Perhaps I made a huge mistake. But I can’t imagine regretting it.
I called the leader of the retreat group and told her how frustrated I was at getting interrupted for the umpteenth time. She said she would remind everyone of the rules and that the rude person was never present when talking about the rules previously.
At the blessing, she talked about the rules and I spoke up and said that I felt that getting interrupted was rude and disrespectful, looking right at Kim. She felt uncomfortable and left.
Once she was gone, another member of the group said that Kim had had a hard life and that I was being judgmental. I said that not getting interrupted was pretty basic stuff and non-negotiable. My mistake was in not bringing up the issue until there were wisps of steam coming out of my ears. I really should have addressed the issue months ago.
So the next day, Friday, the group leader texts me about if I would be willing to meet with Kim and her for some conflict resolution. I said okay, but I’ve been thinking about it and the only conflict I see is the conflict between Kim’s behavior versus that of normal adult conversations. If the leader expects me to apologize for having some very basic expectations of courtesy, she is going to be extremely disappointed. I owe no one an apology for not wanting to be interrupted rudely and disrespectfully. It is not my attitude that needs to change; it is Kim’s behavior. If the conversation is all about Kim’s feelings, I am done.
I challenge anyone to find a group, organization, church, business, or club that has zero behavioral expectations of its members. The people in the group kept talking about how informal we are. Interrupting people is not “informal.” It is a simple lack of respect. Period.
I come from a family with no boundaries. I have spent the past thirty years of my life working hard to develop relationships based on mutual respect. I love these people. My problem with these people is that, as is common with liberals, they are all emotion and no accountability. My problem with conservatives is that they do not understand how their behavior affects groups of people corporately. My problem with liberals is that they have no concept of personal responsibility. Liberals get the big picture better than conservatives, but conservatives understand the little, more individual, picture better. And so I blend in nowhere. What we do affects both ourselves and others, individually and in groups. I don’t want to lose these friends, but I won’t apologize for having some very minimal standards of conduct. I have set the bar extraordinarily low and they are still limbo-ing under it.
“Judgmental” is the ultimate insult in the liberal world. I will wear it as a badge of honor. Having good, sound judgment used to be hailed as a positive attribute. It still is a good thing, even if some do not understand that. I am glad I have enough common sense to have good judgment. No apology necessary.
I use this blog to discuss weird themes that pop up in my life.
Perhaps I should just stop talking to people. Let me explain. I am talking about, specifically, my dad and some odd woman in my blessing group, whom I will call Kim.
I’ve talked about my dad before. He has strong narcissistic tendencies. He pushes, pushes, pushes people and finds it fun. I realized a couple months ago that he completely lacks empathy, a basic human necessity.
Then there’s Kim. I have no idea what her problem is with me, but she seems to have to “one-up” me all the time. One thing you have to understand about me is that I am not an attention hog in any way. I don’t even participate in probably 90% of the conversations around me. I have hearing issues and do not need to get in the middle of other people’s issues. Perhaps there is no way of avoiding it. I don’t know.
At the retreat, she got really weird. There was a conversation about East Indians and immigration. I related something my Indian friend told me and she blurted out, “You’re wrong!” I said, “All I’m saying is what my friend told me.” It wasn’t even my opinion, so I cannot be wrong. My Indian friend could be wrong, I suppose. Later, she asked me a question and when I answered her, she told me about her experience, which in her mind exceeded mine. Uhhh…. Okay. Then, yesterday, she emailed the group a picture of this t-shirt saying that “When W was in office, I wanted to be smarter. When Obama was in office, I wanted to be better. With Trump in office, I want to be Canadian.” I responded, “What a funny shirt, eh?” making fun of Canadian and Yooper talk. Her response was something like, “Actually, it was a commentary on…..” I have tried to relate to her as an equal human and even have a sense of humor about it. She clearly wants a relationship with me based on her imaginary superiority to me. I have decided to basically not speak to her anymore and to delete any further emails she may ever send me. She seems to think of herselfas a leader,but I am no follower.
I am reading this book, “Enough about you, Let’s talk about me” by Dr. Les Carter. It is helpful in understanding my dad. But one of the pieces of advice is to only talk with certain people after you have decided beforehand what you will say and not say and what you want out of the conversation. Period. No automatic pilot allowed, basically. This sounds exhausting and like a throwback to my early twenties when I would decide beforehand what I would discuss with my family before I called or visited. The decision had to be pre-made.
Being that perpetually aware of what I am saying and thinking at all times is beyond tiring.
I spent a chunk of today trying to contact a therapist who could help me with my early-childhood issues. One said she was busy, but she gave me a referral.
I am determined to move forward with my life. It makes me sad that I have no real opportunity to be myself. Even talking with people is just not worth it sometimes.
On the upside, I got a call today from work and will work a few extra hours tomorrow. I am looking for people that appreciate me, while not feeling threatened by my having a brain.