Of the many things that I do not like about being bullied is that it forces me to think about all of the crapolicious stuff that I have done in my life. I am pretty good about living in the moment, taking all of this stuff as it comes and trying to release whatever is not about me, you know?
But, when I am feeling scared and vulnerable my thoughts seem to drift and then dwell on how badly I have treated other people over the years. And, I have quite a few of those memories.
I think about all of the times when I was short on time and temperament with my child. Busy this and super-busy that sometimes took precedent over slowing down and spending time with her and whatever it was that she wanted to show me or do or play. Those are precious moments that I will never have a chance to retrieve or do over. Each one, and I think that I remember nearly all of them, feel like stab wounds, or maybe I am feeling the scars of lost opportunity, maybe they act up during bad weather like arthritic joints or something. You know, as a parent I tried to make up for those things, but in my heart I know that that is never really possible and that whatever I am feeling about those moments, that my daughter was wounded as badly, perhaps worse by my selfishness.
I think about the times when my grandbabies were little and that even though I am older, surely, and supposedly wiser, hopefully, that I still managed to not always be the patient and calm and unflappable grandma that I wanted to be for them. I have one memory from each of the boys about feeling so impatient when they went through those periods when they could not sleep through the night and I felt so put-upon and inconvenienced when they woke me. Once that little boy was up and we were rocking and soothing all was well, but I definitely did not want to be up in the middle of the night.
I think about every cross, crabby or impatient word I ever uttered, every single sigh of inconvenience, every self-suffering look and movement and I am right back there, feeling the impatience, feeling the reluctance, feeling the shame, all over again.
I think about the neighbor that I did not like very much and how when she wanted to come over and sit and have coffee and just chat, that I brushed her off with expressions of how busy I was, when I was not busy at all.
I think about all of the times and situations where I just could not seem to bring my best self to the front and all of those little fails add up. They do. They become an avalanche of missed and wasted opportunities to be my best self.
I think about every person and situation that did not find me being a good person and think to myself that I deserve to feel like crap about having been such a crappy person. I am thinking of a conversation that a friend and I had , gosh, so many years ago about what kind of people we believed ourselves to be. It was a light-hearted conversation and I remember saying something about how I do not hold-up the 7-11 (an old time convenience store here), that I pay my taxes, that I always recycle and do not litter, so that must make me a decent person. I am not a thief, of material or ethereal things. I am not, in my life, a person who desires to bully or be not-supportive or helpful. And, so, I do not steal, but I do fail at so many other things.
I allow my energies to take precedence and I express my opinions, sometimes even when they are not requested. No one cares what I think or feel, it is all a huge case of hubris, and inflicting myself on other people is just plain shameful. I am getting better at this, really working on keeping my opinions to myself, but I still have plenty of times when I fail at this, often miserably. I try to make good choices in my personal interactions, but still fail to do that well. I am always waiting for the next shoe to drop and am not very good at keeping those feelings of insecurity and vulnerability from seeping into behaviors and attitudes and thoughts when I am out doing whatever I am doing.
I do reasonably well for a while, sometimes a long while, but then weaken and fall under the thrall of some pain or slight or unkindness and, well, fail. I do not mind being human and having all of the deficiencies and frailties of living in this flesh. I really do not, because most of the time it is a good thing, this being a human. I love the whole physicality of being a feeling, thinking and imperfect creation. I do. I love that I have the option of learning from my mistakes and moving forward, often making some of them again or making new and improved mistakes, but still learning and improving from all of it.
Maybe messing up so much and then feeling so badly about it is the cost of having the freedom, the free will of being able to mess up, maybe regret is the fair price to pay for having life, this life. Maybe crappy stuff happens in order to force me, to help me to reflect on all of my own crappy behaviors, thoughts, beliefs and then maybe actually learn from all of this. It just all feels so selfish, so self-absorbed, and not in a good way. You know, navel gazing in it's worst possible manifestation.
So maybe it is a good thing that I am going away and will have the opportunity to do a little inner-process work over the next few days. Maybe I will take advantage of this time to examine and understand why I seem to be creating so much pain in my life, why I am creating or attracting someone who cannot or will not treat me decently. I want, no, desperately need, to understand how and why I think that I deserve this, and figure out how to correct, compensate, atone for my past mistakes. Is this the necessary consequence from all of the less-than-wonderful things that I have done in my own life? Is this what I deserve and should I just be accepting it without all of this angst? I accept that I will never even approach being perfect about anything, but I sure do wish that I could be just slightly less imperfect.