Trying not to kill kindness

I haven’t had the best of weeks. By Thursday, I started feeling human again…and that’s when humanity could show it’s frightened face. Monday-Wednesday, I was wounded, battered and on edge.

Tuesday, I purposefully fell asleep on the couch before 8 pm. Too angry and pitiful to go away to my room. This was after the second conversation of the week that ended with, “I just can’t even talk to you like this!” No, that was the third conversation. Ouch.

I woke up at 10:30 pm, my roommate had gone to bed, leaving all the lights on around me. Her proclamation rang in my ears, “WHAT is wrong with you?! You are in such a bad mood. I am done trying to talk to you!” Ouch.

I had tried to tell her, some of it – how I felt used, thought of as less than a woman, how my identity had been attacked, how I had been considered a s*** and treated as a cheap w****. No one deserves that treatment, and beyond the personal injury, I was disappointed in myself – why did I think it was such an insult that to be treated this way? Women are considered as such daily, and I support them, but I don’t have such all-consuming anger on their behalf. Foolish, foolish, foolish pride.

I tried to tell my poor roommate about the gross and ugly situation I had stumbled into, but she kept asking for clarification, “But WHO said that to you?” And I couldn’t bring myself to clarify, because – old friendships, old ties, old commitments held me back.

Tuesday, that same day that I gave myself a black eye. Worse things happen. Much worse, really; but I was recovering from Bronchitis – and  I am fragile, especially this week.

My anger spilled on other people, fear mixed with confusion mixed with hatred mixed with shame is a dreadful concoction.

“I will not talk to you when you’re like this,” they said…and I slid away, hot tears staining just one more batch of tissues.

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Thursday came, and the anger had dissipated – replaced with sadness. Sadness for the words I’d let slip, sadness for the innocence and loss of hope in the kindness of humanity, sadness for the people I’d hurt, sadness for the loss of at least one supposed friendship. Sometimes Anger can keep you standing upright, and when it melts away, life is better, but life is just so very tender one can feel weak. I felt weak, safer finally, not so volatile, but as if all strength had left along with hope for a better day.

I did my job. And slowly, the questions came, “Are you okay? No, really – you seem very off today.” Funny, this was the best day all week. “Your eyes…have you been sleeping okay? You look so tired.”

After a storm, you have to rebuild…and it is painstaking and sometimes lifedraining, building a new vision. I spoke to people I trusted, a glimmer of light and a reminder that in the realm of eternity, my “dreadful experience” was tame and mild. Oh, yes.

Finally, “You okay? You seem better today.”

“You just got here, three minutes ago; how would you know if I was better?”

“I’m not stupid. I’ve been worried, you seemed so strange lately I didn’t know what to do. But you’re better, right? You’re okay, now?”

I have no poker face, but I saw a glimpse of humanity again, after a stint trying to extinguish it.


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