Do you ever feel like you are being watched? Not necessarily in a creepy stalker in the bushes near your bedroom window way but in a from-afar cyber peeping way? Like, you haven’t seen or heard from these individuals in several years and suddenly they pop up in your “guess who’s looking at your profile” notifications. After a while the reaction goes from one of mild concern to a nonchalant shrug and acceptance that shit is probably coming your way again.
What’s new? I’ve always been a target for criticism and I will continue to do as I’ve always done…disregard, dismantle and dance joyfully away. I’d have to care to be hurt and I can’t seem to muster the energy to give a damn anymore. It’s no longer worth the time and effort on my part so I just feel nothing about it anymore. Numb. Ambivalence. Acceptance.
Anyway say, for example, you respond to an email, text or DM discussing past difficult topics and then suddenly, views on every social media account you have start increasing? It’s hard to keep from thinking it’s not calculated, intentional or more like a fact-finding mission than anonymous curiosity. Especially when those doing the viewing are people you are well acquainted with and people who have made it very clear they don’t like you. Apparently these peepers are more invested in knowing my every literary move than I thought so here ya go! It may be anticipation of a long awaited airing of grievances post but I won’t do that. This is just me doing what I normally do, checking emotional baggage and gaining personal insight on my journey to secure solid boundaries and optimal mental health. Nothing is ever coincidental in the land of family dysfunction and I should have known that even seemingly innocent interactions could be grounds for suspicion and interrogation. It’s okay. I’ve grown accustomed to it.
Normally I would be pleased that my online presence is experiencing more traffic than usual but seeing how I haven’t written anything in a while the drop-ins were a bit unexpected. I simply haven’t felt like writing because my life has been rather mundane while also being simultaneously happy so, in other words, I was busy living and had no time for ruminating. I’m sorry to disappoint but, because I am the consummate good host I will go ahead a jot down a few thoughts for the curious souls so they won’t feel too dejected. In the past I would walk a razor sharp line between sarcasm and savagery but for today, my safer bet would be to stay in a more neutral territory because I am tired and have no desire to keep playing family feud. With only a few family members left who deserve my love and respect, I will err on the side of caution because they earned it.
My message for the watchers would be this: Be brave, come out of the shadows and talk to me. I’ve been talking to you via this website for years and feel as if my voice is now hoarse from yelling my frustration in the form of honest words, heartfelt hopes and a genuine desire to change. I put it all in writing, it’s there, it’s real and it’s true. And while it would be so easy for me to suck it up and approach first I don’t think anything would be learned from that. Being the “bigger person” doesn’t always end the battle and it usually just creates a larger target on your back. When you’ve already bent over backwards a thousand times before, with zero results, it becomes clear who the pushover is and it ain’t me anymore. I smile when I say that and it feels good. Boundaries are amazing and I am thankful I learned about them in therapy. Blessed are those who know when they’ve had enough shit and those who aren’t engaging in circular insanity anymore. The merry-go-round has stopped and I got off a long time ago.
Stay for the lessons by all means, if that works for you, and if the true intent isn’t to ascertain whether I’m receptive to contact then it’s really time to move on. The bridge can be rebuilt but I can’t be the one to lay the foundation. Always being the one expected to acquiesce, to smooth things over or to turn the other cheek has left me exhausted and even more determined to never do that again. The job of being the middleman or scapegoat, whichever applies, is done and I’ve clocked out so I can devote valuable time to my life and my immediate family. I don’t feel guilty about that and have been outside the circle of dysfunction long enough to know I have no control over the feelings, false impressions or even the anger of others. I have dealt with my demons and feel I am a healthy individual with the ability to admit my faults and work to change any negative traits that may remain in my subconscious mind.
I am open to having healthy conversations with those who participated in the detonation of an already precarious relationship, that I can guarantee. What I am not open to is the continuation of grievances, pettiness and backstabbing behavior that results in nothing good. It’s simply not worth it and if I refuse to allow strangers to treat me that way then why on earth would I allow family to? Being eternally nice while getting slapped in the face over and over doesn’t sound very appealing does it? I admit that I was once perfectly fine being the one to slap back but now I’d prefer to not even have my face in slapping range to begin with! Taking myself out of the equation has been liberating, thought provoking and a huge learning experience for me, one that I desperately needed.
So now, I say the door IS open but with conditions and while this may not be what you were expecting it’s all I’m offering. That’s my right as a healing person and I wish nothing but healing for you as well. Change is possible and growth is as well. I am grateful every day that I decided to break free from dysfunction, denial and anger. The liberation is exhilarating and I hope you try it some day.
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