I am not a people person.
My #xa sponsor in another program pointed this out. That when there’s conflict, I tend to disappear. Except you wouldn’t think that if you know me. You would say, “Man, you really say what’s on your mind, don’t you?” Well, yeah. I do. And, it’s usually the wrong thing.
In the 90s, I left the teaching profession because I simply could not STAND the people in education. I’m not talking about the healthy ones. I’m talking about the “back of the hand to the forehead I’m so important” posed ones. The secretaries who try to make you feel small because you forgot to bubble in one item on a set of tests. The ones who roll their eyes at you and criticize and then bring donuts to the staff room with a big smile on their faces. Yeah. Those, and the teachers who work tirelessly until 10 at night and come and complain about it in the staff room, then raise their eyebrows at you because you went to the movies with your husband. All this unnecessary drama and belittling. I always spoke my mind, and they didn’t like it, and I got in trouble for pointing these things out. I shoulda just kept my mouth shut. Because this did not bode well for my career. I hate liars and work drama queens, and I simply cannot NOT say something when they put someone on the spot to answer some stupid educational question, one they should know, and say something like, “Well, did you read your materials? I sent them to your inbox last week.” I’m ridiculous. I have no interlocketer. Like Tony Soprano’s mother. What comes in my brain, comes out my mouth. Have left jobs because of it…grateful…but yeah, there I am again at the next job with the same situation, and yo. It’s me. When I came back to the teaching profession in 2002, guess what? Those emotionally sick dishonest people? They were still there. Add the word “standards” to the description. That’s the only thing that really changed.
You would think I am mouthy and get my way in relationships. You could look at my two marriages and think, “Wow, that is one forceful woman…she wears the pants in that family.” I spoke my mind, and thought I was being honest, but actually, I was being controlling and pushy, and did not consider what the other felt. This is not forceful. I was not telling the truth about how I felt about the hurts they imposed. My second marriage was so full of this, that we simply could not get ahead of the last fight before the next one came along. I was watching Mad Men the other night, where Roger says to his wife, “Shut up!”, and it felt like taking a bullet. So familiar.
Stay with me here. The title of this post isn’t really fleshing out just yet.
So, I start noticing this pattern of late. Someone gets mad at me, or says something insulting, or crosses my boundaries and I let them, and I just…go mute. And here’s the reason. For so long I just agree with you, and let you say what you want and not challenge what you’ve said about me…that I simply cannot. No. Will not speak. Because it’s somehow scary to my psyche. This is completely opposite of my old reaction.
Recently a friend said some pretty mean things to me. I told her she was being mean. And what ended up happening was that I simply had not told her the truth about what I believed, and I allowed her insanity to run unchallenged, and she ran her spiritual truck right into the mud. Me. The truth teller, did not tell her that no, that “the way to get over a man is to get under another one” is not a healthy credo. That line made me so sick, yet I went…mute. Finally, I was able to speak my truth. But, it took a while.
So, when she spoke her truth about me, my dormant opinion came boiling over. Right out. A similar incident happened when I was recently directed to tell a woman the truth…that I simply could not go on with what we were doing in the program. By the time I did that, I was so freaked out and texting back and forth. I looked mute, but actually…I simply did not tell her the truth in the beginning…when I should have. I end up saying sorry, because you cannot text your feelings…and then the whole issue becomes your texting behavior… but it’s not the issue… Clear as mud? I offended someone with my blatant honesty recently, and she wasn’t even a friend, but a new acquaintance. And now…well, I just stepped in a pile of shit with that one.
Sidenote: I love the women who love me. Who get me. Who know I disappear. The ones I’ve blurted out stuff to…that they nod and appreciate me and wait for me to stop my ramblings. I love the ones who’ve forgiven my judgy attitude, and have been good friends. A long time. And, you know who you are. I love you.
Mute: You wouldn’t think this of me. But it’s true. I just disappear. In order not to ruffle feathers, I simply do not weigh in. But I stockpile the truth deep inside of me…and it comes out all at once…and inappropriate…I’ve pissed off more than my share of women’s groups, friends, etc. Because my muteness. It’s dishonest as hell.
I’ve just recently become awake to this. You may be aware of that, because this post seems neurotic. I’m working on it. Please be patient with me.
Oh, and I’m starting taper next week. Just in case this makes no sense to you. You should see it on the inside of my head.