I saw this quote on a friend’s Facebook page today that read:
In order to be free, you have to unlock the pain from your past and let it go.
– Kim Russo
I found this profound because it fit right into the groove of everything I had been thinking about for the past two weeks. Once again I have had to grieve the loss of someone I thought was my friend and once again I had to realize that the red flags were popping up everywhere, all the time. It was because this friend was so much fun that I was able to continue pretending I never felt those red flags slapping me in the face. I really wanted to keep being her friend, so much so, that I compromised my own convictions and ignored my own personal boundaries in order to keep her. In the end, it stopped feeling very friendly and just wasn’t worth the drama she brought to my table and I had to walk away from it.
I started wondering why I kept attracting the same kind of person. I wondered what lesson was there that I wasn’t learning. Why was I doomed to keep repeating this same pattern of allowing someone to repeatedly cross my personal boundaries and disrespect me. How often do we ask ourselves these same questions, knowing the answers are there, but we just don’t want to admit it to ourselves?
There are a lot of past situations I have had to endure that I have never talked about openly and I’m guessing the reason they still bother me is because of this lesson that I haven’t learned yet. Maybe if I just talk about it, they’ll start to scab over and maybe they’ll leave a scar, but it would be one I’m proud to wear now.
Should I talk about some stuff from my past? Should I unlock that Pandora’s Box? These are stories I’ve told before, some of them, but the connections to me were never made. These were memories of past transgressions against me that I was forced to suppress for many years. Is it worth dredging up situations that I’d rather forget, about people I want nothing more to do with, in order to be free of it? They say we are only as damaged as the secrets we keep, right?
These memories are about people I was never allowed to confront. I was never allowed to fight back. I was never allowed to tell my truth about what happened and some of these people discredit and malign me even to this day. They think I will never say anything. They think I will remain silent just as I have for many, many years now.
Well think again, bitch.
Over the decades my sweet husband has had to honor and the privilege to know some stellar folks. Along the way he’s worked with a few first class jerks too. That never mattered much to him because he was the stalwart and dignified one that stood like a lighthouse in the churning sea of sewage. He never had a sour word to share about anyone. You might wonder what this has to do with me, and I’ll tell you. Being the boss’s wife can be awesome, except when the workplace is toxic.
I was pursued in the past, via email, by a co-worker that wanted me to go shopping with her. Sounded innocent enough until she got fired and applied for unemployment. Suddenly I was being called into the office, a place I did not even work, and compelled to produce copies of my personal email correspondence with this woman. She was claiming that I used my clout as the boss’s wife and forced her to be my friend, or she would be fired. No one was more confused and hurt than I was because nothing she claimed was the truth. Unfortunately for her, she didn’t know that I could still produce the emails we exchanged, the ones where I declined to go shopping with her and the ones where she kept insisting we get together and “hang out and maybe get really drunk together”. Her unemployment was denied and my faith in people died a tiny bit that day.
While I never thought of her as a friend, I certainly never thought of her as an enemy. I have never needed to threaten anyone to go shopping with me either. The whole situation was so peculiar that I possessed no tools in order to process what was happening. Who would?! But this is the type of personality disorder I had to contend with for quite a few years, until we finally moved away.
I have been blogged about by another one of the co-workers. After repeatedly calling our house several times a day and asking to speak with my husband and refusing to leave a message with his wife, she decided blogging about how she felt was the better idea.While we were away for two weeks having an absolute blast at Burning Man, she was blogging away about the boss and the boss’s wife and how much she hated the two of us and how badly she wanted to punch my husband in the nuts.
She was also the one that blogged about my hysterectomy.
I eventually blogged about my hysterectomy too, but the difference is that it was MY hysterectomy and a very personal surgery to have. When she blogged about it she made fun of me, called me old and body shamed me. She wrote that I wasn’t a woman anymore simply because I had to have my uterus removed. Quite frankly, if you look at me today you wouldn’t know if I had a fucking uterus, or not. The same as if you looked at her. Later she pretended like she had done nothing wrong in putting these very personal and private details out there on the Internet about me.
Doesn’t she sound just dreamy? But I bet you’re asking yourself what I did to her to incite such spitefulness, aren’t you? I did nothing, except eventually cut her off. What could I do? How in the world can you put vicious and spiteful proclamations in the public domain about someone and then smile and ask them out for sushi? How do some people do that? What would ever make you think it’s okay to blog about someone’s hysterectomy?!
The better question would be…why did I ever think this was someone that was trustworthy?
Oh there’s more. The guy that couldn’t wait for us to leave so he could “finally start running that company the way it was supposed to be run!” A manifesto he never had the testes to say to our face. How’s that working out for ya, mate? I’ll tell you how it’s working out. They went from being a million dollar company to practically out of business, all under his command.
This isn’t me being vengeful or sharing gossip. This is me telling the truth, something these folks wouldn’t know if it knocked them down and beat the living shit out of them. The problem was that while I still thought these people were friendly, they were actually some of the worst enemies a person could ever have. I could write even more atrocious truths about them and not just about sexual promiscuity and questionable personal hygiene, but I won’t. That would be just like writing about their hysterectomy.
Why does life have to bring you right to the edge before you begin to believe that running in the other direction is ALWAYS the better choice?
Should I say that I forgive these people? Because any forgiveness was silently sermonized in my heart so that I could move past them. I spend only a small amount of time ruminating on folks that show me their ass. It’s only when I come across another person in my life that reminds me of them, that they even become relevant again. That’s when I start wondering if I have a tattoo on my forehead that reads, “Welcome Freaks!”. That’s when I realize the Universe is telling me I still haven’t learned that lesson.
Do I also forget about the numerous clueless people they gather around them, the ones that don’t know me at all, but still believe the gossip? Do I just let all of that go too?
Yes, to every question. You bet you let all of that stuff go. If you don’t, you’ll never be free of it. If you don’t, you will end up like me today, still trying to learn the lesson of walking away from someone, no matter how much fun they are, once they start throwing undeserved shade in your direction. When you have done nothing to deserve the shit sandwich they are trying to force you to eat, then you need to push yourself back away from their table.
Learn the lesson.
Let it go.
What I have learned over the years of research and soul searching and wondering where these heinous excuses for human life come from, is that they have their own reasons for behaving the way they behave. Whether it comes from bad parenting or neglect, or some depraved sense of entitlement, whether it’s drug induced or dry drunk enabled, they have their genetic calling cards they like to leave behind in the wake of their destruction. They are just screwed up enough to believe, deep in the shriveled up ethereal anatomy we like to call a conscience, that they are right and justified in everything they squat down and shit upon the rest of us. They think they are normal.
They will never stop and they will never change. If you want to survive in this world and be a healthy member of society making good and great contributions back to a happy world, then you walk away from the toxic when it finds you. You do not adapt. You do not make excuses. You do not tolerate. You do not wallow in self pity. You do not throw rocks back at them. You walk away.
What I am thankful for today is that kind people do exist and they work in offices all across America, including here, and they don’t need drama and they refuse to share gossip. I am fortunate to have those kinds of healthy associations now, so that I can know the difference and be grateful.
Well, there it is. Most of it, anyway. Unlocked and shared. After years of hearing my name and my character crucified by the mentally deranged bourgeois, I can finally let that part of my past go. I’ll keep you posted for the moment I actually feel the freedom wash over me. Until next time, this is Madeline Laughs and I am encouraging you to tell your truth and to stand up to bullies, no matter who they are or where they work.
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