“You want war? I’ll give you war!” A famous line from one of the Philippines’ telenovelas.
And I give it to the disrespectful and temperamental resort owner.
I give him war. He asked for it; He got it!
But it isn’t to spite him. It isn’t from the context of ‘an eye for an eye.’
On the contrary, I give him a ‘war’ to end the war. To stop the war that he initiates. To nip it in the bud. To prevent the power struggle in which he wants to engage me to escalate to epic proportions.
Same Energies. Different Response.
Oh, it sure is so tempting to get hooked! It is, after all, familiar territory to me. Familiar energy dynamics.
The Karpman Drama Triangle. The energy dynamics that play out in dysfunctional homes and abusive families. It can also be found in human relationships and interactions in general — without many of us realizing it. It often goes unnoticed unless one is aware of the energies. Unless one is vigilant and mindful about not participating in it.
It is so much easier — almost instinctual — to match the intimidating energy with poor me.
But I don’t.
I don’t allow myself to get sucked into the drama and get on the drama triangle. I respond differently.
Even if the resort owner’s towering physique is a marked contrast from my petite stature — even by Filipino standards — I don’t allow it to intimidate me. I don’t allow it to make me clam up and shut up — the way I did with my father’s abusive ways.
The resort owner may have the home court advantage — especially as his ‘court’ (his wife and resort staff) surrounds him, watching him bully and verbally attack me and with no one making an effort to stop him! 😮
But I don’t let that stop me from fighting back.
I answer back. Sternly. Fiercely. As assertively as I could muster. As is necessary and called for by the situation.
I’m determined that my words pierce through his very being.
And I feel a release! A huge one, whew! 😀
Something deeply buried dissipates from my system.
I surprise myself. I AM surprised — and proud — at how I’m able to ward off the terrorizing energies directed at me.
I don’t break down. I don’t shut down.
So different from how I responded during that fateful evening of December 29, 1994, when I simply allowed and gave permission to the lack of respect — my habitual response — that left me traumatized.
Decades of being at the receiving end of my father’s rage has left me with so much fear. Terror. It is a trauma from which I’m still recovering and healing — as evidenced by this recent encounter with this obnoxious resort owner.
My response is also different from when I had a similar incident of disrespect and intimidation from another resort owner that happened only less than a year ago. At the time, I simply froze in fear. 😮 I wrote about that here.
This time, I’m furious more than frightened.
And the shift in my emotional states is an indication of the deep healing that has taken place from my decades of inner work.
As I answer back the resort owner and disallow his disrespectful treatment, I’m proclaiming the message,
“No, Dad. I’m not afraid of you. Not anymore.”
Dignity. Self-respect. Self-worth.
I find out later that the resort owner who uncannily has the same name as my father — how much more healing can it get, eh? — has such a reputation of scolding and shouting at his staff, as well as shouting and arguing with the guests!
Yup. Guests! 😮 (I made a quick check on the TripAdvisor’s site while writing this. True enough, there are reviews from previous guests that substantiate what others have told me.)
Admittedly, I felt vindicated when I learned that.
After all, part of what I said to him — with much fierceness and determination — was, ‘You have no right to raise your voice on me and talk to me that way! I’m a guest, and I have already paid!’
I then turn my back on him as I say, ‘I don’t want to talk to you!’
He may have thought that because I had already made an advance payment, I would have no other choice but to stay and put up with his disrespectful and despicable behavior. The way the staff and other guests did. The way I did with all those whom I allowed to bully and abuse me through the years.
Well, he thought wrong.
I immediately checked out — and paid in full the remainder of my entire reservation.
It was a decision that a dear friend found shocking — quite understandably, especially considering the amount involved. But I made that choice with the intention of slapping it onto the resort owner face!
Without meaning to devalue money, my take on that is — it is ‘only’ money. Something that can easily be earned and replaced.
My dignity, on the other hand, is irreplaceable. Something that no one has the right to take away from me. I’m not giving permission to anyone to do that.
My dignity is something for which no amount of money can pay.
My dignity is priceless. My self-respect, limitless. My self-worth, immeasurable.
I’m reminded of all these as I remove myself from such a toxic environment, person and situation.
And for the nth time, I’m reminded of how infinite the Support, Guidance, and Love is from the Universe! 🙂
And for yet one more time, I’m reminded that there’s always a Blessing hidden beneath every seeming adversity!
I walk away holding my head up high. My chest thrusts out.
And with my dignity intact, I’m grateful for and appreciative of the opportunity to have been able to declare — with much Conviction, Love, and Compassion —
“No, Dad. I’m not afraid of you. Not anymore.”