Help Forming Argument (small CW for suicide and self harm)

Discussion in 'General Advice' started by Lazarae, Mar 19, 2015.

  1. Lazarae

    Lazarae The tide pod of art

    Backstory: I've had a computer to myself since I was about 5. My dad's been into them since they stopped taking up entire rooms and got my grandpa into building them not long after. Mine as a kid wasn't connected to the internet (dad's was, but it was shitty dial-up and rarely used) but was in my room- I used the screensaver as a nightlight. I had a bunch of games (I fondly remember the storybook CDs I had and wish I could find again- I had Aladdin and Sleeping Beauty, and you could click terms for definitions and parts of the story to change scenes/get backstory) and MSpaint and Wordpad, the latter two got me into art and writing. When I moved in with my grandparents I got a new computer complete with internet, but it was in one of the main rooms, next to one of the major walkways. This was a child safety thing- I wasn't stupid but I was now fully connected to the internet and they wanted an incentive for me to stay aware (the running joke was that they wanted to be sure I wasn't looking at porn, but my grandpa did regularly give me the "don't give out your info" lectures whenever he was drunk enough to forget he already had). I still had most of my privacy- the only time they ever touched it without permission was when they updated/defragged, which was done while I was at school so I wouldn't have to wait for it to finish before getting on. There was no obnoxious hovering or demanding to know who I was talking to or anything of that sort. There were no child locks or blocked sites- I was allowed to use my own judgement as long as they didn't walk by and see something clearly objectionable. It stayed there through middle and high school until I moved out.

    When I moved back the main concern was for my physical safety. My depression was now a Known Thing, I have a history of self-harm, and the main reason for my coming was my most recent suicide attempt. While my computer shipped I was only allowed to use my laptop in the space where my computer used to be, and if I spent too much time in my room someone would come and knock to make sure I was OK. It was also easier to remind me to take my meds when I was out in the main room rather than having to regularly track me down to my room to deliver reminders.

    I'm an adult now, do my own updating and defrags, and no-one cares what I look at except for the fact my little sister lives here. Even that's not much a barrier because she's in high school, her computer is on the other side of the half-wall, and she's immune to most stuff. (She didn't even bat an eye when she came home while I was beating people with the dong bat in SR3.) But even though I have unspoken permission to look at whatever when she's not present and I largely lack a nudity taboo I still worry because my computer is in a main area and regularly gets walked by + my shitty self esteem and hypervigilance issues. I constantly feel like I'm going to get reprimanded even though I know, logically, my family doesn't give a shit as long as my sis isn't scarred for life. I don't even look at porn really, but as I said nudity doesn't phase me and I know artists who both draw porn as well as stuff with artistic nudity. And I have a Thing about people walking behind me that makes me really nervous.

    I hesitate to identify as asexual because of potential depression/antidepressant issues. I can get turned on but it lasts all of seconds before it's gone, which is why I don't look at porn. For the most part I don't really care, but I am curious/would like to experiment except we have a very full house and my computer is in the main room so I can't use the internet to look for solutions(technically I can but see earlier re: illogical worry)/stuff I might really be into. Shit would be just awkward.

    So I want to get my computer moved to my room. I'm not (actively) suicidal anymore and haven't self-harmed in a few years so the main concern isn't there, and it'd ease some of my anxiety sources. But I don't want to ask without having my argument solidified and can make it clear I'm not asking on a whim (both to them and myself), but having shadow arguments in my head just leads to me finding ways to beat myself up so I need outside input. Any holes in my argument you might see, or counter-arguments, or ways to break the more personal/sensitive stuff would help.

    Arguments in my favor:
    -Privacy as an adult.
    -Less anxiety triggers (hypervigilance, loud/sudden noises, people coming and going, would feel less like I have to use myself as a meatshield during family arguments I don't want to mention that unless I have to)
    -I'm no longer an active threat to my own health
    -Easier to disengage from, so I don't force myself to power through headaches and will have to fight less against the "don't wanna!" brainweird when I should be going to bed.
    -I'll actually clean my room more often since I'll actually spend time in it.

    Arguments against:
    -More out of the way, I'll have to be tracked down to be told/reminded of things.
    -I am all but surgically attached to my computer; having it in my room means even less social time with my family. (Big concern.)
    -My room is currently a disaster zone (can be fixed)
    -It'd be harder for my dad/sister and I to chat since we usually banter over the half-wall or hover by each other's computers.
    -I don't have a phone cradle in my room so I'd have to borrow a phone from another room when everyone else is gone and I'm on phone duty. (Minor)
    -Grandma forgets to knock about half the time.
    -I already tend to forget to eat most of the day, would be harder to remember since my computer would be no longer right next to both the kitchen and the garage (where snacks are kept).
    -It'd be harder for my family to help track my moods/sleep schedule because I wouldn't be in full view most of the time any more.
  2. rorleuaisen

    rorleuaisen Frozen Dreamer

    Honestly, I think that the whole "I'm an adult" + "I came to you when I was a danger to myself, and now I'm not" is more than enough reason to get your computer moved. Is there a reason or atmosphere that makes you think your family would be highly against such a thing? I'm not picking up anything particularly troublesome here. Also, knowing their reasoning would help pinpoint the best arguments to use. Like, there are other ways to monitor someone's well being without constantly walking past them.

    General advice: you don't need all the possible reasons, you just need the best ones(privacy and health seem to be key subjects here). If you want to present yourself as having thought about it, you just need to present some of the negative concequences, as well as a possible solutions to one or two of them. After you have presented the key reasons for wanting the computer moved, of course.

    If they are difficult to sell, you could also take the "room is a disaster zone" and turn it into "I will clean my room so I can have this done".
    • Like x 1
  3. Lazarae

    Lazarae The tide pod of art

    Well the main thing is that I'm already a shut-in and spend the vast majority of my time awake at my computer, so if it were moved to my room I'd spend even less time with them. We don't really do family meals and such so most of our communication is ambient dialog from all of the computers being grouped together. I'd miss out on that with my computer in my room (plus people forget to tell me things when they're discussed like that, even when I have my headphones on/am in another room/am in another world because they assume I was present like everyone else. This has been a major point of annoyance and would only get worse because I'd be present a lot less, it's already pretty bad because of my fucked sleep schedule and tendency to sleep all day.) Also moving my computer is going to be a pain in the ass and I'll have to have someone help because I am Noodle Girl.

    I'm not really expressive unless I'm having a break down. So a lot of the time the clues that I'm not OK are really subtle, so people don't notice something's up until they go by and realize I'm staring vacantly at something in the room, or I've got my head down next to my keyboard, or I'm covering up one eye and trying to computer one-handed because that helps with the headache. I'm also really bad at communicating when I'm Not OK. So my family keeps an eye on my acting Off and checks up on me. We've all got computers and spend most of our time at them, and they're at the other end of the house from my room so heading back there to make sure I'm not ptfo'd on my keyboard is kind of out of the way. Being where they can walk past me to check on me is a convenience thing: they don't have to go out of the way or edit their schedule to make sure I'm fine.

    Getting my argument solid is mostly an appeasement for my anxiety. I'm horrible at asking for things but knowing I've got a good argument is something for me to hit it with.
  4. albedo

    albedo metasperg

    Yeah, that totally sounds like a reasonable thing to want, seconding @rorleuaisen .

    Any chance of a semi-portable computer setup, so you could hang out in Family Spaces when you have the spoons, and in your room when you don't? I know that's much easier with some machines than others, but it might be a good compromise if possible.
  5. rorleuaisen

    rorleuaisen Frozen Dreamer

    I am starting to read this as more of a "things that I think are bad about this change" and less "change my family will hate". So... It sounds like you are trying to convince yourself. If you can't convince yourself, then how can you convince others? Thus the focus on having a good argument(to convince both yourself and others). This seems especially true given that the main concerns seem to be your own health and keeping yourself safe.

    If this sounds even remotely on target, I would suggest discussing your concerns(cons) with your family. Write them out, or send an e-mail if need be. You have a need for both privacy and the safety net of their presence. You can't solve this alone and communication is one of the difficulties you face. If they know what's going on, they may have some solutions for you. You could chat with them via IM too stay in the loop. Maybe the solution isn't your room exactly, but an adjacent room that provides more privacy without excluding you. Things you could possible do for yourself: set an alarm on your phone to remind you to eat, maybe make a "social hour" in which you make yourself leave your room to talk to others(if you can't direct socialize, try bringing a book or something to focus on that you can do in a more public/social room).

    If I am totally off target, I suggest beefing up your argument(again, a potential solution to one of the negatives is a good way to win that point). Find potential solutions for all of them if you must(I gave you a few ideas above, so I hope that helps). But when you present it, start only with the key points. Collect all the ammo at your disposal, but don't fire it unless you need to.

    The biggest problem I see with your argument is that the cons sound exactly like "I won't have a safety net anymore", which can be worrisome. If you can't figure out how to show that you will be safe despite it, it won't do your argument any good to bring it up.
    • Like x 1
  6. Aurora

    Aurora Very freckly member

    Can you get a privacy screen so someone can only see your computer screen if sitting directly in front of it? A co-worker once had one when he was working with something ultra-sensitive. Might be an option depending on your triggers.
    • Like x 1
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