Chatting with Ronja

by Milla

Ronja, a young woman feeling close to the social centre project from where I’m excluded, contacted me over a chat. I refuse to take these things in private anymore, the exhausting talks – sometimes patiently listening and explaining, sometimes rude and just wanting to cut it short. These endless talks where I have to listen to how I could behave differently and be more understanding, and that I should be more grateful to any action done with the intent to “help” me.

I’m sick of it. I’m sick of the internalized hatred projected on other women. I’m sick of hearing how I should be more loving and patient.

I’m over it. I can be nothing but what I happen to be. If I turn into a monster every once in a while because of the insane pressure to fit into the role of a perfect woman (smile, shut up, spread) – couldn’t there just be some understanding instead of the judgemental “You see, this is why people treat you like shit. It’s your own fault.”

I’ve taken distance to Ronja. I really appreciate her intelligence, but I just can’t take the sexism anymore. The last straw for me was when she by showing a finger in the air indicated that I should be banned for this time (one finger = one year) from the social centre that in its principles claims to speak about problems openly and wanting to deal with discrimination and domination persistently.

this is the chat we had this evening:

11:12 PM Ronja: hello. I would like to communicate with you, if I’m able to do it in an unhurtful way (which is measured by you)
11:14 PM me: i am currently working on getting the blog done in a way so that it will be easier for people to understand the hell i’ve been through. you are still a person who
stuck a finger up in the air.
i can’t deal with this unjust attitude.
Ronja: do you remember my explanation?
11:15 PM me: that you thought it was better than two years?
pähkinä and sami said no.
11:16 PM Ronja: many people said they would leave if you were not banned, and i thought that they won’t take the 0 voicees to account and we need some time out, so i voted 1… but yeah, if you don’t want to talk, we don’t have to
11:17 PM me: and do you remember what i and pähkinä have said about this argumentation?
Ronja: please say it again
11:19 PM me: the exclusion of a black person, or a homosexual, or a transgendered person, or a hippie on the basis of somebody feeling “uncomfortable” with having them around is exclusion on the basis of prejudice. and in any emancipatory project there should be space to talk about oppressed realities. me talking about this. having to go through this. never being taken seriously. never being listened to properly. this is not time out. this is not getting justice. this is not getting care. this is a sexist exclusion of radical feminism.
11:20 PM when i need to tell my story over and over again in order to find people who are willing to do something. who are willing to work with me on this. this is not time out. this is like i have to go through talking about a rape over and over and over again.
11:21 PM and people just telling me “get over it”.
i think you are dead wrong in your politics.
11:22 PM Ronja: if you want to have any advice on how to communicate with people without making them feel threatened i have some suggestions. becaus i think that’s the main problem, that people don’t feel safe with the way you are expressing yourself
11:23 PM me: i don’t feel safe with the way you express yourself.
putting the blame on me, doesn’t make me feel safe.
Ronja: i really appreciate that you keep talking about what you’e going through. it’s just the anger that you have, that it would be good if it could be expressed, but instead of making people feel threatened, in a calm way of stating that you are angry
11:24 PM I’m sorry. I mean to say that it’s both your fault and their fault. i can’t say whos efault it’s bigger, its incomparable. they have been hurt, you have been hurt. i have been hurt.
me: Ronja Kati or whatever you feel like calling yourself. you human being who stripped me of the right to equal space by sticking a finger up the air.
fuck you
11:25 PM so if people start hating you
and call you mentally ill
and write private shitty sexist email to you
and say you should be banned
for no reason whatsoever but their hatred for you
11:26 PM then it would be okay for me to sit there with the others and stick my finger up in the air?
Ronja: I guess their reason is that they fear you and try to protect themselves
me: and you sticking a finger up in the air is…?
Ronja: i’m really trying all the time to help you and the squat. i’m sorry if i’m helping… we don’t need to talk if i’mjust repeating trauma
11:27 PM me: you are not helping one least bit.
the only way to help me is to stop reproducing the sexist societal shit and take a clear stand against the madness. stop your goddamn victim-blaming.
11:28 PM the realities told are not treated in an equal way.
i’m being banned for speaking.
Ronja: you are also being banned for talking in a way which is making people feel threatened
me: others use physical violence. or spew hatred. and nothing absolutely nothing is done.
11:29 PM Ronja: there is also a way to deal with this that feels safe to everyone, and i’m trying to do it
me: and the “i hate feminists like you” “you should learn when to shut up in order to get laid”? and “she’s mentally ill” “what the fuck is she doing on this list, she should be banned from the house and the list”?
11:30 PM shouldn’t they also be banned then according to your logic?
i feel
that my heart is beating
i feel that
there’s a great sadness
and solitude
and anger
in getting ignored
11:31 PM i feel hearbroken over the non-solidarity
and the unwillingness to talk.
and that there are so many silent bystanders
and that you say that micke is sexy when she “knows what needs to be done in a meeting”
and that people with power
11:32 PM can determine totally and completely what is okay and what is not in a project that says that it’s for speaking about things openly.
Ronja: i’m trying to say somthing that i hope you read carefully, because i try to say it right: behind everything is your sadness. if you show sadness, if you cry, it is easy to feel compassion for you. people comfort crying people. if you are angry towards everyone, they feel thrreatened. you have the right to be angry. but i suggest, that you try to cry instead of shouting. i say this to help you get the support you need
me: i feel crushed that there’s been no support in taking care of my mental health.
11:33 PM Ronja
Ronja: you and all women have a riht to shout. but aggression is threatening
me: you turn all the aggression inside
and you also project it on other women
11:34 PM Ronja: i have been doing this
me: like you told pähkinä that men who wear pink is exciting and interesting, and that you would go up and talk with them. and you also said that women who wear pink are not cool at all.
i’m sick of these double standards
Ronja: i know, but i try to be aware of it
i totally know it
11:35 PM me: of suicidal women who totally suck up to men
Ronja: although i just mean that some women who wear pink are icky to me, some women are not
11:36 PM me: and some men who draw penises on the walls of a women only space
Ronja: i express aggression these days
me: are perceived as aggressive to me
Ronja: to me also
and i’m trying to talk to them too
me: and some men who say cunt and bitch to women are perceived as aggressive to me
Ronja: i’m not only talking to you
me: well. you talk to people differently.
11:37 PM Ronja: can you know how i talk to people when you’re not there?
me: and you don’t take any accountability for going along with group pressure and voting me out.
i know that you show one finger in the air when im not there.
Ronja: i have said and i say now that i do feel the peer pressure
11:38 PM me: i will post this on the blog.
cause i’m sick of these things in private.
having to listen to this.
Ronja: yes, you have my permission
11:40 PM i’m still hoping that i’ll see the day you can come back to the squat, and i’m trying to make it that way. i just feel so bad that i never get any acceptance from you, whatever i do s wrong. when i’m really trying
me: i think what you’re saying about me crying is bullshit. cause i’ve gone through every possible emotion and i’ve expressed it in a million different ways.
11:41 PM Ronja: I always see you expressing anger firstly and foremostly… I mean, if you could show the sadness that is behind it, without trying to be powerful and turning it to hat… to show vulnerability
me: i think you’re just projecting societies idiotic standards on how i’m supposed to “behave” when i’m exposed to really sad mad oppressive behaviors.
11:42 PM there are definitely more sensitive ways of listening to a person in my position.
Ronja: i’m not saying you’re supposed to. i’m just trying to point out that if you show anger to people, they get scared
me: how would i express sadness in the “right” way according to you?
and who are “they”?
11:43 PM Ronja: i’m sorry. i want to say that… i really love you and i want you to feel good, and i’m sorry if i can’t evr do anything but hurt you, i don’t want to do the same my father has done to me, saying i love you and beating me up
me: cause there are a lot of people who think the people involved in the social centre are completely nuts.
Ronja: i think they have their own insanity
11:44 PM me: who are “they”?
Ronja: especially pikku-markus…
i don’t know really who “they” are, there’s so many people in this
11:45 PM me: i can understand that you have a need to talk. and that you have a need to talk in a safe environment. i can only tell you that i’m not that person for you.
and what i’m looking for now are people who will not start licking ass in order to save their own skin, or blame me for freaking out every now and then, when i’m going through all this insane shit.
11:46 PM i can’t take this type of behavior anymore.
i need warmth and solidarity.
and i need to be loved in a way i feel loved in. not just with words. but with actions.
11:47 PM Ronja: have you forgotten every time i have done exactly what you have wanted?
me: i appreciate these moments of solidarity.
Ronja: i’m suffering too, getting shit from both you and other people, when i’m trying to help people treat each other with love
me: and hate the times when you’ve turned against me.
11:48 PM well. then we should all sit down and have a long talk on what love is.
cause i have a different idea of this than you.
11:49 PM love is not self-sacrifice. or sucking it up. or a vague feeling. it’s real concrete actions.
Ronja: i know i haven’t done everything i could ave done for you, and i’m sorry, but i have other things in my life also
me: you might feel love for me when you have your finger in the air. but i just dont see it that way. i dont feel it that way.
Ronja: i’m doing what ican without sacrificing myself
11:50 PM me: the best thing you can do is just to take care of yourself.
stop “helping” me.
Ronja: i am taking care of myself
11:51 PM i was just feeling sad about you feeling sad and i wanted to say that iwish something i wanted to do could help you
can I show this dialogue to my friends?
11:52 PM me: well. take up the discussion on my exclusion. talk about the meeting that wasn’t consensus. fight the madness and the prejudice instead of telling me that i should cry more than i already have.
nothing i do is private. anything i’ve done or said can be passed on. there’s already a monster of rumours out there about me.
11:53 PM Ronja: well i’ll try talking to the squat people, fighting the madness there
me: good luck.

11 Responses

  1. Some comments

    1. You remember incorrectly my comment about Micke: I said it was cool how she could remember so many things at meetings, link them to each other, and generally arrange stuff… I probably have stated that she’s sexy too in a different phrase. Although it is true too that I think that intelligence is attractive. But I have noticed that you do sometimes misunderstand or remember incorrectly my statements (probably everyone does it though).

    2. I see that the reason why other people act destructively towards you and why you act destructively towards them is civilization. We’ve all been broken and made frustrated and angry by the mental and physical violence that is in the structure of civilization (remember reading Fire&Ice?). Everyone is broken, everyone hurts each other with the shards of themselves as they interact. You have a reason to be angry, because you are suffering – but so do other people. I see it so, that you all may have quite common reasons for your aggression, all of which are caused by the twistedness of this society’s people’s way of relating to other people as a whole. The roots of this twistedness go back through tens of thousands of years to the beginning of civilization.
    I am myself trying in my life to heal both myself and others, and give everyone the love they need to stop suffering and being destructive. I do also feel hate, but I release it to the whole of the world, trying not to release it to one person at a time (unless I need that for self-defence).

    3. I acknowledge that I also have treated you badly and left you unprotected, and feel guilty for it. The reason I have not taken to my life quest making you happy is that I don’t have capacity, energy for it. I need to take care of myself and my other friends who are unstable. You have yourself stated that love isn’t about sacrifying oneself – then it is controversial if you are asking me to devote my whole energy to doing exactly what you want me to. I can only try to do little things for you at the moment – if you just tell me “fuck you, ass licker” for doing that, I may well feel it too traumatizing to be in contact with you all and stop doing anything related to you.

    4. I said that I wish some day you could return to the social centre… but I don’t believe that it could happen in a long time, I think there is much slow work to be needed, much healing. Both you and other people would need to unlearn directing anger at each other. And the distrust between you and other people is so deep, that it would really take a long time for the gap to bridge again.

    • by Milla

      about the “dominance is sexy” kind of comment i made… this is what was said in the chat in November last year:

      9:22 PM Ronja: or i’ll say quick about micke, she has an astonishing capability to arrange things, and memory, i think she’s smart, and has some senseitivity, though i’ve learned from you maybe not perfect sensitivity, she’s cute, and for about a week i’ve been thinking i would like to get to know her
      and i might fancy her, cause she is cute
      me: i dont’ see her that way
      9:23 PM watch out for this seductive patterns. she uses it a lot.
      9:24 PM Ronja: i’m always with my mouth open when she just keeps talking in meetings “we can do dis and dat and this day is then and we should write this for the papers and can someone do this” i just don’t understand how she has such an arranged picture about squatting, what needs to be done
      me: “needs” to be done
      9:25 PM or more like. a person who took on a lot of responsibility and that gained a lot of power. and then
      just kind of took over a process,
      Ronja: well, she’s got ideas…
      me: having difficulties in letting go
      Ronja: and yeah i’ll watch out
      me: and sharing
      with others
      like myself
      Ronja: letting go what?
      me: she’s really been working against
      having me being heard
      9:26 PM sharing the project
      Ronja: that’s shitty
      let’s continue another evening. bye
      me: she’s been using a lot of power against me. on me.
      see you
      Ronja: i understand… but bye

      … Ronja. My way of interpreting this statement about you sitting there with your mouth open listening to how cute Micke tries to delegate the tasks related to the decisions she already made outside the meeting (not very consensus…) Well to me that sounds like you worship power.

      Especially since I heard this from Micke herself (in swedish) from a chat May 2007, translation in [ ] …. Background: I had been talking about an experience I had had in Germany of how a guy who had gained high status – recieved a lot of eye-contact – in a small group had made a misinterpretation of an exercise we were doing, and how this persons misinterpretation made everybody else doubt that they had understood things the way we had understood it. We thought the guys mistinterpretation was right and that we were wrong. The high status reality expressed, took over the reality of the rest of the group. Micke starts by making an interpretation of the high-status person, speaking through her own experiences:

      micke.brunila: mm
      han lyssnade nog inte. jag upplever att om jag får status i en grupp får jag svårt för att lyssna på sådana med lägra status.
      det är hemskt
      [he probably didn’t listen. i experience that if i get status within a group i get difficulties listening to the ones with lower status. it’s awful.]
      12:19 PM me: jag tycker det är ett bra exempel på hur starkt högstatus verklighetsuppfattning påverkar alla andras verklighetsuppfattning.
      jag märker samma sak. (om att lyssna)
      [i think it’s a good example of how strong high-status reality perception influence the reality perception of others. i notice the same thing. (about listening)]
      micke.brunila: och hur det påverkar relationerna inom en grupp. hur man klarar av att kommunicera
      [and how it affects the relations within a group. how you manage to communicate]
      12:20 PM me: därför är det bra att träna lyssnande i både bikupor och rundor.
      säger jag eftersom jag behöver träna det själv..
      [that’s why it’s good to train listening in both bee-hives and rounds. i say, since i need to practice it myself..]
      12:21 PM micke.brunila: jo. vi måste absolut ha motsvarande övningar i sommar. eller så fort vi börjar få upp en grupp. eller varför inte i en skild workshop…
      [yeah. we must definitely practice similar things this summer. or as soon as we start forming a group. or why not a separate workshop…]
      me: jag är jätteintresserad av att köra workshoppar. om jag bara “får tid”..
      [i’m superinterested in doing workshops. if i only “get time”…]
      12:22 PM men varför inte ha aktiva diskussioner om det? säkert en massa som är intresserade. det behövs bara att nån sätter igång och pratar öppet om det.
      [but why not have active discussion on it? surely a lot of interest there. you only need someone to start openly about it.]
      12:23 PM micke.brunila: jo, varför inte.
      [yeah, why not.]

      … Like putting these two realities together, and knowing how Micke didn’t work actively on her own sexism – something that i was pointing out continuously, and that she said “sure, later” in dealing with – and that she is a white, finn-swede from upper middle class background with a lot of privilege in this society. Well to me, how this civilization works is that we are programmed to feel okay with these power positions. Like you sitting with your mouth open watching Micke having control over a meeting – instead of wondering why there aren’t more persons participating in the decision making, getting enough information to start thinking creatively and feel that their voice and that their ideas have value.

      I guess it’s only through dialogue that we can get to understand the reality of the other. And my way of understanding you saying that Micke is cute and that you fancy her because of this, is not separated from the sentenses that come after, where you admire her for having strong leader qualities. In the society we live in today power is sexy.

      In the same way as you think a guy wearing pink is cool and interesting, but at the same time think certain women are “icky” [disgusting?] when wearing the same color.

      Pink representing the feminine, is a nice spice when it’s worn by the ruling class, but when you see it on a woman expressing femininity then there’s an aversion in you towards this person.

      What makes me feel uncomfortable speaking with you Ronja, is that I never heard you talk about sexism as a problem.

      I hear the differences you make between men and women all the time, and the only thing I’ve heard so far about problematizing the power relations between the sexes, is that you feel sorry for men, because they are not socially allowed to decorate themselves in the same way as women. I feel that the differences run deeper than that, and I feel that the whole situation I’m in with this conflict – trauma, isolation, vilification and ridicule – is because of these power relations.

      And I guess that’s where our interpretation of reality start to differ. And this is the discussion I would have liked to have wtihin the social centre, instead of just talking about everybody being equally wrong or right.

      • I’m glad to be talking about this with you… and it is good to talk this in public.

        I understand how you could come to the conclusions you have about why I like Micke, that it would be because she would be dominant. I think it may well be so that she is doing too much compared to other people, would be better to share tasks and power.

        But really, you do misinterpret if you say that I said Micke is sexy when I say she’s cute and I might fancy her. Having love as in fondness, and romantic feelings are different from sexual feelings. Although frankly, I don’t see why I couldn’t think she’s hot too, I just don’t mainly think of her that way, I more have this care-taking feeling for her.

        I don’t usually like people who dominate or otherwise treat others badly. Or I might like the person otherwise, but still dislike that specific behaviour. I usually sense when there is domination going on, and I want to affect the situation so that the need to dominate goes away. But it is very valuable that you suspect this adoring power to happen in this case, it’s possible other people have it for Micke. I agree that it happens a lot in the world.

        In general self-confidence is to me charismatic, as it is to most people. Though at the same time, I am very drawn to openness and showing vulnerability, and being non-narcistic – I somehow am happiest when people have both great self-love and see themselves as equal with others, making mistakes like everyone.

        I do see sexism hurting both females and males, and I call myself feminist and masculinist. I agree that our society is patriarchal, seeing women as inferior. In the history of civilization, it’s clear that women have been treated like they had less wotrh than men. But also, at the same time – again, remember Fire&Ice? – I feel I can’t say who has been hurt more by this, since I feel that this sick way of bringing up people to machine-like boys and doll-like girls is doing more harm than can be measured to both women and men. I know in my skin what pain it is to get the expectations of being the perfect woman, and being sexually abused and not listened to. But I also feel in myself the pain of my male friends in trying to fit the role of some muscular boss always-having-a-hard-on never feeling sorrow MONSTER! In my life, when there is talk about feminism, I also try to speak about how both sexes are treated inhumanly and denied their true nature. And I try to treat women and men as equally a I ever can, which means learning to give women attention isnstead of the alpha males. I myself, I know, have also sexist behaviour of giving attention to males and wanting attention of them more than from women. I try to be aware of all of my patterns. Thank you for helping me with it.

      • And the pink thing, yes.

        I do have a reservedness for women who wear nothing but pink. This comes from my past:

        I used to have a female teacher in junior high that only had pink clothes and items. She was harsh and mean to me. I connected her pinkness as trying to give outside a message that she’s kind and sweet and ultra-female and it just made me feel like she was crazy and wanted to be a Barbie doll and that it was so strange compared to her unkind behaviour. Like the character in Harry Potter, the teacher who has very sweet clothes and items and pretends to be very sweet but is by her nature sadistic. That’s just what I connect to women wearing only pink, I know it’s totally from that one past experience.

        And I also sometimes get irritated if girls wear really sweet pink sugary clothes (well, sometimes I think it’s cool too. this is complicated), if I feel they just want to fill the role of the sweet helpless girl. That they just wear pink cause girls are supposed to. But then again strong colours like bright pink, sometimes I think it’s really cool people, girls and boys, “have the guts” to wear.

        This thing about liking pink-wearing boys, it’s totally true. I even once went to a boy saying “you have pink hair, I came to see if you are nice?”. When I see that I just feel like “wow, maybe she’s a boy who doesn’t care about stupid gendered colours. She can really express herself. She isn’t afraid to be called a fag. Maybe she can even show vulnerability.”.

        And all of this is totally hilarious, cause it’s just an iffing colour. It even used to be so a few centuries back that boys were dressed in pink and girls in blue. Totally stupid, all these things I connect to a colour! With some effort, maybe I’ll unlearn.

        All the pink-wearing girls in the world deserve respect!

  2. And I want to say that I do feel it traumatizing to interact with you, as you do with me. I felt shaky after our conversation, I felt totally ugly and like I have no right to feel anything. I started to think about should I come to LadyFest at all. I might come, but without communicating with you, if I’m feeling too weak.

    You have so much anger, if one wants to communicate with you, they have to take in so much of it in, it’s hard… to take those blows.

  3. About expressing anger… you are correct in that the most part of my life I’ve been suppressing my anger towards other people and always thought I’m the one to blame and punish. It’s only lately I’ve been able to release my anger and bitterness to the whole world and “fate” for my suffering.

    And I’ve noticed, that I do get violent angry fits sometimes. I loose my temper and I start talk abusively or hit people. I know I’m capable of hurting. What helps me to prevent that is that I constantly express firmly and calmly that I’m angry, and get other people to acknowledge this and either the situation changes or I leave. I know that you have also very much of the time been expressing anger firmly and calmly, but I still hope you and the others could do it more, as much as possible.

    And still

    And still one thing you’ve misunderstood… I never ever want to blame you for what harm has been done to you. I’ve never said and am never going to say that it’s your fault that you’ve been treated badly. You would deserve nothing else than love and compassion. And the same for the people who do harm. They deserve nothing else than love and compassion. Although there is a line, that if the community has an aggressive individual, and for a long time patiently show love and compassion, but the individual never heals, then in some cases she must be banished in order to save the community. This may in some way describe your banning, although I’m sure not everyone has given you any love or compassion at all. But many have tried, and given up, because they never get acceptance from you no matter how much they do, you just always see how they lack. “I never was there / was there when it counts”.

    And I agree that you’re not the only aggressive individual the scene has. I know at least 2 people that have serious aggression problems (which we have been discussing lately at the house, which is great).

    And also, that you have been hurt, gives you no right to hurt others, and the same goes for them. I don’t like it that you receive hateful comments, whatever harm you have done. This has become like a damn war where everyone has a “right” to revenge, a “right” to act like total rude abusive violent urpos. I would so much like to see from both sides the will to be the one to behave like they want to see each other behave. And I also think that the best way to teach people to treat each other well is to do that oneself. Not do “do as I say, not like I do”.

    Civilization sucks, and we all suffer from it, and we’re all in this together. What could heal us would be to really concentrate on not just taking our anger on eachother and try to create something healthy in the midst of all this madness (as I see you are trying to). I agree that it would be really good to get more socio-emotional talk and mental support talk in the scene (!!!). I agree there is hurtful communication happening there.

    And I understand you feel pain, and please understand that I also feel pain over this sad tragic situation. And I try not to make any more mistakes with the way I treat you. And that doesn’t mean I’ll do everything exactly as you want.

    • by Milla

      When you speak in general terms:

      “But many have tried, and given up, because they never get acceptance from you no matter how much they do, you just always see how they lack. “I never was there / was there when it counts”.”

      I feel sadness and frustration, because I have a need for direct communication. So, if you would speak directly out of your own experiences, giving clear examples of the behavior that is not wanted – like for instance me saying: “fuck you” – not making you feel safe in communicating with me.

      When you give generalisations like the one above, and also the one below:

      “You have yourself stated that love isn’t about sacrifying oneself – then it is controversial if you are asking me to devote my whole energy to doing exactly what you want me to.”

      Then this is the thing that i percieve as victim-blaming. That when I say I don’t feel okay with you as a friend or political ally after you voted me out, by sticking a finger in the air.

      And that we have big differences in understanding the complicated power-system called sexism and patriarchy and in how we see it related to this conflict.

      Then I feel that you could express your feeling of loss differently, through your own feelings, instead of saying that my decision to not relate to you, because I feel your actions don’t invoke feelings of trust or support and safety, in me. And that requests that I make are recieved as demands for you devoting your “whole life energy into making me happy”.

      I see it differently. I don’t feel connected with you. I feel that our realities differ too much. And I feel uncomfortable being in a position where I have to ask for the “right thing in the right way” in order not to get the whole lithiania about me being demanding and blaming.

      How about you just accepting that the situation is like this. And that you don’t really have a clear view on what you want to do.

      I think it’s funny thinking now, that you for a while – by your own initiative! – was passing on what was said about me from the internal email of the social centre, and that you asked me not to say this to the others because you were afraid of being excluded.

      Like you talk about openness and honesty. And then you bend the rules every once in a while. Ask me not to say the whole truth. “That only this letter was passed on, don’t say anything about the other stuff.”

      LIKE I DON’T KNOW HOW TO EXPRESS THIS: I’m not there to be your care-giver or accept whatever role or projections you have on me. If you want to help, then I tell you loudly and clearly:

      — Ask me what I want and need, and I’ll tell you. Then it’s up to you to decide what you are capable or willing to do. You can also make suggestions on what you would like to do – but don’t blame me if I don’t feel helped in the way you suggest.

      I’m not a doll to be played with. I’m a real human being. I am the one being excluded. I am the one who is putting all my life energy into fixing this injustice. This is my choice. And it is also my choice with whom I choose to associate.

      Ronja, a lot of the times you speak for the “whole” community. I’d prefer if you speak solely through your own experiences. Especially since you are making your way into the “in-group”.

      My experience with you for instance, has been that I was afraid to speak openly with you for a long time, cause when I do that, I get to hear that I’m ungrateful and demanding. I was afraid of losing “support”, that I had to be in a “good victim” role.

      you saying this, is really triggering to me:

      “And still one thing you’ve misunderstood… I never ever want to blame you for what harm has been done to you. I’ve never said and am never going to say that it’s your fault that you’ve been treated badly. You would deserve nothing else than love and compassion. And the same for the people who do harm. They deserve nothing else than love and compassion. Although there is a line, that if the community has an aggressive individual, and for a long time patiently show love and compassion, but the individual never heals, then in some cases she must be banished in order to save the community. This may in some way describe your banning, although I’m sure not everyone has given you any love or compassion at all. But many have tried, and given up, because they never get acceptance from you no matter how much they do, you just always see how they lack. “I never was there / was there when it counts”.

      And I agree that you’re not the only aggressive individual the scene has. ”

      You are repeatedly saying that you vote me out because “people” will leave if I would go there. With this you exclude others who are disturbed by the power relations within the social centre, with this you exclude the persons that I have functional relations with. The people that would leave are the people I would like to confront on sexist behavior, and the people who support these people in not getting confronted. It’s a total power relation where an oppressed reality is shut out. And this is what I see you supporting by voting “one”. One finger represents one year of silence.

      Many have tried to help out in this conflict. Including one woman from the conflict resolution group that disolved. She said herself that she’s not interested in taking part in the social centre because she’s not into the idea of “banging her head against their wall of arrogance”. Many persons have protested, many persons have put efforts into making a real dialogue happening, and many have left the social centre because of the strong hierarchies and the tiring dis-organisation within.

      It’s funny that you have this view on the conflict. That it constantly comes up in the conversations. That your reason for not doing anything about it, is because of me. You’ve never talked about giving up or losing energy because of the refusal, denial and resistance within…

      You are constantly returning to my aggression. Never looking at the sorces it springs from. Injustice and not getting heard leads to anger. Being told that there is no problem or that the harms done are not as bad as talking about the harms done… well. It leads to madness.

      In what way is a person facing sexist exclusion (i was even told i would be welcome to the house if i didn’t speak about feminism! like totally clearly stated that i have no right to express myself freely!) In what way can you compare the sexist exclusion of a radical feminist with “saving the community”?

      I know this is a bit like ranting. But I’m tired. And this conflict never seizes to suck the will of living out of me. It just goes on and on.

      But back to the quote, with direct comments:

      And still one thing you’ve misunderstood…
      [>> A politically correct non-projecting non-blaming way of expressing the same thing would be: I haven’t managed to explain myself clearly. Let me have another try…>>]

      I never ever want to blame you for what harm has been done to you. I’ve never said and am never going to say that it’s your fault that you’ve been treated badly.
      [>> This you say. And still you do not recognize that banning me for a year, sitting in a group and agreeing on that what has happened should not be talked about, and that I will not have a right to participate in these discussions myself… You do not recognize this as harm done to me, but instead you continue trying to explain that this is about saving the community. >>]

      You would deserve nothing else than love and compassion. And the same for the people who do harm. They deserve nothing else than love and compassion. Although there is a line, that if the community has an aggressive individual, and for a long time patiently show love and compassion, but the individual never heals, then in some cases she must be banished in order to save the community. This may in some way describe your banning, although I’m sure not everyone has given you any love or compassion at all.
      [>> In this you express that there is a problem with aggression. And that aggressive individuals not wanting to deal with their behavior should be banned. You are supposedly talking about me as the aggressive person, and in this you are overlooking 1)) the question of – what is aggression? – what is violence? >like for instance is being ignored violence? etc. 2)) what is the cause? what is the reaction? What came first – sexist oppression or the angry traumatized feminist?>>]

      But many have tried, and given up, because they never get acceptance from you no matter how much they do, you just always see how they lack. “I never was there / was there when it counts”.
      [>> At first you express doubt that people have shown me any love or compassion at all, and then you say that many have tried, without giving any specific examples of what this compassion and love consists of, and then you once again say that it is because of me not accepting all these actions – like being told i shouldn’t speak of feminism, or being voted out, officially silenced from speaking about sexism within the project for 2 years – that me not accepting this is why people within the “community” have given up. This I would see as a highly blaming phrase, as in: Milla, you are a hopeless case, no matter how much love and compassion ‘we’ give you just don’t change…>>]

      And I agree that you’re not the only aggressive individual the scene has.
      [>> I absolutely agree. But I still don’t see my aggression, anger, sadness, traumatization as the main problem. I see the problem like this:

      — How can a community create a situation where sexism isn’t dealt with, but instead try to cover up the problems and push out the person trying to do something about it?
      — How can a community ban speaking topics >”feminism” and also concrete individuals practicing feminism, >”me- the radcial feminist”?
      — How can a community ignore that I was never invited into the talks where I was discussed? (talked about, but not listened to or included in knowing what was said about me.)
      — How can an individual taking part in this even talk about the existence of community or talk about the protection of the social dynamics ruling the individuals in this project by banning persons willing to talk about the problems?>>]

      Ronja. I hear that you say that you don’t want to blame me, but your words do express a thinking that is totally problematic to me.

  4. Ooohhhh. ;sigh;

    Well I guess it’s only good that you told my secret. I hated keeping it. So yeah, I had previously sent emails from the sos-list to you, cause I then wanted to, cause I thought it was unfair you were kicked out, but now afterwards I don’t feel it was right and I wouldn’t have wanted other squatters to know cause they can’t necessarily trust me anymore. But I’ve made that mistake and you’ve told about it and now there’s nothing I can do but hope I don’t get a lot of hate about this. Because I know I’ve hurted people by sending those mails… Oh fuck.

    Yeah, you have many points, I could return to them later…

    I just feel uncomfortable talking with you, because I’m so much in need of love, and I get no signs of acceptance from you. I don’t know if I can engage in conversation with you cause I just have such a low self-esteem that I feel so bad if I’m critisized without being told that even though I make mistakes, I’m still loved.

    • by Milla

      Well, I don’t know what acceptance is for you. But I can promise that this is a place where you can express yourself openly without fear of retaliation or repression. This space was opened up by me, but you have just as much right to exist and express yourself here as I do. I will not vote you out.

      I will argue with you why I find certain actions working against a positive community atmosphere. I will argue with you why I disagree with you voting me out, or try to express why I feel uncomfortable with your reasoning or your actions.

      I can try to explain why I feel sad when you feel you can’t speak openly with “the squatters” without fear of hatred spewed on you. I can try to explain why I think it’s sad that you express that you “hurt” them by sending emails on, and that you “save” them by silencing me.

      Like I said before. I’m in such a shitty situation, the love I have is like this: I can tell you openly how I feel and why, and I’m willing to hear you out and try to understand your point of view.

      The whole conflict has had such an effect on me, that a lot of times I don’t feel any love at all. I have no sex-drive. A lot of aggression and hurt turned inside, turned into self-hatred. Fear and mistrust. Feelings turned off, disconnected, numb, dead. For others it’s been a discussion topic, wanted or unwanted. For me – this is about my life. I can’t take a break from it, or have ‘time-out’ as long as I’m not included in the discussion.

      I know for sure that I’m tired of having these one-on-one conversations in private that seem to lead no-where always circling around the same arguments. So, I really appreciate that you’ve taken the step to speak on this blog. I’m grateful for that.

      I don’t really feel seen by you. In the same way as with Micke, that there is some projection going on. Idolisation of whatever qualities it is you think I have, and that you think you lack. Or the projection of ‘aggressive annoyance for the loving community’. I don’t know. In any case, I don’t feel seen by you. Maybe through talking here this could change. Or maybe at least the positions come out more clearly. The thing that makes me not feel seen is that I constantly talk about the pain I’ve gone through, and I get the feeling it’s difficult for you to relate to this, and to see it in connection with what’s been happening in the social centre, and also see it related to your own actions.

      I feel hurt by a lot of things you’ve done, and I really don’t feel I would be okay with holding you, comforting you, when the things you’ve done are left unaddressed. The voting me out, is like a kick in my face, and I want to talk about it. I want to have the right to talk this through, cause the decision you were taking part in affected my life and my choices in a big way.

      Acceptance is not about accepting kicks. Acceptance comes with you taking accountability for your actions. This means you try to explain the reasoning behind it, and also compare this with my reality. This means that you are also willing to do something about it, if you think you should have done differently.

      I can feel no pity with you. I don’t have any empathy. There is no warm feelings to share. There are only unanswered questions that I would like to have answered. You voting me out and silencing me, and me having a strong fear of yet again be denied answers, should not be balanced in the way that I would have to stroke you and cuddle you before I can get what I deserve.

      After the meeting there was a piece of brown paper torn from a larger sheet given to me. “Milla will be banned for 2 years, and the issue will not be discussed at the house. Only exception is Ladyfest.” And the Ladyfest came there because the leader Micke all of a sudden remembered that there was that thing coming up.

      I don’t know how you would feel acceptance. I know I would feel acceptance if I don’t have to step into a care-taker role in order to get some answers to what has happened. That I can be accepted in not feeling okay with being treated in certain ways, and that I see that it affects the whole relation I have with a person, not just the relation I have with some walls and a roof – The House.

      I know you are only expressing your feelings. And I express mine; the frustration and sadness in all the discussions and decisions being made about me, that I was never allowed to participate in myself.

      It’s not fair of you to disappear from this.
      That’s my opinion.

  5. […] was a gradual process getting out of touch with her, a gradual process of me going through conflict (trauma), and expressing more and more anger. I regret that. She was very sensitive to expressions of aggression. I did a lot of reflection […]

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