Reasons You Shouldn’t Fuck Kids

Reason #230: Who has the power?

Remember when that ant fell on my head and it caused me months of panic and panicked sleep?

The fear of the ant has returned.

I talked about it with the marital therapist during one of our alone sessions last week.  I told her that my mom thinks that these fears are my way of coping with life stressors.  It has been a very stressful time, with the death of my father-in-law.

So I told her that I am scared that an ant will fall on my head again while I sleep.

She said “Well, what is the nature of the fear, exactly?”

I said “I don’t want things touching me without my permission.  And I sure don’t want it happening by surprise.”

She said “So, it’s kind of about control.  You don’t want things happening outside of your control.”

I agreed, and she said “Now what else is happening right now that is outside of your control?”  She looked at me pointedly.  Yes, yes, ha ha, I get it, my father-in-law died and I can’t control whether he gets to live or die.  Clever bitch.

Then she said the most ridiculous thing.  She said “Who has more power, you or the ant?”

I immediately said “The ant.”

She had the nerve to look surprised.  I guess she expected me to say me, as if I have more power than that ant?  I don’t understand that at all.  Of course the ant has all the fucking power.  I am sitting here not sleeping and generally hypervigilant and the ant is walking around happy as a clam.  That ant has 100% power over me right now until I figure out how to either be unafraid of the ant, or be okay with something touching me without my permission the way that babysitter touched me without my permission.

Then she tried to get me to understand that I have inherent power, or that I have power over the ant, which of course I do not have at all.  I have no idea what the fuck she is talking about, and when I walked out of her office at the end of the session, I thought “Great, sure, let the ant walk on me.  Let’s just let anything touch me without my permission now.  Ants, babysitters, brothers, fathers, whatever.”

An ant has complete power over me and over the general quality of my life.  Just like that babysitter had power over me and my brother, and the quality of our life.

I believe that an ant has more power than me right now.  That’s why you shouldn’t fuck kids.

7 Comments so far
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As someone who also really, really hates bugs, I understand where you are coming from. I think for me it’s that idea that something so tiny could even invade my space– it makes me feel powerless. Maybe it wasn’t the best idea for your therapist to go straight for the rational, “it’s just an ant” route. I mean, it’s not that we can’t think rationally or logically– it’s that there’s a disconnect between the rational and the emotional. This situation sounds to me like an instance of “i-wasn’t-sexually-abused” privilege– your therapist was surprised that someone could even think that an ant is more powerful than a human…she couldn’t see past the limitations of her own thoughts– maybe it even became more about her than you because she doesn’t have that understanding.


Comment by TreatInfamy

Hi Chungyen – that is such a good point. I never thought of it as “I wasn’t sexually abused” privilege. What a great way to put it!!
– Butterfly

Comment by butterflysblog

I don’t know, I’m kind of with your therapist here. I mean, you can kill the ant and the ant can’t kill you, right? What’s more powerful than that? The worst the ant can do is remind you of your feelings about when you were actually hurt by someone a lot more powerful than the ant. That’s pretty bad, but those feelings are there whether the ant is or not.

I think it’s those feelings/flashbacks you’ve given all the power to, which is normal, but you’ll feel a lot better if you can take it back. Your mileage may vary, but in my experience trying to keep the feelings away is way worse than actually feeling them, which takes your power back from the feelings and the ants.

How are you at getting good and angry? Is it scary or can you do it? My anger has generally felt scary. I find that getting a big block of clay and ripping it to bits with my hands and throwing the bits at the ground or something was very satisfying, particularly if there was someone there to ‘protect me’ while I did it, or I was in a safe place. I’ve also tried wrapping a glass bottle in a paper bag (contains the mess) and then throwing it at something or hitting it with a hammer to be satisfying for expressing anger. Now, my favourite angry thing is something constructively destructive, like digging up some lawn for a garden, or demolishing something. My guess is if you allow yourself to get good and angry, the ant thing might dissolve. It sounds a lot like my monster stuff.

Blessings to you,

Comment by sworddancewarrior

Hi Butterfly, I don’t know about you, but with me I am very polarized about the issue of control in my life. I either “feel” I am in total control ( which is of course an illusion, but a welcome one), or I feel I have no control whatsoever. And when things like bugs come into the picture, a variable I can’t predict, I am brought back in an instant to that feeling of absolute powerlessness I felt as a child. I know people can sympathize with me about it, but if you’ve never felt that devastating loss of control and power, I don’t know how close you can come to appreciating how terrifying it actually is. I also see intimacy with my partner as a situation where I don’t have absolute control, therefore in my mind I have none. Intimacy is meant to be a give and take between individuals who trust each other enough to be vulnerable together. Unfortunately the thought of being vulnerable petrifies me. Literally leaving me feeling like stone, as if it is my only defense against trauma and invasion. I get that your therapist was trying to get you to see you have some control here, but when I feel I have no control I panic inside and it’s really hard to simply reason me out of it. It looks like you felt that as well.

Comment by kerri0002

[…] Reason #230: Who has the power? […]

Pingback by Reason #232: My son asks for privacy « Reasons You Shouldn’t Fuck Kids

For me, ants like most other bugs are animals that I sometimes choose to let live simply because I would not have much self-respect if I didn’t. I think there is a lot of truth in what you say about the ant having the power, not because you feel powerless to it, but because we all have a hard time choosing our battles.

Comment by sandma1half

Butterfly – there are lots of different kinds of privilege, but most of them stem out of the power that one group of people has over another– whether it’s to define how the subordinate group should feel, behave, or think. Anytime someone decides that he or she has the power to tell us how we should feel, they are exerting that privilege– that power that comes from not being “one of us”.

If you’re particularly interested in the idea, this article might help lead you in some directions:

Comment by TreatInfamy

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