Disclaimer: this is a place of learning, safety, and hope. Take what you want from the post and forget the rest. Maybe this will help you. Maybe it won’t.
*Trigger Warning: This post may contain triggers; read at your own pace*
I wrote a post about anger, triggers, racism, people-pleasing, and boundaries. But I forgot to save it as I wrote and lost all the content. No photos other than the main photo because this isn’t the type of post where I can find appropriate ones.
So instead of re-doing all that, I’m going to keep this as concise as possible.
My boundaries have been constantly violated this past few weeks by people who connected with me over social media to be “friends”. They pushed and pushed until I finally put my foot down and ended the “friendship”. And yes I have quotes around that word because their idea of friendship did not meet mine.
Each of these challenges had me constantly wondering what life lesson my spiritual guardians were teaching me. It kept me up a couple nights this week. It stressed me out so I have been off my diet lately – by diet I mean forgetting to eat or not feeling hungry and doing something about that. And it made me extremely aware of the changes in my body.
Positive changes, but still changes.
So then I realized this was a boundary challenge and a lesson about social interaction. I am not a social person. My interaction is mostly limited to my parents (daily), work (frequent, but not often), and other people once or twice a month. Email and text are the preferred communication tools, but phone calls and video happen too.
My interactions with these people felt overwhelming and frustrating. They texted multiple times a day every day for over a week using the social media messengers. At first, they agreed to friendship. But then they wrote comments that seemed outside of friendship and into the realm of intimate relationships. And they refused to give me personal space when I asked for it.
But I felt confused because my experience with this kind of social interaction and communication is almost zero. So I asked myself what is really bothering me about all these communications? Is it that I started an account with another social media app to chat with this person outside of LinkedIn safely? Is it that I felt let down that I gave in to peer pressure and shared outside contact info with two people who were strangers?
And was I letting myself down by ending potential friendships with these people when I was trying to “put myself out there more”?
That final question was the biggest and most challenging to answer.
But in the end, I valued my personal and emotional safety more than making and keeping friends. These people, with their constant need for communication, disrespect of my personal boundaries, and triggering comments/emojis made me feel exposed, triggered, and unsafe to the point where I had trouble sleeping and eating again.
Between them and the big racism issues popping up everywhere, I felt like I was falling down the rabbit hole again. Nightmares, dreams, you name it I experienced it all week long.
The lesson I learned?
I am enough as I am. I am putting myself out there and trying new things. Sometimes, the “new things” don’t work, so it’s okay to stop and move on.
Being solitary suits me so there is no need to try and form outside friendships or continue friendships that feel unsafe. Next time I start to feel this way, remember Theodore Geisel aka Dr. Seuss and his reclusive, yet successful and happy lifestyle choices.
So yes I am angry. I feel residual past anger and present anger. The challenge now is to climb out of the rabbit hole.
Thanks for reading.