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Traumatize Them Back
Internet joke that *of course* I can't agree with...but my actions say otherwise
My stepmother and I have been in a weird space for a couple years after a falling out, which I can talk about in another post if anyone is interested. But at some point since, she’s recognized the gravity of her actions and seems to be trying to bridge the gap by sending daily texts in an effort to show she cares or something.
By daily texts I mean two or three typographics of motivational quotes or Bible verses and Christian stuff she must get from some app. I have little will to meet her halfway with this or respond because it’s empty and impersonal. I get what she thinks she’s trying to do, but I don’t owe her the satisfaction of effort because it’s not real effort. Maybe to a limited person it is, and that’s what she is. That’s what we all are, certainly. But I suppose I’m not taking this part of adulthood very well where I’ve done enough of the self work to see the lack thereof in the people I used to depend on.
I might not be exhibiting any of that aforementioned work on myself lately, but sometimes I believe “being the bigger person” is nothing but a scam. The only reason one becomes the bigger person is through being challenged until they develop more options than their inexperienced or trauma-informed core responses. I don’t understand why it’s frowned upon for me to be that challenge in someone’s life. Especially those who have been that challenge in MINE. Maybe I just want to share the growth. Shock people out of their normal bullshit so they can think beyond it for a minute. Traumatize them back. And my stepmother has been my first victi—I mean subject.
I let her know about how rocky my move has been, and she responded saying she admired my perseverance. Now I understand that people just say things that sound nice without much thought, and sayings are sayings, sure sure. But what does it really mean to admire someone’s perseverance?
You admire qualities in people that you wish you had yourself, right? That would imply that you do not have such quality or at least not to the degree that you see in someone else. Or perhaps you couldn’t see yourself having the same perseverance in the same situation as that person. Oxford defines perseverance as “to continue in a course of action even in the face of difficulty or with little or no prospect of success.”
With that in mind, would it be so far off to say that admiring someone’s perseverance might as well be telling them that if put in the same situation as them, you would choose to end it all?
That may be overly dramatic, but I didn’t believe so and took it as such. I mean to say that implies a choice. I don’t have a choice, the only way out is through. You just get through the things, that’s it. I replied, “Perseverance? What is the alternative?” I wanted her to think about it. She’s not a thoughtless person, nor does she tolerate anyone else to be thoughtless. This is a woman who won’t shut up in a movie theater asking you questions about whether you think that last line was foreshadowing, and did you catch when they mentioned this distant character, or notice the color of the sky change when this person was chosen, etc. Yes, she analyzes media in live time and drags you through it so nobody can enjoy a film. And no, she would not have seen the film prior to then. Far. From. Thoughtless. So I figure I’d give her a fun practice in the analysis she loves so much.
Traumatize them back. What other option is there, I want you to say it.
Generally quick to respond, this message took her 21 hours to reply to.
“There are many who give up and do harmful things that hurt themselves and others. As far as I know, you have hung in there and worked hard regardless of what you have had to deal with.”
Eyerolls abounding, but I figured I let her cook enough and let it go. At least I made her think. I’m sure this will happen again, because as I mentioned before, I am a growth-oriented individual, and plants grow in dirt. So until next time,
Ciao for now.
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