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The summer after my sophomore year of highschool, I had a brief… - The Fucking Bluebird of Goddamn Happiness [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]

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[Jun. 21st, 2003|11:26 am]
[Current Mood |contemplativecontemplative]

The summer after my sophomore year of highschool, I had a brief summer romance with a fellow who was living with his aunt while his parents were taking a break. Kimbe and I held hands and kissed a lot, but this being 1974 and me being fairly screwed up from sexual abuse, I froze whenever he wanted to take it further (being a teenage boy, that was always). We'd been going out for a few weeks when my best friend and next door neighbor turned up missing one evening. Her mom came by our house at midnight on a hot Saturday night asking after Lisa. We hadn't seen her. Her mom was pretty frantic, and apparently searched all night because as the sky paled toward dawn I was awakened by shouting and sobbing in the street. I leaned out the window to see the Mom dragging Lisa by one ear (literally) back toward their front door. "You little whore!" she was shrieking. "Goddamn slut!" I called down to ask what was going on. "I found her in bed with that goddamn Kimbe!"

Lisa looked up at me with both guilt and triumph in her eyes. I was stunned, but had the presence of mind to yank the ring he had given me off my finger. "You have him, you might as well have this." I flung it at her from the second story before her mom dragged her into the house to be "grounded until you're 30!"

I was never going to speak to her again. I slammed the door in his face when he showed up with a stupid smile. And by Wednesday he had left anyway, back home to where I would never see him again.

Moms being what they are, Lisa's grounding stuck for about a week. She slinked over to my house on Saturday.

And within a few minutes we had dismissed him as a jerk and were back to being best friends. I never trusted her around a guy again, but I didn't hold a grudge.

This is sort of the way I function in life. And I'm not sure that it is really all that healthy. I am so willing to forgive and forget that people who aren't irritate me. I remember a woman in Anchorage who obviously and intensely disliked me. I never did figure out what sin I had committed in her eyes, and even when I called and asked her she denied it. But her daughter blurted out that she wasn't allowed to talk to me, so it wasn't just my imagination.

Yet it was hard for me to focus on the fact that she didn't like me. I kept expecting her to get over it, speak up, or forget about it. So I continued to walk into the blades of her spite - and get irked that she was being so ridiculous. I have short term memory loss when it comes to anger. I eventually learned to stay out of her circle of friends, because I was only causing discomfort.

This level of agreeability isn't always a good thing. I stayed in a bad marriage for far too many years because I kept forgiving and forgiving. I stayed in a bad job here in Cleveland longer than I should have partially because I kept forgiving and forgiving. And the forgiving has a toll. I am inveterate story teller because I remember the details of events so well - which means that I remembered all the things I'd forgiven, and the weight of the forgiving without the reciprocation of changed behavior turned them all into hard stones of resentment that weighed on me. Eventually there would be one too many, and some small slight would lead to a terrible over reaction.

My forgiving nature means I don't protect myself enough, and that I am not empathetic to people who don't forgive as easily as I do. I create more conflict because I have Dory's short term memory when it comes to strife. People think I am not taking them seriously or respecting their feelings - and I'm not, frankly, but not because I don't care. It's because I don't grok the way they feel. It's not fair, but it's how I am.

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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2003-06-21 03:58 pm (UTC)
I never know to protect myself. I continue to trust people.

Fortunately, it works out for the most part.

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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2003-06-21 03:46 pm (UTC)

Re: Hmmm

In some cases, yes. I do do this. Generally when the same irritants reappear again and again.

I'm working to get better at that. I think I have improved, adn I continue to work on it.
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[User Picture]From: lothie
2003-06-21 01:39 pm (UTC)
Hmmn. It makes sense to me. I wouldn't say I forgive immediately (for instance, I'm still bitter toward my soon to be ex husband), but I don't hold grudges or anything. In fact while I was married to this guy one of our biggest conflicts was that he never wanted me to speak to people who had (he felt) slighted us, while I just tended not to hold that stuff against anyone.

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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2003-06-21 03:49 pm (UTC)
I had the same problem with my ex. Damn, we do have a lot in common [g].

Even in the worst of our breakup, though, I was always willing to be good to him, always working to make things easier. On the day we went to court we actually went out for coffee together afterwards. I didn't want to be married to him anymore, but I bore him no ill will.

I still have little bubbly pots of ex-anger, but I can carry on a pleasant conversation with him on the phone and get along with him pretty well. It isn't that there aren't buttons left to push, it's that I get over myself.
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[User Picture]From: lothie
2003-06-21 03:50 pm (UTC)
*nod* Yeah. He pisses me off...but it's not "burning ex" anger. I'd take him out for coffee if he were in town.

Chris's ex I hate, but that's because of their custody battle. Ergo, it's ongoing. Once it's over I won't much care, though I don't think I'll be taking HER out for coffee...*grin*
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[User Picture]From: ladycathead
2003-06-22 04:28 pm (UTC)

It reminds me of the line Joan Osbourne sings, "You're so full of contempt I don't know how you can stand up straight." People who hang onto that kind of garbage in their hearts and try to make others as miserable as them. Yuck. I try not to hang onto it because if you do, you get poisoned. Like clasping an asp to your breast.

And the older I get, the harder it seems to whip that snake into the bushes sometimes!
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