red flags

I feel like almost all of the guys who’ve had an unreciprocated thing for me developed it because I listened to them and was emotionally supportive, etc., but they themselves never thought to do the same for me. Which ended up with this weird situation where I knew them super well but they literally had zero idea about who I was as a person other than “listens really well and is emotionally supportive.”

Like, they didn’t know the first thing about what was important to me, my beliefs, my family, my work, how I spent my time when I wasn’t with them. Because not a single one of them wanted  to know. They would just… never ask, or they’d ask politely and when I started to answer they’d show extreme disinterest and change the subject back to themselves.

But they still thought they loved me, because to them that’s all love is - being emotionally supported by someone. It did not even occur to them that the support could ever go both ways, and they were always bewildered about why I never loved them “back” - even though all they gave me to love was a person so self-obsessed that he couldn’t see me at all.

Emotional labour is so, so important to be aware of in relationships. It has to have some kind of balance, or the person performing it will just burn out. And a relationship consisting only of one person demanding and demanding and never giving back is not love. Love is not a demand. It can accept, and it can ask, but love listens, love cares about how its requests affect the beloved. Love wants to give back.

“My boyfriend isn’t allowed to talk to other girls,” is just as unhealthy as “My girlfriend isn’t allowed to talk to other guys.”

“You can’t hang out with [boyfriend’s female friend] anymore,” is just as abusive as “You can’t hang out with [girlfriend’s male friend] anymore.”

“My man isn’t allowed to go out with his guys unless I’m with him,” is just as creepy and possessive as “My girl isn’t allowed to go out with her friends unless I’m with her.”

A woman who controls and manipulates her boyfriend is just as abusive as a man who controls and manipulates his girlfriend, pass it on.

Our culture really romanticises the idea of a (usually male) brooding misunderstood loner who’s an asshole to everyone but secretly has a heart of gold, so it’s frighteningly easy to meet a guy who treats everyone around him badly and believe without evidence that he has a heart of gold. 

Don’t fall for it.

And a lapse in cruelty is not evidence of kindness.

People act the way they think people act

Most people act the way they think people act. When people talk about what people are like, assume they’re including themselves.

For instance:

If a boss says that all bosses exploit employees, they’re likely to be terrible to work for.

If a man says that all men are rapists, misogynists, or abusers, he’s likely not a very safe person to be alone with.

If someone says that all marginalized people need to lash out at privileged people, it’s likely that they’ll eventually consider you privileged and lash out at you.

There are any number of instances of this. People tend to act the way they think people act. When people tell you how people act, or how people in a group they’re part of act, err on the side of assuming that they may act that way too.

Scam Job Offer Warning

If anyone is searching for Design, Art, Illustration, Etc. work online through job sites beware. I was recently scammed by people pretending to belong to a real, existing design company. I didn’t notice the red flags because I was so desperate to get a job in my field. Its silly now that I didn’t notice them.

They contact you with your information that they gather through job host sites like Indeed and e-mail you asking you to send them your resume/portfolio and a cover letter. Real enough right? Then its gets weird. They then notify you you’ve been ‘accepted to the next stage of the interview process.’ They want to have an interview through Google Chat.

This was the biggest red flag I missed. No interview is done without speaking. There are phone interviews, skype interviews, but no chat interviews. 

Of course I ‘aced the interview’ (cause its a scam) and they said they would e-mail me my contract of hire (a pages doc with no letter head. Fishy.) and a pdf copy of a check to deposit for equipment purchase through their vendor.

Funnily enough their check didn’t cash. (duh duh duh) and when I chatted with them on the chat about it they asked if I could ‘front the money until the check cleared on the 12th.’ I said no, I can’t afford that. Then they asked if I could front half. That’s when I smelled a rat, and so did my dad. How does a multi billion dollar company owned by Microsoft not have the dough to cover new employee equipment costs?

I stalled the guy in the chat and my dad and I searched the company for listed complaints. We found out they had attempted to scam dozens of designers like me. They ‘hire you’ then immediately try to extract your bank info from you after cutting you an equipment coverage check.

I blocked the guy on Gchat. Unsurprisingly the check dissolved. I reported the scam to my bank and made sure my account was secure. Luckily they didn’t get my bank info or SS Number. Still they got too much info on me for my liking, including my name, birthday and parents address (current home address).

Today (two days later) after the sting of embarrassment of being duped passed, I got an e-mail from Creative Circle (a company I also seek employment through) who has had lots of report of similar people being scammed into fake jobs to extract their info.

PLEASE be careful. I know phones and interviews are stressful and chat interviews sound all good but they are FAKE.
Please stay safe. And remember if something sounds too good to be true, it probably is. 
Research your companies, check employee statements on Glassdoor or even Google. If you’re still unsure contact the company’s HR department. Talk to a live human. 
Don’t be like me, don’t be blinded by your need or desire to find a job in your field that you miss the obvious signs. Looking back I still feel like a total idiot but this idiot is hoping to save fellow idiots the trouble.
Watch for scammers. Be smart. Be safe.
Love, Skidar.

Abuse is about control.

An abuser doesn’t always need shouting or physical intimidation like throwing things or grabbing in order to control someone. Abuse can be present without those behaviours.

An abuser can talk calmly and even use a friendly tone of voice or a progressive Consent Culture vocabulary and still be abusive, because the abuse lies in infringing on someone’s autonomy.

If a peer relationship feels abusive but you’re doubting if it’s Really Abuse, look at whether each person is making choices about their own bodies, schedules, activities, and external relationships.

A boundary is about your own body and life, not someone else’s - it’s “I don’t want to do X thing with you” and not “I don’t want you to do Y thing at all even if it does not involve me.” Someone making choices that override your autonomy, even “for your own good”, is not allowing you to have boundaries.

If you don’t want to be in a relationship with someone because they do Y thing that doesn’t involve you, that’s your choice. You can simply end the relationship, or you can say, “Is Y important to you? Because it makes me uncomfortable,” and have an honest conversation about conflicting needs/preferences to see if a relationship is possible.

But there’s a problem when one person says to their peer, “Stop Y thing that doesn’t involve me, or I will do something to punish you,” or even “You’re not allowed to do Y anymore, I don’t like it.” You don’t get to make choices for other people.

Never trust a man who puts his hands on you in anger, even if it’s not hitting. Please leave the first time he touches you in a way that scares you. You’re not overreacting. It’s not your fault and it’s not your mental illness. If he uses force to control your body, leave. I could have saved myself so much pain if I had just left after the first time he grabbed me and tried to prevent me from running away.

“At least I don’t beat you” is a threat.

Normalizing abuse is what abusers do best. They will convince you that however brutal their behaviour toward you, they could be worse to you and it would be justified because of your own flaws.

When someone who scares and controls you brings up a different way they could hurt you, and suggests that you should be grateful they aren’t taking that option, they consider it a viable choice.

It is a threat, a reminder that they are willing and able to treat you even more violently if you don’t behave the way they wish. Only someone who wants to terrify you into compliance would bring up the posibility of beating you like it’s a real option.