Take a step back

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           Due to my unconventional upbringing, I’ve had to overcome a lot of emotions on my own. I’ve had to learn how to talk to my feelings to find out what I’m experiencing and how to handle them. I’ve had to make myself feel better by myself. When my sister or my dad tried to help me out when I was younger, I brushed them off. I couldn’t have them near me or help me. I had to be able to do it myself.

            Which I can’t say is a good or a bad thing because I know it worked for me. And over time, I’ve found it easier to reach out and embrace someone when I feel like I need a hug to feel better. But in the end, I know how to bring the peace out from within.

            So it’s hard for me to have patience with people sometimes. There are people in my life that I care for dearly because I have compassion for their oddities, the parts of their personalities that other people cross off as weird or unacceptable. I find those parts endearing. But there are times when those same people I’ve defended so much in the past just push me over the edge. They try and use the times that people have written them off as excuses to never have to change or adapt. They prey on my sympathies and compassion.

            I can’t handle when people don’t want to help themselves. There’s nothing wrong with feeling out of control. There’s nothing wrong with feeling like the walls are crushing you. There’s nothing wrong with the bad feelings because I’ve learned that those are the feelings that let me know when I’m about to come out on the other end a little bit stronger, a little more prepared to handle something worse in the future. And soon enough those little troubles are squashed against my stronger armor. They don’t bother me anymore and that’s the kind of feeling I can’t live without. Knowing I can control myself and my emotions is really important to me even when I feel like I’m spiraling out of control.

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            I had a friend today who was rude to me. When I called him out on it, he reacted defensively and immediately said I was overreacting. Apologies aren’t meant to be debates over the validity of emotion. I’m entitled to feel however I feel. I wasn’t rude, I wasn’t mean, I said nothing out of turn. But he went on to say he was going through an antidepressant withdrawal and he was now experiencing a full-blown panic attack and all that jazz, that he was crying in the parking lot because of me.

            I snapped a little. And I feel kind of bad about it but he quite literally said he had no control over what he’d said to me or how he’d reacted because of something I should have been more sympathetic about. And sure, that’s all fine and dandy and I acknowledge that but I also know he turned a very simple apology into a conversation about his feelings and his reactions to my words. Which ironically enough, was quite the overreaction. If someone offends me, I need to be able to say that without worrying if they’re going to go hurt themselves because of it. I shouldn’t have to apologize for being honest. I shouldn’t feel trapped by my words.

            When it’s time to own up to something, there’s no excuse or justification. It’s just time to be real and accepting of others. And as accepting as I am of him, I’m pretty upset that he keyed a car last time we hung out and was able to chalk it up to his own rationalizations. My sympathies can only be stretched so far before I look at you and want nothing more than to walk away from the anger and find my peace somewhere at the beach or in a great song I blast as I drive along the highway. Because that’s what I have to do when I get angry or sad or just feel out of control, I deal with it in the only ways I know how.

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