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Kicking ass, taking names [Jun. 27th, 2004|02:34 pm]
[Current Mood |irateirate]

Let me preface this by saying that it isn't about anyone in particular. I have no single person in mind. It's just a confluence of fury, brought on by Tommy's death, and my sister's passivity (so infuriating that I haven't even been able to write about it yet), and a quiet morning reading my friends list. If, however, you see yourself in it, then maybe you should take it to heart.

There are a lot of people out there on LJ who are the biggest fuckin' whiners I have ever seen. Their lives are being made miserable by Other People, or by Circumstances Beyond Their Control. They could be happy if only Other People or Circumstances would get out of their way. But in the meantime they can do nothing besides feel sorry for themselves and wail about how bad the world is treating them.

Well, guess what, bucko. Life is hard, and then you die. Get used to it, and get off your ass.

Yeah, you had a hard childhood. Yeah, you were picked on in school. Yeah, you were traumatized by a lover or friend.

Get over it.

While you are sitting there cuddlng your misery, life is passing you by. Proclaiming that you have to get through therapy, or work through the pain, or learn to trust again does not get you a free pass on the merry-go-round. Your days keep ticking past, and pretty soon you'll be 50 and bitter over how your whole life was wasted because of that person in your past. But you know what? That person didn't waste your life, you did. Because it was easier to nurse pain than to brave the world.

Then you'll be dead, and there will be nothing to show for it. Unless you had children, who will now have to spend their lives trying to get over you - or will simply follow your spiral path to nothingness.

Before you whimper about your bad hand, consider Ferrett's Uncle Tommy. Born a hemophiliac, HIV positive for the last 20 years, Tommy worked for a living as an accountant, cared tenderly for his mother, was a good and kind brother to his sister, and helped a little boy grow into a man. Until the last couple years when the pain finally left him incapable of functioning, he held down that job and did all of this, and had friends and loved ones who will be going on Monday to say goodbye to a man who was a goddamn hero.

And you can't hold down a job because your boyfriend left you? Grow the fuck up.

Most of all, stop treating your misery like it's something special and unique and no one knows what you're going through. The world is full of pain, and betrayal, and the "thousand natural cuts to which the flesh is heir." I hurt, Ferrett hurts, everyone around you hurts. Stop acting like the sun rises and sets upon your pain.

If your wife/husband/boyfriend/girlfriend/mother/father/roommate is making you miserable, do something about it. Stand up for yourself. Leave. Move out of mommy's basement if you don't like the rules. If you are in a deadend job, get your ass back in school, or look for a better job. DO something. There is a woman on my friends list who is living with a disease that could kill her at any time, but she isn't holed up in her misery waiting to die. She is living her dream, and I admire her for that. Her life, even if it is cut short, means something.

Oh, and another thing. You aren't always the victim. Sometimes you are the asshole. We all are. Every last one of us contributes to the situation we are in. In fact, the more certain you are that you are always the victim, the more likely it is that you are the self-centered, petulant, solopcistic buttwipe who is making everyone around you miserable, and it is only when they try to reason with you or escape from your clutches that you even notice them, really. And that is because they are "making you miserable" and are therefore the mean ones.

The world is not your funny monkey. Stop being so goddamn selfish. If you can't look at a situation and point out ways that you have contributed to it, then you are probably in need of a rectocraniectomy.

I read some of these journals and I just want to shake people. What does holding onto your bitterness and resentment actually accomplish, besides relieving you of responsibility for your life? Do you think they make you a better person, a better friend, a better lifemate? Do you think they make you happy?

Happiness is not coming to find you, and life is more than willing to let you just sit there on your butt and go on without you. Even the people who care the most can only carry you so far before you exhaust them. (Which is great for you, because then you can point to them as yet one more reason why you can't get on with life - your friends betrayed you!) Your life is yours and yours alone to make of what you will. If your mother beat you and abandoned you, if your father sexually abused you, if your first husband sold you as a sex slave, if if if, they are all terrible things, and you deserve sympathy and you have to work through them. But do it in the context of actually living your life.

Because it isn't going to wait for you.

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From: erisreg
2004-06-27 07:24 pm (UTC)

Sometimes you are the asshole

i'm always the asshole,..

but you make a sound and well voiced point,..Bravo!,..:)
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[User Picture]From: voldsom
2004-06-27 07:27 pm (UTC)
Thank you. Some of this applies to us, a lot of it hopefully doesn't.

We have been whining - in our own head if nowhere else - that we can't buy all of the CDs that we might want to. We're taking this as a timely reminder that in this case not doing what we arbitrarily want *is* the victory, and we should be proud of not buying the CDs. Tis a step forward.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2004-06-27 07:29 pm (UTC)
Everyone whines now and then - one of the the points of journals is that we get to whine. It's the whining that is accompanied by complete inaction or actions that clearly are designed to make oneself or the people around one miserable that make me wanna smack somebody.
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[User Picture]From: conscience
2004-06-27 07:32 pm (UTC)
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[User Picture]From: moocowrich
2004-06-27 07:33 pm (UTC)

Recently I've been devoting a lot of time to making my own personal world a better place. It took me way too long to understand that the only person who could make things better was me.

Good writing, good point. Two thumbs up.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2004-06-27 08:50 pm (UTC)
The victim mentality was first brought home to me in college when a friend - who came from an intact family, and had travelled all over the world, was bemoaning how miserable her life was because her father was strict and her mother was needy and she was fucked up by her fucked up parents (who I knew, and who were actually pretty nice people). When I pointed out that this didn't mean she had to keep pursuing relationships with assholes she glared at me and snarled, "You wouldn't understand what it's like to have a hard childhood."

I grabbed her by the shoulders, looked her straight in the eye and growled, "Look at me and say that again."

To her credit, she went sheepish and said, "Okay, yeah, I guess you would." But it was still years before she finally got it.
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From: nasagrl
2004-06-27 07:38 pm (UTC)
You are so very eloquent. And so very correct.
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[User Picture]From: kibbles
2004-06-27 07:42 pm (UTC)
Wow, aren't you a compassionate person?

Yes there are whiney journals but you've really gone full blast over situations that may truly be out of people's control.

It's a cycle I see you and your husband do constantly, and I may get bashed for this -- but I see a lot of 'get over yourself' 'get over it' no compassion, no sympathy, no pity.

Yes, it's great that you two have near perfect lives -- but I think there is a responsibility for those of us with good lives to offer hands up, as well.

I've seen you do it before, with your sister. You kicked her in the ass, yes, but you also helped, on your own terms.

This is the lesson I learned from my recently deceased relatives, and friends in need/with serious illnesses, if we're going to play it that way.

And life is too short for some other things, too, like for me to get worked up over something like this. But I had to put my POV out there.

Maybe I'm just another selfish one, too. Ah well.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2004-06-27 07:49 pm (UTC)
I am compassionate, and I do help people, and I have sympathy for those who are struggling with tough situations. I'm not talking about those people, I am talking about the ones who whine and moan but will do nothing constructive to change their situation, and claim that they are victims.

Maybe it's because I was the beaten, abandoned, abused child - and wouldn't allow my life to be defined by that - that I eventually lose patience with people whose litany of misery never changes because they never do anything to help themselves.

This was not meant to be a universal condemnation of people who are struggling with a tough time, only an expression of my frustration for the ones who will cling to victimhood at all costs.
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[User Picture]From: kathrynrose
2004-06-27 07:42 pm (UTC)
Wow. I had to go back and re-read my last few entries. I know I can be a whiny, self-centered bitch, but I was just checking to make sure I haven't been lately. Whew!

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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2004-06-27 08:32 pm (UTC)
Naw, not you. Don't worry! ;-)
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[User Picture]From: tigerbeard
2004-06-27 07:43 pm (UTC)
Nicely put.

I've recently made it a point not to write about my immigration status in my journal where anyone can see it anymore. I'd got tired of my own voice on the subject and I'm sure everyone else had as well.

We all need to vent though and sometimes I have to whine a little just to get it out of my system and move on but you are right, the 'professional victim' never gets anywhere.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2004-06-27 07:50 pm (UTC)
Oh, hell, I have my whiney, bitchy, cranky days. Everyone does. But yeah, "professional victim" is a good way to put it.
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[User Picture]From: dweezil
2004-06-27 07:47 pm (UTC)

This it the official Dweezil "gee, I wish I'd said that" post of the day!

you don't win anything.

Actually, this is just between you and me...
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2004-06-27 08:52 pm (UTC)
I will treasure my non-prize forever.

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[User Picture]From: scarletdemon
2004-06-27 07:51 pm (UTC)
Heh. You beat me to it, sort of. I have a suggestion for the people who read my Journal that MIGHT help them to cheer up a bit. But it isn't written yet ;).
You're very sexy when you get like this BTW. Hehehe.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2004-06-27 07:52 pm (UTC)
Teehee! You and Ferrett think the same way. He called just after I posted it and I read him a paragraph. He said, "Wow, what a turnon!"
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[User Picture]From: jocosa
2004-06-27 07:52 pm (UTC)


Very well put! Thank you for putting into words the thoughts that run through my head on a weekly basis as I read through my friends list.

It also brought to mind one of my fave songs, which addresses this perfectly! *grin*


(Cause its fairly long and don't want to spam you :) )
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2004-06-27 08:31 pm (UTC)

Re: *claps*

Great song. Always love it.

Here are the lyrics *I* always think of in such situations:

© 1990 Christine Lavin

He thinks of himself as a victim of love
He's not - He's a volunteer
He has consistently fallen for all the wrong women
Year after year after year
And now he blames every woman who has ever kissed him
Told him that she loved him and later dismissed him
And now he thinks he's a walking victim
He's not - He's a volunteer

She thinks of herself as a victim of circumstance
When she's a volunteer
She has placed her life in the hands of every man
Fool enough to come near
And now she blames anyone who she thinks has used her
Emotionally, or mentally abused her
She's not a victim running from a persecutor
No - She's a volunteer

And he thinks of himself as a victim of fate
When he just volunteers
He has invested his money in well bred astrologers
Healers, Psychic Seers
And now he blames every tilted constellation
Or every negative vibration
He's not a victim of UFO infestation
He's a volunteer

Oh pick the numbers
Shake the sticks
Read the tea leaves
Light the wicks
Point the finger
Pass the buck
Blame it all on lady luck

Do you think of yourself as a victim?
Or do you volunteer?
Do you let somebody else call all of your shots?
Do you cower in the corner in fear?

Or do you follow because it is easy to do?
Do you fool with modern high tech voodoo?
Too bad if you're a victim or whatever you do?
Don't volunteer

Or do you follow because it is easy to do?
Do you fool with modern high tech voodoo?
Too bad if you're a victim but whatever you do
Don't volunteer
Why would ya volunteer?
Please don't volunteer!
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2004-06-27 08:54 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I think that's why it got to me.
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[User Picture]From: kalieris
2004-06-27 08:35 pm (UTC)
This is very true. I've struggled over time to not be a whiny entitlement brat, mainly because there is a point at which one thinks "ok, these bad things happened - get over thyself." It's an absolutely viable thought that, if there are recurrent irritating and/or not-good things going on in your life, then perhaps there's something you can do to make them stop happening, versus allowing yourself to get paralyzed by their occurrence.

Thanks for writing this. It's good to be reminded of.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2004-06-27 08:56 pm (UTC)
Everyone has moments. But there is a difference between, say, my whining about how hard it is to get through finals and someone whining that they should have gone to college but didn't and now they are stuck at Burger King and it's too late and there is nothing they can do about it. One is about working through something, the other is just whining.
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[User Picture]From: ladymeshel
2004-06-27 08:58 pm (UTC)
*clap clap* Well said! May I link to this in my journal for others to read?
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2004-06-27 09:04 pm (UTC)
Certainly! Always!
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[User Picture]From: crystalrowan
2004-06-27 09:27 pm (UTC)
Amen to that!

My mom had one of the worst childhoods/upbringings (if you can call it that) of anyone I've ever known and she's also one of the strongest and most positive women I've ever known. She's had problems but she always pushes through them. She stands up for herself and she makes her voice known. And she never uses her past as an excuse. That's one of the things I'm most proud of her for (among many others).

So I second that. Wonderfully put!!
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[User Picture]From: his_angel
2004-06-27 09:34 pm (UTC)
It may not have been for anyone in particular but it did strike a chord with me. i know these things. And i know i am one to dwell on the past. Putting things in my journal though is partly how i try to work through them, get past them, or try to understand.

Compared to Tommy i have indeed been fortunate in life. Some days it's hard to see past the mirror. A lot of that does end up in my journal here. i do try to write about the good things as well. Memories, events, feelings. But my journal only represents a part of me. Still i do "take it to heart." i'm glad you wrote it so i could read it.

His ~angel~
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[User Picture]From: albumlady
2004-06-27 09:40 pm (UTC)
Giving you a standing ovation right now, wish you could see! Thank you so very much for putting it out there like that!
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[User Picture]From: dk_leathers
2004-06-27 09:41 pm (UTC)
Just to say bravo for another superb piece of writing/ranting - sheer brilliance... and (to echo one or two) a right turnon. ~grin~
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2004-06-28 12:22 am (UTC)
Woohoo! My brain is sexy! [g]
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From: aislynn99
2004-06-27 10:22 pm (UTC)
I know you don't know me, and aren't on my friends list or have me on yours. In all the comments posted in reply to this incredibly well written expression of thought, I only recognize one lj-er. But your words still hit home, rather hard. I now officially feel about 2" tall, and deservedly so. I have finally finished the worst of the mourning process regarding my relationship loss (approx. 6 months ago) and I guarantee if I go back in my LJ, the majority of my posts in the last 6 months were the same thoughts and phrases over and over and over again about said relationship. I'm not happy about the way I handled that situation, not at all, and I know I just should have taken the time, driven to his apartment and had it out with him. This is something I have yet to do, and I know I'm wandering off the subject, so let me get to the point. Your words made me realize something. I can't say exactly what, because even I am not sure yet. But you definitely made me realize something.

So thank you for that.

~ Random Stranger
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[User Picture]From: conscience
2004-06-27 11:36 pm (UTC)
hey you :)
one thing about you though...you THINK as you write. You aren't just out there bitching, you are realizing schtuff...Ive seen it...
And yup...this post makes one very conscious of what we have, compared to others...and how to deal with things that piss us off, rather than sullenly accept and then vent 24/7....

Yeah...a "Company" referrence there...*hold hand up*
Guilty as charged :)
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[User Picture]From: violacat
2004-06-27 11:21 pm (UTC)
You've put into words exactly what's been bugging me about one of my friendships in particular, one that I'm not about to let go, but have lately found increasingly frustrating.

I've spent a whole lot of time whining about being trapped and helpless too, although I didn't have an LJ through the worst of it. When someone's in that mindset, they don't WANT anyone to tell them how to help yourself; they just want sympathy and cookies. For me, it went along with clinical depression...I didn't have the emotional energy to get out of the situation I was in, and I didn't see the point.

Fortunately, I'm Much Better Now, and my friend has started taking some proactive measures to better her life as well. But yes, that's a long way of saying I completely agree.
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From: ex_leopardp
2004-06-27 11:49 pm (UTC)
You know, Gini...you have a point. A wonderful point. A sometimes painfully truthful point...and I thank you for it.
I was reading that and noticing that lately, I've fallen into that whiny victim role. It's easy to do...but having read this, I realize that I've got to be proactive. Things won't change til I start the process myself.


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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2004-06-28 12:25 am (UTC)
Hugs to you, too, darlin'.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2004-06-28 12:07 am (UTC)
I don't know if I've ever said it in writing, but I regard you as one of my heroes. With everything that you've been through, you are still a positive person and you keep fighting. You are incredibly brave, and I salute you.

This was beautifully written. Thank you for sharing it in my journal.
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[User Picture]From: mermaidnchains
2004-06-28 12:06 am (UTC)

That actually makes me angry

I really have to speak up to you on this one and Im sorry to do so in your journal at such a bad time, but its in reply to your opinion here. Some people post in their journals (me for example) as a way to GET to that healthy point where they can walk forward without, as you say, whining. Their journal is therapy, its a process, its a working-through-the-shit way to get to the moving on.

So my point is? Yes, you and Ferret are in a world of pain because of Tommy. I cant begin to even fathom the depth of his pain. But just because mine, or anyone elses pain isnt the SAME as yours, does not mean that we dont have the right to post it, speak it, or work through it in the way that suits us best.

Frankly, as much as I hate to say it - if you dont want to read it Gini, then you have the right to a) skip it b) skim it c)unfriend the person or any combination of the three and Im certain there are other choices IM not thinking of.

In other words - their journal is theirs. Their pain is their own. What they post is THEIRS. If you dont want it on your reading list, then you have things you can do to fix that.

As for the rest of your belief system you posted here? Compassionate arnt we? Some people just dont have the skills you do, or cant see the paths you can to get where you are. Maybe, if you spoke up with advice or help, instead of bitching about how whiny they are, they might learn from you directly. And if you have, and they are not there yet, then try a little patience. They are not YOU and learn in different ways. Takes time for some people to get to where you are.

I like you, but frankly? You judging others actions AND their own feelings in their OWN journal really pisses me off. Id not even comment if it wasnt for the fact that you dont seem to realize how self centered your own opinion is.

Allow others to be them selves. Let them grow as they can. Some of them suck at it. Some of them need more help. Thats a horrible fact of life. But making fun, juding them, or measuring their pain by your own is selfish and frankly, mean. If it bothers you that bad, why are you reading?
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2004-06-28 12:14 am (UTC)

Re: That actually makes me angry

Reread, dearheart. I'm not talking about people who use their journals as a venting place as they are working through things; I'm talking about the people who never get anywhere and never take any responsibility for where they are. Everyone has rough times, and everyone has shit they have to get through, and community is about sharing and growing and trying - and sometimes failing and having people support you. I'm not saying that people shouldn't do that, I'm talking about the ones for whom whining is an end in and of itself, who think the world owes them something, who want everything around them to bend to their whims. You are talking about a very different thing, and not the people at who I am expressing this frustration.
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From: cktraveler
2004-06-28 12:22 am (UTC)
Inaction is not always the result of refusal to get on with one's life. Certainly, life never closes a door without opening a window ... but those who suffer from depression, one of the most common mental illnesses in the world, may actually be unable to perceive it.

When you're depressed -- clinically depressed -- everywhere you turn you find nothing but blank walls. There may be doors, but you never seem to find them; even if you do, they lead only to more dead ends and blind alleys.

It is perhaps cruel that depression is so common, indeed epidemic, because of all mental illnesses it is the hardest to empathize with. It is easy to accept that the schizophrenic is ill when he talks of aliens reading his mind, or that the disassociative is ill when she has sixteen other personalities. But the depressive looks normal, and acts normal, and it's easy to want to slap them, or lecture them that other people have worse problems, or blame them for everything wrong in their lives.

Unfortunately, all of those actions do nothing more than reinforce the condition. Telling a depressed person "Snap out of it, it's up to you to fix your own life" is roughly equivalent to telling a suicidal person that only a worthless loser would want to kill himself.
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[User Picture]From: sacramentalist
2004-06-28 12:49 am (UTC)
I was thinking it was like telling a homeless person to get a job.

Yet, I know where she's coming from. However, I don't know if kicking a few butts will help anyone. It's not like people haven't had those thoughts. It's not like people don't know they are foolish. Something holds them back, and I think it's different for each person.
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[User Picture]From: zaliness
2004-06-28 01:21 am (UTC)
sounds like some people i know. grrrrrrr.
pimped, if you dont mind.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2004-06-28 01:51 am (UTC)
Don't mind in the least.
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