On Wrath

Once upon a time, in a land not so far away {Western PA to be exact} there was  a girl, who was by all accounts, the biggest, baddest bitch their ever was.

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look there she is at her meanest, tan and blonde.

 Most of the animosity and scorn that people encountered were the girl’s way of dealing with intensely hurt feelings.  Feelings that were hurt by people she trusted and loved.  Hurt that retrospectively changed her life for the better but stung and nettled the girl into a bitchy furry that almost cost her her new husband, her dear friends and quite possibly her life. 

In the years after moving away from the land not so far away the girl became much nicer, realizing that not everyone she loved would hurt her, and that opening herself up for hurt and disappointment was a part of life that could enhance, rather than ruin.  And everyone lived happily ever after. 

Right?

Wrong.

Listen, I have a cadre of amazing friends.  Seriously.  An ARMY.  An army of men and women who are stewards of my {shockingly} fragile feelings.  Having my husband in my life has caused his army to encroach on mine, mostly for the better.  These people love MB with such passion that I always can feel good knowing that no matter where we may travel alone, we will almost always be met with love and kindness.

The trouble with accepting this cross-pollination of friends is that a lot of people who think they know me, have no idea who I am, where I came from and what I will and will not tolerate.  Since the days of running around telling girls that I thought they “must be nice on the inside otherwise their boyfriends wouldn’t like them…” and telling men that if “they wanted to date me they’d better take a number and that boyfriend number 3 is better than boyfriend number 0” I’ve calmed down a lot.  The reasons are plentiful but mostly I trimmed the fat and only had people in my life who understand how I operated, knew how to take care of me, and conversely wanted the same out of my friendship to them.  Those that enter my life, or our collective life, hear pretty early on the horror that I had reaped in my previous life, the result of my tempter and, I think, get a big picture of the LNRB they are dealing with now, as so far so good with my newest friends {I’m talking to you Msheed, bookclub!!} Done and done.

But what happens when new friends don’t know you?

Tricky, because I generally operate with the assumption that my expectations of friends are pretty basic.  Don’t lie, let’s not play games, and let’s also not do things that hurt feelings.  The first two really are no brainers but the latter might be variable depending on how one thinks one’s feelings will be hurt…

Full Disclosure:  It is really really easy to hurt my feelings.  Really.

I think a lot of people are shocked by this as I give such a take no prisoners attitude, and sometimes I act with reckless abandon with regard to other people’s feelings.  But the truth of the matter is, I use all of these barriers to try  to protect myself from being hurt.   Too often, though, someone {like my neighbor} can really rattle me and throw me off my game.  Or intentionally {but maybe not knowingly — there is a difference} break one of my three cardinal rules above is it makes me recoil.  Big time.

And that is where the wrath comes in.  I may not storm around town slandering a person’s name like I might have done 6 years ago, but the anger boils right after my tears of hurt and disappointment dry.  And you may have heard that my temper is a force.  To fear.  And then I’m left at a cross-roads.  Do I take the time?  Do I just let it shake out and move on?  Or do I thrown an LNRB tantrum?  I usually try to go with the second, minimizing my face time, not saying mean things that are regrettable and moving on, but the temptation to be wrathful is always there.  Lurking.  Somewhat satisfying but always disastrous.

Most often, as part of my new life, I leave the wrath out of it and I quietly {sometimes not so quietly} friend break up with people.  It’s pretty simple.  If it is behavior I would not under any circumstances tolerate from my good friends who have always been there, I will not continue to include you in that circle of friends.  Another good test is:  would I let someone I was dating behave this way before breaking up?  If the answer to these questions is no then I move on.  Usually it means a clean and swift break, but I also maintain hope that after a little while, we might be able to reconcile, have a few non sexual dates and move on.

Whew!  That was a loaded one!!  Ok, so — are you easily hurt?  How do you deal with the typical life hurts that happen?  How do you deal with new friends that may not know your emotional triggers/friend rules?  Are you someone who is willing to break up with friends?  Do you have a temper?

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