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