“Kick Me: Clinging to the hurt”

Last night when we were on our way home from dinner, we stopped to let some people cross in front of us in a parking lot. Hubs recognized them and said, “Isn’t that …” but couldn’t think of their names.

“The people who didn’t call you back when you volunteered,” I shot back, as he tooted his horn and waved in greeting.

My comment came from a place of hurt, but that doesn’t mean it was warranted. I could just as easily have reminded Hubs of their names. But, as I always do, I let that old grudge take over.

My superpower is hanging on to grudges. I’m really good at it. I could write a long essay detailing the many offenses behind my retort, but where would that get me?

Fact is, we’re not part of the in crowd. We don’t belong to the clique. We’re not rich enough or stylish enough or fit enough or beautiful enough. We don’t drink enough or travel enough or own a shore home. And we’ve discovered that in certain settings, people who volunteer but don’t belong to the clique don’t get called upon to help.

That hurts. Deeply. You’d think that now that I’m solidly in middle age, it wouldn’t bother me so much, but you’d be wrong. I’m hurt, and I’m steadily crossing the line into bitter.

Worse, I’ve passed along that bitterness to my kids — I’ve heard echoes of my own pain in their words.

Honestly, hanging on to all that hurt is exhausting. I hold tight to it, thinking that will help. I’m not sure what I think it will help me do.

It won’t make me rich enough or stylish enough or fit enough or beautiful enough.

It won’t get me into a clique that I don’t belong in anyway.

It won’t take away the very real fear that I’ll get hurt again.

I cling to the hurt like it’s a security blanket, hoping it will become a protective armor (or, at the very least, an invisibility cloak.)

But in reality, it’s more like that “kick me” sign the third-grade bully pins on the back of your T-shirt.

Closing myself off from the people who shut me out doesn’t prevent me from getting hurt.

Maybe it’s time to try something new. Anni Harry writes:

At the end of the day, my response to the “cool moms” is what is most important. I can lambaste them, throw shade toward them, or think bad things of them. And, I have to admit, I struggled this past weekend to not give in to excoriating them – both in thought and word.

Yet, every time I began to get angry, there was a calm voice running under the current – pray for them.

I have learned through the past five years that prayer is an amazing thing. When I pray for someone I don’t get along with, or someone who has hurt me, I find myself changing. I am strengthened and given a different perspective. I stop finding fault with the other individual/s, and rather, focus on the contributions I can bring to the world – I focus on being the change I would like to see. So, if you are struggling with another person, I encourage you to join me in praying for them.

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Via Pixabay (2014), CC0 Public Domain

Copyright 2018 Barb Szyszkiewicz

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Vulnerable

I don’t have thick enough skin to handle the kinds of conflicts that come when people who think everything must be done their way don’t get their way.

I got stuck in one of these this morning, and I am reeling right now.

A bit of background:  I’ve administrated the Facebook and Twitter accounts for Little Brother’s school for the past year and a half. Because our principal is cautious regarding cyberbullying, it was agreed that any comments made to the school’s Facebook page would be deleted.

facebook logoIn 18 months, I have never seen anything but positive comments (and an occasional question) but I remove those comments anyway.

As a courtesy to the people whose comments are deleted, I take the time to send them a message like this one:

“I’m sorry; I had to remove your comment from the school Facebook page. I realize that it was a positive comment but per the school administration, no comments are allowed on the page. Unfortunately Facebook will not allow us to set the page up that way. You may “like” but not comment. Thanks for understanding!”

Because of the way Facebook works, sometimes these messages wind up in people’s “Other” folder, where messages from people they’re not connected with on Facebook land. But sometimes I get replies to these messages, and usually they’re simply apologies and the whole thing is over and done.

Not today.

I removed a positive comment and sent my standard message and got a very angry response.

“It’s a sad world we live in…I don’t like you sending me a personal note…that is a shame…you shouldn’t even have a website…tell that to the principal.”

An attempt at a courteous response resulted in nothing but Feeding The Trolls.

And now I am sitting here trying to keep a lid on my emotions because a nasty message on social media has me all wound up and overwrought. I’m clenched and shaky and holding back the tears.

Social anxiety, anyone? (Social media anxiety…?)

All because someone I’ve never met in person (and am not likely to, as her children have already graduated from the school) was less-than-gracious when I dared to uphold a school policy.

And I don’t know how to make this go away, this reaction that is completely out of proportion to the situation I’m in.