Sunday, September 12, 2010

The things people say . . . to you.

Did you ever notice that people can have a very real effect on you? Good, bad, ugly - it doesn't really matter, they all get in your head. Most people I know (whether it's family, friends, etc.), tell me I'm a nice person, a good person. I have my moments like everyone else. I have moments that I'm selfish in my decision. There are things about me that others don't understand, and for the life of me I have the hardest time defending those things. I have opinions, some very strong, some are just an "in general" sort of thing. So, why is it, that when someone says something negative about you to you that your mind feasts on it? It kind of becomes the eternal "chewing the cud" that all ruminants do. Your mind won't stop feasting on it, it just keeps regurgitating it so it can chew on it some more until you don't even recognize it anymore.

For some reason, the negative seems easier to believe. I know, that in general, I am a good person. I would do anything for my family and friends. I volunteer. I work hard at my job. I also know, that in general, I'm human and I have many faults. Some more prominent than others. I live with my faults and I accept them. We all have them. Our families still love us, even though we're not perfect. Our best friends still choose to spend time with us - in public even. They choose to listen to our complaints, our worries, our fears, our everything. And we in turn listen to theirs. It's a game of give and take.

So, when someone who the definition of "jerk" says something or does something negative to you, why is it so easy to believe that it's true? That you really are as horrible as they make it seem? How can they possibly effect you so much that it can take years to get over? When in reality, you should say to yourself, "That person's an ass. They're wrong about me. I'm not as horrible as they make me seem." Should. Operative word. What does happen in reality is more like this, "Wow. I had no idea I was that wrong. I really am a bad person. I should just sit here in my wrongness and be wrong." And you keep repeating it until it's ingrained in your mind and it won't leave.

My best friend and I had similar experiences, with very different people. And it's taken years to figure things out. Lots of talking things over, trying to reason why someone would say such things to us. My experience was with the asshole of an ex-boyfriend I dated my last year of college. I remember things started out okay, he was a nice guy. And somehow things started to change. One day he'd come home in a bad mood because he had a lousy day. That's fine, it happens to us all. Over time, he'd treat me bad, and somehow it evolved into being my fault. It was my fault he couldn't sleep, because I didn't like sleeping with the TV on. It was my fault he couldn't fix the computer because I was watching him. It was my fault I found a job out of town even though he encouraged me and let me use his computer for job hunting. My favorite thing he ever said to me that stuck with me was this: "Why would I go to an amusement park with just you? You'd be boring there." This happened after I found out I got a job in Sacramento, and was moving in two weeks. I wanted us to spend some time, just us, before I moved. I had bought the tickets and everything. I wound up going with my mom, and we had a blast. And you know what? I still dated the guy another six months.

When the relationship ended, I cried. A lot. After awhile though, I realized I wasn't crying because I missed him. I was crying because I hated him. With every fiber of my being. I was so angry with him for treating me like he did. But I was angrier with myself. That I allowed him to treat me like that for so long. But the things he said to me, like "You'd be boring at an amusement park" stuck with me. They gnawed at me. Oddly enough, all this comes from me having a dream two weeks ago, and it dawned on me yesterday while putting on my make-up, what that dream was really about.

I was consciously aware that I was dreaming. I remember the feeling I had during the dream. I remember questioning everything in the dream while I was dreaming. None of it made any sense whatsoever. In my dream, I was out on date with a guy that I went out with on a few dates this spring. This person in reality is a very nice person, and in his presence I never once felt the way I did in this one dream. I always felt good and happy around him. In this dream I felt meek and wrong. He was constantly exasperated with me, being around me, and having to deal with me. In the dream we went to a total of three restaurants, each one had massive issues. One he just didn't want to eat at, another was about as loud as a circus, and the next one it took forever to get a table. But everywhere we went, I couldn't really speak up, I knew something was wrong and it was my fault. At the last restaurant, we finally get a table, but it's dirty - dishes with food still on them, glasses with drinks still in them litter the table. I finally catch up and start questioning why we have to sit at a dirty table when there are dozens of perfectly clean tables around us. This person, his wonderful face that, in reality, often times has a smile on it, began to lecture me in my dream about my desire to eat at a clean table. The alarm goes off.

Putting on my make-up is a mundane task every day. I barely think about it as I do it anymore. I had put the dream out of my mind for days, but it hit me while putting on my make-up. The guy that had been so horrible to me wasn't really the nice guy that took me to dinner a few times in the spring. It was Joe Schmoe wearing this guys face. Joe Schmoe had become the proverbial snake in the grass. I was . . . I am that afraid of even a wonderful person like Mr. Nice Guy would turn into Joe Schmoe. After all these years. People seek therapy for this shit.

I have dated a handful of guys since Joe Schmoe, and all of them have been very nice guys. The relationships didn't work out because they didn't. Not because the guy was an asshole, but because we really weren't that into each other. Or distance. Or whatever.

And whatever my faults, I am not boring at an amusement park dammit.


  1. Of course you aren't! Not one thing about you has ever gosh this lady is a snore!! :-)
    I think that every woman has allowed herself to be treated worse than what she knew in her heart she deserved. That we let somebody talk down to us, feel bad about ourselves, etc in the name of "love". It's sad and it sucks and it hurts, but I think what matters is that we see what is happening...or happened...and make a promise to ourselves to never allow it to happen again.
    You are strong, brave, and beautiful...that guy...well he can suck it!

  2. Everything we hear is an opinion, not a fact. Everything we see is a perspective, not the truth.” - Marcus Aurelius

  3. Ha, you definitely don't seem boring, and doubt you would be at an amusement park - if you were I wouldn't keep visiting your blog! Dating can be such a pain in the ass it actually amazes me that so many people are able to find someone they not only tolerate, but even love!


  4. Thank you guys! You helped bring my mood up even farther! :o)


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