I'm fairly aware of my faults. Sometimes only too painfully aware of them - and this is why I take negative criticism so harshly. Not because I have some internal image of myself as perfect which is shattered by criticism - but because I am constantly haunted (not necessarily in the "lie awake in the dark and weep for my sins" way, but close enough) by the knowledge of my own failures, my own flaws. I am often riddled with thoughtworms, whereby films of my own worst personal Waterloos play on endless repeat. If I take criticism poorly, it is not because I don't believe it - but because I overwhelmingly, unfailingly do.
Hence the blogging, the constant evaluation and reevaluation, the reframing, the attempts at owning my own experiences and reactions, trying to evaluate whether the constant stream of shit from both inside my head and the confirmations from the outside world are The Truth or distortion. Because the overwhelming bulk of my experiences, getting dumped by friends, sacked from jobs, kicked off communities, etc. points to a preponderance of evidence that actually, yes, I *am* as shit as the negative internal monologue says I am.
And no, this blog isn't any exception.
The things that truly rankle - declarations of "OMG, you have such a hair trigger!" and the old classic "but you *are* so angry" and "you do lose your temper, are you surprised people portray you as a ranter, (even when you're being reasonable)?"
Compare and contrast that with assessments I do accept ("I'm starting to understand why you get upset so often" and "I'm not surprised that [Kate] comes across as slightly embattled sometimes the amount of yapping tools she gets on her back.") and a clearer picture emerges.
"Hair trigger" - really? I admit I'm not a patient person, and I do not suffer fools gladly. I do actually think I've improved on this score - but given the sheer volume of shit that gets lobbed at me when I stick my head over the parapet, I don't feel like I ever get any credit for it from people who have never put their head over a parapet in their life (or indeed, never *had* to). It's like...
First time: Ignore it, let it slide
Second time: Get slightly annoyed
Third time: Would you mind not doing that?
Fourth time: Shout for the moderator
Fifth time: LOSE MY TEMPER
^^^^does this kind of pattern really mean that I have a "hair trigger"?
Weirdly enough, it's the little shit that builds up the most. The big stuff, the out in the open stuff is usually obvious enough to actually dismiss, but it's the little constant, under the radar things, the stuff you'd miss if you were skimming a thread. Then again, it's confirmation bias. If you're alert to something, you tend to find it. People notice their own names, their own viewpoints far more obviously and quickly, especially when confronted with a large, quickly moving source of information. Unfortunately, this also means it's easier to spot negative comments directed at you, or your kind, and much easier to ignore or miss negativity aimed at other people or groups you are not a part of. (And this works both ways.)
If you lose your temper, you lose. And this has *always* reflected more negatively on women than on men. If you're a man who occasionally loses your temper, that makes you a bad-ass, a maverick, a straight-talker, a sharp-shooter, a hip young gunslinger. If you're a woman who occasionally loses your temper, that's it. You are unreliable, hysterical, a "bitch", irrational, emotional, and it means that people never ever have to take you, or your opinions seriously again. Anything you say, no matter how reasonably or friendly, will be dismissed as "ranting."
Yes, yes, that's me relapsing on the old "oh noes, it's because I'm a woman" "excuse" but again, it's the kind of subtle difference in the way the genders are treated that women (who are the focus of this kind of thing) notice and men gloss over, or write off as excuse making. Good old double bind again, isn't it?
I'm aware also, that the unceasing negativity about myself, as fed by all these experiences, is a big part of the reason that people dislike me. Double bind.
Criticism which is revealed by its very mechanism to be paradoxical. It was the classic ILX moment, really, at the exact moment a concern troll was trying to tell me "OMG, I really HATE that you are always going on about how much people dislike you, you are SUCH a drama queen!" and in the time it takes to compose a reply, BAM! "you have been suggest banned" - which means that actually, I'm not such a paranoid, that 51 people in a row have clicked a button saying "we dislike you enough to want you removed from this site."
Even paranoids have enemies. Angry people sometimes have a justified reason to be angry. I don't know what this blog is even trying to accomplish. A defense? Throwing my hands up and going "you're right, I am shit!" ? It doesn't change anything.