If you could go back in time, what is one piece of advice you’d give a younger self?

The glaring one is “go the hell to NYU instead of to the College of Wooster”, but that’s the easy answer.

I think, in the wake of everything that’s happened, I would say to a younger self, “Get thee some shoes and walk out away from the hearth of emotional labor; abort the child of love if that’s what you need to do to leave, but get thee gone and get thee gone yesterday.”

Thene linked me a MeFi thread on emotional labor and it’s just …eye-opening. All of these women talking about these men who they say are “really, truly, actually very good men, very nice husbands, very…etc”… except they’re glaringly bad at emotional labor.

Except, pray tell, what is there that binds this world except emotional labor?

I’m fucking exhausted because I’m a frail, fragile, hothouse flower and I was stressed over the TOEFL and then I took it yesterday (two hours and 40 min of almost non-stop hell) and then I came home and instead of being allowed to pass out and unwind, my aunt was in my bed.

Of course.

Every time there’s guests over and every time someone’s tired, they go and take over my room without telling me about it beforehand. Not only does that mean I can’t go into my own damn room to unwind and get away from people, but it means I need to hustle to wash my sheets and blankets and wait for them to air dry (no dryer) before I can go to sleep.

Yes, I do need to wash everything fully. Know why? Because I sleep naked and my immune system hates me and I get UTIs at the drop of a hat, so bedding down in stuff that’s been wallowed in by someone who isn’t clean is a terrible idea. Yes, I can sleep not-naked, but why would I when I don’t sleep well when constricted in clothing?

So I ended up sleeping at 2am yesterday when I was too wiped out to even read at around 5pm and so fatigued I wanted to throw up around 2pm.

That’s emotional labor too. Biting your tongue when you really want to dance a jig of rage and question just what is so magical about your bed that everyone must needs wallow in it. Oh, and discussing it is out of the question or even joking about it because god forbid that you ever make someone even vaguely uncomfortable — even when that fucking means that every. single. fucking. time someone comes over, someone plops down on my bed and means I need to do the fucking laundry.

And more emotional labor today, the delicate dance of feelings and whether or not a woman’s feelings really matter without a man to stand behind them.

I’m going to visit the US for about 4 months in 2016. I asked my prior housemates, three guys, one of whom is my ex, if I could crash at their place sometimes because it would be more convenient for me to visit with friends and hang out than if I were stuck 45 min out from the city without a car.

Ex hemmed and hawwed because he didn’t think his current squeeze would like it.

I pointed out that I’d heard tell that he didn’t even spend most of his weekends at home but with her, but to no avail.

I was very much reminded of the other Dear Jane letter I got before, the other instance in which my fucking opinion was never solicited. No one cares, of course, that I have no interest in hooking my ex back. No one cares, of course, to champion me either, because I am a woman without a man and gods know that a woman’s feelings don’t matter except if she has someone to fight for them for her.

I even offered to sign a waiver where I wouldn’t fuck him, suck him, and would promise that my pussy wouldn’t accidentally fall onto his cock. No dice. Oh well.

The other housemates, also my friends, seem disinterested in rocking the boat for my sake.

Which, you know, in lines of more emotional labor, I wouldn’t agitate for them to do so. I no longer live there, or even in the US for that matter, so I suppose it’s only a mere matter of courtesy, supposed friendship, and rules of hospitality that stands in their way of doing the wrong thing. Not like those paltry things would matter to men though, most likely because they aren’t used to the whole emotional labor bullshit.

I would like to submit for the record that it isn’t that I want my mind read and I get angry when people don’t – I often only expect people to act as common decency and courtesy would indicate. Too bad that people all too often fall down on that job.

So. No emotional labor for me in that arena anymore.

If Iddt doesn’t care enough to agitate for me, then he can deal with seeing me at my convenience. I won’t have a car, so it’s very much going to be dependent on my energy and willingness to deal with the shitty commuter rail system.

If the ex is going to go ahead with this “my GF won’t like it” stuff, then I’m not just going to delete his name from my gchat list, I’m going to block it. I don’t have time to play at friendship anymore. Either you’re in or you’re out.

By the way? If you’re in a fucking relationship with someone who’s crazy possessive, I would just like to let you know that isn’t love. Love is wanting a full life for your beloved, is support and warmth and caring and nurturing growth. To shut something down just because of your own insecurities and take something away from your supposed beloved is the completely antithesis of love. “They’re so jealous, they must really love me” is bullshit that should have been dumped onto the compost pile way back in high school and no one should put up with it.

But in general, no unreciprocated emotional labor any more, period. I actually don’t care if this renders me into more of a raging bitch than before — I’m sick and tired of being shat upon just because I’m female and I don’t have a male who cares enough to stand up for me and I resent the fact that it’s even necessary.

No, I would not like to hear for the ten millionth time about how you hate your work. If what you have to say is just like all the hundreds of things that you’ve said before, then save it. If you simply must, then I really must insist that you treat me to dinner and a drink first. I’ll need the fortifying.

No, I would not like to hear about your endless dating woes and offer hugs and unheeded advice and so forth. If you’re single, there’s a fucking reason for it (yes, same goes for me) and let’s all fucking move on, shall we? Or, you can buy me three stiff drinks and we can sob together into our whiskey.

No, I do not want to hear you wax on and on and on and on about this thing that only you’re interested in. I do not give a shit. And I really can’t give a shit. And actually, I still wouldn’t give a shit if you gave me a drink but I might be willing to sit through it.

Are we seeing a trend here? This is no subtle hint, people.

If I took all the time, money, and energy I expended toward making people happy, smoothing things over, doing all the ten million and one things a woman does to build community and goodwill, I would be much richer and much more content now.

If I’d taken all the time I spent cooking and cleaning and hand-holding and put it toward a goal of my choosing, I would have mastered it ten times over by now.

Fuck the emotional labor. Fuck it.

If there is any single piece of advice that I think would make a huge difference in my life, most likely even greater than the NYU flub, it would be this.

Just fuck it.

The sheer amount of resources that I’ve poured into midwifing a relationship, a community, and in the end I have ludicrously little to show for it.

Mmm. I have the frenemy E. Thene, in moderation and with much rope. The most dubious Iddt. An ex who is coming perilously close to making me regret everything I ever shared of myself. A “best friend” and “platonic life partner” who dumped me the moment I refused to keep throwing out my back to keep her emotional shit contained. Countless others who have drifted drifted drifted because they didn’t care enough and I didn’t keep a firmer hold. Oh wait, yeah, because I didn’t do sufficient emotional labor to keep connected. You know, those people who don’t give a fuck or don’t even know that I moved toTaiwan/ broke up a domestic partnership of ten years.

(this is an astonishingly fuck-laden post)

I’m done. Done done done done done and the Pope of Nope says fuck yeah to burning it all to the ground.

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