In a previous post, I let my insecurities get the best of me, regarding meeting someone new, and being afraid i might have presented myself poorly….and the irony was, that the woman called and asked me out that night.
But the date turned into a major train wreck. What i discovered, was that I had a completely erroneous idea of who she was. Turns out she has some serious problems, and is an alcoholic. She drank to the point where she passed out, and I had to put her to bed and go home. It gave me some perspective i sorely needed. Whenever i worry that i might be a little intense for some people, they always reassure me with more profound shortcomings, that make me happy to accept my own.
At her house, she insisted that we were going to be friends for life, and that she was going to “take care of me.” I wasn’t aware that i needed care. I told her so. And she professed her undying trust in me and then said “You trust me, too, now, right?”
I said, “No I don’t. I don’t know you well enough yet. I don’t trust anyone until they prove they can be trusted. At the same time, i can be open and friendly and have a good time. But you do not get my trust until you earn it.”
“You don’t know me. I could be a serial killer.”
“Oh, but i know you’re not. I know you are very special.”
“Well great. But it’s a little soon for you to be making pledges to me.”
She spent the entire night trying to get me not to leave, but insisted it was because i didn’t need to drive since i had had some wine. This was laughable, because I was under the legal limit, as always, and she was BLOTTO (Probably as always). She couldn’t even admit to herself (much less to me) that she wanted me to stay because of other reasons. Not even when i gave her permission to just be honest about it. No, it was *ME* who didn’t need to drive. I was the one with the problem. There are many psychological terms for that tactic.
So tonight, as if I needed another example of the damaged people among us, i have another experience that illustrates how people are just people, and I’m simply too hard on myself. A previous friend of mine asked why I responded in a certain way to some things she said, and i admitted that i had gotten triggered by our past experience with each other and that i had felt betrayed by her. She met my honesty and vulnerability with the knife of caustic self- righteousness.
Now my readers know that I’m so careful to be ethical and deliberate in my actions. But to reveal yourself so openly and honestly in conversation, on a blog, or in books, or in music, as I do, is to set yourself up for some heartache. People can use that stuff against you, while climbing on their high horse to ride away, having felt better about themselves after they twist the truth so that they can place themselves in a good light, and superimpose their own garbage onto you. And they’ll do it every time, even when they say they won’t.
I don’t know what this tendency is about–this pattern i have noticed in those who screw it up so profoundly, and then slap you in the face for trying to help or be their friend, by practicing a little revisionist history. And suddenly, I’m the bad guy. As I’ve said many times, “You’re only responsible for being honest, not for someone else’s reaction to your honesty.”
But it’s still disheartening…How people can be vicious by using your weaknesses against you, when they don’t like what they’re hearing. And how they think they know who you are, when really, they only know who they need you to be, to make themselves feel better. How they can turn a vulnerable moment or a difficult challenge into the proof to convict you–proof they planted on the scene just like a crooked cop.