Note to Self: No one is perfect. No one is better than anyone else.
Almost exactly one year ago I received an email. The jist of it was:
“Rosie, you fucked up.
Rosie, you are a bully.
You are unprofessional.
You are a bully.
You fucked up.
You are unprofessional.
How dare you.
I am paraphrasing here, the email was very well written of course.
The backstory is long but in essence someone did not like how I was treating them and I was entirely unaware of their feelings.
I really do always try to be honest and fair, to listen to people, to give and not take too much and generally I just try to not be a dick. I am from a loud, Glaswegian family who communicate pretty much exclusively through conflict. I would never shy away from someone approaching me with a concern, wanting to talk it out. They however, might. I get that.
But still, actions of mine caused a reaction which resulted in that email. And that email totally crushed me.
- Note to Self: You never know what shit other people are going through so before you lash out take a moment to reconsider.
I was TRYING which meant I was being as honest with MYSELF as I could. I still woke up each day, got my shit together and got things done. Because things still need to get done.
So, when I received that email it really really hurt me bad.
I sat there on the floor with the laptop open. My mind was tired, still weak and I couldn’t cope with these accusations. I believed every. single. word.
So, I folded up that email into a tiny square and I swallowed it. I walked around with it inside my belly for one whole year, and with each day it would decompose, upsetting my guts even more. I would revisit that pain all the time, on a loop, reminding myself of how badly I’d failed at life. I was a bully. I was unprofessional. I fucked up.
Then my friends walked in.
They held me, listened to me, they comforted me and allowed me to be the mess I was. THEY SHOWED ME I WAS WORTHY.
- Note to Self: Never underestimate the positive power of other people in your life, you cannot do this all alone.
And I eventually realised that people chose how they treat each other. We are not bound by obligation, not really. We make a choice each day to be understanding and accepting...or not.
The day rolled in where that soggy little black inky message was gone from my guts. It had fully dissolved and was just another part of me. All the pain I went through reciting “I am a horrible person” , “I deserved that” transformed into understanding.
All of our feelings are valid. Both mine and yours.
That email was designed to do nothing less than inflict pain. That’s why it is impossible for it to actually hurt me. The real pain came from me believing it.
The truth is we need to let go of people throughout our life. It's healthy and normal. Sometimes it easy to know who to let go of, sometimes it is not. Sometimes we need to tell them, sometimes we must let them slip out the room quietly and unannounced.
When pain is inflicted on purpose.
When real life, human face to face discussions are denied and communication confined only to the inbox.
When apologies have to be asked for.
When gratitude comes last and anger comes first.
When pride gets in the way.
When you are dehumanised and judged by your faults in professionalism and not by your real human virtues and strengths.
So wether that be in reality or just internally, (in a good old Glaswegian way) get the cunts to fuck and do whatever you can to convince yourself you are worthy because when testing times come along you will thank yourself for it.