I'd have to say that one of the most personally painful experiences I've ever been through is to have lost respect for another person. I'm a deeply loving person, and I always want to think the best of people I care about, but having to stare down a mountain of d-baggery and then realize that I have no choice but to admit it is really, really painful for me. This has been on my mind a lot lately, and I can think of more than one person to whom this statement applies.
It makes me really sad when I think of people I've known, who at some point really hung the moon. I really thought they were the greatest ever, and they added so much to my life, and I just felt, like, SO lucky to have even been ALLOWED to hang out with them. I felt such a strong connection to them that I thought would last forever.
And then to find out their true natures - that I never really knew them at all... I found out that they were just AWFUL people - immature, selfish, inconsiderate people who apparently had no respect for me whatsoever. You could take a thimbleful of the affection and admiration I had for them and it would still be more than what they felt for me.
Sometimes it's something big that triggers it - a fight, a conversation that takes a bad turn. Other times, it's a series of small things that build up over time. But regardless, there is the inevitable point where I'm lying in bed one morning or driving in my car and all of a sudden it hits me: ______ is a total dick. (And I would use that word to apply to males or females.)
At first I try to explain it away. ____ is having a hard time lately. Or, Maybe _____ is totally justified in their behavior. Or eventually I'll get to the very worst one, Maybe it's ME, maybe I did something wrong. It's like I would much rather blame myself and then issue a profuse apology than to think of the other person as being a jerk. And that's the part that hurts the most, the self-blame. Because then once I reach the point of blaming myself, it's accompanied with shame and guilt and then eventually some righteous indignation. Well, what right does ____ have to treat me this way, even if I DID do something wrong? I don't deserve this!
And sometimes I will actually try to make amends. I have no clue if they are being a jerk because of me in particular or if because they ARE just that way, but I'll at first do what I can to fix it. And inevitably, I'll find that it doesn't work because... it's NOT me, it's THEM.
So then comes the most painful point of all - when I finally, completely have to admit to myself that _____ is a dick and I just have to let them go. And I hate this part, because all I can think about are those good times, the times when I pretty much worshipped the ground they walked on, when I would've done ANYTHING for them, picked up my phone on the first ring, rearranged my schedule to spend time with them. I'm fixated on what I loved about them, but at the same time, the jerky behavior they've displayed has cut me so deep that I'm afraid I will never heal. I will always carry the hurt with me, especially if they have never apologized. So as much as I love them, the hurt will never go away. There will always be an ache whenever I look at their faces or hear their names.
And so, for my own sake, I have let them go. For my own personal well-being and happiness. But I don't feel happy. I just feel sad. Because I dream of and long for the connection we once had, and I dream that one day I will hear that sincere and heartfelt apology that I feel I am owed. But I know it will never happen.
So here I sit. Longing.
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