Afterthoughts

Afterthoughts

A Story by barleygirl
"

about writing "When Bunnies Go Bad" . . .

"

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


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 6 Months Ago


2 of 2 people found this review constructive.

Annette Pisano-Higley

6 Months 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

6 Months Ago

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

6 Months Ago

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



Reviews

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 6 Months Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

barleygirl

6 Months Ago

This (reviews like yours) is the reason I write. I can't thank you enuf for the encouragement to fol.. read more
"When Bunnies go Bad" is, in my opinion, a huge risk you decided to take. I leave pieces and parts of myself in all of my poetry in one way or another ... but i am never as bold as the stroke you took in sharing this very significant part of your life ... that being said ... i love the wisdom you drew from a "clueless" reviewer ... i don't think i would have been so generous in my response to that Margie ... good on ya! we do all need to show respect .. even in the face of deep darkness and evil (not saying your reviewer is any of that; but certainly his response completely off the mark and self serving)
i love your captcha!! unbarbed indeed!! how does captcha know?? :) two years ago a man was in my "hood" claiming to own a swath of land that ran through 4 properties and emptied at his Ponderosa along the creek and was here to clear it (an old pioneer road that is overgrown) ... i called him out on it and turns out his claim is for easements through mine and my neighbors properties, which none of us had any record of at all ... well...he went back home to Minn. with the proclamation he would be returning the following year with a bulldozer to finish the job... he did not do that and i have had the last 2 yrs to talk with my neighbors and do more research and this year he e-mailed me to say that he was coming and if anyone tried to interfere he would go to court and we would have to pay for his lawyers as well as my own ... in other words he started shooting before anyone was in the street .. i think i was blessed to react in this way .... i told him i had no intention of going to court and had neither the stomach nor the money to engage in such a battle ... i am the kind of person that needs a whole lot of prodding to fight ... but when i do i can be fierce ... this is an important issue for me and my neighbors and so reacting in a vulnerable way probably not my natural inclination ... i re-emphasized his need to talk with all involved, show proof; and have it surveyed and clearly marked ... that it is a sad thing he wants to fight everyone instead ... during this back and forth he said he was going to be here in the next day or two to work on "his" road ... his response after my passivism was "I will reconsider my position" ..that was 3 weeks ago now ... i was amazed at how turning the cheek really works sometimes and instead of the expected slap to hit the other cheek ... we get a pliable response ... polarisation of ideas and emotional involvement can be so destructive ..it is a pity politics and people are prone to such things...i blame a lot of it on the anonymity of the internet ... unfortunately it is carried into real life at home, work, the streets ... everywhere .. and the corruption of "facts" by twisting and turning them is the worst ... i think this is a great dissertation Barley Girl ...i think you are showing the way ... i am more trusting of this site than other social media sites ie FB ... because the nature of good poetry demands honesty .. but this still is a public and unsecured Cafe' ... love and hugs on ya Margie ... this post is a beacon ...
E.

Posted 6 Months Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

barleygirl

6 Months Ago

Thank you so much for your long interesting share. I believe that sharing these stories helps set do.. read more
Einstein Noodle

6 Months Ago

i did get a bit windy didn't i!? ;} i also am on FB but do not share much personal anything .. my ch.. read more
Evening or morning Margie whatever the case may be over there im glad that you got that shitload offa your chest, however big or small it is it is nobodies bloody business if you are big small or sexy or skinny or anything, this is a goddam writing site and im so sorry that this guy upset you.
I hate propositioning on the net, i loathe it, we are just here to write, not to date.
yes we can make friends sure but with a guy like that who needs enemies.
I agree with annette below how dare he upset your day, i do hope you are fine now that you have written it down and let it out to the universe and us!!!! peace to you margie and love xx
hope your cabin is getting warmer, how is the weather now?
take care xx ps. I praise you for all your writings and also for all your reviews. you are the one person that does not need s**t put on them here

Posted 6 Months Ago


2 of 2 people found this review constructive.

Julie McCarthy (juliespenhere)

6 Months Ago

I’m not sure who the guy is but I had a run in a year or less ago one lovely calm Sunday morning h.. read more
This comment has been deleted by this stories author.
barleygirl

6 Months Ago

This story is about a failed experiment. While I truly believe in trying to be less abrupt when I bl.. read more
Some pains are to deep to ware. They must be handled like fragmented image. They can't be expressed in our normal writing process and the raw wound with its jagged memories take on a unique voice.
Victims draw courage from your expression. Because you do not exploit the event but you illuminate it.

Posted 6 Months Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

barleygirl

6 Months Ago

There is so much exploiting filling the airwaves, it really makes me smile to have you say that I am.. read more
Well put, Margie. First and foremost, you're in writerscafe to have your writing judged. Not to be judged yourself. I like the starkness of your writes. You tell it as it is. How people take that is up to them.
But boundaries are boundaries and should never be crossed. We all make comments that at that particular time weren't maybe in good taste. But a quick message should sort this out. I know myself sometimes I go over the top, and a gentle slap should be administered. But writers should maybe think a little. Would they go up to people in the street and ask them about their sexual preferences. I think not. So why the hell do think they can do it on here.

Posted 6 Months Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

barleygirl

6 Months Ago

We are part of a mutual admiration society becuz I also love the way you cut to the chase with your .. read more
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 6 Months Ago


2 of 2 people found this review constructive.

Annette Pisano-Higley

6 Months 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

6 Months Ago

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

6 Months Ago

You are very welcome Margie. Anytime- stink-bugs- yes! Hi to Lola and Paloma. Xo
This clearly needed to be writ... bloomin well done you BG..... mission accomplished NUGs a plenty and a wink thrown in just for good measure.... Neville x

Posted 6 Months Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Neville

6 Months Ago

Hope your corner is mahoosive, coz there's a whole lot of folk our here who wanna stand firmly behin.. read more
barleygirl

6 Months Ago

"mahoosive" made me hoot out loud & then the sleeping dogs had to go check the door . . . see how yo.. read more
Neville

6 Months Ago

I'm chuckling here too, at the very thought.. :)
Funny isn't it, Bgirl, how over the last several years thanks to media, people are able to decide how anyone should feel at any given time. The old "they must be guilty, they're not reacting like I would in that situation." Some of us older people were fed the ideas that 'men don't cry'...'stiff upper lip old chap'...and when we don't show emotion they are angry about that.
I have had readers tell me I should put more emotion in my writing...let them know how I feel about what I am writing...I am reticent, true, and due to my upbringing find it difficult to expose my 'self'...my innermost emotional well-being to others to question. I am an observer...what I see is very much what I feel...if that doesn't come across to a reader's liking...well excuse the expression...f**k'em if they can't take a joke.

Keep at it Bgirl...deep down inside I'm with you.

Posted 6 Months Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

barleygirl

6 Months Ago

I love your share about being understated, as your writing can sometimes be, but you are totally exp.. read more
It is hard to understand the unwanted liberties taken, usually by men.
Your relationship with your father is criminal, obviously, you have my sincere sympathy.
Nothing more than a predatory animal!
You appear to have climbed your mountain and survived, not something all would be able to do.
Now this warped response from 'a friend'??
I doubt that I would have handled it as intellectually (?) as you but the fact that you can do so, shows a huge degree of inner strength
Best Wishes and stay strong

Posted 6 Months Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

barleygirl

6 Months Ago

Thank you for your heartfelt review. I have climbed a huge mountain & I hope telling my stories can .. read more
I was just about to exit and go into my morning physical therapy routine when this popped up so I stepped in to take a peek( If you can tell Im very excited about stepping into anything these days, sorry :) Once again YOU make so very great points here! I am uncertain why some think you are "broken" because you can write about the abuse you've endured or the emotional trauma you have overcome. You were a victim, but you lived through it, you became a survivor....your wounds have healed, your emotions are healing( or you wouldn't be able to speak or think of it)why oh why would that ever make you broken? Broken things to me are in pieces...they are too often thrown into a pile or put in a drawer. YOU HAVE TAKEN THE TIME! YOU HAVE GLUED, STITCHED, HAMMERed, AND NAILED YOUR WAY BACK! You write objectively to give, to share, to educate others. Why do people expect you to snivel, cry, and drowned within your own sorrow? I am a dark writer. I write both fiction and nonfiction. My poetry often expels a longing, a need, an exorcism of darkness of sorts. It pushes away my fear and makes way for light within. Does this mean I'm also broken? I think not! Your writing does the same thing! When I read the realism in your writing, when I hear your clear unwavering voice in reading it, I am often empowered! I think to myself....If Margie can overcome all of that and still be alive, be present, and functioning....what am I just sitting here for? I feel challenged to be even more gracious, understanding, emotional, and loving. I am not a loving all the people person. I don't care for most individuals. This world and what I see and hear from it, literally terrifies me. I wasn't abused as child, I am educated, I have traveled the world, have interacted with all walks of life and it's enhabiters. I feel strong most days, well rounded. YOU MARGIE, you make me feel stronger! I have never seen you as "broken" wrecked, self loathing, or lacking. I am glad you bring these things to the table here. MY biggest dislike here are the "spammers". I also try to give everyone the benefit of the doubt, some are misguided, prejudged, uneducated, quirky, misread, but I too try no longer to "block them" until there is no more guidance I can give. I deplore when you are trying to have an honest open discussion and it dips into something else. You bring it back to light and they sway right back down. I often seek the guidance of one of my male friends on the matters before making those "block you" decisions just to make sure my "you are a creeper" edges aren't too far up. There are so many things to say about these things...and I think I am babbling now.lol Just know I think you are wonderful and strong. BIG HUGS!

Posted 6 Months Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

barleygirl

6 Months Ago

I am such a fierce loner, many may see me as being kind of a borderline people hater . . . I also ha.. read more
The Walking Queen

6 Months Ago

I think even though you and I have lived very different lives, we have very similar views. I am glad.. read more
barleygirl

6 Months Ago

Now that I've been wallowing in seriousness for too long, as far as what I've been writing . . . it'.. 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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