Another AsMe Moment August 8, 2012 11:49 PM   Subscribe

Just wanted to respond to concerns here, rather than creating a derail in this thread. Replying here because if the anon OP has seen the comment I am responding to, it might be more helpful than taking it private to Memail with the commenter.

This commenter questioned if I was "wired much" about the OP and their history of childhood abuse.

Not so much. But I was super duper concerned the OP was about to over-share with a group of people not clinically or therapeutically capable of handling the bulk of their history.

The OP is in a pretty fragile time in their process. I recognize it.

When the OP expresses they are worried certain family might respond by cutting off relations between themselves and children in the family over a discloser of previous childhood abuse - that's simply not the best head-space to be making decisions about "confessing."

Rather, it is a GREAT time to be talking about these issue with folks better versed in the intricacies of the OP's past!

The OP's follow-up, their own therapists stance on the issue, and many others thought this wasn't a great time to be speaking up.

That said, it is REALLY difficult to remember and report on the myriad of nuances and pitfalls of a process I've undertaken a decade or more earlier. Hence the multiple follow-ups I posted there.

I don't feel the same way that the OP does now, but I do remember that stage.

Over-sharing with folks who can't relate, or who or might relate poorly, never helps one progress past the trauma and heal. It just delays the Good Things in life you have coming to you once the work needed is completed.

Ditto that one can't really know what they should or should not be doing or saying until they've completed the work of processing and healing.

Do I wish I had been guided on this issue constructively back in my 20's and 30's?

Yes.
posted by jbenben to Etiquette/Policy at 11:49 PM (18 comments total) 13 users marked this as a favorite

Just wanted to offer my support to the OP and especially jbenben on this. I relate and agree wholeheartedly.
posted by iamkimiam at 12:50 AM on August 9, 2012 [5 favorites]


I was a little surprised by the "Wired much" comment although I appreciated that at least it was in small type.

For those of us who get it, and who more or less are functioning adults now, it can be a very intense experience to see someone else at a stage we remember getting into and wanting so much to help them. But we also have to be careful we don't automatically assume the journey we have survived is replicated in their experience.

Another element is dealing with people who simply can't imagine this kind of disconnect, but crucially they think that they can, they also want to be helpful and supportive. A lot of Mefites are sincerely nice people which is why so many of us have hung around here for so long.
But it makes them very uncomfortable to come face-to-face with some of the realities of the damage and they express that discomfort in different ways. (I'm sure they, themselves, think they're "cool" with it and can deal but some responses suggest that might not be entirely accurate).

I get them too. They would be horrified if they knew how awful it makes us feel to have to "cool it" "Gosh, TMI." "wired much" comments but really when you've survived the fundamental breach of normal human interaction: that parents love and cherish their children and protect them from all harm to the best of their ability, then those other comments will stay in perspective.

I think it is useful to share with our community how we never get over the adults ganging up on us though, the first comment like that brings out the terrified child and we gird ourselves for battle, more comments are expected/anticipated and we know that a deluge can be quite scary depending on how you've learned to deal with it. But we also expect our community to "get" us, don't we although you have to admit that luckily our experiences are rare.

I remember an AskMe about a particular plumbing problem and it turned out that another member had the exact experience even down to the complications. So every second reply in that AskMe was from this helpful member. Others thanked them for it. No-one suggested that he "Pipe-down there, Member 20100" (see what I did there? :)) "you're not giving the rest of us a chance to be helpful"....

But then I guess plumbing is not as uncomfortable as child abuse.

Great answers jbenben and I think this Meta is a call for lots of hugs. ((((HUGS))))
posted by Wilder at 1:26 AM on August 9, 2012 [5 favorites]


Is it possible that no offense was meant by that small one-line aside? The way I read it, that person is just noticing your very particular writing style, which is usually longer posts with lots of caps and bold, frequently starting with a few words that say you haven't read any of the other comments, sections separated by a line of three dashes, lots of multiple exclamation points and question marks, and ends with a single word on the last line, like "RUN!". It's a pretty distinctive and consistent style, and "wired" might be one way to describe it. It's not necessarily a bad thing, but it is distinctive.
posted by Houstonian at 1:27 AM on August 9, 2012 [26 favorites]


It might also be referring to the fact that since you entered the thread, about half the posts have been by you, as you noted?

Which doesn't make any of it bad advice, or make a thread about divulging a history of abuse a good place for funny asides, but is another possible reading that doesn't involve taking issue with the advice given. human ecologist doesn't seem to be disagreeing with you, even, but rather suggesting group therapy as an alternative approach to being able to share some of these experiences in a more controlled environment...
posted by running order squabble fest at 2:12 AM on August 9, 2012 [4 favorites]


I'd like to draw another comparison, (I don't know jbenben from Adam) in the Travel AskMe's say someone posts, "I want to visit a favela in Rio but I'm having real moral qualms about it"
They may get every second answer from a poster who was in exactly this position and posts an answer, then remembers something else, then responds to advice from another member that didn't turn out too good for them, etc., etc.,

Maybe I'm being naive to expect to see the same type of responses. There are very few people who would be willing to share their survival hacks with someone else as jbenben did, in fact I wasn't brave enough in that Askme because many of us feel that our situation is so individual it couldn't possibly work for another, or because we don't want to get into TMI, or because we avoid triggers, whatever.

If anyone had an issue with jbenben's style in general as Hustonian indicates they might, would the obvious thing be to send a Memail, rather than commenting like that after the OP fed-back that he found it useful?
posted by Wilder at 3:34 AM on August 9, 2012 [3 favorites]


Over-sharing with folks who can't relate, or who or might relate poorly, never helps one progress past the trauma and heal. It just delays the Good Things in life you have coming to you once the work needed is completed.

QFT.
posted by smoke at 4:02 AM on August 9, 2012 [3 favorites]


It might also be referring to the fact that since you entered the thread, about half the posts have been by you, as you noted?

This is uncharitable. In a thread of 28 responses, 4 have been substantive comments by Jbenben, and one was correcting a typo. Sure, since she entered the thread, there's been a few responses but she's hardly dominating it as a whole.

It's a sensitive topic, and it deserves sensitivity to the OP, and to those with the fortitude to post their own experience - which can be very difficult. I think it's entirely possible that no offense was meant, but by the same token I feel that Jbenben's response here is not an attempt to call out that commenter, but merely to explicate her thought processes and the reasons behind posting without a derail.

I don't feel this is a big deal either way, but I definitely don't feel this should be an opportunity for deconstructing the whys and wherefores of another poster's style or comments. Leave that to the mods.
posted by smoke at 4:14 AM on August 9, 2012 [3 favorites]


Leave that to the mods.

It's a posting style that stands out both for its stylistic variance as well as the frequent multiple-comments-in-a-row thing which can be off-putting to other members. Not a big deal, we have many members who have their own style, but making multiple comments in a row in an AskMe thread is often notable. Some people perceive all-caps and bolded text as shouting. Small text asides aren't that great and I wish people would just resist making them, but when they're a teeny part of a much longer comment we'll usually leave them alone. I agree with Houstonian's interpretation. My read was more like "Who's had too much coffee, amirite?"

I appreciate that jbenben was willing to share what she's been through and share advice. Sometimes when someone has a wealth of information on a topic it can seem urgent or important to give as much information as possible to keep someone from going down a road that you had much more of a challenge with. This needs to balance with not creating a wall-of-text situation that becomes chilling for other posters.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 6:35 AM on August 9, 2012 [14 favorites]


Caps and bolding read as shouting to me, and caps with bolding reads as screaming. It really turns me off to see those kind of histrionics in an AskMe answer.
posted by Squeak Attack at 7:25 AM on August 9, 2012


"wired much"

Man, I just took it to mean that it came across like you'd just had a couple of cups of coffee and were posting quite exuberantly. That's all.
posted by gaspode at 7:26 AM on August 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


Man, I just took it to mean that it came across like you'd just had a couple of cups of coffee and were posting quite exuberantly. That's all.

For what it's worth, that was my read as well. And see Jessamyn above about the way aesthetics probably comes into this—bold and caps are great for effect but when they're used more than very sparingly it can come off not so much like "here's a bit of emphasis" as "my comment is the important one", all good intentions aside.

It can be a bit tricky; toning down the visual impact of a comment or comments to more like the thread/site baseline isn't some sort of requirement, it's not a good vs. bad thing, but it sure can smooth things out a bit. Likewise grouping thoughts into a single comment, even if that means writing one and then letting it chill for a while in the comment box before hitting post so you can append further thoughts to the same comment if you find you have more to say after regrouping.
posted by cortex (staff) at 8:42 AM on August 9, 2012 [5 favorites]


This is uncharitable. In a thread of 28 responses, 4 have been substantive comments by Jbenben, and one was correcting a typo. Sure, since she entered the thread, there's been a few responses but she's hardly dominating it as a whole.

It wasn't my intention to be uncharitable, as I hope is clear.

As I said and as you quoted, and thus I assume read, I was referring specifically to the ten or so posts beginning with jbenben's first post to the thread and ending at the "wired much?" post. I was suggesting a possible interpretation of the phrase "wired much?" which was not malicious or seeking to undermine jbenben's points, which may nonetheless have been a light-hearted (possibly inappropriately so) way of saying what jessamyn and cortex have said here.
posted by running order squabble fest at 10:58 AM on August 9, 2012


To clarify, my "wired much" comment to jbenben was intended to be light-hearted. I debated sending a private messaging because I do realize that small text comments are not popular with the mods, but thought that the smiley would make it clear it was a tip of the hat to her (and my sincere apologies if I am getting your gender wrong). I love hearing other people's stories and consider it a treat when other people share, precisely because...

over-sharing with folks who can't relate, or who or might relate poorly, never helps one progress past the trauma and heal.

But over-sharing with folks who can relate is phenomenal in helping people heal from past traumas. I didn't think jbenben overshared. I enjoy jbenben's comments and I admire the clear passion in clarifying for the OP what obstacles on the road of recovery will probably look like. I didn't intend to undermine any comments, and my apologies if it came off as critical or condescending.
posted by human ecologist at 12:19 PM on August 9, 2012 [11 favorites]


Wow. There was a smiley there? Oops! I totally missed it. WTF is wrong with me??

Gebezuss - I am SO sorry human ecologist! It was late. Apparently I was wired! The smiley I missed makes your aside way cool.

And it would have been more so if you HAD Memailed. That's why I MetaTalked - I did not want to derail the thread.

The OP in that question deserves much more than a silly conflict like we have here, which is in fact a non-conflict.

Thanks MetaTalk.

Best to the OP.

See? This is how misunderstandings and mis-spoken moments are worked out in a healthy community - with proper communication and a minimum of drama.

Well done, everyone.
posted by jbenben at 12:51 AM on August 10, 2012 [4 favorites]


geeze, jbenben, get some sleep already.

*ducks*
posted by Catch at 4:44 AM on August 10, 2012


Apparently I was wired!

I knew it!!!

jbenben, you can out me on MetaTalk anytime ;D
posted by human ecologist at 9:41 AM on August 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


I love you guys. (I too didn't spot the smiley, will get Metaglasses)
posted by Wilder at 10:28 AM on August 10, 2012


I don't like emoticons, so bold text and italics are the only way I know how to wiggle my eyebrows in here. I like that strikeout thing, but I forget how to do it.

Oh, and sometimes the goddam cat walks across my keyboard and I post stuff before I check to see if all the Y's got put on the theys. I thnik most eyeballs run across that sort of stuff without noticing anyhow, but I can see how a misplaced modifier could cause a few hackles to rise.

aside:One of the guys on my oldfart email chain has bad eyesight, so he types in caps all the time. He doesn't want to hear about all that font resizing stuff. Sometimes you gotta make allowances. He also keeps forwarding outrageous political crap, and I keep replying with Snopes links. I don't think he ever clicks on them. Ah well. I used to be annoyed by this, but I realized that his addy box included a whole bunch of his more batshitty crones, and I started hitting the "reply to all" button. You just would not believe some of the offers I got back. Well, they were offers about what I could do both with myself and my subversive anti-American ideas, is what they were.
posted by mule98J at 12:32 PM on August 10, 2012


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