Tag Archives: invalidation

Backdrops to Being Kicked Out

So I realized I haven’t said anything about this to y’all yet.  My landlord has, abruptly, decided not to let me renew my houseshare lease.  I’m effectively being kicked out of the house and forced to scramble to find a new place to live.*

It’s not technically an eviction.  Technically.  It’s just that when I signed the lease we operated under the understanding that I could extend it in the future, and toward the end of my term (well ahead of time) I asked her about explicitly renewing it so that I could keep living here, and she told me she would get back to me about that when she wasn’t sick — and then I didn’t hear from her about it again until she slipped a note under my door saying she has decided to deny my request, giving me 30 days’ notice to find a new place to live.

It seemed like such a sudden escalation.  I didn’t think she would actually…

This entire saga with her, the happy beginning, the escalating mistreatment, the intrusiveness, the completely inappropriate controlling behavior that’s way out of line for someone whose only relationship to me is a landlord, and now this — every time I’ve shared the details with someone, their jaw has dropped, and they’ve been angry and disdainful on my behalf.

And so I have to wonder… why I put up with it as long as I did, before finally erecting a boundary by telling her not to text me anymore and blocking her number on my phone.

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You don’t owe anyone a tour of your scars.

I’ve written something like this before, and I’m going to try to say this again, hopefully better this time.

When someone is demanding proof, details, exact examples — or worse, proclaiming, without asking, the impossibility of your very life — you don’t owe it to them to put the spotlight on your most vulnerable places, to reopen your old wounds, and gut yourself just so they can see.

I understand, in reaction to the silencing and denial and absurd faith in a different world, the impulse to blurt out the truth.  To uncover the ugliness inflicted on you and hold it up to their eyes.  I know that impulse, and I decide to go with it, sometimes.  It isn’t wrong or bad to do that.  But it is dangerous, and risky.

And this is just to say: you don’t have to.

You don’t have to risk exposing yourself to worse — to being gaslit to your face instead of in generalities.

You don’t have to risk being denied autonomy over your own story and dissolved into fuel for the exact perverse ideas your lived experiences contradict.

You may have plenty of testimony to give.  And when you give it, please keep an eye on what it does to you, to cut yourself open again and again, exposing your insides to open air and the opinions of those who will declare that what you’re bleeding isn’t blood.

Please, take care of yourselves.  Take time, if you need to, to cool yourself down afterward and to plan how to manage these things beforehand.  Consider what kind of bandages work best for your spirit.

If you want them, there are multiple guides out there with tips for how to disclose trauma and abuse, with suggested questions to ask yourself and steps to remember.  Like those, I would reiterate: if someone has already proven themselves hostile to you and disinterested in listening, it is okay to distrust them.

And disclosure?  Is an act of vulnerability, and vulnerability requires trust.

It is okay not to trust people to listen right.  It is okay not to trust people not to violate your further, with reactions only a hair different from “Are you sure you aren’t overreacting (i.e. reacting incorrectly)?” and “Are you sure it was really [blank]?”

You don’t owe it to anyone to risk that.  You don’t owe a tour, or a vivisection, or an open house.  Lock them out if you want.  Build a fence.

You don’t owe your new violators the story of your old ones.

There is no control group for the universe.

A couple years or so ago, I attended some kind of presentation on voluntary certification, probably put on by the economics department.

This post is not about economics.

This post is about the product of my irritation with some things that were said on the Q&A session at the end.  Someone had basically asked how we can “prove” that workers’ lives were benefited by companies paying them better wages and being held to more ethical standards.  Efficacy concerns aside, something about the question rubbed me the wrong way, primarily because of the notion that so abstract an impact cannot be deemed legitimate until it is measured in a way that a white-haired stranger in another country can recognize.  In retrospect, I think I better understand where the questioner was coming from, but my annoyance at the time led me to some conclusions that I still agree with.  Soon after the session was over, I trudged back to the co-ed dorm with a low-simmering anger, and since the copilot wasn’t in her room, I wrote a note for the complaint board.

“There is no control group for the universe,” it said, hastily written before being tacked onto the rest.

…which is to say, we cannot always test or prove how things would be different if you adjusted a single variable.  Control groups are wonderful things, and we’re able to learn a great deal through the isolation of variables, but it’s also necessary to confront the fact that such a method is not always practical or even possible.  And sometimes, that’s okay.

So I’m making this post for those who have been assaulted, disabled, sick, abused, or have experienced whatever else has been deemed a confounding variable in determining the “true” cause of the way they are.

There is no control group for the universe.

It might not be possible to isolate all variables enough to know what’s part of the “reason” and what isn’t.  You don’t need to construct an alternate universe version of yourself in order to be worthy of acceptance as the person you are.  You don’t need to pin down every why or how as if your existence is a problem to solve.  You are not a meteorologist tasked with the job of predicting yourself.

How things would be different if things were different is a question that is, most often, impossible to answer, and you are welcome to relieve yourself of that burden.

There is no control group for the universe.

On Repression and Oppression Terminology

Three points, two of which I expect most of y’all to be familiar with already:

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Religion and Asexuality Overview

This is a collection of links about the various things that religious people have said about asexuality and what it’s like to be asexual in religious contexts.  I can only provide what I’ve found and what people have already written on, so for now, only Islam, Christianity, and Paganism will be primarily addressed here.  If you have any links to add to this list — any blog posts on the relationship between religion and asexuality — then please let me know.

Edit 12/4/2014: After this post was published, the theme of religion was chosen for the October Carnival of Aces.  Check the link for more recent writing on this subject.

Edit 6/21/2022: Please stop linking to this post next to links from Landover Baptist.

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This Week, in Discussion Disasters

I’m still waffling over whether to make this post as I type this, and I may choose to take it down later.  This is in regards to a previous post and a discussion that was spawned by the same powerpoint which brought you this whole discussion.  I stand by what I’ve said in regards to both, but when I saw that someone had called out the mentality I’d just been complaining about — well, I wasn’t expecting this.

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Calling Demisexuality a Slut-Shaming Identity Uses the Logic of Christian Fundamentalists

This is an observation on demi critics who believe the statements “I’m demisexual” and “I don’t experience sexual attraction to people I don’t know very well” are an attack on people who have sex with people they don’t know very well: the logic they’re using to reach that conclusion is indistinguishable from the logic of fundamentalists who oppose same-gender marriage.

Said fundamentalists believe that, by denying the option for same-gender partnerships to gain the same kind of legal recognition that cross-gender partnerships have access to, they are “protecting the sanctity of marriage,” i.e. same-gender couples getting married would be an attack on cross-gender marriages.

The term “slut-shaming identity” as applied to demisexuality is based on the idea that “I don’t feel what you feel” is disrespectful to other people’s choices.

These demi critics believe that describing yourself as demisexual is tantamount to shaming every person who has sex with someone they’re not strongly bonded to (which, incidentally, may include some demis).  Fundamentalists believe that same-gender marriages existing is tantamount to saying that cross-gender marriages are worthless and no longer sacred.

Being demi is an insult to allos.  Being gay or bi is an insult to straights.

The reasoning isn’t any different.

On the Condemnation of Gray Areas

Within the most common attacks on gray-asexuality (which, for the purposes of this post, includes demisexuality), I’ve observed that the concept of gray-asexuality, as defined as a gray zone between asexuality and allosexuality, is always assumed to be a mere ruse created for use by people who are actually allosexuals.  And, setting other things aside, what strikes me as so strange about this criticism is that the people making it never once consider — if even just as a tentative possibility — that some of the individuals who identify as gray-asexual might actually be absolute asexuals.

That idea is implicitly treated as out of the question.

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I’m tired of all these special snowflakes

Yeah, that’s right: I’m sick, absolutely sick, of all these special snowflakes who think they’re omniscient.  They think they know everything — literally everything, even what’s going on in your head right now, every emotion you feel, every sensation or attraction you experience, everything.  I mean, it’s one thing to consider yourself knowledgeable, but this is taking things way too far.

Special snowflakes have this compulsion where, if you describe your internal experiences, they’ll pounce on you to say you’re lying and just attempting to make yourself seem more unique than you really are, because these special snowflakes are the ones who know what you’re really like, of course.  How do they know?  Well we’re just supposed to take their word for it.  Why wouldn’t you believe them, right?  They can see inside your brain or something, probably.  Mind-readers.  It’s a wonder they haven’t hacked everybody’s accounts by now, since they must know all existing passwords, too.

Nothing in the world exists that they haven’t already heard of before, after all.  They’re too special to need to learn things.  They’re so special, they’ve already collected every datapoint in existence.  Yep.  These kids know everything, and asking questions would be beneath them.  Don’t ask where they got these wild magic powers from — they just know things, and they will be furious if you question that.

There’s nothing too implausible about a bunch of people claiming to have unlimited godlike omniscience out of the blue, right?  That’s not too ridiculous or anything.  Nah.  These firm but benevolent shepherds are the true arbiters of what’s really ridiculous here.

Ugh.  Special snowflakes.

What do we need a word like “semi-arid” for?

There’s no such thing as “semi-arid”.  You’re either arid or you’re not.  You either get less than ten inches of annual rainfall or you don’t.  The definition of semi-arid isn’t even specific — it’s just a gray area between desert climates and humid climates.  With a definition that vague, it can be used to classify any humid climate that’s not an absolute rainforest, so what’s the point?  Semi-arid climates are not desertsStop calling them that. 

This is ridiculous.  Just because you don’t get rain 24/7 doesn’t mean you’re arid.  Climates that classify themselves as semi-arid are just humid climates being misled or trying to be different so they can fit in with the arid ones, even though they don’t belong.  Stop lumping them in together.  Semi-aridness is just a fad, and an annoying one at that.  People need to stop acting like it’s real or else it’s going to make everyone stop taking arid climates seriously.

a photo of dry scrub and spiky plants with a mesa in the distance

Just look at all that temperate forestland trying to be special.

Also, we have definite, rumor-based proof that the word “semi-arid” was made up by [insert name of group associated with low credibility].  Or at least, it probably was, anyway, because I’ve seen them using it and it just seems like something they’d do.

This has been a PSA: “semi-arid” is just a fake classification made up by people who want humid climates to get counted as arid.