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Getting over it...

When getting all introspective and learning new things about yourself/changing your mind about something, when do you stop calling it "a part of growing up" and start "chucking it up to getting older?" I wonder about that sometimes. Is it no longer "part of growing up" because I've crossed over the 30 threshold? Or is it "part of growing older" because it’s an increase in cynicism?
For years I’ve had a fear of being perceived as a villain. I’m Mir, you know, sweet, amiable Mir. Good person all around, diplomatic Mir. I know we are all the protagonists of our own story and think of ourselves as such and that only with hindsight can we look back and see that we were kinda being a dick. I know when I look back on it there have been times that I was pretty insufferable company at the least, prone to snobbery here and there, or at worst, just totally flat-out in the wrong. But you know, over all I consider myself an empathetic, principled, good natured person.
Yet for such a person as I see myself as, it seems inconsistent that I have had a handful of falling-outs with friends.
In the first big falling out I had with a best friend—the major one that has affected my actions ever since—I ended the friendship pretty much because I couldn’t stand being vilified by her romantic interest. Looking back on it, I could see some things about me that made my company a bit insufferable, true, but not worth being painted as a “dying appendage that you constantly have to massage, tell it it’s pretty and talk to it” amongst other pages and pages of derogatory quotes. You may think, Mir that was 8 years ago and you’re still quoting it? Yeah, I know. It really struck a chord with me. It was a big blow to me that someone could walk into my life and completely repaint a dear friend's impression of me. That with some clever manipulation, someone could do a revisionist history job on a friend who has known me closely for years and change their minds like the facts never mattered. And that has kind of terrified me for years and stuck with me. So yes, I still hold a grudge an yes, for years I have been terrified of t same thing ever happening to me again.

Years later I had another falling out with another best friend while I was away in London. I was of course fairly removed due to my physical location but still affected in it all. Just this year that bridge is slowly being rebuilt. In the past year I have heard the following responses from it. One was that the huge falling out with all four of us might not have happened if I had been in Seattle. (Which made me go "awww" and affirmed my positive, diplomatic self-image However, I also heard from the grape vine that I am just basically fickle and stop being friends wit people on a whim. That really annoyed me mostly because that is soooo not how that happened but also because, well, that opinion paints me as some kind of villain.  It upset me enough to contact this person to explain myself and this was just about a month ago.

Now to the real point. Someone came into my life who I recognized to be manipulative and was once again dating my best friend. I was terrified of making some sort of misstep that would open the door to having this person turn me into a villain and losing my best friend yet again. That terror of how I might be perceived by someone I care about caused me to not really have the best interest of my friend in mind. In turn, I was afraid to point out red flags I saw in this manipulative person, I was too complaisant, too worried about offending etc. Then it came to my attention of how not jut manipulative but dangerous this person was. Suddenly, again hindsight, I saw how fucking egotistical and petty I was being. I shouldn't have been hung up about me being vilified. I needed to worry about my best friend, her well being and her safety first.

So not to get into the ins-and-outs of the situation and what went down I will say that I stopped holding back and advised my best friend based on what  saw was going on. And yet some of my friends are still friends with this manipulative person (even my best friend wants to remain friends with this person for reasons I can not wrap my head around) and it has come to my attention that my influence might be painted as rash, harsh villain-like. I realize that to the folks who know nothing of how things went down that my cohorts and I are the terrible bad guys and this will be exaggerated due to the manipulative nature of the individual in question. To which I can finally say...Fuck it. I don't care. Call me a villain. Call me a cunt. Say that I over reacted. I don't give a shit. I know that when I put my best friend's well being, her safety, he metal state, first over worrying about whether or not it meant looking like the bad guy, that is when I was doing the right thing. If I lose friends over this , if the manipulative person gains alleys, so fucking be it. The people who know me best and love me know that I was looking out for my best friend (and I should add that importantly she feels this way too) and that's all that matters.

If anything I've learned from this I was better at being the real good guy when I stopped worrying about being seen as the bad guy. And after all this drama and tragedy I can't tell if that is a cynical or hopefull lesson.

 

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