A Lifetime’s Worth of Disdain

In my last blog post “I Think I Found My People” I wrote about my Sunday that was actually one of those dreamy sunshiny days where everything seems to go your way.  I hadn’t had one in several, several years and was basking in its afterglow all through Monday.  Interestingly now, I said to rubycommenting in the comments of that post the following with respect to people being rude or disrespectful:

“For me, I have to learn when it was a genuinely bad attitude or that I thought it was one because of my over-sensitivity. And then I need to heal enough, if it was a genuine bad attitude, to not fall into a pit of pain.”

It’s interesting now because today the glow shut off and it was because I had to go through a phone call from a young woman from an agency I’m a client of.  She was rude, ridiculously so.  After the phone call I found myself VERY distraught.  I determined she genuinely did have a bad attitude, and I was about to enter into a dark pit of pain.

I know most people would have considered her rude and be angry.  Some of those would even properly call and speak to her supervisor.  That last one I did, too, doing my best to keep a reasonable tone.  Only her “supervisor” was being weirdly defensive and, judging by her young age range and manner of speaking, I suspected heavily they were office friends.  So I then left a message with the office manager who, being an older male, I’m hoping is not part of the office “buddy circle”.  It was near the end of the day so perhaps he will return my call tomorrow.

I felt absolutely humiliated during the phone call.  It was a feeling I think many scapegoats know all to well, the ol’ here-we-go-again, someone else who just knew they could talk badly to me.  I felt panicky and angry, like a cornered animal, during and after the phone call.  While normal people will remind themselves to not let such a phone call ruin their day, I was in what can only be called a paroxysm of fear, humiliation, and blinding protective anger.  I found myself pacing around the house afterward full of energy that had no where to go.  I was on full victim-mode.  When I feel like that I feel like I’m going to be annihilated.  That’s a word that you’ll read me use again when I tell of the nightmares of my mother (in a form of a demon) when I was younger and it’s totally connected.

It’s just that I’ve had a lifetime worth of disdain, there’s no room in me for any more.  I’m so raw from repeated wounding on previous wounds that I HAVE to anticipate it in order to thwart it as I just can’t take any more.

It’s now been a few hours.  I felt better after going on the internet to look up what others say or do when dealing with someone who’s rude as a way to integrate what just happened and find ways to think about it that would calm me.  I know other people’s reactions to being treated badly is definitely not exaggerated like mine are, but it helped to remind myself that even “normal” people find it an emotionally difficult thing sometimes and will sometimes have to remind themselves to not take it personally.  It helped.

It also calmed me a bit to read that others would feel that someone who deals with clients rudely need to have her attitude called out.  And that helped me to think she and her supervisor friend probably weren’t laughing about that stupid client who called her to complain but that they just might have been feeling a little worried at the end of their work day, especially since I informed the supervisor that I was going to talk to the manager because she wasn’t taking this seriously.

It is this last thing I  learned to do, to not absorb all the horrible feelings of a bad encounter into myself but to begin to put it back on the laps of those who started it.  I’m awkward at it, I don’t even know if I do it well, but it’s all I have and I find it a survival technique.  I’m hoping I’ll get better at it, more calm, more sure of myself and my position.  Until then, it has to be sloppy if that’s how it pans out.  I just need to do it.

I had such a good day on Sunday, experiencing a little bit of new confidence.  Today was a step back.

 

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8 thoughts on “A Lifetime’s Worth of Disdain

  1. Your writing amazes me. And it matters to those who’ve born the anguish of disdain and had demonic mothers and feel looming annihilation when cornered by hints of cruelty to read it. Maybe hearing your truth is one of the only place some of us can be real about our pain and be validated It takes so little human kindness for survivors to feel comforted and we are so grateful. I remember doing some customers service in which the woman got tearful because I was respectful about her complaint. I told her you shouldn’t have to thank me this should be normal when you call our service agency. Maybe that is an ethic scapegoats have.
    I know about pacing with pentup energy too. Riding my bike last week a well nourished all American looking teenage boy aimed his bike right at me riding kamikaze straight toward me. The beautiful young hottie teenaged girl egging him on in his horrid behavior threw her head back and laughed and they both seemed delighted with themselves for terrorizing me. My PTSD was massively triggered and my world seemed darker and unpredictably hostile. Those kids reeked of privilege. Those unexpected encounters with random violence set us back.
    It’s two steps forward one step back in recovery. Everytime I make a determination to do something better the resolution is tested and I break. Today was a really breaking day yet it drove me to some desperate prayer which ushered me into peace. It’s growth to understand how complete our dependency on God.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you so much for the writing compliment. Honestly, that means a lot to me, especially since I so enjoy your writing style and think of you as someone who writes with talent.

      When I came across yours and others’ blogs I read of others’ inner thought experiences that I felt no one would be able to relate to. It’s changing my life. Knowing the power of it, I hope my writing about my own experiences and inner thought and emotional life will be healing to me and for others. My happy day on Sunday was directly related to my finally knowing my experiences weren’t particular just to my life and that I wasn’t all alone. I knew if I started a blog I’d be joining a little internet healing team by our just telling our stories.

      What a horrible thing with those kids! I know what you mean about it affecting the way you see the world and , if you’re like me, it takes a day or more for its residue to finally go somewhere in the background. You know how when you stub your toe or hit your elbow it’s the worst because the pain lingers? I think others feel life’s bumps as the kind where you go, “Ouch”, and then move on but our life’s bumps are stubbed baby toes.

      I hear you on the two steps forward and one step back. I got a call from the manager and he was friendly and great and made everything right again. I hate that my life is lived on such an emotional roller coaster.

      As a side note, on one of your comment sections I was talking about prayer and I still don’t know if it was understood what I meant. In your posts you write out your prayers and sometimes in them you nclude your readers. Because you include your readers I said I’ve felt you’ve often prayed for me through it. I wanted to clarify that because I didn’t want you to think I had some idea that you were randomly praying for me. I didn’t want you to think I was getting weird on you. lol

      That being said, if you ever want an extra person praying for you about something, just ask.

      Liked by 2 people

      • It is healing to find out we aren’t alone. I do say a generic prayer over my readers but I also pray specifically for you and others. I have time since I’m not working it is also the advantage of a small blog! I do have a prayer request, I need some sort of part-time job, have been applying, but peace while I wait to find out what job it is. Thank you for your offer to pray it means much to me!

        Liked by 2 people

  2. Thank you for sharing this. I can relate, especially in the last few years I’ve encountered more mistreatment and it makes me ponder human nature as well as what The Bible teaches. It’s better now, I moved to a less developed State in the country where my dollar goes further and I’ve decided that it was partially ‘my look,’ that was suffering as well as the things Katie mentions above that are inherent in being a scapegoat, that sixth sense that some other people seem to have that lets them know we’ve been victimized before. I’m getting older now, just beginning to, and I’m all too aware of things like elder abuse, but, I’m not elderly in the least. Youth seems to be the thing to be more than ever and I’ve bought some newer and more expensive clothes than I can really afford, but, basically I’m paying for the public to have more respect for me. You mentioned that this was an agency worker so I assume it was some kind of assistance you were seeking. Right away there will be discrimination for that reason and that reason alone, although we all know there shouldn’t be. You become less in the eyes of others because you are in need of something from them. Maybe the worker did have a bad day and passed the buck onto you. You have that awareness but it takes energy to think of the reasons for other people’s poor attitudes and you shouldn’t have had to. Plus she is being paid to do her job and the assistance isn’t coming from her pocket. Back to human nature and Bible teachings, I think people, and more nowadays with the epidemic of narcissism that’s so prevalent, people are like programmed to abuse. I know what you mean about having grown to expect it. I don’t really have an answer but if it helps any, I do know what you mean. You did the right thing, and I know what you mean about the older male manager being more likely to help.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Thank you so much for your kind reply, Ruby, I really got from it that you understood.
    Yes, the Bible warns that in the last days people will become fierce. I’m very Bible-based in my worldview so I do belief what we call narcissists and psychopaths are what the Bible calls “the wicked” and it seems we’re starting to see a real emergence of them in our society.

    I agree that there must be something in our look and/or voice that they pick up on. It’s the strangest thing. And I get you buying a few nice clothing to help you inform others how you wish to be treated.

    With my chronic illness I do often need assistance, but those people tend to be decent enough, thank goodness, This was actually a girl from an insurance agency. The manager did get a hold of me today and he was actually friendly and professional. I’m very grateful for that as he listened and understood the issue. He really did make me feel better about it all. That was a Godsend because I was afraid of what I was emotionally going to go through if he was also dismissive. I would have lived another day in a black hole. I’m really wanting to learn how to not get so reactive to how others decide to treat me.

    Thanks for letting me know you think I did the right thing. Sometimes it’s good to hear from others that we had made decisions that handled a situation right even though we were blinded by strong emotions. It’s all a learning process for me now that I’m determined to learn how to say or do something when I feel I was mistreated.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I’ve taken LEAPS back. But overall, you’re progressing. It’s just not a smooth ride–there are stops and backups and and relapses and you swear you’re getting worse, but you’re still going forward. I would have been as offended as you, being as oversensitive as I am (have you not noticed how all us scapegoats were always the most sensitive one–and then BLAMED for our sensitivity?) But it’s that person’s problem, not yours.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks for the encouragement. It’s helpful to hear what I should expect.

      It’s true what you said about the sensitivity – and being treated like that only magnified our sensitivity. So many of us ended up feeling like we were covered in wounds and everyone around us were holding salt shakers.

      Liked by 1 person

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