Retreat your shadow


​Ever since my self-assertion leg of this journey, I’ve had trouble asserting myself when that would mean sparking a conflict. Egocentric and insecure bullies thrive on shutting people down, so responding to them won’t go down well. 
I pick up on malicious and toxic intents like sensors pick up on intruders in Area 51: way before they reach the main gates. And I shut that down quicker than an off switch. 

Which can be confounding to unaware onlookers, since it appears like I’m lashing out at seemingly innocent statements. 

It always put me at odds, and I’d end up dialling down my real reaction and censor myself, even in lashing out. And I’d let people walk over me for way too long, so as to wait for when their transgression is clear enough for me to have a case. As if this is a court of law. 

I never knew where the cognitive dissonance stemmed from within me. Why did I feel wrong for protecting myself? Why did I feel like I had to act graceful or polite? Why was I worried that people would think I’m belligerent and mean? 
Today I got answered through an interaction on my blog, where someone told me this:
I was very much like you, except there was and is little anyone can say or do to make me doubt myself. Teachers who tried, I challenged and often won, and they hated me for it. When I came first in my classes, I could often expect no thanks or congrats from teachers, beyond my awards. Students tried as well and clashed with either my iron will or a fist. I wish that strength came more easily for everyone, but the older I get, the more I realise it does not…
I picked up on the sly arrogance and put the commentator in her place. After a few back and forths, I felt emotions stirred up in me, and as always I penned them thus:

{I’m not here to be nice to people. 
I’m here to be nice to myself. 

And those who aren’t ok with that

I aint gonna pander to them

My love aint a public park
It’s most exclusive and secluded 

Transgress at your own risk }
Bump. Cognitive dissonance. I felt uneasy. A debate ensued within me:

Me1: That’s not nice Mulki. How are you any different than the people who shit on you?
Me2: Excuse you. I never do any harm to others, but I have every right to defend myself. I’ve been putting up with bs far too long. I’m a person not an abstract idea.
Me1: Yeah, but what will people think? You’re emitting negative energy 
Me2: I’m not emitting negative energy, I’m repelling it. I’m not about to absorb shit to make others feel at ease. 
Me1:Hmm ok. 
Me2: Wait, rewind. ‘What will people think’ – you’re concerned about what people think?
Me1: * squirming* eh, well
Me2: Ah. I get it. You’ve been secretly judging others and now you’re afraid that others would judge you the way you judge them! Spill the beans naaya!!
Me1: 🙈🙈🙈🙈🙈
And that’s how I discovered my assholery. I had judged people who put bullies and passive aggressive folks in their places without ‘meeting them half way’ or ‘ taking the high road’ . They made me feel uncomfortable. They made me flinch. 

But why?
Because of my Stockholm syndrome. My life could be summed up thusly: Being Taken Advantage of. 
I made peace with that by intellectualizing people’s violations and transgressions by faux morality and kindness. I thought being a doormat was me being the bigger person. What utter bollocks. I was a coward and that’s that. I failed myself. I let the world flood me. And it’s from others damage that I’m still recovering from. 

Not only that, to let sleeping cognitive dissonance lay, I projected my fears of standing up against bullies and toxic people on to those who refused to sacrifice themselves at the altars of self-hate. I couldn’t look at them without being reminded of my cowardice. 

So I was punished by having to live in the reality I judged others by. And it suits me just fine. It’s sweet karma you see; whatever you project on others will haunt and hurt you. We create our own realities you see. By choosing what we let out and what we let in. 

And don’t get me wrong; I’m not blaming myself for what others did to me. I’m blaming myself for having made peace with that and continued to carry on their violent legacy by internalizing all the negativity. 
I failed myself, miserably. I betrayed myself in the worst of ways. And for that, I need to repent. I need to redeem myself, to myself. 
And the mind boggling irony is that I came this great discovery by a negative comment on a post that has the following passage: 

{My hypersensitivity and my above average intelligence made a dangerous concoction. I’d see and understand things a child my age shouldn’t have to ponder. I’d be debilitated by the emotional impact of my idealism and bleeding heart. I was incredibly naive, as lying wasn’t something I could fathom. And I had high expectations of the world. When the world inevitably showed its cracks, I didn’t know how to reconcile that.
So I assumed it’s because I was cracked and flawed. It was easier to absorb all the wrong and darkness in the world than to live with the cognitive dissonance of seeing the disparity between the ideal and the reality….
[…] I attributed all bad in the world to myself and as such I believed I deserved all bad. This mindset would be the gateway of the most horrendous things that were to happen.  }

Full circle. 

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