Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Right now I think I prefer nasty to namaste

Edited: Right now the very last thing I need in my life is more conflict, so in the interest of soothing ruffled feathers, even though certain folks should have realized they'd be ruffled given the title of our blog, and even though they checked that they'd read the FAQ, and even though there are no takesies backsies in blog reviewing, I'm removing the links (even though I wasn't asked to). 'Cause I'm decent like that. I will not, however, remove the review, since I spent a long damn time on it and produced it in good faith. 

I've never been punched. I've never been slapped. I've never been choked or kicked. I've never even been shoved, except as a child by other children rough-housing. No one has ever laid a hand on me in anger, not really. My mother spanked me, but not often and not hard. I don't know what it's like to reel away from violence, to feel the smash of flesh and bone. My heart has taken its share of beatings, but my body hasn't. Knowing the statistics, reading the stories, I count myself lucky.

She [blogger redacted] was not so lucky.

This is what her blog centers around -- a single act of violence and her attempts at recovery. It's an intensely personal blog, which is in some ways difficult to judge. Because it's not for us, not really. I don't mean that there aren't people out there who should read this, who would want to read this -- I just mean the primary purpose isn't, or doesn't seem to be, discourse, dialog, or community, or even writing, really. The motivation for writing is so very emotional and visceral. She's writing to process, to heal. And critiquing that is hard for me, especially now when my own personal blog has gone from amusing essays to tears on the blogworld's shoulder.

But y'all ain't paying me to wax philosophical and melodramatic, are you? And she deserves a review. So.

There's poetry, oh goody. There's an its/it's problem. She has "Read full posts" links, which are annoying as hell. The design is benign and we see it all the time, but it's not too cluttered and there's a pretty header. She makes good use of tabs, but I'd put all your links on a tab, too. Thanks for the drop-downs, but get rid of all the other useless crap in your sidebar.

The tone of the blog is very woo-woo spiritual personal discovery, which I admit I can be partial to, when I'm not utterly embarrassed by it. And most of the posts are loooooong. And deep. And kind of exhausting. And when you have to click to read more, and the posts are already kind of long-winded and wordy and written with this very zen and meditative tone... well, I didn't click to read more as often as I might have. Even the ribald stuff is a bit, oh, I don't know. Contemplative, I guess.

I found her story interesting and heartbreaking and, if I'm being honest, not terribly easy for me to relate to. I kind of hate that I said that, but I just don't have the same sphere of reference. The spiritual journey, the PTSD, the gurus and yoginis and spiritual retreats and all that looking inward. I don't know -- I'm a little tired of my own innards right now, so I'm sure that's coloring my perspective.

God, didn't you guys miss me terribly? All this indecisiveness and malaise is riveting.

So. Bottom line. I liked it but I didn't love it. I think the writing could use some work. Tighten it up and edit, learn that whole its/it's thing, give us more action and less thinking. (I'm so tired of thinking.) I like that you're using blogging to process these things because I think it's therapeutic and helpful and someday you'll want to read all this stuff and remember and recognize how far you've come. And people in the same boat, or tied to your flotilla, will appreciate your insight and your journey. I just think I'm going to sail my boat in a different direction right now. Toward puppies and Firefly episodes and chocolate cake and books where people don't think so much.

75 comments:

  1. I like fireflies. I thought the domestic violence thing was well written. But it was long enough to keep me away from any of her other posts.

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  2. As a victim of violence in my life, I still have a hard time relating here.

    I know we all handle our struggles and issues in different ways.

    In fear of sounding harsh and unfeeling, really? And entire blog devoted to recovering from an encounter with an incredible asshole?

    Oh no matter what, that just made me sound like a complete dick.

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  3. It's ok. I'm a dick, too. For thinking it, anyway. Especially since I know jack about this experience, knock on wood.

    But, yeah -- people deal differently.

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  4. Yeah, this is a lose/lose situation. The reviewer is going to be careful with words and the reviewee is going to be overly defensive. Biscotti?

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  5. You were the right person to do this review, Cal.

    Because I'm more of the "buck up and get on with your life" realm.

    But then, I decided when I was 16 that I didn't want to wake up one morning on my parents couch, feeling sorry for myself and possibly in an episode of Jerry Springer because I couldn't get over the fact that someone hit me.

    Of course? I probably would have taken the amp upside his head too.

    Easy for me to say.

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  6. Just real glad you're back in the saddle, Cal.

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  7. Tits: I'm gonna agree with you on that.

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  8. And it is really good to have you back!

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  9. Welcome back Cal, mighty generous of you to redact. I understand her not wanting this type of blog mercilessly picked apart(which you did not but the galley might have). So my question is, why submit?

    Here's the review she wanted

    "Woman goes through heroic epic journey of self-discovery after traumatic assault. Four stars? No, this time, we pull out the elusive 10 star award for the first time ever!"

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  10. Eh, she isn't even going to read the review.

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  11. I think you're right, Miss M. Maybe those of us who submit our blogs for review are secretly hoping to be the exception to the "I will fucking tear you apart" standard. I still think that we are amply warned about what could happen should we submit our blog for review. I'm a little confused, though. Did the reviewee complain about the review? I can't even comment on this person's blog because the links were taken down before I could read it. Oh well.

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  12. In short, this person is not the sort of person who can function in any sort of abusive situation.

    That being said, this was entirely the wrong place to hang out.

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  13. I got a slightly disparaging email from the reviewee and decided I'd take down the links. Why give her the traffic? She ultimately didn't want to be reviewed, even though she did sign up for it. Ah well. It won't be the last time I waste my time.

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  14. Well, if she really didn't want a review, she could have contacted you before hand. What she really didn't want, Askers, is anything less than a glowing review. Pathetic. So, can I take my gloves off?

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  15. She said she hadn't seen the review, so I'm thinking she's just painting me with some "they're all assholes at Ask and hate everyone and everything and they're all fuck you all die, bloggers, die!" Or something. Sucks she didn't delve into that peaceful, accepting, guru-led part of her and, oh, I don't know, give us the benefit of the doubt?

    Someone ain't as self-actualized as they think.

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  16. Svasti: That would be you.

    I got money that says she has read this review and is probably lurking around.

    Gwen, go to the list of skullfuckery from yesterday and you can check out her blog.

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  18. I just don't want to review someone who doesn't want to be reviewed. Wish I'd known that before I spent a couple hours this morning formulating cogent(ish) thoughts and reading every single one of her posts. The happy (or bitter, really) medium was taking down the links and leaving my review.

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  19. I woke up in a bitchy mood yesterday and it hasn't left. So, I'm a lot more irritated by this blogger than I should be. I guess it just pisses me off that she gets to "unsubmit" after her review is already done and up. And she didn't even get a bad review. I would love to have a review from one of the reviewers on this site, good or bad. And here she is whining about hers after she asked for it? Anyway, I do see your point, Cal, about not giving her the traffic. Apparently she's dealing with a lot of painful issues, so I should just count my blessings that I'm not in an abusive relationship. On that note, though, I got my share of beatings growing up and I'm fucked up because of it. But I think my blog would be pretty fucking boring if that's all it was about.

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  20. Cal, I think your time is valuable.

    Gwen: You could rename it: 'That One Time I Didn't Listen'

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  21. I just don't understand how it helps to focus on one event.

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  22. I'm a little confused. Isn't this Maggie's blog? For the record, I fucking LOVE Maggie over at her usual place, but I haven't spent enough time on this blog to really have an opinion.

    Cal, I'm so glad you are back to reviewing.

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  23. Welcome back Cal. I was getting worried - you didn't give me that Kiki's number.

    You'd think reviewees know what they're up for. I propose dsclaimer #123890 "there's a her little chance we'll like you, let alone fuckin love you"

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  24. I much prefer to bitch and complain about a variety of personal traumas, rather than focus on just the one. Variety is the spice of life.

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  25. No, no, no. Violence Unsilenced was linked as a reference to stories about women and violence and is NOT the blog reviewed.

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  26. You're not. That was confusing. I fixed it. ;)

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  27. Gwen-get Ask and your favs on Reader and then you have a permanent record of initial post.

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  28. Y'all are sneaky. I like it.

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  29. I really don't understand domestic violence at all. I don't know why people stay in abusive relationships. It's just illogical to me. I have compassion for survivors and victims, but I just can't comprehend the mindset an individual requires to stay.

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  30. So because of that, I can only assume that I wouldn't like this blog that I CANNOT READ BECAUSE OF CALAMITY'S FUCKING PATIENCE AND UNDERSTANDING.

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  31. I might have the link, just saying.

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  32. You have no idea how frequently my patience and understanding ruin everyfuckingthing.

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  33. See, this review has everyone talking about domestic violence, FUCKING PATIENCE AND UNDERSTANDING, and other topics that I really think have been played out. Or at the least, already dealt with on this blog.

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  34. "Played out" never stops us from talking about anal sex or biscotti, now does it?

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  35. Rassles - I know what you mean. Sometimes I think, "If he's beating the shit out of you, just leave." But I guess it's not that easy, especially when your whole life, finances, etc. is linked to that individual. And the psychological hold a person can have over another can be really strong, particularly when it's accompanied by physical abuse. I can't picture myself staying with an abuser, but I guess one never knows.

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  36. No, it certainly doesn't Cal, there just isn't much wiggle room in the 'Domestic Violence Funny Box'.

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  37. Yeah, I don't want to talk about it either. I find it boring.

    Let's talk about Firefly and how much I love Malcolm Reynolds.

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  38. Gok - sorry. I'm done with the PSAs. Back to the bitchery.

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  39. No, we can take another round of campfire songs. I'm not aiming that at you, Gwen. Really, can we all hold hands?

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  40. Um just to be clear here, the retelling of this story was that he pushed her into a wall and punched her in the face after they had already broken up.

    The one time.

    Moving on... because that's what everyone should do.

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  41. Rass: the female voice of reason. I'll talk about anything to steer us clear of this Tyra Banks Trainwreck we're headed for.

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  42. Sounds a lot like Twisted Lisa's story, Betsey.

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  43. For the record, I would totally kill Tyra Banks.

    Not Twisted Lisa! She was a lot more fun because she came around here to catch some beatings.

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  44. Gwen - pretty much.

    I wished I watch Firefly.

    I don't.

    I suck.

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  45. You know what else sucks? Your face.

    OOOOHHHHHHHHH!

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  46. Oh yeah...anyone else want to help me bring back "Hooray!"?

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  47. I watched the episode "Trash" last night where I got to see Malcolm Reynold's sweet, sweet ass.

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  48. Yes because, obviously, if I suck then it goes without saying that my face would too.

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  49. Rass: the only thing I enjoy more than insulting Tits is watching someone else do it. Well played. Rimjob?

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  50. I wish we could find another blogger with a wide-set vagina to hurl insults at.

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  51. Ass-eatery is so romantic.

    You know whose ass I'd eat? Malcolm fucking Reynolds.

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  52. Yeah it is and yeah you would.

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  53. help me, here. he hit her ONE TIME, and she's turned that ONE TIME into an entire blog?

    God, my life is so much more fucked up. And I'm not even bragging here. I'm actually kind of shocked.

    This girl would not have survived ONE WEEK of my childhood.

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  54. LB: I know, right? I could see if it was a celebrity that hit her, then you've got a blog. I'd read the shit out of a blog about Bruce Willis beating her 'Last Man Standing' style.

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  55. I guess this blog is evidence that I no longer need to apologize for my diagnosis of PTSD. And the subsequent recurrent anxiety.

    Hooray for Tom Cruise and the fact that I think he SECRETLY beats Katie. But oh, I hope she someday beats him back.

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  56. I think Katie could totally stomp Tom.

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  57. Also, as a generalized comment, really hardcore buddhists, with their retreats and mantras and chants and shit...annoy the fuck out of me.

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  58. I would probably let Bruce Willis beat me. It'd be like receiving a major award.

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  59. Rass: That would be some domestic violence worth bragging about.

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  60. I'd let Bruce Willis Die Hard in my ass.

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  61. LB - I hear you. Some of the domestic scenes that people find "shocking" and "upsetting" on TV, I think, "Um, that was my childhood." I didn't even realize that people lived differently than I did until I was a teenager(read: no screaming and hitting on a regular basis).

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  62. I'd let him save the world then Die Hard in your ass, whore.

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  63. Gwen,

    I was trying to explain my childhood (and adult relationship with my parents to my boyfriend)...and I was absolutely BAFFLED by the fact that his family never fought. There was no screaming, no hitting, no spanking. They are like so weird.

    It's like dating an alien.

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  64. True story:
    1991, 12-step meeting, 100 people, 1 dumb fuck whimpering (over and fucking over),
    "I can't believe I'm such a goddamn mess..."
    Know who I love? I love the guy who leaned over and said,
    "If you don't shut the fuck up I'm gonna kill ya, and then I'm gonna butt fuck ya."
    End of that sobbing load of slobbering bullshit.
    So yeah, shut the fuck up before I kill ya and butt fuck ya.
    In.That.Order.
    You and Tyra, you pussy.

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  65. MG: that's like foreplay for me and DPH.

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  66. Mongo, you should write a blog about that guy, because that's hilarious.

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  67. Another true story:
    The Native Americans are out here today preparing the site upon which they are going to build their sweat lodge.
    Know what I'm gonna do? I'm gonna let that Native American spirituality snatch me up and love me all over.
    And I'm still going to be able to say all that nasty shit.
    In other words, I think it's spiritual to say,
    "I'm gonna kill ya and then I'm gonna butt fuck ya," if the situation calls for it.
    Deal. Just fucking deal.

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  68. GoD - Isn't it amazing that half the shit that will get a man bitch to shut the fuck up also doubles as foreplay?

    Rassles - I think I have??? Not sure. Probably about how I relate that story to today's 12-steppers and it freaks their shit out. I admit missing the days when we just told each other to shut the fuck up in meetings. As I'm sure you can imagine, I had to be told to shut the fuck up a LOT when I was first clean.

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  69. For the record, even viewing all posts in Google Reader brings up the edited post from yesterday, not the one with a link to this blog.

    I have little more to add other than I was always more of a Kaylee guy myself... ass-kicking can't hold a candle to a woman who can keep an engine running.

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  70. Betsey and Calamity,

    I guess I'm a dick too.

    Moving right along!

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Grow a pair.