Yesterday someone was mean to me.
Just your garden variety, high school, not very inventive or full of imagination, mean.
It was a ‘get back in your box, don’t think you’re so special, you can stop showing off now…’ snarky comment.
Two things about this have upset me.
For one thing, it worked.
I pulled my head in. I shrunk a little. I started questioning myself, doubting the things I have been doing this week. I’ve been thinking about my behaviour trawling over things I have said and done, wishing I hadn’t. Feeling like I don’t belong.
And that’s fucked.
Because I know it’s not true. I’m away on a residential with a big group of amazing people who have continually thanked me for everything I have done and bought to the group. It’s just that this teenage wound of being bullied is so deep that it doesn’t take much to open it and get me acting like a teenager again…
…and that’s the other thing. I’ve started thinking like a teenager again, I want to be mean. I want to take the person down. I have day dreamed about doing this one on one with them, delivering a withering line that will make them realise just how mean and small they have been…or with saying something to the whole group that would be a coded message for them…
But that’s not me.
I’m not mean.
So, what do I do with this hurt?
How do I respond in a way that reflects my values, not their hurt?
I suppose that’s a start. Seeing that their meanness is a reflection of a sadness or hurt that they are carrying. I’m pretty sure for them to act like that towards me that at some stage someone was mean to them.
Maybe I could choose to hear their meanness as a sharing of their sadness.
That feels better.
It doesn’t fix it…but it gives me something to do with it. I’d rather feel empathy than anger, hurt and meanness.
That might be all I can do for now.
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