When The Joke Isn’t Funny

image

Life’s a joke. It certainly isn’t funny. But, more specifically, I’ve noticed how pain (mostly physical pain, but emotional pain, as well) affects my sense of humour. It puts a rather large dent in my ability to “take a joke”.

In regards to emotional pain, when there’s a sensitive issue, an insensitive person, believing themselves to be funny, can reduce me to a quivering mass of tears.

Today, I overheard an obtuse and insensitive family member tease my son, joking that he should be sent to National Service until he learns to do as he’s told.

My son’s chronic disobedience is a problem, yes. But, saying this to my 7 year old boy made him very upset. He didn’t find anything funny about it. And, a sensitive and observant person who claims to love my son should know that he fears being “sent away” from home. To him, this was a nightmare, not a joke. So, then, not only was my son terrified by the scenario he couldn’t see as funny, he was then further berated for not being able to take a joke.

Now, if someone looking from the outside only saw this one situation, you might assume my son doesn’t have much of a sense of humour. But, you would be sooooo wrong.

We call him “the funny dude” for a reason. He has had, from a very early age, a grasp on comedy and a highly developed ability to see and share the hilarious. He IS a FUNNY dude. He can make AND take a joke. However, he has a sensitivity (and anxiety) when it comes to the idea that his dad and I wouldn’t be there; a fear that he’s going to be “sent away”. He doesn’t want to contemplate it. There’s no logical reason for him to be scared that we would send him away, but that’s the thing about anxieties and phobias: they don’t follow your bloody reasoning and logic.

The thing is, if there is a raw spot or pain somewhere, the joke (no matter how you see it from your perspective) is not going to be seen as a joke to me or, now I can see, my boy. We will see it as a threat. It is either YOUR threat. Or it is Life’s threat. And, it – Life – has chosen you, you bastard, as its mouthpiece. Life is shit enough without you being an arsehole and causing added trauma.

I believe my boy will grow out of this sensitivity as he gets older and realises that being “sent away” just isn’t going to happen. And, I want him to behave, of course. I want a lot of things for myself in the way of self-improvement. But, your arsehole therapy is NOT going to get us there. Laughter is very good medicine, but it only works to heal us if we’re the ones who are laughing.

Why is there an owl picture with this post? I wanted something cute and cuddly to look at while I ranted.

Advertisements

Dangerous Encounters (or, “encounters are dangerous” OR, “the OTHER SIDE of social anxiety”)

image

Pardon this, my exercise in futility.
Some may relate, others will think it insanity.
And, it’s true that madness is never far from me…
But, still, I bet I’m not alone in my quandary.

I’m not alone in this aloneness that must be.

© Autumn Dawn Leader 2014

What if I like you but you don’t like me? Eh, not that likely…if you don’t like me I’m not liable to be especially enamoured of you either. So, this is more of a gnat-buzzing-around-the-face annoyance rather than a problem. And, if for some reason, I do really like you while you don’t like me, I’ve had years to get used to rejection. I’ve built up an immunity.

But…

What if I like you too much? And maybe you like me a bit. And then I get attached. Or, worse, you get infatuated.

It might not ever happen again. I’m getting old. But…

And, infatuation aside, what if there’s some spark of friendship? What if I like it? But, you’ll get tired eventually. They all do. I’m no one’s “bestie” or “bff” or whatever the cool kids are calling best friends these days.

No. I’m no people person; that’s for sure. And, when I meet new people, there’s a chance for strong dislike. My dislike of them because they’re human. They’re dislike of me because I’m me. And, the thing is…that’s ok. There’s no danger in this.

No, the problem comes when there is a liking one way or another…or mutual. Because, it rarely ends well…but, it always ends.