I often use this blog as a way to organize my thoughts and try to figure out how to deal with problems, but after such posts, I sometimes go through a period of embarrassment for laying my not-so-admirable self bare.
To my amazement, my online community, both the readers of this blog and my Facebook friends, have never exacerbated the embarrassment by pointing out how childish I am. Instead, they’ve been supportive, probably because we have all been in situations with bewilderingly self-centered folks who treat us badly for no reason we can fathom.
In a recent blog post, The Nature of Dilemma, I said I felt as if I’d conjured up my nemesis because she was the personification of the character Deb in Madame ZeeZee’s Nightmare.
One fellow writer commented: Oh dear. I shall now be warily looking for characters from my stories too. And I’m wondering if you now have a very intriguing plotline growing from this.
I hadn’t looked at the problem from that angle, but what a great story that would be — a writer creates a character who comes alive. Although the character torments her, the writer can’t do away with her literarily because the character has already met her fate in the book, so the writer has to . . .
Now if I can only figure out what comes next in the story, maybe I’d know what to do in real life!
I suppose I could out-nice her, as one friend suggested, by being sweet and standing my ground in a nice, kind, way, not letting her ‘get in my space’ or steal my joy of dancing. Or I could be rude and tell her to stop being “up herself,” as the Aussies say. As satisfying as those suggestions might be, holding my tongue as long as possible is more my speed. (But I do have to consider that my speed isn’t very effective, though to be honest, I doubt anything will get through to her.)
Another friend sent me this quote: When a toxic person can no longer control you, they will try to control how others see you. The misinformation will feel unfair, but stay above it, trusting that other people will eventually see the truth, just like you did.
I think others are beginning to see the truth (although, unfortunately, we all also see the truth of her and her unhappy life, and so feel sorry for her, which complicates the issue), but still I need to stay above the situation or at least find a way to ignore that which I cannot control.
Life! Ain’t it grand.
Actually, irony aside, life is grand — pitfalls, toxicity, tragedy, and all — especially when you have supportive friends.
Pat Bertram is the author of the suspense novels Unfinished, Madame ZeeZee’s Nightmare, Light Bringer, More Deaths Than One, A Spark of Heavenly Fire, and Daughter Am I. Bertram is also the author of Grief: The Great Yearning, “an exquisite book, wrenching to read, and at the same time full of profound truths.” Connect with Pat on Google+. Like Pat on Facebook.