A person entered my life long ago, and has the distinct dishonor of having remained one of the most annoying individuals I have ever met. A screech-on-the-chalkboard voice, a nail running-down-your-spine personality. I am not alone in this assessment, but that’s beside the point.
I did not invite this individual in. It managed that on its own, in a sneaky and sleazy fashion. There is no honor, kindness, or decency. There’s only crazy. It has taken my
foolish, ridiculous, pie in the sky, wishful thinking self a long time to accept that the adrenaline that races through my body at the sound of this person’s voice, or the sight of it, is an internal alarm screaming for me to get the fuck out of the area, stay away.
I want to believe people. I want nice. I want to trust. Traits that are both blessings (when people are deserving) and curses (when they are not). A lesson my father once shared, and a reminder: “You can trust, be nice, believe—but only to those who are deserving, who have proven themselves, who are worthy. Trust with wisdom, do not trust indiscriminately.”
My parents, now gone, return in small ways. Both knew the individual of whom I speak, neither would have wasted much time on it. I hear their words of support and advice, and this helps. I have been through this before. A piece of me believes, beyond all normal reasoning, that a situation can (and should, let us not forget the should) be different for my own sense of normal, peace, stillness. But it isn’t. And I have no control over another person’s thought processes or behaviors.
The good news is that I no longer have people like this in my life (excepting this) and my involvement here is minimal. Hope does not equate to what’s so, and wishful thinking is equivalent to fantasy. In the end, I remember my parents words of advice because that’s as good a way to start a day as any:
Mom: The easy way is the hard way in the end, and Dad: Trust with wisdom.
We’ve all allowed people like this into our lives, Wendy; you’re not alone in that. My wise and wonderful daughter refers to them as “toxic.” I know how difficult it can be to cut them out of our life and if that’s not possible, to limit our own exposure to them. Like you, I wan to believe in the innate goodness and worth of people, however, naivete serves no useful purpose. You were blessed to have such wise parents!
Yes, I was blessed with wise and loving parents. And I would agree with your daughter’s assessment of these type of people as being toxic. Thank you for your comment. It helps when we feel less alone in our (naive) behavior!
Trust but verify. The person in my life wasn’t exactly toxic–he was charming, funny, smart, sexy– and we agreed on so many things it’s hard to imagine our relationship wouldn’t work. I wanted so much to believe him–so much that I married him…twice. And, divorced him twice. Sometimes if feels like life is just something we keep stumbling through.
Love that! Perhaps he wasn’t toxic, just wrong. That’s a funny story though, would like to hear more!