How Other People *Choose* To Act Around Me is Literally Never My Fault

Compassion should never be used to excuse bad behavior

Harmony S

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Photo by jovin kallis on Unsplash

I drive my husband nuts sometimes.

Whenever someone does something shitty, he’s quick to assert when the other party did something wrong. For me, however, I overthink and go down a giant checklist of useless ponderings, such as:

Was the other person in a bad mood?

Are they insecure about x? Maybe they feel they have to act dickishly for y reason

Maybe I looked at them weird and gave them a vibe they picked up on subconsciously

Etcetera. You get the idea. I don’t like to judge, basically.

To be fair, it’s kinda true. Our personalities are in fact shaped and rooted in childhood experiences, traumas, relationships, general knowledge about the world, values that were ‘rewarded’, and so on.

However, I have spent far too much time giving others the benefit of the doubt that I know 90% of them would never do for me.

This has sadly come at my detriment. I’ve justified shithole toxic behavior, which I now know was probably a trauma-adaptation response to a caregiver’s Russian Roulette-style moodswings.

I can’t blame myself, though. Like I had a literal caregiver who I had to adapt around. I still remember going ghost white as a little kid when I recognized an early onset of an episode. She’d start howling in anger about some random thing that pissed her off. Maybe the drawer got stuck, so she’d rip it out and slam it shut until it broke.

Then she’d cry and wail about breaking the drawer. Oh, wait, is that a hair brush that still has a wig of hair in it?

I’d hear the stomping grow. This was when I braced myself. I’d either cry or stonewall. Learning to pretend to not give a fuck protected me from getting her even more ballistic.

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Harmony S

H A P P Y and you should be TOO!!! LIFE IS AMAZING 👏🦝🦄🌺🍭I write for ILLUMINATION, The Memoirist, Fuck Niches, and The Orange Journal.