I try to focus on what is working and having gratitude for those things daily. It’s a living mindfulness. i don’t mean to imply that everything is working, when it isn’t. i just focus on what i can control-having a good attitude and holding up my end of the bargain. What else can i do?
Sir Raven and i make easy companions. We are both disinclined to express anger directly. She can be hyper critical of me at times. Complaining is the favorite past-time of all native New Yorkers. 😛 i’m her counterpoint: femme to her butch, softness to her hard edges. There are times she is warmer and more receptive to people in general because i influence her and encourage those parts of her. It’s just as important, perhaps, that she has a place where she can vent or be critical or express hostility and not have to pay any real price for it. Home is her sanctuary.
She is not bound by the same sense of ethics that i place upon myself. There are a lot of rules that i made up as a child, influenced by philosophy and psychology, religions and an acute understanding of what i did not want to be. It may be a function of autism that i both made up these rules for living with compassion, that i feel compelled to do “the right thing” no matter the personal cost to me. i take commitments seriously. i believe its unethical for me to deliberately go for the psychological jugular, take back warmth or service, or be disloyal. Only once in my adult life i took the jugular, felt an expanse of satisfaction that was short-lived, rage-fueled, and ultimately very dissatisfying. i told someone that her mother should have taught her when to shut up, and that her father never intervened in the child abuse because he agreed that she needed to learn and that she pushed her mother to break her bones with her shitty attitude. It was wrong, disgusting, evil of me. i don’t ever want to feel that way again.
i have no idea what it would be like to receive those same ethics and loyalty in return. Integrity informs my moral compass, and i mostly do live up to my best-even if i never believe my best is good enough. i find it physically painful, sickening even, when i behave in ways that i think are not ethical for me.
These ideals can make it very hard for me to be understanding when people fail to live up to who they claim to be. i don’t really spend much time thinking of the relative value of whatever a person says they are about-but it forces me to loose respect when they don’t live up to whoever they say they are. i’m very upfront about the fact that i will leave people behind if they loose all of my respect or create situations where i can no longer learn. That’s just about the only reasons. Disloyal behavior is a close call but one a give a wide berth to in others.
That means i can justify a huge amount of behaviors in people close to me. i can live inside of situations where i don’t necessarily agree with how things are done. i don’t have to like actions or feel good about them in others to respect them. Respect is more about a person living close to their own ideals, so it’s not a huge interest of mine to determine what those ideals “should be” in others.
There are times my sense of loyalty overrides any other sense i have. i keep secrets, i evade, i hide shit from the outside world. i don’t feel that this always serves me well and i try to be strategic and employ logic about who i share with or why i am sharing. Sometimes, it is a heavy burden. One i want to put down. Sometimes, i do because my self preservation kicks in long enough for me to need to exhale. Occasionally it happens because i’ve bumped up against a person i can’t lie to. i let people in my life know who those people are, so i am not placed in situations where i am profoundly out of control.
It would be the easy think to be a Bitch, to exact vengence, to justify not doing my part. i think if i am no better than people who hurt me, then i can’t expect better behavior from them-because i’m doing it too. So, i avoid the easy route.
My sense of honor and rightness is about me-no one else. If i let those things be taken from me, let myself turn bitter with so many raw deals, everyone who ever abused me wins. That will never happen. So i focus on warmth, kindness, compassion, hard work, dedication. The qualities i most admire in myself also cost me a lot. The price of losing my self though-it’s just too high of a price. So i continue to put others first, keep fighting to make things work, honor my own ethics. i think doing less means i deserve the bad stuff and so i’m always trying to prove i’m good and dependable, loyal, strong, self-sacrificing.