Words of warning and welcome:

This is very much my blog, so don't be surprised if this doesn't follow accepted patterns and norms. Obviously it started out as a blog about my cross-dressing but it has developed a great deal since then. It is a place where I can be anonymous and honest, and I appreciate that.

It will deal with many things and new readers would do well to check out the New Readers' Page above this and the tag down there on the right. Although there's nothing too bad in here there will be adult language, so be careful. If you think this needs a greater control, please let me know. Thank you!

Thursday, 22 March 2012

Work, Compassion and Time

One of the things that has nagged at me a bit over the last few days is positivity and how that affects things.  I know that I'm not terribly good at it but, in a more positive environment online, I realised that my own lack of positivity could be construed as being horrible to other people.  In all of my dealings with people I tend to be misinterpreted, there must be a reason why bad things, or unfair things, happen to me with the regularity that they do.  It can't be that the rest of the world is consistently wrong about how they treat me and, so, it must mean that there is something that I carry with me.

My ex-boss, with the megaphone, and how I felt, the woman.
In being harsh about myself and my own thoughts, wants and desires - in hating myself as much as I do - I may be projecting a view of myself that other people buy into and make real.  Tilly has spoken about this pretty often, actually, and is of the opinion that I create most of the problems that vex me on a day to day basis.  As long as I hate myself and the bits about me that I can't or won't change then it follows that she feels insecure and won't allow me to get close for fear of being hurt herself.  She explained on Sunday evening that she felt my own ill-opinion of myself was, in fact, insulting to her as she had chosen to marry me.  By being negative about my own personality, by doing myself down, I was essentially disrespecting her choice and insulting her intelligence.  The "if you only know what I was like" mantra implied that she was being duped, that she was somehow stupid.  The same thing has happened at work where my current boss has gone the same way as my previous.  Now, my last boss went a bit odd at the end and I was able to pretty much write off 90% of the horrible things he said about me and my performance as being down to the fact that he was slowly losing it.  However, now that an entirely new boss is making the same observations, often with the exact same wording, I don't have that luxury.  I am forced to conclude that I am that shit at what I do.

Except that Tilly suggests that this is not the case.  It is my successful projection of my own poor self-image and lack of self-respect that leads others to view me negatively and treat me with no respect.  My problems at work, she argues, are only problems because I have created them and convinced people of my own view about who I am and what I do.


Ah yes, the recent BBC Nativity.  Sacrily positive is the best way to describe both it
and the way in which Mary and Joseph must have felt about the news.
So why am I turning this over now?  Two reasons:
1. I haven't posted in ages and that's just rude;
2. On another forum I have recently discovered I made the observation that the people there were "scarily positive" - something that went down quite well it would appear, and so I was pleased that I had made people happy.  In another thread someone commented positively on someone else's shoulders and my instinct was to refer to my own as being substandard, in a jokey fashion - I have no real view of my shoulders.  But I brought myself up short.

If I suggested that my own shoulders were sub-standard, what was that suggesting about other people?  Did I have the right to call my own body into question without simultaneously calling in question other peoples' image of themselves.  It was a TG site, people were role-playing as female when they were clearly male.  There is no way anyone there resembled their avatars or was able to behave as they do there in real life, myself included.  What right did I have to tear away that rather obvious curtain?  There is no delusion there, merely a shared understanding that the people who play there, for play it is, agree to play by certain rules - the main one of which is that everyone there who wants to be is, in fact, a female.

Fear the impotent rage of the
cute bunny.  Except, well, I'm
not cute.
I look at myself.  I'm 30, with two children and a wife.  I hold a position of some responsibility at work and I am able to affect the way impressionable people feel about themselves and the world around them that is not afforded to many.  In fact, I actively seek to do that to a particular pattern and in a particular way.  And I'm open about that so that those being impressed upon know that I am attempting to do that - it seems only fair.  I treat them with respect and I treat them, where I can, with as close an approximation of compassion as I can muster without actually feeling it.  I'm bearded, hairy, pretty sweaty and a bit gangly.  I do not dress fashionably, take little care over my appearance, don't do much of anything with my hair, skip breakfast as a matter of course now, deny myself sleep and insult myself on a regular basis.  When my daughter, who is three, treats me with disrespect my usual response is to take it and walk away.  She's three and I take it seriously, I respond the same way as I do when my boss treats me like that.  Tail between legs, whipped puppy expression, little bunny Foo-Foo impotent rage.

And all of that just makes me hate myself even more.  Which, in turn, increases the disrespect from others and makes it all the harder to stand up to it, thereby starting the cycle all over again.  And though I know how to break it, I'm still not doing it.  This makes it even worse.  I'm tired.  I have so much to be positive about, and I'm not being positive about it.

Speaking of that, I'm hoping to get back to my writing.  I have another part, I have another story too.  I even have something for the literary blog (I'm avoiding TG/CD themes there for some reason).  I just need time.  Oh, did I mention I ran out of boxers again - more accidental cross-dressing, but mine this time, not Tilly's.
One of my 'inspiring images' collection.  Yes, it is something to
do with Reality/Shifts, how can you tell?

3 comments:

  1. Some years ago, I realized that no one took me seriously, even when I was being serious. I was so steeped in sarcasm that it was just assumed that I was being snide at all times. I had to make a long term commitment to learn to display the sincerity that I felt inside, to remove the barrier between me and the world that sarcasm had become. I still snark quite ably, but I can also show some gravitas when I desire to.

    I agree with Tilly. You are sabotaging yourself.

    I'm eighteen years farther on than you, Joanna, so I'm gonna play the wisdom card. If others, like, say, Tilly, see good in you, you are just going to have to suck it up and trust their judgement. You are too close to have a clear view. We all have demons in our heads, from the Pope on down. How we present to others is the choice.

    Here's a potentially personal question: Are you in therapy? If not, I think it would be worth your time. If so, it's time to get a new therapist, 'cause it ain't working.

    Positivity isn't the end all. Being fair to yourself is. Everyone is flawed, some even more than you! Give yourself a break already.

    If this sounds harsh coming from someone who barely knows you, well, yes, it is. I see a lot of myself in the things that you share, and my motto is "Don't be like me!" Consider yourself chastened.

    Warmly, really,
    Leslie

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  2. Hi Leslie,

    I didn't think anything you said sounded harsh and thank you for taking the time to read what I wrote and then to comment afterwards in such a... well, compassionate fashion. Chastising can be compassionate too, right?

    My motto with others has also been "don't be like me!" I think I've even said that on a number of occasions when people discuss their own issues and stresses.

    Yes, I'm in therapy and yes, I agree that it's not working terribly well. I'm working on that - I've been a beneficiary of the NHS thus far and so I'm looking for options that won't break the bank.

    I am genuinely touched by your words and your concern in commenting. Don't worry, your warmth was clear!

    Still a bit stuck on how to adequately respond to what you've said and what that all means so, for the moment, thank you again.

    Joanna

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  3. You took that well, thank you. I should have known you were in therapy because of the silly compassion letter exercise. Well, not silly, but it seems like going at a glacier with an ice pick. You need massive carbon emissions.

    That was snark, btw, not sincerity.

    You don't have an email listed anywhere. I'd like to send you an invite to my private blog. Go to my profile and email me if you have any interest. I had issues similar to yours, and I've come out the other side, and even relatively stable! Maybe it would help you. Regardless, continuing the convo offline is fine with me.

    ReplyDelete

All comments are welcome, I have a thicker skin virtually than I do in real life!