Worth it

Before I get into the meat of this post, I want to be clear that in no way do I intend to shame anyone who doesn’t like going to kink events or can’t go to them for any reason (and whatever reason you have for being unable to go is goddamn well good enough). I just want to share an incredibly valuable thing I got from going to an event.

I was recently at Westcoast Bound 2014, and perhaps ironically, at a workshop about crossing lines I heard the single most life changing message of hope I’ve ever gotten. Every minute I spent on buses and ferries and skytrains to get to this conference was absolutely worth it to hear this one sentence. Hell, every minute I’ve spent travelling to conferences for the last five years would be worth it for nothing but what I got out of this one workshop. This one throwaway sentence in a larger workshop gave me hope that some day, I might finally find peace.

Despite how I portray myself on this blog, I actually desperately want inner peace. While there’s simply too much stupid in the world for me to stop getting angry at all, I would dearly love to stop being angry all the fucking time. It’s exhausting. Imagine how tired you feel after getting really, seriously, throwing chairs angry about something. Now imagine that on some level it NEVER FUCKING STOPS. You can force it down, you can get through the day with only a little vicious swearing at your computer, but it’s always fucking waiting for you. Like a banked fire, it might look cold but any goddamn time you take a poker to it, it will flare back up just as hot as it ever was.

Unfortunately, it’s pretty fucking hard to find peace when you have in fact been deeply and fundamentally wronged. People like to spout a lot of useless fucking bullshit about “letting go” and “forgiving for your own good“, which does absolutely nothing to help when you have completely legitimate wounds that cannot be papered over with a half-assed apology and conveniently forgotten. If I could let go, I would have fucking done it years ago. Do you stupid fucks think it’s fun to be this angry all the goddamn time? Do you think I enjoy having all the shit I’ve been through come rushing back every fucking time someone makes a stupid joke about a misbehaving child needing a beating? No really, on what goddamn level do you think any of this is a good time for me?

I know that the people giving me stupid fucking platitudes mean well, but the problem with “just let go” is that it tells me absolutely nothing whatsoever about how to get to the place where I am able to “just let go.” Again, if I knew how to do that, I would have fucking done it already. No one who has said “just let go” has been able to give me a road map, they just spout some useless bullshit about making the choice to let go as if that will magically make my anger go away. If “letting go” does anything for you that’s great, but you need to realize that nothing you have to say about forgiveness is remotely relevant to me or to anyone else who can’t turn their emotions off like a goddamn light switch.

The reason what I heard in this workshop meant so much to me was that the presenter was like me. He has struggled the way I have struggled, and was able to point to an actual concrete process I could follow to find my way out. So what did I hear that finally gave me hope?

One day, I ran out of anger.

Is that not the most beautiful sentence you’ve ever seen? Doesn’t it ring your heart like a bell? This is my most cherished wish, that one day I might run out of anger too. And finally, finally someone pointed the way.

For years I played from anger, then one day I ran out.

No one has ever shown me a path out of my anger that I had a hope in hell of following. All this forgiveness bullshit might mean something to people who are fundamentally nicer (or less wounded) than I am, but down here in the dirt it just doesn’t get shit done. But using my anger as fuel until it’s gone? That is actually a thing I might be able to do. I have serious issues around bringing anger into my scenes (specifically that if I hit someone I care about in anger then I’m no better than my mother, and if I can’t do better than her it’s time to find a building to throw myself off of), but even if I can’t do that, I can use formless anger as fuel for workouts.

For the first time in my life I have hope that one day I might be free of my anger, and it’s because I went to Vancouver for a conference. For the rest of my life, I will be profoundly grateful that I was in the right place at the right time.

14 thoughts on “Worth it

  1. Saying “cheer up” doesn’t fix depression. Saying “you’ll get over it” doesn’t fix grief. Saying “let it go” doesn’t fix anger. Saying “calm down” doesn’t fix anxiety. People tell themselves it helps, I guess, but all these responses to emotions that make others uncomfortable really seem to be saying the same thing: “I don’t want to acknowledge that there are real problems in the world and/or neurochemistry causing this reaction so please stop having it.” It’s isolating. It doesn’t goddamn help; if anything it just discourages anyone in emotional pain from seeking support or solutions from others.

    • Exactly! While I can’t precisely be happy that anyone else knows what it’s like to have their feelings completely disregarded like that, oh god it’s comforting when people get it. It’s just so fucking tiring to have to explain over and over that I can’t “just let go.”

      • *nod* with anxiety I almost hate people for saying this nonsense. Should be obvious I’m not afraid all the time because I want to be; if I had a “calm down” mechanism I’d be all over it. This time of year, with grief, it’s even worse. “You’ll get over it” sounds an awful lot like “a person you loved will stop meaning anything to you.” I’d rather authentically miss him than forget, even if it hurts.

  2. I’ll be honest, i’m fairly new to this scene. I get that most people that are into it, are into it because of things that have happened to them. I’m not one of those people. I had a happy childhood, I’m uneasy meeting new people, and that draws me closer to people on here.
    What Stabbity says about people saying “let go”, “move on”, etc, you will always have that there, because its your most impressionable period of your life. You wont forget it, you may hide it, but you wont forget it.
    What you can do, and this is a very difficult thing as im finding out, is to surround yourself with like minded people. Not just people that have been in your situation, but people that you want to be like. You will find a middle ground. It wont be easy, but you’ll have friends to help you.

    • I get that most people that are into it, are into it because of things that have happened to them.

      I am trying very hard to be patient with you because I know you’re new to this, but that is not just wrong, but also thoroughly insulting to me and every other kinky person with a history of abuse.

      I don’t have time right now to explain in detail, but I can’t let that comment stand without telling my other readers that kind of stereotyping is wrong, insulting, and entirely counter productive.

      • I apologise completely. I was trying my best to be supportive, clearly i’m not very good at it. If you’ll allow me to remove my foot from my mouth and back away gracefully, i’ll do that. Insulting anyone was the last of my intentions.

        • For the good of anyone else innocently reading the comments here, I’m going to have to tear your original comment apart. I will not have anyone else with a history of abuse thinking that you might possibly have anything resembling a point.

          Apologies are all well and good, but a proper apology demonstrates understand of what you did wrong. Also, intent is not fucking magic.

          I get that most people that are into it, are into it because of things that have happened to them. I’m not one of those people. I had a happy childhood,

          So you simultaneously believe that most kinky people are perverts because they were damaged by childhood abuse and that you somehow magically developed an interest in kink without a history of abuse? Either kinkiness is caused by abuse or it isn’t, which is it?

          Either you’re a magical, unique snowflake, or I’m kinky for the same reason you are – I just am. As it happens, I am kinky in spite of my abuse, not because of it. If my interest in kink were caused by my abuse, it would make much more sense for me to be interested in giving up control. While some people do attribute their interest in kink to their abuse, that absolutely does not mean that all of us do. We are people, not a set of statistics.

          The idea that all kinky people were abused is a bullshit myth, and as a kinky person yourself I expect better from you. The reason that myth is harmful bullshit is that it implies there is something wrong with being kinky, which makes it harder for people who are still coming to terms with their interest in kink to accept themselves. By saying that you think most people who are interested in kink were abused as children, you are saying that there is something wrong with us. It should be obvious that is absolutely not okay.

          And this is what you think is supportive, assuming that I’m a puppet whose strings are pulled by the memory of my shitty childhood? Are you fucking kidding me?

          What you can do, and this is a very difficult thing as im finding out, is to surround yourself with like minded people. Not just people that have been in your situation, but people that you want to be like.

          Two things: first, if I wanted advice, I would have said “What do you think I should do, readers?” You yourself said earlier that you had a happy childhood, so what on earth makes you think your advice is in any way relevant? Also, this entire post was about how someone finally showed me a path out of my anger. If you had been paying attention, you would know that I already have the advice I needed.

          Second, it’s like you saw the point I was trying to make and ran in the opposite direction. To quote myself (and I sincerely hate repeating myself):

          The reason what I heard in this workshop meant so much to me was that the presenter was like me. He has struggled the way I have struggled, and was able to point to an actual concrete process I could follow to find my way out.

          Using formless anger as fuel is an actual concrete process I can follow and it directly affects my level of anger. What the fuck is surrounding myself with nice, happy people supposed to do about my completely justified rage? From here, that sounds like one more way to say “don’t think about how badly you were wronged and it will magically go away.”

          I just spent my entire last two posts talking about how angry it makes me when people give me terrible advice that disregards my feelings and here you are, giving me terrible advice that disregards my feelings.

          It wont be easy, but you’ll have friends to help you.

          My friends help by treating my feelings like they matter, and by paying attention when I have something to say. You should try it sometime.

          If you want to have any further correspondence with me (and I will by no means be surprised if you don’t), you will reply with a fucking amazing apology. Note that a proper apology does not contains the words “if” or “but”, and demonstrates understanding of what you’ve done wrong. An emailed apology will not be accepted – a private apology for a public harm is meaningless.

  3. On a humorous side, when I started reading this it reminded me of Sam Kennison yelling at the top of his lungs! Face & head turning red!! Him yelling, ” Say it!! Just say it!!!! Aaaaaah!!!! Aaaaah!!!!”. On a serious note if U can find a way to channel anger through intense workouts or whatever your thing is or could be, that’s the way to do it! I’ve been in jail and anger management classes because of my anger. That really pisses me off!!!! LOL! I had to learn to control my anger. One of my favorite movies is anger management with Adam Sandler!! LOL! If that doesn’t cure your anger for an evening nothing will! Keep your chin up and never let them see you sweat!

  4. For what it’s worth, I think it’s amazing that you’re able to use your anger as fuel. I think it helps fuel your writing too, and your writing seems to be a giant rolling mass of kickass…I mean it’s a great force for good or at least sense IMHO. I wish I could do the same, but I tend to turn hurt/anger into depression and escapism, which benefits no one. ( I dont mean to imply that my experiences compare in any way with yours, or anyone else’s– just I wish I was better at redirecting any negative emotions usefully. I am working on it though.)

    • I think it helps fuel your writing too, and your writing seems to be a giant rolling mass of kickass

      Thanks! My anger absolutely does fuel my writing, to the point that when I say to friends that I don’t know how I’d keep this blog going if I ever ran out of anger I’m only half kidding.

      I wish I could do the same, but I tend to turn hurt/anger into depression and escapism, which benefits no one

      Hey, however your feelings come out is the right way for you (you know, as long as you’re not committing assault or anything 🙂 ) If getting angry doesn’t come naturally to you, I don’t think there’s a need to force it. If putting on a sad movie and having a good cry works better for you, or disappearing into a book until the edge has worn off your hurt, that’s just as valid as writing angry blog posts. When I was younger, getting angry didn’t work for me at all. I escaped into fantasy novels for years before I was ready to get angry about what happened to me.

      I dont mean to imply that my experiences compare in any way with yours, or anyone else’s

      I don’t mean to imply that you’re saying that whatever you’ve been through doesn’t matter, but just because it’s always worth saying:

      Whatever you or anyone else reading this have been through, your pain counts. If you got hit but never had to go to the hospital, your pain counts. If you didn’t get hit but someone threatened to hit you or threw things so they would just miss you, your pain counts. If you “only” got yelled at, called awful names, or told you were worthless, your pain counts. If your parents/partner/family/friends forget about you when you’re not right in front of them, your pain counts. If you were/are afraid of your parents/partner/friends/teacher/coach/pastor/insert authority figure here, your pain counts. If you just have a sneaking suspicion that your sibling was your parents’ favourite child, your pain counts.

  5. I have never been hurt like you have been and I have never been wronged like you have been.
    So I’m hardly in a position to comment.
    I can only hope you’ll find a way to start burning off your anger and excess ballast as fuel soon.
    Very soon. So one day you’ll be flying on fumes … and landing on empty soon after.

    HUGS and wishing you well. Wishing you a happy landing.
    Marga

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