They say that the traits that annoy you the most in others are the ones you posses within yourself. The trick is to recognize and deal with them.
A friend acknowledged a couple of things about herself recently that, I have to admit, hit home in a couple of different ways. First, I had been on the receiving end of what she had confessed about herself, and at the time did not confront or question her actions or my response to them. A couple of years back I wrote something called “The Invisible Woman”. I wrote for a couple of reasons. One was because I was in Cielo, where women are considered to be the lowest of the low, except for Haitian ex-patriots living in the area. The other was because, for most of my life, I have felt invisible in many ways. So when I didn’t say anything at that time I was able to justify it to myself by internalizing: “Hey, I’m invisible. I’m used to not being listened to or actively engaged in conversation.” And life went on, as it usually does.
The thing is, when I read what she had said about herself, the reality hit home for me: I do the same thing to other people, especially Wubby. He’s been screaming at me for months, “You don’t really listen when I talk to you.” and he was right. So, with a great deal of tears and apprehension, I apologized to him for being the person he had been trying to tell me I was. He talked, and I listened. I talked, and he listened.
The timing could not have been better, something I like to call a “God Thing”. Because 36 hours later Wubby’s world was rocked to the core, and we were able to talk about it, really talk, and Wubby and I both will come out of this as better people. The mama grizzly in me does want to seek out and destroy that which has so completely devastated him, but that wouldn’t help anyone. There’s enough pain to go around already.
Good grief but growing up is a damned hard thing to do, and it takes a lifetime.