October 2, International Day of Nonviolence & Empathic Action (Tele-empathy meeting)

by Milla — she=he

[For the previous meeting: Click here] Below you can read the subjective, and fairly long notes taken from a meeting that occurred on August 14:

Note: For more up to date and precise information (links to web forms etc) please go to International Day of Nonviolence and Empathic Action (facebook)

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There were about 10 persons present at the beginning of the second tele-conference for organizing a 50 hour global tele-empathy line on October 2nd, the International Day of Nonviolence & Empathic Action.

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I thought the facilitation of this call was very clear and connecting. We were informed that we could press 6 to mute our microphone, and 7 to unmute. We were also told that we could sign up to a text chat, that was going on simultaneously with the call, where we could ask questions, comment, or ask for assistance. And then we started off by having a check in round where people were saying what was going on for them in the moment, and if they had anything to say about IDEA (The International Day of Empathic Action) and tele-empathy. Someone expressed excitement about the project and wanted to know how things had progressed since the last call. Someone was interested and curious about the technical aspect of the empathy-call. — Conscious evolution and large system changes were mentioned. As well as wishes to find compelling ways to engage people who would not at all relate to things like this. — Someone was working on an ‘intention tree’, and shared that checking interest within the french speaking nvc-community to organize a parallel empathy-line seemed to be challenging, and was guessing that it might take a year to get things going on the french side.
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An agenda for the call was presented:
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– Updates about the global 50 hour tele-empathy call for Oct 2.
– Updates on other, local, events for Oct 2.
– General updates
– How to work together as a team/ which groups.
– Publicity – How to reach out and get participants/facilitators/hosts/people who help organize from now until then
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TELE-EMPATHY
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Since the last call in July, there had been discussions about how many hours the empathy-line would be open. Two years ago it was 24h. Last year it was 36h. The intention for all the years, has been to have it as a 24 hour event all over the world. Someone had checked, and said that 50 hours would cover October 2, in its entirety across the world.
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There was surprise expressed to this amount, and it was explained that this number comes from the existence of a virtual time zone adding 2 hours to the 48 that it apparently takes to complete an entire day all over the world. [Added info: Prior to 1995, International Date Line split the country of Kiribati. The result was that the eastern part of Kiribati was a whole day and two hours behind the western part of the country where its capital is located. In 1995 Kiribati decided to move the International Date Line far to the east- which placed the entire country into the same day.]  After this curious fact was shared, it was decided to invite people in Kiribati to the empathy-call.
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It was said that 50 hours is a lot, but that people were hoping to cover Oct 2nd globally, and if need be it’s always possible to scale back to less hours.
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A part of the dilemma with finding facilitators, has been to find people who are certified trainers or something equivalent to that, so the strategy this year, is for people to self-identify that they would be capable of being an empathetic presence, and that 2 or 3 persons could do it together. [Example sentence given of what self-selection might look like during the conference: “I’ve only had three empathy classes, but I have confidence not to give judgement, advice, criticism, and suggestions. I can just be with them.”] The time slots would be peer lead. The sign up sheet is designed for many facilitators to sign up for the same time slot, and it’s also possible to list the languages each person would be comfortable offering during their shift.
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Someone asked if the facilitators would have a choice in whether they want a co-facilitator. Wishes for peer supported facilitation was expressed, since last year, some persons who signed up, did not show up on their shift. So it was viewed as important to have back-up.
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Someone thought it might be worth to first see how many sign up for facilitation, and then work out the issue about co-facilitation.
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It was said that there are people who would sign up if they knew that they would have support. Co-facilitation was mentioned as optional, as a possibility, that it could happen, not that it would happen. Before it had been suggested that the first person signing up would be primary facilitator, second person a back-up. Now it was mentioned as something for the people facilitating to work out by evaluating themselves.
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There’s been a test version of the facilitator invitation-mail with limited circulation, sent around for signing up and feedback. Attached to this invitation, is a link to a web form to register as a facilitator where you can fill in your preferences and what experience you have. For the actual time slots there’s a link to a doodle which spans the 50 hours – and by selecting the time zone, you can see the slots in your local time. To get event info and updates there’s another web form.
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It was said that the facilitators can contact one another after receiving an email with the final info, containing contact-email so they can connect and co-ordinate. The message with the final info would probably also contain information on a line open for facilitators where they can call in and have togetherness, in the same way as last year.
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The blessed facilitator chose at this point to invite, especially, new people to ask questions, or add something, and also asking if anybody was lost and wanted clarity.
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Someone asked if the calls were limited to the local area of the person facilitating or if people could call in from anywhere in the world. The answer was: From anywhere in the world. It was said that the same system that was used for this conference call would be used for the tele-empathy line, and that people can access it through hundreds of local numbers, and also through skype.
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People need to find the number on a drop down menu, showing the closest call for you. If they want to know the price of the call they can get this information by calling their service provider – i.e. the company providing service for their phone.
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Someone commented on the length of the numbers, and that it was difficult to know what number to call. The response to this was that the numbers are in the international format, including the national numbers. If you’re inside the country, you don’t dial the international code.
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Someone asked if there’s a FAQ (frequently asked questions) for people wanting to participate. The response was that at the moment the system is still being built, and that there will be calls/tele-conferences for all of the facilitators’ technical and other questions, to support people who sign up. The person who asked for a FAQ, said that from her personal experience, there are many things that would fall into subcategories, and if they are put in a FAQ both for participants organizing and people who want to facilitate, and if encouraged to read this before getting on the call, it can cut back the time clarifying things, and would make for a lean meeting with unnecessary explanations.
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The same person continued to say that she was deeply moved and excited and impressed by the work done so far by the three persons taking initiative. She found the expertise, the attention, and the use of social media very inspiring.
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Another thing asked for was to put dashes between every three numbers to make it easier when phoning in. The person expressed a passion to make things as user friendly as possible, visually as simple as possible.
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Information about the text chat planned to run parallel and separate from the tele-empathy line was asked for.
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Facilitators signing up for the tele-empathy can choose to sign up for either a call or text or both. A text chat was asked for to include people for whom skype or a call would not be a functional option. A person was looking at the technical possibilities for this, with a main concern of not wanting too many people chatting at the same time for the sake of clarity in the communication.
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After this there was a short update from a person who had been looking on the web for different nvc organisations in France, Belgium, Switzerland and Canada, and as well had sent emails to individuals practicing nvc, with not much feedback. She was a bit disappointed with the low response, but waiting to see if maybe more people would get in touch later. She was suggesting that it might be helpful adding a link about IDEA from the cnvc site, when getting in touch with people you don’t know, since they might not be familiar with the trainers in the u.s, and in her experience, people might be more open to answering this way.
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Someone took on the task of reaching out to more language groups.
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Wishes to reach out to cnvc was expressed, – to contact office people, for contact information to key people in different languages, to distribute information, and so on – and someone offered to do this.
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OTHER EVENTS
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People can register to a website alerting about local events, around the world, all year round. It’s possible to receive alerts only on events that happen in the area where you live. It’s also possible to share events.
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There was talk about worldempathy.org. The people having the site were no longer interested in paying the expenses, and were looking for someone interested in taking over. The current costs were said to be around 137 dollar per year. The site was said to have about two-thousand hits per month. There was a talk of whether it’s useful taking over the site or using another option, which would be to have the resources (needs cards etc) hosted on another site, and linking to that space. Some decision was wanted on what website to use, and who will host, and who will pay. It was said that there are other useful aspects with the site – videos, articles – and that migrating the information would be time consuming. There was some talk about technical issues and then a request and decision to discuss this and what strategy to go along with outside this meeting.
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HOW THE TEAM WILL COMMUNICATE, WORK TOGETHER, AND ARRANGE THE NEXT CALL
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This part was not very clear to me.
The things mentioned was to create an email list, sending updates to people, with the intention to minimize the email flow. And also to create a group on google for people who want to communicate in between – a separate group for supporters and facilitators.
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After this there was a check out where there was gratitude expressed for the people joining and staying for 90 minutes, catching up, and giving feedback.
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Then there was space for an “After Party” 🙂
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A handful persons stayed on, asking questions, and sorting out some practical things.
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Someone asked if there had been any Palestinians participating last year – the answer was no – and some contact information was exchanged to enable a possible connection.
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Daniel & Milla. August 4, the first recording.

posted by Milla — she=he

The recording below is missing the last three minutes. It took me 2-3 days figuring out how to upload a jpeg image and an mp3 file on youtube. I don’t know why the last minutes aren’t there. If anyone can support me with how to get longer mp3 recordings, between 20-45 minutes (easily) available online somewhere for listening, you are welcome to contact me through email: milla.ahola@gmail.com or even better, on skype: feministsister

I’m really struggling with depression/stress/anxiety at the moment, so I would find practical help like this, very useful (helpful, supportive).

August 4, the first recording:

The first recording failed – it turned out the program on the computer only keeps one minute of audio – so, we started with another one. In the first recording I asked Daniel to describe the conflict process between us, and my short sum up of that goes something like this: First not wanting an intimate relation with me, and then not wanting to have any relation with me – finding the talks we had lacking meaning.
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Since I felt rather lost what to start talking about in order for the conversations to have any meaning for me, I suggested when we started over, for Daniel to read an online text chat that I had had a few days earlier with a stranger on NVC Link, a messenger-system where people can ask for empathy, chats and practice. I had ended up doing a role-play with someone called Chris, and both Chris and I had been playing the part of Daniel. I was curious how Daniel would read this text, so the second recorded talk started after Daniel had read this chat.
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[Daniel 0:33] “Yeah, I think it’s kind of like a good model of how our conversations were going for a really long time, when I was trying to block you, or something, so yeah, I think I recognize myself” … [Daniel 1:35] “it was fairly interesting to read, because, it’s like, yeah it gives, I guess it puts your perspective into it, that like, how does it feel to be blocked. Like, this kind of putting, like, putting up the wall or something, and then, not being able to get through that”
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[Daniel 4:13] “I was really glad I think, when we like, when I just blocked you completely, and didn’t even have these frustrating conversations, because they really didn’t have a point, I shouldn’t have had them. I feel some regret about having a lot of these conversations, like I should have just blocked you, and not like, ehm, like do this double messaging”
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[Milla 8:20] “So, maybe it’s important for you to be heard, in that you kind of, you see that, eeh, what you were choosing to do to protect yourself and your own space”.. [Daniel 8:30] “Yeah yeah, that was..” [Milla 8:32] “..was not really working, and also that you could see that it, it could also, uuh, cause, or like, have an effect on how I was experiencing..” [Daniel 8:48] “Yeah..” [Milla 8:49] “the situation” [Daniel 8:50] “..yeah yeah yeah. I think I can see both, pretty clearly”
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[Daniel 9:01] “And, I might add, on like, your analysis, or like your reflection on, on how you see like, my goals, like, of peace and being at peace, and whatever, like, this is, like, blocking someone is not my idea of peace, ehm, it’s just like, I don’t know, maybe a choice of, I don’t know, it was, the, like the least, the the, the option that was, like, minimizing the damage, for me. So, in a way, like we earlier talked about, like me describing myself as, like, selfish, and then we had some kind of conversation yesterday about this or something, and yeah, so that’s, I see this as selfish, and at the same time useful for me, like, but I can also see how it’s not considerate towards you, like, so I would say that it’s maybe not striving for peace, but rather, like, minimizing the damage”
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[Daniel 11:13] “at that time, I don’t think I was seeing any ways of how I could be considerate, but retrospectively, eeh, I would say yes, ehm, I could have been more considerate. I guess it was kind of a limited state of mind.” [Milla 11:43] “So, you were feeling really alarmed, or you didn’t see that you had many options, or just like, trying to to, to end this distress as fast as possible, or as quickly as possible” [Daniel 11:59]  “Yeah, this is not a state of mind I would like to have, it’s not, it’s not pleasant, and it’s not, not eh, it’s not good for anyone. It’s kind of a lose lose situation”
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What’s surprising for me to hear in this conversation is when Daniel is saying that there’s been a willingness to connect and talk with me from last autumn, when I myself from the moment I suggested we would talk about EMC [after exchanging 20-30 sms’ when starting to talk again] experienced the behavior I role-played with Chris. Daniel is explaining this with the statement below [not talking about the whole period, but only the last three months of silence before contacting me again]
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[Daniel 19:30] “Ah, if you mean, if you mean, by the three months that I prioritized on my school, I don’t count it as, well, technically, technically the blocking, deciding just by myself to discontinue the conversation, yeah, that’s the same. Ehm, it’s just personally not the same for me, maybe because of, eh yeah, because that was because of school and not because of not wanting to talk to you anymore. That’s why I contacted you on my own after I finished school. So, for me, I see it for myself, I see that completely different from the earlier thing, but I understand how you, I understand how you, how you recognize the same strategy in blocking, like, meaning, unilaterally deciding about when a conversation ends or starts”

Conflict handling process between Milla and Daniel

posted by Milla, made by Daniel and Milla

The sun and the earth with its magnetic fields. Trying to get a perspective on things.

After 5 days of talking there’s an agreement. It will start with a skype conversation in December, and continue from then on as is, or with possible adjustments after evaluating how it’s working out for us:

Conflict handling process between Milla and Daniel

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  • we are going to have skype conversations

  • Daniel will notify Milla by SMS about the possible times for talks in advance (meaning at least 5 days)

  • Daniel will send an SMS monthly to inform Milla if he cannot find a computer

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  • the talking time will be shared equally: Milla talks, Daniel listens, then Daniel talks and Milla listens

  • the person listening is given space to reflect on what they hear the other person say throughout the talk

  • we try to stay away from expressing own opinions and ideas while reflecting (meaning not starting to give advice or state what is right or wrong about what is said)

  • the focus and the space is for the person talking

  • the reflection is there to check whether there is an understanding and it is up to the person talking to decide if they feel heard or not

  • after the talks there is feedback time for both to express how the talk felt like

  • the length of the talk is 90 minutes comprising of 2 rounds each 25 minutes with 20 minutes of feedback time following them

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  • if someone is triggered during the interaction, this person can choose to end the talk and postpone it or ask for time-out

  • postponed talks will be continued at the following occasion

  • if there is a time-out, the suggested time is 10 minutes, but it’s up to the person who asked for it, to decide how long the break will be

  • after the time-out the person who asked for it, suggests who will be heard first, if we can´t agree on who comes first, then we decide randomly (for instance by flipping a coin)

Conflicted (Daniel / Milla) Part 3

by Milla — she=he

Receiving and sending sms’ about talking.

I sent this sms yesterday:

[16:10:22] Do any of these times and dates work for you? Tue 2.8, after 16. Wednesday 3.8, after 13. Thursday 4.8, after 16.

Today there was some more:

[16:22:23] So wanna meet somewhere in the center around 18:00?

[16:27:09] Tomorrow would be better for me. Need to get up early. Could we meet wednesday 13 o’clock? Do u have any preference of where to meet?

[16:30:07] Ok how about at the Paavo Nurmi statue near the HJK football stadium and olympic arena?

[16:40:15] Ok c u by the nurmi statue at 13 o’clock wednesday. If it’s raining i think there’s a police station near by, i will stand under the roof and wait for you there.

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.

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[13:54:22] feministsister: menu
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[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
   —————————————————–
Type:
    ‘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
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[13:55:32] feministsister: empathy
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[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)
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[13:55:41] feministsister: yes
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[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
    public/anonymous/private?
    (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.*
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[13:56:03] feministsister: public
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[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.
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[13:59:09] feministsister: hello chris?
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[13:59:18] |nvclink (42 online): Chris : hello Milla how are you today
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[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?
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[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?
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[14:01:48] feministsister: i’m afraid that there is no understanding. either way.
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[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.
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[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.
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[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. 🙂
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[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?
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[14:04:45] |nvclink (42 online): Chris : Yes, that others won’t be able to genuinely understand you
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[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.
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[14:06:51] |nvclink (41 online): Chris : that must make you feel anxious because you need control over yourself
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[14:07:11] feministsister: do you have some ways that you re-connect with yourself when you’re triggered?
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[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
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[14:09:14] feministsister: what type of visualization?
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[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
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[14:10:42] feministsister: ah. that’s helpful. worst case scenario might be useful to go through.
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[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
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[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.
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[14:12:31] |nvclink (41 online): Chris : if it would help, I would be willing to roleplay the conversation with you
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[14:12:57] feministsister:how much time do you have? there’s 8 minutes left of the 20 that was offered.

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[14:13:12] |nvclink (41 online): Chris : I can extend it beyond that
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[14:13:40] feministsister: ok. so we could try a bit. i don’t know what to begin with. how to play it out.
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[14:13:48] |nvclink (41 online): Chris : if it cuts us off, we can message again manually
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[14:14:02] feministsister: ok.
[14:14:20] feministsister: do you have any suggestions of how to /what to start with?
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[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.
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[14:15:34] feministsister: how do i switch so i can message you outside this chat program
[14:15:36] feministsister: ?
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[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.
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[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?
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[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.
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[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.
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[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
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[14:20:49] feministsister: can you see me?
[14:20:53] feministsister: read me?
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[14:20:59] |nvclink (40 online): Chris : yes I see you 🙂
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[14:21:13] feministsister: okay. so did you get some of the description?
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[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?
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[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.
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[14:22:44] |nvclink (40 online): Chris : so do you feel betrayed because you need honesty from this person?
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[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.
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[14:24:28] |nvclink (39 online): Chris : I see, that can be frustrating when someone isn’t consistent
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[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.
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[14:25:56] |nvclink (38 online): Chris : do you feel guilty because you wanted to connect with the person better than you did?
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[14:26:39] feministsister: no. more overwhelmed and helpless. crazy and alone.
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[14:27:20] |nvclink (40 online): Chris : I see. so more overwhelmed and hopeless, and also lonely, because you need connection with them
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[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.
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[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
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[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.
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[14:30:37] |nvclink (39 online): Chris : ok so you really needed support rather than connection
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[14:30:58] feministsister: well i guess connection is a part of support.
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[14:31:10] |nvclink (39 online): Chris : it definitely can be
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[14:31:35] feministsister: hmm. i didn’t understand your suggestion. ‘after i go through the four steps of nvc’
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[14:31:54] |nvclink (39 online): Chris : how familiar are you with NVC?
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[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’)
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[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
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[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.
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[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
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[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.
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[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
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[14:39:06] feministsister: i imagine that you are daniel?
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[14:39:14] |nvclink (41 online): Chris : yes
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[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?
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[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?
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[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)
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[14:48:24] |nvclink (40 online): Chris : no I’m speaking as Chris right now heh
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[14:48:44] feministsister: say what you wish
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[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.
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[14:49:51] feministsister: yes. cause daniel has stated clearly that they are not.
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[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”
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[14:51:28] feministsister: from 2008 until this year
[14:52:19] feministsister: or probably more intensely from 2009
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[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?
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[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.
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[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
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[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.
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[14:57:02] |nvclink (40 online): Chris : (how does that make you feel and what is your need behind that feeling)
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[14:59:16] feministsister: frustration. sadness. hurt. tiredness. needs: to provide clarity.

[14:59:38] feministsister: hopeless.
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[14:59:55] |nvclink (40 online): Chris : (And what is your request for Daniel?)
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[15:01:09] feministsister: provide clarity for me. needs: ease, support.
[15:01:23] feministsister: clarity in how to arrange this talk.
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[15:02:40] |nvclink (40 online): Chris : (OK, I’ll being the role-play with one of your worst possible responses)
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[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.
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[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)
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[15:04:34] feministsister: So you would like to understand why i can’t let go of this?
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[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 🙂 )
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[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)
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[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!
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[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?
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[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.
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[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
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[15:14:06] |nvclink (44 online): Chris : what do you think he would say?
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[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.
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[15:17:36] |nvclink (41 online): Chris : do you think he may be feeling uneasy because he needs to protect himself from anymore pain?
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[15:18:18] feministsister: i think there are a million possibilities and that i don’t know and that i probably never will.
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[15:18:48] |nvclink (43 online): Chris : so do you feel scared you’ll never understand him?
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[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.
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[15:21:06] |nvclink (44 online): Chris : and you’d like to empathize with him and understand how he’s feeling?
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[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.
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[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?
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[15:24:38] feministsister: i can be daniel, and you can be me or yourself?
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[15:24:59] |nvclink (44 online): Chris : we could do that, if that would help you
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[15:25:19] feministsister: so i could start with: Your reality is distorted.
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[15:26:00] |nvclink (44 online): Chris : Do you feel upset because you are afraid I’m not understanding you?
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[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.
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[15:27:43] |nvclink (44 online): Chris : so are you feeling tired because you need some completion between us?
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[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.
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[15:30:02] |nvclink (44 online): Chris : so you’re frustrated because you need peace?
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[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.
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[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
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[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.
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[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
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[15:34:59] feministsister: People shouldn’t be freezing out on the streets just cuase their sexist.
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[15:35:28] |nvclink (44 online): Chris : and you need understanding for your position
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[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.
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[15:37:17] |nvclink (44 online): Chris : so you need reassurance I’ll not keep trying to force these issues on you?
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[15:37:51] feministsister: Yeah. We’re not in a relationship. I just want to move on.
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[15:38:23] |nvclink (44 online): Chris : so you need acceptance that the relationship is over?
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[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.
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[15:39:36] |nvclink (44 online): Chris : so would you like reassurance I’ve heard your needs?
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[15:39:45] feministsister: what are needs?
[15:40:04] feministsister: what are you talking about?
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[15:40:37] |nvclink (44 online): Chris : let me rephrase that: would you like reassurance I’ve heard what you want between us?
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[15:41:48] feministsister: yes. it doesn’t matter how many times you say it. i don’t trust you.
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[15:42:20] |nvclink (43 online): Chris : so you need to be able to trust me?
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[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.
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[15:44:30] |nvclink (43 online): Chris : so you need to know that I’ve accepted the end of this?
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[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.
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[15:46:23] |nvclink (43 online): Chris : so you would like to support me?
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[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.
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[15:47:36] |nvclink (43 online): Chris : so you would like me to consider your feelings as well?
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[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.
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[15:49:04] |nvclink (43 online): Chris : You need reassurance that I won’t hurt you again?
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[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.
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[15:49:54] |nvclink (43 online): Chris : so you need me to be honest with you?
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[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?
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[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?
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[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.
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[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
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[15:53:14] feministsister: How was this for you?
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[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?
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[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.
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[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
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[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.
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[15:57:13] |nvclink (43 online): Chris : No problem. I was glad to. 🙂
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[15:57:41] feministsister: are you okay with me copy pasting this talk and posting it on a blog i have?
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[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
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[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.
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[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. 🙂
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[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?
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[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. 🙂
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[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 🙂
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[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
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[16:02:08] feministsister: take care, may your need for relaxation be met 🙂
[16:02:12] feministsister:
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[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:

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[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:

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[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?

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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.