Delicate folks and less robust people(127 Posts)
It's Saturday night and I've had a few beers so I guess I'm feeling a bit fighty, but only because this is something that's been bothering me for a while and it has been sparked by the 'Books you wished you'd never read' thread, a number of posters said they had thrown books away rather than subject people to the content.
And films people wished they'd never watched because they were traumatised.
But, and this is the big but, where I'm probably going to get a thrashing, there are often threads about abortion, where posters say you 'Will never get over it'.
And threads about miscarriage where people say, 'You will never get over it'.
And I completely respect their stance and experience, BUT, as someone who has had both miscarriages and abortions I found them both very easy to get over and put behind me, and I think the telling women that they Won't, can make things much harder for people.
If they do, they may feel guilt, or it may make women feel they can't have an abortion because they will always feel conflict.
I guess my point is, everyone responds to things differently, you can't go round chucking books away because you found them distasteful, you can't council a woman who has had a miscarriage she will never get over it and you can't advise against an abortion because it 'will affect you forever'.
And yes, it is a goady title but I'm a little bit irritated about absolutism when it comes down to women, choice, and mental health.
It's ok to be ok.
I get where you’re coming from OP. Claire Fox has written a great book summarising these issues. It’s called “I find that Offensive”
Also, the ideas of Kathryn Ecclestone are interesting too. (She has a twitter feed)
Well, then you're lucky. Those who do suffer, and have suffered, are not so lucky.
Don't be irritated by those who find things harder than you.
If you are robust in this way, enjoy it. And find ways to be supportive to others less fortunate.
Yes some people should choose their language more carefully. For example "You may never get over it", rather than you will never but to be honest, I think anyone asking for advice knows that.
WRT books, chucking them away to prevent others reading them is a really weird thing to do but perhaps you should have chosen your language a little more carefully there, OP.
"you can't go round chucking books away because you found them distasteful"
Yes you can if you own them. Not so much if they belong to the library
I had a row once with someone who told me 'if you really understood how I felt you'd agree with me'. I did understand how she felt, but couldn't agree with her. So she believed that I did not really understand how she felt.
The concept that 2 people could go through the same event and come out with different feelings and opinions was completely alien to her.
I can't imagine a book or film that would traumatise me, I actively look for books/films with dark or complex themes, surely that is a healthy way of exploring the darker side of humanity, because errr it's not real.
Telling someone they will never get over something is just shit. People are resilient, it's ok to get over something easily equally it's ok to fall apart, everyone is different.
But they are your books, they are your property, I think that you will find that you can throw them out if you please. Likewise you can also counsel however you please. It's true that many people never get over pregnancy loss while others do, however if you feel guilty because of what strangers on the internet say then you are clearly not over it. Maybe stop telling other people how to act and focus on tempering your own reactions?
Strangely enough, I am quite robust and capable in a real crisis, and can carry on in grim determination, but there are books and films that have really shaken me to the point of having nightmares. We're all different.
OP's not irritated by people suffering, it's the advice to others that 'they'll never get over it' that's got her goat.
It's a good point OP but I tend to do resilience and getting on with it, rather than dwelling on things that make me feel shit.
I shudder to think what would have happened to me if I hadn't had a safe medical option for termination.
When I look at my DC and wonder what those earlier children might have been, I give myself a shake and remind myself how lucky I am.
Likewise with miscarriages, it was horrible at the time but it just wasn't meant to be and I'm fine with that.
DM had a miscarriage between me and my younger sibling. She still brings it up and catalogues how awful it was, likewise her (normal) childbirths. I find it hard to understand why she wants to focus on the negatives in her life all the time.
I've watched some films that traumatised me as a child! I do agree though that we need to be careful when talking in absolutes.
I found it upsetting on a thread the other day when someone wrote "people who harp on and blame their childhood" I have worked so hard to overcome PTSD and BPD and attachment disorder but you know what the professional diagnosis is at best I'll learn to manage better - no getting over my childhood if going to happen.
So absolutes have to work both ways.
It seems to be a mixture: I agree with the OP that it's ok to be ok, and women should never be guilted about abortion, and no one should be dictated to on how they ought to respond - to anything.
But some people will be deeply affected. By loss, by pain, by books, by films. And there is actually too much in the culture telling us to mute out feelings and reactions and just get the fuck on with things.
If you are robust, I am glad. But people who are not so robust aren't being overly dramatic or worthy of less respect.
Ultimately it boils to whether you are a person who dwells or a person who does not. Some people tend to look backwards, whilst others forwards, the latter traits being characteristics of resilience as it gives the ability to move on from a set back. I think is the innate way that person's brain is wired and quite difficult to change. It is also difficult for someone who is more inclined to get over things to understand why others cannot.
I've had a miscarriage that was so uneventful that I have to think what year it was in.
It just wasn't a big deal.
I've burned books. Yep, burned 'em. They were shit and well, hey, made good fuel for the fire. Can't say I've ever been traumatised by a work of fiction, though, after all, it's not real.
Never been traumatised by a book or film. Some people do get over things, some don't. Neither is wrong. It is wrong to tell someone they will never get over something though.
I think that circumstances make all the difference to how well we cope with things. For example, I had a very early miscarriage and then went on to have two children. So, I did get over my miscarriage because it was early and not too traumatic and ultimately didn't blight my life. But I can quite understand how a later and more traumatic miscarriage would be much harder to get over.
Similarly, some women choose to terminate a preganancy for sensible reasons and are not traumatised. Some women are pressurised into terminations by partners or families or circumstances, or are equivocal about the decision, or later develop infertility and regret their earlier decision.
Resilience is circumstantial. If you are a secure person from an emotionally and psychologically secure background who has some degree of control over your circumstances, you will cope with things better than others. That doesn't make you superior, that makes you fortunate.
I think that the books and films thing is a whole other issue and actually worry about how many people enjoy torture porn and misery memoirs as a form of entertainment.
For "robust" read "heartless". You've clearly never suffered from infertility issues and are unable to empathise with those that have/do.
Fair enough, you can, you absolutely CAN destroy books if they irritated you to that level, but to throw them away because you didn't want the reader to be subject to something you found distasteful?
Interesting point OP and I agree with you about absolutism. It's part of a culture or belief-system that views women as other and homogenous. Including women who have internalised their peculiar, permitted otherness and made it into a comforting specialness.
I threw away "A Girl Called Jack" because I tried out multiple recipes and read the whole thing and considered it, um, not very good.
I wouldn't want to donate it and for anyone who was genuinely strapped for cash to use those recipes and waste their money (both on the book and on recipes that either don't work or are really not nice).
For works of fiction, I would generally agree with you - even a book I find offensive and distasteful, someone else might like. But in that case, I wouldn't want anyone else to waste money they can't afford to loose.
But yeah, I agree with you that absolutism isn't generally helpful.
Red, I don't agree, we all have different experiences, I can and do empathise with people who have different experiences.
My point is, we bloody well should empathise and not be so absolutist in our own experiences.
My reading of the OP is that she is NOT saying everyone should be resilient, like her. She is saying that women are not a single, homogenous organism. We do not all react the same way to an identical stimulus. We are many, different people.
So, she is resilient about reproductive issues, some people aren't, both are completely legitimate ways to be.
Her objection is to people choosing to regard their individual experiences as universal.
Don't most women have a miscarriage at some point? And a third of women have had abortions. These are very common experiences. It obviously depends on the context as to how each woman reacts to it.
Some people are whinyarses. Some people are officious whinyarses (this thing made me boohoo so I'm going to pester everyone else about how horrible it is and try to stop them from looking at it).
The more people realise that it won't actually kill them to meet someone with a different opinion, or for a book they don't want to read to exist, the better.
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