Bullied

That time I was bullied by the anti-bullying folks…

A year or so ago there was a “Find Dancing Man” campaign in which a bunch of people tried (and succeeded!) online to find a guy who has been made fun of on social media. They then brought him from the UK to the US for a dance party. Celebrities became involved, people volunteered, and money was raised. (So much was donated that the money was given to charity.) I remember hearing about it when it occurred, and saw that the story had resurfaced recently. With posts making the rounds on social media again I realized a documentary been created, so I watched it. I was so moved!

After viewing the film I went on Twitter to find out more about the people involved. I had a twinge of sadness about one of their feeds (although I agreed with the general sentiment in almost all the posts). I get a little sad (at least usually) when I see people (whomever they are) called names. I just feel bad we do that to each other. I had already shared the doc on Twitter, so I made the decision to share my feelings: being moved by the film and then sad about name calling. It seems that this person has strong political beliefs (which I don’t think is a negative as I do too) and they trump (no pun intended) their anti-bulling views. OK, up to them what they think is the most important issue. Unfortunately this has a negative affect on me. The person told me (via meme) that they didn’t give a fuck. And in later replies that I should “get a life” and I’m “ridiculous and weird.” The tweets were not just replies to me, but public comments (fed directly to tens of thousands of followers) with retweets of my post. I have now spent hours with Twitter notifications (and therefore emails) spilling in, people liking and retweeting me being called names, and a bunch of this person’s followers sending their own messages and tweets ridiculing me.

My original post wasn’t directly to this person and the intent was to share my feelings with my followers (and let them know what I was talking about instead of being vague). My guess is this person viewed it as an attack on them and their views. (Again, just my guess as I try to process this mess in my own mind; I’m not trying to speak for them.) I feel even worse because that is a possibility. I’d rather have a meaningful conversation than just attack (or be attacked) for sure.  I obviously need to rethink how I share things as to not damage another nor myself so much in the process. I can’t make anyone who responded on social media (this or any other time I’ve been bullied or harassed) rethink how they react, but I can learn my lesson again and hopefully more permanently. I don’t regret sharing my feelings; I know that doing so (especially since I’m so sensitive) may cause me more pain, but I’d rather share so I don’t miss a chance to educate or be educated.

(Also, watch the doc, linked above, because it IS very uplifting!)

 

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Reset

When I moved a few years ago, it was a pushing of the reset button. And not some random will I end up among the dinosaurs or stars unknown reset. It was to a specific time and place for specific needs and wants. And, damn, did I have plans! I was going to take over the world…or at least Dallas.

Even though I’m kinda old, you’ll recognize me from your Child Psych 101 textbook. I need to feel safe and secure—and have the knowledge I can return to that place—in order to venture out and kick some ass. I didn’t feel that. I felt like I was standing on a figurative ledge, just waiting to be pushed off. So the me kicking ass didn’t really happen. And after the (maybe self-fulfilling) push finally happened I obviously felt, and was, less safe and secure.

There was no reset button available this time. Just standing (and at moments curling up in the fetal position), dazed. And then moving. Just moving, somewhere, anywhere. There’s no safe, no secure to be found. Not in a place nor in a person.

Except wherever I happen to be at the moment. And myself.

So all those things that make me me, yet I somehow find scary? I’m starting to do them. And I’m regaining my sense of safety and security in them happening instead of for them to happen.

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Life

My life just ain’t workin’ for me. So, it’s time for a change. But the thing is, this life that isn’t what I want it to be is the result of a change. I know what I want, just not how to get it…obviously.

Living in a cute, comfortable little house with a yard for gardening, room for a big table where friends and I can eat and play, a decent kitchen in which to bake and keep my sangria cold. Grabbing a drink, laughing, and chatting with a friend. Listening to music, reading books, watching movies and TV. Going a little wild at concerts and sporting events with people. Spending time in nature and on my mat. Learning, traveling, museuming, sharing. Helping animals and kids. Taking care of someone who takes care of me. Feeling wanted and worthy. Being financially stable.

I don’t expect to get this magically by moving or taking a class or meeting a certain person. (Well, I did at one time, but not anymore.) I do expect it will take work and learning and difficult changes and temporary sacrifices. I was willing to all that with this most recent change/try, and I did. And it didn’t work. There are no promises in life. I get that. But I’m also tired of false hopes and misplaced trust. I know how and where I can get some of those things on my list. Like, for sure get them. So do I just retreat and accept that life? Or do I keep searching for a place and way I can have a life that has all of the above?

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Hindsight

Hindsight is a bitch.

It pretends to be a friend, knowledgeable and understanding. But it’s really worse than Regina George. Making you feel stupid and foolish.

It’s supposed to help you learn, make better choices in the future. But for me, it’s paralyzing. I try to learn my lesson, I really do. I apply what I’ve realized. I make a different decision than I did the last time. And then hindsight shows me how wrong I still was. Even with the brilliance of hindsight I end up hurting myself. It just ends up making me feel like an idiot and doesn’t provide assistance to actually make things better in the future. So as I sit here with all my 20/20 hindsight attempting to make a big decision, I realize it’s not helpful at all.

 

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Comfortable

In my life I have only felt completely comfortable with two people: my father and my ex-husband.

People scare me. The first panic attack I remember was in my kindergarten classroom. My mother has so many of stories of my fits when she tried to take me places: gymnastics class, to see Santa Claus, eating at a restaurant. I either was a total brat or just shy, depending upon whom you asked. But I wasn’t really; at the least I was completely uncomfortable and at the most I was uncontrollably terrified. No one understood. And I couldn’t express why.

My social phobia was debilitating when I was a kid. So many plans ruined because I couldn’t make myself leave the house, go out in public, nor even visit a friend. And the phone? That was at least as bad as talking to someone in person.

My father spent hours rehearsing with me, planning what to say in a given situation. We’d sit in kitchen chairs, holding our hands to our heads pretending they were phones while having possible conversations. It was the only way I could make a call. Sometimes even that wasn’t enough.

I was “sick” for so many parties and outings while I was growing up. My version of sick was having a panic attack, refusing to leave the house while my mom got pissed and my dad begged/pleaded/threatened. Until then one of them would finally be forced to call and cancel plans. My ex-husband actually took over this horrible, unfair job later.

Now it’s less debilitating, but I am still scared to go out in public or to talk on the phone. I just have worked so hard for so long that I can usually make myself do it anyhow.  I never feel like I fit in. I almost always feel self-conscious. I so want to be liked that I try too hard. Which comes across as very unlikable.

I know. Because I often don’t like myself. I don’t like being this way; I don’t like being scared and feeling foolish. I want to be fun and serene and easygoing and light hearted. But then sometimes I wonder, “Who do you think you are to deserve to be those things?!”  You know when I said I’ve only felt completely comfortable with two people? I wasn’t accidentally forgetting myself.

I’m still working on being comfortable with me.

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Hope

When my ex and I lived together I always had at least 45 good minutes a day. From 5:30 to 6:15 weekday evenings. No matter what came before nor happened after, those were content moments, sometimes the best of the day. I’ve thought about and discussed this before and labeled my feelings as excitement. I’ve been ruminating on this today (because it’s been just that kind of day) and had a realization: it wasn’t excitement, it was hope. My ex came home from work at 6:15. I spent the time before hopeful that he would be happy to see me. That I would be pleasing and pleased. That our evening would be nice. That it would be a turning point or a restart. During those 45 minutes my life had the possibility of being how I wanted it, how we planned it. And not sometime/somewhere down the road but that night, at dinner. I miss those minutes. I miss that feeling of hope. I’ve been trying to find it in other moments, but nothing has quite replicated it.

 

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Process

I need to process things (psychologically speaking, it’s not like I make American cheese). “Hang on, let me process that.” The preceding sentence has come out of my mouth, often, and not as a joke. I need to think, feel, listen, understand, deliberate, acknowledge, admit. It’s just the way my brain works. Sometimes it takes a minute. Sometimes it screws up my mind until I can finally figure it out or just freakin’ let it go. A problem arises when I don’t have the information, when I can’t discuss. There’s no way to process it fully, so I have to fall back on letting go. Which is not a skill of mine. I’d rather have the chance to comprehend and accept.

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