ago when i was getting divorced, I was a different person. Since then my ex has had trouble with the cops and trips to the psych ward, so she hasn't changed.

    Men are so necessarily mad, that not to be mad would amount to another form of madness. -Pascal

    by bernardpliers on Sat May 31, 2014 at 11:02:19 PM PDT

    •  Will there be a next episode? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      bernardpliers, 2thanks

      You tease with this cliff-hanger?

      20 years ago when i was getting divorced, I was a different person. Since then my ex has had trouble with the cops and trips to the psych ward, so she hasn't changed.
      You state that you've changed, but you've left us hanging as to how and in what ways?

      Do you understand more about domestic and sexual violence against women now than you did 20 years ago? If yes, how did you come to your current understanding?

      "The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.” — William Arthur Ward

      by LilithGardener on Sun Jun 01, 2014 at 07:19:56 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Heh (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        LilithGardener, 2thanks

        She spent years trying to get me to hit her, as in hit her back. But for her that would have been like winning the lottery.  What she really needed was alcoholic like her dad, but I wasn't drinking even a six pack a month, so I couldn't fulfill her emotional needs.  But she made up for it by being a mean explosive drunk. Like many people here, I had to find out the hard way about borderline personality disorder.

        I've had to help my daughter (25) deal with this. It's pretty obvious my ex has an organic brain problem with a big cognitive deficit which people would probably be willing to work with. But the constant public humiliation of the people around her and belligerence is still there.  And like so many people with a mental problem, she spends her time dragging family members to shrinks to accuse them of being crazy.  She also accuses everyone else of having learning disabilities and drags them to specialists. Projection of her own organic cognitive disorders?  

        Naturally she has a security clearance and works for the NSA.  My former roommate that drank himself to death had a security clearance at the Pentagon.

        Men are so necessarily mad, that not to be mad would amount to another form of madness. -Pascal

        by bernardpliers on Sun Jun 01, 2014 at 07:50:58 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  BPD is a tough challenge (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          2thanks

          I'm sorry you went through all that. Back then was BPD even on the map? I'm glad your daughter has you to lean on when her mom doesn't make sense.

          "The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.” — William Arthur Ward

          by LilithGardener on Sun Jun 01, 2014 at 01:56:35 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Probably the best diary you've written (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LilithGardener

    The topic reminds me of the discussions about the use of a certain racial slur that begins with N.  To paraphrase a point you made, context is important.  There are times and places where profanity is acceptable and there are places where it isn't.  

    The same can be said about the expression STFU.  In this case, I would say that it wasn't used in an appropriate context as many, myself included, do not take it as a term meaning let's have a frank discussion or please listen to m and no amount of trying to claim it is will make it so.

    "It's not surveillance, it's data collection to keep you safe"

    by blackhand on Sun Jun 01, 2014 at 04:00:01 AM PDT

    •  Did any of the other diaries engage you? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      2thanks, blackhand

      Thank you for reading, blackhand. And for sharing your thoughts about my argument.

      More than a dozen authors posted invitations to dialogue without belligerent or provocative titles. Did you read them and share in a comment how you've come to understand the role of men in violence against women and children?

      Feel free to name or link them, or to check out some of the diaries linked up at the top of the comments section.

      "The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.” — William Arthur Ward

      by LilithGardener on Sun Jun 01, 2014 at 07:27:30 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  You've asked the $64K question (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        LilithGardener

        Yes, I am dating myself with that reference :P

        Did any of the other diaries engage you?
        Excellent question.  Very enlightened you are to ask.  The short answer is no, I did not feel engaged in the topic.  I would like to have been, but this was precluded and overshadowed by the STFU shut down.  From what I've read of those diaries, and honestly I've grown weary of it, discussing violence against women is clearly not the objective.  This was expressly more so in the comments, which were dominated by a few whose behavior I can best describe, with lack of a better term, as being what Rush Limbaugh would call "femi-nazis".   I did not see any diaries that were relevant to the topic.  I came on board with "men, STFU" and witness the downward spiral from there.

        As far as my thoughts on the subject, I am old enough that I recognize the issue as a cultural one.  I was raised before it became acceptable to refer to women as "bitches and hos" (the 70's had their chauvinistic, 'leisure suit larry', gigolo, sex culture.  I am old enough to have witnessed it, but young enough to not have fully understood it) and the objectification that went along with it.  Was domestic violence, rape, and disrespect of women a problem before then?  Of course, it was and still is but I think in many ways the problem has become more public.  I was at least raised in a time, place, and manner where blatant violent treatment of women was not acceptable.

        One thing I see mentioned on both the left and the right is how society has been in decline.  Collectively we have far less respect for others and a sense of authority structure, both private and public.  Similarly, those who are purportedly in authority no longer act respectfully and honorably.  For example, I was taught to respect the President because of the office but at the same time the President wouldn't have been on trial for getting a blow job.  At the heart of this I think is the breakdown of the family which I attribute largely to economics.  I am old enough to have grown up in a time when it was common for only one parent (the man) to work.   I think that around 1984 we experienced a fundamental shift in society towards decline and I think we're experiencing, or about to experience, another one.

        Why is this important?  This is critical to the issue of violence against women because a large portion of it is learned behavior that is reinforced by public society.   When children don't grow up with a solid structure, both privately and publicly, they don't learn how to behave acceptably.  Part of the learning structure needs to be role models, both male and female that teach how to interact and treat others.  

        In some ways, I think  we've advanced and are starting to recognize that a solid family structure may be classified as nontraditional and similarly a traditional family may be a poor environment.  In other ways, we've clearly gone in the wrong direction.

        "It's not surveillance, it's data collection to keep you safe"

        by blackhand on Mon Jun 02, 2014 at 06:46:00 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Avoiding hostility is very healthy, I think. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          blackhand

          It's like choosing fruit and vegetables daily instead of junk food. LaFeminista's has a terrific diary today exploring healthy avoidance. She points out that when we feel like we are walking on eggshells, something is very wrong.

          Excerpt and link above comment.

          "The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.” — William Arthur Ward

          by LilithGardener on Mon Jun 02, 2014 at 08:14:57 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  That was an intuitive observation (0+ / 0-)

            No, one should not have to feel like they're walking on egg shells discussing a difficult topic.  As much as I would like to think that we're an enlightened and adult society here, Internet forums including this one still bring out the worst in people.  The violence against women / STFU threads certainly demonstrated that.

            The more I pontificate on the recent writings on this subject, the more I also wonder how much unintentional miscommunication played a role in some perceptions?  Did this in turn lead to inappropriate responses?  As some comments correctly put it, being abused doesn't make it ok for you to abuse others in retaliation and these discussions were taking place in public.

            "It's not surveillance, it's data collection to keep you safe"

            by blackhand on Mon Jun 02, 2014 at 12:50:12 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  i am undergoing EMDR therapy at present. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LilithGardener, 2thanks

    the process is fascinating and has been helpful.
    thank you for this diary, especially the quote below, a practice i'm integrating.

    After danger has passed and the triggering stimuli turns off our parasympathetic nervous system can bring us back into balance. Studies of breath and breathing have shown that when we inhale our sympathetic system is dominant, and when we exhale our parasympathetic nervous system is dominant. When you take long slow breaths and consciously slow down your breathing rate your brain gets the message that danger has passed. That's the neurochemistry behind the phrase, "Take a deep breath." That is why meditation works. It's why coherent breathing works. With training, it is possible to interrupt an anxiety attack in 3-5 breaths simply by lengthening your exhale.

    "From single strands of light we build our webs." ~kj

    by kj in missouri on Sun Jun 01, 2014 at 06:30:56 AM PDT

  •  Wonderful, LilithGardner. Just wonderful! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LilithGardener, 2thanks

    Every single well-chosen word in the entire elegantly-constructed diary -- wonderful.

    Could you add a link for the Carlin clip?  It wouldn't work in my browser.  (The Language clip worked fine, and was great!)

    And this is the first time I've seen 'Freeze' added to the 'Fight or Flight' syndrome.  A very useful addition.

  •  Euphemism is closely linked (3+ / 0-)

    to the proliferation of syllables, as George Carlin so wonderfully illustrated.  Paul Fussell, in his book Class: A Guide Through the American Status System, gave an in-depth analysis of this and the Fog and Pomposity Index.  While there are excerpts on GoogleBooks, the chapter is not complete.  Regrettably, the only place I could find the complete chapter is on the Vanguard News Network.  http://www.vanguardnewsnetwork.com/...

    A great democracy does not make it harder to vote than to buy an assault weapon. -Bill Clinton

    by PSzymeczek on Sun Jun 01, 2014 at 02:36:56 PM PDT

  •  I have yet to know a woman, in my more than (3+ / 0-)

    60 years, who was willing to sit and listen to a man's "story".  Oh, sure, during the early-mid 1970s, women complained that men never showed their feelings; their "good" feelings.  But when men did allow themselves to be vulnerable, and showed those feelings, they were subjected to emotional slaughter.  And women soon ceased to complain that men never showed those feelings because women didn't want to hear it.

    And I recall the instance during the 1980s when I was subjected to a mugging.  I yelled for help, and a half dozen or so people came to my aid.  

    As I sat on the curb coming to awareness of what had happened, a woman was asking if I was okay.  I burst into tears, and she turned cold and said, "What are you crying for -- it's all over."

    Gee, thanks for the sensitivity.  Thanks for the fucking concern for my "story".

    And yet women are pissed because men are allegedly not willing to perform that service to women on command?

    Women are granted the freedom of having their emotions -- all of them.  And the same culture dictates that men be limited to anger and aggression -- but expressible only when authorized.  And women too enforce that oppression.  Show any other feelings and be subjected to emotional cauterization.

    And yet men are required to provide that they are forcefully denied.

    Let's continue to run in circles while imagining we are making progress.

    Perhaps there are men's realities of which women are unaware that matter, that are relevant, but which women don't want to hear, and won't hear so long as they demand that men do as already required: STFU.

    This is the country of those three great rights: freedom of conscience, freedom of speech, and the wisdom never to exercise either of them. -- Mark Twain.

    by JJustin on Sun Jun 01, 2014 at 03:21:55 PM PDT

    •  You're doing it right now. (4+ / 0-)

      I'm a woman. And I'm listening.

      JJ, I'm so sorry you haven't ever felt heard by any woman in your life.

      And I recall the instance during the 1980s when I was subjected to a mugging.  I yelled for help, and a half dozen or so people came to my aid.  

      As I sat on the curb coming to awareness of what had happened, a woman was asking if I was okay.  I burst into tears, and she turned cold and said, "What are you crying for -- it's all over."

      Gee, thanks for the sensitivity.  Thanks for the fucking concern for my "story".

      I've a lot of experience with women not listening. I was raised in a culture where no one talks about their feelings. Feelings were suppressed, discounted, or just ignored.

      I'm glad you survived that mugging. The way you described your experience of being disoriented, and bursting into tears in public, as you try to get your bearings. You've painted a vivid picture.

      In that moment of confusion you were very vulnerable.

      That really resonates with me. What did you do next?

      "The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.” — William Arthur Ward

      by LilithGardener on Sun Jun 01, 2014 at 04:03:50 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Hi, JJustin. Are you saying you *want* to find (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      LilithGardener

      a woman who is "willing to sit and listen to a man's 'story'"?

      •  I'm open to the mutual sharing of "stories". (2+ / 0-)

        Always have been.  From 7-8-years-old, through high school and beyond, I hung out with my sister (older by four years) and girlfriends (none of whom were perfect, especially in their unquestioned assumption that they knew what men are better than do men), mostly listening.  From that I learned women's concerns, and learned to respect those concerns.  (I love women; I revere women: women give birth to the future.  Men can only bystand and watch.)  

        That sharing is built into me.

        But that doesn't happen in the larger "real world" -- not for men.

        Have you ever seen the panic on a woman's face when a man cries?  Experienced the distraction that is from the issue with which one is attempting to deal?  

        Ever experienced the "responsive" "instruction," "Don't cry!"?

        Ever asked a woman about that?

        The response is:

        "I didn't know what to do."

        Huh?  DUH!

        What does a woman do when a girlfriend cries?  How about trying that, shithead, instead of deliberately inflicting emotional pain in order to shut the man down/shut him up?  

        Or instead of slapping him across the face and telling him, "Cut it out!"?

        And then bitching that, "Men don't listen to women."

        I doubt many men here are willing to take the risk of admitting having the same experience, in view of the typical response/s, those responses being more of the same:

        STFU.

        In US culture, women are allowed the freedom of their full range of emotion.  Men are allowed -- but only when authorized -- anger and aggression.  And then they are beat up on for their anger and aggression.

        I envy women's emotional freedom -- and have been fighting all my life, with some limited success, to preserve my emotional freedom.  And yet women, knowingly or not (they certainly don't listen on the point; or respond "appropriately" to it), deny that freedom to men.  Worse, in fact: they act as the culture's emotional police, enforcing the suppression of male's fuller emotional capacities (and then both bitch about the result, and enforce it).  Men are to be stoically reliable so women don't have to be.

        Ever hear John Lennon's song "Crippled Inside"?  That is the emotional reality for men; it begins with the implementation of the phrase, "Cutting the apron strings."  Women are not subjected to anything comparable to that emotional "circumcision"/cauterization.

        This is the country of those three great rights: freedom of conscience, freedom of speech, and the wisdom never to exercise either of them. -- Mark Twain.

        by JJustin on Mon Jun 02, 2014 at 06:13:09 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Okay, JJustin, thanks for your great and (3+ / 0-)

          expansive response. You have brought up many issues and experiences that I share and would like to discuss.

          As I have said before (but not to you, I think), I am a 24/7 caregive of my wife ... which limits my time here on DK, and which is why I have only written one diary on DK to date. I am also not a fast responder - I need to process my thoughts.

          I will respond to you, most likely later today. I hope you can be patient with me. :o)

          Ciao for now,

          William

          PS - I am a guy, a little older than you. (I think I read a recent comment of yours saying you were about 60 years old.)

          •  After all these decades it isn't about patience. (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            LilithGardener, Wee Mama

            It's about living with it, enduring it.

            66.

            This is the country of those three great rights: freedom of conscience, freedom of speech, and the wisdom never to exercise either of them. -- Mark Twain.

            by JJustin on Mon Jun 02, 2014 at 09:31:33 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Good morning, JJustin! New day. (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              LilithGardener

              I have to be brief. I am telling my truths.

              Please understand that I am not trying to be insulting or belittling in my comment(s). I do not know you. If what I have to say does not resonate well with you, that is okay. Please let me know. I have to say where I am coming from, using this thing called language, not just for you, but for other readers. I do not know you or what you are going through or have gone through. All I can do is write to you as if I were in your situation. I am responding to you as if I were you, but of course I am not you. Finally, my audience is not just you but others who might be reading. What kind of advice would I need or be able to receive?

              Again, I am writing, you are reading. All emotional nuances are therefore stripped from my communication. You cannot directly perceive my caring, my concern, my gentleness, my groundedness, my sincerity.

              I am a man. Men cry. It is okay, in balance. If we quaff our tears, we quaff our joy. If men do not express their emotions, some emotions will find their way out in other ways (acting out).

              I know many women exist who allow men to cry without quaffing those tears - those who can listen to a man, give permission to cry, and not feel that they have to fix them. I know this because I have met some of them, and in fact I am married to one.

              Allowing someone to cry is for some people a learned behavior. Many women in this culture of United States have been taught that they must take care of men's emotions. I call this pillow stuffing. Men must learn to understand and process our own emotions.

              JJustin, if you really want to find a woman who allows you to cry in a supportive way, I cannot tell you what to do. I am not Dear Abby or a therapist. It is part of my moral center not to tell others what to do. I do not know how fragile someone else is. I know that if you believe understanding women do not exist, you will never find your soul's mate. If you really want to find her, you must be actively looking for her. Writing a lot of comments on the internet is not looking for her; sitting at your computer is not looking for her. I do not know what you have done in your past to find her. I do not know anything about you, really. That you are 66 and have not found her, I grieve for you. That you are 66 and have not found her, you better get moving.

              Incidentally, my second paragraph works the other way too: Women cry. It is okay, in balance. If they quaff their tears, they quaff their joy. If women do not express their emotions, some emotions will find their way out in other ways (acting out).

              I told my truth. I was as brief as I could be. Meanwhile, I must go to work. Please tell me anything you think I need to know, JJustin, and if you do not feel comfortable responding in a comment, we can go to kosmail.

        •  A fix -- (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          LilithGardener

          Omitted a key word -- bolded here:

          From 7-8-years-old, through high school and beyond, I hung out with my sister (older by four years) and her girlfriends

          This is the country of those three great rights: freedom of conscience, freedom of speech, and the wisdom never to exercise either of them. -- Mark Twain.

          by JJustin on Mon Jun 02, 2014 at 09:04:24 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  I panic when men are emotional (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          LilithGardener, 2thanks

          because my childhood taught me that it was My Fault. And there would be aversive consequences for that fault.

          We all know that, of course, often the fault was being present when the emotional man was being emotional.

          Help me get my utilities on! I can't eat this elephant by myself. http://www.gofundme.com/8xw014

          by Alexandra Lynch on Mon Jun 02, 2014 at 10:20:59 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Lili, you may find this diary useful: (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LilithGardener

    PTSD: Fear, Anxiety, and the Extended Amygdala

    http://www.dailykos.com/...

    I found it while looking for a DK diary I read within the last year about the Freeze, Flight, Fight response.

  •  I have enjoyed you diary (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LilithGardener

    very much! Thank you for writing something I consider very insightful and calm.

    I have also avoided getting involved in these diaries for the most part.

    I had a very nasty reaction to banket judgement in any form. From where I stand it is almost always used to shut down arguments that have real issues behind them.

    Often in this country we are so busy judging that we miss that so the problem never sees the light of day to be judged on its own merits.

    The silliest example I can think of is an argument years ago about incandescent light bulbs. There was much rush to judgment over people who were stocking up on them. They were against the environment, they were stupid knuckle dragging idiots who could barely spell their names and so on.

    I was one of those hoarders. I own my own water supply the easiest, most inexpensive and environmentally friendly way to keep my pump from freezing in a 100 watt incandescent light bulb on a temperature switch. I have a lifetime supply to keep my water flowing.

    There are often good reasons behind peoples opinions no matter how repulsive they seem on the surface. If I discover what those reasons are I often learn something new and just maybe get wiser. If I write them off as stupid because I don't agree with them I learn nothing.

    It is the heart that makes a man rich. He is rich according to what he is not what he has -Henry Ward Beecher

    by PSWaterspirit on Mon Jun 02, 2014 at 09:20:54 AM PDT

    •  You make a great point, PSWaterspirit (0+ / 0-)

      All that judgmentalism is so often about us vs. them, as if there is only ever 1 right answer and all the others options are worthless.

      We seem to be very uncomfortable with complexity and decisions that involve shades of gray, "that depends"is too fuzzy for some peoople.

      I'm so glad you ventured in. I think some people even avoided this diary because of the STFU in the title.

      "The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.” — William Arthur Ward

      by LilithGardener on Mon Jun 02, 2014 at 07:38:45 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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