“I admit we knew we’d get in trouble. That part’s true. We knew people would be worried, and we still ran away, anyway. But something also happened, which we didn’t do on purpose. When we first met each other, something happened to us” - Moonrise Kingdom (2012)
If you look hard enough, there is a post floating around here where I admit I don’t think I’m a person. Now, I -know- I’m a person, but … it’s complicated.
and when talking about self-care, I found a lot of you carry that same idea.
I find it more in those who either suffered extended trauma, or multiple traumas- than those of single events.
‘If I was a person- then this many bad things wouldn’t have happened to me’
'The people who did this to me are generally good people. For all of them to have treated me like this- I must be sub human’
'No one protected me, even when they knew- I must not be worth protecting’
and when you spell them out like that- it can seem odd to those who do not have experience dehumanizing themselves. But for a lot of us, it is how we operate on a daily basis. On the basic assumption that we are not people.
And on one hand, it allows us to operate. If someone slights us, it doesn’t matter because slighting us was inevitable. Disrespect doesn’t matter as much, because we view ourselves as lessers, so of course others are going to disrespect us. It allows us to push through pain, it allows us to go on. It allows us to continue to interact with people who have done us great damage.
And when asked to entertain the notion that we are people, we will pay lip service to it. I know I’m a person- that’s a stupid question. However if you ask if it is okay to treat people the way we’ve been treated, is when a lot of us get uncomfortable.
Accepting at the core that we are people is going to take more than a sudden epiphany that 'oh- you’re right, I have been dehumanizing myself’. And accepting that we are people is going to hurt at first. Because by being not-people, we didn’t have to grieve or mourn or feel betrayed.
But- how does one participate in self-care when they don’t believe in a self?
They do the thing I advise people not to do in general, but in life there are few absolutes.
They do it for other people.
When working with people who don’t have a sense of self- the way to start them doing self-care is to put it in perspective involving people or functioning.
'Boundaries allow both of you to function without hurting one another. If you won’t set boundaries up for your own sake- will you do it for them?’
'Practicing self-care allows you to help more people. Work smarter, not harder. and working smarter is taking time to make sure you’re at your best as often as possible’
'You need to eat and drink and sleep so that you have the energy to keep on doing things.’
People lacking a sense of self tend to work better off schedules of self care. Because they aren’t measuring their own responses- not at first. There is a hope that once people start taking better care of themselves, it will become more obvious why it is necessary, and how much easier everything is…
and in the mean time, also work on fighting the belief that you aren’t a person. and there will probably be tears, and anger, and a lot of pain. and it can seem like it isn’t worth it- because we were functioning just fine before.
“They all deserve to die. Tell you why, Mrs. Lovett, tell you why! Because in all of the whole human race, Mrs. Lovett, there are two kinds of men and only two. There’s the one staying put in his proper place and one with his foot in the other one’s face. Look at me, Mrs Lovett! Look at you! No, we all deserve to die… Even you, Mrs Lovett, even I! Because the lives of the wicked should be made brief. For the rest of us death will be a relief. We all deserve to die… And I’ll never see Johanna, no I’ll never hug my girl to me… FINISHED!” - Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (2007)
Person Of The Year: Time Magazine’s annual Person of the Year issue is now available at news stands around the globe, and Pope Francis has been named the publication’s most important person of 2013. Francis becomes the third sitting Pope to receive the title, joining Pope John XXIII (1963) and Pope John Paul II (1994), and was selected by Time for “[capturing] the imaginations of millions who had given up on hoping for the church.” You can also find the cover story on Time’s website. (Photo via Time Magazine)