No question today, I just need to banter a bit about a certain topic on my mind.
For years, I have said “you are judged by the company you keep.” I have found over the last few months that not only is it true, but its psychological reality. l were to move to France, I would learn french because that is the language they speak and in order to successfully communicate with them, you have to learn and speak their language.
Until the past few months, I spent five years tangled up in extremely disturbed, unhealthy and very mean-spirited arrogant horrible people. I have also done things I would never have imagined doing before running across people like that and acted in ways that I have always been completely the opposite of. Looking back and reflecting on those things, I realize that I did them because doing a dysfunctional thing is the only way I had to try and communicate with dysfunctional people.
Yesterday is not one of the days i typically work, but i have to run an orientation on Thursday so I stopped by work for an hour yesterday to check email etc. My co-worker was there, the one whose specific job I took over so he could do other things, the one i did the big event with last week, etc. For a few weeks I had heard my boss talk about how she really wanted there to be a monthly newsletter, but she never really assigned it to anyone etc so when I had some downtime, I drew up a template and I made an entire newsletter. I printed it out and gave it to her and offered to take responsibility for it on a monthly basis. She was actually extremely happy, but the funny thing was, when she wanted more stuff added to it, she went to my co-worker. He pointed out directly that I was the one who had made the newsletter and he had nothing to do with it, and still she kept including him in her suggestions. I didn’t really care, it didn’t occur to me to be bothered by it, but when I stopped in yesterday, he was pissed on my behalf and told me he was going to talk to her about that because he felt that I had gone ahead and taken the initiative all on my own and she should have recognized that and treated me as such. Now, honestly I am so used to being not recognized for any hard work that I do that I was not even bothered by the way she approached the situation, but I was kind of blown away by my co-workers insistence on standing up for me because it has been so long since someone has actually been willing to recognize that I was getting shafted in some way and WANT to stand up for me. I have felt incredibly alone for years, being taken advantage of, stolen from, you name it and not only did no one care but no one was even willing to admit to these things – and to have someone in my life like my co-worker who values my efforts, encourages me, and frankly, respects me, is an incredibly awesome, uplifting thing.
My point? You become who you surround yourself with because you learn how to communicate with them and those become the choices you make. When you surround yourself with people who are kind and who have healthy habits, that’s how you are inspired to live your life. Get kindness, give kindness. I am going to go to work today and spend my day doing my job and then going beyond that and making sure the people I coordinate know they are appreciated, valued, and that their efforts are recognized because thats how I feel inspired to spend my time; validating others. I am grateful to now be surrounded by encouraging people not only in my day job but in my general life; in my writing circles, in my friendships, and more. The lesson : Its okay that your heart may go out to someone who is tangled in a downward spiral of self-hatred and negativity. It is NOT only to let them take you down with them. Be empathetic, but keep enough distance between yourself and that kind of person so that you don’t start getting sucked into that tornado. You’re not going to be able to help anyone, not yourself and not others, if all you see and feel around you is negativity and oppression. Some of the incredibly mean things others have said and done to me have stuck in my mind, but I am choosing to use those things as inspiration (such as the psychotic bully that has harassed me for five years for trying unsuccessfully to screw with my family a month or so ago because it inspired a very deranged villain in a future novel!) and also as something to prove them wrong on.
I have learned that when people hate themselves, that hate gets projected on others tenfold. I learned that with my ex-roommate. I still think about her from time to time, I have pity for her, even some empathy, but she hates herself so much that she tried to make me hate myself and you know what, I don’t. She treated me horribly and stressed me out until my head nearly exploded, but I also know and realize that she treats herself like that every single moment of every single day and thats even worse. Hating yourself makes you live your own private hell without a moments reprieve and its a miserable way to live. How she treated me has nothing to do with me and everything to do with her own self-hate. I hope one day she learns to value who she is and when that happens, she will become both a better person, and she will have the ability to be a better friend to others, one who does not force you into dysfunction in order to be a part of her life.
I have learned where to draw lines. I have learned who I should surround myself with, I have figured out the person I want to be and most importantly, I have figured out how to not hate who I am by not mirroring the behaviors of negative things or negative people. My life is peaceful on a day to day basis and I am a functioning human being again fully capable of handling my own life, as I should be. I was in a bad depression and its over. And honestly thats an amazing thing to be able to say. Its over.