Upon reading that word, my initial association was not that of flavor or taste. The first concept that popped into my mind was “sad”.
You see, the timing of this word: Bitter, as The Daily Prompt, follows a meeting I had, yesterday, with a person whom I removed my from my life, about six months ago. The removal of this person was quite intentional and, also, something I did not execute very well. That is what I gathered from his reaction, at the time, anyway.
However, yesterday’s encounter relieved me of any quilt I may have had due to how well I did or did not end that relationship.
Yesterday, I was assaulted with a bombardment of cruel and vile accusations and labels. The words held no truth or justification. But, they weren’t meant to ring true or to accomplish any goal other than to cause pain.
I walked away. Not because I needed to avoid pain so much as because I seriously needed to avoid retaliating in kind. In spite of how far I have progressed in changing my mindset and the negative and destructive emotions and actions that are natural results of such thinking, there was a part of me that had a real desire to “shred” him. That is a very dangerous threat to my well being and would be far more hurtful than any words he could say.
It has taken me many years to make the progress that I have. I am not sure if anyone who hasn’t had to can understand what it takes for one to drop all the security blankets they have swaddled themselves in. But, I had wrapped them all so tightly around me that I was squeezing the very life out of myself; like a snake constricts around its prey. But, as you may or may not know, dropping those barriers is not easy even when one knows it is slowly killing you. The first thing needed is to honestly realize and acknowledge that they are not the coping devices or buffering comforter that you want them to be or that you have convinced yourself they are.
In order to accomplish that, a bold retrospective must take place. I went around and round, in endless, draining, circles, until I was able to admit that it was my mindset, my blankets, that were actually causing all the situations I felt the need to protect myself from! My denial, my self-doubt and degradation, and my attempts to compensate for or blame others for my weaknesses were, in actuality, dictating my actions that caused my being in bad places with bad people. That always had bad results, caused more feelings of failure and, in a nasty cycle, fed and fortified all those negative feelings so that all efforts simply did no more than tighten the swaddling of what I had, long ago, mistook for protection and security.
As I said, it has been a hard, shocking, and painful process. It has, also, been a miraculous and amazing feeling to begin finally understanding why my life was what seemed to be just one mistake and heartbreak after another. It has been such a relief to no longer carry such a burden of guilt and regret and it is, just now, that I am knowing a sense of peace and appreciation for the person I am finding that I am and can be, now that I have let go of the person that I allowed my fear to create.
But, yesterday, all that was threatened as I felt my stomach turn into a knotted ball and my jaw begin to slightly ache in its effort to keep my mouth shut. At that moment, I knew that I had to examine my reactions and their motivations, but I also knew that, at that moment, I needed to remove myself from the stimuli as soon as possible. I could analyze it later.
I walked away. He attempted to text. I blocked all methods of communication. I have no way of knowing what he thought of my walking away. I don’t need to. I do not care.
What I do know, my conclusion of later analysis, is that my walking away made his bitterness his own problem; not a shared one.
I know that I feel no doubts as to my having made the right decisions, both months ago and yesterday.
I know that his bitterness is a product of his blankets. It is what his mindset has dictated is needed to protect himself. By assigning all transgression and fault for his feelings of perceived hurt and rejection to me, there is no need for him to even consider looking into his own mindset for any reason I may have been justified in deeming him as not a desirable element in my life.
I, also, know that we, too often, decide it is easier to be angry than heartbroken. Too bad it isn’t healthier.
Bitter. That word brings to me a feeling of resigned sadness. I have been where he is; where bitterness lives. I can only pray that he finds some inspiration to look inside himself for a way to feel different about himself and his world.
Me? I’m good!