Periodically I see references to the idea that every is a good person from their own point of view. Everyone views themselves as the misunderstood protagonist of their own story. Not me. I think of myself as more like an anti-hero. I am not morally superior. If anything I am inferior.
A long time ago it started to seem to me that being a hero was something that just wasn’t available to people like me. I am certainly a protagonist in my story though I am probably mainly an antagonist in other peoples stories.
As Agatha likes to say, “I can work with that.”
I don’t see a lot of point in working hard to be nice.
If I felt physically threatened I probably wouldn’t call the police I probably would beat the shit out of the person threatening me. I’m not so much with the “lawful good” personality trope.
Ok, the first thing I would do is verbally clear up the fact that this person knows it is a really stupid idea to threaten me. That clears up like 99% of issues without violence.
But it is backed up with the real and serious threat of violence. That means I’m not a nice person. I can work with that.
I’m not going around beating people up for casual insults or for doing things I don’t like. I am too apathetic for such shenanigans. I will only hurt someone if I believe I must do so for self defense. I have experienced an unusually broad range of conflict from mild verbal to physical fights.
Calli turns four in August. Then we all get to enroll in martial arts. Whee! It will be good for us. Maybe they can teach me more control over my abysmal temper.
The goal isn’t now or ever to be a nice person. I want more control over how and when I am not-nice but that doesn’t mean I want to be a nice person.
What makes someone a “good” person or a “bad” person. Are all soldiers automatically bad because they have the potential to kill? Some of them even have. The ones who do kill people tend to come home totally fucked up.
I’ve never killed anyone. Does that make me a good person? But if someone hurt my babies and I thought the police were going to do nothing… Well I don’t feel real bound by the 10 Commandments anyway.
I’d take that person to the desert. My babies are off limits. The penalty for fucking with them is your life.
Does the fact that I will defend my children make me a good person? If I don’t defend my children am I a good person or a bad person? I would be a non-aggressive person. A passive person.
Mostly I just make sure they aren’t alone with people. Not even for a few minutes. And they know ALL the technical names for their body parts and explicitly that anything covered with panties is *private* and people who touch you there mean you harm when you are a kid.
My kids will not be victims.
And I’m very ok with that meaning that I can’t be a nice person. Ok. No problem. I lost that potential long, long ago anyway. I will be fierce instead.
If I were still trying to be a nice person I think I would be paralyzed with fear. I have too much bad in me that might leak out if I say the wrong thing. I might have to stop talking altogether if I wanted to be “nice”.
The little slice of the world I inhabit isn’t very nice. I think it is funny that so many of these writers know only people who think they are nice. Really? I know a lot of people who would laugh at the idea that they are “nice people”.
My shrink says that people who have had easy lives don’t feel comfortable standing near me and that is a lot of why I know so many people with ridiculous trauma histories. She tries to get me to understand that my view of the world is perhaps a bit skewed.
I know a lot of former childhood prostitutes, male and female. I know a lot of people who have been arrested for violence. I know a lot of rapists. I know a lot of people who beat the shit out of people for fun or money. Not like, mafia beat people up or anything.
I didn’t manage to end up friends with the nice fluffy spank-o-philes who just like a nice spanking. I know the people who want to be cut up with razor blades and long whips and turned completely black and blue from all the terrible bruising.
I broke a bone in a scene and didn’t stop the scene for health care. I stayed tied up for hours. We stayed at the party for a while after the scene before we bothered going to the hospital.
Pain is part of my life in a way it isn’t for most people.
I’ve had two hard pregnancies followed by two hellish labors (One unmedicated for 40 hours the other unmedicated for nine days) and neither was anywhere near as painful as when a large man picked me up by my pectoral muscles and shook me like a dog with a toy.
I thought that feeling was so overwhelming I would completely and totally combust from pain. That is still my personal 11. Nothing has been as painful as that.
And I have pictures from a long and storied relationship before that showing how I worked up to it.
Then the week after the hardest scene ever Noah asked me to marry him. Then things changed.
Let me tell you, there is no way to tell the story of me and Noah without it sounding like a rescue mission. All of these pieces fit together and layer.
My Owner was pretty happy with Noah as a partner for me. He gave me Daddy’s permission to date that nice boy. Even Puppy (a not-nice person I dated in between the times I dated Noah) gave me his blessing when I married Noah.
Pretty much all of my ex’s came to my wedding reception. They were all jolly and happy and very glad to see me with someone who wanted to jump through the hoops they were not fucking interested in jumping through.
I feel lucky. Despite the fact that I am not very nice people still love me. As much as I talk about being a raging asshole… that doesn’t actually come out much any more. It did when I was much younger. It did when I was a kid, a teenager. I had it mostly under control by my twenties and I’m doing really well in my thirties.
I think mean thoughts but I mostly keep them to myself. To people I say the nice things I think. I’ve learned better how to filter them at full speed. Like all skills it has taken a lot of practice.
But I’m still not nice. Because if I need to say mean things in order to create the effect I want to create I will fucking well do that and probably not feel bad for more than a few seconds.
I have no problem with being nasty to racists but I’m working on doing it with slightly lower volume because I dislike having my throat hurt from screaming. See, still not nice.
My children are the best mirrors in the world. Children learn to treat you by watching how you treat the world around you. They don’t do what you say they do what you do. I don’t really want my kids to have to deal with the punishments that come with being a screamer. And clearly we are all screamers. So I have to figure out how to change myself.
I can’t get through this by telling them what they must do without changing me first. That really blows.
A friend commented with dismay when his childling heard the definition of rules-lawyering and was happy. “No! Don’t do that!” I encourage my kids to do it. Without yelling. Without pestering.
The pestering rule is kinda my favorite thing. Persistence is awesome! Pestering is annoying. Asking for something more than three times is pestering and then you don’t get to have whatever it is that day.
When my kids ask for something a second time all I have to say is, “That is your second request.”
And they zip up their lips faster than you can say, “Bob’s y’er uncle.”
I get the impression they react pretty much how I react when someone says their version of “You are getting close to a boundary.”
React with glee! They are defining themselves for you! This is a good thing!
When people used to ask me to leave the morning after a pick up I took that as a sign of healthy boundaries and I left happy to know that I hadn’t over stayed my welcome.
I like my house. I like that I am not going to be kicked out. I can make it as weird as I want to. It’s ok. I have permission. I don’t need no fucking permission. Something. Anything. I can do it to my house.
Kind of crazy.
I look at the houses around me and think, “Man we have different aesthetics.” My neighborhood is full of people doing shit to their houses. Some are gentrifying. Some are just doing general maintenance and repairs to the facades they created decades ago. They like the look of it.
My house right now is just one of the shittier ones (from the outside) in the neighborhood. Not quite derelict, but man do we need to do some repainting. Shabby. Not improved upon since the 1950’s.
Meh. I don’t want to spend the money so I ignore it.
We all channel our frustrations in different ways. I have lots of control issues and I’m not a very nice person. Only I can be very nice and very polite and great to talk to.
Isn’t that why sociopaths are so dangerous (not that I’m a sociopath–too much empathy)? They are so charming. I don’t have to be nasty just because I’m not a nice person.
So many layers.
Noah says I’m consistent. I think I have so many special cases that it is weird that he can find consistency.
I think it is much healthier that I now side track onto thinking about home improvement projects rather than sex or being hurt. I know that I will have to make my own status in this life. I inherit nothing positive. People think of me only as a sum of what they can see.
I can get away with whatever I try hard enough to get away with. If I want to have a community I have to go out and fucking meet the people around me and introduce myself and consistently say “Hi” and smile for years.
Having a distinctive yard is helping. “Oh! You did that!” Yup.
Small pond. A very small pond. I want to be a big fish in a very small pond. That’s all I have the spoons for. I know all those other lakes and rivers and oceans exist but they are kinda scary for me. I like my very small pond.
Here everyone walks to the table completely neutral to one another. We have no preconceived associations other than the most gross (meaning large–not necessarily yucky) and general racial and sexual assumptions.
It was just dumb luck. We happened to move to the same neighborhood during the same span of time. Let’s talk.
I have lived here longer than anywhere else in my whole life. I want to know my neighbors the way other people got to get to know their elementary school peers. I want it.
My kids need community. Communities happen when people create them. Just keep doing things.
I’m not a nice person. But I can be quite charming and fun when I put my mind to it. When I try.
This is why I try to limit my time with people to the amount of control I have to give.
I am an angry girl. But I’m not angry with you. And I try hard to differentiate my behavior better than that. You are not a representative sample of your group to be punished for the whole. No one is. No scapegoats here.
We are not a collective. We are a bunch of individuals. That is why change is so hard. It can’t be mass taught or enforced. It has to be lead.
People aren’t willing to dramatically change their opinion in public. That would mean losing face.
Grow the fuck up.