GOWNS

i wish i had a better answer, like i said, it reminds me of living in the united states during the civil war and having a cousin who would go off to fight on the confederate side, and you can be like, fuck no why are you doing this, but life is fucked up, i just don’t know. you can try to talk to her and tell her what you know but , in my experience, people are stubborn and i’m sure you’ve already tried, so at that point what do you do except cry, hope she doesn’t die, hope she comes around, hope your life amounts to something, think about all the misery in the world, i don’t know

my first cousin voluntarily joined the IDF. i really, really, really do not support the IDF. i am pro-palestine. i think what israel is doing to gaza is horrifying. but she is my cousin. and i can't bring myself to wish her harm, or to not care about what happens to her. nor can i pray for her like the rest of my family is doing. i feel very ugly inside about this. what is the correct response? how can i reconcile my love for my family with my hatred of violence?

Anonymous

this is definitely a hard one

you are in an unenviable position that many people have experienced throughout history — think of any civil war or regional dispute where “brothers took up arms against brothers.” it’s a tragedy; pure and deep tragic dissonance. what kind of turmoil lives within us when we believe deeply in something, and someone close to us believes in the exact opposite? and worse — when they take action on the ideology that we find so abhorrent?

it’s the kind of thing that pulls deep wellsprings of grief from us. it’s one thing if someone close to us grows distant; or disappears; or dies. but for them to be alive and fighting on behalf of something corrupt, vile, inhumane…

i think that there might not actually be a reconciliation to be made. i don’t think there’s any correct response. this conflict has been teased out by shakespeare & ancient greeks, and even after 100s of plays, there’s still not an answer. there is no reconciliation within a tragedy, except for the acceptance of the tragedy itself.

something i’m thinking of now is the family members of gang members … imagining a mother lighting a candle for her son, hating everything that he chooses to do and everyone he affiliates himself with, but praying every day for him to be safe and come home and maybe one day come to his senses.

i think this is the best thing for you to do — as there is nothing that presents itself “to do,” concretely, as a “solution.” but you can keep your cousin in your thoughts / prayers, hope for her safety and life, while also hoping…i mean, maybe once she goes over there, she will see the horrifying things going on. maybe she will be convinced out of her conviction by the very battlefield that she joins. maybe she herself will convince another person of the error of their ways; maybe she will save a palestinian family from an attack.

all wild hopes. but think of how likely it is that the gang member will come home one day and kiss his mother and commit himself to peace, family and community. it’s that sliver of hope that the praying mother has to hold onto. find your hope, even if it’s a pinhole of light, and let it sustain you. you can’t balance everything, but you can keep holding on

*edit to add — this is all with the assumption that she’s already on her way out. if she’s still here — have you talked to her at all? provided her with some of your own research? even if she gets angry at you at first, you can give her something that can sit in her brain for a while.

there are a lot of people living in israel who try to get out of the IDF, and there are a lot of resources for conscious jews + israelis. i don’t know the right ones by name, but if you send me a message off-anon, and other people send me messages off-anon, perhaps we can figure out something more concretely

*also — i’m aware that my analogy about the mother of the gang member isn’t the strongest here, i’m just thinking about something that has relevance to my family. trying to make connections

I don't know if you (or anyone) can help me with this-- it's one of those questions that only I can really answer for myself, but that I feel the need to incessantly ask everyone I know anyway. I started seeing this guy three weeks before I moved 3000 miles away. I'm really, really into him but communication is hard (he speaks Portuguese and some Spanish and I speak English and some Spanish) and I can't tell to what extent he reciprocates my feelings. How do I even begin to ask him if he does?

Anonymous

have you said “eu te amo!” ?

if that’s not your feeling, but you’re just like, really really really into him, then learn portuguese

if you don’t want to learn portuguese, you’re not that into him

if he’s weirded out when you tell him your feelings and ask him to reciprocate, he’s a manchild and you get to move on

Posted 7/25/14 @ 11:01 AM #
1 note

hi gowns! i have a friend whose brother is in a relationship with a girl who gets insanely jealous all the time. she threatened to kill herself and started self-harming as soon as she saw that he liked some girl's photo on instagram. she already has some pretty bad self esteem issues and on top of it, her parents met my friend's parents and essentially said that he has to propose or they break up. she stopped going to therapy awhile back as well. what should he do? any suggestions?

Anonymous

i don’t know if you have any power or influence in this situation, but i think you know the best thing is for them to break up and her to go back to therapy

if you can’t convince the dude then, i mean, this is hard, but you have to kind of just watch the trainwreck from afar and don’t assign yourself any fault or responsibility in the matter …

crazy shit is happening all the time in people’s personal lives and it can easily lead up to a savior complex. there are many things that seem like such obvious problems and one wants to fix it, or give the crucial piece of life-saving advice,

but part of growing up and staying psychologically whole yourself is to try not to take that on as your responsibility

which, like i said, is super hard.

however — if you DO feel that you actually DO have a position of influence within this circle of people, by all means, try to convince him to break up with her,

and if she ends up harming herself afterwards make sure he knows that it is pretty much all her own issues that she needs to work out, and not his fault

a relationship should not be like a hostage situation … let alone a marriage, man, can you even imagine, “aw, how did you propose?” “her parents threatened my parents and she was hurting herself” O__O

Kissing gets better right? I kissed this guy on the first date and i could FEEL how bad it was for him/how hardI was trying to be natural.

Anonymous

practice makes perfect!

Hi gowns, I have a couple of really good friends that I adore, but I really can't bring myself to see them everyday. I'm an introvert and I usually only like to hang out with people once a week at max... But these friends of mine want to hang out everyday. I always make up countless excuses but I feel guilty and I feel as though it's putting a strain on my friendships. It just exhausts me to be around others constantly. How do I find a balance without being rude?

Anonymous

Dude ur friends are the ones w a problem imho

Being social once a week is very normal and average

Demanding to see u every single day is nuts, even if they’re kids on summer break

My advice: tell them to chill, perhaps advise them to pick up a book or a hobby like whittling

Fifty shades of literotica.com

I can’t believe he actually made the stupidest picture of him his profile picture And he also makes unbelievably stupid tweets every single day (like this one) so he is either truly The stupidest man alive, or, he is an Andy Kaufman type figure who has been systematically trying to discredit new atheism for decades , and now he is in his final Tony-Clifton-style form

I can’t believe he actually made the stupidest picture of him his profile picture

And he also makes unbelievably stupid tweets every single day (like this one) so he is either truly The stupidest man alive, or, he is an Andy Kaufman type figure who has been systematically trying to discredit new atheism for decades , and now he is in his final Tony-Clifton-style form

(via naazaneen)

Source: evnw

I wish “Orlando” didn’t open immediately with tire-screeching racism

I can’t help but have feelings about a 70 year old lesbian who just bought a book of love letters between Virginia Woolf and Vita Sackville West

I can’t help but have feelings about a 70 year old lesbian who just bought a book of love letters between Virginia Woolf and Vita Sackville West

Sooo.. I think this guy at work likes me and i kind of like him back and when he offered me a ride home I thought "sure, why not?" and then he opened up to me about how his girlfriend of 3 years left him for someone else and he self-harmed and drank most nights away. I was just stunned. We've only been working together for 3 months. I've been moping around about my recently ended loveless relationship so i think that's why he said those things but idk… should just distance myself?

Anonymous

ok, so. you feel like you opened up about a safe thing but then he brought out a scary thing?

i have no idea what this guy is like, so i say this is a decision you make with the vibes that he gives to you, and there is no way i can read those vibes. it’s up to you to make this decision yourself. here’s a guide:

- if you share some things about yourself and he shares some things about himself that you see as wild oversharing, but it seems like maybe he’s just a nervous sad guy, then keep talking to him and be his friend maybe

- if he gave you weird scary vibes when he shared these things then you should be polite around him but don’t not-talk to him necessarily

- if, when you think about it, the sharing was pretty balanced, you shared stuff, he shared stuff, you like him, he likes you, but you were caught off guard by the fact that another person has a whole history and interiority, then this is a great learning experience & a way to expand your empathy while also getting a few kisses in

- but also, be careful, because if he’s not a healed dude, he could still be a person who would flip out if you ended a romantic relationship

this is largely something that you’ll have to figure out yourself. if i could meet the dude IRL i could tell you “oh yeah he’s a weird guy” or “he’s a very well-adjusted individual who regrets blaming his self-harm on another person and he’s in therapy and knows he has stuff to work on”, but i can’t be a jiminy cricket on your shoulder, you have to feel it out for yourself