Afterthoughts

Afterthoughts

A Story by barleygirl
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about writing "When Bunnies Go Bad" . . .

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Recently I wrote and posted a revealing piece: When Bunnies Go Bad. It’s about profoundly obese people hiding and hating themselves because of lifelong self-esteem damage after being abused. Too often this is sexual abuse, being disrespected, fondled, taunted or raped as a kid.

First and foremost, I must thank everyone at the Café for how amazingly open and respectful and caring the responses always are, whenever I write about my childhood abuse. Being among your nurturing friendships, I’ve grown quite a bit here, when it comes to expressing myself on this topic. Since we’re all writers, it might be interesting for me to share this writing experience.

I am a reluctant advocate. You won’t see me leading a rally and I don’t post these pieces on Facebook. My childhood abuse feels as palpable as when it happened, over fifty years ago. Yet I hardly ever think about it anymore and I like it that way. I never want to bring up this ugly topic. I want to write about the fun parts of life. There’s so much ugliness in the world lately, I want to give people a reason to laugh or smile.

But every so often, something sparks me and I have to go there. At such times, I feel I have this valuable lifelong experience of going through a healing journey, so maybe someone could benefit. I’m not writing this stuff because I need to purge my own angst. Outwardly I don’t feel much about my childhood abuse anymore. I could be an advocate because I get outside myself when writing on this topic. My healing journey is a gift from God and I feel obligated to use it wisely.

When I write about my childhood abuse, readers comment on how it seems like I’m so unemotional even though this feels like a highly-charged topic to everyone else. I write this way unconsciously without planning it. I’ve always believed that when a writer has a naturally-strong storyline, there’s no need for drama or embellishment. Plus, I honestly DO feel unemotional as I write. I’ve had a long and productive life of healing from my drastic beginnings.

After writing such a piece, I look forward to posting it. I’ve expressed myself the best I can and I’m not afraid to share this part of my life openly within a small group of caring friends here at the Café. I never feel hesitation about posting such a piece. But after the reviews start rolling in, that’s when the anxiety hits me. I feel like a basket case for a few days or a week. The enormity of my story hits me like a ton of bricks and I feel like I’m having a mini-nervous-breakdown. I forget how impactful my childhood was until I see the somewhat horrified responses from others. I’ve learned to manage my way through such episodes, so it’s not a problem. Just sharing my experience as a writer, to other writers.

Sometimes I get strange responses, often from men who apparently do not get what it might feel like to be in my shoes. In most cases, these guys are being sincere and not malicious. They just seem clueless. My habit is to not pay much attention to weird responses and focus on the positive. Or sometimes a guy’s response feels obnoxious, so I block him without explanation or upset.

Lately our polarized social and political discourse is heartbreaking to me, even as I watch myself contributing to it by blocking people who feel offensive to me. I got an unsettling response to my last posting and I tried not to react in a divisive way. The man’s intentions appeared to be sincere, but he was offensive to me. I throttled my natural response (protect myself -- get away from this guy) and reached out to try to teach this man something about our situation (hopefully). I’ve always believed that we teach people how to treat us.

Imagine how you would feel in my place. I just poured my heart into writing a piece about being fat because I was raped by my father repeatedly and regularly throughout my childhood. In response to this, a guy tenderly propositions me (via private message) by describing in graphic detail how much he is sexually attracted to fat women. This used to be a “block” for sure. But I’m trying to learn a new response, so I explained a few things to this guy. I tried to be respectful, recognizing his vulnerability in revealing his deep desires.

I’m presenting my struggle with this because it applies to everything about our broken social and political discourse these days. Too often we jump to the “offended” position and engage in an adversarial back-and-forth. In short, we get into a fight instead of a heartfelt meaningful discussion. We all need to do better at understanding and respecting each other’s humanity, even in the midst of strong personally-felt disagreements.

I feel compelled to explain a few things to the larger audience, too. Many fat people are so lonely and insecure, you could say they are hungry for love and attention. Fat people may endure an unfair helping of embedded disrespect, hidden in a seemingly “nice” proposition. Fat people long for attention and often don’t even recognize the disrespect because they are rarely treated with respect . . . usually with scorn. Any attention feels like good attention.

But deep down in the heart of any self-respecting fat person, I will wager that most do not want to be with someone who claims to be a great lover of fatties. This is not what respect looks like. It’s demeaning for a guy to say how much he wants to fondle your folds of fat and stick his dick between your ponderous breasts. It feels like this person ONLY has a vision of what he’s craving, but he’s not a bit interested in seeing ME. This guy’s advance left me feeling like I was being shoved into a cage containing this man’s long-held fantasy.

A more appealing approach . . . how about spending some time getting to know me and finding out what my body type might be, through gradual familiarization. Maybe I’m fat now, maybe not. Maybe I have big tits, maybe not. If you don’t even know me, then it’s clear that any stated physical attraction has nothing at all to do with me. And that’s pretty dehumanizing.

From my extensive experience, I must say that guys who proposition women online make this mistake all the time. They start describing a distinct physicality regarding their needs and wants, which shows me they aren’t interested in finding out about me. Don’t go into detail about how great it would be to butt-f**k me without even asking if butt-f*****g appeals to me in the slightest. This feels predatory. My only purpose seems to be playing a fantasy part that the other person has already defined. Such a guy wants my words to jack him off according to HIS scheme, which is totally unrelated to me. When I protest, I’m the dysfunctional b***h. Of course I am. I was fucked nightly for years by my father. It’s too easy to put this all on me.

This guy who approached me via private message decided that a quick seduction was clearly out of the question with this cantankerous b***h. Then he proceeds to diagnose me . . . clearly my confidence is broken and I need him to help me with that. He continues his “sell job” . . . what a gentle good friend he could be, since I’m clearly damaged. This is what I hear: You are weak, I am strong, so you need me to help you. This is how exploiters talk. This is what bad intentions look like.

I’m pretty sure this guy was NOT an exploiter and thus I wanted to try to teach him something about how his clunky approach felt to me. Everyone has fragility. Everyone has vulnerabilities. When I share my vulnerabilities, it does not feel good when a guy swoops down to try to rescue me from myself or my life. Even on the worst day of my life, I don’t need a friend like that. A better approach is to share one’s own vulnerabilities, as a show of solidarity. This is what getting to know one another looks like.

Thank you for being interested in my “behind-the-scenes” look at writing some of the things I write. I hope there’s something here to teach about relating to others with more humanity. It’s so much easier to be offended and block a guy to end the irritation. But these are uncommon times in our world and we all need to find better ways to relate with each other.






© 2019 barleygirl



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Author's Note

barleygirl
Captcha: UNBARBED

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Featured Review

I am floored by this Margie. Who? How? Why?- it doesn't matter. You don’t deserve this. Nobody does, but least of all you. You tried to be a good human being and take the high road and I know how much it took out of you to react that way. I know how much you don’t need this in your life now. You NEVER deserved this or any of it. I am so,so sorry this happened to you and if you tell me who it was, I will gladly block him because I’m not nearly as good as you. Nothing surprises me anymore, here or anywhere else. I am in your corner and hugging you hard, always. I send you healing light. Always. Xo

Posted 1 Month Ago


2 of 2 people found this review constructive.

Annette Pisano-Higley

1 Month Ago

I have just blocked and sent m s early this message:
“I don’t know you and I’m glad I d.. read more
barleygirl

1 Month Ago

Thank you for your solidarity. He definitely needs some added pressure to prod him to evolve. Funny .. read more
Annette Pisano-Higley

1 Month Ago

You are very welcome Margie. Anytime- stink-bugs- yes! Hi to Lola and Paloma. Xo



Reviews

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Gee
There are a few arseholes on this site but many, many more in "real" life. You have many more friends than enemies, if that the right word.
Keep your writing coming Margie :)


Posted 1 Month Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

barleygirl

1 Month Ago

I've been noticing some young female writers tending to lump all creeps together. Also, guys feeling.. read more
The story was inspired by a fellow writer's poem, that brought the concerns for child abuse, life long consequences of abuse and struggles of victims into light ....from such a serious matters... how in the world one drift to his personal fetish is hard to grasp ? While I was reading your story started to feel the same anger, frustration, even fear I felt so many time when received stupid, irrelevant messages like that. Not to burden your life with anger, frustration and negativity, if you try to educate or reasoning with these types... it only encourages them to keep insisting for your attention Margie. Relic often advises his friends to be careful what they post on this site ( especially pictures) warns about the pit falls, some people take whatever tickles their fancy from even a serious writing and twist it to their taste. Even after deleting these sort of unpleasant messages, it takes a long while to get rid of that distaste from system. I hope you have recovered from this unpleasant experience. Um beijo para você Querida.

Posted 1 Month Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

barleygirl

1 Month Ago

Some actions are so astounding, I didn't even need to say "what an outrage!" I just put a mirror up .. read more
I have just read both, 'When Bunnies go bad,' and this incredibly moving and honest piece of writing.

You are very brave; and clearly a strong person. I'm forty two now, single, (by choice at present,) and aside from the usual idiot who thinks single at my age means desperate, from time to time I get propositioned by married men, who seem to imagine I'm a no strings meal on a plate.

The best writing is the most honest; and this and 'Bunnies go bad,' are two of the most honest pieces of writing I have ever read; and made all the more so by the almost matter of fact style.

Beccy. X...

Posted 1 Month Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

barleygirl

1 Month Ago

Your comment about this being the most honest . . . to me that is worth more than a million by far! .. read more
Hello, Barleygirl! :)
I was going to read your new writing, but there you mentioned another, so I came here; and you mentioned another writing here too, but this seemed a good spot to start the series. Haha
I like what you did with the weirdo who messaged you. I don't see how he could hurt you beyond words here, and you turned the encounter into something productive. I've never been propositioned via the Internet. The closest was some flirting from a lesbian here on the cafe, who couldn't tell from an old photo that I was male, and is one of my few Facebook friends now.
but for me, this man who messaged you is the type I'd block without responding, unless I felt like having fun screwing with him. I don't see how he could expect anything but rejection.

Posted 1 Month Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

barleygirl

1 Month Ago

I love that you shared your story of being mistaken for a lesbian & I'm glad you became friends. For.. read more
I want to meet this b*****d in the schoolyard at recess---and plant a fat punch on his stupid, demeaning mouth.
j.

Posted 1 Month Ago


2 of 2 people found this review constructive.

barleygirl

1 Month Ago

Since I'm bipolar, in my extremes, I really do understand why people kill people. But I also believe.. read more
I'm sorry about you and your dad. I hear those stories and I shake my head in disbelief. There's a different mentality attached to that. I'm sure your dad was abused himself. That's always part of the story somehow.

I've talked to countless women here in the past who've also been raped. I can remember a time when I couldn't find a female who wasn't. I assumed that's why they joined the site, to release some feelings in a way maybe we didn't recognize.

As for men who get sexual, I'm sure you realize it's very easy to do that on a site like this. Use a fake name and some pic off the internet and you can say whatever you want to. Multiple accounts should be banned.

I'll bet some of these guys get their jollies from knowing their one nasty message got through before being blocked. I don't get it, but then again, I don't get a lot of what people do to each other in this crazy world.

It's interesting that you took a different view. Most would have just blocked him. I'll bet every attractive woman on WC has had nasty messages. I guess it goes along with the territory.

Good story, Margie.

Posted 1 Month Ago


2 of 2 people found this review constructive.

barleygirl

1 Month Ago

Actually, my dad was NOT abused (many times what you say is true). But there is a story behind his b.. read more
Again you blow me away with your insight! The bunny warrior part of me wants to stop being a herbivore and find this guy and drink his blood... but you are so right. I try to see thru the eyes of others vision but sometimes in doing so the ugly comes so clear and it fills me with disdain to the pit of my stomach I know I always learn from the process but sometimes i wish i hadn't. I am so sorry to have re awoken some of your pain in my awakenings... but I am grateful that i did too. again you choose to hug the world with your words and you are the greatest of examples of a true heart of a poet dear Margie:)

Posted 1 Month Ago


Bad bunny

1 Month Ago

crap now i'm late for work:( I had to respond when i saw this
Very true, we can not (and must not) have every person we meet in our circles. All of us have been through pain and suffering, but some of us (really us? they seem like outsiders) instead of understanding them use them as vulnerabilities, or make it seem that they are doing so.
Sometimes it does a world of good to take offence and cut short the matter.
At eighteen, I can understand things slightly better. I'll simply say what many have said previously: our bodies do not define us. Life has so much more to it. So it does good to delete those who narrow it down to structure- some can't understand what we mean by "conscience", "soul", "imagination", "intellect", "wit", "benevolence", "craze", "passion", and so on. I stick around with people who contribute to life constructively, and that's the best way to go about for me.
Coming to your write-up, I appreciate the plain honesty with which you relate your experiences. It is the best way to do so.
Warm regards,
Vatsal.

Posted 1 Month Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

barleygirl

1 Month Ago

Do you mean that you are 18 years old? I'm stunned. I always thought you were older becuz of your wa.. read more
Vatsal Rohilla

1 Month Ago

Yes, I am eighteen. Wisdom, yeah, a bit of it, owing to the books and people in my life. Nevertheles.. read more
I am a man and I cannot fathom such behaviour. Diginity and kindness are so precious and deserve to be reciprocated. Bearing even a part of one's soul is important to the creative and they should be then treated with dignity. Hell, everyone should be treated with diginty no matter where, when or who. Animal or human flora or fauna.
This is not. This perhaps being human in a sub way. In that people do seem to think sometimes that such behaviour is somehow acceptable to another. Regardless of sex, or creed, or colour, or age, or weight, or gender, or everything else that is part of being a true, in this case, man. I dispair of my sex. But then perhaps one day I will have a small part of your courage and speak oi what a female did to me.
Whatever if I said you had my support Margie I hope you would take it and see me not as a male but as a friend. I agree with everything Annette says by the way as well and I hope he is well and truly reported.

Posted 1 Month Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

barleygirl

1 Month Ago

I hate to say it, but this happens to me all the time. I don't mean to paint men only as the culprit.. read more
Ken Simm.

1 Month Ago

“Sometimes, I feel discriminated against, but it does not make me angry. It merely astonishes me. .. read more
barleygirl

1 Month Ago

I love Zora (((HUGS))) . . . Thanks for the great shares!
I strongly agree with what you said about some men being totally clueless. In fact, that's the most chilling part of all: most of these men don't even know it's wrong.

I admire your courage to speak up about your experiences to enlighten more people, and your effort to educate first instead of immediately lashing back. It's something that not a lot of people are brave enough to do. It doesn't only show how courageous you are, but also how good your heart is. You're a rare gem, Margie. Honestly, the world needs more people like you.

Stay strong and keep fighting. Lots of love and hugs from Manila

Posted 1 Month Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

barleygirl

1 Month Ago

This (reviews like yours) is the reason I write. I can't thank you enuf for the encouragement to fol.. read more

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Added on March 27, 2019
Last Updated on March 27, 2019

Author

barleygirl
barleygirl

Central Coast, CA



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