...like too many I've endured recently. Alone. Hours spent hoping for sleep. Finally, fitful slumber punctuated by nightmares and dreams that might as well have been nightmares, as they took me to a place I'll never go in waking life.
And lots of thought.
My friend "birdie" left a comment in my previous entry suggesting, as she has before, that I see life in terms of black and white. That's not really so; more precisely, I'd say the reasons for my current unhappiness have been presented to me in black and white, and I'm reacting to that.
You can't get to my age without knowing that others can hurt, frighten, disappoint or enrage you without meaning to. Sometimes they react because they feel you have pushed them into a corner, or because you have done something that hurts them; the reasons don't much matter. The result is that communication is lost and good things are thrown away. Unnecessarily.
If I turned my back on people just because they did that to me, I would be even more alone than I am now. If that's possible. I have learned to let a certain amount of behavior I don't like simply roll off my back, to at least not hold it permanently against the person inflicting the pain, not let it be the basis on which I make judgements.
In short: no one is perfect, and if one expects perfection from others, they will never be happy. Never.
In any relationship -- be it with a friend or lover, and especially when outside forces are making it far more difficult -- the other person is almost certain, over time, to say or do something that seems, by your standards, so bizarre and illogical, so wrong and ill-considered, that you react badly.
I reacted badly at such a moment. And I'm paying for it.
I'm not going into detail. For the record, my reactions did not involve physical or verbal abuse, or threats of same. I'm not made that way.
I was, and am, willing to relegate what was said on both sides to the past. Just as I have let several other minor stings go. They were, in my mind, temporary aberrations not worth stewing about.
I was certainly willing to discuss what I said, how I felt, if necessary, and take steps to ensure that they would not happen -- or at least not be misinterpreted -- again.
She, however, has decided that I went too far, that my transgressions were too important to be forgiven. Moreover, it's my impression that she expected me to react in a certain way I: I was expected to understand that she had to do something that hurt me deeply, to accept and even approve.
I didn't. Instead, I tried to explain to her why she should not take the course she was taking, why I wanted her to stick with me, why I needed her. I didn't want to lose her, didn't feel that was necessary.
Which led to another hurtful conclusion on her part. But that's another story.
Pardon me if I don't understand any of that, if I consider it incredibly unfair.
Don't misunderstand me: I don't say this to place the full weight of blame on her. I screwed up, too.
But none of it, on either side, was sufficient to justify giving up on something that was wonderful, that had potential to be, well, very close to perfection.
Not that what I think makes any difference. She has made up her mind and isn't going to listen to me.
And there is the root of the issue: to get anywhere with relationships, you have to listen to the other person.
You have to give them some leeway to make, and then make up for, mistakes. You have to forgive. Usually, you have to forgive again and again.
Without risk, there can never be adequate reward.
I am not, would never claim to be, perfect. Again: I screwed up.
But if you expect perfection from me, you had damn well better be perfect yourself.
Since no one on this planet even approaches perfection, it is both unrealistic and unfair to expect perfection in anyone else.
We were given -- for very good reasons -- the ability to talk, to at least attempt to understand, to forgive, to assign negative things lesser importance when balanced against positives. We ignore this God-given boon at our own peril.
So that's what I think. As if it matters.
1 day ago