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The School Survival Forums are permanently retired. If you need help with quitting school, unsupportive parents or anything else, there is a list of resources on the Help Page.

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To everyone who joined these forums at some point, and got discouraged by the negativity and left after a while (or even got literally scared off): I'm sorry.

I wasn't good enough at encouraging people to be kinder, and removing people who refuse to be kind. Encouraging people is hard, and removing people creates conflict, and I hate conflict... so that's why I wasn't better at it.

I was a very, very sensitive teen. The atmosphere of this forum as it is now, if it had existed in 1996, would probably have upset me far more than it would have helped.

I can handle quite a lot of negativity and even abuse now, but that isn't the point. I want to help people. I want to help the people who need it the most, and I want to help people like the 1996 version of me.

I'm still figuring out the best way to do that, but as it is now, these forums are doing more harm than good, and I can't keep running them.

Thank you to the few people who have tried to understand my point of view so far. I really, really appreciate you guys. You are beautiful people.

Everyone else: If after everything I've said so far, you still don't understand my motivations, I think it's unlikely that you will. We're just too different. Maybe someday in the future it might make sense, but until then, there's no point in arguing about it. I don't have the time or the energy for arguing anymore. I will focus my time and energy on people who support me, and those who need help.

-SoulRiser

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Ruminations of a Wounded Healer
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Ky Offline
Shadow

Posts: 5,201
Joined: Aug 2012
Thanks: 1798
Given 1468 thank(s) in 972 post(s)
Post: #1
Ruminations of a Wounded Healer

Greetings, everyone.

To those of you who don't know me, I'm School Survival's former pseudo-psychologist, DoA, but you can call me Chiron. As you might imagine, I was a considerably vocal member of this community in years past. I fled the scene after graduating high school, but this was not because I'd forgotten about my struggle; on the contrary, I left so that I could seek a better way to cope with the pain... to go find myself, essentially.

Results are mixed. I'm pleased to say I finally had a nightmare earlier this week that wasn't about being sent back to school. Some of you may be horrified by the implications of that remark, but to me, that's progress. Perhaps time can heal all wounds, given enough of it.

To those of you who do know me, good to see you again. Don't expect me to be as active as I once was - I don't know how much longer I'll be sticking around, if at all, frankly. Worry not, though; I may be taking a hiatus from political activism for now, but I have become neither complacent nor apathetic.

As a matter of fact, I make an effort to learn something new every day, whether about myself or the world around me.

Today hit me with a bit of both.

Looking to the present - and to the future - in search of knowledge is well and good, but some things can only be gleaned from memory and reflection. It's as they say: "Those who forget history are doomed to repeat it." Another saying: "Never forget where you came from." This may merely be 'conventional wisdom,' perhaps, but there is a certain prudence in examining past places and events and discovering something that wasn't evident about them the first time around. School Survival came to mind when I decided I wanted to pay my former self a visit.

Some of my old "work" was... cringe-inducing, at least at first glance. Reflection isn't always a healthy experience, and it most definitely isn't always a happy one either. Perfectionism, anxiety, regret, shame - to those who don't see the past through rose-tinted goggles, these are the things that can hijack one's train of thought when they stop to look back. For a brief moment, I was ashamed of where I'd come from, who I was, how little I improved in some areas, and how slowly I'd improved in others.

Moreover, I was annoyed. Not with my best work, of course; I still applaud my previous efforts to study the sunnier side of cognition, the more positive aspects of the human mind. Nonetheless, I was appalled at how dreary, gloomy, and... dare I say it, trite some of my darker speeches and comments were. (Not just my own, but those of others as well.)

Only later did it occur to me: I'm missing something. I used to resonate better with these ideals, these feelings. They didn't sound so stupid to me back then. What changed?

Life changed. I may still be hurting in some ways, but the benefit of having a lousy memory like mine is that I can't recall, off the top of my head, some of the ways I used to hurt. Again, time has more of a knack for mending heartache than I used to give it credit for.

I now have a better understanding of the concept of not being who I was - as a matter of fact, I'm now more impressed with how far I've come. Moreover, I realized that some of those old mental scars can't be recognized as such anymore; it gives me hope that anxiety and depression won't follow me around for the rest of my life. Good thing, too - my disposition has changed ever-so-slightly towards the mellow, serene, nurturing, and cheerful over the past few months, and I would love very much for that personality shift to develop, grow, and become more than just a facade to mask my residual inner turmoil.

In learning about myself, though, I realized something about human nature as well. Something that's... far more somber and dramatic, though no less significant, than my other musings on the enigma that is a person's mind.

To those who don't give a damn about my navel-gazing, ignore all the stuff above and read all the stuff below.

Humanity, in general, is often far less gracious when it comes to revelations of concepts once unknown. In fact, we're essentially conditioned to fear and hate what we do not understand.

That includes suffering; those who have never experienced it, those who have forgotten the experience, or even those who are trying to forget will often react harshly to even the slightest implication of discomfort on someone else's part. The reason groans of pain and cries for help are so often ignored is because they're irritating to many human ears. I mentioned earlier that I was briefly annoyed by the dark, depressing, hackneyed nature of old threads and posts here; the same principle applies. I'd become removed enough from the adversity earlier in my life to forget that these words were fueled not by passion but by desperation. I just wanted to be free, I didn't want it to hurt anymore, and I wasn't too concerned with how eloquently I was expressing those panicked desires. I'm sure many other users could say the same.

Most people, when confronted with the same, don't have that change of heart. They ignore it. They avert their gaze. They keep walking. Or, they laugh mockingly at it, gloating about tragedy and belittling its victims. Bystanders become just that: bystanders. They don't even turn to face the destitute. They shield their wallets from the solicitation of beggars. They go the other way when someone calls "Fire!" Or, under bleaker circumstances, they instigate crises and become the perpetrators of injustice. They steal. They kill. They destroy.

How horrifying, then, that humanity's negative reactions to adversity are quite literally a big misunderstanding. Enormous, in fact - the daunting umbrella of insensitivity, apathy, and sadism even covers genocide, and it is but one of the many disquieting aspects of the human condition we do not fully comprehend.

Nationality. Race. Gender. Sexuality. Where there is ignorance of any concept of a person's identity, there is an alarming potential for hate. We often hate things that aren't human, too: The constant flow of time. The vast expanse of space. The vexing perspective of the universe. Even the finite, mortal, nearly-impotent nature of our own existence. Over the course of history, mankind's bewilderment and confusion over the things it observed became transmogrified into something monstrous; hostility and resentment so intense that it often pitted us against each other, and still does so to this day.

Some people blame religion, but religion is what gave the unknowns larger and more nuanced than ourselves names and faces - it humanized them, it gave voice to our fear of them, it provided humanity with an intuitive insight on some inexplicable aspects of reality. Not only that, but it paved the way for finding out which aspects of reality we can explain through the power of observation and experimentation; many early scientists came from religious backgrounds, after all.

Some people blame science, but humanity shed its own blood long before it became willing to delve into the empirical. It's our endeavor to see, to test, and to explain that allows us to mitigate our primal fears. Perhaps one day we'll understand enough about our world not to take it out on one another; it would seem, though, that it is a distant dream.

In the meantime, we must eliminate this dreadful cognitive bias on our own.

We have our work cut out for us. Our parents taught us not to ask questions. Our peers taught us not to make fools of ourselves. Our schools taught us to treat learning as a chore or obligation rather than a passion. And our society is teaching us that it's better to keep busy than to expand our horizons. All they're doing is reinforcing our innate loathing of the things we don't comprehend yet.

Such life experience, however, is not insurmountable, especially if we inculcate a growth mindset within ourselves. (For more on that, read my "Best Of" posts.) With proper diligence, we can learn how to love learning again.

It's been educational. As always, peace out.

Public Service Announcement: First world problems are still problems.
04-23-2016 03:55 PM
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 Thanks given by: SoulRiser , Rule_BreakerXVIII , deleted2016
brainiac3397 Offline
Machiavellian Amoeba

Posts: 9,823
Joined: Feb 2013
Thanks: 20
Given 1984 thank(s) in 1428 post(s)
Post: #2
Ruminations of a Wounded Healer

Yes. Welcome.

Personality DNA Report
(06-14-2013 08:02 AM)Potato Wrote:  watch the fuq out, we've got an "intellectual" over here.

Hidden stuff:
[Image: watch-out-we-got-a-badass-over-here-meme-240x180.png]
Brainiac3397's Mental Health Status Log Wrote:[Image: l0Iy5HKskJO5XD3Wg.gif]
(This post was last modified: 04-24-2016 11:40 AM by brainiac3397.)
04-24-2016 11:40 AM
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