Terse and unforgiving

February 26, 2009 at 9:27 pm (Julia) (, , , , )

(Okay so, this title is actually a reference to the BEST DESCRIPTION OF HEATHER EVER, and certainly the terse bit is irrelevent to my post, but as soon as I decided what to write about, this was the only title I could think of. Title copyright Heather.)

(Also, this post is maybe a little emo. I hope it doesn’t make any of you guys emo – this isn’t supposed to be a big pity party, I’m just trying to work out how my brain is formed, and where it goes wrong, and how I can maybe avoid that stuff in the future.)

I thought I would write about forgiveness, and my issues with forgiveness.

I am a very forgiving person, until one day when I’m not any more. This makes me sound kind of fickle and harsh, but I don’t think I am, simply because I tend to forgive people for MUCH longer than I really ought, and so by the time it eventually becomes all too much for me, there’s a fairly large supply of ill-will stored up, and it means I’m kind of angry for a while. I don’t LIKE being angry, I don’t like the way I am when I’m angry at a person, it’s kind of hard and stressful. This is a thing I’m trying to improve about myself at the moment, because I’m currently pretty goddamn angry at a few people, and it’s unpleasant and stressful for me, and awkward for mutual friends. I’ve been thinking a lot about my own reactions to this sort of stuff, in an attempt to fix the things I can fix.

This is difficult, though, because I sort of like the reasons why I forgive people. I would like to think of myself as a fairly compassionate person. Particularly with my friends, I understand that stuff is hard, and sometimes people do shitty things without meaning it.

I’ve isolated the two main patterns:

1. A friend constantly hurts me in very small and insignificant ways, which seem not quite worth mentioning. Mostly this is due to maybe being inconsiderate, but for a long time, and with few episodes of doing awesome, considerate things to make up for it. One day it is TOO MUCH and I snap.

2. A friend is awesome some of the time, but does seriously horrific hurtful things to me the rest of the time. I forgive them because they’re having a hard time, etc, and because when they don’t suck, they totally rule. I try to fix whatever it is that makes them suck sometimes. At some point I realise that being friends with them is a huge strain on my mental health, and decide to cut them off.

The second thing has only really happened twice, and both times I got to make the decision about ending the friendship. Both times I felt a HUGE weight off my shoulders when I went “this person is no longer my problem”, and both times, Tom and my other friends completely supported my decision (which is more important to me than it probably should be – if I’ve ended a friendship after being seriously fucked over by someone, I would like to know that my close friends who understand the situation can support my actions. I don’t necessarily need people to take sides, but I need people to accept that what I’ve done is the right move for me).

The first scenario is much more common. I think the trait of Heather’s that I envy the most is her ability to tell someone when they’ve pissed her off a bit. This is a thing I’m definitely working on to improve this whole situation. See, if someone does something minor, and I know they haven’t meant to hurt my feelings, I’ll generally let it go. This is okay a lot of the time, because for most people, they ARE just having a shitty day and it’s a once-off. However, I know I really appreciate it when I’ve done something slightly thoughtless and Heather calls me on it, because she does it in a way where she lets me know that I didn’t intend offence, but that I hurt her feelings. This allows me to apologise, make sure I don’t do that shit again, and then everyone can move on, no harm, no foul. The one person I can always, ALWAYS do this with is Tom, and I’m pretty thankful about that.

The problem is, I guess, that the more someone is inconsiderate towards me, the less I feel like I can explain my feelings to them without them either dismissing it, or making drama happen. Also, when people are consistantly inconsiderate towards me, the first reaction I have to it is kind of thinking I deserve it. This is hella unhealthy, but it’s from bad friendship patterns built into me during my impressionable teenage years, when I had friends, but not often really good friends who I could rely on to do good things for me. For most of my teenage years my friendships were with people who tolerated my personal quirks, rather than kind of loving them, and so they weren’t really the kind of people who gave any real thought to doing nice things for me, ever. (This is possibly another reason why I am kind of crazy about birthdays being a giant celebration of the birthday person). So yes, when a friend first starts being kind of consistantly inconsiderate, I don’t put a stop to it right away, and then it gets out of hand and one day they will do something inconsiderate when I really, really need them to be there for me and then things are OVER FOREVER and it makes me feel bad and stressed about seeing them, and this is crazy and I really do not enjoy being crazy.

(I say consistantly inconsiderate because this is a very, very important point – there’s a big difference between someone having a crap day and doing something which bugs me, and that being the norm of our relationship. I would also like to add that of you guys here at AP5, I don’t think you even do occasional shitty things to me, because I’ve been trying to think of an example and I can’t, so, go you guys! Possibly this is also due to the fact that sometimes I like a stamp with you and so I am fairly aware of how you’re formed and so things you do don’t bug me at all. )

Anyway, the problem with this first teen regression is that when I realise I’m letting someone treat me like Heather Chandler treated Veronica Sawyer[1] I kind of flip out, and while I don’t react in the same way as Veronica Sawyer, I kind of get my righteous fury on.

Mostly it’s because I get really mad at letting someone treat me that way because I am an awesome person and a good friend and goddamn, bitches betta recognise. And then I get mad at myself, and then I get mad at them for making me feel the way I did when I was in highschool because that was a time which sort of sucked for me and part of my mental health management plan is NOT feeling that way again, oh man.

I have awesome friends who I don’t mind doing lots of stuff for because I know that if I’m in a bad way, they’ll pretty much drop everything to see that I’m okay. I do nice things for my friends because I love them deeply, but really, as long as they occasionally come through for me when it matters, everything is cool. I think the things that really, really get to me are when people either don’t come through when I’m having a legitimate crisis (if they’re having their own crisis, it’s cool, though), or if they ruin something which I’ve been relying on to be a good time and improve my mood, by being selfish and crap.  Once again, NONE of you are guilty of this. Man, I promise never to use this blog for passive-aggressive suckarsery. That shit, it’s wack.

I guess another part of the problem is the issue of reconciliation. For the two situations of Type 2, I’m not interested in that friendship because it is too toxic and because both times, that person has become someone I find genuinely reprehensible. So reconciliation isn’t really an issue, there. For Type 1, though, I think a really big problem is that to move on to some kind of new friendship, I need an admission of wrongdoing. Not because I like making people feel guilty, but because I need to know it won’t happen again. However, I tend to be so completely angry at this person for what’s transpired that I feel unable to calmly say “back when we were friends you did this stuff, if we are to be friends again I need to know that you understand that what you did was extremely hurtful and that you’ll attempt to not do this stuff again”, because I feel like if I begin talking to a person about what they’ve done I will go off into a terrifying rant which won’t solve any problems. Even if I understand (due to stamps) WHY someone might act inconsiderately, I feel like I really, really need them to be aware of this tendency in themselves so it doesn’t fuck me over again.

So, um, yeah. Any suggestions? How do you guys forgive serious transgressions?

So, that was kind of full-on, so here is something exciting and filthy. I’ve been watching Season 3 of the UK TV show Skins, and in a recent episode, a character’s sister was in a reality TV show to become the next member of “Sexxbomb” (a fictional version of the Pussycat Dolls), and performs this song – Ass2Ass. For anyone who doesn’t know, “ass to ass” refers to when a gentleman is becoming intimate with two ladies, and he places his private member inside the posterior of one lady, and then pulls out and places it in the posterior of the second lady. It sounds most unhygienic. But yes, this show is mostly fairly serious, except that sometimes they have completely deadpan shit like this in it. This should also be watched to see Bob Fossil from Mighty Boosh as the show’s judge, and also the proud look on the faces of this girl’s dad and brother as she performs this song.

Also, y’all, let me know when you’re free for some kind of AP5 dinnerfoods deliciousness.

[1] Man, I really, really want to watch this film right now. It’s in my head, like when you get a song in your head, except this is a film.



  1. naboolio said,

    Julia! Your forgiveness patterns sound loads like Andrew’s! He is incredibly forgiving and understanding and giving and lets a lot slide, until one day, when a distant line is crossed and the friendship is forever over. It barely ever happens, but when it does, it’s a big deal.

    I’m more like Heather. With people I care about, I will tell them if something they’re doing is bothering me fairly early on. With people who don’t matter to me but are bugging me, I’ll just avoid them as much as possible. But I think I accidentally make it pretty clear to them that I’m not impressed, cos I’m completely incapable of hiding that shit. The issue for me is that I’m really guarded with people from the beginning. I steer clear of people unless I’m fairly sure of them and really like them, then I’ll pursue a friendship. I wouldn’t call myself an especially forgiving person, but I’m getting better at it lately. Especially over the last year.

  2. Danoot said,

    I tend to kind of stop talking to people who bother me, but problematically I also just tend to kind of stop talking to people I really like, too. I don’t know why this is except for: hermitmode activate, I guess.

    There has only been one person who has ever been hurtful enough to me personally to get a full-blown ostracism on, and it took me a very long time for me to realise that that was the mode, and how things gotta be, but now there is no return.

    There have also been some people who were not so much an issue for me, but were clearly poison for other people and society in general, who don’t get the cut and burn treatment but certainly do get basically ignored.

    I don’t know how to tell people that something sucks without making a thing about it, though, that shit is hard.

    Also, re: ass to ass, I think you’ll find it actually involves two ladies, a dildo, and an unconquerable desire for heroin. Also a bunch of dudes standing around screaming “ass! to! ass!” a lot. See Requiem for a Dream for more details.

    (protip: don’t see requiem for a dream for more details)

  3. juliadactyl said,

    Yeah, I’m kind of choosing my associates based on maximum awesome and minimum fail and drama right now. I don’t actually enjoy drama, and so when I end things, I don’t want it to be some kind of enormous shit fight where I make everyone I know pick sides. I’ve seen some fairly dumb (mostly LJ related) public friend breakups, and that shit is tacky as.

    I also really worry that people will think I’m being totally unfair on the people I’ve ostracised, or that they’ll think I’m letting them down when they clearly need my help, but really, it’s because they’re kind of beyond my help and helping them was making me crazy. I think I really worry about people thinking I’m a shitty, selfish friend.

    Oh brain, why you do? Time to take heroin and do rude things with other ladies.

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