I know others may feel by the time you get into your 50’s and 60’s anything that happened to you in your childhood should be done: you should be over it. And it certainly seems so, but I am afraid it is not that simple. We can all work on ourselves and try to change and reprogram ourselves. To understand what happened to us and make peace with it and resolve it so we can move on. But there are some things that rip into your soul so deeply, that even though you know them not to be true and that they have nothing to do with here and now, when they get triggered, the pain of those feelings can be unbearable. This happened to me today. I wrote a review for a restaurant that was not favorable. It was not abusive. It merely stated the truth as I experienced it. A waitress from the restaurant wrote me back and scolded me for writing the review. Reprimanding me, for not taking responsibility for my own dietary needs. She did not have the full story. She did not know that I do take responsibility for being vegetarian when I go into restaurants, but she still felt empowered enough to attack me for expressing my views. And that is certainly her right. Not the more “customer service” driven individual obviously, but she still had that right. So, now I am dealing with the emotional after effects. And I know enough to know, in reality, it has nothing to do with her, she is just a trigger. But the feelings of unworthiness run rampant. The desire to just go and hide in a dark place and “not be seen or heard” is overwhelming. The deepening wishes that I had not been born screams at me. How could this be so real, now after all this time and work? How can it be such an overpowering part of me that I can’t just “shake it off?” Part of me wants to let her comments go. The other part wanted to angrily attack back. But instead I decided to write to her and said first: I had a right to post a review. But also suggested to her , another way of talking to people might bring them back to the restaurant not drive them away and also let her know that she did not have all the facts of the situation. Now I sit here, actually scared to open my email in case she “comes at me again.” I can only wonder, what was done to me that I am so afraid? What happened to me growing up that undermined my right to live and express myself? I know many of these answers. But as I work through this present moment, I am still amazed at how deeply we can be scarred and how “real’ those scars can become when the right balance of circumstances present themselves. So, what am I going to do? In regards to the waitress. Whether she responds again or not. Sit with it for a couple of days until the emotions quieten. Then decide. A mantra from one of my favorite books THE POWER OR RECEIVING is RECEIVE EVERYTING; DECIDE LATER. I need to look at what is happening in my life that brought this on. My other favorite mantra is: “This is empowerment, not punishment” What I am doing that is threatening this old program? The program that tells me, “Quick, go hide, you are not safe to seen. You were not meant to be born.” Maybe this script that I am coming close to completing will change my life. I am sure there will be critics. And I ready for that? It would seem not. Maybe the fact that I have a little extra cash and am more independent is unnerving me. I know the first thing I have to do is get out of victim mode and “spiritually thank” the waitress for triggering this. I need to take a deep breathe, confirm with myself that “I am safe in this world,” and keep writing, and keep living and keep doing my “work.” Possibly go back to the restaurant and try again. Brrrrrrrrrrrrr, that’s scary, think about that later! But having shared this, I feel better. Having written it, I now can own it. I still don’t’ want to open my emails, but I will deal with that later, Right now, I am going to go out in the world and be seen and be safe and try hard to shake it off.
The waitress wrote back and apologized and we were able to find a middle ground.