I’m not really what most people would consider to be a sensitive person. Being a Chef all these years, you learn to develop a pretty thick skin.
I’m the kind of person who let’s most comments go, unless they are legitimately hurtful the first time around. Most of the time they don’t get to me at first and I say nothing. Which is my downfall because the minute I become fed up about something or someone (usually several someone’s’) saying the same thing over and over again I get fed up and fast.It’s usually only then that I say something and someone somewhere will always take offense to it somehow even if it has nothing to do with them. This is a whole other situation unto itself. I am a person too, I also have feelings and just because someone doesn’t agree with my way of thinking doesn’t give them the right to trash talk me either.
So where do you draw the line? Do you speak up the first time when it’s not a big deal and appear to be someone who complains/the person who cries wolf and come across as a victim? Or do you wait and see and eventually become so fed up that you can’t take it anymore? Are you one of those people who comments on everything and people call you a ‘know it all’ behind your back?
I’ve noticed that there is an increase of both on some of the online forums I frequent in the past 36 hours.
There are a lot of things that get said, lots of phrases and idioms’ that target certain demographics, races, religions, genders, diseases, mental health issues and more. Most things we say without thinking about consequences to another person or party. I am not a fan of censorship. I just had a long conversation with my fiance about this, whereupon I basically said that I can’t be responsible for someone else getting hurt/upset or offended if I am making vague and blanket statements. If they want to somehow attribute it to them or make it about them without proof that it is in fact directly at them specifically, there really is nothing I can do.
I almost never make blanket statements about people in general. There very well may have been one person that was ‘the tipping point’ whereupon I become so enraged that I need to say something (in a general sense) and while I know that I am being petty and most likely and asshole, I generally also don’t think that people would assume that it was about them. This is happening more and more… It’s really starting to get on my nerves.
For example, I was having a one on one conversation about someone and it was pretty heavy and personal. We got around to the sensitive subject of the way this person looks. They had said that there was nothing that could be done to change it, whereupon I had said well surgery was an option, are you not interested in doing that anymore? I had only mentioned it because at one point, it was ‘on the table’ as an option but it was something that I never mentioned because I figured that it should happen, I would be privy to it. I didn’t say it to imply that I thought that this person actually needed the surgery (I still don’t feel that they do). It was not perceived that way and a whole lot of ugliness ensued in a very public way.
All because someone thought (rather incorrectly) that I thought that something was wrong with them and they needed to fix it. I felt like shit for that because I know all too well what it’s like to be treated differently because you don’t fit in or look like the majority. That particular incident really hit me to the core and broke my heart. The mere thought of thinking that I was capable of being a bully and making someone feel that way made me feel really, really small.
However when I say things like: “Spread it likes its herpes’/herpes is the glitter of the craft world, I’m a grammar Nazi, this makes me OCD flare up, or when I say something along the lines of I try really hard to respect and/or accommodate other people’s religion, traditions, opinions, (I really do!) however sometimes I can not accommodate them. My failure to do so does NOT mean I am being disrespectful intentionally and if you/anyone feels that way (about me), you can kiss my ass.”
Those aren’t directed at anyone. They’re just things that I say. I’m not a hateful person.
The whole herpes thing came up today in a group that I belong to. It’s used as a punch line quite a bit. Then someone pointed out that they themselves have herpes (the STD version), which was contacted as a result of assault. So at first they let the comments roll off, however today it was enough and something was finally said. It forced me to look at things I say a little differently.
Same thing when someone mentioned that they were dyslexic and were hurt by the amount of people that said that they wouldn’t date someone who had terrible grammar or can’t spell. It made them feel embarrassed and ashamed because they couldn’t read properly as an adult and that was their secret shame.
That never, ever crossed my mind since dyslexia isn’t something that often get’s talked about. They made me think though and I promptly felt like an asshole because I totally take it for granted that I can read fluidly and used to devour books.
As for OCD- I have OCD and humor for me is something that I use as a coping mechanism. OCD can be so very crippling and unless you truly know what it feels like to have it, then no, you don’t have the right to joke around about it.
Religion is something that I rarely, if ever discuss with anyone. I have gotten ‘condemned’ because I am tattooed, I shoot woman in ‘provocative’ ways (I shoot boudoir) and several other things. I have gotten my share of nasty messages about this. Hence forth my status message that one time. I had had enough that day. Its one thing for someone I know to say something like that (which, for the record does NOT make it OK), it’s just that much more insulting/irritating/annoying to have strangers comment on it because they know nothing about me.
Traditions/superstitions fascinate me. I’m partially Irish and they are notoriously known for being superstitious. My father was a very, very superstitious man, to the point that it was almost embarrassing (sorry dad!). My fiance and I were talking about that the other day because he’s Italian and they have their share as well. I referred to them as traditions and he said it wasn’t so much that, but superstitions. This makes a lot of sense to the Irish person in me.
Traditions I can take them or leave them personally, as in I am mostly indifferent. Sometimes I find them to be charming (they usually are) and sometimes I feel that they’re a little dated and not necessarily applicable to the here and now or they don’t apply to me or my life or the vision I have set forth. Which I feel does not make me a bad person. I am who I am and I have my own set of beliefs so it’s a little unrealistic to expect anyone to accommodate every single one of them because someone might get upset. After all, you can’t please everyone all of them time. However saying that I’m disrespectful for feeling this way is really not OK. It’s not a deliberate intention and if someone get’s hurt about it, then yeah I might feel bad about it because I don’t set out to hurt people but that doesn’t make me a bad person either.
The same thing applies with depression/mental illness. I have depression and an anxiety disorder. Some days it’s crippling. Do you have any idea what it’s like to have to make a phone call but the mere thought of doing so paralyzes you with a completely unprecedented fear? To wake up in the morning and feel so hollow and empty that you would rather be dead than get out of bed and try and face the day? Yet the term depression get’s tossed around a lot. Usually it’s not a matter of said person being depressed, they’re usually just sad. Anxiety is usually just nervousness of feeling anxious for the moment. Anxiety disorders are nothing like that.
So while I will not censor myself or the things that I say, I will think twice about being a little more sensitive to the people who usually bear the brunt of social stigmas.
A very wise person once said:”We can’t know things until we know them. We have so much to learn from on another. Why not take those things and help them shape us into even better versions of ourselves?” -Good point