Thursday, October 4, 2012

Forgiveness. Is that a thing?

I did a really stupid thing this morning, which probably in the long term, grand scheme of things wasn't a big deal, but for me it is so symbolic of my personal eff'ed-uppedness that I am very ashamed and I don't want to talk about it. And I sent Ian a text about it, and he, in an attempt to be kind and helpful, sent back (among sympathy and other things) reasons why this wasn't my fault. The same reasons I had come up with myself. But really, the bottom line was and is that it was my fault. Entirely. Yeah, things could have been different, could have been easier for me, or the other people involved could have made more of an effort, but they shouldn't have had to. I wasn't where I needed to be, doing what I needed to do. I was the irresponsible, lazy one. No excuse will change that.

While I was going on about this, Ian pointed out that I have a tendency to beat myself up. And while I guess that's true, I don't feel like I'm doing that right now--or at least, I don't feel like I'm doing it more than I deserve, which I guess is the issue.

I realized, not for the first time, that while I am pretty good at forgiving other people, I am really not good at forgiving myself. And that's pretty normal, I guess. But it still isn't healthy or good. I don't ever do it. There are some things, a lot of things, I think, that I sort of just let slide--I consider them to be an acceptable symptom of an issue that is "in progress," or whatever, I let them go, I move on. But then sometimes I do things that are much more difficult to let go of. Usually this involves breaking/losing something irreplaceable, doing something unfixable, and/or doing or failing to do something really stupid that would have taken little or no effort to do correctly, if only I would just be where I was supposed to be, doing what I was supposed to do.

So instead of dealing with this or forgiving myself or whatever, I obsess over it for a while, and then I push it away and forget and refuse to think about it until the next time. And today I realized--or remembered--that while I do a fair job of convincing myself (when it comes up at church or in conversation) that 'I have got that shame thing under control; that's not an issue for me,' I don't. In actuality, I have a denial complex and I am pretty good about temporarily forgetting things when I want to, and what looks like a clean slate is really a sheet thrown over this big ball of unresolved shame and anger that I carry around. Doing stupid things like I did this morning, or obsessing about having done them, brings back memories and more negativity about stupid things I did as a child, even, and spins in circles of why-am-I-such-an-idiot?

I don't write this as a pity party. I write this in hopes that I will remember it this time so that I can work on it and so that one of these days I can, I hope, find a solution.

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