How did this situation become poison? Was is it always a poison – like a rattlesnake waiting to strike at anyone? Or did I make it into my own kryptonite?
A poisonous environment is one where I cannot survive. Frankly, I was surprised those words were used, but they were used by someone I respect – so I’m going to investigate it a little.
I haven’t been to many dark communities. I chose one based on contacts from a mixed community. Therefore this is my first and only experience.
As a quiet spectator I watched people come and go. Many came in with issues and some with ambition. I was one with issues, but I soon became the one with ambitions.
I chose to not only pursue tangible goals in life, but the psychological goals of embracing myself. Therefore, I looked to the experienced members as examples and pillars of wisdom.
My first instinct was to make friends. So much can be learned just by “hanging out” with someone so accomplished. My next reaction was to be of use to them. Not only did I want to cement friendship, but I wanted to further their agendas for this community that I appreciated. Third, I sought to understand when they tore me apart.
I was ready to believe in their experience and expertise; however, I fought at first because I always fight critiques. Only later would I bow my head and thank them for the pummeling. (Now I wonder if it was only the power of suggestion that made me see some of their critiques as true.)
Then I would take my bruises back to my corner and examine them as best I could. I tried looking at them in the mirror as objectively as possible. I pretended to see them on someone else and ask myself what I thought of that person.
I thought all of this was good. That this was progress. That this was development of the individual.
I still believe many are accomplished experts, but experts or not, there is only so much they can confirm over the web. Word choice only reveals so much and even that depends on someone’s own personal definitions.
No one can know me better than me. Trusting a name on a screen to have in-depth knowledge of my personality and real life is ridiculous.
Back to the story… I looked back at the history to see where things soured for me and it started when I was unwilling to admit a fault.
I thought my behavior was innocent at first, but it supposedly indicated something in my personality that I had yet to eliminate. Not only was I unwilling to get into it, I was also getting annoyed that any time I talked, my speech was being dissected. Was there no time when I could just speak without being under a microscope?
So, I fought it as I always do. But, of course, afterwards I took the information in and began to apply it with my next action.
With the next exchange, I was secure in my voice and actions. However, the door was suddenly shut on me.
That didn’t make sense.
I argued and realized one small mistake tripped me up. I fixed it immediately and highlighted that it was only one tiny mistake – that I had understood and listened. I argued that I did care.
But still, the door was shut. I saw it as nothing more than cruel temper tantrum that flew in the face of a friendship, my help, and my personal progress (which was not small by any means).
What is happening? I asked myself. This can’t be.
I wanted to believe it was still me. That I had done something wrong. Maybe I was supposed to come at this stronger? Such an arbitrary dismissal didn’t make sense.
Here is the tipping point I missed when it happened: I am an understanding person, and I am jilted when others are not. I am willing to accept a lot and attempt to understand it. Here I was facing the opposite, and it was something I was unwilling to accept from this person.
From here on out, it was a battle I was not prepared to face from someone who I never thought of as a foe. On the defensive against an enemy like that, I am a poor fighter. So I surrendered. I surrendered to the view presented and was willing to see myself as such an ugly creature. Again, I still wanted to believe it was me… that somehow I had made the bed I was laying in.
I struggled through it; unsure how to respond. For the most part, I took the hits and when I finally thought it was over. When I thought I could start dissecting the situation, I drew it all out using the ugly words. Unfortunately, it was received as more fighting.
I had no chance to raise a white flag. I was asked to leave, but technically I was removed. Whether for my own good or not, this is where I am now.
So, how does this equate to poison?
It only became poison when I allowed the hits to rocket through so deep. Deserved or not, I allowed them to damage me more than I should have.
We all have our faults and I clearly have an issue with flippant, irrational behavior from someone I trusted to be more understanding and thoughtful – I must have been projecting. Whether there was a larger game at play, it doesn’t matter, there was no seeing the forest for the trees in this situation. I felt betrayed in a way and it mattered greatly.
I’m also a fixer and it became toxic because there was no fixing it.
I became desperate and that’s where I really fucked it up. I tried to fix it with an olive branch, I tried to fix it with kindness, and then I tried to fix it by publically admitting the situation as my opponent saw it. I said I would fix myself and in doing so, fix the situation – since I was being labeled the cause.
So it was my own poison… and the question now is whether or not it will remain so.