I’ve spent the last few days feeling rather low, confused, angry, and so many other things because of the act of one or more ignorant cowards. Whatever his/her/their intention, I’ve found myself feeling apprehensive; carefully monitoring myself lest I say or do something I presumably shouldn’t, or worrying that in some unknown way I’m going to bring about the interest of someone I clearly don’t want around me.
I woke up today thinking that I wouldn’t let this person or group get to me. I would move past it like I have so many times before. But this is easier said than done.
When I got to the office I found my stomach in knots as I approached the mailroom. This scenario repeated itself today when I checked the mail at home, my mind immediately dreading what I might find. And I realized while running tonight that I was far more tense than I should have been; jumping at any noise that in previous weeks and months wouldn’t have garnered so much as a second glance.
This might seem like an extreme response to a letter I received in the mail. I won’t lie – I think it is too. But it’s a response that has been sadly etched into my psyche one word, one abusive taunt, one threat, one physical attack at a time. I’m not writing this for pity or sympathy; while all of these are things that I’d not wish on even my worst enemy, they have in ways – for better or worse – shaped me into the man I am today. They are my reality.
But I know this behaviour isn’t me. At least, it’s not the me that I want to be. It’s the me that someone else wants. And unfortunately for them I can’t – I won’t – subscribe to their vision of my life.
For those of you who know me well, you’ll know that I don’t get this upset easily. I’m a rather easy-going person; I try to laugh at my fears and face them head on; I try to enjoy life to the fullest because this world truly is an amazing place. And it can be even better if we really want it to be. We – I – have to remember that those that would try to bring us down are few, those who would work to make the world better are many.
Fortunately, I know that this checking over my shoulder behaviour isn’t going to last. I won’t allow it. Because I won’t allow some person or group to have that kind of control over my life. Yes, they may surprise me from time to time, they may sneak up on me when I’m least expecting it, but I know that I am far stronger than anything they can throw at me.
I also have something that they likely don’t; an amazing group of friends who have sent me support, and love, and so many kind words over the last few days. Countless emails, and texts, and Facebook messages, and tweets, and phone calls from people – some whom I haven’t talked to in far too long – sending me their support, and words of encouragement, and everything that makes me know that I’m not alone in this fight.
So to all of you amazing people – thank you for checking in on me; thank you for the extra tight hugs; thank you for letting me vent; thank you for taking me out for pie; thank you for playing the I’m not your mom, but I’m still a mom and I want to make sure you’re okay card; thank you, thank you, thank you.
The last few days have been long and, for someone who is normally up, quite low. But I know they won’t be this way for long. How could they be with this many people cheering me on?