To anyone who provides intimate care and believes you don’t have fingernails.

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A pale hand showing four fingers with very short fingernails.

YES YOU DO.

It works like this:

If you have anything more than a bare nail bed, you have fingernails.

If you have fingernails, they are capable of painfully digging into skin. It's just a matter of the angle.

When someone tells you your fingernails are digging into their skin. The proper response is not to say “I don't have nails” and then decide you must have been “pinching” me. And then, when you figure out you haven't been pinching me, to go back to digging your nails into my skin.

Especially when the skin in question is in my vulva. That seriously hurts.

The proper response is very simple: Quit digging your nails into my skin.

Today's post has been brought to you by that weird effect where once people believe something strongly enough, anything contradicting that belief flies out their ears or something. Even if it's a belief about fingernails.

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10 responses »

  1. Ouch. Seriously…Ouch. Perhaps what would work with this situation is a two word reminder that we use with our dogs (who come equipped with sharp teeth) when they accidentally nip us when taking food from our hands. This is delivered in a firm voice, “Gentle Please!” No conversation. Just a firm reminder.

  2. I can’t really control what kind of voice tone my communication device uses. And this conversation took place after I basically said the same thing nonverbally. (They had no idea what they were doing, therefore no idea how to stop doing it.)

  3. Definitely agreed with you on that one. I can be gentle with long nails, and rough with next-to-no nail, and it always baffles me why people would think LENGTH is the important aspect.

  4. Oh my gosh, that’s awful. Ow.

    I’ve used “I don’t have any fingernails” to describe myself, because they are extremely short, so short that I can’t use them to do things like peel off stickers or open lids, but I can’t imagine having any other response to someone telling me I am hurting them with my fingernails but stopping doing whatever I was doing.

    (And @The Untoward Lady – I can also attest to being able to feel people’s fingernails through gloves when they’re rummaging around “down there.”)

  5. I have heard that “I don’t have fingernails” comment often from my caregivers! Then tell me, why is your fingertip hurting me? I don’t know how they cannot imagine that pressure at a certain angle does, indeed, make for scratching, even with short nails.

  6. Pingback: “I’m the only one who can take care of you properly.” « Ballastexistenz

  7. ” that weird effect where once people believe something strongly enough, anything contradicting that belief flies out their ears or something” : This is called delusion. From what I’ve read about a lot of your supposed “care givers” I’d have to say that a lot of them are deluded. I’m very sorry that you have to experience these frustrating and degrading scenarios.

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