On Being the Walking Wounded (meta)

I apologize to you budhy, if my comment the other day hurt you. It never occurred to me that my opinion in any way carried any weight. I always see myself as very inconsequential.

People lose it.

We all have our Achilles Heel. Mine is Rape. Remember the great “Thereisnorape” wars, where a poster blamed women for being out certain times of night, for their clothing, and said even taking one drink makes women responsible for their own rapes?

I fucking came unglued on the Motherfucker. My stomach still knots thinking about that day. It triggered my own pstd type behavior as a survivor of rape.

So here we are, with two people who lost it, and a metafest sucking the dialogue out of my beloved DD.

I did what I do, although I bit my tongue hard for a couple days trying NOT to get involved. It is not my place, nor my business to offer the admins here advice. But thats who I am. I do advice. I advocate. I negotiate. I always see both sides.

I too, as OTB did, would have closed comments, after leaving a comment about cooling off and WHY. I probably wouldn’t have deleted the essay, for the simple reason that people like me would see what happened with more clarity. I have done so in the past, and regretted it. It lets people off the hook, they tantrum and then can have a clean slate like their harsh words never happened. But again, its never an easy call.

I don’t blame her, I don’t blame Budhy. But I do opine its time to do something to define your (and my part-time) community here.

But I want to talk a little about walking wounded and excellence.

Did anyone ask if Ek or anyone dear to him had undergone torture? His words roiled of pain, and possibly PSTD to me. Men hide pain in anger.

He saw “silence as complicity” like everyone was trying to cover up and brush over and excuse what happens now, or had possibly happened to him. He seemed to feel, if its not exposed it won’t be stopped. People just won’t think about it, and the tortures go about business as usual.

Had this been a rape discussion, I, as a woman and survivor of such would have had no problem telling people I was crying my eyes out in agony in the discussion, and hope people would then tread gently. Guys generally don’t do that. You have to read between the lines with them.

There are arguments to be made that a woman’s trial after rape, re-rapes her. I get that, just as I got those trying to defend not showing images. But to me, no trials means a rapist goes free. Thats my opinion, and I don’t know how I would react if someone pushed me hard on it. Pushed me to say that some guy may make my words or image porn, so I must let my rapist go free.

Of course, thats not what they were saying, but thats how it would have felt.

So, we have to ask ourselves, when you see someone with a sore spot, to you needle it, or agree to disagree?

Israel/Palestine is such a Achilles for so many, that DD has banned the topic, subject to prior approval. I don’t, but for what its worth, the subject does make seemingly sane people go to extremes of name-calling insanity and total abusiveness. So, here, it may be the right choice.

I do feel that some of this could be prevented, not to hurt anyone, but some rules are always needed in a group this big.

I stand by my advice that a good rule would be:

“No Call-Out Essays are permitted. Period.”

Even if they use cover words like “Pope” to intentionally not name someone who everyone knows who they mean. A 5,000 word diatribe over hurt feelings is like putting someone in a public stockade to be taunted, shamed and thrown things at. Total overkill over an ideological insult.

I had one essayist here do a FP call out of me. I almost left over it. It was after a SNARK essay where they missed my humor entirely, despite the tag, “snark.”

It felt abusive.

My advice, rather than absolute rule, is to make point/counter point essays on a subject, rather than argue endlessly with those with whom you will never agree. Be propagandists, and you may draw neutrals to your well-crafted argument, just as your opponent may. But you cannot change a mind set in stone, and diametric views always, always degrade into ugliness.

Now, when a poster starts intentionally pushing buttons on Achilles Heels, especially of admins? My spidey sense tingles. It is a troll-like activity that usually follows “pick on one” then “act all sweet and ingratiating” then “pick on another” then “apologize” then… and the tone degrades across the blog. People pick sides. People get hurt. People leave. When someone seems to ENJOY needling a poster, it is always a bad karmic sign.

That may or may not be the case here. It is worth watching, though.

When people start lashing out at innocent bystanders, as apparently was the case, it may be a sign too. Smart people would leave the person losing it alone, and contact an admin. If its an admin, contact another admin. Put him on silent treatment until they deal is my best advice, but certainly impossible for blogland.

It could be a breakdown, it could be Achilles, or it could make someone suicidal… especially in someone who never really acted in that way before.

My personal rule for me, is 3 replies and done when someone is going asshat.

Sleep on it is rule two for me. I need it. I’m a hot head.

Man, for all the unkind, and outright horrifying things that have been said about me (and last year about my innocent at the time 9 year old) across blogland, I would have to have pretty thin skin to get crazy/irate enough to get angry enough to call someone out. I do have thin skin, actually, words here and there can still hurt like hell, cause sleepless nights, and make me cry. But revenge is pointless.

Look how I handled the call out essay of me here.


So the next advice is, even if you have to give a time out to an out of control poster, BOTH parties involved should receive a time out, to see if they can curtail their animosity enough to be part of the community without tearing it apart. Banning is a last resort, and to be used if ill intent cannot be controlled.

Saying shit happens is never enough, and hoping the dust settles is only temporary.

An agreed rule on my blog is you don’t drag old shit into new threads. If you must duke it out, do it where its pertinent. You have to take new content for its face value, never put old values on it.

Hell, I have one guy who denies global warming on my site, and it drives me batshit crazy. I let him have his opinion, though. I counter it with factsy replies sometimes, sometimes, I just let it lie. We’ll never agree.

Being excellent sometimes means recognizing someone is broken, the walking wounded and not pushing them toward the cliff.

It may mean recognizing a cry for help and understanding. It may mean someone has gone asshat, so just flip them off and walk away. Heh.

I didn’t mean to harsh Budhy, and it probably sounded harsher than intended. I just so worry that DD will implode if call-outs become the norm.

I HAVE seen it before.

It kills a blog.

Fight subjects not people. It is the path to Peace.

In many ways, we are all walking wounded, see?

Ok, there are a lot of better essays up, and for once, I hope one of my essays doesn’t get shit in comments, recommended or FP’d.

But too many friends of mine cared enough to point out I needed to look further and that I sounded more judgmental than I meant to. They were right. I was wrong, and needed more info before opening my mouth.

Sorry, Budhy.





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    • Diane G on October 22, 2009 at 9:41 pm

    We alll use the apostrophe way more than the goddamned semi-colon, so why the fuck aren;t (SEE?) the two reversed on the keyboard, so I would stop hitting the wrong one every time.

    No time to edit, family stuff.

    I love you guys. Truly.

    • TMC on October 22, 2009 at 10:10 pm

    very painful, Diane. I have PTSD and recognize it. I saw what happened at GOS and the change in E.K. here. Could I have done more? Maybe. Maybe I should have e-mailed buhdy. I know better than to ignore my “tingly” senses when something is wrong. I am  so sorry it has come to this. Thanks for this, especially for E.K.

  1. should I go un-rec?

    thank you for saying this, really, from my heart.


  2. I apologize to you budhy, if my comment the other day hurt you.

    But struggling to keep my heart open and not get cynical and bitter through all that is going on at DK and here IS hurting me.

    But then again, it is supposed to.

    “Life Is Suffering”


    • Miep on October 22, 2009 at 11:24 pm

    I wish none of this had happened. My original conversation with ek hornbeck was difficult, and I was struck indeed by his passion on the subject of torture.

    But the end result of it was that he and MomCat did indeed change my perspective on the subject, which is the kind of thing I came to DocuDharma for in the first place. To listen, to learn.

    But it was an upsetting experience, and I thought about leaving the site at that time. I realized ultimately, though, that one cannot keep leaving, and that I could be more careful in the future about not stepping inadvertently into what was clearly such a sensitive area for ek.

    I knew nothing about newpioneer’s essay until someone emailed me about it. I read the essay, could not bear to read the comments, and stayed out of the whole thing as much as possible, as I felt my being mentioned so saliently in the essay required my recusing myself from any ensuing discussion.

    That turned out not to be possible. But I still keep thinking about how ek must feel about all this endless talking about him. I know I don’t like all this talking about me. But equally I know one can’t keep people from talking, it just makes things worse.

    I hope ek’s okay and I hope he comes back. There is really nothing else I can say.


  3. and plenty upon plenty of people in our world were abused as children.

    In every way you can imagine, and some you’d rather not imagine, and some you can’t imagine because you’re not that sick.

    You correctly point out that the result is PTSD… and that from that, we’re highly sensitive reactors to thinking that anything is being poked at us, or that our needs are being ignored, or even to the concept that we’re being “put down”.

    We see put downs behind every bush, in every comment, including behind some bushes that aren’t even there, if you catch my drift.

    I just spent the last 2-4 years researching my brains out about this stuff. minimum 50-60 books plus classes… so I should know.

    Trauma is a BIG BIG thing.

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