For most folks, this is not such a subject. They call people out on their bs and move on.
For me, an abuse survivor, an HSP, an empath – doing this is pretty intense. First, I have to monitor myself that I don’t lay out more information than is needed. I tend to try to smooth things over even before (or if) things get rough.
So, when this moment arrived, I had to edit myself and then edit again. Fortunately, the conversation would not begin verbally so I could write an email and go from there.
Background: FwB and I were talking on the phone. The sheer fact that I was on the phone with someone should be evidence enough that I care for the person. Now, he’s got his own issues a plenty. And, mostly, I get them. But our interaction is not constant and we each live our own lives pretty much separately unless we decide to spend some time together.
Thus, when the joking on the phone took place, I just rolled with it as a joke. It had something to do with him putting out the trash or getting rid of things and then he’d regret it. He made a joke. Now, in hindsight, maybe something was bothering him…but saying he might put me out on the curb hit a nerve. (I am proud of my come back at the time that someone would pick me up)
I went thru so much of this crap with the evil asshole. “just kidding” was a non-stop phrase. “you’re too sensitive” was another. Fuck that shit.
So, after we hung up and I had time to think (I don’t process verbally well so it takes me time). It hurt my feelings. It caused me flashbacks and my emotions got into it. Now, keep in mind that I learned all too well not to show emotion…no emotional response was allowed in my life by pretty much anyone. So repression was the word of the day.
First, I had to allow myself to feel – to feel hurt; to feel scared of the negative potential of the comment; to just fucking feel. That in itself was scary enough, but my new shamanic path is teaching me that I need to let everything flow in my life…and so too the emotions need their space.
Okay…mission accomplished…I allowed myself to feel those scary, vulnerable and humiliating emotions. What’s next? Taking a stand and saying something about it…setting boundaries…not allowing anyone to make me feel bad about myself. Even if I misunderstood, I have a right to stand up for myself…because in reality, no one else will.
So, I composed an email. Oh, it was way longer in the beginning. But I did not send it right away. I simply set it aside and came back to it. Then with a little help I was able to winnow it down to very succinct and short sentences. This is what happened. This is how it made me feel. Done. No accusations (tho’ knowing his thin skin it might get taken personally). And I had to allow myself to know that maybe it will not go as I hope. If he gets defensive and attacks (something I’m all too familiar with via others), then I know he’s not for me. If he accepts what I had to say and tries to make amends, then I know he’s good for me and it’s safe to continue to build some trust between us.
So, I had to prepare myself for the worst and hope for the best. As an Aspie, this human interaction stuff is complicated. But I stood my ground. I stood up for myself. I set a boundary that I will not be talked to in that way. I expect to be treated well and maybe even just the fact that the words are “not allowed” in my life will set some kind of standard.
It isn’t easy for me. And just recognizing it as an issue is a massive step forward. So, congratulations to me. May this be the first of many such moments (tho’ I’m hoping I don’t have to deal with too many people who need me to do this) of taking care of me.