I often wonder what goes through people’s minds from time to time….both when they write things and when they say things on the phone in times of anger, regardless whether that anger is at a real situation, .at someone, or more commonly, at themselves and they just want to mistakenly place that anger at or ON someone else because they can’t accurately place it within their own lives at the present time.
I recently had a person close to me – just how close I won’t say in order to “protect” their anonymity [how kind, considering what I’m about to write!] – call me to ask my opinion on a somewhat sensitive and important matter. I was honest, and gave my “side”, or opinion, or thoughts, whichever one you want to pick, thinking that we were old enough, mature enough to be able to do so as adults. However, my thoughts didn’t coordinate with theirs, and I found myself very quickly being “talked down” to because we weren’t in agreement; I was being yelled at….because I didn’t agree with their thoughts. Or was it because I didn’t say what they wanted to hear? Or because I didn’t say the same things? I had a different thought process they didn’t want to consider? A truth they didn’t want to have to face? Granted, this person had been under tremendous stress and I knew that but because of the nature of our own relationship I didn’t think that meant that I had to change my own ideas to just automatically “agree” with something I didn’t think was accurate….
I immediately just stopped letting it escalate because not only did my heart break but I couldn’t let it continue going the way it was. The anger was quite evident and I couldn’t really understand why it was being thrown at ME, and while I suspected that maybe I was a convenient mental punching bag for pent up stress, it was a poor choice given situational history of the person’s relationship with me. It’s actually been some time since this conversation but emotionally, I haven’t really let it go. The phone conversation ended with “Well it’ll never happen again, I’ll never call you for another thing, and Fuck You!”, being said in my ear, and the phone being slammed down….
I sat there stunned….trying to decipher exactly how this person could have said those words to me. ME. I have a really long history with this person. REALLY long. A history, mind you, where I myself COULD have uttered those exact words in some sort of retaliatory way over several different occasions, but never once have….out of simple ingrained respect, yet they were screamed back at me over something actually, in comparison, relatively small. And I’ve yet to receive what I consider a true apology. And I doubt I will.
The funny thing is, at this age, I don’t truly know if it matters. I live a very different life at 50 than I did even at 40, and most assuredly than at 30. Sure I don’t have money or true “possessions” but I have a good heart and I think maybe that’s all that matters in the long run….. maybe I just don’t know anything.
Then I wonder…..what if something were to happen to me today as I drive to class? What if THAT was the last time that person talked to me on the phone, or ever, and THAT was the last conversation that they had with me, and that was what they had to remember for the rest of their lives as our final exchange? I wonder what they’d feel like, regarding that? I didn’t cause it, I didn’t say it, and I can’t call to offer that apology, so I can’t really truly offer up the beginnings of the repair now, can I? However, the choices of words were the other person’s, not mine.
I wrote another letter regarding something else today regarding accepting responsibility because of a rudely written letter from an irresponsible person yesterday that I won’t even entertain further anywhere else, and I see that it’s very easy for many people to push responsibility off on others than to accept it for themselves. Very easy, and depending on someone’s anger levels, that will show accordingly. I guess it just has now become something that has to be watched like anything else.