Odd behavior; I’ve always tried to explain, excuse, reason, and at times even accept the accusation for being the reason of another’s “odd behavior.”
But recently, something happened and has forced me to put a stop to it. Even now, as I write this, I find myself split by the question, “did I cause this?” “Did I do something to really provoke this anger?” Really? Do I have that power?
Facebook, email, Twitter, Google… all of the “Social Media” we have going out there, has done wonders in by bringing us closer together. But in this woman’s eyes it has also done wonders in reaching deep down into the center of the brain that stirs the “hissy fit”, or “blow up” or just plain “pissed off” mode. People spin themselves off into a temper-tantrum and shoot from the hip in ways that we would never do so in person. I don’t understand it. As I’m shaking my head at the phenomena, I too have been known to respond or ‘about’ to have responded to several messages, comments, emails… and all I can say is – BREATHE! Don’t respond! First,
breathe… sleep on it! Then, take a second look and ask yourself, “is it worth my response?”
You know? Before this wonderful thing called the internet was invented, we actually had to wait for the mail! Wow! What a concept! And there is something to be said about the good old phone and fax or even ‘snail mail’. It forces us to be civilized.
I was just in an argument with someone of whom I admire, and who decided to message me in the worst way, responses that will never be able to be taken back. That is the problem with messages and texts… They say, never drink and drive? Might I add, never drink and text or message or email to the mix? It will get you into a whole lot of trouble. This means, if you can’t see the letters well enough to at least spell without looking dyslexic… you might want to sleep it off – or get a designated typist (or texter). Either way, you’re not thinking clearly and should think it over, sleep on it and – BREATHE…
I’ve always thought of myself as a “what you see is what you get” kind of gal, no hidden agenda, and no mystery. I’m not thinking up some ‘master plan’ to rule your Universe. I have my own plans to rule MY Universe, thank you very much. But when I speak up about an error or show disappointment in a person’s judgment or oversight (and this is very infrequent I might add), you would think that Armageddon had arrived!
I’ve spent the better part of my life just ‘taking it’ and now I’m paying the price for all those years of taking the abuse of my alcoholic mother? No! I’m not going to sit back and simply take it anymore! I’m not going to take it from my friends, lovers or family members. I’m a very [VERY] forgiving person… but! There comes a point when even the most forgiving must build boundaries… Jesus, who was the teacher of forgiving, was known to have boundaries. So, why shouldn’t we?
The argument I speak of was initiated by some poorly chosen words on my part, that I apologized for. However, it got completely blown out of proportion and I became faced with a situation of what to do… I’ve said my apologies, but this was truly a cluster F#&@ and I’m feeling the blame… Perhaps I am to blame… This, people, was my marriage and my young adolescent life. Here we are again… and Life just keep rolling along, doesn’t it?
Since this morning this individual has come to me and we have made our amends; no grudges as I truly do admire them. But my questions remain as I face these child demons that ruled my adolescence and followed me into my marriage; how long am I going to take on the responsibility of another’s actions? I spent the better part of my life caring for and picking up the pieces of the broken heart (mine – and sometimes theirs… as they were so wonderful at tearing apart what was their own beating organ). Still, I thought I’d learned my lesson through these last three plus years. But, I guess the journey and the lessons continue and my buttons are still very sensitive to the touch. And, this is perhaps why I too am so quick to anger, particularly when I feel judged or wronged or overlooked – I blow off like a fire cracker.
None of us are perfect and it takes a great person to be able to come forth and apologize. This person was great indeed and my gratitude for their humility is great. I too have eaten my share of crow, which can be tough and bitter… but it will go down and time will pass and can heal. But when unspoken, unacknowledged, these things can fester and leave an awful scar that is irreparable and forever seen as a reminder of what will never be again.
This has reminded me of the vulnerability I still carry and how easy it is to fall back into those habits of carrying the burden of someone else’s stuff… I’ll carry my baggage if you carry yours… in fact, I believe it’s time to do some unpacking.
Some quotes to enjoy:
“Anybody can become angry — that is easy, but to be angry with the right person and to the right degree and at the right time and for the right purpose, and in the right way — that is not within everybody’s power and is not easy.”
“Speak when you are angry and you will make the best speech you will ever regret.”
― Ambrose Bierce