08 April, 2010

Just a splinter

Okay, I got kind of pissed in class today because we were talking about bullying and people started talking about their friends and how when their friend's ex-boyfriend or ex-girlfriend comes into the room, they start pointing at them. I don't really understand the point of talking about bullying if you make the definition of bullying so broad that it's about everyone.

I raised my hand and said something like this (I didn't sleep last night, okay? I'm not doing a good job taking stuff lying down):

When I was a kid I had very dramatic physical and facial reactions to things. So, other kids would come up to me with scissors and make like they were going to stab me in the eyes. They would also goose me, lunge at me, etc. There were also verbal fake-outs where people would say things over and over that we both knew weren't true, like that they wanted to go on a date with me.

I'm not saying this ruined my life or anything, but it has had a huge effect on my ability to have physical emotional reactions to things. It's very hard for me to let myself smile or flinch or anything at the drop of a hat, especially when I'm standing up. For example when I see people I like, it's hard for me to let myself look happy. My body wants to look happy, but it stops itself. It can't just let itself do whatever it feels like. I feel overwhelmed and I make faces or just go stiff and stuff instead.

After I had only been away from that environment for a year, I had this boyfriend who I communicated with online. I had known him in real life before we started being in contact online, but once we started dating I would get too panicked about seeing him in real life or even talking to him on the phone. It was just too much. I couldn't let myself get overwhelmed by being around him. One time he made the mistake of telling me that he loved me, and I got so upset I went on this dissociation/shutdown experience for most of a day.

This is obviously much more than what I said in class. And I'm not trying to make a point. I mean, I am, but do you see what I mean without me coming out with a thesis statement? People are frequently shitty to each other but I would say that people were shitty to me in a way that led to very pervasive problems that still affect me almost ten years later. When I have little DSM flamewars or whatever, I don't think that's the same thing. I don't think anything will ever be the same thing.

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