Wednesday, September 06, 2006

And This Week Was Supposed To Be Better

Last week, I was insanely busy and incredibly stressed, as many of you know.

This week isn't turning out much better.

I've been struggling with a few things and I've blogged about part of it at Killer Year. I don't know what I was originally going to blog about this week, but it all went sideways when several things came up yesterday that put me off track. The end result was that Kevin came home from fire training around 10:30 and I hadn't written a post. I made it to bed around 1:30 and it's 6:20 now.

I'm seriously grumpy.

One of the worst things about one situation I'm dealing with is that I know I'm right. I've done the acid test - ran the whole thing by someone who isn't afraid to tell me if I'm being a fucking pretentious idiot (these are the only people I really trust) - and was told what I needed to hear. I'm not wrong, something I actually knew from the beginning. It's just that sometimes, when you've been stressed and under a lot of pressure, you second-guess your own judgment. The only problem left was knowing how to deal with the situation.

Something I still haven't completely worked out.

No matter what I do, I risk upsetting people. I probably will upset people. The reality is, I typed in an email yesterday that we all in life have to make decisions we feel horrid about, and part of leadership is being the ones who make the tough call for the right reason, even if you feel like shit about it.

I can know it in my head. I can stand behind any course of action I choose to take - I have a clear conscience on that. But I also know this could be spun badly and used against me.

If this was eight months ago, I wouldn't give this choice a second thought. I know exactly what I'd do. But now, I find I have to consider how it will look and whether or not it will be misinterpreted. I have to consider damage control.

And I'm pretty unhappy about that. I don't want to be anything less than honest and I feel horribly conflicted.

I'm going to say something here I didn't say at Killer Year. When I left the Bible school, there were a lot of fingers pointed, a lot of tongues wagging. Oh, I left with a clear conscience, but a lot of people I left behind didn't know the meaning of the word. That was part of what I hated about my fishbowl life. All the gossip, the manipulation.

There were people who criticized me, who believed a lie. Yes, I worried about it. Yes, I was upset about it. I've always cared too fucking much about what people thought... That they know the truth at least and judge me for that instead of lies.

But over time, truths have a way of surfacing. And I didn't have to do anything myself for it to be proven. When the people who'd hurt me turned their attention to someone else, they had new understanding.

And one by one by one, a lof of the people who'd judged me found themselves in the same boat. Some even called me and told me they finally understood. It was then, in a chat with my 66-year-old 'adopted' mom that I told her you could think that seeing other people face the same thing, there'd be a certain amount of satisfaction in that. After all, I hadn't done anything wrong. Oh, I'm not saying I was perfect, but the reasons people alienated me were because of lies that were spread around about me. It was at this time in my life when my dad was arrested, actually it was the last time I saw him, and a number of other things happened that I was finding it hard to deal with, family truths that had surfaced. I was reeling from that and then...well, someone used info told in confidence about what was going on with my family to hurt me. I read in a daily bread once that the devil makes a falsehood stick by adding it to a grain of truth. This is often how it happens. Take one iota of honesty and add it to a million lies and the insignificant bit of truth in something validates the rest. How many times have I seen that happen, where I've judged or been judged on the part rather than the whole?

I'd already decided to leave the school. I'd already seen too much, knew too much, felt sick with some things I'd had to choke on over the years.

When the same thing happened to some of the people who'd pointed fingers at me, I thought it would feel good. That I'd feel vindicated.

Instead, when I told my friend you might think there'd be a certain amount of satisfaction in that, I told her I'd learned there wasn't. All I felt was empty, and bitterly disappointed that anyone else had to face what I'd gone through. It wasn't that the truth won out. It was that the same people who were so hurtful to me had hurt others, and by doing what they did it took the blinders off their new victims. They saw that all who'd gone before had endured the same, and been judged on the bulk of the lies. It took a knife through the heart for them to bring them to see the truth for others, and that's never how it should be.

Whenever I start feeling like this, I want to withdraw. This is why I don't keep the big things secret - they can never be used against me again.

I suppose a lot right now depends on how I feel at the end of today, but I might take a week off and go awol. Not like I've been around as much as usual anyway. Over the past few months I've had my share of highs and lows and all that's really mattered is that I've kept my own head on straight and can live with myself. It isn't that I can't right now, it's that in the handful of things that have happened, one has hurt me in a way that I'm struggling to deal with and I need to put it into perspective.

Sorry to vent here. I just need to figure some things out.

And get some more sleep.


Anonymous said...

Sounds to me like you need to go take care of yourself for awhile. If that's what ya gotta do, that's what ya gotta do. We'll miss you if you take some time off, but you need to put yourself first. norby

Trace said...

I agree with Norby. Take care of yourself. Sometimes it all just gets too much. I totally understand where you're coming from. I'm still hiding and nesting here in Northern Ontario.

Trace said...

Also, you're a fair person, Sandra. Those who know you know that you don't make snap judgements and that you think things through.

mai wen said...

Hey Girl, wow, for some reason I think me and you have been on the same wave length recently and have somewhat similar past experiences!

I'm feeling stressed and out of control, it doesn't help that the whole work Christmas situation has escalated since the office gossip found out that I initiated it and has been telling people, so now people are confronting me about it when I feel that it was my private opinion and since my office is probably 90% Christian a lot of people are up in arms about it because the HR in our main office decided to call the party an "end of the year party" instead of Christams. Fine, give me that "Holiday" offends you because of all the hooplah last year about it, but "end of the year party" offends people?? WTF? Now that I've been "outed" as the Christmas Hater in the office (which I don't!!) I feel even more like a minority and judged because I'm different, something I had to grow up with.

Argh, life sure can kick you in the ass from time to time and I feel your pain! I hope things will work out well for you, I'm going to my father-in-law's cabin with my hubby and my dogs this weekend to get away and RELAX! Haha. It's even more frustrating that I don't have time to read for pleasure or write because life's been pulling me in a million different directions, so this weekend I should be able to do whatever the hell I want! I hope you get some time off like that! I'll be sending you my positive energy and karma (which to me is the same as saying, you'll be in my prayers. :))

Much Love.

Sandra Ruttan said...

Internet woes have hindered my reply. :(

Norby and Trace, thanks so much, and Norby thanks for all the great jokes! Trace, I appreciate the vote of confidence.

Mai Wen... Oh, how I've wanted to address this for a few hours! You know I can see both sides of the equation about the party, but I think those people are making a mountain out of a molehill. It's really funny, because this morning I was thinking about a Steve Taylor song called Lifeboat - this is 80s Christian music. The song is about values clarification. It starts off like this:

Teacher: Good morning, class!

Class: Good morning, Mrs. Aryan.

Teacher: Today we're going to play a game!

Class: Yeah!

Teacher: This game is called Lifeboat. All together...

Class: Lifeboat!

Teacher: Good! Lifeboat is a lesson in values clarification. Can you say values clarification?

Class: No.

Teacher: Values clarification is where your little minds decide which lives are worth living and which lives are worth ...ahem... not living. Now here's how we play. A big ship just sank. There are five people on the lifeboat. But the lifeboat is only made for two. I'll list the five people on the chalkboard, and you, class, will decide which three will be thrown overboard. Are we ready?

Class: Yes, Mrs. Aryan.

So, what cracks me up is that people who are supposed to be hell bent on "saving" you are persecuting you. You have the basis for a discrimination suit at work if people harass you over this. You took a stand on something, and under the circumstances it was a fair point - why should you always cater to a 'Christian' majority? I highly doubt the purpose of your work "Christmas" party would have been a prayer vigil and singing carols, maybe a scripture reading. If not, then what the hell difference does it make what it's called? NONE.

If you want to read that song you can find it here - it's hysterical. Not something you commonly associate with 80s Christian rock, but Steve Taylor was one of a kind.

Hang in there, and all good energy and karma right back to you. I know what you mean, exactly. I'm channeling positive vibes in your direction!

Bonnie Calhoun said...

Wow, this sounds like a heavy proble. I'm pretty sure you know I won't blow smoke up your butt, so if you want to run it by someone with a totally differnt world view, you know where I the meantime, I'll be praying for you and your peace!

Sandra Ruttan said...

Bonnie, I really appreciate that. You know how relaxed I am, and you're one of the most non-judgmental people I know. I'd come to you in a heartbeat, and when I start to wrap my brain around some of this, I just might! Thanks for the offer. XO

Evil Kev said...

Remember, there is no problem that can not be solved with a 2x4 with a rusty nail in it.

Christa M. Miller said...

Thinking of you, Sandra. I'll second Bonnie's offer, though I think Kevin's idea is a good one too. Take care.

JamesO said...

And a problem shared is a problem two people have;}#

Seriously though, Sandra, I'm sorry you're having a hard time and I hope things start to look up soon. Take a week off from everything if you can - read some good books and forget about the world.

My grandmother, who alas died before I was old enough to get to know her, always said that if you can't say something good about a person, you should say nothing. It's a very hard thing to do - far easier to maintain a shallow friendship through mutual bitching about a third party than by sharing positive experiences - but it's something we should all try a little more.

Sadly, there will always be people who take the easy option and revel in their ability to tell nasty tales about others, regardless of the truth in any matter. Take comfort from the knowledge that these people do it for the sense of power it gives them, and that power is usually short-lived. In truth, they are sad, lonely souls, unable to form lasting relationships, and anything they say will likely be ignored by most.

It's a tired old adage, but be true to yourself, that's all that matters. The rest can all go hang.

mai wen said...

Thanks for your comments Sandra, both here and Killer Year! That is the weirdest song I think I've ever read! I can't imagine what it'd sound like, but now I have to find out. I'll have to root around and find a copy somewhere!

anne frasier said...

aw, sandra. so sorry i haven't been over here. and so sorry you're going through a tough time right now. you and i do seem to be a lot a like, and sometimes i think i'm a lightning rod for this kind of crap. i no longer live where i spent 20 years of my life and where i raised my family because of a similiar situation. and i know my leaving made the lies even more believable, but i wasn't going to remain in such an unhealthy environment in order to prove something to the very people who had screwed me over. and this is so true: the devil makes a falsehood stick by adding it to a grain of truth.

i truly understand how a person can kill somebody.

(did i just say that???? :O)

but please don't do that. hire somebody else to do it for you.

Patry Francis said...

Sandra, I don't know exactly what you're going through, but I am feeling some similar stress. Too much to do and too little time--and I'm supposed to be writing a book too (in my spare time, of course.)

ivan said...

It's just the full moon, babies.
This will pass.

Sandra Ruttan said...

Evil Kev, if you call me bootilicious bling one more time, I will get a board...

Christa, thanks.

James, sage words, as always. Your grandmother was wise - you are too.

Mai Wen, you should see the video! The guy dressed up as the female teacher. For Christian rock, he was pretty radical.

Anne, you and I are cut from the same cloth, no doubt about it! Sadly, but at least we understand each other. And the desire to kill. :)

Patry, I know you've been super-swamped. Hope things level out soon.

Ivan, out here, the full moon was red. I kid you not - I went outside the get the pups and thought about getting the camera - it was gorgeous.

Andrea Maloney said...

Sandra, i'm so sorry you have been going through some tough crap! But just do what you know is right. Sometimes you have to do what's right even though it's not the easiest solution. Hang in there and don't forget to take some time for yourself even if you have to unplug the phone and computer.