Slightly less hysteria

We spent a lot of time talking last night. Noah says I hit him frequently, but it is closer to a tap than an injurious assault so he doesn’t comment. He says if I were A) hurting him B) intimidating him or C) escalating he’d make it a big deal but I don’t. What I do is more like smacking his shoulder for bad jokes in a way that doesn’t hurt at all.

Ok… that’s not enough that I should be packing my bags and going (I asked) but…

I genuinely don’t notice that I’m doing this and that’s a big problem. I asked him to start calling attention to it every single time it happens. I don’t like that I’m doing this. I want to stop and apparently I’m not doing it on my own.

I asked the kids if I’ve hit them in ways they remember and I don’t. We went down the laundry list of my transgressions. The kids were adamant that I haven’t hurt them outside of what I recall.

We talked about how, “Well we bump each other and that hurts sometimes but it isn’t on purpose. And when we were in the ocean in Florida you grabbed me so hard it hurt really bad.”

Uhm, the ocean in Florida was on the tail end of a fucking hurricane and there was a terrifying riptide. I was grabbing you so hard because I didn’t want you to drown. Soon after we just got the fuck out because it wasn’t safe. So yeah. No apologies over that one. Better you here with a sore arm than gone.

That’s not hitting.

That’s… necessary roughness for life.

I feel like I don’t have scale. I feel like I don’t have perspective and I don’t know what things mean I should have to die.

I really don’t know.

4 thoughts on “Slightly less hysteria

  1. thendara

    Could there perhaps be a semantics issue involved? I remember when you demonstrated how you pulled on EC’s hair on my own hair, I thought, well yeah, pulled isn’t the wrong word…but perhaps connotes more force than I experienced when you did it to me. Maybe tugged gently would have given me a more accurate impression of what happens when you do that. Maybe “hit” is too general a word that you associate with more intensity than the reality of the impact. Perhaps it was a tap, a touch, a poke?

    1. blacksheep

      (playing catch up again) Taps, touches, pokes…where are the lines…so difficult to define. I am not of the opinion that every single point of contact with someone needs to be explicitly pre-negotiated. I think it’s perfectly acceptable to touch someone and then have that person say “No, I don’t like that, don’t do it again.” So, in my perspective, if there are a litany of contacts that have been perceived as inappropriate or unwelcome, it is up to Noah to be pointing those out. The “intermittent reinforcement” argument seems problematic, especially if you are dabbling in forms of touch that are open to interpretation. Heck, the same touch may be fine one day, and not the next, and that’s why it is important to communicate about it in the moment.

      1. Krissy Gibbs Post author

        I’m… much further on the negotiate every touch end than you. And I’m ok with that.

        Yes. This is complicated and messy and I’m not sure how to figure it all out.

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