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Old 11-29-2013, 06:05 AM
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So, you started off by quoting my entire post from the other day, and I recognized it straightaway as the post in which I kind of implored and insisted that ColorsWolf stop right away with the rebukes and the patronization or else I'd stop responding to him when posting.

I figured, oh, this is a problem about me treating ColorsWolf harshly and unfairly. I guess I can see how it looks that way. I won't try to argue if that's how you see it.

But the fact remains that my "relationship" with ColorsWolf has already changed. I'm planning to respond to much fewer of his remarks, and the few I do, it won't be in a way that addresses him directly, it will only be a comment of mine about something he said. I don't even plan to quote him anymore.

That could change. I haven't blocked him and I can easily watch and see if his general behavior (cause other members take some of his abuse too and can swear to it) improves. Given enough longstanding improvement, I might peek out of my shell again.

But if I see more and more of the rapid cycling between Dr. Jekyll (for a moment) and then Mr. Hyde (for a large colorful rant), even if it's directed at me, I'll probably involve myself less and less in what he's got to say until my involvement equals virtually zero.

Am I ashamed for taking this stance? No. I think it's long overdue. I suspect some members have probably been observing my desperate attempts to pacify ColorsWolf and thought, "kdt26417, why aren't you standing up for some reasonable boundaries already? Drop this guy; don't you get that he's never going to listen to you? It's even damaging threads now with soap opera hijacks."

No doubt I could have spoken more nicely; I admit I was be-yond irate when I wrote that last post. But, in the end, I decided that post needed to be abrasive. ColorsWolf doesn't listen to silk. He only listens to sandpaper.

Anyways I don't have to justify my decisions to anybody especially when the justification further hijacks the thread. But you, too, Dirtclustit, are headed in ColorsWolf's direction as far as my non-involvement is concerned. Which I suppose'll make you happy. You'll be able to snark at me and then pretend like my silence is proof that I agree with your snark. Believe whatever you feel you need to believe, I guess.

---

Now, are we going to talk about racial -- yes racial, not just cultural -- issues that relate to poly, or are we going to intensify the kdt26417-versus-Dirtclustit-and-ColorsWolf WWF free-for-all that the thread is becoming? Oh gee, I think the mods sometimes lock threads when that happens. So how is this WWF free-for-all helping to improve relations between poly people of minority cultures and poly people of majority cultures? Just one of the many reasons why I'm taking a step back from your posts too.

ColorsWolf wants friends. I believe that. I believe he joined Polyamory.com in hopes of making friends. Unfortantely, his arrogant, judgmental, narcissistic attitudes are driving away from him the people who most wanted to be his friends. People are already blocking him because they don't even want to know what he has to say anymore. Others of us are still at least listening to him, but with a mighty cautious ear.

I honestly fear that this reflects the prognosis for ColorsWolf's present and future. He will continue to lose friends on this forum, and he will continue to lose friends out in the real world for the rest of his life, at least until he gets some serious professional help. Meds. Counseling. Most likely both.

Dirtclustit, I don't think you value your hypothetical friends as much as ColorsWolf values his. But I think you're a profoundly unhappy, aggressive, defensive, paranoid person. I don't think you sleep well at night and if you do, I cringe to think what horrors your dreams must reveal to you.

I won't hide that the two of you haven't seriously made borscht out of my heart and porridge out of my brain, nor even that I've shamelessly resorted to the old dysfunctional childhood coping mechanism of making light of shit just in order to get through it. Basically, I've allowed the two of you to make yourselves my childhood parents, and it's neither edified me nor helped my morale.

But the humor has helped, and I've grown more comfortable about using it. This thread, IMO, gets way way way too serious at times. I don't find the thread as a whole to be very amusing at all.

So selfish I am, but at the same time I authentically worry for both of you. If you're not getting professional help, get it. See a psychiatrist. Get meds. Get counseling. Understand that you're not functioning in "the human herd" in a sane or healthy way. You're going to end up very lonely; yes, you too Dirtclustit, who so disdains the approval of others.

ColorsWolf craves affirmation but attacks anyone who indulges that craving, just as intensely as he would a direct insult. He figures out in his mind how every compliment is actually an insult. You, Dirtclustit, do likewise, only worse. You have paranoid notions that someone like me could somehow physically get to you. You've been feeding off ColorsWolf's psychosis and vice versa, and so far it's doing neither of you any favors.

I only know of two (one?) member/s who feel/s threatened by any of my posts. Other than those two, no one's felt like they're being manipulatively played against their will.

I assure you my sarcasm and humor buttons are both turned off. I'm deadly serious, and I'm appropriately concerned about the kinds of verbal choices I've seen the two of you make. You cannot save the world if you make the whole world your enemy.

I wouldn't say I enjoy arguments like these although I must be addicted to them if I keep repeatedly tackling them.

Re:
Quote:
"They are willing to bicker back and forth for 22 pages, but they won't just say whether or not they are for equal rights or whether they support bigoted laws which wrongfully discriminate."
Well for once an easy one. I am for equal rights. I don't support bigoted laws which wrongfully discriminate. No stuttering there, is there?

[continued below]
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Last edited by kdt26417; 11-29-2013 at 08:07 AM.
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Old 11-29-2013, 06:06 AM
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[continued from above]

I assume you meant your last post as a collection of specifics and examples for me, but alas your core message isn't getting through. I'll take the heat for that (though relatively specific, literal examples might still help).

You've accused me of gripping something. Of gripping cars, microphones (to tie into a sound board -- I take it you mean that I'm exploiting Polyamory.com's willingness to make my words public?), and houses, all of which violates people's privacy. I assure you I do none of those things literally, and if you meant the accusation figuratively then I admit I don't understand what it means. What does this mysterious word "gripping" mean in plain old Kindergarten terms?

Re:
Quote:
"Usually such an invasion of privacy is only viewed as acceptable to people who believe themselves superior to others."
Ah, thank goodness I'm not one of those people who believes myself superior to others; otherwise I'd view such invasions of privacy as acceptable.

You know, this thread has been so odd. Every black member I've talked to has been totally fine with, and friendly towards me. (I guess I'm supposed to assume they're faking it to be polite?) No complaints about whether I scientifically described the precise optical nature of their skin, or whether I called them this, that, or whatever. No complaints about me using the word race instead of culture, or culture instead of people. No complaints that I wasn't doing the work I needed to do to get to know them culturally and personally and bond with their viewpoint. They've been warm, cool, and helpful toward me. Any olive branch I offer, no matter how sickly and wilted, they accept with unabashed thanks, and an outpouring of their hearts.

Black members on this thread have enriched me with much racial -- yes racial -- knowledge that I didn't previously have. I've felt like I've had a whole new perspective after reading their posts.

Please note that black members and I have been teasing each other with jibes here -- racial jibes yet -- even sarcastic racial jibes. No black member has yet complained. Nor have I. Only you and ColorsWolf have complained, and not insincerely, either. Both of you are cut and offended to the core by the least hint of levity where cultural issues are concerned. You're missing out on some good laughs, man. That's all I've got to say. And no I don't think it's hurting their self-esteem. I think they're stronger than that.

Now I don't know if you and ColorsWolf are willing to admit your cultures and ethnicities, but if both of you are Caucasian, then it looks like the only flak I've taken on this thread has come from two particular Caucasians -- and that all the black members here are kind, forgiving, tolerant, emotionally sound, mentally sane, rather wise, and intelligent. Maybe black polyamorists avoid white polyamorists because they've noticed that a few white polyamorists have gone way off the deep end.

Mental illness isn't part of the real you. It's a disease that needs to be cured, for your own sake. This is *not* a slamfest. It's a concerned, worried, heartfelt plea towards both of you: Get help. You need it. Badly.

Re:
Quote:
"Some of us here are actually trying help instead of supplementing inferiority complexes."
Good. I'll just go ahead and count myself in with the group, "some of us here," since I'm actually trying to help instead of supplementing inferiority complexes.

I don't think any minority culture here is in danger of anyone feeding its inferiority complexes. But I can think of two (probably Caucasian members) who each have a superiority complex as well as an inferiority complex -- and both types of complexes are getting worse. The two opposing kinds of complexes seem to be feeding each other.

---

Re:
Quote:
"So which it?
Are you a bigoted or just overwhelmingly rude Caucasian, or a manipulative dishonest non-Caucasian who doesn't respect privacy?"
No jokes, no sarcasm, no messing around, and no obfuscation.

I am not bigoted. Everyone but you and ColorsWolf will agree with me on that.

I am not overwhelmingly rude. You and ColorsWolf have that dynamic covered and I don't need to add to it. This, right here, is the rudest I'll ever get. In real life I sometimes lose it. When I'm posting on a public thread, I control my temper. Even when I'm mad I control my temper.

I am Caucasian with pretty much all-European ancestry, especially English, German, and Eastern European blood. I think I have a swatch of Native American blood. I don't know if I have any African American blood.

I am not manipulative. Explosive? Sometimes, in "real life." On the forum? Never.

I am not dishonest. Do I joke around a lot, even at some people's expense? Sometimes yes. Guilty.

I certainly respect privacy, and I'd like to know *exactly how I haven't been respecting your (and/or ColorsWolf's) privacy.*

---

Re:
Quote:
"Either you are extremely lost on your ability to learn how to respect those who are not the same as you ..."
But if that's true, how have I managed to get along with everyone (especially those of minority cultures) on this thread except two particular persons (who I suspect are both Caucasian)?

Yes I get and respond to some private messaging. Not my favorite venue by the way. I'd rather we all just discussed things out in the open on a public thread, so that many could benefit from reading the material, and many could enrich the material by adding their own perspectives.

Re:
Quote:
"Your replies state to me very clearly that you either are [a non-Caucasian? or] an abusive male who doesn't really care if non-Caucasians show up to your potlucks."
And yet it was me who brought the subject up by starting this thread. If I was an abusive male (is "male" an insult?) who doesn't really care if non-Caucasions show up at my potlucks, wouldn't it have been wiser of me to let sleeping dogs lie (and not start such a thread as this)?

Dirtclustit, this is by far the longest post you'll ever get from me. From now on, I'm going to distance myself from you, and you're welcome to brag that's it's because you supposedly proved me wrong. Eventually I'll probably stop repying to anything you say altogether -- a threat which would scare ColorsWolf but I know it doesn't scare you so score yourself a point.
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Last edited by kdt26417; 11-29-2013 at 08:11 AM.
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Old 11-29-2013, 10:50 AM
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What i would like to say is "you white folk be cray cray", but I'll say something else.

I come from London (durr), a cosmopolitan jungle of every nation you could imagine. I live in Hackney, Google it, fantastic place. I had ten white British people in my whole year at school. So yes, those white people grew up eating Jelof rice with their Nigerian friends, can swear or insult people in several languages, understands variations in culture and how it differs from religion, are PC. All those things.

There are also places in the UK which are predominately white British. These people have limited experience with people from other countries and might not understand all these things. Some aren't prejudice at all, they just don't know. So they might say things that aren't PC or ask some seemingly basic questions but it is curiosity and nothing more. You know when it is malicious. It isnt easily hid. I think the way to deal with the faux pas that they make such as calling someone black, "coloured", isn't to beaten them, just keep saying black. If you create a comfortable environment for them, you can discuss why black is more appropriate than coloured, but I often find that they just start doing the correct behaviour anyway.

So what I'm saying is that whilst it is clear that kdt hasn't had much experience with people from other cultures, races, planets, etc, he hasn't been offensive at all. The few times he has walked the line with his comments were because he was led to do so by other major contributors to the thread who aren't as PC as they think they are. He was responding defensively to their imagined slights against him and in teying to fit their warped version of "This is how you don't be racist", he actually started to say things that could be construed as racist. (But don't worry, kdt, it wasn't your bad)

I'll go back to when I said that us ethnics get pissed off by (often unintentionally racist) white people who want to be the judges of what is and isn't racist.

Last edited by london; 11-29-2013 at 10:53 AM.
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Old 11-29-2013, 07:48 PM
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"So what I'm saying is that whilst it is clear that kdt hasn't had much experience with people from other cultures, races, planets, etc., he hasn't been offensive at all."
*Thank you.* (sheesh)

I have no problem being called an ignernt redneck. That's pretty much what I am. What else could I be after growing up in Utah, steeped in Mormon doctrine/culture which includes the disgusting proposal that certain pre-mortal spirits "rode the fence" when it came to deciding whether to fight on God's or Satan's side in the war in Heaven ... and that God caused those fence-riders to be born with dark/brown/black skin (thus subjecting them to an "appropriately" low station in mortality) as a penalty for their wishy-washiness where cosmic issues were at stake. A church that would let black males be churchmembers but wouldn't let said males hold the Priesthood -- not until around 1980 when public outcry against white-against-black bigotry became so deafening that the General Authorities coincidentally "announced that God had now told them" [read: realized that their public relations would soon circle down the drain unless they were] to finally start letting blacks have the Priesthood.

That's the kind of church, attitudes, and culture that I grew up in. My dad plain old hates blacks and always seizes the opportunity to brag about it whenever company's over. Given all that, I consider myself to have done quite well by realizing that the church was/is full of shit in its doctrines and attitudes about blacks, and that blacks as a whole haven't done anything wrong to hurt the United States or anyone/anything else; it's the whites who are predominantly blameworthy for all that.

I started this thread because I *knew* I needed to identify better with blacks and with other minority cultures worldwide, if I was ever to have a hope of being a tiny bit of the catalyst that might one day bring "poly majorities" and "poly minorities" together in increasingly more forums, and in increasingly more local poly groups and functions. I don't propose to "save the world" here. I just want to know some humble little things I can do to play a better part in my own role in this mixed-up world.

If fixing what I call black people will help, then great, I'm glad to do so. But this thread has demonstrated that the right thing to call black peoples is far from agreed upon (even in the States let alone worldwide). So the best I can do is try to guess at which pejorative will offend the least people (especially among minorities), and apologize to any whom the pejorative does offend. Boy would I love one "safe moniker" we could use world-round, but such doesn't exist and probably never will. And that's why I urge us to "settle down" about the whole nomenclature issue and focus on our attitudes, tone of voice (which can often somehow be detected even via the internet), and the physical way in which we pose ourselves towards minorities and how we physically treat them. Again, using words to change attitudes is, IMO, almost always pulling the cart before the horse. It's a sad reality given how hard people have tried to choose the right word to signify all blacks. But it's reality and we're stuck with it.

Heck I was born into "the Utah bag," rarely ever leaving my state let alone leaving my country. So do I have a lot to learn about the wide range of "black cultures" populating the world? Hell to the yeah. Strange coincidence, ain't it, that most black people seem to feel quite uncomfortable about the idea of living in Utah; hence, Utah remains almost totally (I'd say 97-99%) "black free."

The best chance I had to understand at least one particular black culture better was when I worked as a missionary in Detroit, and when (after marrying a women I'd met and grown close with in Michigan) I subsequently spent twenty years living in the suburbs just north of Detroit. That latter opportunity was much less rich than my missionary opportunity, because the black population of Detroit and the white population of its suburbs are pretty starkly separated. While living in those suburbs, I only occasionally ran into a black person here or there, and never got to know any of them much.

But as a missionary, I was blessed to "baptize myself by immersion" into the midst of black homes, persons, and communities. That baptism lasted about six months and shines as six of the most attitude-adjustment-wise productive months of my life. I didn't just get to know the race/culture there better. I plumb fell in love with it. And in so doing, by the way, I also earned the ire of many white Mormons who lived in the suburbs just north of that part of Detroit.

So I love black people, but I freely admit that I don't understand them as much (and certainly haven't learned of their worldwide diversity) as I should. I don't know how to properly identify with any of them. I'm stuck in the "NRE" stage of how I feel about black people as a whole. The LTR getting-to-know-you stage lies out of my reach for the moment. Which in fact is exactly one of the main reasons I started this thread. So that I could gain knowledge, understanding, appreciation, etc.. I *want* to understand what it must be like to wear a black person's shoes -- in the U.S., in the U.K., and all over the world. I can totally see that one black culture can be very very different from another black culture.

So for those black people who've been so generous in giving to and lifting up this thread and its objectives: Thank you. I hope I'll never offend any of you so much that you couldn't forgive me or wouldn't want to continue to converse with me, and that you'll continue to try to teach me all you can of what you feel I ought to know, say, and do.

Said in warmest of sincerity,
Kevin T.
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Last edited by kdt26417; 11-29-2013 at 11:52 PM.
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Old 11-30-2013, 09:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LovingRadiance View Post
Colorswolf-
I woould like to invite you to check out my real life. (I'm NOT being sarcastic). If you are interested, send me a PM and I will send you my real life info for fb. You need not add me as a friend to see it-because it's an open page.

I grasp what you THINK I was saying and meant.
What you are doing is making a few LARGE assumptions that color your opinion of my meaning. Incorrectly.

You say you are picking about being literal. But you aren't speaking in educated literal terms regarding social psychology. Social psychology (the study of how people think about, influence, and relate to one another) is VERY VERY pertinent to the question that KDT asked in this thread.
It's also MY MAJOR in school of which I am nearly finished with my bachelors and about ready to move on to my Masters (to be followed by a phd). It's my heart. It's the love of my life.

You have REPEATEDLY all over the board said you were interested in learning. So-when you vehemently disagreed with me, I posted the necessary info for you to ACTUALLY go read the experts information regarding what I said. I didn't ask you to take me at MY word. But gave you links to expert information, so that you could more easily access what I was talking about-in fuller depth-and hopefully with less confusion.

But-you didn't do that. Interestingly enough, KDT, did. I would reason to guess he's found some interesting stuff, not only written, but about himself too.

At no point was I making excuses for people mistreating others.
BUT-if we want to elicit change, it's necessary to understand the UNDERLYING reasons why people do what they do when they do what they do.

PART of why people do what they do is nurture (learned) but some is nature.

We DO STEREOTYPE naturally and we do stereotype learned.
But-before we go assuming that all stereotyping can be abolished, it's critical to understand that stereotyping at its core is a natural mechanism of humans and that can't be changed.
What can be changed is when and how and why we are stereotyping what.

I don't have time or interest in RE-WRITING all of my studies into this thread so that you can read it and finally realize I'm not being a bigoted bitch. But I was VERY interested in sharing what I have learned-because it could be HIGHLY useful not only in this thread, but in the personal lives of each of us participating in the thread.

Humans DO stereotype naturally. It's a part of who we are. That doesn't mean we can't learn to be more conscious and more careful about it. But to deny that it's true that all humans do it is naive at best.
Stereotyping is a form of classification. We classify all sorts of shit, including people.
We classify (and stereotype) by grade, by age, by gender, by IQ, by physical ability, by color, by number, by date, by time, by size, by shape....
This is a baseline truth.

In order to affect how people USE stereotypes (which is the real issue); we need to understand WHY they use them and WHAT they use them for so that we can help them be more structured and careful in their use of them.

The world isn't as simple as "right" and "wrong" or "black" and "white". There are many things that we do (like stereotyping) that have GOOD uses. For example, we stereotype plants. When dealing with plant life in a new area, we will often assess a plants useful properties and safety for eating based upon certain stereotypes learned from plants in an area we were familiar with. This can SAVE YOUR LIFE. It's a GOOD purpose.
We also stereotype in bad ways (which is what we are all used to talking about) and I won't give examples, because plenty have already been given in this thread. But the issue isn't to abolish stereotyping COMPLETELY. It's to reduce it back to the original purpose it was useful for.

Seriously-as much as you express an interest in learning about new ideas/concepts and understanding people; you should check out some information on social psych, social perception & attributions, classification and stereotyping etc. Do a search on David G Meyers-great info he's put out on the topics. Well written, clearly written, interesting, sometimes provocative and very educational. You might find that A) you enjoy the topic and B) you aren't so dead set on believing I'm some psycho bitch.

My life is fully integrated with a variety of cultures and races and lifestyles enmeshed in a close and large chosen family. You would be hard-pressed to find anyone in my real life-even if they don't like me personally-who would believe that I am remotely racist or sexist. But-I'm not about to pretend that people aren't what they are or don't do what they DO do.

My life interest is the science of why we do what we do. It's what I study, it's what I center my education on. It's what I know.
I understand what you mean.~

I just think a step towards a more tolerant and understanding world might be to consider the possible information about people, but also attempt to get to know them.~

This was my point all along, just those words, I'm sorry for any damage, hate, anger, confusion, and chaotic meanings I have caused.~

This message is for every one I have caused this to.~

I want to be a better person, some times I need help, I have been stopping and thinking about myself and what I want to say before I say it, not just on here but every where, my own family has told me so as well I just haven't actually heard them until now, I'm working on myself: I'm sorry, I can be a better person, the person I want to be, I am trying harder now than ever before, thank you every one.~

Sincerely,

ColorsWolf
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*Believe in yourself, you can do anything*!~ ^_^

Appreciate every thing, every thing is precious.~

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Old 11-30-2013, 04:46 PM
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ColorsWolf, that was a good post. It makes me feel more hopeful about the promise of the future (and the chance to be real friends).

And I agree that half (or most) of the battle WRT improving cultural relations is to get to know people not even just as "a culture," but as individual, unique people. No two white persons are alike; no two black persons are alike; etc. etc.

As for stereotyping, I just think it's a tool that the mind uses. Sometimes it's a good tool for the job (e.g. "most rocks are hard"), other times it's like trying to use a wrench to do brain surgery (e.g. "most blacks are criminals"). It behooves all humans to observe themselves carefully when they stereotype someone or something, and reason through whether that stereotype is likely to be useful or rather than that, if it's likely to be in need of correction.

I appreciate your apology, I think it's sincere, and I honor you for the courage it takes to publicly admit that "sometimes I need help."

There's no shame in needing meds and/or counseling. I take a shitload of meds and while counseling has historically been less than stellar at helping me, the meds are almost as necessary to my survival (and vaguely normal functioning) as air and water. I've been diagnosed with a shitload of disorders: BPD, PTSD, bi-polar, Asperger's, schizophrenia (a "mild" version lacking split personalities and voices from the Mothership in my head, but a version that causes much fear, paranoia, and hyperbole in how I interpret things emotionally), OCD, ADD, general depression, and on and on. No diagnosis seems to be quite it; I almost seem to have some sort of as-yet-unnamed disorder that is something of a hybrid of all those other things.

And it's been decades of Hell, for my doctors and especially for me, trying to figure out which meds will help me. They're too activating (ramping up my anxiety), they're too sedating (depressing me and putting a damper on my sexual functions), they directly dampen my sexual functions which really fires up the anxiety, a few have made me downright freak out and had to be discontinued immediately. My latest doctor, when I first met him, looked at the list of meds I'd taken so far and basically remarked (with eyes widened), "My God, you've tried everything!"

What's working right now, for the most part, is Zyprexa. But the drawback there is that Zyprexa has a penchant for causing weight gain and diabetes. If I get diabetes, that could be a disaster, since diabetes is infamous for causing people to have wild mood swings and mindless freak-outs ... just the type of thing that my poly companions can't stand. The "cure" could end up indirectly becoming the very reason why I'll someday be kicked to the curb. Add to that the tendency to gain weight (yeah like I needed to gain weight anyway), and that's just likely to make the diabetes worse. So I hope like hell that I'll somehow dodge the Zyprexa bullets, because so far Zyprexa is indeed the only drug with a history of calming me down without making me droop into a lifeless state of depression.

My point is, it's not easy to work through having a mental and/or emotional disorder, and I can say that to you level and eye-to-eye because I'm definitely no better off than you in that sense. I definitely need help. I'm lucky to have a woman in my life who's downright obsessive about studying every psychological drug on the market. She knows her prescription drugs so well that my current doctor has asked her: "Are you a nurse? Well, you sure could be." Hell, she's actually told him stuff about this or that drug, getting the reaction, "Oh yes, yes, that's right, I remember now." So she's helping the doctor! He respects her opinions, I'll say that much.

Well, I've talked to her about the "Zyprexa --> diabetes --> wild mood swings and freak-outs --> the end of our poly relationship" concerns I have. She seems sympathetic but remains desperate enough to keep me on Zyprexa anyway, at least for now. I suppose it does buy us some time if nothing else.

So I won't kid you. If you're serious about getting the help you need, you'll probably find that it's a long, tedious, frustrating process. It could take years (or decades if you're like me) before you (and loved ones on your team) finally work out a combination of things that at least prove to be adequate for you.

In the meantime, yes, put lots of effort into thinking a lot about what you're going to say before say it. Ask yourself: "If I say this, in the way I'm considering saying it, using the words I'm planning to use, will I more likely get what I want from my audience, or will I be more likely to alienate and drive them away?" You need to develop a system of communication that helps people feel better about themselves even while getting you what you yourself want, rather than a system of communication that tends to make other people feel crappy about themselves, and maybe even becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy if all the denigrating labels start to stick to them. Make a goal to always communicate with a positive spirit! Avoid negativity! Seek common ground, no matter how different another person's perspective may seem to be from your own. There's always common ground out there somewhere if you look hard enough. And once you find it, that's what you can build on.

And finally, aside perhaps Jesus Christ, no one I know of will ever stop needing to learn to understand themselves and others better, and to improve themselves as a person and a human being. There's no shame in having faults and vices to overcome. We're all riddled with faults and vices, some big, some little, all counterproductive and hurtful to ourselves and others.

Remember again Stephen R. Covey's philosophy: Look for a win-win in every situation. An outcome in which you and the person you're addressing will both end up feeling better about yourselves, and becoming better people as well. That's what life's all about. Americans are very competitive and tend to think that "I can only win if someone else loses." But Stephen R. Covey teaches us that if one person loses, everyone will lose. There is no such thing as a win-lose situation. It's either win-win, lose-lose, or "no deal" (no deal meaning that both parties agree to part amicably having found that they just can't help each other). It's a principle that works both in business matters and in relationship matters.

I will do my best to help you with your goals in any way I can. All's I ask is that you do the same for me in return.

Sincerely,
Kevin T.
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Old 11-30-2013, 06:20 PM
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As for stereotyping, I just think it's a tool that the mind uses. Sometimes it's a good tool for the job (e.g. "most rocks are hard"), other times it's like trying to use a wrench to do brain surgery (e.g. "most blacks are criminals"). It behooves all humans to observe themselves carefully when they stereotype someone or something, and reason through whether that stereotype is likely to be useful or rather than that, if it's likely to be in need of correction.
ABSOLUTELY! And-just because it looks like a rock, doesn't mean it is! I can't remember what its called, but that stuff you can make in the kitchen (they make it in kindergarten classes for fun) that is solid, then turns liquid, then solid... I think it's made with corn starch and water (I'm soooooo not a kitchen girl). ANyway-it was used as a lesson on "just because it looks solid doesn't mean it is" in one of our classes in grade school.


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There's no shame in needing meds and/or counseling. I take a shitload of meds and while counseling has historically been less than stellar at helping me, the meds are almost as necessary to my survival (and vaguely normal functioning) as air and water.
ditto, Severe depression, anxiety, ADD are mine. Joy joy joy.

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They're too activating (ramping up my anxiety), they're too sedating (depressing me and putting a damper on my sexual functions), they directly dampen my sexual functions which really fires up the anxiety, a few have made me downright freak out and had to be discontinued immediately.
That sounds all tooooooooo familiar!



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In the meantime, yes, put lots of effort into thinking a lot about what you're going to say before say it.



Look for a win-win in every situation. An outcome in which you and the person you're addressing will both end up feeling better about yourselves, and becoming better people as well
Always good!
I try to offer lead in "I'm not sure but" or links/author names/textbook names etc to where I found useful info too. Just because something is well researched doesn't mean it's well-known. But people often like to go read it themselves and when given the opportunity-often they will, before making an argument-which means that the argument is derailed before it gets started.
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Old 11-30-2013, 06:24 PM
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Something else to keep in mind:

Life experience.
We often think that we know this that or the other thing; but if we haven't actually lived through it, we can't know it. We can know ABOUT it. But we can't KNOW it.
That is a strong argument made in many arguments about racial discrimination.
But it's also true of other things. Like struggling with depression or other mental health issues. Struggling with physical health issues. Struggling through the loss of a child or a spouse/partner. Even having a partner versus having multiple partners.

My theoretical beliefs about poly and how I felt it *should* work in my life; were WHOLLY different than what turned out to ACTUALLY function in my life. Very much so. In my theories I wasn't taking into consideration the little technicalities of REALITY that alter a theory.
A theory is great as a kicking off point (we use them ALL OF THE TIME in science). But a theory is still ONLY A THEORY until it's been tested and proven to work.
The reality is that OFTEN theories turn out to be "great on paper but impossible to replicate in reality".
This is true of science and it's ABSOLUTELY the truth with relationships.
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Old 11-30-2013, 09:11 PM
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You know LovingRadiance, something in your post stuck in my mind and (fortuitously) drew it back into the official thread topic:

Re:
Quote:
"We often think that we know this that or the other thing; but if we haven't actually lived through it, we can't know it. We can know *about* it. But we can't *know* it.
That is a strong argument made in many arguments about racial discrimination.
But it's also true of other things. Like struggling with depression or other mental health issues. Struggling with physical health issues. Struggling through the loss of a child or a spouse/partner. Even having a partner versus having multiple partners."
I know that no one besides me can ever know what it's really like to live inside my skin and brain. Things that are easy for other people aren't easy at all for me. So while someone may glance at me and say, "He looks perfectly able-bodied to me," that someone doesn't realize how many demons I have to fight off every day just to get out of bed.

In that way, I think it's virtually impossible for me to truly know what kinds of challenges many black people must face. Oh I can imagine and try to tap into my empathy abilities, thus gaining something of an appreciation for what they struggle through. But I'd have to *be* them in order to really get it, and no one can really *be* anyone except themselves.

So while I still think imagining and empathizing is good and necessary up to a point, there also needs to be a point when we admit to each other, "I can't really know what it's like to have to face the kinds of hardships you have to face. I can only use my imagination and get a blurry picture of the tip of the iceberg. But if you'll forgive that shortcoming in me, then maybe you'll still be willing to help me better understand how I can help you."

People with mental/emotional disorders get discriminated against for things that other people *can't* see. People with a "minority skin color" get discriminated against for things that other people *can* see.

Which may be one reason why it was so easy for me to reach out to those blacks who were around me and want to mingle my company with theirs. Because, I don't know what it's like to be black, but I do know what it's like to be a misunderstood outcast. Put it this way: There's a good reason why I soon tired of being back in Utah after my stay in Detroit. When marital engagement offered me the chance to run back from Utah to Michigan, I seized it.

And by the by: on further reflection, I remembered the clutch of black neighborhoods in Mt. Clemens which is a small city north of Detroit. I was a piano teacher in Mt. Clemens, and thus had opportunity to engage each week with a good handful of black students at least. So, there again, I learned a little more about "the black culture in that area."

Which, wouldn't ya know it, proved to differ from one individual to the next. Once again, breaking a race down into separate cultures doesn't tell you the whole story. You still have to break separate cultures down into single individual people because no two people are *really* the same, no matter what.

Sad to say, one black girl was my student and I struggled with her. I never disliked her per se, but her "ribbing sense of humor" was worse than mine, and her weekly goal seemed to be to find some new way of getting under my skin. (Pardon the "skin" expression.)

Usually lessons with her were just 30 minutes of minor annoyance, and sometimes even playfulness with her facetiousness. She didn't at all practice like she should have, but by then I'd learned to tolerate that in a student as long as said student was still reasonably respectful towards me as a teacher and as a fellow human being of theirs.

But man, I'll never forget the one piano lesson where that student really did get under my skin. I was passing from youth into my middle-ages, and as a result, she saw opportunity to point out that my fingernails were getting ridges on them, and she thought that was gross.

Hell, I think she meant that as a joke/jibe/poke in the ribs. But God did that hurt, and I didn't even know why. I wasn't even mad. I was just ashamed. I started trying to hide my fingernails, the owie was that bad. [shaking head]

I had another young black lady as a student and, bad as I am at names I still remember her name: LaRenna. I neither confessed nor acted on the thought in any way, but, in addition to having much personality charisma, she was also physically gorgeous and I secretly crushed on her a bit. Her sense of humor was also unflagging and she and I always had a ball poking each other in the ribs, but she also failed to practice much at all, and I was too new of a teacher back then to realize that not practicing doesn't necessarily a bad student (let alone person) make. I eventually "dismissed" her from my tutelage because she wasn't a productive student. God did I grow to regret that decision. My loss.

For awhile, a black man was a student of mine. He had a few Stevie Wonder songs he wanted to learn, which actually helped me to "discover" Stevie Wonder's music and fall in love with it. I didn't get to know the student in question all that well, but I got to know him well enough to learn that he had personal (often relationship-related) heartaches in his life, as, well, frankly, we all do. And no matter what, he was always as gracious and courteous toward me as if I was a king and he was a prince, or the other way around, who could tell. He had to cease taking lessons all too soon. I'd have liked to spend more time with him and get to know him better.

My longest student-teacher interracial relationship was with two young boys who were being raised by their grandmother. I don't think piano was really their thing. After I moved to New Mexico, they started getting into sports and stuff. So they were, well, deplorable in the practicing area. And they were trying at times! another "Odd Couple" type of relationship between me and them. They must have had ADD or something, I couldn't get them to concentrate on the task at hand for more than a few minutes. But their sense of humor was so infectious that I couldn't help but like them. I'll never forget the time when the younger brother grabbed the older brother from behind, and the older brother looked at me and cried, "Mr. Kitchen!" [yes "Kitchen," I eventually had my entire name legally changed] "Help me! He's hate-raping me!" At which point I collapsed into my chair, laughing against all my better judgment. Those two brothers were nuts!

[continued below]
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Old 11-30-2013, 09:11 PM
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[continued from above]

Their grandmother (also coincidentally black) was totally supportive towards me as a teacher and person at all times. Never questioned my methods or approach (though many white parents and students did). She just tried her best to get those two wiggly boys to do *some* practicing and do *some* of what I asked of them. She was always respectful and deferential to me in a way that made me feel like I had raised her to be an equal without even trying to.

So when I add up all the experiences I've had in my all-too-short (and our lives are all all-too-short) life, I overall have to say that I've learned to not only love black people but respect and want to honor them as well. For they honored me. Except that one darn student with that remark about my fingernails. That stings, even today. I always look at my nails and think, "Oh crap, they're ridgier than ever today." But in my heart, I now realize that she never meant to hurt me. She just loved joking around (including practical jokes) too much to give it a rest. Not the world's most obedient student, let's put it that way! I could scarcely talk her into sitting on the piano bench, let alone actually trying to play a song. 50-75% of her 30 minutes' lesson time was spent on her rifling through all my papers and files, looking for stuff to make fun of. [shaking head] Talk about incorrigible ...

So you'd think I'd have soon learned to take all her rib jabbing into stride. But I never quite did. That fingernail remark really hurt my feelings, and that can only mean that her opinion mattered a great deal to me.

So the times I've spent with black people have taught me a thing or two about their culture and personalities, but even more than that, I think those times taught me a thing or two about myself. They forced me to see my own weaknesses. They coaxed me into embracing just a little bit of my own humanness. They helped me see that it's okay for me to be imperfect. I don't need to be a perfect teacher. I just need to be a faithful friend.

Oh, but there was one sad time. A black lady was taking lessons from me -- and she was diligent at practicing. But alas, one day we were chatting and the subject of holidays came up. Upon which, I confessed to her that Halloween, rather than Christmas, was my favorite holiday. I even carried on a bit about how/why I loved that holiday, how it's like a celebration of the imagination in my eyes, etc.

Oh dear. Well this was a very Christian black lady with some very hard-core "Christian" views, and her pastor had definitely let her know that Halloween was no less than Satan's personal brainchild. This lady castigated me for the rest of her lesson time, warning me that I'd best learn the value of Christmas and cut it out with this Halloween crap. And then her lesson ended, she left, and I never saw her again.

God dammit.

I did apologize before she left, but the damage had already been done. Sigh. Well that wasn't a race problem, that was definitely a culture problem. Or should I say a church problem. Well whatever.

The point I get from all this is that breaking a race down into cultures isn't good enough. You have to break the cultures down into individual people before you can really understand them, no matter what the color of their skin.

Even from that last sad story, though, I did learn (just a little more) that I have a poor sense of what is and isn't safe to share in a social or public setting. Some sentiments are best kept private within one's own mind, or at least only shared with great caution and care (not wild, carefree enthusiasm). Sad lesson to have to learn.

And there was the young black lady who was Mormon, chose to serve a mission, and was in my ward (read: congregation in typical Christian jargon) when I was ward mission leader. She was a quiet, sad, angry person. I never knew quite how or why, but I supposed that white folks must have somehow wounded her deeply. She never trusted me. She never trusted my motives. I wonder if she was pushed into serving a mission against her will. I'll never know.

In science, it often seems that for each question we answer, ten new questions spring up in its place. That's how the problems of racial/cultural divides seem to be. Whenever I think I've got the answer to one question, I suddenly realize I have ten new indispensable questions on my hands.

Well what the heck, let's complicate the issue by mixing polyamory into the batter. Now I find myself flooded in a sea of questions. By now I almost want to skip the polyamory part and just figure out an answer to the one question: How have black people affected me, and what does that say about me? Am I just naive? Do I just want to believe that I care about black people because I'm ashamed of the church and heritage looming over my own white-centric childhood and background? Do I feel guilty for being white? for being a product of a race that once chained black people against their will, tore black families apart, and made them work harder than the livestock were forced to work?

Sometimes I'm sad that a chasm seems to exist between many black and white people. Sometimes I'm sad (and ashamed) to be white. But then I remember I'm also a hopelessly selfish person, and I feel fortunate to not have to go through the crap that so many black people have to go through.

Do I want them to "come to my poly potlucks" just so I can "apologize" to them in some indirect way? "Sorry about what my people did to your people." Would such an apology even matter after some 150 years after Lincoln was slain?

Some black folks have hurt my feelings. Most of them have helped heal the sickness in my heart (the genetic sickness, and the socially-programmed sickness). But all of them have left an impression in my soul that is eternal.

I'm just humbled and honored to be able to have the kind of opportunity that this thread represents. And when I move (less than a week away now) to Seattle, I hope I'll treat any minority folks I meet there in a way that honors them and doesn't wound them any further. Alas, I'll probably have to learn that skill by trial and error.
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