I am, right now, in the space for the thoughts to get out. The fan is blowing cool air, I am full of dinner and dessert. I have muted the advertisements on Spotify.
I did my best today to not block love. It gave me a headache and backfired a bit, but I kept at it. As the song goes, I radiated love like Three Mile Island. They told me I looked ill and pained and should go home. But I kept at it just enough to refuse to let myself blow up over aforementioned person getting a label stuck in the postage machine that required a single touch to resolve and should not remotely be …enough.
I accept them for who they are and eventually, it will not be my problem anymore.
The program asks me to write in my journal a list of those I resent.
Probably most everyone I interact with on a regular basis to some degree. Some of whom might read this. Not in a big, seething ball of resentment sort of way, just, a casual, Well, aren’t you just King/Queen Shit today?
If I resent my parents, it would only be because they have expectations for me that they don’t have for themselves and they never modeled for me. But, it’s not like that matters anymore to me. I value my shyness and introversion, but I don’t have this expectation that I can go through life like that and be happy 100% of the time. I’ve had to go through a gauntlet and I’m still not brave and I still feel socially anxious and shitty most of the time…but they aren’t responsible for that. I choose.
If I resent my sister, it’s only because we’re so similar and yet so different. We want things for one another, imagine that, that we are unwilling to give ourselves or demand from ourselves. We haven’t really been in tandem for a long time and part of what therapy is about – for me – is releasing that expectation that we need to be in lockstep for me to feel safe. Like status quo is the best to hope for without knocking the apple cart over. I had a lot of really ingrown and shitty beliefs that are just based in the seemingly accurate idea that I can’t get outside love so the love and support of my family has to suffice. And it’s permanent and risk-free, so it’s so easy to abuse. And I think I resent that I keep waiting for her to make leaps so that I can follow behind, having the way double checked, and for that way to be the way I’ve already decided I want to go. I guess I resent the feeling of having to own my own future – not having a trailblazer giving me emotional hand-me-downs. But part of therapy is that as much getting through the fear and being a trailblazer in my own life, for my own self, is important to me. So that resentment – at whatever level it remains active at this moment – is actually a good thing because it’s putting me into gear for me.
And I’ve spent decades being resentful and envious and jealous and cruel and more to my younger sister, but time has helped that. And my own need for her to meet my expectations and to maintain this 5-person family unit and for life to feel like the storybooks my life has never matched up with. She’s softened, by taking her life her way, and I think I’ve pulled away enough to get some perspective that I didn’t have when all the drama went down. She was always able to have things I didn’t want but didn’t want to be inaccessible and they were. Boys flocked to her, she didn’t have – in my mind – any struggles with her weight. Fear was completely out of her dictionary. I was resentful that we took all of that as natural. She was the flirt, and I…inert.
I was really resentful that nobody ever interjected themselves into the situation and redefined the roles and said I could be the flirt.
But…I…was there. I had choices. And I feel bad that I chose, more often than not to make her feel bad about herself when I felt so helpless about how bad I felt about myself. Again, the sense of unity, of nobody running off to not need this mechanism of care I felt I was a cog within. I wasn’t a cog. I was a girl, burying her head in the sand and the clouds and anything to escape the dissonance of my body and mind and the outside world.
And I did fight back, in my way, becoming a fabulous and intriguing person with a rich inner life. And a genius sense of humor drenched in a custardy sarcasm. Hah. I did develop empathies and strengths that benefit me to this day.
I was resentful of boys who wanted me to be their word girl. Who wanted me to be their Cyrano de Bergerac. Who seemed kind to me and befriended me and then over and over again wanted me to use my gifts to help them seduce other girls, sometimes my friends. When they couldn’t think of the words, they came to me, and I, shamefully, awkwardly, helped them. I think nothing in my life ever wounded me like this did because in language I feel at home, I feel free, a bird gliding on the currents. It is where I think if I have any beauty, that beauty emerges.
And they saw the words, not me. Like a shadow. I was never more than “a good writer” to anyone, and the powerful sway of my inner worlds drug me under, so that I wouldn’t be taken advantage of. I felt so unseen, so ungrounded, so shelved.
But I was there. I never raised an eyebrow or moved a hemline or said let me interject myself into this scenario and change the roles you think we have to play. I chose the result because I was petrified of what would happen if I let the boy choose. I gave up on people who might have just been good friends because I was focused on them falling in love with me (without having to engage with them whatsoever) and I regret that. A lot. Especially in certain cases. This is not Mr. Rochester’s story (and we’re not technically writing about him) but he told me to be bold and I see the benefits of that now. I’ll need that.
Work. If I harbor resentments now, right now, it’s not really about any of the above people, it’s here. Here where I feel like they infantilize me, judge me, care zealously about me unless I have a different opinion and that happens more often than I acknowledge. I feel like they are happy for me to be sitting there with rapt attention for the next twenty years, just service with a smile. I feel their fear that I would pull the rug out from under them by leaving and it makes me feel trapped even if I don’t know where else I’d go.
And I think about how much emotional investment I have there. How much work I’ve put in and respect I’ve garnered and how many tears and how much lost sleep.
And this is what needs to be released. The anger which is going to end up screwing me in the end. The resentment when I have shown them that this is the way I am to be treated.
I am on the right path. I care about them as work colleagues and friends but, you know, I want room for more. So some of the anguish, it has to evaporate and rain on someone else’s parade. I want to fill that space with love.