On the outside always looking in….

I truly despise cliques. Their only purpose seems to be to include some while excluding others. And excluding someone because they’re new, different, unwilling (or unable) to conform to someone else’s standards is loathsome.

If a clique exists within a family, it’s especially hurtful to those who aren’t deemed worthy of unconditional acceptance….

I’ve always covered my shyness, low self-esteem and lack of social confidence with humor, sarcasm and the appearance of being aloof. It’s a ruse, but it’s effective as most people never bother to get close enough to the real me to realize that. They never get past the surface and instead interpret the humor and sarcasm as being bitchy and the distancing of myself for snobbishness or disdain towards them. They couldn’t be more wrong….

What I want more than anything is to be liked, accepted and included. Truly and totally accepted for who I am, not who they want me to be. Only a scant handful of people do and fewer still even make a pretense at trying. Even amongst members of my own family…

I was recently told by one family member that they didn’t give a f*ck about what I think, or say, or do and the very next day told by another that I should not say things that would hurt the first ones feelings. (Really??? Did you tell her not to hurt mine??? No. Because it’s a clique thing) On both occasions I smiled, played dumb and tried to laugh it off as if doing so would make my heart forget what it heard, or make the hateful words any less real. Because that’s what I do when confronted, I try like hell to make a joke out of it. But it hurt. A lot. And pissed me off. A lot. The more I dwelled on it the more hurt and pissed I became. I vented a bit, and cried over it. A LOT.

Because writing is my therapy, I poured my guts out to my laptop. I wrote 2 separate drafts, one passive aggressive, the other just flat out in-your-face belligerent. (This one that you’re reading is the 3rd!) And while the nasty one made me smile a bit because I knew it would really get under the skin of the ones who hurt me, neither one really felt right. I worried, I stewed over the situation. I made poor Bambi read them both and the subsequent revisions. And I bent Jo’s ear for most of one evening, as I agonized over what, if anything, was the best course of action; to get my feelings out in the open once and for all to cleanse myself of the hurt and frustration, or swallow it down and repress all that nastiness in order to spare the feelings of innocent family members who could be hurt by the fall out?

I gotta say, repressing is my normal way of dealing with uncomfortable situations, resentments and hurt feelings. I stuff them way down inside, which explains my ongoing battle with depression and doesn’t do much for my low self-esteem issues either. And truthfully, verbally eviscerating these people wouldn’t open their eyes to how wrong thier actions were, as the blinders they wear are firmly and quite permanently affixed to their heads. They do nothing wrong. Just ask them…

I was thinking about it and listening to Adele driving home from work, “Turning Tables” was playing and though I’ve heard it many, many times, I never really listened to the words. So I did….and it made me think…

Then I saw this on Pinterest:

And it hit me: Being told by someone that they do not give a f*ck about you is actually liberating. It frees you from the exhausting effort of wasting any more of your life trying to be accepted by them, liked by them or valued by them. Because honestly, is anyone who makes you jump through hoops and try that hard for that long really worth it???

Between the lyrics and the words on the photograph it occurred to me that trying to retaliate or defend myself was just wasting more of my own precious energy and highly unlikely to bring about the hoped for changes anyway so why not just LET. IT. GO and stop giving them the power to make me feel like crap??

Let it go….y’all have no idea how foreign a concept that is to me, NO ONE holds onto a grudge with a more tenacious grip than I do. I will hold onto repressed rage and resentment for a lifetime, and to be perfectly honest that is precisely why this most recent event hurt my feelings so badly. It was just one more thing piled onto a bunch of other hurtful things that I’ve never gotten past. So Let it go???? Me????

Yes. Because I have to. I cannot carry all this junk around with me anymore. And the minute I realized that  I. FELT. BETTER. Instantly! I swear to God it was such a revelation. It was amazing….It was like giving myself permission to breathe deeply, one long deep cleansing breath after another.

And then I felt so dumb for holding onto all that ICK for all these years and making myself quite literally sick over it.

So that’s my new Motto: “No one can make me feel like crap without my permission.” I think it’s far preferable to (and let’s face it, healthier) having the Motto  “I don’t give a f*ck”, don’t you?

I pray that learning to let go of negative feelings is going to make 50 my happiest year yet. Can this old dog learn a complicated new trick??? She’s sure as hell gonna try…



13 thoughts on “On the outside always looking in….

    • Love you right back Sweetheart, and I’m sorry I didn’t defend you when a drink was threatened to be poured on your head just because you didn’t care for the drink bought for you by someone too self centered to bother to ask you what your preference was….I shouldn’t have allowed you to be talked to that way.

      • Oh mama…don’t take that on yourself. I could have have something but I chose not to. i could have defended you right back but I didn’t because neither one of us wanted to rock the boat amymore than it had been. We chose not to sink to their level. I love you and I don’t give a rats ass what anyone thinks about you or us. We will always have each other and that’s all that matters.

  1. Well said and well written. We really are the ones in control of how we let people make us feel. Easier said than done as I am just the opposite. I tend to act first out of emotion in these situations. Love you grammy. Keep your head up. You are an amazing person and one of my favorites at work!

  2. Grammy, that’s truly wonderful that you realized NO ONE has any power over you unless YOU give it to them! BRAVO!

    I know it’s painful when people say hurtful things. We ALL want to be accepted. BUT the ONLY person who truly NEEDS to accept you is YOU.

    I *hart* you! And I’m so proud of you!!


  3. Way to go Lori! I have trouble with this too and it’s so heartening to see someone break out of it. I’m so happy for you that you’re trying to let it go and move on – lots of hugs and prayers aimed your way sweetie!

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