Please Don’t Be Kind To Me

kindness

 

Please don’t be kind to me -unless you have tissues. Whenever people show me any sort of kindness, I break. You see, I was brought up with a Mother who hated me and an extended family who put me in emotional debt, whenever they showed me any sort of compassion or kindness. The message I took from this, growing up was: I don’t deserve kindness. Kindness for me, was something I had to earn. It wasn’t a birth right, or even a basic human right. If someone was kind to me, it meant I had to be in their debt.

I view other peoples’ kindness as a commodity. Not in the sense that I can exploit it, or make a gain from it. I mean in the sense that other people have a limited supply of kindness, and they have to spend it wisely. Whenever anyone is kind to me, I view it as a waste of their kindness quota. They haven’t invested their kindness wisely. Don’t get me wrong, they’ll get a return on their kindness investment. It’s just that their return will include snot and tears – and lots of it.

As you probably already know, I’ve recently been through the mill. I cut off my extended family, who had a lot of influence in my life. In cutting them off, I and my immediate family have been subjected to abuse and harassment, on a worringly epic scale. I won’t lie to you. My recovery from depression has taken a nose dive, in the last 4 weeks. I’ve gone from the strong willed, middle-finger-flipping survivor of recent months, back to the broken mess of yesteryear.

The latest incident of harassment ( I wrote a post on it, entitled The Cold War), left me completely shattered. I had to face facts – my own family don’t love me. That’s a hard pill to swallow. And it’s an even harder pill to swallow, when you have depression. Depression brings an internal narrative with it, which tells you constantly that you’re a horrible person who deserves to die. Add to the mix a family who hates you, and you have the perfect storm.

Since the incident with my family, I’ve felt even more, that I don’t deserve kindness. I’m damaged goods – a flawed human being, who should be out cast from society. If even my family don’t love me or like me, then I’m an unlovable, unlikeable person. I felt that everyone knew how unlovable I am, and they believed the lies that have been spread about me and my husband, by my family.

Here’s an example of my emotional fragility, right now:

Last week at work, I had a rare emotional outburst. Our labourer brought me some work, as he always does; but on this occasion he said to me “I’ve brought you a good pallet. (he’d brought me a pallet of work, which would make hitting my target easier). You deserve an easy pallet.” As he said it, he winked at me in a “I’m on your side” kind of way. Well, that was it. I burst into tears. How ridiculous. What is the matter with me? The poor guy thought he’d upset me. I tried to explain that he hadn’t, but as English (mixed with bodily fluids) isn’t his first language, he didn’t get a word I tried to splutter to him. Poor bugger. He’ll probably keep the good work away from me now.

Whenever anyone has shown me any kindness over the past few weeks, they’ve been met with tears and all round pathetic -ness. What the hell is wrong with me? All I know is, I want to get back to the strong-willed, middle-finger-flipping woman, I once was. 

 

 

Photo by Evan Kirby, courtesy of Unsplash

 

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

When Two Bloggers Met In The Flesh

meet

Last Sunday, my husband and I attended a Holy Communion party, for a friend’s son.  Around an hour in, my husband introduced me to a friend’s sister. He had mentioned in passing, a while back, that she was a blogger too. He introduced us as fellow bloggers, and I felt very self conscious. I’m not at the stage yet, where I can talk openly to strangers about my blog – not in the flesh, anyway. I’m perfectly fine promoting my blog to strangers online; but you won’t find me circulating a function room, saying “hi, I’m Caroline and I write a mental health blog.”

Andrea asked what my blog is about, and I could’ve sworn the music had stopped and everyone in the room was staring at me. It hadn’t, and they weren’t, but my social anxiety likes to convince me otherwise. Oh, shit. I took a big gulp of my drink, and told her. My social anxiety cackled in my ear, and told me that she thought I was a social pariah. In reality, Andrea didn’t bat an eyelid. Unflinchingly, she asked me for the name of my blog. I gave it to her and asked her about her blog.

To say that Andrea’s blog is about her life with cancer, would be a huge injustice to her, and her blog. Her having cancer, was the reason she started her blog; but it isn’t just about that. She also writes about all the beauty she has in her life: her family, her friends, her children and some very naughty bunny rabbits. Her blog is her way of keeping everyone who knows her updated, so she doesn’t have to repeat herself; every time she sees them. She finds that some people are even afraid to ask her how she’s doing, in case they upset her. So there’s an elephant in her room too.

I left the party, not even expecting to have gained a new reader. But when I logged into WordPress, the next day; I found that Andrea had followed my blog. Then I really did feel self conscious. My blog isn’t pretty, and I write about all the ugly demons in my head. My posts have a lot of profanities in them, so to have someone read it, who’s met me in the flesh; is a very nerve racking experience. It’s like having a dream that you turn up to work without any clothes on, only to find out it isn’t a dream. She must think I’m Queen Batshit of Crazyville. Or worse, that I’m the Duchess of Filthtown. Yuck. Why didn’t I start a twee little craft blog, or a fluffy baking one; complete with photos of a gingham print tablecloth and an air of smug housewifery? Anyway, I hope she doesn’t think I’m a complete nutjob, with questionable morals. If she does, she’s probably not too far from the truth; if I’m honest.

I’ll draw this self pitying monologue to a close and leave you with a link to Andrea’s blog. Go and give her, her blog and the naughty bunny rabbits some love. You won’t regret it.

 

Photo by Alexis Brown, courtesy of Unsplash