Audio to accompany previous posts:
Audio to accompany previous posts:
She is sad, in need. Maybe she looks to him for help, maybe he notices without a word from her
He acts as her friend. He shows concern, gives small tokens of affection. She is hardened from the street but dares to hope that maybe she has a friend in him
Out of the blue, or so it seems to her, she has been running a tab with him. He has a list of every little kindness he gave her. He gave, but those were not gifts. EA he gesture had a price. Now she owes him money. But he would lime a…how shall it be said?…A physical currency, yes, that is how he would lime payment. She can settle up with her body.
Now she is hurt and alone. She is not opposed to deals, trades. That’s street life after all. However, for her, transactions are mutually agreed to, in the beginning, out in the open. Not one sided and secret. She us hurt by his accusation that she is selfish and worse, conniving. He says she knew all along there was a bill that would be due. Still, she took the occasional soda with no real intention if giving him her body out of gratitude for his thoughtfulness. Did anyone else care about her? Obviously not or she would not
…she would not be out there, sleeping by Pali Safeway off of Kukui Street in downtown Honolulu. Yes, he mentioned the lack of support knowing she is ashamed of her status.
I have a friend who is still in the street. She does not stay with me probably BC that’s just too much of me. But she hangs out with me when I am downtown. Last week she showed me a text from a guy who she thought was her friend. It turned out that any bit of kindness he showed her was entered into his records. It was clear he had given each kind action a sexual equivalent. Based upon his calculations he had done so much for her she should happily throw herself at him and let him have his way with her while she did his bidding. Of course he was quite vulgar in the wording of his expectations. I am putting an intellectual spin on his foul mouthed diatribe. And what were these acts of kindness? Asking her if she wanted a soda. Checking on her at the homeless camp near Safeway by the Pali Highway. Nothing like giving her a place to stay or taking her to the doctor. Nothing that would make a true difference in the life of a homeless, addicted woman. Nevertheless she had believed she had a friend. So all those times he checked on her by the homeless encampment…All those times he he brought her a can of soda…those were just manipulations in a long term plan? He cared nothing for her? I feel bad now that at the time she shared the text with me I was focussed on what scum I thought he was rather than her hurt feelings. I will try to make that up to her.
There are people who keep a running lists of everything they have ever done for a person. People who think of themselves as generous see no contradiction between their self image and their belief that people owe them for their good natures. I hate that. The people who adopted me were like that, the lady, really. She was always complaining that I was not grateful for food, clothing, doctor visits. My view was that I never asked to go there and that is the deal they signed up for. I had no say in the deal. I would never have consented. I got out of that house the first chance I got. I left with a lifelong aversion to sudden demands of gratitude for what was “freely” given. My friend situation was not unlike the one I had been adopted into. She did not know she had entered into a contract. I know she can be selfish but addicts typically are selfish about dope. I am sure she did not want to share dope. Who does? I concede the point that she might have been a taker, although I have no direct knowledge of this opinion, but owing sex is not something I buy into. Little did she know he had tabulated a sex…ledger. Disappointing but not surprising. He did what a lot of guys have done in my experience. Not only do they equate certain sex acts with, say, beverage offers, they laughingly try to make us jealous. They mention all the women who would happily do what they want. Please go find those women eager to disrobe and throw themselves, legs akimbo, at your feet. Save us the hassle!
Anyone who works at a job would be quite annoyed if a so-called friend tabulated favors and came up with the number of free hours we owe giving them the benefit of our professional expertise. Working girls hate to hear they have sex debts and they would just as soon the guys go elsewhere. Keep in mind he is not offering her anything but the chance to enter into sexual slavery until he is satisfied he has been compensated. It would be different if the guy had been upfront and approached with money and asked if she would. Hey, people on the street know how money is earned. But to feign friendship in order to turn affection into guilt and then demand sex, that he won’t pay for BC of her sex debt…that is just sneaky. Pervy. And far too common.. Maybe men and women cannot be friends. Maybe when a man is friends with a woman he thinks he is the one taking a loss. Is it possible that a man feels insulted when a woman calls him a friend? Maybe. I will ask around. I do know that people who fake affection and later reveal their true motives come off as traitors. We try not to have feelings, and we certainly do not want any feelings that we cannot quash to be hurt, but for people who strive for indifference, we women on the street are especially sensitive to rejection.
The first type of guy who does not listen is the guy who has no idea that he does not listen to anyone, especially women. That does not mean he would be interested in changing his ways if you tried to call his attention to his behavior. In all likelihood he would not even hear you when you tried to tell him about himself. It may sound like I am exaggerating when I say this guy does not hear at all but I really am not. Have you ever stopped talking, just to see what would happen to his reactions? Then you realize that he keeps on talking without missing a beat no matter how much or how little you contribute. Once I fully realize that nothing I say penetrates, I stop trying to talk and simply say, yes, you are right. He is not really asking for input. If I disagree he will ignore me. If I say he is right he will say, “I know!” For me this kind of guy is a poor prospect for a companion. Not that he is looking for companionship from me anyway. I know what he wants but what is most important I know not to waste my time on a lost cause. One of the things I value most in a person is if that person can show me a new way of thinking about something and that new method almost always comes from exchanging ideas. Seldom do I say to the self absorbed guy with no insight, “You made me think!”
The second type of non-listening guy is well aware that he does not care what others, especially women, have to say. This guy prides himself on the way he tricks women into thinking he is listening and cares. “I give them five yeses and then a no,” said a long term associate with pride. It might be useful for women to know that not only are they not listening but they take pride and pleasure in ignoring you. I foolishly thought I was exempt from this lack of interest until I noticed this long term associate say, “no,” emphatically, right after he gave me a “yes,” in a doubtful tone. None of the tones he used with me matched what I had been saying. “Are you doing five yeses and a no with me?” I asked, totally indignant and he just kind of shrugged like, what do you expect?
I have read about troubled rich people who have what everyone wants. A common thought is that inherited wealth creates weakness in the generation that inherits what they did not earn. This weakness compounds, like interest, every generation removed from the wealth producing one. By the time the great great grandchildren come along they are useless trust fund babies. I knew a professional man who worked for a prominent local family business. This long term associate of mine complained bitterly to me about working with the uninformed son: “He knows nothing. If he didn’t have that last name he would have nothing. Asking him a question is so useless I might as well ask you!” I could not deny that I was uninformed on the subject of his work. But I dispute the allegation about my uselessness, fir I know the answer to the question of why rich dynasties have troubled members.
When I was in college I volunteered at a child advocacy organization that was founded at the end of the 19th century. They named themselves something similar to the ASPCA because people were on board with preventing cruelty to animals through interference long before they were believers in disrupting parental authority no matter the cruelty of the parents. Children were yours. You made them. You do with them what you like. If need be, you can make be ones. When it comes to unwillingness to intervene, no one created that obstacle better than the wealthy. Who could or would question Bill Gates, as a random example, about what he dies with his children. Rich children are under the absolute power of their parents who are not accountable to anyone. One troubled great grandparent could create a dynasty of increasingly abusive parents. I have never heard anyone argue with the theory that absolute power corrupts absolutely. It is easy to see how growing up rich could be the very worst thing in the world. Especially when you consider the characteristics sometimes necessary to step in the little guy.
This link explains that trauma is the basis for bizarre allegations. It is a brief biographical story about a toddler falsely accused of seduction and the lesson in compassion we can learn from this experience.
I know what it is like to be accused of something I did not do. Obviously, when I was on the street I was an automatic suspect if something went missing. You don’t want to hear that boring story. A more interesting story is the one I have to tell about bizarre accusations. People have hang ups, we know this . But what I seldom hear is the tendency people have of expressing their hang ups in accusations. For example, I was adopted by a couple who had adopted two older kids, and who took in foster children. It was her idea, I am sure. He was pretty indifferent to me and the other adopted kids and foster kids who came through his house. He never spoke to anyone but me, and that is because from the age of 3, I demanded attention. I used to say I needed my daily dose of hugs and kisses. I always greeted the man I knew as my Daddy with enthusiasm–I got a running start and leapt into his arms when he returned home from work. I followed him around like a puppy when he put his things away. When he was done with dinner I sat in his lap while he reclined in the Lazy Boy. When he fell asleep I tried to match my breathing to his but his breaths were top deep and long. What did his wife make of this touching scenario? From the time I was 4 she accused me of… I knew not what. From what I could figure as a small child, I had done something bad, really bad. But that is all I could grasp. Later I understood that the thought I was trying to seduce her husband. For the record, I did not try to seduce her husband. Her suspicions about me, a small child, were rooted in her mind not my act Being accused of something you did not do, and no matter what your every move looks suspicious…well, I cannot tell you the helpless rage I felt. I cut her out of my life, as a teenager. This move might have been necessary. I had nothing in my playbook but avoidance. Avoidance was necessary at the time. But what was not necessary was all my rage. Crazy allegations come from the other person’s suffering. It is imperative that you immediately move away from defensiveness and into acceptance of the reality. What reality?
You cannot convince the accuser of your innocence. The more you try the guiltier you will look. There is a thinking error known as confirmation bias. Whatever a person sees simply confirms what she already believes. For example: why aren’t you protesting more? An innocent person would fight allegations? Then you argue your case. Why are you getting so upset? An innocent person would not let words get to him. You absolutely cannot win. Know that you cannot win and know it so well that you stop trying and taking it one step further, you do not feel the need to try for victory. and it is not about you. Do not waste your time and energy on the irrational. Stop protesting, abandon arguments. No one hears your words anyway.
Now, years later, I can feel compassion for a woman who must have had a horrendous childhood to develop a fixation like her focus on sex and children. How horrible. I cannot imagine reaching out to this person who terrified me when I was a child (picture Monique’s character in the movie Precious). But you might have a person who would respond favorably if you take her by the hand and say something soft and comforting. Put aside your own anger and try it. Even if you can extend compassion know it won’t change the accuser’s mind. Compassion can take the sting out of the allegations for you, though. When you feel their pain you feel your own pain less. Maybe that is a self interested take on empathy but it is a truism nevertheless. Do not waste time trying to persuade. Simply view them with kindness and get out if there if you must.