I’ve Said My Piece, Now What?

Following on from yesterday’s post.

Phew, I’ve said my piece. I prayed for guidance on what to say to my friend, and I was pleased with what I said. Because I had had a practice run first, and because of the post I wrote on yesterday’s blog, my head and heart were clear.

My fear of rejection meant that I had some thoughts saying that I didn’t want the friendship anyway, but I know that isn’t true. I spoke kindly, said how I felt about something that they had done, how it left an imbalance in the friendship, and I suggested a way forward.

Now I need to let go. I’m not in control of how they respond, but I have gone into worry that they will be upset, and that they will become angry with me. That’s control. It’s me wanting to control the outcome.

I identify as being codependant, I find it easy to put others needs before my own, I have an inbuilt belief that I am unworthy, and other people need to be taken care of, that I should become what the other person wants me to be. I can very easily lose my personal identity because I see things from the other person’s perspective. Some may call this being a doormat, but I think codependancy is a form of dishonest and manipulative behaviour. It’s trying to control what other people think of me. I know it comes from the inconsistent and abusive childhood that I experienced, so I’m not giving myself a hard time. It’s actually seeing codependancy for what it is that has opened my mind to the reality that it is OK for me to have wants and needs, that it’s OK to say when I feel hurt, it’s OK to express my needs in a relationship. It doesn’t come easily to me. It takes a lot of effort for me to be honest in relationships, but I’m getting there.

Telling Others How I Feel About Their Behaviour

Today I need to do something which I find challenging and that I feel anxious about. Somebody has behaved in a way towards me that I feel frustrated about, and even a bit hurt by.

Perhaps it wouldn’t be such a big thing to others, perhaps it would. It is big enough for me to need to say something, and so the friendship can survive.

I need to tell them how I feel when they behave in such a manner to me, and I need to keep the focus on how I feel, rather than blame them for their behaviour. Over the years I’ve learned that people have the right to behave however they choose, and that I have the right to tell them how I feel when their actions affect me.

In principle that’s easy enough. But I struggle with it. Although my self-esteem is most definitely improving, but it’s not so good that I feel at ease with expressing myself when it comes to conflict. In my mind I talk through why I shouldn’t say anything, I empathise with the other person, I feel for them, and I think I don’t have the right. After all I’ve made mistakes in my life, meaning that I therefore don’t have the right to say anything to others.

On top of that I get anxiety come up quite strongly. I’m afraid of how the other person will react or if they will reject me, it’s easier to put them first so that I don’t get rejected. Fear of rejection is a big thing for me, it’s also destructive. I’ve stayed in damaging relationships before, rather than allowing myself to feel rejected.

I know what I want to say. I’ve got that clear in my mind. I think it’s best to leave them a WhatsApp speech note, rather than talk to them over the telephone. They don’t live in the UK so I can’t tell talk with them face to face. A speech note feels like a bit of a cop out, but most of our friendship has been conducted in this way, and if we speak on the phone they won’t hear me because they talk too much to listen. It still feels like a cop out, but it’s the way I am choosing to do it.

I’m not sure how it will go. I don’t know if they will accept what I have to say, or whether they will become cross with me. I just don’t know, and that’s difficult, not knowing, it could go either way.

The thing is that I need to say something for my own sake. If I don’t say anything then I will become resentful of them, which will only make the situation worse. So I have to bite the bullet and be authentic. Living an authentic life is important to me now.

Humility Exists In The Space Between Arrogance And Self Hatred

I’ve been still and relaxed today, which is good for my soul, and provides the intimacy that I need for honest self-reflection.

My arrogance and self-hatred are both defence mechanisms that I use to keep others away from me. It’s not deliberate, it’s an internal form of self-preservation that’s been a response to trauma, and a symptom of complex post traumatic stress.

When I’m in the space of arrogance then ‘Im ok, you’re not ok’ a position of blame or superiority. When I’m in the space of self-hatred then ”you’re ok, I’m not ok’ I have you on a pedestal and myself in the gutter, a place of inferiority.

Both positions are an external projection of my feelings of inferiority, and a need to find a space in the world in which it’s ok to be me. To have strengths and weaknesses and be at peace with both.

Certainly I feel more comfortable in my skin, more often. Much more often.

I can only be ok with you and you’re strengths and weaknesses when I am ok with mine, and that’s humility. Humility is knowing who you are. Genuine self-knowledge and acceptance. It’s a simple understanding that I have unique strengths and weaknesses, as do you. This is the place where I meet you as an equal, individually unique, but as equals ‘im OK – you’re OK’.

When I become aware that I’m experiencing arrogant thoughts I know  that I feel like I’m being judged, and the arrogance is like a belligerent ‘fuck you, I’m better than you anyway’ it’s feelings of  inferiority  manifesting as blame and self-righteousness.

When I’m aware that I’m being intensely self-critical and experiencing self-hatred, it’s because I feel shame. Ashamed of who I am, I can never be as good as you, I’m unworthy and you most definitely are superior to me. Neither of these are humble.

I am aware of these experiences today and can recognise them quickly, and allow myself to feel the underlying feelings that arrogance and self-hatred mask. The feelings pass, and I can meet you in a place of self and other acceptance.

Today I’ve experienced feelings of superiority and inferiority, and observing the shifts and allowing them to be, has meant that I’ve found equilibrium between strengths and weaknesses.

I go to bed knowing that I am OK and you are OK.