Feeling helpless & hopeless, asking for support (NVC Link)

by Milla — she=he

I’m taking small improving steps, and asking for help is one of those steps i would like to learn to take with ease. Today i requested an empathy chat on NVC Link (skype). I got to speak with Chris for some hours and we practiced a role-play.

I’m probably having a difficult talk a few days from now, and I’m scared of losing myself in reactive behavior. It was a relief acting out the things I find hard to hear, and I could definitely use more preparation before entering the talk that I fear.


[13:54:22] feministsister: menu
[13:54:25] |nvclink (42 online): An introduction is available at http://www.cnvc.org/NVCLinkIntro?b=591
Type    ‘chat’          to request a 20 min one-to-one chat on any subject
Type    ’empathy’       to request a 20 min one-to-one empathy chat
Type    ‘practice’      to request a 20 min one-to-one practice chat
Type    ‘voice’      to request a 20 min one-to-one voice chat
Type    ‘ask’           to ask a question and I’ll find someone to answer it
    ‘list’            list of members
   ‘invite’         invite your skype/email contacts to join nvclink
   ‘settings’      set your profile and settings
   developer –  request support/give feedback to the developer
[13:55:32] feministsister: empathy
[13:55:32] |nvclink (42 online): It takes about  up to 15 min. to find an available partner.
You can cancel your request during the search, but canceling is only for unforeseen events
Do you have that time to wait? (yes/no)
[13:55:41] feministsister: yes
[13:55:42] |nvclink (42 online): To share samples of using NVC we would like to publish chat logs.
Would you like the chat to be
    public – to have this chat published as Milla/finland
    anonymous – to have this chat published anonymously
    private – to avoid having this chat published
    (you can change your preference during the chat as well)
[13:56:02 | Edited 13:58:38] |nvclink (42 online): Waiting for reply from 7 people.*
[13:56:03] feministsister: public
[13:56:03] |nvclink (42 online): Type ‘ringme’ if you want to receive an alert via a ring you when the request is accepted.
(type ‘end’ to cancel your request)
[13:58:53] |nvclink (43 online): userxXx Chris/britain  is chatting with you.
[13:58:53] |nvclink (43 online): Type at any time during the chat:
    voice – to switch to voice chat
    video – to switch to video chat
    end – when the chat finishes.
    block – to block this user
Chats may be monitored to avoid abuse
[13:58:53] |nvclink (43 online): Your chat partner Chris time limit for this chat is 20 min.
[13:59:09] feministsister: hello chris?
[13:59:18] |nvclink (42 online): Chris : hello Milla how are you today
[14:00:05] feministsister: difficult. not really knowing what to begin with. i’m mostly by myself. so i have a heap of undealt aching longings. and find communication with other people very confusing and tiring in general.
[14:00:34] feministsister: but now. it’s that i’m going to have a talk with a person that i’ve been trying to get a talk with for a few years.
[14:00:49] feministsister: and the hopelessness around that.
[14:01:00] feministsister: maybe that’s it.
[14:01:10] feministsister: hopelessness around connection.
[14:01:18] feministsister: how are you?
[14:01:21] |nvclink (42 online): Chris : Are you feeling hopeless because you need connection with the person and maybe afraid they won’t accept you?
[14:01:48] feministsister: i’m afraid that there is no understanding. either way.
[14:02:06] |nvclink (42 online): Chris : I am doing good btw. Thank you for asking.
[14:02:16] |nvclink (42 online): Chris : So you’re afraid you won’t be understood.
[14:02:18] feministsister: i’m afraid to live in a world where there is no real understanding.
[14:02:59] feministsister: are you saying that you’re doing good just because, or do you really mean it?
[14:03:13] feministsister: just checking.
[14:03:17] |nvclink (42 online): Chris : so could you be scared that your need for empathy won’t be met?
[14:03:32] |nvclink (42 online): Chris : No I’m genuinely doing good because my need for relaxation is being met. 🙂
[14:03:39] feministsister: cool
[14:04:15] feministsister: i don’t know about empathy. what do you mean by that? that i won’t be heard?
[14:04:45] |nvclink (42 online): Chris : Yes, that others won’t be able to genuinely understand you
[14:05:24] feministsister: yes, and as i said, that i won’t be able to understand them.
[14:06:05] feministsister: i have a fear of not being able to stay calm. get disconnected from myself.
[14:06:28] feministsister: and in the long term. that i won’t be able to have any close meaningful relations with people.
[14:06:51] |nvclink (41 online): Chris : that must make you feel anxious because you need control over yourself
[14:07:11] feministsister: do you have some ways that you re-connect with yourself when you’re triggered?
[14:08:11] |nvclink (42 online): Chris : well if I’m triggered in the immediate, I like to stop and breathe for a moment and observe how I’m feeling and the need behind that feeling
[14:08:56] |nvclink (42 online): Chris : I think it also helps if you engage in some sort of practice before the trigger like prayer, meditation, visualization, etc. because it helps to center you and make you more aware of your emotions
[14:09:14] feministsister: what type of visualization?
[14:10:15] |nvclink (40 online): Chris : maybe visualizing your upcoming encounter with the person, how you want it to go, and then the worst possible situation for it to go, and how you would respond to each
[14:10:42] feministsister: ah. that’s helpful. worst case scenario might be useful to go through.
[14:11:34] |nvclink (41 online): Chris : I find worst possible situations rarely happen so they prepare you for something worse than what you’ll probably actually encounter, but you’ll be prepared even if it does happen
[14:12:17] feministsister: well. i’ve been in many worst case scenarios already with this person. so i figure it can’t get any worse than it already has been.
[14:12:31] |nvclink (41 online): Chris : if it would help, I would be willing to roleplay the conversation with you

[14:12:57] feministsister:how much time do you have? there’s 8 minutes left of the 20 that was offered.

[14:13:12] |nvclink (41 online): Chris : I can extend it beyond that
[14:13:40] feministsister: ok. so we could try a bit. i don’t know what to begin with. how to play it out.
[14:13:48] |nvclink (41 online): Chris : if it cuts us off, we can message again manually
[14:14:02] feministsister: ok.
[14:14:20] feministsister: do you have any suggestions of how to /what to start with?
[14:14:29] |nvclink (41 online): Chris : well, I’ll play the jackal role, so I’ll need a bit of background and context on the conversation
# 4 min left to your chat partner time limit, please respect it.

[14:14:45] |nvclink (40 online): Chris :and I”ll also need to know what you think the worse case scenario will be

# 4 min left to your chat partner time limit, please respect it.
[14:15:34] feministsister: how do i switch so i can message you outside this chat program
[14:15:36] feministsister: ?
[14:16:14] |nvclink (40 online): Chris : well I’m on Skype, or I’ll just reconnect to you maually after it disconnects us
# 2 min left to your chat partner time limit, please respect it.
[14:17:07] feministsister: i’m getting these “# 2 min left to your chat partner time limit, please respect it.” so i figure now could be a good time to start a chat elsewhere. are you okay with that?
[14:17:35] |nvclink (40 online): Chris :It will let us reconnect. Don’t worry. 🙂

# 1 min left to your chat partner time limit, please respect it.
[14:17:41] feministsister: okay.
[14:18:32] feministsister: it’s hard. i don’t know how to sum up the situation.
[14:20:26] feministsister: it’s someone who offered me support in a conflict situation. offering solidarity. has problems with male chauvinist behavior. has had mulitiple relations going with many persons, and has lied about it to some, and to others just leaving them hanging until it for some reason feels okay speaking with them again.
[14:20:27] |nvclink (40 online): # Connection Disconnected
# Your chat partner can choose to reconnect
# You can type ‘chat’ to find a new chat partner.
[14:20:34] |nvclink (40 online): # your chat partner reconnected the chat time with no limits
[14:20:49] feministsister: can you see me?
[14:20:53] feministsister: read me?
[14:20:59] |nvclink (40 online): Chris : yes I see you 🙂
[14:21:13] feministsister: okay. so did you get some of the description?
[14:21:38] |nvclink (40 online): Chris : I think it cut us off before the description. Would you mind copying and pasting it for me again?
[14:21:53] feministsister: [14:17] feministsister:

<<< okay.

it’s hard. i don’t know how to sum up the situation.
it’s someone who offered me support in a conflict situation. offering solidarity. has problems with male chauvinist behavior. has had mulitiple relations going with many persons, and has lied about it to some, and to others just leaving them hanging until it for some reason feels okay speaking with them again.
[14:22:15] feministsister: so we weren’t really in touch for so long.
[14:22:44] |nvclink (40 online): Chris : so do you feel betrayed because you need honesty from this person?
[14:23:54] feministsister: maybe more mutuality and consistency. honesty is a part of that. but i can’t really say honesty, cause that for me could mean that someone is just changing their mind constantly and say whatever rude degrading thing their thinking.
[14:24:28] |nvclink (39 online): Chris : I see, that can be frustrating when someone isn’t consistent
[14:24:40] feministsister: i would have wanted the support that was offered intially.
[14:25:03] feministsister: i lost control completely.
[14:25:20] feministsister: completely de-humanized this person.
[14:25:56] |nvclink (38 online): Chris : do you feel guilty because you wanted to connect with the person better than you did?
[14:26:39] feministsister: no. more overwhelmed and helpless. crazy and alone.
[14:27:20] |nvclink (40 online): Chris : I see. so more overwhelmed and hopeless, and also lonely, because you need connection with them
[14:27:51] feministsister: i lost track of your initial suggestion. you wanted some background and a situation? and you would play this person? what kind of info do you need?
[14:28:24] feministsister: not connection with that person. it’s about the people around. how they react.
[14:29:07] |nvclink (38 online): Chris : I think I’m understanding the situation a bit now. The best way would be to imagine what you think the worst possible response the person could give  would be after you go through the four steps of NVC
[14:29:56] |nvclink (38 online): Chris : and then go through the steps of NVC. I’ll respond with the worst possible response and you can continue from there
[14:30:07] feministsister: i was told by one person that i had raped this guy. and that wasn’t really supportive to hear, or to have that type of discussion when i myself had tried to get a talk about lack of consent in situations where we had been sexual. it was just scary-crazy-weird. and very lonely. i would have wanted support from the people around. not necessarily connection with this person.
[14:30:37] |nvclink (39 online): Chris : ok so you really needed support rather than connection
[14:30:58] feministsister: well i guess connection is a part of support.
[14:31:10] |nvclink (39 online): Chris : it definitely can be
[14:31:35] feministsister: hmm. i didn’t understand your suggestion. ‘after i go through the four steps of nvc’
[14:31:54] |nvclink (39 online): Chris : how familiar are you with NVC?
[14:31:58] feministsister: you mean that i express myself to this person?
[14:32:00] feministsister: ofnr
[14:32:22] feministsister: and you are this person and react to what i say?
[14:32:48] feministsister: (ofnr was my ‘explanation’ that ‘yes, i understand the four steps’)
[14:32:58] |nvclink (40 online): Chris : ok 🙂
[14:33:26] |nvclink (40 online): Chris : yes, I’ll react as the person and you basically keep trying to empathize  with me
[14:33:45] feministsister: should i give more instructions?
[14:34:11] feministsister: or we just start?
[14:34:39] feministsister: it’s a weird game.
[14:34:41] |nvclink (40 online): Chris : well, tell me what you think the worst personal response from the person would be and then you can start with the four steps as you imagine it would go if you were approaching them and bringing up the subject
[14:36:02] |nvclink (40 online): Chris : sorry worst possible response
[14:36:36] feministsister: worst possible response: “your reality is distorted” and “that happened a long time ago, get over it” and “i have tons of people i can talk feminism with – the reason the men’s group doesn’t want to talk with you is because you are you”
[14:37:32] feministsister: and after this you wanted me to? please take it step by step. cause i’m not really following what you are asking me to do.
[14:38:32] |nvclink (41 online): Chris : ok now start with the four steps, imagining I’m her. Tell me your observation of the situation, how that makes you feel, the need behind it, and the request you want me to fulfill, just as you would tell her if she were in front of you right now
[14:39:06] feministsister: i imagine that you are daniel?
[14:39:14] |nvclink (41 online): Chris : yes
[14:39:17] feministsister: ok
[14:40:15] feministsister: i feel empty almost dead inside. there’s a lot of hurt coming up.
[14:41:03] feministsister: i’ve spent years trying to get these topics talked over, and i notice that they are not a priority for you.
[14:43:16] feministsister: that’s painful for me. a pain that feels crazy. hopelessness that’s strong. and then i lose control over myself. i react in ways i see are hurtful for you too.
[14:45:07] feministsister: i guess it’s difficult for me that you wish to offer me support in the conflict i was involved with, and that when it’s really needed i can’t find a way that speaks to you in a way you can understand.
[14:46:46] feministsister: i don’t know what to say? could you say what’s going on for you when you hear me say this?
[14:47:07] |nvclink (40 online): Chris : ok I was about to make sure you were done. 🙂
[14:47:26] |nvclink (40 online): Chris : Would you mind if I offered some suggestions on how to refine this?
[14:48:10] feministsister: is this what you would say as daniel? (i’m assuming not. just checking so i understand where we are at)
[14:48:24] |nvclink (40 online): Chris : no I’m speaking as Chris right now heh
[14:48:44] feministsister: say what you wish
[14:49:21] |nvclink (40 online): Chris : I’m assuming this is your observation; correct me if I’m wrong: [12:40:50 PM] |nvclink (40 online): i’ve spent years trying to get these topics talked over, and i notice that they are not a priority for you.
[14:49:51] feministsister: yes. cause daniel has stated clearly that they are not.
[14:50:55] |nvclink (40 online): Chris : ok, let’s refine it just a bit. When you offer your observation of the situation, you want to make it as specific as possible, so it’s more specific to give an exact time frame rather than a general “years”
[14:51:28] feministsister: from 2008 until this year
[14:52:19] feministsister: or probably more intensely from 2009
[14:52:56] |nvclink (39 online): Chris : ok. What you could say, then, is, “I have tried to talk to you about the way I perceive you’ve been treating me since 2008, and you told me it is not a priority for you.”
[14:53:49] |nvclink (40 online): Chris : does this sound acceptable to you?
[14:54:13] feministsister: okay i hear that. i’m puzzled though. hoping to get clarity by you continuing. i’m also a bit confused that you interrupted the role-play for advice.
[14:54:23] feministsister: but i’m okay with you leading this.
[14:54:32] feministsister: waiting for what’s next.
[14:55:01] |nvclink (40 online): Chris : well, I want to make sure we’re clear about the script before we go on. 🙂
[14:55:37] |nvclink (40 online): Chris : there’s some phrases that could be interpreted as jackal words
[14:55:55] feministsister: Daniel, I have tried to talk with you about the way i perceive you’ve been treating me since 2008, and how you’ve said that this is not a priority for you.
[14:57:02] |nvclink (40 online): Chris : (how does that make you feel and what is your need behind that feeling)

[14:59:16] feministsister: frustration. sadness. hurt. tiredness. needs: to provide clarity.

[14:59:38] feministsister: hopeless.
[14:59:55] |nvclink (40 online): Chris : (And what is your request for Daniel?)
[15:01:09] feministsister: provide clarity for me. needs: ease, support.
[15:01:23] feministsister: clarity in how to arrange this talk.
[15:02:40] |nvclink (40 online): Chris : (OK, I’ll being the role-play with one of your worst possible responses)
[15:02:43] feministsister: the talk i will have with daniel in a few days. related to a talk that’s been spread out since 2008, mostly talking about not wanting to talk.
[15:02:59] |nvclink (40 online): Chris : That happened a long time ago. Get over it.
[15:03:25] |nvclink (41 online): Chris : (Now try to empathize with how Daniel is feeling and try to find the need behind it)
[15:04:34] feministsister: So you would like to understand why i can’t let go of this?
[15:05:31] |nvclink (41 online): Chris : Yes, I got over it a long time ago but you just keep bringing it up. I don’t understand why you keep bringing it back up! It’s like you want to make sure I don’t forget it!
[15:06:57] |nvclink (43 online): Chris : (Just keep empathizing for a moment 🙂 )
[15:07:57] feministsister: So it’s painful for you to have this conversation? You would really like for this to be easier?
[15:08:38] feministsister: (chris can you keep in the role until the end. and we both keep in our roles until some point and that we have the other talk after. it’s weird for me jumping back and forth)
[15:09:37] |nvclink (45 online): Chris : It’s painful because I wish things were different. I don’t like the situation we’re in now anymore than you do!
[15:10:42] feministsister: So you would like to be heard in that this is painful for you too? And that you’re really longing for a change?
[15:12:25] |nvclink (45 online): Chris : yes, you’re not the only one that feels. I wish things could be like they used to as well, but I wonder if they can after how we both acted.
[15:13:11] feministsister: chris. i’m interrupting the role-play cause this is not what daniel would say/want
[15:13:51] feministsister: “i wish things could be like the used to” is not something daniel would say
[15:14:06] |nvclink (44 online): Chris : what do you think he would say?
[15:15:59] feministsister: i’m over this. you have your reality i have mine. i’m satisfied with my understanding of things. i’m only here because of you, i don’t really have any space in this, and i don’t really want to share anything with you. i was traumatized by this. and now i want to move on, and i have more important stuff to do in my life.
[15:17:36] |nvclink (41 online): Chris : do you think he may be feeling uneasy because he needs to protect himself from anymore pain?
[15:18:18] feministsister: i think there are a million possibilities and that i don’t know and that i probably never will.
[15:18:48] |nvclink (43 online): Chris : so do you feel scared you’ll never understand him?
[15:19:44] feministsister: partly yes, cause it brings distance to all relations in my life. and that fear is on equal level with not managing to make myself understood to others.
[15:21:06] |nvclink (44 online): Chris : and you’d like to empathize with him and understand how he’s feeling?
[15:22:21] feministsister: partly yes. and with myself there as well on an equal level. that i understand why i entered that hell. lost control. continued to rage and weep.
[15:23:07] feministsister: it’s equally important for me to be seen.
[15:24:00] |nvclink (44 online): Chris : would you like to try and find the need behind what you typed to me as him then as you were doing during the role play?
[15:24:38] feministsister: i can be daniel, and you can be me or yourself?
[15:24:59] |nvclink (44 online): Chris : we could do that, if that would help you
[15:25:19] feministsister: so i could start with: Your reality is distorted.
[15:26:00] |nvclink (44 online): Chris : Do you feel upset because you are afraid I’m not understanding you?
[15:26:42] feministsister: No. It doesn’t matter to me. I know how things are. You have your reality i have mine. I’m okay with that.
[15:27:43] |nvclink (44 online): Chris : so are you feeling tired because you need some completion between us?
[15:28:19] feministsister: I just want you to get over your hurt. I don’t understand what i have to do about that.
[15:29:01] feministsister: And you talk way too much. So sure i’m tired.
[15:30:02] |nvclink (44 online): Chris : so you’re frustrated because you need peace?
[15:31:40] feministsister: Yeah. And you don’t see that i couldn’t things any differently than i did. I’m dependent on the people that pushed you out. there was nothing i could do. And the stuff that i do is really valuable, i care for people who are on the fringe of society and you just go on and on about how you hate sexist men.
[15:32:15] feministsister: You never talk about anything else. You’re ignorant.
[15:32:42] |nvclink (43 online): Chris : so you feel scared because you need the friendship of these men need to feel like you belong?
[15:33:04] |nvclink (43 online): Chris : *and need to feel like you belong
[15:34:10] feministsister: No. I don’t have any control over other people – people do whatever they do, there’s nothing i can do to change that, and having those discussions were painful for me too, and i just want to help people and do something useful.
[15:34:28] feministsister: I don’t think you appreciate that. That you just talk about sexism all the time.
[15:34:41] feministsister: There are other people suffering in this world you know.
[15:34:57] |nvclink (43 online): Chris : so you need to have purpose in your life and need to know that your relationships are contributing to your life
[15:34:59] feministsister: People shouldn’t be freezing out on the streets just cuase their sexist.
[15:35:28] |nvclink (44 online): Chris : and you need understanding for your position
[15:36:15] feministsister: Hell yes. And you’re just taking energy away from me. Stop talking so much. Maybe i shouldn’t talk with you now. Maybe i’ll talk with you later. Some months from now. Maybe. I don’t know.
[15:37:17] |nvclink (44 online): Chris : so you need reassurance I’ll not keep trying to force these issues on you?
[15:37:51] feministsister: Yeah. We’re not in a relationship. I just want to move on.
[15:38:23] |nvclink (44 online): Chris : so you need acceptance that the relationship is over?
[15:38:55] feministsister: Yes. I keep repeating that i don’t want you over and over again. Don’t you get it. Stop talking.
[15:39:16] feministsister: What happened happened. I am what i am.
[15:39:36] |nvclink (44 online): Chris : so would you like reassurance I’ve heard your needs?
[15:39:45] feministsister: what are needs?
[15:40:04] feministsister: what are you talking about?
[15:40:37] |nvclink (44 online): Chris : let me rephrase that: would you like reassurance I’ve heard what you want between us?
[15:41:48] feministsister: yes. it doesn’t matter how many times you say it. i don’t trust you.
[15:42:20] |nvclink (43 online): Chris : so you need to be able to trust me?
[15:43:16] feministsister: yes. i don’t want to be with you. i’m over and done with. i’m just here to help you out in whatever way i can. this is not for me. this is for you. so that you can move on cause you’re human too.
[15:44:30] |nvclink (43 online): Chris : so you need to know that I’ve accepted the end of this?
[15:45:40] feministsister: yes. and that we have different realities and that that’s just the way it is. and that i don’t want to share with you.
[15:45:57] feministsister: but i’m here to help you.
[15:46:23] |nvclink (43 online): Chris : so you would like to support me?
[15:46:59] feministsister: but not right now cause i’m busy. and there’s all that talking going on. and you don’t see how privileged you are. you’re so ignorant.
[15:47:36] |nvclink (43 online): Chris : so you would like me to consider your feelings as well?
[15:48:27] feministsister: yes. but there’s no space for me.
[15:48:44] feministsister: i don’t want to share. you traumatized me.
[15:49:04] |nvclink (43 online): Chris : You need reassurance that I won’t hurt you again?
[15:49:05] feministsister: you only think about yourself. you don’t understand how hurt i was.
[15:49:31] feministsister: no. i want you to speak your mind.
[15:49:48] feministsister: don’t spare your words.
[15:49:54] |nvclink (43 online): Chris : so you need me to be honest with you?
[15:50:25] feministsister: i just want you to stop asking all these questions. just tell me what i can do so i can move on.
[15:51:16] feministsister: how can i help you? am i only here to help you? are you using me?
[15:51:23] |nvclink (44 online): Chris : Well since you said you are busy now, would you be willing to have coffee with me on Wednesday so I can tell you how I feel?
[15:52:07] feministsister: i don’t live where you live. and i’m leaving anyways and won’t have internet access for some time. busy busy.
[15:52:42] feministsister: Chris, i’m okay ending the roleplay.
[15:52:42] |nvclink (44 online): Chris : would you be willing to call me on Wednesday, then, so we can discuss this?
[15:52:59] |nvclink (44 online): Chris : fair enough. And I have to warn you, he may not be willing to talk anymore
[15:53:14] feministsister: How was this for you?
[15:53:17] |nvclink (43 online): Chris : but it doesn’t hurt to ask
[15:53:43] |nvclink (43 online): Chris : I think it gave some clarity for me into how hurt he must be feeling
[15:53:53] |nvclink (43 online): Chris : Did it help you at all?
[15:54:35] feministsister: maybe as an outlet of not ‘having to’ be in the role of the one guessing. cause i’ve done that many times.
[15:54:55] feministsister: so it was sort of a relief just playing out that part.
[15:55:09] |nvclink (44 online): Chris : I see. That can be frustrating when you feel like you’re the only one trying to connect
[15:55:59] feministsister: And at the same time trying to understand that for this person it is absolutely real that there is no trust to believe that there would be any understanding.
[15:56:56] feministsister: yeah. thanks for taking the time.
[15:57:13] |nvclink (43 online): Chris : No problem. I was glad to. 🙂
[15:57:41] feministsister: are you okay with me copy pasting this talk and posting it on a blog i have?
[15:57:46] |nvclink (43 online): Chris : if you feel you need to role play it some more, feel free to chat with me again, or you can type “practice” and the system will find you another chat partner
[15:57:49] |nvclink (43 online): Chris : absolutely
[15:58:36] feministsister: cool. thanks for offering support. if i’m brave enough i will accept. cause i need it. i’m meeting with this person in a few days.
[15:59:10] |nvclink (44 online): Chris : ah yeah that can be scary knowing there’s a meeting coming up.
[15:59:37] |nvclink (44 online): Chris : I’m in Britain so I’m almost on the same time zone you are. Feel free to message me if you need it. 🙂
[15:59:47] feministsister: yeah. and scary knowing my own reactions. wanting to get away from that.
[16:00:08] feministsister: ok. is there anything else you would like to say/ share before ending the chat?
[16:00:18] |nvclink (43 online): Chris : yeah I’m sure your need for self-protection is kicking in big time.
[16:01:08] |nvclink (43 online): Chris : I’m glad you got some benefit out of the chat and met some needs. 🙂
[16:01:11] feministsister: yeah. for sure. which is like kicking myself, cause it doesn’t really help me when i’m just reacting to whatever triggers me.
[16:01:39] feministsister: yes. again. thanks for just being out there and offering support to random people 🙂
[16:02:06] |nvclink (44 online): Chris : Just a suggestion too: if the conversation doesn’t go as you hope either from your end or his, you can always come on and play it over as you wish it had gone too
[16:02:08] feministsister: take care, may your need for relaxation be met 🙂
[16:02:12] feministsister:
[16:02:21] |nvclink (42 online): Chris : no problem. glad I could help. 🙂

Conflicted (Daniel / Milla) Part 2

by Milla –– she=he

I’m really tired emotionally and mentally. The messaging with Daniel continued today:


[10:51:15] From tomorrow im in Hki and free

[10:53:28] For how long are you staying? Do you know how to set up audio-recording?

[10:54:45] If u have a mic sure. Maybe a few days max a week.

[11:00:05]  Could you get help/arrange setting up audio? I have a camera and could ask someone to hold it and record 10 minutes at a time. I don’t know how to set up audio on short notice.

[11:01:00] Sure

[11:03:50] Checking that i understood what you said: you will arrange all the technical stuff needed to make a recording? And show how to upload it on the internet?

[11:04:37] Aha

[11:20:47] Are u okay meeting up at my place? I would like to do something normal first, like cook together, to feel more calm and not have this antagonistic ‘judge and jury’ feel to it. How does that sound to you?

[11:23:28] Yes i was thinking similar things. Maybe a walk in the park or something like this could work too.

[11:36:32] Ok. So we agree on getting used to one another before talking about the heavy stuff. I’ll let you know tomorrow what day and time would work for me.

[13:36:19] To be clear: I dont have a mic, just a headset that works off and on. So you need to fix a mic yourself.



Conflicted (Daniel / Milla)

by Milla –– she=he

I’m low on energy. Low on motivation. Low on love. Yesterday I had a short and upsetting talk with a man. This person kept asking me about my relations and when I last ‘got laid’. It reminded me of the trap I’m stuck in and can’t get out of. In the minds and hearts of many I’m first and foremost valued as fuckable flesh. I cried last night.

Today I woke up to yet another empty day in my pampered existence as an unemployed with government benefits, something that Daniel holds against me, and has said, that my unawareness of my privileges has been the reason for breaking off contact with me. That and fits of rage. Angry words. Possibly drunkenness as well. Daniel has also made pretty clear hints that I’ve gone over her borders sexually – the person that was told this, told me that I had raped Daniel.

I want to understand all that. I want to understand how our realities differ so much. I want to understand why I have so much pain in relation to this. I tried for 2-3 years to talk with Daniel about my experiences with her. There’s been a promise to talk about EMC with me. We started, and it was frustrating and not really clear or connecting. I’m so longing to be understood, and i also want to understand. Daniel stopped the talk for three months without saying anything about continuing it. Today I got an sms:


[12:36:18] Hei! Have not talked in a long time. How are u doing? Still feel like talking to me? Daniel

[13:21:25] I’m unbalanced, and guessing it will be difficult for me to remain at peace interacting with you. I still want to understand what happened. What is your motivation for having a talk with me? Why now, after 3 months of silence?

[13:24:42] You are a human being and deserve dignity. Im done with my busy period so i wanted to pick up where we left off. Im in Tampere

[14:34:10] I didn’t understand your reply. Would you be okay coming to Helsinki for a face to face talk, recorded on video?

[13:36:36] Is audio ok?

[13:38:10] I would prefer video. Why only audio?

[13:49:13] I dont think i can behave naturally i have to prepare even for activist propaganda vids

[14:03:25] I’m checking i understand you correctly: you are ok coming to helsinki for a face to face talk, and have the audio of that conversation recorded?

[14:09:19] Yes

[14:10:01] When?


I plummeted into conflicting desires. Pain and helplessness. Wanting to rage, express my anger and hurt freely. I turned to alcohol and ice-cream instead. Really just wanting to disappear and never feel anything again, bawling my eyes out, and at the same time laughing internally at the storm in my half-full-half-empty glass.  Experiencing despair: Will my life always be like this? No people around me that I would feel comfortable to turn to for support?

Struggling with myself: Why work on something I don’t believe in? I don’t really believe I will exist in a context of people around me who love me and that I love back. And yet I don’t want to stop – I want to get better at relations. I want to understand why intimate relations don’t work out for me. Speaking with Daniel can help me understand myself better, and if I understand myself better I might be able to open up more easily to other people, not fearing so much to ask for comforting and care instead of silently shakily awaiting for signs of tenderness coming my way. It hurts when Daniel says “You are a human being and deserve dignity” cause dignity is not what I experience when I have no control over when Daniel chooses to engage in conversation or not. I take what I can get, when I can get it. Daniel is the one in charge of when to stop and start. I would like to have something we could both agree on, but I haven’t managed to make myself heard in that.

The talk I had yesterday with this man was a reminder of how easily I can get triggered, and how I really need to find ways to find that inner peace, and as well the strength to stop talking with people, seeing where my limits are, understanding that I don’t have the cool to create understanding. I’m waiting for this realization to sink in in relation to Daniel. To stop trying. I’m so longing for support in this, and I don’t know how to ask for it, or where to turn for safer and more sensitive ways of exploring and sharing. I notice that just a few words can turn me inside out and hurting all over.

Feeling overwhelmed and the loneliness grows so big. I’m hoping to reach some conclusion of whether or not I want to have this conversation. I loved and I love, it was twisted and weird, and it’s painful and vulnerable, and if I can let go of the hurt in being lonely, I might find some strength and nurturing from within. I’m too depressed to deal with this, but I can’t really turn down the opportunity, cause if I do that I might as well give up on living. If i really think that I will never learn to connect with anyone, there’s really nothing there for me. A life of wasteful empty time. Mad games. Never-ending depression.

So I observe how easily i cling to despair, and how unstable my mind is, how emotions and needs overwhelm me, and hope that the work I do on myself today, in accepting whatever is, and appreciating the small changes i’ve managed to make, will eventually lead to more ease in my life and in my way of relating with others.

Hilde/Milla exchange

posted by Milla — she=he, written by Hilde

Click here to read the previous writing in this exchange.


Subject: Further clarification


Hi Milla,

Milla wrote:
All i hear when you mention fun and effectiveness is that you’ve spent
time in relation to me and that that apparently wasn’t fun for you.

Hilde: Yes.

Milla: And i’m guessing when you say that, that there is not enough
trust for you, that i would actually care for you in this connection.

Hilde: No.

Milla: At least that’s how i hear what you say, and hearing it this way
saddens me, cause i would really like to know what is safe and
comfortable for you.

I am guessing that when you think that I don’t trust you, this leaves
you feeling ‘triggered’? Maybe your thinking is making you hear me say
that you did something wrong?

I notice that in my conversations with you these last few weeks, I have
at times turned to you with questions about what you wrote. Those
questions were aimed at calming my feelings, which were the result of
my own thinking, not your speaking/writing.
My judgements, thoughts and beliefs are not in your control, neither
are your judgements, thoughts and beliefs in my control. As far I
understand, those judgements, thoughts and beliefs are deeply engrained
and they constantly color our perceptions. In fact this is not all bad,
this process provides some ease too.

I would like to reveal a part of my internal inquiry to illustrate
what I mean.

Let’s say that I have picked up the belief that “it is good to be a NICE
person”, nice being equal to cooperative, willing etc… There are
certainly times when being cooperative and willing is life serving in a
group and generally it is appreciated by other people. Being nice
enhances acceptance and with it I may get the sense of security that
comes with belonging to a group. Being nice reassures me that people
will hopefully like me and it reduces my fear of feeling small,
vulnerable, lonely.

But imagine, I respond from this belief automatically and this puts
other needs at risk such as ?? sleep, choice, closeness with certain
people etc  ……..then this belief is no longer life serving for
me. Now imagine that I want to find more balance and harmony and that I
want more choice about whether to “be nice” or “genuine”. I consider
strategies that make it easier to respond from choice rather than from
auto-pilot. I can’t just tell this “nice me”  to move out, at best I
can ask it to move aside so I can listen to other parts of me.

I practice expressing my needs in writing rather than in person to
person communication because this offers me more time to examine my
triggers, explore my judgements, thoughts and beliefs. But even there
the “I have to be nice part” takes over sometimes with thoughts such as
“I have to reply within a day or two”, or “I have to reply to all
questions” etc… New judgements, more explorations, more need
discoveries. This then leads me to ask you for time to respond etc…

So I hope that you see Milla, you never asked me to reply within 2
days, that was a thought in my head. And you never demanded that I
answer all questions, so if I would feel triggered about that, that too
would be caused by my thinking.

When I started the conversation with you, my purpose was to share the
Inner Empathy link, because I thought it might be helpful for you to
learn how to examine your triggers. I wasn’t so confident that I could
handle my own. As I go, I notice that it is becoming ever more doable
and interesting.

And at the same time when i say that, i would like
to know if you are interested in hearing what is safe and comfortable
for me as well.
I value reciprocity. Mutual consideration is something
i do not know how to ask for, and yet wish for to take root and grow
into any conversation/interaction.

I am certainly interested in hearing what is safe for you.

I am guessing that one of the reasons you express a strong preference
for a skype or text conversation is that observing my body
languague/tone of voice would give you information that might help to
ease your discomfort when you feel triggered? I am guessing
that if you hear me say something that triggers an “oh, oh, did I say
something-wrong-thought”, but you notice that my voice is relaxed and
not judgemental, then that would help to calm your anxiety?

I am still not sufficiently confident that my “nice part” won’t be
taking over unless I take sufficient time, more than I think would be
reasonable when making a skype call or texting messages.

I really don’t want to do texting, it is worse than phone calls
because I am not a native English speaker and I’ll be so nervous not
having the time to reread and check what I have written.
Other reasons why I don’t like skype are that my pc is not in my living
area and I would have to make an appointment for a conversation. My days
are so full of those, I don’t want to add to the list. Email is so free
and easy.

Clarification: Again, the phrase you choose does not stick with me, I
would say that the phrase ‘needs hunting’ has no attraction value for
me, it is not a thing i fancy (at least not now, when i have no clue
what it means to you)

Hilde: What name would you prefer for the internal inquiry process that
I described earlier?

Milla:  i would rather say that I’m fairly tired of
staying in something that i experience as a limbo of focus on
feelings-needs, when i would experience great joy and freedom [And:
Meaning!] getting the same attention to Observations-Request, ie
putting the feelings and needs in a context: I want to know how
to make things better! 🙂

I agree with you, maybe it would be better if we chose to try and meet
our needs elsewhere, f.ex. with people who share our preferences with
regard to space in communication?

Milla, I tried to be as clear as possible about my feelings, needs,
judgements, thoughts and beliefs. This was quite a lot of work for me,
but I enjoyed it because I felt I had the time to do so after you made
it clear that you were willing to wait for my reply.

At this point I am feeling clear, the only request I can think of, is
whether you have the clarity you want or if there is anything else I
can do for you?


October 2, International Day of Non-Violence & Empathic Action

by Milla — she=he

Yesterday I participated in a tele-conference with about 20 persons. I was there mostly as someone listening in, trying to understand what the intent and the purpose was of the people involved in the call.

The main idea seemed to be to enable a 36 hour worldwide tele-empathy call, covering October 2, across the globe.

October 2 is Gandhi‘s birthday, and has been picked by the UN as the International Day of Non-Violence, and has also been chosen to be the International Day for Empathic Action (IDEA) by the NVC community.

Local events taking place during IDEA have been picnics, town meetings, speeches, gatherings, fun parades. On the website – worldempathy.org – you can read some more suggestions for action and get access to useful resources.

The 36 hour tele-empathy-line is an experience that is wished to be repeated by the ones who have been touched by this event. Someone described it as being scattered around the globe, and yet having the sensation of sitting on the floor of someone’s living room – a very intimate feeling, like sharing a hug. A person expressed the enjoyment when the teams facilitating were overlapping, as – hands connected over the world.

After sharing experiences from previous years, the conversation was moved on to the logistics of this year.

One way to create ease around the co-ordination of facilitators, would be to create a document, where people could ‘book’, or fill in the time slots, when they would be willing to facilitate empathic connection. It was suggested to have segments of 2 hours, with 2-3 persons. The first person signing up, would be the one taking primary responsibility for the call, the second person would co-facilitate, and a third person would be there as a back-up. It was said that one column could be for the languages people would be willing to offer during their shift.

This suggestion continued in to a discussion on languages, and that it would be wished for to check whether some of the larger language groups would be interested in organizing parallel tele-empathy lines in for instance French, German and Spanish. One person expressed willingness to offer technical support to make this happen. One possibility would be to send out four versions of the ‘time slot’ or ‘booking’ document, for the volunteers, covering facilitation in English, French, German and Spanish.

Another obstacle for participation mentioned, was internet connection which would not allow skype calls, and that this could be replaced with a text-chat instead. Someone expressed willingness to facilitate text-chat, and wished for a form that would enable 5 or so to speak at one time, while the rest listen, wanting to keep the number of people speaking at a constant, while at the same time rotating the persons participating in the talk, hoping for more clarity and inclusion this way.

Someone suggested that the co-facilitators could have a separate chat-room to offer in case there would be a need for a separate talk (for instance if using a language that other participants don’t understand or speak).

I was a bit confused during the call. I haven’t participated in that many phone-meetings with multiple participants, and I hadn’t any clear knowledge of what the project was about before entering the meeting.

I didn’t really understand what was decided during the talk, or who would do what, at what time. It was said that there would be two more conference calls (August, September) for the organizing of this event. And that any official decisions and results would be posted in the Nvc Link facebook group. It was also said that other discussions will take place in the International Day of NonViolence and Empathic Action google group. The group would be used for organizing the tele-empathy line, as well as for informing and allowing for participation in any other activity related to IDEA 2011. There was a request to mark the subject lines according to some system. I don’t remember what the categories mentioned were. I hope that this information will be easily found in the info of the google group itself, and/or sent as a request to anyone who joins the group, by the admin.

I will now take the information I managed to gather, to the local nvc groups, and see if anyone gets inspired to take action. And I hope that anyone reading this, will do the same 🙂


Addition, July 30:

The google group mentioned above, has now been scrapped as a means of communication. Currently there is this Facebook group International day of NonViolence and Empathic Action 2nd Oct. 2011, mainly for reading announcements of what has already been decided, and for people who enjoy group chats. There might be some other means of communicating presented later.

The next tele-conference planning the 36-hour-empathy line will take place on Sunday, August 14. 8:00pm (20:00) GMT.

self-organized Mental Health Support group, anyone ?

by Milla — she=he

Song: Sainkho Namtchylak – Let the Sunshine


feel free to share this email with anyone and anywhere 🙂

i’m 36, and i’m suffering from loneliness and depression, with the
occasional manic spouts, this has been my condition, probably, for as
long as i can remember. right now, i mostly isolate myself at home,
staying online. i’m not very motivated to do anything. i’m searching
for meaning, and can’t really find it. it’s hard asking for help when
i need it. too often interaction with others have just made it worse:
“Chin up” “You’ll get over it some day” “It’s not as bad as you
think”. or “You need professional help”.

i’ve had good experiences recently with self-organized support: there
are two persons supporting me in staying sober – one for alcohol and
one for coffee, and i would like to see if it would be possible to get
together a self-help group for people who see themselves as unbalanced
when it comes to mental health.

i would like to set up a meeting with people who would be interested
in self-organized mental health support. the point of the meeting
would be to talk about what we as individuals would wish for from such
a group, and as well what obstacles we see, that would prevent us from
participating in something like this.

the idea is to take everyone’s comfort level into account, a support
group is not something that should create feelings of obligation and
‘must’. i view it as a space of acceptance, and finding ways that feel
okay for everyone involved.

for instance: i like the idea of rotating responsibility for leading
the group, and at the same time i don’t view it as necessary for
everyone to take on this task if they find the idea too stressful. and
some persons might want to prepare and lead sessions, while knowing
that there’s a back up person – someone else who could jump in and
take over the session on short notice, in case the energy levels drop
just before a meeting, and there’s a strong need to just stay alone
and care for oneself instead of going to a meeting, or perhaps going
to the meeting but not wanting to lead it that particular time. the
back up person wouldn’t do any unnecessary work, cause the back up
session can always be the next session if all goes well.

when talking with people about this, one idea that has come up, is to
have one group meeting per month, and in between there could be a
mailing list, where people announce different things they’d like to
do, for instance going for a walk in the forest (and perhaps an hour
or two, walking in silence), or watching dance instructions on youtube
and learn and laugh (or not) together, while re-connecting with our
bodies (or just sitting wrapped up in a blanket, while others move

the group would meet in Helsinki.

for the people who are interested, i would like your help with setting
a date for a meeting:
please mark the dates and times that would work for you. the dates
suggested are between July 23 – 31.

if you don’t want to fill in the doodle, you are welcome to
write a private message to: milla.ahola@gmail.com
or call: 050 35 40 595

take care,



There will be a meeting on Wednesday, July 27 at 4 o’clock. If you are interested in coming you are welcome to give me a call or write me a line. /Milla

Hilde / Milla exchange continues

by Milla — she=he

Song: Jeffrey Osborne – On the wings of love

Click here to read what happened before. This blog post consists of a longer and a shorter version. For a shorter version of the response, please scroll to the end of the post. I have no idea of how it will be received, but I’m hoping that both the long and the short version, will provide with more clarity for Hilde. Hilde is quoted in green.


“Hi Milla,

Milla, I am going to keep this short because I have plenty of other
needs that I want to meet today but I don’t want to keep you waiting
either. In fact I feel rather surprised that you are hearing the needs
I mentioned as being unmet, on the contrary, Milla so far my needs for
intellectual challenge, some novelty, learning, meeting a variety of
people and for space, for connections without the emphasis on
closeness, are being met in this exchange. I did say that I felt
comfortable with the exchange and I was hoping that would be clear

Clarification: I didn’t hear the needs you mention as unmet. I heard
that you had expectations [ = *trying*] to meet these needs in our
talk “I am trying to meet a specific set of needs in this kind of
correspondance. I really long for something different from my daily
activities in family full of people, I long for a bit of intellectual
challenge, some novelty, learning, meeting a variety of people and in
fact also for space, for connections without the emphasis on

In this case i would like to have clarity in what ways the above
mentioned needs are met. Is it something i do? Something you do?
Something else? This would really help me in understanding you.

The needs i referred to as unmet were fun and efficiency, you had
previously said “based on previous experiences I don’t have enough
confidence at this time that an exchange with you will meet my need
for effectiveness and fun.”

So when you don’t mention what it is that has happened before, i’m
left rather clueless as to why you mention this to me. And i feel
insecure and puzzled. Again: Is it something i do? Something you do?
Something else? Revealing the observation would really support me to
more clearly understand and connect with the meaning of your words. It
would also give me an opportunity to try and meet these needs. Which
is something i wish for.

All i hear when you mention fun and effectiveness is that you’ve spent
time in relation to me and that that apparently wasn’t fun for you.
And i’m guessing when you say that, that there is not enough trust for
you, that i would actually care for you in this connection. At least
that’s how i hear what you say, and hearing it this way saddens me,
cause i would really like to know what is safe and comfortable for
you. And at the same time when i say that, i would like to know if you
are interested in hearing what is safe and comfortable for me as well.
I value reciprocity. Mutual consideration is something i do not know
how to ask for, and yet wish for to take root and grow into any

When you speak about your needs or guess mine without giving a clear
reference point (this can be done by: quoting a sentence, or a word),
i feel lost and confused, it’s not clear to me what you are talking
about, since i am separate from you, i don’t know what it is that you
react on. Spoken observations would really help me with clarity, ease
and meaning. The same goes for requests.

“I just feel doubtful about skype calls, I don’t think I’ll be able to
keep the distance (space/privacy) I need to ensure my internal
harmony. Therefore I am not accepting your offer to go that route yet.”

Clarification: I am okay with you not wanting skype calls. And i hope
that my need for ease and clarity is still heard. I suggested a TEXT
chat (which can be done easily in online chat rooms – i wouldn’t mind
explaining how that works if this is something you haven’t tried
before). I see a text chat as something closer to what we are doing
now, when we exchange written words with one another, at the same time
as i imagine that needs such as flow, spontaneity, ease and clarity
could be met more efficiently through this form of communication, and
i’m wondering if this would be something you would consider trying

Having a text chat with me and see what it feels like – and that we
could set a time frame for it as well – perhaps an hour to talk – at
some point in time when you experience that you would have
time-mind-heart space for it. How does this suggestion sound to you?

“I felt hesitant to get in touch with you because I was afraid that you
would ask about skype again, but that issue is no longer a problem for
me since I have been able to connect it to my need for privacy. I also
fear being probed and asked to explain and clarify every word or
sentence I write. Your last reply did trigger this fear again but I
think I am also clearer about that now. I have a need for ease, for
spontaneity. I don’t want to push myself constantly to connect every
word I say or every move I make to a need. If you need this kind of
dedication for your own comfort and if you want to make communication
with me dependant on an agreement to hunt for needs non stop, I may
find myself withdrawing. I need to choose my own level of comfort
regarding consciousness.”

I hear this as you feeling uneasy about me asking questions. And that
perhaps it’s difficult for you to say directly what questions you
would prefer not to answer. I hear that my questions are sometimes
triggering for you to read. I hear that explaining takes energy from
you, and that it’s not an effort you’re (always) willing to make in relation to
me. You’re longing for ease, and you want to set your own pace for the
type of exploration that involves understanding yourself and making
yourself understood in relation to others.

My response: I have a similar experience of hearing questions from
you, asking for needs – as ‘probing’ [read: exhausting, needing ease]
– when asked to explain and clarify, and yet i’m willing to make the
effort, since i value clarity in the connection.

I don’t experience myself to be on a needs hunt – at least the words
you use do not resonate within me, and I would like to be certain of
what it is you are wishing to have a break from when you say “to hunt
for needs non stop”. I experience sadness that somehow you experience
the talk with me as triggering, and i don’t know what it is i/you do
or say that sets this off for you. I would like to know, so i could
assist you in experiencing more ease around me. I’m not asking to fix
you, just checking if i could support you in easing your fears/anxiety around
having this exchange with me. This way i would feel more safe speaking
with you.

“How would it be for you if I chose to reply only when I do feel I have
the energy to go need hunting, even if that would mean that it might
take several weeks or up to month for me to get back to you?”

Request: Could you clarify what you mean when you say ‘need hunting’?

Clarification: Again, the phrase you choose does not stick with me, I
would say that the phrase ‘needs hunting’ has no attraction value for
me, it is not a thing i fancy (at least not now, when i have no clue
what it means to you) i would rather say that I’m fairly tired of
staying in something that i experience as a limbo of focus on
feelings-needs, when i would experience great joy and freedom [And:
Meaning!] getting the same attention to Observations-Request, ie
putting the feelings and needs in a context: I want to know how
to make things better! 🙂

“That way I am convinced that my needs for fun or effectiveness will be

Till mid-August, I may not be able to reply quickly because I want to
focus on my family.”

Response: I am completely okay with you taking your time to respond.



Shorter version of my response:

Hi Hilde, I don’t understand what you mean with ‘need hunting’ and i
can’t really confirm if it’s true that i want for this thing until i
understand what it is. But for now i would say that i don’t see it as
something desirable in the connection between us. What I’m searching
for is to understand what it is you feel uncomfortable with and also
what you like and what you wish for, and how to make this talk into
more of what we like as well as lessen the discomforts. I would like
to offer co-operation to you, and right now i’m not sure if you are hearing
that, that i am flexible and that i’m not looking for quick decisions
– that i’m willing to take the time to be sure that we are both
comfortable with and understand how we choose to move on.

What i’m suggesting right now concretely, would be for us to have a
text chat, for instance using this space that i’m willing to explain
further how it works if necessary: http://webchat.xs4all.nl/ How do
you feel about that?

I’m hoping for you to say yes to trying out a text chat, since this would
really meet my need for ease and clarity and effectiveness as well. I
have no request in relation to when we would try it out. If you say
yes to it, i’m okay with speaking whenever you experience that you
have the time/mind/heart space for it.

take care,