Daily, I feel tormented by the notion that if I were JUST less sensitive and more forgiving we could be a happy healthy family. But this, THIS is the lie-the myth of the scapegoat and the messaging of abusers. Intense sensitivity is something, that as an adult, I have learned to understand, accept, and to accommodate without shame. My mental wellness requires that I offer space to anyfuckenbody who judges sensitivity and uses it as an excuse to be unkind–shaming. I do regret that I had nobody to teach me this sooner. Self acceptance, preservation, kindness to myself and to others—these things, they were first introduced to me as a 40 something woman, in recovery. And I forgive myself for not knowing what I didn’t know, before I knew it and I forgive myself for not accepting poor treatment as the price of membership for a club to which I clearly do not belong. And I forgive myself for not being able to forgive before I am able.
On forgiveness– I read,urgently and repeatedly, everything I can get my hands on. No sane or spiritual source, communicates that forgiveness equals brushing things under the rug or shrugging off an encounter or event. Though, this has been frequently demanded. Forgiveness is also NOT forgetting or pretending that something did or did not happen, didn’t hurt, or did not matter. Forgiveness does not equal reconciliation. It is a one day at a time intention to let go of pain caused by one who may or may not be remorseful or apologetic. I now understand many of the things that forgiveness is not–and still struggle mightily to grasp a concept that I can work with– one that would allow me to manage the hurt and conflict which I am left to resolve on my own- by those who decidedly leave me feeling betrayed, misrepresented, and wounded.
Forgiveness, it seems, is a one-man operation. Healthy reconciliation requires honest, open, and willing dialog working toward agreement on some key things about what did and did not happen and what is needed to move forward together with prudence and intention.
nearly over feeling shame for the shit I have done to survive the madness of being told to get over it and to JUST forgive. I am intentional in choosing to resist diminishing people with my own reactive words and actions, just as I choose to avoid any who do operate in this way. This, I claim, as proof and evidence of more mental health, sanity, self care, self esteem, self worth than I knew, while tethered to those who feel right in being shitty to others(but only when necessary).
I will close by saying that my work to repair and amend the many unfortunate things I have said and done in my life, is ongoing. Hurt people hurt people. As always, when we know better we do better. I am a work in progress. I will never make an excuse for behavior that has harmed a person. And– I am now abundantly clear on the distinction between being harmful and being displeasing. I totally reserve the right to displease. It will happen, not because I enjoy it or choose to but because I am human and I am my own person, with my own needs and limits. I can displease a person without actually sinning against them. This is a thing. Learning to displease and be displeased without wrath and vengeance and shame is an immense part of recovery.
Oh–and, in all of my own claims to sensitivity, I am referring only to how easily and deeply affected I am by things that often don’t even register with most others. I have been labelled sensitive by those who judge me, and it is an honest assessment and in no way a flaw or a crime. It does add a layer of complexity to life as me, or with me. Love it or leave it. I am good with that. Byeeee
And of course, if I have hurt a person(not displeased–but harmed), I will alllllwaaays want to know and set things straight. Even if what I did or said, seemed right and true for me, if it diminished the quality of another’s life or came off as rooted in a belief in their insignificance or unworthiness, I want to know. Because, sometimes I do right things in wrong ways. So, there is that part of being human that I recognize and own. At the end of the day (and the beginning too)— Nobody matters less than me. And nobody matters more than me. We belong to each other. All of us.
It is my greatest desire to participate in all of the healing I can, while I am here on this planet. I may not regret doing or saying the thing, because it was necessary for me, And I can still be remorseful and willing to make amends for doing actual harm. You can google the word harm if this is confusing for you or see below what Merriam Webster has to offer.
physical suffering or discomfort caused by illness or injury
synonyms: suffering, agony, torture, torment, discomfort
◦ mental suffering or distress.”the pain of loss”
◦ synonyms: ◦ sorrow, grief, heartache, heartbreak, sadness, unhappiness, distress, desolation, misery, wretchedness, despair; agony, torment, torture, via dolorosa “the pain of losing a loved one”
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