Upon learning of my health condition and that I live alone and am estranged from family, the wife of a couple-neighbor whom I met a few months ago, offered not long after I met them for me to feel free to contact them for anything, anytime. A gesture that I so appreciate.
Immediately, I felt ‘less alone.’
Immediately, I felt the Universe tell me — the incessant worrier me — not to worry. Help and support are always there; my needs are always being met.
I had thought they would be my ever-elusive ‘lifelong’ friends.
Or ‘long-term,’ at least.
The Feeling of Impermanence
Truth be told, there was something in me that didn’t feel a ‘permanence’ in the couple’s offer. It didn’t feel quite right to me that they offered to be there for me.
Because their offer was hinged on their belief that there was something ‘wrong’ or “difficult about living alone.” The text message that I received was quite explicit.
It wasn’t purely compassionate understanding and loving kindness that propelled them to reach out to me.
Rather, judgmental and wrongful interpretation of my choice to live and be alone. They were pitying and feeling sorry for me.
Ahhh…..no. I made this choice, and I AM happy with my choice.
I told them that. Quickly and without any hesitation.
But I fully understand where they and such falsely guided energies and intentions are coming from.
This is, after all, the Philippines, a country that is so group and family oriented.
To choose to be single and live alone is met with quizzical reactions.
In these so-called modern days. And even in the ultra-advanced and highly urbanized city that is Manila.
It just isn’t the norm. This country leaves very little room for deviation and diversity — quite sadly, particularly for deviants like me.
I’m grateful for the offer and the gesture, though, nonetheless.
In all sincerity, I am; I was.
But it has become much clearer to me now why there was that feeling of temporariness. Of uncertainty and uneasiness.
Bullying. Aggression. Narcissism. Inner Rage. Displaced Anger. Paranoia.
Turns out, the husband is filled with inner rage. A tendency towards retaliation and narcissism. Exaggeration. Manipulation and deception. Controlling. Quick to anger. Unable to manage his emotions, particularly anger.
The energies of bullying, aggression, narcissism, inner rage, paranoia, and displaced anger are, quite sadly, in my immediate surroundings. My living environment.
Such unsettling behaviors are being displayed by a sector of my neighbors — all stemming from their grave disgruntlement and frustrations towards our residential complex management.
Predominant or only a select few, it is saddening — alarming, even — that such is in my residential midst.
Not exactly one’s idea of an ideal home environment, eh? Especially considering that I was already raised in a severely abusive and dysfunctional family and home environment — from where I took the long and winding road to stay away.
“Look after your safety and protection….”
Over and again, my neighbor [the husband] would always warn and remind me to look after my safety and protection particularly with regard to the unhealthy energies of our neighbors and how they might “come after me.”
[I have volunteered my time and services in assisting the management in addressing the differences between our residential community and the management. Hence, my being helpful has made my angry neighbors label me as ‘pro-management’ making me the target of my neighbors’ displaced anger.]
I appreciated this neighbor’s “concern” for me and my welfare.
Little did I know, though, and much to my grave disappointment and fury, he would be the one who would put me and my safety in danger! He broke the trust that I gave him and divulged confidential information that is supposed to be only between the two of us.
Trust and respect are high on my list of personal values and principles that I live by, as well as non-negotiables in choosing the people with whom I will surround myself. I do not take those lightly. I highly value the trust and respect that’s given me, as well as the individual who’s according me such.
Likewise, I expect the same treatment and value to be extended to me.
Sadly, this neighbor failed in demonstrating that he values me and the trust that I gave him.
Sure, his betrayal of my trust and having a “slip of the tongue” may have been unintentional. But it being unintentional doesn’t render the mistake that he committed less wrong or more acceptable.
Excuses and Justification for Unacceptable Behavior
When I started getting to know him, I quickly saw his propensity towards being short-tempered.
I witnessed him expressing his unacknowledged, deep-seated wounds and unresolved issues in unhealthy ways — such as through disrespectful speech.
I was also, sadly, at the sorry receiving end of such unhealed pain. He would silence me and talk down on me.
Of course, I now regret having chosen to just keep mum and let him silence me. It felt like being back in my abusive home environment again…the all-too-familiar energies of my parents & their instinctual, unloving “Shut up!!!” response when my siblings and I would express ourselves and our sentiments.
I came up with my own excuses and justifications for my neighbor’s unacceptable behaviour — especially in the earlier part of our getting-to-know-each-other phase.
That’s just how he is. He himself acknowledged it, anyways and even forewarned me about it — if people don’t know him and with the way he talks, they would get offended, etc.
I had interacted with him enough to have seen that for myself.
The energy of anger and inner rage is, unmistakably, behind anyone’s disrespectful speech, use of profanity, and talking down’s.
It is something that this neighbor is not aware of. The lack of self-awareness renders him clueless on what is an unacknowledged unhealthy behavioral pattern.
A harmful pattern that is quite evident from my vantage.
If only I could look beyond the disrespectful tone and manner of his speaking….
If only I could not take it personally….
If only I could see the hurting, wounded little boy behind the domineering energy and aggressive tone, looking and crying for love….
Sure. I saw all that.
Seeing it for what it is, though, while looking beyond it, at the same time allowing what I see as offensive to continue are non-concomitant.
Putting up with unacceptable behavior and not saying anything about it made me an enabler. I was enabling bad behavior by allowing him to get away with what was rude to me.
Other people may not be bothered or offended by such impolite behaviors — including his wife whom I’ve seen has, like me, chosen to keep mum each time her husband would talk down on her and in my presence at that.
Such, though, isn’t the case with me.
I could no longer close a blind eye to it nor do I want to mask what I found unacceptable with justification or excuses.
I can only wish for my neighbor to work on himself and his issues and wounds.
But that’s totally up to him.
After all, no one can tell anyone what to do with themselves or their life.
If anyone wants their unresolved anger and unhealed pain to continue to manifest through hateful, negative and disrespectful speech and thoughts and misguided actions, that’s their choice. But leave me out of it, please.
Spare me the unresolved issues and displaced anger which they can choose to take out elsewhere — and to those who are willing to put up with such harsh energies.
I have no room and tolerance for such harmful energies.
Sure, I can always understand and extend compassion to hurting and angry individuals and see beyond the unresolved inner conflicts and displaced anger — but I don’t have to interact with them.
And I don’t want to be around such unpleasant energies.
Thus, came to a halt what I had thought would be a friendship that would see me in and through my final earth life days.
But it was premature, I realized.
My expectations, hopes, wishes, and desires for this ‘friendship’ came sooner than its ripe age.
I should have given myself more time to get to know this neighbor well enough for me to discern and choose more wisely.
I realized also that trust which is my lifelong lesson must not be readily given; it must be earned.
“I’m not upset that you lied to me. I’m upset that from now on I can’t believe you.” ~ Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche