Fine or F*ck You
This seems to be the way I operate in life. Neither is really honest or real but it has become my default. Let me explain...
If you ask me how I am doing, I will tell you fine. And a good part of the time I am. But there are many other times where I say that I am fine when I am not. Those occasions where fine has totally left the building are likely when you have hurt my feelings that I don’t want to own that I have, when you do something I don’t like but I can’t tell you that I don’t like it, when you have let me down and I am swimming in how little I seem to matter. I am not fine, but I will not tell you that.
The other pole I seem to loop around is fuck you. Now this fuck you pole is usually met just after one of the above things have happened, a lot. I have a saturation point where how you have treated me reached a crisis in my head and then I am no longer fine, I am done. So fuck you. And away I go.
Notice how none of the above ways of coping actually involve you? You act, I lie to you and tell you things that make you believe I am ok, then those things that are not ok that I am calling ok build up to the point that there is nothing left for me to do but leave you...
I KNOW THIS IS FUCKED UP!
But I do it. Every single time. Ok, well I am working on it so I will claim marginal progress.
I am learning to say that I am not ok. That the way you treated me is not ok. In the moment, when I am actually feeling injured or hurt or pissed or dismissed. It is brutal. I am not good at it. It is awkward and halting and down right weird sometimes. But I am doing it differently and so awkward, halting and weird is just how I do different.
I am also learning to stay when I want to say fuck you and walk. That is also hard. And this is extremely uncomfortable. And I am finding it is really hard to stay, when I feel like I want to run and never speak to you again.
Perhaps you think all of the above is childish and immature. Well, it is. But I have come to view life as one long continuous lesson where you get to work out all your shit, one decade after another. It is hard. And exhausting. And not a great deal of fun. But the payoff, oh the payoff! I learn a new skill which leads me to greater and greater intimacy in my life. I am amazed this is possible, after all this time, this old dog CAN learn a new trick.
I find that is what aging is doing for me. I am living less on the periphery and more in the middle. It is so much safer in the middle and I like me better than when I have existed on the raw edges of fine and fuck you. It isn’t honest. And it isn’t really me. It is this persona who grew up in my defense when I was experiencing so many things that I couldn’t manage or control. And I didn’t notice for decades that her services were not really required anymore.
I do now. And I am working on my ingrained fine or fuck you issues. One moment, one day and one relationship at a time. I am finding that it takes a great deal of courage to be me. It takes next level courage to be me and let you see that. When you hurt me, when you let me down, when I have unrealistic expectations, when I am terrified and want to run away. Somedays it is more than I can stand and so I revert to my old standbys: fine and fuck you. But they don’t provide the comfort they once did. And so my time spent in either fine or fuck you is limited. And that is progress.
I am not sure what I am going to call this newer middle existence. The poles of fine and fuck you are still there...but I don’t fly around them like I used to. Now I am really trying to be brave and just say what I think and let you do the fine or fuck you dance if that is your thing. See since I did that, I thought every one else did too. Turns out, some people do but there are those amazing others who are capable of hearing the truth and stick around anyway. Those are the keepers.
I think my two new poles are marginally ok and you scare me. And that my friends is amazing progress. May not seem like it to most, but for me it truly is. I am grateful. I am blessed. And I am growing up. I am becoming more comfortable with viewing life as one long (if you are lucky) growing up. We call it growing old but what it really is, is growing up. All the way through fine and fuck you. I may never get a life time achievement award...but at least I can see the growth and change. And because I can see it, I can reap the rewards.