Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Mulling it over

So, it's been a night since that latest fiasco ... and, like I told Michael and my mom, I'd bounce back enough.

The good thing about me is that, thankfully, part of being me is feeling things SO intensely (I'd be a good Gothic novel heroine that way) but I can get over it. I burn brightly but burn out quickly.

Of course, I also will deny that things are an issue ... until I end up sobbing over a movie, highlighting my abandonment issues. *humorless laughter*

But, for the most part, I'm pretty over this. I made my way through feeling horrible for making someone feel bad, to blinding rage because I really didn't do anything that wrong -- but my words/actions were quite misconstrued, to being really irked that someone who's known me for the vast majority of his LIFE couldn't give me the benefit of the doubt ... or at least be civil, to being frustrated that he couldn't at least make the decision to be civil, to being resigned and bummed that there's something obviously going on that he doesn't feel that he can let anyone in the ward know about.

I do keep thinking about things that I could have said differently in my response (which I KNOW that he's seen, since Facebook TELLS you if someone has seen it ... or has, at least, left their window open with the chat open).

Things like:

  • Hey, I am sorry that you took what I said/wrote to be manipulative. That was not my intent at all.
    Maybe if that was your first response, you should have balanced out that feeling with your knowledge of me and my character. When have I tried to manipulate you in the past? Ever? No?
    Then why would you assume that I'd start now?
  • Dude, what's up? I'm reading past your hurtful words that something is wrong. This isn't like you.
    The [Name] I know is an easy-going, happy guy with a great sense of humor. Something's up.
    As your friend, I would love to help. I like to fix things. I can't fix stuff (or even give it my best) without knowing what the problem is. Let me in, okay? ... Do you wanna build a snowman?
  • I spent way too much time yesterday feeling horrible (that's my fault) for being a horrible person, since I do my darndest to not be manipulative. However, with some time to distance myself from the immediate situation, I have realized that (1) asking if a visit is convenient is not manipulative and (2) calling it manipulative was quite illogical and irrational. I was spending too much time feeling bad for being called something that wasn't true. Why would you say something that was so hurtful when it wasn't true?
I also thought about saying things like:
  • THAT wasn't manipulative. If I were being manipulative, I'd have told you that you'd better be there for a visit or I'd have an anonymous source make a payphone call to the police that you're running a meth lab in your kids' bedroom. THAT WOULD BE MANIPULATIVE.
    Requesting a response? Not manipulative.
    You could have said "That doesn't work for us.", "I don't want a visit.", "Put us on the DNC list at church.", "My house is a mess.", "Take our names off the church records.", "You can't come over until you bring us a plate with six dozen cookies, including snickerdoodles and chocolate with white chocolate chips.", or a vast many other responses -- none of which resort to name-calling.
    If you would have responded to ANY of the other phone calls or voicemail messages that have been left by people OTHER THAN ME during the past year, do you think that I'd have been requested to contact you to even find out if you're alive? Being perfectly honest, my husband is more than irked that you've blown people off by not having the guts to even text back "I don't want visits. Leave us be." See? You can be cold and callous and impolite -- rude, even! --to people that aren't as close. That distance allows for that. But to do this to me? That's cold, man. And I know that it isn't you.
    Seriously, acting like that towards me is comparable to kicking a puppy. Because you know that I am  not a manipulative person ... at least, I work NOT to be. Coercion is not my bag, baby. 
I know that I shouldn't have let it get to me in the first place. Water off a duck's back, right?
But, well, when you get a response like that from someone you think you know, someone you've grown up with? ... Well, it makes me wish I were a little more psychopathic -- in the way that "Oh, I hurt someone's feelings. I didn't mean to. Oh well. Long hair, don't care"-type way.
(As opposed to plotting his revenge for years and taking that guy DOWN. Again, not my style.)

One of the good things, I guess, is that Michael had a PPI (Personal Priesthood Interview -- a 1:1 meeting with our bishop) last night. He showed Bishop the message I sent to [Name] and let him know what [Name] replied. ... And, well, Bishop M was surprised. So, well, I guess that means that I wasn't being manipulative (yeah, I need MULTIPLE witnesses. I mean, I figure that Michael would try to let me down gently, since I'm his wife and he knows how I can react. I figure that my mom would give it to me straight, but as gently as possible. For Bishop M to agree ... well, that helps, too ... Apparently, I just need lots of validation. I mean, I was about to email my RS President (who I work with a lot) to check. And my "Sis," who has seen me at my bests and worsts. I didn't ... but I really thought about it.) ... I mean, if Bishop read my message and was shocked at the coldly-vitriolic response, then I figure that it's not just me. That I really didn't make some horrible gaffe.

So, readers ... some of you have known me IRL for a while. Am I completely wrong?
If you think that I'm manipulative, I'd like to be aware. And I've asked for this ... I'll do my best not to get miffed if you tell me that I have done something manipulative. It'd be illogical for me to react that way to you. Since you're just giving me honest feedback that I've requested. And, if I'm not aware of my faults, how can I try to improve myself?

But I do feel better this morning ... especially compared to how crap I felt last night. Sleep is a good thing.

I did let his mom (who's known me since I was three) know what's up.
She confirmed that if he's lashing out, it's because he knows that he can't justify how he's not committed right now to anything church-related. But that she knows and I should know that I'm not the person [Name] is trying to frame me as. That I shouldn't waste any time feeling bad. ... And, coming from her, that does mean a lot. She was my main Seminary teacher, so she saw me in the early mornings nearly every school day for about three years. Besides seeing me just about every Sunday for around 15 years.
It does make me feel better ... and lets me know more of what's up. And I appreciate that.
So ... I should just say my prayers. And let this storm blow over.
Since, she points out, love and concern are not the same thing as manipulation.

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