You should be more compassionate and forgiving.
I've had a bad week. It seemed like this was the week when insensitive comment after insensitive comment rolled in every day. Most of my friends think I'm too nice when it comes to the harsh remarks people feel the need to share with me. I don't think it's that, though. Mostly I'm either shocked or not entirely certain someone really meant to say or write what they did. I also have a lot of compassion for how awkward the situation can be for some people. Loss, especially loss involving a child, isn't the norm, thank goodness. So I tend to err on the side of assuming that people don't mean to be jerks. Or, when I am feeling less generous, I fall back on Hanlon's Razor: Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity.
So I was shocked when someone close to me berated me for not forgiving people and for holding grudges. What? They said I wasn't forgiving enough and that as I get older, I will be more compassionate. Um. No? I simply have healthy boundaries. I should know! I've seen three different counselors over the past 5 years in order to learn how to set and maintain them! (My regular counselor, the 8 year tuneup guy Mike and I went to a few times late last year, and Stephan who led us through my dad's intervention and aftermath 5 years ago--details because I know you're curious, haha) I can forgive people all day long but it doesn't mean they get to keep special spots in my life. I remember teaching a Sunday school lessons years ago that used a good example. If your friend has a tendency to hit you or be mean, what do you do? Forgive the friend but don't spend any more time alone with them--there was other stuff in there about telling adults and chances but you get what I mean.
Here's the thing, I have a lot to deal with right now. I've lost my little one. Today we had family snuggle time and I was so sad because we are missing one...I'll be learning how to deal with that for the rest of my life, if other women who have been through this are any indication. I'm also learning how to deal with the fact that barring any major medical miracles, we won't have any more biological children. Last night, autumn woke up and wandered into our room asking for baby Garrett and wanting to know if he was still in heaven. She weeps every time I drop her off anywhere and she and I have been working on different ways to help ease her anxiety (I think we hit on one so I might blog that if it continues to work). I don't sleep well anymore. Mike and I still have nightmares and flashbacks...
All that to say...I have a lot to deal with and I reserve the right to take care of myself; now, more than ever. This is easier said that done because, unfortunately, I think this is going to damage my relationship with this person. We have never seen eye to eye on enabling behaviors and setting boundaries. I care very much about them but don't interfere with this person's decisions unless I'm directly asked because I know my answers upset them. I'm not even sure why I am so hurt that they would call me unforgiving and a grudge holder because I shouldn't be shocked. I guess it's just part of the trial of having crazy family. The crazy usually doesn't change and even when we try, there's still so much twisting and turning to unravel from the history of unhealthiness, as Mike said to me when I was in the kitchen wondering why I still care--and why I do exactly the opposite of what this person accused me of: forgive.
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