Integrity has become more and more important to me as I have been on a crash course with a lot of people. I used to be a bit of a "nice girl" and even to some extent a people pleaser. I always put up a smile and was therefore liked by most people. However, at the time that I became more connected to my denied emotions I also got involved in relationships that were not very good for me. Since I have my condition I do need adventure and stimulation but the right amount... impatience and pushiness only causes my heart to race and I get very wound up. Nowadays, after years of difficulties in relation to other people and life in general, I can say that I have almost no stress tolerance at all. I'm very sad to witness my own lack of fuse... So what I need to do is try and stay away from people who are choleric and impatient with me.
Now the trouble is... I have discovered that I'm quite stubborn and as my discernment has grown as a result of dealing with so many kinds of people I have become quite unsubmissive. This may well cost me friendships that could be of some use in my life. I try and cut the B.S. as soon as I can... At times I'm simply so overwhelmed by things that I react a bit too much and too fast - and so I scare some people away. This is really not who I used to be but the past few years have changed me. The sad thing is, that people will tolerate it as little as I tolerate other people's negative behaviour. Of course they cannot understand why I don't respect their wishes while I don't understand why they contact is based in something that looks like complete and utter selfishness to me. Don't get me wrong; I never yell and scream at people I don't know very well. That is reserved to very close relationships or situations were people are complete and utter assholes... it happened recently at the social security office. The point is that when you feel cornered and helpless you lash out in various degrees depending on the gravity of the situation. The relationship that contains some degree of dependency will nowadays do that to me because I've had enough of stupidity.
People who try and help will of course advice me not to react to the sorry ones who don't know better than to attack or pester me in some way. It is indeed very true that when you show no reaction, people have nothing to bounce off. This is however quite difficult when you have a pathologically low stress level and your exhaustion is a fact. I have realized to my horror that although it helps to narrate things that happen to me, I probably come across as judgmental. I say; let the ignorant ones blush. Show them a mirror! But the problem is, there's a time to stand up for your rights and there's a time to be passive. I have practiced a lot of passive response now for many months while I've been pondering all this. There have been many instances where I have decided to hold my tongue because I knew that speaking up would change nothing and only make me appear as immature. However, speaking up is also a way of drawing attention to you that can be the start up of change both in your own life as well as in the lives of others. These things need careful assesment.
One owes it to oneself to protect one's integrity because people are unfortunately often quite selfish and will use you if you don't. Frustration and anger can be fuel for new choices and constructive change. But too much of it will only exhaust you and make you look like an irrational fool. I wish that my writing will help people realize that they need to open up to others and connect, as well as be more understanding of those who suffer from various illnesses. The ill ones already have enough on their plate and don't need more... I am indeed a dissident and I think the world needs my and other dissident people's voice as much as ever. The world the way it is today is not okay!
I'm also painfully aware that I get nervous and irritated with people who seem narcissistic and shallow in their cry for the best and the fastest right here and now, and I don't always have the strength to dig out some compassion... And so I judge. As some people recently pointed out, there is no reason to blame another person for not following your expectations. It's rather ludicruous to think that they or you are wrong! Though people may yell at you while you're minding your own business and that is not a nice thing to do, ultimately it's about incompatibility. We simply cannot go around and feel angry about all those who don't understand us - they are way too many. Well... I admit that it's not easy but I try and brainwash myself to let go of any resentment of having been treated badly or any mistakes that I feel I have committed in relation to others. After all, I was not alone when it happened... if there had been a will there usually would have been a way...
Basically, however, I come in peace and hope to be treated the same. Being judgmental is part of our basic psychological make-up as human beings, and I don't think we can abolish it altogether. But we can try and remind ourselves to minimize the judgmental thoughts. Give the brain 2-3 weeks to adapt!
Artwork: "Emotions 3/8" ("A Peace Offering"), handmade collage on paper made by author, all rights reserved 2002