I am a good person.

I make the conscious effort to reduce my own carbon footprint. I recycle, use energy efficient light bulbs, and purchase rechargeable batteries. I contribute to AIDS research. I volunteer my time to the community. I am anti-violence. I believe in peace. I support the arts. I am open-minded.

I adhere to the Golden Rule: treat others how you would like to be treated. Even if they don't deserve it. I am agreeable and seek compromise. I celebrate birthdays. I give gifts not out of obligation, but out of love. I really do care about how you feel about your job, your family, your partner. I value my friendships and work hard to make them last.

Because of this, I am a pushover. I let myself get stepped on and mistreated because I have such a need to give. And I find myself getting trapped in the same patterns over and over again. My history repeats itself, and at some point, I fear my heart will break into too many pieces for me to be able to put it back together again. I don't want to be cynical. I don't want to be cold. But every time something hurtful happens, I think that maybe it's the best way to prevent myself from feeling any kind of pain.

I remember that first night, listening to you unload all your emotional baggage onto the floor, and I thought to myself, why would you tell me all of this when I've barely even known you for a week? I realize now that people like you use that as an excuse for their behavior. I mean, didn't you wonder why I never shared any of my resentment or anger? I don't use my past as a way to justify my stupidity. In fact, I fight so hard against it, sometimes people wonder how I ended up so strong. That, in itself, makes me better than you.

But still, as I always do, I gave you the benefit of the doubt. As time went on, I started to see the familiar sign posts leading me to my usual exit. I hoped it would be different though, because I was in a new place and I had become a new person in the short time I had been here. But that's where the problem was. I had always believed that I was never good enough for people. That I messed things up because I said the wrong things, wore the wrong clothes, wasn't pretty enough, wasn't skinny enough, wasn't smart enough, wasn't witty enough, wasn't this, or wasn't that. I never put the blame for my unhappiness on others. The truth of it is the world is full of jackasses.

Now here I am, on the familiar side of it all. Of course I'm sad. Even if you're used to mistreatment, there's always that little bit of hope that keeps you from feeling numb. And maybe that's why I'm not a cynic. I hope for the best because I think I deserve it. So I'm gonna keep on truckin' on. There's not much more I can do, other than that.

1 comment:

Sylvia said...

You do deserve it. It's hard to stay true to who you are, to the values you believe in, when others don't share them. But it's important.

Keep up the good fight!