Letting Off Steam...

The other day a senior member in my family insulted me very badly…she belittled my education, my dad’s financial status, my lack of respect for her and my total disinterest in “the socially right thing to do”…Other elements under attack included the way I rear my baby (now, that one is a favorite among my nay-sayers these days )
Now, I had to make peace with her… My usual way of making peace in such a situation is to counter the arguments leveled against me, offer explanations of my behavior and have a verbal fist fight …at the end of which either party can admit defeat or can politely agree to disagree … in either case, the adrenaline rush of the verbal exchange acts as salve to my injured ego and I let go of it immediately and forget any harsh feelings that the initial insult would have caused…and the result is that the relationship is back to status quo.
However this time around, hubby insisted that I don’t worsen the situation by giving verbal expression to my very valid and logical responses. And I didn’t have a choice but to make peace..So, I sulked for a couple of days but finally relented and gave an impression of having made peace…
But in an ideal world this is how I would have responded…
You cannot take away my self-respect by screaming and shouting…I have quite a huge reservoir of self-worth and my education is something I am very proud of…It’s another matter that during my MBA classes , I used to wonder what am I learning here and is it all a waste of money till a very intelligent friend pointed out to me that if I look at all the things I knew in life before I joined my MBA and afterwards, then there is definitely bound to be a significant delta !
My parents may not have had the luxury that you had during the same period…However, they are much richer than you in certain other aspects… their daughters remember fondly how they were physically present during all their childhood achievements, how they encouraged their daughters to dream big and then achieve that dream without compromising values of truth and integrity, how they gracefully let go of their daughters’ lives once they were adults themselves, how they let their daughters decide for themselves and then face the consequences and most importantly how they gave the confidence that no matter how messed up life would become at a later stage they are still loved …
I am sure every time there was an injured knee or a broken heart, it must have taken all their strength and then some more to not go on a “let me advise you” mode..But today I am much stronger because of it and I am extremely proud of my parents…even when I have the most bitter fights with them and even when I don’t agree to a lot of their actions ! Afterall, its their parenting which has given me the power to feel that what they are doing is wrong and not feel guilty about the feeling… I don’t think you as a parent can claim any of this !
There are certain feelings that come naturally and others that can be triggered– respect and love are among the former , anger among the latter …No, I don’t classify feelings as positive and negative..all feelings can happily coexist in the human brain..However, if you are upset that I don’t respect you, nothing can be done about it…Your emotional melodrama won’t do it, nor will loving care do it…
In my brain respect comes spontaneously …like a spark and there are people whom I respect for their professional achievement while abhor for their personal merit ..there are also people I respect who absolutely don’t know that I respect them..’cos my respect is not displayed in the usual ways of getting up when they walk into the room, or obeying them without countering their commandments…The only way I respect is to try and achieve in my life the aspect that I respect..For example, there is a dear friend who sends me b’day cards to lift my spirits…I respect that bit about her, about intuitively knowing the right thing to do…and I try to reach there…but that doesn’t mean that I will promptly send her back another b’day card..which is what the “right thing to do” is..Well, not for me !
I may on the other hand send a card to someone else whom I know is in desperate need of a spirit lift…afterall, imitation is the best form of flattery…as well as respect !
I believe that society is just a complex instrument – much like a Swiss army knife…each person decides how he/she wants to use it..Some keep polishing it and using all aspects of it, others like me are perfectly content just to watch its beauty (and ugliness) from afar … I don’t think I am losing out on life because society doesn’t approve of my actions nor do I feel exceptionally happy when it does…I am intensely passionate, but unfortunately for you, it’s not societal approval that gives me a turn on... To know more about me please refer Ayn Rand..
The last bit about how I rear my baby…You may have seen more babies that I will ever see in my lifetime and maybe all mothers on planet earth (and even maybe Mars and Venus) know better than me…however he is MY baby…and that’s reason enough. PERIOD. Atleast till he learns to find his own rights and wrongs...
Phew ! Now I feel much better…

Comments

Anuradha said…
Sid's mother is showing different facets as the years roll on.. I am loving it! :)
hi Vandana, really enjoyed ur article. must say , i saw bits of myself in your writings.. "huge reservoir of self worth" was fantastic! indeed, Ayn Rand ki jai ho!!;)
Tinkerbells said…
@Anu: not years yet, months...:P
@what's in a name: well ofcourse nothing much in a name ;) Still,who r u? thnks for the compliments ! And stick to Tinkerbells or bells pls...and ofcourse, Ayn Rand ki sada jai ho !
Anonymous said…
That is one vicious person! Jealousy, unrealized aspirations - I suppose.
Unfortunately, you can't choose your relatives:(

-Meena chechi
Tinkerbells said…
@meena chechi: no the person wasn't vicious...it was just an outburst at me for not behaving the way he/she expected me to behave in a certain situation...but yea, the comments made that day was outrageous !BTW, K, baby and self had a great time with ur hubby last time he visited town

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