I'd like to talk about frustration tonight. Frustration is talking to somebody who is obviously doing something to hurt another person but at the same time they claim that the last thing they want to do is hurt the same person. It's nice, and it's persuasive, but not quite. Especially when there turns out always to be a few discrepancies in the story.
The IRC network I hang out on has been rocked in the last month by a saga of Gladiator proportions, with all the interest of Pearl Harbor. Basically, it started as a messy breakup. Now, messy breakups happen all the time, and with time, they get forgotten. Except one of the people in the relationship didn't want to forget. Let's call this person Person A. Person A refused to understand the reasons the other person in the relationship (whom we'll call B) broke up with her. At the same time, A starts to go after the back up relationship, whom we'll call C, only to find C taken by somebody whom we'll call D. Confused yet? Good, so are the rest of us.
Anyway. A gets upset at D, which isn't helped by D's at one point moralising at A. A and D fight while the rest of the IRC network is like, can't you shut up about this? Meanwhile, A and D are like Triangle Man and Person Man in the immortal TMBG song "Particle Man". This would be okay if either party could manage to keep their mouth shut and not go trying to recruit people to be on their side, but of course, we have to keep hearing about it because neither party can manage to ignore the other one. And it seems A is escalating by taking it to another IRC network that D hangs out on. However, D hasn't been helping matters either by demanding logs of everything A says so that D can refute them. *sigh* C'mon folks, this is what the /ignore command does. Learn it, use it, love it, and don't keep dragging the rest of us into this.
And at the same time, A is taking every chance she can to badmouth and hurt B, while at the same time claiming to love B. The latest shenanigans have A not wanting to occupy a channel with B, because B tends to be silent. Oh yeah, and a certain incident, which A seems to have gotten ticked because B "healed" somebody who made a very bad joke at A's expense. Even though B was most likely playing around like we all do on IRC.
Oh yeah, and if this wasn't already enough of a fucking melodrama, A has threatened to commit suicide if B isn't back with her by a certain date.
No, I am not copying this plot out of a bad romance novel, although, after this whole thing is over, I might be able to make the big bucks that way, fictionalizing this disaster. (Yes, Mr. Sysadmin, I'll donate half the profits to run your server.) Hey, it worked for Titanic.
The thing is, B was trying to do the right thing. B may have chosen a rather painful way to make the point, but on the whole he was doing what this society has taught its womanfolk to do in an abusive relationship -- walk away from the abuser and break it off.
Problem is, B is the guy in the relationship. And of course, this society is of the sort that the guy can't ever be the abusee in a relationship. It's like that novel Disclosure, where nobody believes the guy got sexually harrassed, because women just don't do that kind of thing. The thing is, we need to wake up and see as a society the kind of double standard we place on our guys by this sort of crap. Because when roles get reversed, and the guy has to walk out of the relationship lest it cost him his mental and physical health, we shouldn't say that he was being an ass...unless he really was. And in this case, I don't think that's so.
A said, at the beginning of this whole melodrama that she was gonna be bitchy and as angsty as she wants to be because she was "fucking justified." Well, I'm sorry, but you know, people go through breakups all the time. This isn't anything special. But of course A had to go make B's life, and everybody else's life on the server a living hell. Throughout this whole thing, B has been quietly trying to put the relationship behind him, and A keeps hounding him and doing things to force herself into his view and get a reaction. She claims he's cold, when he's retreated into his shell to keep from feeling the pain she keeps heaping at him.
If this was happening in meatspace, we'd call it harassment. Because it's happening on IRC...well, that somehow changes the dynamics. But as I think about it more and more, this shouldn't be any different from meatspace, this is as much harassment as the meatspace kind.
The thing that frustrates me and angers me over the whole situation is that A claims she still loves B, and will do anything to change the fact the relationship is over. Well, that's the problem. It is over. Whether it was through miscommunication or malice, it's over. Grow up a bit and see this, and quit dragging the rest of us into this and making us all tired of this mess and contemplating drastic solutions to get this over because A can't see this.
Because if A truly loved B as much as she claimed, she would understand that this failure to leave him alone, to accept that the relationship is over, is driving him to the edge of the abyss. For his sake she should let him go and leave him be and quit trying to guilt trip him into rejoining the relationship. All A is suceeding in doing is driving B further and further into his shell, and closer and closer to the abyss. It's a shame, where A has been screaming she'll kill herself if it's not back together, B just passively slips closer and closer to that point of no return, with nary a threat, because he can't get the hell out of his life.
The other night I spent a good few hours trying to convince A that she shouldn't leave the channel when B shows up. I was wrong. If it makes A feel better, if she feels that it is so necesary that she not share a channel with B, then go ahead. In fact, let's take it a step further. Why share a server? And a step further. Why share a protocol? And a step further...oh hell, you see where this is going.
This is stupid. This is dumb. And if A can't see the lies she's weaving around herself to convince her that she has no blame in this, no responsiblity...well, then, there's gonna be blood on her hands. And it isn't gonna be her own.
Somebody's gonna get hurt unless something gets done now.
And it sure as hell ain't gonna be A getting hurt.
I'd say that's a cold and broken hallelujah.
I think I'll go to bed now.