It’s becoming more and more evident to me that there’s a stark divide between two different philosophies when it comes to body-focused repetitive behaviours.
One the one side of things, we have community members who strive to be behaviour-free. What I mean is trichsters, dermafolk and other BFRBers are all about the pulling, picking, biting or whatever it is stopping. Being free of the behaviour entirely so that it no longer controls their lives and causes them grief.
Then there are BFRBers who’ve made peace with their disorder through acceptance. It’s staring the disorder in the face, recognizing and acknowledging it for what it is, and deciding to work with it, if not despite it. Through this, they’ve also found a way to stop the disorder from controlling their lives and causing grief.
If there are any BFRBers in the grey areas of these two schools of thought, and I’m sure there are, they’re quieter, less vocal, and less aggressive.
That’s right, aggressive.
The problem with these two philosophies is that it’s very difficult to see things from the other’s point of view for a number of reasons for both parties. Because of that, there’s a lot of tension, a lot of defensiveness, and a lot of arguing that can take place. We become right-fighters for our own views, and I’ve unfortunately seen that get to the point of figuratively going at each other’s throats.
Don’t get me wrong, I think we should be free to express our frustrations when it comes to the other side’s thinking (hell, I do it often enough), but what I think we need to remember is that we’re all in this together. Despite our different methods of pushing to get better and finding peace, we’re still all dealing with the same group of disorders, have shared sentiments, and similar experiences.
What I’m trying to get at is that even in instances where we strongly disagree with each other and think the other side of thought is completely out-of-their-mind wrong, we should still be civil towards one another. We’re still humans underneath our skin, hair, and nails or lackthereof. We should take the time to listen to each other, have conversations, and move on if need be.
From my side of things, one the acceptance end, I look at behaviour-free fighters and ache because of the constant struggle I see in the posts in the support groups. When I think about it though, I have a feeling some of them might look at someone like me and wonder how I could just give in to the disorder. No matter how much I disagree with that way of thinking, I must understand it is valid and is that person’s way of trying to work through these extremely difficult to understand and largely difficult to deal with disorders.
My advice to everyone, no matter what side you’re on, or even if you’re not on a side, is to take a moment to breathe and understand that even if we think the other side is wrong, that doesn’t give us the right to go on the attack.
We have enough people being a-holes to us over these issues. Let’s not add internal strife to that mix.