Mental Rental (and why it must stop)

When your ex’s friend sees you in the supermarket, looks you up and down with the slow burning judgment of the truly malicious and then snarks that ‘from the looks of it’ my ex (who would have NEVER supported this, btw) was better off with the heartbreak than the ‘crushing disappointment’ of what I’ve become (“Really dodged a big, fat bullet” was in there), then your options lay gleaming before you:

A) Lie down and die
B) Go to jail for what you do to his face
C) Try to smile, then find yourself unable to continue but unable to stop, which leaves you quivering unattractively somewhere in the middle
D) Carefully school your features into a combination of, “Are we done here?” and “[unspeakables],” while secretly dying inside

D for $500. I stared at him with that infuriating smile my irate boss used to call my “&%$#@ Mona Lisa smile” until he got bored, then uncomfortable and then awkward, eventually shuffling off, muttering that my husband and I were truly a perfect 10- my fit husband being the one, and I the big, fat zero.

Big. Fat. Zero.

Quite so.

It’s taken me more time than I’m proud of to return to this space, where all my giggling devils come out to play. But it’s also where I tend to leave them, so here we go again. Maybe it’s the fact that I just won tonight’s super hard Environmental discourse translation class (“It’s not a competition” <– says me NEVER) but I’m truly over some of the things that have been destroying me inside. And as I do with all the things, good and bad, I’m about to drop some learnings on ya. Get ready interwebs:

GET OVER IT.

Yeah, you heard me. And what’s more, I heard me.

Get over it.

I think that the world is a swirl of good intentions and bad people and all of that can create this vortex of telling yourself you are your own glorious army of one who must rise above the cruelty of dream crushers around you, even as you live and die by what they think and say. About you.

I won’t lie. That vortex was a dark and scary place, but it was my home for a brutal 2 weeks at the very least. I took out the anguish just to look at it, polish it then put it back into the warm recesses of my wounded pride. I rolled the insults around in my mind, savouring the indignity and the indignation. HOW DARE HE, I raged. HE DOESN’T KNOW WHAT I’M GOING THROUGH!

I ran several scenarios through my mind, each one more blistering than the other, and all of them ending with me, restored to some imaginary supermodel measurements, pulling the “I’m magnificent now, but never forget: you insulted a sick person”card. This would, of course, be delivered before a large audience, who would shake their heads in disgust before leaving him there, alone in a spotlight that slowly faded to black. And scene.

Over and over, I played with variations of this theme, obsessing with the need to make him the bad guy in order to restore me to the good. Because if he was just a guy, not an evil, vicious teller of lies, just a mean but basically normal guy….then that DID make me…gross, after all. A big, fat bullet. The zero in my marriage.

I’m eternally thankful for the moment when I realized that I had basically handed over the past two weeks of my life, and had been considering leasing the remainder of it, to some guy I spoke to for 10 seconds in the supermarket. He had ceased to matter to me for nearly 10 years before that. I hadn’t seen him, spoken to him, thought of him or even remembered his name until that second. And then 10 seconds later he was gone.

Except he wasn’t. Because I had elevated this brief encounter to a long term mental rental. And for what? For a trauma that I was giving explicit permission to break down every good thing I had been building in my mind and soul? If I ran into him on another day, when perhaps he wasn’’t angry at his own life, or parking had been easier, or he hadn’t hated the colour of my dress or remembered the time I burnt the chicken at this pool party we had, or whatever other configuration of possibilities, maybe he would have been less unkind. Or maybe not. But so what?

Cat Free Rent animated GIF

I am not defined by other people’s opinion’s of me. NONE of us is. I really wish that would STAY IN MY BRAIN. And in yours. Because for every good hair day, there will be ten bad. For every compliment, there will be 10 insults; for every friend, 10 enemies and for every confrontation, untold backstabbings. The push and pull of just being alive and around other people who are also just trying to deal with being alive and around other people is endless. It’s inevitable. And everyone’s just as befuddled by ‘being’ as everyone else.

SO write this down, webs- even as we live in varying degrees of community-ness, we are all beautifully individual. Our worth isn’t based on a curve, with other participants bringing our value down or pushing it up based on how well or poorly they do. We each just need to figure out a way to… “life.” As verb.

That means right or wrong, good or bad, sweet or incredibly sour, whatever our fellow humans may do unto us, we need to recognize that their “power” or their influence over our feelings and such goes as far as we let it. I know it’s easier said than done/read than lived, but it all boils down to getting the heck on over it.

Benedict Benedict Cucumber animated GIF
Yes, but you’ll thank me later.

Repeat after me: Today is the day I get over that hurt hump.

I admit it…it still stings. But I can now acknowledge that sting as a really horrible thing that someone said in a really horrible moment, that hit me during a low and vulnerable period in my life. It is NOT a final ruling on Who I Actually Am.

Which is great, because Who I Actually Am in still something of an unsolved mystery. An ongoing puzzle. A messy, rambling blog.

And for tonight, I’m okay with that.

Courage, my sweets. This day is totally doable.
So let’s DO it!

And to sing us down that happy road, the lovely Mz Trainor. How can you not smile 🙂

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3 Comments Add yours

  1. Tamz says:

    AMAZING!!! I *needed* this Natz! This one was for ME!!! OMG!!!! *sigh*…. I really just need to let…it…go… What ppl say or think about me doesn’t matter. Even if it was years of interaction and not just 10 seconds…Does it matter? What control does anyone, good or bad (save Twain, Tianna, Momz and Naj, of course) have over me? What they say about me doesn’t MAKE me what they’ve said nor should it affect me consequently. *snaps fingers*…Well written Miss. WELL written!!!!

    1. napalilli says:

      I’m glad it helped 🙂

  2. Mikki says:

    I feel like I just went to church. Natz did preaaach! ‘Whatever our fellow humans may do unto us, we need to recognize that their “power” or their influence over our feelings and such goes as far as we let it.” Natta 7:1. Amen.

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