Category Archives: Uncategorized

Why I want to stay single

I don’t want to fall in love again in this lifetime.  It’s not because I’m bitter.  It’s because I don’t trust myself.

I have loved three men enough to live with them, one of which I married.  The first and last were abusive.  The second I chose deliberately because he was the exact opposite of the first one, and not even slightly intimidating.  So when left to my own emotional judgment, I wind up with abusers.  And the thing I hate myself for is that I was happy with them.  Not when the abuse was happening, that part sucked, but for years with both of them I just shrugged it off and went back to waiting on them hand and foot.  I wanted to make them happy, you see.  I adored my ex-wife, up until the end, despite her terrorizing me into sobbing my eyes out and begging for her to stop, at least twice a week, for over a decade.

(One day, a few months before I left, I asked her about it, because she accused me of being abusive for trying to defend myself against her.  ((Once she came out as trans she started accusing me of being abusive simply because I was no longer a woman and she had become one, and if I said anything even slightly critical it was “abuse”.))  She said, “I’m not being abusive, I just get angry and want to pick a fight.”  Um.  I played along like that was perfectly reasonable.  The talk didn’t stop her from doing it again the next day.)

I’m so angry at myself for being happy with them.  So angry that I willingly catered to their every whim because I wanted to please them.  So angry that what finally drove me away in both cases was them replacing me with other women, not me leaving because they were hurting me.  Angry that I brushed off what they were doing to me as nothing, or, even worse, my fault for not making them happy.

I don’t — can’t — trust myself to not repeat the experience.  I’d like to think I’ve learned better, but at this point, if I’m attracted to someone, I assume the worst about them.  (This goes for all genders; even the people who aren’t physically intimidating could still hurt me, because I seem to accept it as part of a relationship.)

There is something wrong with me.  I guess it’s a good thing I start seeing a new therapist today…

Switch is back!

I changed my online moniker from SwitchKnitter a while back, because my evil ex-father-in-law was cyber-stalking me and my then-wife.  But I’m in the process of getting unmarried, so fuck that guy.  I want my name back.  So hi!  I’ll post a real update shortly.  Right now I’m just settling in and rearranging things…

Experiencing the SJW label

When it comes to the label of “Social Justice Warrior,” most of my friends are like, “Fuck yeah, social justice is awesome.” The big exceptions are the friends whose SJW experience involves college-age kids and/or Tumblr. It seems to be a purely generational divide, at least in my limited experience.  People willing to accept the SJW label who are 30+ seem to be a much different crowd than the younger generation.  I personally would be amused if some fedora-wearing asshat called me one, and pleased that I’d caused that reaction.

I think the difference in the young adults and teenagers calling themselves SJWs is a combination of the oneupmanship that happens to a lot of kids, with the group polarization effect making people become extremists.  Almost every young person wants to be special in some way, competing with their peers to be the best at something: the biggest fan of their favorite band, the best football player, the best singer in school choir.  It even applies to the dark side of young adulthood: which anorexic is the best at avoiding food, which mentally ill person is the “craziest,” and so forth.  (I’ve seen these two examples in young adults I know personally, so I’m not just pulling them out of thin air.)

Group polarization is the tendency for a group of people to become more extreme in their views.  If you get a bunch of people together who mildly dislike bananas and ask them to meet regularly to discuss bananas, the group will (most likely) truly hate bananas after a few meetings.  The group feeds off its members, causing extremism.

So you get a bunch of young people who all want to be the greatest, purest SJW, and then stick them in a group — Tumblr, in this case — and what you get is people policing each other’s words in a totalitarian fashion.  Extremists.  Zealots, even.  That’s what my friends who see SJWs as a product of youth are seeing.  Those of us who stay away from that community don’t have those thought-police connotations to the label, so we’re cool with it.  I don’t think any of us have our identities wrapped up in the term like some young people do, but we’ll roll with it if it applies.

I’d be interested in feedback from people in both camps.  What’s your impression of SJWs, and why?

Update: a friend just said this:

My opinion on the SJW label is fairly negative, due to the Tumblr aspect of it. Those whom I would truly consider social justice warriors are far more about action than words and don’t see the need to affix a label to what they consider a perfectly reasonable way of behaving.

This.  Nobody I know personally goes “Hi, I’m –name– and I’m an SJW.” It’s not a primary identifier. More like, “hey, those douchebags are calling me an SJW! That means I did good!”

Fuck gender, fuck everything.

I am not a man.  I’m not a woman either.  Just some fucking freak in the middle.  I realized this tonight when the Valkyrie and I were having… not an argument, but… she said something about me being a man and it just felt so wrong, I’m not her husband, just her fucked-up spouse…

We seem to be doing this thing lately, when I get upset she gets scared and lashes out verbally, and when she lashes out verbally I get severely triggered and have flashbacks to being talked to the same way by my abusive ex, and then I freak out and yell at her and she gets more scared…  It’s fucking awful and I don’t know how to make it better, I don’t like getting upset at her, but I keep getting upset because she’s accidentally triggering me so often so I’m on edge all the time because of the constant flashbacks and I don’t know how to break this awful cycle.  Seriously, I’ve been thinking about my abusive ex so much that I thought hard last night about looking him up on Facebook and seeing how he’s doing because he’s been on my mind so much.  It’s sick.  It’s not the Valkyrie’s fault, I just keep getting drawn deeper and deeper into those memories because I upset her and then get triggered, and she hasn’t done anything wrong and god I just want to stop thinking about my ex and all the horrible things he did to me.

I’m going to email my therapist now.  We have to find a way out of this…

The vanishing Shriners

Random thought: Has anyone reading this ever met a Shriner who was under the age of forty?  Or a Mason, or a member of the Rotary Club, or of the Elks Lodge?  I haven’t, but maybe it’s the circles I travel in.  Have online forums and Meetup groups replaced the social clubs of our grandfathers?  And it was our grandfathers, come to think of it.  Men’s clubs, mostly.  Hm.

Kismet love

I saw a reference to a book by Hill Country Weavers called Kismet: weaving was bound to meet knit & crochet. Holy crap, y’all. I’m in love with these patterns. I want to make this:

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And I want to use this fringing technique on the shawl in progress.

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It’s going to look stunning, methinks. In addition to beautiful patterns, I learned a lot about putting edging on weaving and how to treat hems and such. I highly, highly recommend this!

Navel-gazing: labels

It seems like in the last year I’ve started to move away from labeling myself.  There are things I am, like “atheist”, but I don’t define myself by them anymore.  I’m just… me.  Which is weird, since I spent so long looking for a definition that fit me.  Maybe I’m finally becoming comfortable enough with myself that fitting into a group isn’t as important. I have friends and family who accept me.  I don’t seem to need any more than that at this stage of my life.

What brought this up was emailing with a new friend about there being a new geek/gaming pub in Orlando, called the Cloak & Blaster.  I told her I’m interesting in going because of their craft beer selection and lack of dudebros.  I don’t really game, and I don’t consider myself a geek anymore.  I’m not involved with any fandoms, I’m not into SF/fantasy, and I don’t work with computers anymore.  I still read some comic books but I don’t geek out over them like I used to.

I know people who talk proudly about how “weird” they are.  Maybe I’m jaded, but I don’t think of people as being weird.  Everybody’s different to one degree or another.  Normal doesn’t exist.  What’s normal for me might not be normal for someone else.  So I get really annoyed at people who feel the need to point out their supposed weirdness.  It’s probably just me and not them.  If it makes them feel better to remind people how different they are, I’m not going to stop them.  I’ll just continue to silently roll my eyes and move on.

I’m tired…

My next weaving project: planning

I was sick for a couple of days.  Still am, a little bit, but my fever’s gone.  Some kinda respiratory thing, my lungs still ache.  Tonight I started crafting for the first time since Friday morning, working on the shawl while listening to podcasts.  Before that I slept all day, and most of Sunday too.  (Did go for froyo with my BFF last night, though, which was nice.)

I’ve been thinking about another project I want to do, next month: a light cotton throw.  It will be striped, black and another color to be decided as purchasing time comes up.  Blue, maybe, or silver.  I’ve been talking to people about finishing methods, as I don’t know anything about sewing so had no idea how to finish a blanket when I don’t want fringe.  MIL told me about blanket binding, which is basically a wide ribbon, folded in half, that gets sewn around the outside of the whole piece.  She’s willing to do that for me, which is very kind of her.  I figure I’ll arrange the colors so the black binding will match up with the stripes so it looks planned instead of tacked on afterwards.  I’m going with black because I imagine it would be hard to perfectly match a shade of colored yarn.

Someone told me to put the binding on before washing the piece, but that makes no sense to me.  I need to ask her about it.  Because woven cloth changes size when it’s finished (washed or steamed or whatever).  It seems like the binding would pucker as the cloth shrinks.

Anyway, I’m going to make 6′ panels and then sew them together to make a 4.5′ wide throw.  I want something light I can snuggle under without getting too hot.  The yarn someone else recommended is a 3/2 pearl cotton, and a couple of other people agreed, so I’ll buy some next month and see if I like it enough to weave with it.  It’s cheaper to buy it in cones, and it’s also less wasteful because you don’t have random lengths of skein ends to cut off when doing the warp.

I’ve been raiding the Weaving Today free resources section for techniques.  I need more info.  And possibly more books…

Atheism, religion, and douchebags

I’m an atheist.  A sort of mellow one; I don’t care what other people believe as long as they don’t try to change me or make religion-based laws.  I have real issues with the modern atheist movement.  One, there’s a lot of straight white cis dudes who are prejudiced against women and other groups.  Two, I think many of them are building their arguments on an incorrect belief.

A lot of atheists seem to think that religion is the problem, and that if everyone got rid of religion the world would be a better place.  I think that’s too optimistic.  A fair number of people in this world suck.  And these people would be douchebags without religion, too.  They would find some other reason to be bigots and oppressors and murderers and whatever.  I think a lot of these assholes use religion as an excuse for their douchebaggery, instead of religion causing said behavior.  They would raise their children to be bigots and oppressors, just like some modern religious people raise their children to use religion against people.

Don’t get me wrong, a lot of bad things are done in the name of religion.  Religion is the most frequent rallying cry among bigots to get people on board with their bigotry.  But I don’t think all people would magically be better human beings if they stopped being religious.  Douchebags are douchebags, regardless of their beliefs.