Monday, 7 May 2012

A guide to insults.

Quite a few of my mates are shocked by the things I get offended over, or expect that I'm going to get aggy over things that I'm really not going to. I am most definitely used to being the only one who appears to live in a world of funhouse mirrors, where one day the sky might be green and where eating a box of icing sugar is the only way to prevent the apocalypse, where you have to be thankful if you wake up without a giant black dog pinning you to your pit of misery. Maybe then it's completely expected the things that offend me follow what seem to be a unique pattern too, but I'm constantly as surprised by other people's reactions to me as I suppose they must be to me, too.

I once sat in a stand-up comedy show and cried my eyes out whilst the person on stage, oblivious and no doubt mentally high-fiving his own hilarity, told jokes about molestation, to an adoring crowd. A lot of comedians will tell you that people are overly sensitive, that making jokes is the only way to bring up a topic in society or to make it acceptable to be spoken about. Nah, sorry. So you'll be sitting around making a rape joke and that'll make it easier for your child to tell you they were sexually assaulted? Fuck off. You're so damn lucky if you think that rape jokes are funny because rape is so unfunny (terrible logic, but a logic apologists all seem to follow. Is that like meeting someone with a dying child and laughing in their face about how your child is a year older and alive?), because you clearly have no idea about how the issues of rape do not end when the event is over. But I've written about that before, and that's not where I'm heading with this.

Anorexic or Bulimic as an insult, based on a person'a figure? Bizarre. Would you attempt to insult someone a bit bigger than healthy, by calling them a Compulsive Over Eater? I've read things where people have claimed they were 'accused' of being Anorexic, because they're naturally slim. Christ on a chuffing bike, where to begin. The person who thinks it's ok to comment on another's weight? The people who thinks being ill is an accusation? Or more general societal implications... What about having the baddies in your horror film as Cancer survivors, rather than as having mental health issues? As committing their overly graphic murders because of their Cancer cells, making them act in that way? Having a disfigured person as the antagonist is slowly (too slowly, but that's not my issue here) going out of fashion, but when a writer is too damn boring or not creative enough to come up with a motive for a crime, they'll rely on a mental illness.

In Britain, approximately 60 people with a severe mental illness, of a population of 60 million- so literally one in a million- commit a murder, each year. That's of 60 million, roughly 10 million of whom have a significant mental illness. As many people are hit by lightning each year as killed by a person with a mental illness in Britain, which when you consider there are mentally ill people around you whererever you go (I see mental people; they're everywhere), and how rare thunder and lightning is here, due to our moderate climate... mental illness and those who have them become a ridiculous enemy and anything that features people as baddies based on them having diagnoses is incredibly insulting.

But then there's one thing though that the inhabitants of the funhouse get offended about, which I don't. I was going to say, never waste your time telling a person with an eating disorder that they're looking well, not only because they're likely to starve for a week purely based on that, but also because you'll be faced with an online Anorexic army, ready to track you down and look at you hungrily ;). I was going to say that, but NO. It's a compliment and often a deserved one. Let me explain my reasoning for saying not to, though... there's a really terrible phase you have to go through with Anorexia in particular, but also in recovery from any ED and the dream of wasting away, where you have to gain or accept a weight. You gain/accept weight, but you also have to gain all the feelings that the disease was protecting you from, and during that period of gaining, the disorder will prevent you accepting any compliment or good feeling. So even if your aim is health and you want so badly to, yanno, look like a person, the disease will twist it all. Eating disorders are ugly as fuck, that we all know. So congratulating a person for looking good, whilst recovering, means they know longer look like shit, which means they're no longer looking disordered, which means they look 'fat.'

Get it? That's ok, I don't even always get it anymore, thank (every) God (that I don't believe in).

It pisses me off though, when people with eating disorders get precious about it, when they make it an insult and attack people who don't know about this particular problem with eating disorders. I'm sorry, but it does annoy me. Eating disorders are so damn selfish, I completely admit that I've done and said some awful things, and put people in positions that I am so, so ashamed of, for the sake of the disorder. It hurts, when you think you're being called fat, then you have to get it the balls together and grow the fuck up. When people are attempting to congratulate you, to give you the present of the acknowledgment of beauty and acceptance, those who, completely naturally, think health is a massive accomplishment, throwing that back in their face is horrific. It's taking somebody who thinks health is such an gift that they'd comment on what an impressive job finding it is, and throwing that up in their face and making them feel like they're causing a new wave, one which could be the tsunami that kills you... that's selfish. That's a million times more selfish than a person not knowing much about eating disorders, trying to give you a compliment. Eating disorders terrify people around more than they do the people who have the parasite, because the parasite first of all claims any love from the being, love which is still felt by the people around the victim.

I'm not saying it doesn't hurt. I went years not letting anyone anywhere near me physically, in case they accidentally nudged me and felt my fat, but GOD. More people don't have eating disorders than do, more people are going to want to compliment you, than say nothing because people mostly aren't knobs. I suppose this makes me sound hypocritical- don't laugh at rape, but mention eating disorders? Not at all. Don't laugh at either. But if you're recovering from an eating disorder, embrace that health and the love of the people around you who aren't celebrating your weight gain, necessarily, but are actually celebrating the return of the person and the personality that you lost along with that weight. And God, go easy on people.


  1. Nine million kudos for this.

  2. Raw, real, honest. Amazing, you are an amazing writer.

    I totally agree with you on a major thing here, we ALL need to stop judging each other on our issues. We all have them, every last one of us, some of ours don't show on the outside but they are there.

    Also, rape is NOT funny as you said, it's ugly, it demeans you and it takes so much to overcome it. I did it... I overcame it. I am not what happened to me, I am so much more and so much better.