Reconciliation and Love

I real­ize that with some of the recent crap, some peo­ple may find my post about rec­on­cil­i­a­tions hypocritical.

I’m a very pas­sion­ate per­son. I’m out­spo­ken, and I pre­fer to tell some­one exact­ly what I think instead of play­ing any games. Nobody has to won­der where they stand with me if we inter­act at all.

I also con­sid­er it impor­tant to act with love, no mat­ter what my emo­tions say about any par­tic­u­lar per­son. I’m not talk­ing about the fuzzy-wuzzy, rain­bows and bun­nies kind of love. I mean act­ing as I sin­cere­ly believe is best for all par­ties con­cerned. Katie is my top pri­or­i­ty when there’s a con­flict between what may be best for some­one, fol­lowed by Sam and myself, then our oth­er loved ones.

I con­sid­er it unlov­ing for any­one to enable unhealthy behav­iors. It sucks when you have to take steps to estab­lish or keep your bound­aries with some­one for whom you feel affec­tion, espe­cial­ly, but it’s the most lov­ing thing to do. It’s the lov­ing thing to do with ANYONE, in fact.

In recov­ery cir­cles, peo­ple often refer to “the ele­phant in the liv­ing room.” They’re talk­ing about being in denial about some seri­ous prob­lem, ignor­ing it like try­ing to walk around an ele­phant in the midst of the liv­ing room despite the fact that it’s very obvi­ous­ly there. There’s noth­ing lov­ing about pre­tend­ing that the ele­phant isn’t there, and there’s noth­ing lov­ing about pre­tend­ing that some­one who is mak­ing real­ly bad choic­es is per­fect­ly fine.

Yes, it can be eas­i­er (in the short term) to just ignore prob­lems. Many times it’s eas­i­er to sim­ply dis­as­so­ci­ate from some­one instead of point­ing out a seri­ous prob­lem, and when a rela­tion­ship isn’t impor­tant, it might be the wis­est course of action. It isn’t par­tic­u­lar­ly lov­ing, though. And in cas­es where the rela­tion­ship IS impor­tant, or can­not be dis­solved (for exam­ple, when you have chil­dren with the oth­er per­son), just avoid­ing deal­ing with it isn’t a viable option.

It’s also often eas­i­er to walk away from con­flicts and injus­tice than to con­front them. I come from a back­ground that real­ly encour­aged me to avoid ANY con­flict, to just walk away, to pre­tend not to hear attacks and insults, to react pas­sive-aggres­sive­ly if at all. That was­n’t healthy for me.

I don’t ignore what I per­ceive to be injus­tice now. I won’t ignore any sig­nif­i­cant attack on me and mine, espe­cial­ly from some­one who has an insol­u­ble rela­tion­ship with my life part­ner. I do choose to dis­as­so­ci­ate with some peo­ple, but I won’t make any attempt to deny why I’m doing so in those sit­u­a­tions even if being hon­est caus­es some­one to get pissed off.

If I’ve cho­sen to dis­as­so­ci­ate from you or have sim­ply refused con­tact with you in some way, believe it or not, I do per­ceive that as the most lov­ing thing for all con­cerned. If you don’t agree, tell me so. Tell me why you think so. Tell me what you think would have been, or would be, more lov­ing. Tell me what, if any­thing, has changed.

If I care about you, I’m going to be extreme­ly hon­est with you. I’ll tell you what I think. I will, in fact, prac­tice rad­i­cal hon­esty with you—and I’ll stick around to deal with the results. If you need to get angry and blow off steam, I’ll still be around. If you need to go process and get back to me on the issue, that’s fine. I’m not going to let it be swept under the rug, though. We will talk what­ev­er it is out because I care about you and the rela­tion­ship I have with you.

If you think I’ve wronged you in some way, I want to know about it. If you think that I have act­ed unlov­ing­ly toward you, I want to know. If I have already acknowl­edged fail­ure or offense and have attempt­ed to make amends, but you don’t feel that it’s enough, tell me. I want to know what you do want from me, what would help. I may not agree with you, but I will com­mu­ni­cate with you, and I hope that we can move forward.

I’d pre­fer to car­ry on those con­ver­sa­tions pri­vate­ly because I think both of us can speak more open­ly that way. If you feel a need to do it in LJ com­ments, go ahead.

BTW—there’s nobody banned from com­ment­ing in my jour­nal. Non-friends posts are screened by default, but that’s it.

Cyn is Katie's mom, Esther's Mémé, and a Support Engineer. She lives in the Atlanta area with her life partner, Rick, and their critters. She knits, does counted-thread needlework, reads, makes music, plays TTRPGs, and spends too much time online.
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