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Old 04-06-2008, 12:24 PM   #1
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Being a Vet isnt Easy! *Please read*

Almost two years ago i wrote this with the intention of posting it on the old V2 site. It was written around the time when Veterans chat was being discussed and implemented. There was some animosity towards the Veterans corner at the time and it was perceived to be a very cliquey place and that the members were a little "up-themselves" so to speak.

I wrote this in defence of both the Vet corner and the people who were, and in some cases still are regular members. It was my intention to pst it in General and the vet corner. I never quite managed it tho >.<

At the time i never posted it but seeing Trace's thread on vets i thought now would be a good time to release it into the wild.

I have decided not to edit it, but to leave it as it was written at the time. Aside from the timescale and the fact that the animosity has appeared to cease i still think it is relevant.

I was 35 when i wrote this and now im 37 eeeeep

Being a Vet isn’t easy!!

I would like to point out something that perhaps many of you have not considered before in the hope that your judgement of the forum, behaviour and comments of the regular vets posters may be explained a little better or change slightly. Of course these are the views of a mere pengy as I see things, but I hope that they are not too far off those of the other regular posters in Vets.

Oooh but before I start a small introduction:

Hello, my name is Matthew, im 35 and I self harm. I live in Vets. Im deeply passionate about vets, the forum, the people and the strange goings on in there too! The Veteran corner has been my lifeline over the past year or so. Without it I honestly don’t know if I would still be alive. I owe it a lot as do I owe RYL as a whole for providing that little bit of sanctuary in the corner of the tinterweb for older “loons” like me!

Here are some of the things said recently about Vets and the Forum.

“Vets is scary”
“They think they are better than the rest of the site”
“lording over the younger members”

They are just three negatives of many that have been said of Vets since I’ve been a member and regular Vet poster. I would therefore like to give my account of “Vets” in relation to the rest of RYL as I see it.

To many youngsters, adults seem rather scary. They have craggy faces and talk about boring crap like bills and such. They go to work and are generally grumpier as the weight of the world slowly grinds them down. Lol. They moan about the youth of today and don’t understand their language, music or fashion. I guess the older you get the more dull and boring and miserable you can be perceived as being.

What is perhaps forgotten is that with age doesn’t necessarily come an easier time with mental illness. Sure we may have more experience of “life” and more hours of counselling under our belts but our feelings, anxieties and insecurities are still very much real and prevalent. We still bleed the same when we are cut and we still scar the same when we burn. We still make the same mistakes and errors in judgement and we still shed a lot of tears!

RYL is a site that is overwhelmingly supported and inhabited by young women aged from 13-21. This is the generalised norm for the self-harmer. Self-harmers are a minority group as it is and this can lead to feelings of seclusion from society and often does. The majority of you that post here are all of a similar age. You have your own generation and your own ways and languages and influences. You could perhaps say that you have safety in numbers here on RYL as it were? You are no longer, whilst in the confines of RYL, the “minority”. To be an “adult” for arguments sake (over 18/21 and SH’ing), puts you in a smaller group. To be over 25, a yet smaller one and to be over 30 in the definite minority. For myself being male, a penguin and over 30, this is even worse, lol. Although on the outside it may seem that we are a part of the bigger community, due to the vastly smaller numbers it is sometimes hard to integrate and feel a part of the community especially when there are seemingly so few of a similar age!

There is a lot of stigma associated still with mental illness. Im sure we all face it daily. There is even more when you feel you should be old enough to get over it. It increases with age believe me! Its not easy being an adult and the only place you have to talk to people is a site that is predominantly teenage. It can be soul destroying. It can feel shameful too. “Why haven’t I grown out of it?” or “how the hell did I start this late” are some of the many feelings those who are over the “accepted” age can feel. Look at almost all of the introduction threads started in the Vets forum and you will see that the first thing people express is their concern for the fact that they are over 18/21/25 and still self harming!

Think back to the first day you joined and posted an introduction on RYL. Think how scary it was. Regardless of how old you are its really difficult because you have all those anxious feelings of being accepted and that “am I the only one feeling”. It’s scary as hell even when there are many your age doing it! For Vets the same is true but I believe that it perhaps in many ways even more difficult. When you “Google” self harm there is little if not anything mentioned about adult self-harmers. I know for one that until I discovered Vets I was convinced I was a complete freak being over 21 and cutting. (I since discovered I am a complete freak but at least im not alone! Lol).

I was with a friend and her younger sister who is 15 was moaning about the sixth formers and how they are so “up themselves” and think they are better than the younger kids. It reminded me of the comments made on RYL about Vets. When we are 12 we don’t tolerate the 8 year olds too well. When we are 14 we are bored of the 12 year olds. At 16 the 14 year olds can seem ooooh so immature, and so it goes on. It works the other way too as my friends sister reminded me that those younger often see those who are older to be a pain and berate them for trying to be older and more grown up. Its all relative I guess.

Now im not saying that the Vets are not tolerant of anyone younger. Far, Far from it! When the younger members have made posts they have been supported positively and not condescended to! What I am saying is that Vets are different to a lot of the younger members. Just in the same way that the younger members are different to some of the vets. What I am also saying is that perhaps many vets just don’t understand the younger members in the same way the younger ones don’t understand us!

When there is a divide or to be more accurate a “perceived” divide there is going to be a certain level of animosity. It’s human nature I guess.

My point that I feel gets missed and misinterpreted as lording is that many vets feel extremely secluded and marginalised. We are the definite minority on this site and when criticism that I have to say is mostly unconfounded comes in it seeks to further distance the vets from the rest of the site.

If you were to look back at the Vets chat thread you would see that the main reason we wanted our own room was that we were intimidated by the younger members. That when we had tried to go into chat we couldn’t relate and were left feeling abandoned and misunderstood. The purpose of the Vets chat was to try to create a more grown up feel to the room that wasn’t all about discussing who is more emo or the latest bands and the like. It was a place where people could feel more relaxed and perhaps “wanted”.

~Phoenix~ is my Little Sister of Awesomeness and Self-Delusion :P
Bitter Angel is my Mitten
Animad is my Top Trump
All Im Living For - Is my beautiful and special daughter who isnt called Kim but will moan if i dont add her :P

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Old 04-06-2008, 12:28 PM   #2

well done

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Old 04-06-2008, 12:34 PM   #3
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Oh and FYI there was more to it but the rest of it isnt relevant now >.<

~Phoenix~ is my Little Sister of Awesomeness and Self-Delusion :P
Bitter Angel is my Mitten
Animad is my Top Trump
All Im Living For - Is my beautiful and special daughter who isnt called Kim but will moan if i dont add her :P

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Old 04-06-2008, 12:39 PM   #4
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That's a great article, well done!

I've come so far, I'm behind again

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Old 04-06-2008, 12:47 PM   #5
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I luffs it <3

Have left RYL.

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Old 04-06-2008, 12:52 PM   #6
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Thatnks for posting Matt, I think it's a good article. We definitely are the minority in a minority - and as such we appreciate each other more I think.

*hugs all round*

I got lei'd in Vets!

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Old 04-06-2008, 01:27 PM   #7
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I'm dead proud of you for posting this. :)

&& then buffy staked edward. the end.

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Old 04-06-2008, 02:11 PM   #8
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Thanks for posting, was a good read :)

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Old 04-06-2008, 02:37 PM   #9

It sure was a good read! (Y) Very good :)

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Old 04-06-2008, 03:32 PM   #10
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Thanks Matthew.

My husband is my best friend.

In forgiving others, we are not exonerating them. They may not deserve exoneration. Rather, in forgiving others we are giving up our anger over the fact that what happened is not what "should" have happened or that our life is not the way it "should" have been.

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Old 04-06-2008, 04:11 PM   #11

that was a good read :)

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Old 04-06-2008, 04:30 PM   #12
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true dat!

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Old 04-06-2008, 04:43 PM   #13
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hiya Matthew. . .Awesome post. . .i only recently started posting on the vets bored.
Wen i used to use V.2 i used to feel i was too young to partake in discussions (how we grow and learn!)
When i posted my intro back into RYL last week i took a look around vets and it has changed loads! everyone and every age talk! i think that the vets boards r fantastic, adults need a break from children just as kids need a break from the adults. but its great seeing everyone working together, all joined by one common thread. the older ones help the younger one understand, and the younger ones teach the older ones things too (like what BRB stands for!hehe!)

ahh, well, ive babbled, wen all i really wanted to say is Zneat Znagger Zneat!
Have a free squish! im in a huggy mood!


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Old 04-06-2008, 05:32 PM   #14
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Thanks Matt xxx

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Old 04-06-2008, 07:39 PM   #15
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Old 04-06-2008, 08:43 PM   #16
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Matt - you're so wise!
I post rather infrequently on RYL at the moment, but have been a member for oooo since Ruin, and have been in Vets since I was about 17ish (22 now).
What you say is right, and very insightful, and thoughtful. It's wonderful!

Love love for mr matt,

Rachy xxxxxx

Are we demented or am I disturbed?
The space that's in between insane and insecure...

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Old 04-06-2008, 09:34 PM   #17
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Well said, Matt!!!!!

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Old 04-06-2008, 10:00 PM   #18
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im pleased you decided to post this.

its a damn good read

Something Special.

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Old 04-06-2008, 10:02 PM   #19
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Thanks for this.

I have recently been dipping my toes in the water of the vets corner. I find it particularly important that there are people of my age or older (Ok so I am 26 despite still being ID'd) can support and provide advice. I find it so frustrating re self harm and adults, just only the other week there was a study from the Cheadle Royal which focused on sh for 11-19 year olds - it makes me feel such a freak, I should really grown out of this now.

Having taken a look around, I also appreciate the humour in this part of the forum - glad to see that others still find toilet humour etc funny

Hoping to get to know you all more.

Take care

"Everything is possible through Christ, who gives me strength". Phillipians 4:13

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Old 04-06-2008, 10:15 PM   #20
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thank you Matt.
you said it all.

A little Consideration, a little Thought for Others, makes all the difference.

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