November 14, 2013

It’s Not Me—It’s You.

I recently made a new enemy.

It happened a few months ago and caught me off-guard. While I can say with almost 100% certainty that this isn’t the first time and probably won’t be the last time I make an enemy, this is one of the few times that I have absolutely no idea what I did to cause this.

In a nutshell, I met this individual about four years ago. While we didn’t hit it off immediately and become best friends forever, we nonetheless became friendly enough. Given that we live in a small town and have similar interests, we ran into each other a lot.

Then, about six months ago I unexpectedly ran into them and mentioned some books I had lent them over a year ago. Whether this had anything to do with what followed or not I have no idea but suddenly, I was defriended from Facebook and told some very unsavory things that they had supposedly said about me. (For the sake of brevity, I won’t go into all the details but “lying bitch” and “terrible parent” where among them.)

Responses to emails went unanswered, so I tried my best to put it behind me.

At first I tried to be rational. Clearly, I hadn’t done anything to instigate this sort of response, so it had nothing to do with me.

When that didn’t work, I tried humor: I wondered how “lying bitch” would look on a business card? Could I claim to be a professional “lying bitch”?

I even took the higher road and only told two people about this incident and this was only when they specifically asked.

I won’t lie: It hurt. I was pissed off. I felt a lot of what I dub “self-righteous anger.” While I freely acknowledge that I can be snarky, petty and have done things which resulted in friends rightfully dumping me, this was not one of those situations.

Worse still, I felt that deep down I must have done something wrong to bring out this person’s wrath even if it was something completely unintentional. Surely, there must be something I could do to fix this and prove I was not the person I was being pained out to be.

Then it hit me out of the blue—the words of my late grandmother were ringing loud and clear in my head: some people are just plain mean and aren’t worth the time.

As simple and true as these words are, they are something that I  forgot.

It’s no secret to those who know me well know that I have a lot of “issues” and as a result have a lot of anger inside me. Therapy has helped me to express some of that anger in healthy, appropriate ways—but sometimes, I feel guilty for feeling angry, even when it is justified.

Sometimes, I am in such denial of my anger that I look for the good inside everyone, even when it is not there or is very difficult to see.

Being a woman and wanting to be “liked” by all probably doesn’t help either.

While I still believe that the majority of people are inherently good, my grandmother was right: there are people who for whatever reason are mean, and their actions do not deserve the time it takes to ponder why they do the things they do.

In the case of this individual, even if I knew why they turned on me, it probably wouldn’t make any sort of rational sense. I’m also probably not the first or last person whom this person has turned on either.

At the end of the day, I cannot control what anyone thinks of me, but I can control whether or not I allow their opinions of me to clutter my mind.

After a recent scare in which I thought my mother was dead when in reality she was not, I have decided that life is too short to waste it on trivial stuff.

When I die, I am convinced those who knew me will remember me for how I actually was toward them and not what others told them about me.

Plus, I remind myself it’s okay to be angry especially when I feel hurt by.

It’s something I am still coming to terms to with but I confess: sometimes being angry and feeling it is actually a good thing. 

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Editor: Bryonie Wise

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