Tuesday, August 20, 2013

What I would do if...

If I was triggering someone's potentially fatal and nearly uncertainly uncomfortable medical issue, I would stop whatever I was doing. I would not stop to argue about it. I would not tell them that their medical issue is not a big deal-even if I thought I knew something about it. Dunning-Kruger is a thing. I might ask later how that worked, depending on the person.

But I would stop what I was doing, apologize, and move on with my life.

If a friend of mine failed step one, and was feeling anything but proper remorse in the fallout, and for some reason the victim of their asshattery was someone I had to deal with, I would. I would do that first. My friends have more than one friend. My friend should have stopped the damn trigger. If I am responsible for a group of people, my priority in the triage is not my friend who feels sorry for themselves because their fuckup had consequences. My priority is the person who was fucked up at.

And then I certainly would not spend hours trying to make the victim feel sorry for my friends because Reasons. I would not invalidate their experience in this way. If I did, and someone called me on it, I would stop what I was doing, apologize, and try to get back on track. In that situation my first priority is to make the person who was actually hurt feel better. Not to say "well my friend feels bad too". Not sorry, just bad. That's not right.

If I did that? The correct response would be to apologize, stop doing it, and move on.

And then! If the person whose emergency it was, for whatever reason, was still not doing awesomely the next day, but had responsibilities, there are a number of things I would do:

-I would check on them early, especially if they were nowhere to be seen.
-I would check on them often, especially if they were nowhere to be seen.
-I would do everything in my power to not pressure them to do whatever it was. Even if I really wanted them to. Because it wasn't my emergencies. I have plenty, I don't need to appropriate theirs.
-I would not separate them from people acting as support people. Even if I could not stand those people. People don't always like my support folks either. Tough shit for them, & tough shit for me.

Basically, it would be about the actual injured party being the first priority. Their safety. Their feeling like they were part of the community rather than a means to whatever they were scheduled to do. They need to be ok.

There are certain assumptions I'd make. If someone is melting down up until the point they're supposed to do whatever? It's probably not going to happen. No matter how much I want it to. No matter how many folks want it to. That person is probably not ok if they are still at that space in spite of precautions. That is how it is. I'm a grownup & need to learn to deal.

If for whatever reason the person did the thing, and later said they felt manipulated because Reasons, I would not argue with them. I would not say that I shit golden crusted good intentions and therefore did nothing of the sort. I would not make myself a martyr to their being mean or their not feeling ok or them feeling icky or what have you. I may not have meant to fuck up, but that is a situation where I fucked up. We all fuck up.

The response is not to throw a big fit. That is not helping the person whose emergency escalated into a crisis. It's kind of a douche move, to keep centering myself in their narrative. It's majorly a douche move to make myself the victim of their being hurt. And I am not a douche.

I'd apologize. I'd listen, if they wanted to tell me what I did that made them feel so icky about the whole thing. I'd try to not engage in whatever it was that I did again. Even if it was really really hard. I would stop, apologize, go forth and do better. Even salvage a relationship with the person, if that is what they wanted.

There are lots of places to turn a big situation around. But it takes work from the person doing the wronging, even if they didn't mean to do wrong. Intent is not what matters. What matters is what you do. And the further down the line these things get, the harder it is to believe in golden intentions or even giving any shits at all about the original harmed party. If I fuck up, I am not the harmed party, no matter how defensive I am. That's appropriating someone else's pain and it is bullshit.


Lia said...

I'm glad you're finally getting this out there. How you've been treated is a steaming pile of monkey dung. And everything xe's done has only made it worse for Reasons you've outlined.

I hope this is a first step to healing. Your story needed to be told.

Janesprints said...

I am so sorry about what happened and definitely understand what you are saying. Wishing for speedy healing and collection of spoons.

Elizabeth J. (Ibby) Grace said...

Like my Grandmother always said, "common human decency" is pretty dang rare. I'm glad you're my friend, as you're one of the rare ones who's got it!

Elizabeth J. (Ibby) Grace said...

Like my Grandmother always said, "common human decency" is pretty dang rare. I'm glad you're my friend, as you're one of the rare ones who's got it!

Katherine said...

You are either always being wronged by someone, or telling everyone how they should conduct themselves. Is it hard being a messiah?

Ettina said...


I have asthma. It's generally very mild, but gasoline fumes can send me to the emergency ward.

One of my Mom's acquaintances, she was thinking of asking her to give me driving lessons, but decided not to because this woman said I was spoiled for insisting on getting out of the car well away from the pumps when we're about to gas up, and getting picked up again well away from the pumps afterwards. And she asked what would happen if my parents just refused to let me out.

My parents know what would happen, because it's what happened before we figured out that I'd suddenly stopped being able to handle gas fumes. I start feeling out of breath, struggling to catch my breath and not being able to, and end up dizzy and unable to walk because I just can't breathe.