This past week was interesting. I've kept a secret from you. I experienced abuse over the past seven days. Yep, I did.
Last Wednesday, in the post "Celebrating Life, Enjoying Community With a Stranger and Friends" I mentioned I had encounters of the emotional bullying kind. It was a fascinating experience. It reminds me of a
plaque I once had that I hung on the wall behind my desk:
The same was true with my brush with someone. Whew! He left me a message on my phone. He told me to shut up using a four letter word for emphasis. That was sad."Work is fascinating. I can look and stare at it for hours."
Nope, it was not sad because of the lack of dignity or respect he showed me, although it was unkind. It was tragic seeing how much venom dwells within him. He is not happy. He is not someone I care to know. As I mention from time-to-time, we are the average of the five people we hang out with.
It was fascinating, observing my response:
1. I was not sad.
2. I've been pleasant with others----I did not allow this man to rob me of the joy that normally percolates within.
3. I continued feeling good about myself. I've even been happy in the intervening days.
4. I spoke with my mentor. Was I glad. It drew me back to sanity.
5. I was able to laugh and joke about the event with others.
This person said his therapist told him I was insecure. He told me that four women were laughing about me. It must have been about a joke a said. (I'm kidding.) His voice message said that when I talk with others I'm trying to pick them up, referring to women.
What other good news did he have to say? Let me see...... oh yeah, that I had a big mouth, I did a lousy job chairing a meeting. And one of the worst things he mentioned is that I ended the meeting four minutes early, for Pete's sake. That was a terrible thing to do, he told me.
I learned a lesson from his comments. I noticed over the past two months, whenever he was within my circle of friends that he was progressively getting verbally abusive. In fact, I cringed a couple of weeks ago when he described someone else in strongly profane terms.
I will not tolerate that any longer. We get what we tolerate. I'm going to re-post a quote when I first wrote about this bully last week:
My Gratitudes for Wednesday:“The common mistake that bullies make is assuming that because someone is nice that he or she is weak. Those traits have nothing to do with each other. In fact, it takes considerable strength and character to be a good person." ― Mary Elizabeth Williams
1. I am happy that I do not allow allow others to determine my mood or define who I am.
2. I'm thankful for principles, a compass that allows me to circumnavigate treacherous waters.
3. I appreciate the hugs and laughter I received from many last night, when I told them they need to be careful---if I'm talking with them, I'm trying to pick them up. :->
4. I'm thrilled I did not speak from my head last night. I shared at the very meeting where I encounter this person who judged me. When I began to share, he got up and left the meeting.
5. I am overjoyed my sponsor loves me deeply and was available for me.
She was at the very first Al-Anon Family Group (AFG) meeting I ever attended. She is the one who propelled me into AFG service. She is wise, caring and has terrific humor.
I'm so glad she grabbed the seat of the bicycle of my emotions this week, when my bike got a little wobbly. I love her.
Uh oh, she's in her 70's. She has been married for over forty years. I need to be careful. I may be trying to pick her up, too.
P.S. I know I will.