The memory of smoke

The memory of smoke

Sunday, August 31, 2014

I won't be bullied.

Ended a contact that was boring me, but it's an old one, reestablished after a long break, so I kept up some minimal effort. Until she took a light, joking comment of mine, would not accept it, but kept dismissing it, as I foolishly insisted on the point. Usually I let her have the last word, knowing how much this matters to her, but this bugged me.

When I realized she is still trying to bully me after all this time, I cut off contact, again, as I'd done 30 years ago, for the same reason.

I don't need bullies in my life. Raised by two of them, so, fuck that shit. Last email from her with the title "have it your own way" deleted without reading. If it had been titled, "I apologize, I was wrong" I'd have read it. A non-apology apology is not an apology, it's more blame, more bullying. She is blacklisted, without a qualm or regret of any sort.

Long ago when I was 20 and she was 35 or so, she took me under her wing as a sort of self appointed mentor. I never accepted this, as such, but I knew I had a lot to learn, and I was lonely, so I played along to an extent. Worked with her, so this was easiest. Not the first time someone thought I was more involved than I really was. I let her think what she wanted, not like I'd have convinced her otherwise. And I did learn from her, no question. Not always what she thought she was teaching me.

In the middle of finals, she dismissed my concerns, undermined my efforts that had nothing to do with her, and I snapped. She sent a long, long letter - I threw it away without reading it. Which infuriated her. A simple, honest apology beyond her comprehension. I knew an excuse when I saw the thick envelope.

And I thought of another acquaintance, who ended the connection due to a severe misunderstanding. She not long ago contacted me, with an unreserved apology, which I met with the same. We are now friendly acquaintances, without the exaggerated expectations of before, which was part of the problem. I consider her family, always welcome to my kindness and compassion, but without more intimacy than either of us is capable of.

Some friendships need more space than others, people who are too different to be very close, but still like and admire each other.

Not-my-mentor will never get this message that she was going to have to sometimes respect and admire me, and occasionally let me get in the last word. I knew she never would, but I'd been giving it a test. We can all grow. She didn't. Still saw herself as my superior. Rather like my brothers saw themselves as my OLDER brothers, betters, at everything. Even if true, I'm not playing with people who just assume that.

Can't clearly imply someone is stupid and expect to maintain a friendship.

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