This is an article I wrote some time back and never published…but as I was cleaning out files on the computer, I ran across it and thought…you know, this is just as valid today as it was back when I wrote it.
Often someone will say something along the line of “I sure wish I was as far down the healing road as you are,” like they think that somehow now that I’ve been on this journey a while that things are now easy for me.
The truth is that doing what I know is the best way to handle things in dealing with unreasonable people is not always easy…in fact, it is seldom easy for me, even today.
This past week I have been dealing with someone who was very demanding and self-entitled who really “got under my skin” with their unreasonable demands to the point that I sure wanted to lash out at them and “tell them off.” Oh, how I wanted to lash out at them and tell them what a narcissistic demanding and lying creep they were. I even sat down and wrote them a letter telling them off…but I never sent it. Oh, I wanted to send it ever so badly, but I know that I have to discipline myself to do what is right, what is wise, even if I don’t want to. Especially when I don’t want to do what I know is wise.
I also had contact this past week with my mother by telephone, and though it was a short business conversation, still there was a phrase she used that pushed my buttons and oh, how badly I wanted to respond to her jab with a jab of my own. I know her as well as she knows me, so I know where to push to get the maximum impact, just like she knew exactly where to push my buttons. It wasn’t easy to not respond to her, it was hard work, but I know that even when I don’t want to do what I know is right, what I know is wise, I must make myself do it. The Bible tells us in Proverbs that it is useless to try to correct bad behavior in someone who does not want advice, but to correct someone who wants to do well, is welcomed. So trying to “correct” people who do not want to be corrected is wasting our time. There’s an old saying that “trying to teach a pig to sing will frustrate you and irritate the pig.”
Having patience with others and with myself is difficult, like the old joke about the guy who prayed to God to give him patience, RIGHT NOW!!!!! I want to experience patience when someone does something nasty to me, whether it is intentionally done to hurt me shouldn’t matter, I want to not be upset and not want to strike back at them. I want to reach that nirvana of indifference to what others say or do to me and quit having to work so hard to stay level headed, peaceful and calm ALL the time.. Sometimes I can achieve that point for a while, but if no contact is broken, even for a “good reason,” I get that trigger that makes me want to strike back, to continue the contact and tell them off good.
Is it “easier” to do No Contact now than it was in the past? The answer to that is “sometimes yes, sometimes no.” Sometimes when I get triggered I feel like I am a parent to an unruly two year old emotional Joyce and I have to “watch her” all the time to keep her from doing something really “stoopid.”
The desire for revenge, the desire to get our side heard when someone devalues us, discards us, dismisses or insults us seems almost over whelming sometimes. I admit when I started out on this healing road and wasn’t yet no contact, I wrote, and foolishly sent, e mails and letters telling them how badly they had treated me and how badly it hurt. I also expressed my anger, my righteous anger! In the end, the letters bit me in the butt by warning them what I knew about them and what my plans were. Not wise, and even after I had sent the letters I still wanted to send another scathing communication because the first one hadn’t sufficiently told them off….eventually, I stopped sending the letters, I would just write the letters and then delete them as the concept of NO CONTACT started to sink in.
Most days are good days now, and I don’t cry 24/7, I’m no longer so depressed that I don’t bathe for days or weeks. I am focusing now on taking care of myself, putting myself first, meeting my needs, and setting boundaries for others that I associate with.
Some days, though, I may encounter a psychopathic or narcissistic person that for some reason I have to have dealings with for some reason for some period of time….and trying to get along with them sometimes pushes my buttons. I’m not as tolerant of Bull Carp as I used to be. Or for some reason due to business I have to have a conversation with my mother and she will make some remark that pierces to the bone….and afterward I will hear that phrase run through my mind, for days it seems.
It is usually something that invalidates me in some way. This time her comment was “well, if Patrick really wanted you dead, you’d be dead.” Said of course in a snide and superior tone of voice like she was talking to an “idiot child” telling them a point that should be self evident to anyone with any sense, which I obviously don’t have. Irritating.
A friend had a set back last week as well. Her uncle died and her mother got her “un-invited” to the funeral, though she was close to her uncle and would like to have been there. I’m bet she would like to have biatch-slapped her maternal unit, but she took the high road. I feel strongly that taking the high road is the right thing to do for most of us most of the time. In this friend’s case she got a new job offer because her x employer had observed how she had taken the high road over the years in spite of being married to a major slime bag.
The reason I’m giving this example, though is so that anyone who is here and thinks that Joyce or any other of the regular posters here are just skating along without much effort, I want them to know that it still takes effort to maintain equilibrium and focus and keep our healing and learning focused on the positive.
When we have a carppy day, we have to take charge of the day and not let it take charge of us. We have to discipline our “inner child” and keep him/her on the right road, doing the wise things, taking the high road, even if we really don’t want to do so. In the end, this self discipline helps us to stay focused and on the road toward healing and growing.