I am a motherfucking expert at not making waves.
I didn’t learn it all at once. It took many painful lessons at the hands of my narcissistic parent. He was a dedicated teacher.
When he told grandiose lies, you smiled and nodded. You thanked him for answers that you knew he made up rather than admit he didn’t know the answer. Not adhering to those rules resulted in contempt and cruelty that were breathtaking.
Honestly though, even going along with him wasn’t protection against his wrath, sometimes, he just needed to beat someone up. Lucky for him, he had his kids.
I don’t want to make waves for the sake of getting wet. But I’m tired of not saying what is on my mind. I’m tired of not defending myself. I’m tired of being afraid of the accusation ‘You can’t take a joke’.
If the joke isn’t funny, then I’m not going to laugh. If I’m being insulted, then I will defend myself. I will take a stand against opinions and actions that I find hate filled or damaging or hurtful to myself or others. I will do these things with dignity.
I might have to work on the dignity part. Also the standing up for myself part.
It’s funny, because I’m sure that a lot of people I know, people who know me well, would say that I do stick up for myself. That I’m a ‘take no shit’ kinda girl. They would be right, but only in very specific situations.
It would be great if I could tell you what those specific situations were. I would love to say that when <fill in the blank> happens, then I can take care of myself. The truth is though, I really have no idea what those parameters are.
I only know that too often I find myself swimming in molasses filled with impotent frustration and ineffectual anger. This is a feeling that I’ve carried with me since I was a child. Even when I was very young, I understood how completely ridiculous and unreasonable my father’s words and actions were, but I also understood that there was absolutely nothing I could do about it and the best course of action was to shut the fuck up. Or agree.
Maybe I’m figuring out something here. Perhaps it’s when I’m faced with a situation that is unreasonable is when I feel that I have no recourse and when I find myself shutting down while fighting against tears of frustration. I hide that shit. I either say nothing or I hide behind a flippant comment, but trust me when I say, what I want to do is scream and cry and DEMAND that the other person stop being ridiculous.
I would like my next step to be this: To be able to calmly and rationally tell a person that I don’t like what they are saying and that I don’t accept it. I would like to ask them to stop and if they don’t, I want to remove myself from the situation with dignity.
The next step would be to let it go. I read something on Facebook today that said either let go or get dragged.
Y’all, I do not let go, I definitely get dragged. I have so much road rash on my psyche that I’m pretty sure there is nothing but bumpy scar tissue left.
How do I convince myself that I’m not making waves?
I didn’t make the waves. The tsunami was already there.