Love from a Distance

Does anybody else get caught up in their thoughts while wandering through the grocery store?

It happens to me every single time. It’s almost like a therapy session for me HA!

Tonight as I was scoping out the carrot cake in the bakery at Fry’s grocery store, I began to think about all of the times where I witnessed a situation that upset me and didn’t say or do anything.

Then I began to think about all of the times people have said/done something to me and I didn’t say or do anything. Or maybe I reacted poorly.

After a while I started to feel my blood boiling, so I had to simmer down and switch my thoughts to happy times, like the times that I did stick up for myself or someone else.

People are always saying, “You shouldn’t be so angry about the past! It is over.” and while I agree with that statement to some extent, I also believe we should use those moments as lessons and act accordingly the next time a similar position makes its presence in our lives.

Sure, I do get upset about things, and I believe I have a right to. So does everybody else. There are some things in life that are worth being upset over. My previous relationships have all been filled with emotional abuse, and being told that the things I liked weren’t good enough. I wasn’t always aware of how it affected me until I began seeing a therapist and she brought it to my attention.

For example, I’ve always loved the desert. Ever since I was three years old and made my first visit to the Southwest, it has been a place that I have associated with peace, culture, and unique beauty. Then when I started dating a man who disliked the desert and would tell me how ugly my photos were. I felt shame and began to experience my own sense of distaste for it.

He has never been to the American Southwest, but he despised it. Rightfully so, his father passed away here. This meant he never wanted to accompany me down here when I was living in Minnesota, but would visit family in the Phoenix area over the holidays. This was tough for me, but I respected his decision. What I didn’t need to do, however, was allow his opinion to affect my own.

Pretty soon it felt like everything I enjoyed doing was stupid or wrong, and my self-esteem dropped to an all-time low.

Weight lifting was why I was “fluffy” I should have been doing cardio. I’d make dinner and he’d say, “This is good but it could use more…” or “You should have done this instead. ” I should have been using natural remedies to treat my anxiety instead of taking an SSRI. He wouldn’t even read my final paper for my Arguments & Expositions class, because it was on pseudoscience and he said that I “needed to learn to think for myself because I was a sheep.”

“Bzzzz bzzzzz buzz off!” he would tell me, whenever I attempted to share my opinion.

My thoughts no longer mattered.

Then I started retaliating and, in turn, it felt like all we did was criticize each other. We became so distant with our beliefs and lifestyles that we stopped respecting each other for who we really are. I was no picnic nor was I a prize, either. We are both to blame. I could have handled things much differently, in a more courteous and effective manner.

Some people are just plain toxic for each other. We can love someone with all that we have, but it will never be enough if we can’t respect each other for our differences.

If you find that the criticism or pain a person causes you will never cease to end, it is probably time to go your separate ways. It doesn’t matter if it is a best friend, a lover, your sister, even your own Mother. Some of the most toxic people in our lives can be our own family members. Toxicity doesn’t discriminate, and we need to stick up for ourselves to remain sane and dignified.

If this is the case, we can learn to love one another from a distance.

Tonight as I was leaving the grocery store, I pulled up to the stop sign and paused because I wasn’t sure of how fast the oncoming car was going. This middle-aged white male who was behind me, and clearly in a hurry,  honked his horn and flicked me off.

I put the car in park, rolled down the window, stuck my whole upper body out, turned to him and said “Never, ever honk at me again, you do not need to be an asshole!”

He looked like he was going to shit his pants. He did not see that coming from a young girl like myself. It was great.

When we pulled up to the stop lights I flashed him a huge grin.

I received another chance to stick up for myself, and I used it.

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