What they don’t know

It happens everywhere. It probably happens to you, and it definitely happens to me.

Someone speaks nicely to your face… but when your back is turned, the knives come out.

That is a fairly strong example. So let’s narrow it down a bit, and let’s make it a little less brutal, and a tad more ‘everyday life.’

Let’s say someone says beautiful things in front of you… but then doesn’t hold the swear  mute button long enough when they mention you to others.

And what do you do, if you see this? If YOU are privy to this? Do you tell the betrayed? Do you tell them that their ‘friend’ doesn’t treat them with the same love behind-the-scenes as they do in front of the whole world to read, and see?

I have thought of this scenario a lot. Because I have been in it. I am in it.

On the issue of forgiveness, an issue I have toyed with a lot in my life, I have questioned…

How do you forgive someone who has never said sorry? How do you forgive someone who seems ‘changed’ in front of your face, but reverts to two-face when they talk about so-called ‘loved ones?’

Is it any of my business? I mean, if they were being rude to me, sure, I could most definitely step in and speak up. But when they are airing grievances about another…

What should it matter to me?

The problem is, IT DOES matter to me. Because I am all about integrity.

I don’t think you should suck face with someone who you compete with behind their back. I don’t think you should chase them when you compare your child against theirs. I don’t think you should give them loving names, when the names you use behind their back, are anything but.

How does this differ though, to the things we say inside our heads? In the quiet places where no one but us can hear?

Does it differ? Let’s say we don’t like how a person goes about their life. We don’t like their attitude. We don’t like how they criticise others constantly, yet shrivel into nincompoops when they get one smidgen of retaliation in return.

We think “I don’t like that. I don’t like them as a person anymore.”

We say this in our heads.

And then a brutal person, will say it out loud…

Does this differ?

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Photo by Amadeo Muslimović on Unsplash

Do we have any right speaking the words of another, when privately in our heads we are just the same?

But, there is a difference isn’t there. Between someone who tries to make themselves better than others to another’s detriment, and to those who merely see the fakery and don’t wish to promote it any further.

I may say things in my head, but that’s because, I believe ‘they’ deserve it.

I spent several years wishing to sever ties with someone completely, and then kind of half did it… now I’ve spent the next lot of them wondering if it is at all possible to do, and if I would do it, would I feel good about it?

There is such a thing as a toxic person. One who does no good for you. A judgmental, critical, self-obsessed, domineering and dogmatic person. One who plays the victim, them versus the world, and if you don’t play your cards according to their game, them versus YOU.

At one point, in the present day, if you see this person trying to somewhat make a better life for themselves, do you forgive? Do you forget? Do you move on with your life, with your relationship with them, if they say sorry?

What if they never say sorry? What if they go on with their life pretending nothing ever happened, with no acknowledgment of your past hurts, betrayals, hurtful words, snide comments, rude remarks, put downs, ignorant sneers, harmful actions, and gross gross negligence of your loved ones… what if they were slightly different, but never made proper amends to YOU?

And what about if they were different to you, but continued to speak badly about others…

NOW we are full circle. Now, you get it.

This is where I struggle.

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Photo by CloudVisual on Unsplash

I am ALL for retribution. In particular, my main motto with those who do wrong, are that they need to be held accountable. They need to PAY.

What would the wronged do, if they knew how disparagingly their friends had spoken about them to others? I’ve seen this also in my work life, where one particular two-face smooths everyone over to their face, and then uses all manner of trickery, lies and under-handed tactics to diminish their character to other colleagues.

But then… they suddenly learn. Or so it seems.

Should these wronged people forgive and move on? Can you accept that people can change for the better? Is it better to know, or not know, what people have said or thought about you?

Do you hold onto hating the angry person that used to exist? Or do you give them the benefit of the doubt, and hope that the nice words they say to your face, are mirrored when you walk away?

At what stage do we forgive? Where is the fine line where we say “this person is a relation in time, so I forgive” or “that guy generally includes me in everything at work so I’ll let that mass nasty email he sent about me, slide.”

When do we let go, and when do we just say NO?

And when do we turn our cheeks the other way, and when do we stand up and speak out to help others?

I still have no answers. Please inform me if YOU do ♥

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Forgiveness

I’ve been toying with the idea of forgiveness.

Interestingly, this solution, for this very old, old, old problem of mine, came to me while watching an episode of The Bold and the Beautiful. I know a lot of people may snigger and deem it so low-brow to be getting advice from a soap opera… but hey, at least I’m getting it from the most popular soap opera in the world.

In it, (SPOILER ALERT!!!!) Oliver is trying to convince his new girlfriend Ally, to try to let go of her hurtful past and forgive the woman (Taylor) who while drinking and then driving accidentally killed her mother (Darla) on the side of the road, who was at the time helping the daughter (Phoebe) of the woman who killed her.
And now Ally’s Dad (Thorne), so many years later, wants to be with the woman who killed her Mum.

Of course, only in a soap opera. However as I go through life, I seriously realise that the shit that happens on the real stage is far more fantastical than any soap opera can conjure up.

Ally hasn’t been able to forgive Taylor for Darla’s death, and even says she hates the woman; she ruined her life.

In the episode in question, Oliver is trying to help Ally see that if she forgives, she’s not doing it for Taylor, because she still has to live with what she did for the rest of her life – but she is doing it for herself, to have peace, and to move on.

In particular, when he remarked that her holding on to her anger has only increased the negativity in her life, I couldn’t help but see the immediate parallels between the two on the tv in front of me, and a conversation Hubbie and I had a couple of nights ago.

You see, there’s a person, or persons, that have been the thorn (LOL, above) in my side for a good while. Out of respect for all involved, I won’t name names, other than to say that the situation is made difficult because these people are so infuriatingly difficult to get along with, and I can’t get them out of my life. I have a million negative expressions for them, but the kindest words would include:
arrogant
self-centred
narcissistic
selfish
rude
insensitive
narrow-minded

Recently, these people did something very inconsiderate to me. As things go, they are probably unaware of what they did. You might say I have no reason to get mad then. But they are the types that if I, or anyone else, did what they did to me, to them, well, let’s just say our Prime Minister would be discussing it in a special 7:30pm bulletin tonight with a full audience of the public voting ‘yes’ and ‘no’ to the arguments and points of contention being put forward.

They are very one-sided, and explain everything away so it suits them.

I’ve had so much anger and frustration, pain and sadness building up and boiling over in me for the past few days now, that it’s been sickening. I’m consumed with angry thoughts, full of scenarios of me telling them where to go and where I vent ALL of my feelings to them, feelings that have been simmering and building now for years.

It’s happened in the worst week. I’m meant to be busy finalising preparations for baby girl’s Christening – instead I’m busy imagining scenarios of them, upsetting me AGAIN, where the end result is some massive and long overdue confrontation.

I’ve been trying to work out how to get control of my thoughts, and my reaction to it so I can live in peace. So many quotes out there advise that ‘it’s all in your head,’ and ‘you are the master of your thoughts.’ That’s all fair and good, and usually something that I would swear by; in real life however, when something has been stewing in you for ages, and an untold and furious story is waiting to be unleashed from inside of you, it’s fairly hard to take the latter statements to heart and live by them.

When I heard Oliver mention ‘forgiveness,’ something inside me softened. I can’t say how it happened, but it was almost as if I was so desperate for a solution that the answer, and indeed it seems the only answer, made me reach out and grasp it with vehemence.

Could I forgive them? Could I really forgive them, or would I just be convincing myself that I should forgive them, as so many hurts have been involved that it would take years and much concerted effort on their part to mend things, where I could really start to forgive. And that was the thing. On TV, Taylor was crying to Ally and telling her how sorry she was, how sorry she’s always been for what happened that night. My situation, though no where near as dramatic thank goodness, was different, but still very difficult. I was dealing with people who have a chip on their shoulder, believing the world owes them and everyone should bow at their feet. These are people unwilling, I think also unable to change. They have been their impossibly difficult selves for so long, I don’t think they would know how.

However, the thought of forgiveness, and moving on, appealed to me. It’s a hard one – would I be admitting that what they have done to me was ok? That all the hurtful moments I’ve endured with them was acceptable? That they weren’t accountable for the hundreds upon hundreds of slights and mean-spirited words/actions/intentions that have come from their direction? No. Like Oliver said, I was doing it for me. I was doing it so I could move on.

Hubbie had bought flowers home for me last night, because he had wanted to cheer me up – seeing me so upset had made him realise how much of a happy person I was.

That was the other clincher. I was a different person when they upset me. I wasn’t me, and I didn’t like the person I was in their company. Now, sometimes, I may not be able to avoid them all together… but like all those freaking clever people say time and time again, I had to change my reaction to them, rather than change them. Because I couldn’t. Not when they couldn’t change themselves.

What happened to Oliver and Ally and Taylor in the end? Well, at the end of the episode, Oliver had convinced Ally to speak to Taylor – and after she confronted her with more ‘why’s, she came to understand that Taylor had actually helped her Dad heal… and they hugged. With tears.

My ending may be a bit different. I can’t do what all those clever-thinkers tell me to. I’m going to play a very impassive role when around them – kind of blind, ignorant to them and the way they are. I will do that, because I don’t want to amplify the situation… because I’m better than that. But if they push my button –

I’M GOING TO BITE.