Friday, October 8, 2010

Sticks and Stones

A friend of mine, who is also a writer that I greatly admire, wrote an amazing post on her LiveJournal about the recent news on the kids committed suicide because of bullying.

i get told all the time how over-sensitive i am. a lot of times, when i do get angry, the people i know contribute it to and brush it off as my "being too sensitive." like this is a bad thing. pain is not bad. emotional pain, like physical pain, is HELPFUL. it lets you know when something is WRONG. ignoring physical pain can lead to permanent injury. the same could be said for emotional pain. and yet, people are told not to be so sensitive to pain all the fucking time.

this past summer, i was really depressed. i wrote sparingly about it on my own LJ.  what i didn't mention was that it got worse. i had never felt so low. i felt dismal every day. i had crying spells every day. i cried myself to sleep more often than i like to think about. it got bad enough that i actually contemplated suicide. that was when i really knew something was wrong and i needed help. i knew that wasn't normal, and that by ignoring my pain, or just waiting for it to end, it was only going to get worse.

i went to a non-profit psych clinic here in Juneau and talked to someone, and i got the help i needed. and no one told me i was "being too sensitive." it was the most wonderful feeling to have my emotions validated. for someone to tell me that my pain mattered, and that i didn't have to carry it alone.

there was also a poster in the waiting room of this clinic. it was a poster speaking out against domestic abuse with a help line, and that sort of thing. and what the poster said was this:

"Why does she stay with him?" Except that the word "she" was scratched out and replaced with "he" and "stay with him" was scratched out and replaced with "hit her?" you hear that all the time, "Why does she stay with him? Why doesn't she leave? Why does she put up with it?" the blame is on the victim for staying! but it occurred to me that i have never heard anyone ask that. no one EVER asks, "Why does he hit her? Why does he hurt her? Why doesn't he stop?" no one ever asks the right questions, and the tendency in this society to lay the responsibility on the victim of any form of violence or abuse is sickening.

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