Friday, October 24, 2014
None of my GD business
I have the feeling that anyone who knows me who read my last post might have been given pause for thought. I'm a notorious second-guesser and my imagination is on overdrive, conjuring everything from bewilderment to indignation.
I feel I should clarify. When I talked of giving, I was thinking about the amount of space in my head I willingly submit to other people and their stuff. In particular, I notice my instinct to take on other people's discontent. Or default to "the bad guy" so that the other party does not have to feel like they have done anything wrong.
So, really, it's not much to do with how much time I spent with someone or how often I see them. It's not about the number of gifts I buy them or the regularity with which I write, email or SMS.
It's about the way I think about them and, specifically, what I imagine they think about me and the response that tends to trigger (which is usually: be small, take cover, you're the one in the wrong).
This is a habit I learnt very young and I believe most of my longterm adult relationships are predicated on this to some extent. At the moment, I'm keenly aware of my sensitivity to defensiveness, jealousy and resentment in certain quarters… real or imagined. I see myself pushing back, angry that my received pain goes unappreciated.
And then, I stop short and wonder: why would I want someone to be pleased they've dumped their stuff onto me or forced me to play a particular role and now I feel bad?
I don't think this is a unique story as far as the history of human relations goes.
As I evolve, I'm noticing a need to redefine my psychical boundaries. I'm not the same gal I was ten years ago. I'm not even the same gal I was one year ago.
To change feels clunky, raw.
As I said to my therapist, I feel like I have picked a giant scab. And, in giving myself permission to feel all the nastiness, there's a terrible lot of gunky stuff oozing out. [Forgive me for the grossness, I'll let you know if I find a more elegant way to describe it.] There's going to be a whole lot more ickiness and hurtiness before healing can happen.
But I don't think I have any other choice than to get some fresh air and daylight onto this wound.
So that's where I am.
Yes, it's all about me, for a change. But no one else need change. I'm the one who needs to do the work, discover what I want and learn how to set boundaries around what no longer serves me.
As Ru Paul famously said, "What other people think about me is none of my GD business."
Right on, sistah.
And if I become halfway as marvellous as you, then living without my story about other people's stories is a very appealing prospect indeed.
This post is my response to Day Thirteen of the August Moon reflective writing challenge. You are most welcome to share your own response to the prompt in the comments below.
Otherwise, the next opportunity to connect is Reverb in December. Join us?