Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Your feelings are your barometer

I recently moved, and with the move, began a giant purging campaign. I'm going through old diaries tonight and man, it feels good to toss them. They helped me then in the way a best friend talks you off the ledge: writing is a way to work through big emotions, to stay stable on the bucking horse of insanity when it rears around you. A witness to the quiet voice in your head that knows it isn't right even if you've never known anything else.
What could I possibly do to make someone so angry that I throw them into such a rage? I don't know how to write about it. I can't even think clearly, all I can do is feel little stabbing sensations of hurt. I can't see what I'm writing because it's dark and I'm trying to hide. It hurts so much inside. It shouldn't be like this, basic tenets should not be forgotten: respect and care. No need to crush the person.
I wrote that over 15 years ago.

I finally understand what I've done wrong. 

What I've done wrong is, when someone loses their shit, you don't engage. I don't care if it's your mom, your husband, your best friend or your boss. You walk away. Disconnect.

If your heart is beating fast, you're in fight or flight mode because your body already knows what your mind will not acknowledge: the conversation feels dangerous. There is no way to make progress in a situation like that. And especially not if the other person is berating you.

If you try to respond, you're just entering the room of crazy. So you must leave. The only thing that an irrational person responds to anyway is behavior and your presence gives implicit permission. You must protect yourself from the onslaught and leave.You must value yourself enough not to let it happen. Not to let someone treat you in a way that makes you feel terrible.

What's your barometer for tolerance? Your feelings. If you feel shitty, pay attention to those feelings. They're telling you something.

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