Reminder to Breathe

I’ve been battling a city staff member on a project for a client for the last two days. I have yards of emails detailing out this person’s approach to the project, which has been to attempt to require changes and additions to an application in the hope that they will cause us to miss a deadline and be delayed. There is no good reason for it, the decision will be made by two separate bodies who must both agree for us to achieve our request. Which is within the parameters of what is allowed but by policy needs specific approval and two public hearings. And that’s fine, because that’s good policy. Demanding arbitrary language changes, changes of intent and attempted intimidation are not, and I have half a mind to read this person’s entire chain of emails aloud to city council.

A young man I babysat almost two decades ago and who was in a car wreck a few months after mine – and who was not as fortunate, is losing his battle with neurological damage and is in a coma following a cardiac arrest. He is not expected to live much longer, and his family is saying goodbye. I’m heartbroken. I’m still close to the family. I got the news in the middle of some of the most ridiculous of the city staff requests, which suddenly lost all importance by comparison.

But life goes on. My client’s goals and interests still go on. I go on. But I really needed to be reminded to breathe.

100 Days of Healing – Day 86

What. Even.

I just posted about not answering the phone when toxic calls. Today I got not one but two texts from people who ghosted me months ago, declaring how much they miss me.

What?

Text #1, from former coworker and woman I thought was the closest I will ever have to a sister, who made a big splash about being friends forever then stopped responding to my texts:

“Hey! You doing okay??” along with a meme saying, “Your face…I kind of fucking miss that shit…A lot.”

I haven’t heard from you in 8 months, so I doubt it.

Text #2, from former college friend who was self-destructive before and after college, and who ended our friendship the night I had food poisoning and she left to go find whatever would make her feel good about herself. At 6am I was awakened (after vomiting every 15 minutes for hours) by a knock on our hotel door because she was downstairs in an ambulance unconscious and wearing someone else’s clothes. She wasn’t interested in owning her behavior, and I wasn’t interested in continuing to clean up after her. About a year or so ago she reached out to reconcile, and we were slowly moving that direction when she ghosted me:

“Hi!! I have been missing you like crazy, lady! It’s time for a chat with your pal!! Miss you tons.”

It’s actually time for me to acknowledge that you, much like many guys I’ve dated, are not genuinely interested in a relationship with me, and it’s time for me to make myself and my time and energy a priority for me.

So as much as I’m spending time and energy on these former friends because I’m having to deal with my own issues related to them, at least that’s time and energy spent where it belongs.

But seriously. WTF.

100 Days of Healing – Day 56

I have had a lot of boomerangs in my life – people who just won’t stay gone. Mostly guys I’ve dated come back around for another chance, but sometimes it’s former friends who can’t help reminding me why I stopped talking to them in the first place.

Boundaries, right? I’m learning to do that.

I had a pretty long Monday, and my workday ended when my internet cut off mid-email to a client. It eventually came back, but I was dead in the water as far as what I was trying to get done, I couldn’t do a yoga video, and I decided to go for a walk.

Something was really bothering me though, and I was pissed.

When I finally sorted it out, it was over a shitty comment on social media.

I had been transcribing an ordinance that had been so badly scanned that my software couldn’t convert it. It was badly written to begin with, and full of Oxford commas, which I don’t use so they are not in my typing pattern. I kept having to stop and insert them back into the transcribed text, and I found it annoying. I shared my annoyance on social media, posting, “My workday is plagued by Oxford commas.”

My brother commented that he likes them. My friend’s wife asked her who she is associating with. A girl I went to college with replied, “Well, if you really want to risk losing millions in a lawsuit, you just go right ahead and leave out those lovely, clarifying Oxford commas 

And no, she didn’t punctuate her sentence.

This is a person I finally stopped talking to several months after we graduated because she was so negative all the time. She drained me, and I couldn’t take it anymore. We’re still friends on social media, and have had very little interaction over the years. I did congratulate her recently when she earned a significant professional achievement – and this is how she repaid me.

I’m not going to lose millions over it. The ordinance, which I did not write, might generate some lawsuits if not fixed, and it has nothing to do with the commas – any of them. And she had no idea what I was working on or why, because we didn’t talk about it. So I find her comment unnecessary and, like so many comments of hers before, negative without real basis. And negative about something I’m doing that has nothing to do with her.

Which got me thinking about two other people who sometimes reply to my posts and always with completely unnecessary and unwelcome comments.

I don’t talk to any of these three people in real life, and with the exception of my congratulatory note, I don’t comment on their posts.

So why am I so hesitant to unfriend them? I don’t have any real consequences from cutting them off, and doing so will remove a negative aspect of my life that I genuinely don’t enjoy or appreciate. Do I wait for another annoying response to one of my posts to pop up? Do I let them know I don’t appreciate their comments? Do I unfriend them in the dead of night?

I very rarely cut people off, even people who have done me a lot of harm. Maybe it’s time I stop allowing that kind of behavior?

Live Your Own Story

Friends of mine got engaged last night. She’s a trauma survivor with PTSD, and has struggled to accept that he accepts her. I’m thrilled for them, and reminded of what my life isn’t.

And also what it is.

It’s not someone else’s story.

I live firmly rooted in a reality that rarely remains centered on what I want, and often veers so far toward responsibilities, obligations and support for others that I often wonder if I’ll find my way back to myself. I do, because my roots run deep in the center, and as much as I get knocked sideways, I can pull myself back.

Again. And again. And again.

I get stretched a lot.