So here is today’s insight. Oh the lessons happened and that was really fucked up (read here if you want). But while I was making my bed I had a sudden realisation.
Let’s not mention that when you have lessons and you make peace with them, doing housework is an awesome way of clearing your head enough for the insight to come through…Or walking down the street to get a hot chocolate. Or something else mundane.
The insight was this. If you defend automatically against someone, then you risk losing. You risk losing A LOT. Everything in fact.
I spent my whole life mostly being unconscious of my automatic defence mechanism. It would just happen and I couldn’t stop it. It still does happen, although now I can get to the realisation a lot faster, which is awesome but I still have a long way to go.
But until today, I never equated the act of defence with the act of offence. Putting the wall up to keep people out actually just, well, keeps them out. And then you’re stuck there behind the wall jumping around going ‘fuck, what just happened there?’
When you go into defence, you don’t let the other person finish.
When you go into defence, you don’t let that person show that they love you.
When you go into defence, all people feel is attacked. Even if they were trying to help you. Even if they were just trying to cope with the situation themselves and it had nothing to do with you, just how they were feeling and trying to process.
Today, two things happened simultaneously.
Person A attacked me. She was feeling snarky all day for whatever reason. Let’s be clear. I’ve hurt Person A quite badly because I said to her that our marriage of 15 years could not be repaired and I was leaving. So she has quite a bit of processing to do. Anyway, she attacked me in a public forum that has sort of been my safe place for a while – Twitter. While most people would not have noticed this, and while I may have reacted differently otherwise, something else had happened just before this.
Person B had hurt me. Not because of what she’d done but because she had refused to see how I might be hurt by those actions. She’d gone into defence mode. She’d felt bad for what she’d done and then wounded that I didn’t react the way she expected or wanted me to. She thought that I was attacking her by asking her to think of how I felt.
Except I wasn’t attacking her. I just wanted to see if she could understand how what she’d done could affect others. I wasn’t going to run off. I wasn’t going anywhere.
But instead of giving me time to process, and giving herself time to answer my question, she threw up her hands and ran. Just like I would have done. So within an hour of me saying ‘can you not understand how this might make me feel’, she had given up on our friendship.
I look at this situation and it makes me sad. Not because I’ve lost her (although that does make me sad) but because I can see that I’ve done this many times before. That I’ve hurt people who loved me because I was so scared of being attacked.
So it’s ironic (ha! Yeah you know it little ‘in joke’) that Person B has illuminated what Person A has been trying to tell me for 15 years. And I wanted to hear her, I swear I did.
But sometimes we need to see things in our own time. Sometimes we feel too attacked to see that people are just trying to help us in the only way they know how.
So here’s what I’m saying right now.
I’m sorry. I’m sorry to Person A for attacking you when I was defending myself for so long. I honestly didn’t mean it, but I’m sorry I did it and for causing you pain.
And I’m sorry to Person B too, because I might have handled this differently if I’d had this realisation sooner. However, next time I hope I’ll do better with someone else.
Sometimes I wonder why I need to blog this stuff. And I’ve been asked why I need to bear my soul so publically.
But the act of putting it out there cements it in reality. It makes it real inside me and at some point I hope, in a little way, it might help someone else realise something too.
Because we are all just people, trying to be people. Trying not to hurt but spinning around like crazy toy spinning tops, out of control, a whirl of colour, crashing into things. Bumping ourselves. Bumping others.
I’m not perfect and I never will be but I am so grateful that this time is happening for me now. I wasn’t ready before. I had to decide to be happy. I had to decide to be open to the potential.
So this is my journey and I’m going to keep telling it, because in the telling it becomes something more for me.
Wishing you all the happiness the Universe can bring