It’s more than likely that I don’t know you. I’d be willing to bet, however, that if I said something to the effect of ‘my life has been peppered with emotionally charged moments’, you’d be there all quiet except in the back of your head where you’re jumping up and down, waving your arms, shouting ‘ooh! Ooh! Me, too! Me, too!’ and that’s fine, and totally believable and understandable. I get it. Obviously.
Some of the ways I’ve handled those moments in my life seem to deviate from the norm a bit, and even though you may still be that grade-school kid in the back of your mind who’s old enough to realize that the squeaky wheel gets the grease, but not old enough to understand that sometimes the teacher needs to pay attention to all the wheels, I want to talk about them in my space. I want to talk about them personally, and without having to overly recognize the possibility that I’m not that different from everyone else. Because y’know what? I sure as hell don’t feel like I’m just like everyone else.
In my mid-to late-twenties I suffered through a slew of poorly thought-out high-stakes emotional investments. And I failed at them, repeatedly. And when I failed, all I wanted was someone to coddle me and pity me and sympathize with me and tell me everything would be okay. And I would ask for it in the most passive ways imaginable because I felt like to overtly ask for those things was socially unacceptable. I felt like my friends would scoff and scorn and shun me. I would present myself as a failure and set up grandiose displays of ineffectual drama in the hopes of luring my friends into my pity traps.
And y’know what? They called me out on my bullshit.
They still sympathized with me, and I believe they coddled me to some extent, but they didn’t let me get away with sucking them into my drama pit. And I’m fairly certain that, even though I probably resented the fact that I wasn’t able to pull the wool over their eyes, I loved and respected them more because of it. (Edit: At the same time I learned very quickly that no one wants to hear about my problems. So I started keeping them to myself. I put a lid on them, so to speak, and that lid has mostly remained in place since then. Every once in a while things inside will start to boil over and the lid jumps and lets out a little burst of steam, but it hasn’t come completely off yet. I don’t expect it to any time soon, either.)
Now here’s the real crux of today’s soap-box: I see one of the very people who called me out on my ill-conceived entrapment schemes employing eerily similar tactics. I can’t say for certain if they’re hoping for result similar to what I had envisioned or not, but it sure as hell seems that way.
And it’s pissing me off.
Because now, not only are they posturing for grandiose displays of ineffectual drama, but they’re doing it from atop their high horse of supposed superior social responsibility.
I feel betrayed. I feel deceived. I feel let down, and angry, and hurt that someone I care about so deeply could do this.
In the back of my mind I have this nearly constant voice that encourages me to try to see things from different perspectives. I call it my ‘Devil’s Advocate’. It can be even more wordy and convincing than I am. It throws out all kinds of ‘what-ifs’ and ‘maybes’. It calls into question everything I think I know about any given situation. And I am tired of listening to it. I’m tired of trying to understand why other people act the way they do because I heartily disbelieve that they reciprocate. I want to be understood, instead of having to try to understand all the time.
I am really angry about this whole situation.
Because it’s all a huge load of bullshit.