On Sunday night, I got my feelings hurt by someone else. This isn’t the first time this person has hurt my feelings by saying something mean to me, by yelling at me, by hurling curse words at me. Thankfully this didn’t happen in person. Rather, it came in the form of a venomous voice mail message left on my phone. While I listened to the message, my heart sped up and began to feel as though it would beat out of my chest. My body literally began to shake. A lump formed in my throat. Tears welled in my eyes.
I took a deep breath. I told my husband what happened. He responded in his sturdy, quiet way. He reminded me that this person is childish with limited emotional resources. He expressed feeling sorry that something like this had happened, again. I spent some time with our puppy who was sacked out from playing with other pups at a dog-party fund-raiser for 350.org. Lying down with a puppy and petting that soft fur helps to make everything right in the world.
Then I returned the call. Granted, I don’t believe a message such as that one warrants a return call, but I needed to respond. The phone rang and rang with no answer, and so I was limited to leaving a message. This is ironic as this person was angry with me for being “so unavailable,” and inaccessible to talk with on the phone. As I left my message, I tried to sound calm, to not raise my voice, to not stoop to this person’s level. I told this person that I was sorry we kept missing one another on the phone, and I shared that I cannot be available at all times to talk. Most importantly, I expressed how unacceptable it is to leave a mean and nasty message filled with cursing on my voice mail (or anyone else’s!).
I continued to be upset by this situation ever since it happened. Unfortunately, it brought up so many old hurts and rubbed salt in previous wounds from this person. I said my peace in my voice mail message, and I wanted to let it go. But I was having a really hard time. I walked around all of Monday with a pit in my stomach from anxiety about eventually talking with this person. I was dreading it, worrying about it, and making myself somewhat sick over it.
So, we talked. And for the first 10 minutes of the conversation, this person pretended like nothing had happened. Until I brought it up. I stood my ground. I remained calm. I reiterated the unacceptable-ness of yelling and cursing at me. And you know what? This person doesn’t get it. I don’t think this person is capable of getting it, of accepting responsibility. My husband is right, this person lacks tons of emotional resources. I’m working hard to keep that in mind, to not feel so raw and vulnerable from those piercing words. I want to let it go. But I’m still having a really hard time…
I’m working on sending out thoughts of love and kindness and forgiveness every time I think of this person or this most recent incident. I’m channeling the words of Kate from Your Courageous Life that were posted on kind over matter.
Love. Kindness. Forgiveness. Love. Kindness. Forgiveness. Love. Kindness. Forgiveness.