Looking for Asbestos

Take it to the grave
A secret, lie or crime
Reach heavens nave
Wash away the grime

Drop the burden carried
Release the truth be told
Too late the hatchet buried
Bankrupt truth’s fool’s gold

Truth and good is tender
To pass the pearly gate
Unto Caesar render
To Hell’s portal you are late

The wage of sin is death
But from the fire will save
When drawing our last breath
We promise to behave

Really?! I ran into a former pain in my backside. She wanted to be chummy. She wanted to know “what are you up to these days” as if I would be willing to give her any tidbit of info. I was polite and I deflected her question by asking about her family and turning the question back on her. She mentioned at the end of our encounter that she is still waiting for an apology from me. I just smiled sweetly and told her that I’ve forgiven her. Then I turned and quickly walked away.

It was a lie. Sort of. I have put that chapter behind me. And I am pleasant and civil when I am forced to interact. But I have not forgotten nor have I fully forgiven her. This is something I have been working on. I need to be able to completely forgive her without reservation. I’m just not there yet. Her asking for an apology is akin to Himmler asking his victims for an apology (at least the ones that survived). I have work to do in letting go of some residual anger and resentment. I’m hoping to get there before I take my last dying breath because I don’t have any asbestos garments!

45 thoughts on “Looking for Asbestos

    1. SWMNBN was a bully for the 26 years I had to work under her. She was finally removed from her position and sent packing. She blames me for her fall from grace (I who she insured had zero power and influence). It is oddly satisfying that I out lasted her but now that I’ve retired I see no need to gloat. I just want to put that all behind me!

      Liked by 4 people

  1. Oh so well done. And this goes into my “keeper file” of post to remember. In this case it was a “write off” well deserved~!

    Also the write up is one we have all faced. So how do we deal with it~? Well it depends on the other side; and I do not have a pat answer. Depending on the attitude of the other person involved and each situation it may be different. But I too have written about this subject many times. The first one that I thought about was :

    https://mcouvillion.wordpress.com/2020/01/17/decisions/

    But then while talking to that A. Hole; We may think of a kinder approach about what they may be thinking:
    https://mcouvillion.wordpress.com/?p=64

    With my last thought being this approach, if I feel they are worth my trouble and I may be partly to blame:
    https://mcouvillion.wordpress.com/2020/03/10/keeping-friends/

    But if we want it to be put on the shoulders of another poet, a third person, I might go to my “keeper post” here:
    https://mcouvillion.wordpress.com/2020/03/08/other-poets-i-admire/

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I have dealt with a person like that who is family. Now I give them no details about our life. I only answer vaguely. They are never wrong and never apologize when they are rude but if I say anything the whole family hears about it or anyone else who makes her mad. I forgave her after the last battle but my heart told me I had to do things differently.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Toxic people are hard to deal with and it is double if they are family. I hope you can steer clear of her during the holidays! (We live and hopefully learn. Past experiences inform us toward the future and that is something many don’t figure out. Glad you are aware of how your interactions have to be to achieve zero drama!)

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I never realized how much stress she added with daily interaction until I went a month without any contact. This morning she texted me to call when I can. It will probably be noon before I do so I can have some peace before I have to.

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        1. That is the rub – you can’t avoid family. I hope you have a back-up plan like Wrangler calling for you to assist with something so you can ring off without being rude…

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          1. I just say we are stopping for a bathroom break or are in city traffic and I need to go anymore. She accepts that. She has been calling Wrangler more and since it is his family let him deal with her.

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            1. Hehe! I haven’t had to resort to that. But Sparky’s parents are older and usually when I call they are confused and don’t recognize my voice so I make him call. It is easier that way…. But I don’t have any people that I have to escape from (guess I’m lucky!)

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  3. The spirit of Christmas and forgiving must be within. I haven’t felt bothered by anyone in a very long time. I am in a good place or maybe just grew out of a few things. Wishing you a happy season.

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    1. Yes she is out of my life but 26 years of bullying isn’t something to just shake off. Probably the stress she induced masked my low heart rate – wasn’t diagnosed until after she left… Now I have to really exercise or blow a gasket to get the heart rate over 90!

      Liked by 2 people

  4. We are not perfect or angels , Val,and if we can forgive it is almost impossible to forget.
    Don’t let that stop you from celebrating the birth of Jesus .
    Have a merry Christmas!
    Love ❤
    Michel

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    1. I don’t know if I smiled more but I’d had my fake pleasant face plastered in place! I was so quick in my retreat that I didn’t get a look at her face… I have no idea if she was displeased or shocked or even if it all went over her head.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I think the key to forgiveness is understanding what motivates the offender. When I consider what misery contributed to making a miserable person so ugly, I end up feeling mostly pity…and a bit of smugness at the serendipity that conspired to make me so content and, hopefully, kind.

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    1. I have no idea but it probably has something to do with her very unhappy marriage and a lot of jealousy, possibly low self esteem with a helping of insecurity on the side. From past interactions there is the gravy of anger poured out liberally over the whole mess. It is a small world but this is the first interaction outside of work I’ve had with her in maybe 10 years… I’m hoping I’m good for another 10!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. But, but… I don’t have any asbestos! I figure I’ll work this out in the next couple of months and if I can’t find closure I’ll seek some professional assistance. Counselors don’t get the credit they deserve for helping with this kind of thing. Everyone seems to think the psychologist is only for mental health issues and the big stuff like divorce and death…

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Your interaction took me straight back to a casual meeting with a Dipstick in a similar situation. I’m not going to repeat it, though like you I ignored the inappropriate and personal interrogation, and deflected the conversation. Smiling sweetly I turned my back and walked away knowing that my integrity was never in question. Maintain the high ground…..

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Brizzy. She really spent a lot of time making an assault on my confidence. After 26 years of bullying I’m just now cleaning house. I had thought I was over it – until she materialized in the flesh. Now I’m going to do a little more examination of my conscience… I always did take the high ground even when she wanted to wrestle in the mud!

      Liked by 3 people

  7. While Facebook memes are often stupid, there’s one that stuck with me. “Forgiveness is letting go of your inability to change the past.” That said (and I think it rings true) there are people that the saying doesn’t apply to because they’re just jerks. I worked with a couple of them, too. Since I no longer have any chance of seeing them again, it’s a lot easier to forget. If they appeared? I don’t think I could answer for my behavior, especially if they tried to be “nice” to me when I know they are not authentically nice at all. I get it.

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    1. Thanks Martha. I thought I had dealt with all the baggage until she was standing in front of me. I had not forgotten but I told myself that I’d forgiven her. So now I’ve got to face some of that and deal with it. SHMNBN keeps trying to friend me on FB but since I don’t write there much I doubt she even knows what’s what.

      Liked by 2 people

        1. Yep. Unless I know the person or have them as a friend from Xanga days I really don’t accept friends on FB. FB keeps suggesting people and most of them are folks that I have purposefully NOT friended…

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    1. Thanks Gracia. It hasn’t sucked the joy from the season but it did pull me up short with a little shock to the system! To counter that I’m baking pies and I think I’ll make another batch of mint chocolate chip cookies!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. My goodness what an encounter. I don’t like her and no idea who she is…nor do I ever intend to find out. To forgive is to release yourself and I know you as a very wise and caring person. I applaud you for doing that. And with such grace and style. You are free. Nobody puts Baby in a corner ! 😉

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    1. Joe you made me laugh out loud! I have a lot of things to forgive her for but had considered that I was done with the whole mess. The accidental meeting made me realize that I’m not quite there. So work to do – and it is all for my own well-being. 26 years of her shenanigans is not so easily forgiven. Now that I’m aware I will have to work harder (for the sake of my own soul). Still I’m pretty happy with the way I handled myself. I didn’t get angry and I wasn’t unpleasant and I left on my own terms…

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  9. I think most of us have been in your situation. I think forgiveness means you have peace for yourself but it doesn’t mean forgetting the insult/hurt, trusting, etc that person. It just gives us peace in place of anger. Praying for you. Hugs and love

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    1. Many thanks Elizabeth. I had thought I was over it and had forgiven (never forgotten) but the encounter revealed that I’m still not there. I know that the forgiveness is for my benefit but it is still very hard to do what with 26 years of constant bullying and insults… I’m going to work on it. I suppose recognizing that I still haven’t fully forgiven her is the first step!

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  10. I know about the scars of old. You can forgive, but you can not forget! And that’s where I am such a horrible person. I will talk to the person who has wronged me, has dug daggers of prejudice in my back and sugar coated the selfishness with a smirking smile, and I can truly ignore all that and forgive, I think, but God Almighty, it has taken me months and years and decades and I am still unable to forget. Wish it were easy. The shards like tiny splinters of glass keep scratching at the surface of the heart. I know it will get me nowhere, so I turn around and sit down and paint or write and pour my heart out.

    As usual, you have touched my soul dear heart.

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    1. Yes those glass splinters burrow deep and wound in unexpected ways. I am never going to forget. I will never give her another chance to attack or belittle me. Still I haven’t forgiven her and that is what I need to do for the health of my soul… Her abuse lasted so long and was so unrelenting that it stopped causing me pause – as new people came into the work environment they would be appalled at how I was treated but no one dared stand up to her. I gave my suffering to God and in His time things were resolved to my benefit. I always trusted that the Almighty would sort things out…

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  11. I feel your pain. I have a particular friend in town I thought was my closest friend here for a while. It still hurts my heart to see her around. I know I have to work past it and I think eventually I will, but episodes like you describe bring the pain back. I hope you can find forgiveness for your sake.

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    1. Me too. The forgiveness is always for my well-being so I suppose that is a little selfish. Still I won’t forget but need to forgive her. I hope your pain subsides and maybe she will move away! (I prayed for years that her husband would realize his dream and they would move back to his home state far far away)…

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Funny how those who stir the pot want their victims to take the first step towards reconciliation. I have come to the conclusion that amnesia has nothing to do with it. You handled that encounter well.

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