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Don't Put Up With Any of It

Robin Alexander

Posted on February 23, 2018 10:10

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We can’t allow ourselves to be mistreated by anyone. Listen to that voice deep in your gut and then manage the situation. As Maya Angelou says, “When people show you who they are, believe them – the first time.”

To my dearest daughter:

Don’t put up with any of it, whether it’s people you just don’t like or full-fledged abuse.

I had a family member – we’ll call her “C” – whom I disowned Sunday after she attacked my daughter who was visiting her from out of town – we’ll call my daughter “G”. (Did G provoke C? Witnesses say no).

C’s exhibition of self-loathing began almost immediately upon G’s arrival, with nasty and demeaning remarks. The girls decided to nap; G asked for a sheet, blanket and pillow for the couch and was handed: 1) a blanket from the dog’s crate; 2) a sheet from the dirty laundry basket; 3) a pillow with no pillow case.

That’s when G should have left. But there was more. G was asked to cook dinner and it was just taking too long. There was anger. There was name calling. There were attacks on character. It devolved into the pregnant C lunging at G with the intention of nobody knows what, since her husband jumped between them to restrain her. 

Don’t say “hormones”. This behavior is unacceptable AND comes after years of lesser abuse that shouldn’t have been ignored. I have gone through three pregnancies. I was sometimes grumpy. I didn’t become someone else. And neither did C. This is who she is, perhaps to a heightened degree.

The point is we can’t allow ourselves to be mistreated by anyone – acquaintance, co-worker, friend, partner, or even parent, sibling or child. Listen to that voice deep in your gut and then manage the situation.

As Maya Angelou says, “When people show you who they are, believe them – the first time.”

My rules:

·        Know your personal boundaries.

·        Don’t make excuses for other people.

·        Don’t interact with their potential; deal with the human facing you.

·        Don’t cite great memories or an investment of time.

·        Don’t claim you are practicing tolerance or patience.

·        Don’t say, “I already paid for the trip.”

·        Don’t worry about politeness.

·        Don’t reason (these people, unfortunately, are drowning in bitterness or mental illness and they cannot hear).

·        Don’t try to fix them (it’s not your job and you don’t have the necessary superpowers).

·        Pay no attention to “sorry” apologies. A true apology includes ownership of and remorse for the behavior, an expressed desire not to repeat it, and a plan to prevent repetition.

·        Don’t think that being strong is never giving up; sometimes being strong is letting go.

Here’s how I see it. There are multiple circles of interaction around us. People must earn the right to move from an outer circle to an inner one, and the folks who are near the center are few and special. With each person, we determine the appropriate distance and we maintain that distance.

No one is perfect. We all have baggage. It’s a question of what works for you.

Forgiveness? That happens when you forgive yourself for not recognizing and acting on the red flags from the beginning.

Love, Mom

Robin Alexander

Posted on February 23, 2018 10:10

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