small fur-covered blimps
Love as a Need
One of the topics that comes up over and over and over again in every class I have as I train to be a therapist is this: acceptance, love, and emotional connection aren’t just luxuries humans want. Connection and love are a human need which is just as important as our need for food, sleep, and shelter.
This is shown over and over in both medical and psychological texts. Even when fed properly, babies die without physical contact and emotional interaction. Children who are adequately fed and housed still reliably develop severe mental disturbances when they are emotionally neglected or isolated. There is a reason solitary confinement is one of the worst forms of punishment. And death rates from every possible medical cause (including cancer and stroke) almost double among people who are isolated and alone, even if they receive proper medical treatment otherwise.
When children are developing their sense of self, they do so via the responses of those around them. If their caregivers respond with love and delight, children learn that they are love and delight. But if the caregivers respond with anger, distress, anxiety, or disgust, that is what children learn that they are. And psychological development does not magically cease once a child turns into an adult! The brain (not to mention the self!) keeps developing throughout life, and love and support are vital to development at every stage. Humans need a constant input of love, connection, and fulfillment just as they need food and water.
What I’ve been learning in training to be a therapist is that autonomy and independence are NOT the end goal of psychological development—the ability to have healthy, mutually beneficial relationships IS.
We’re given such mixed messages about this, especially in the West; we’re taught that “successful” adults are those with happy relationships and gainful employment yet who are also totally independent and self-defined. Reliance upon others for support is seen as a weakness and a failure, even though we must rely upon others in order to employed or in a relationship. We are somehow supposed to be able to interact with people while not wanting or needing them. (What???)
But let me reiterate this: love, support, and caring attention are not luxuries, they are necessities for human survival.
For years I didn’t know this. I reasoned that as a mature adult, I should not need anything from anyone. So the fact that I needed regular love and support meant that I was needy, immature, and possibly had some sort of unhealthy addiction to other people. This is exactly as if I had been trained to hate myself for needing iron in my diet in order to live. But the natural response to isolation is to first become miserable and then mentally unstable….and miserable, mentally unstable people need more love in order to recover, not less. The longer I believed that I ought not need love, the greater my need actually became.
The fact that love and connection are necessities rather than luxuries also explains why I (and so many others) stayed in abusive situations: because abusive relationships were still marginally better than being alone. I didn’t know that there were other options. And when I was being emotionally and sexually traumatized, I at least felt loved and connected sometimes, and that was preferable to total isolation. I was trying my best to survive with the information I had.
The Western focus upon independence and autonomy interacts DISASTROUSLY with our propensity for abuse and violence. Violence and abuse are a fantastic way to encourage people to not rely upon or relate well to others. So violence, be it physical, sexual, or emotional, is often the way the cult of independence and autonomy is perpetuated. Violence then in turn fosters greater dissatisfaction, misery, and people using abuse as the only way they know how to meet their emotional needs. Men especially fall into this system, because under patriarchy men aren’t supposed to have emotional needs. Yet emotional needs are necessities, not luxuries—and if people aren’t given healthy means of getting their needs met, they will turn to violence. (This is not meant to imply that using violence in self-defense is bad or shameful: it’s not. It’s necessary all too often, and it would be victim-blaming to imply otherwise.)
I don’t know where I’m going with this post anymore, so I’m gonna end it here. Conclusion: I believe that interdependence, intersectionality, and mutual support are clearly the way to go. And wow everybody, DID YOU KNOW THAT LOVE IS A NEED.
this bears reblogging here, too
How to use Paypal for digital art
Check out this blog post: http://www.furaffinity.net/journal/4384610/
Image files are goods, not services.
Checking out the Paypal User Agreements, this is what I found:
They talk about “digital goods” as well as “physical goods”, and “digital goods” is defined as “goods” (see point 16).
I couldn’t find any passage saying that goods *must* be physical and that shipment data *must* be provided. The goods being physical and shipped make you as seller eligible for protection (you have proof that the goods are delivered; 11), but that was the only relevance I was able to find. In contrast, if the item is intangable you as seller are not protected, but the buyer is not protected either. The buyer cannot use the buyer protection to claim money back for such items, including digital goods as well as services (13).
Some weeks back there was a viral tumblr post saying that digital art should be labeled as ‘service’ and not as ‘goods’, because goods would require shipment data, and that not providing such data could cause the artist a lot of trouble. But so far I haven’t seen anything supporting that statement. In contrast, I have now seen several things speaking against it.
Hmm! Stuff to consider.
more finnish-isms, thanks Marras
there’s a word and what it’d look like if the Finnish term was translated directly. animal edition!
dragon: salmon snake
mole: earth vole (old term)
anteater: ant bear
skunk: stink weasel
raccoon: wash bear
earthworm: dew worm
vulture: raven eagle
house centipede: spider runner
rhino: horn snout
THE ANIMAL KINGDOM IS A GREAT THING
also humans are seriously fetal-level neotenous, so i figure a lot of animals see us as literally giant, muscular babies
for a dog, it’s a normal thing for an immense fetus to be walking around on the wrong number of legs all day, making strange hunting noises and baring their alien teeth and scent-marking you with their weird vestigial legs. that’s a normal thing to happen and not something a dog hp lovecraft would write about
Oh lawd, I love this description.
Also, it makes me think of an interesting tangent — whenever I’ve made some kind of human-animal hybrid creatures, their humanoid features make them look neotenic and they water down the interesting animal features I tried to convey. There are cases when it looks cool or eerie but other times it feels arbitrary and a disservice to the unique, distinct features of the animal in question. ahhh creature design is hard
it feels like i’m on a rickety old bridge made of planks and some jackass keeps shaking the bridge. that jackass being my brain.