WE ARE ALL RESPONSIBLE

I had a brief unpleasant encounter with an obnoxious drunk person at a social thing recently. He kept punching me in the arm, and he loudly got right up to within inches of my face. Others dealt with him pretty well and seemed able to shrug him off; I could not.

I have tried to let it go. But it won’t go . . .

Why?

Because I suffer from BIPOLAR DISORDER and the encounter rattled me and then took hold. It triggered my latest downward spiral and I am having a really hard time pulling out of it.

A few moments of someone’s drunken stupidity messed with my state of well-being and opened up some old “mean-drunk” wounds and memories of abuse. Not to mention the effort and energy it took for me NOT to smack him and tell him to grow the fuck up.

Being exposed to these careless kinds of people really takes a toll on me, and I’m beginning to think I need to stay home and isolated from the rest of the world. And that breaks my heart.

Honestly, I love to party as much as the next gal does, maybe more even, and I understand that not all of us deal with our problems in the same way, but aggressive and intrusive behavior is just not acceptable.

A few weeks ago on Facebook, I witnessed a friend bully someone who she knows has mental health issues. She disagreed with his inappropriate and offensive post so much, that she jumped on him HARD . . .  and she became an abuser. Afterwards, I asked if she thought her behavior would affect his mental well-being and she said that she could not be responsible for how someone reacts to what she says.

Bullshit.

We are ALL responsible for our words and actions and how we affect those around us. Seriously, do you think your right of free speech entitles you to say anything to anyone, and not be held accountable?

Double bullshit.

Almost a week later, I finally forced myself to leave the house and decided to deliver three crocheted afghans I had made for some friends. I put each into a white garbage bag, attached a note, and threw them into the car.

bags of afgans                 

I drove to Trenton and stuffed one in the door of a friend, and left. I then crossed the Grosse Ile Bridge to deliver the next one.

GI FREE BRIDGE

Afterwards, while crossing back over, a thought crossed my mind.

“I could drive off of this bridge right now. Today could be the day I drive off of the Grosse Ile Bridge.”

Although the thought was hardly a consideration, and I couldn’t actually drive off of the bridge even if I really wanted to because it has long been reinforced with concrete barriers and high railings, I glanced at the last remaining bag in the front seat.

afgan in bag

“I can’t”, I thought, “She would wonder why everyone got their afghan but her.”

The thought seemed silly and I almost grinned.

But I didn’t.

Because the truth was right there . . . teetering on the edge.

My point?

No matter your intentions or how your words come wrapped, in spirituality, positivity, in the name of everything love and light, in your own cloak of self-absorption or instability, or even wrapped in the name of God, you had better be careful with them. Because you are responsible for your impact on others.

That’s not my opinion. That is the truth.

Although I won’t go so far as to say that someone else is liable for my action of, say, driving off a bridge, I will take the leap and say that they can certainly be the car behind me, riding my rear bumper and giving me that extra little nudge into nothingness.

We are all responsible for what we do and what we say. We have the potential to cause pain. Everyone affects everyone else.

I completed my goal that day, safely making all three deliveries, and later that evening, I wrote my daily post-it note for my “2013 Kindness Jar”.

note glasses pen

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Categories: Inspiration/Motivation, Kindness & Compassion, Mental Health | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 31 Comments

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31 thoughts on “WE ARE ALL RESPONSIBLE

  1. Julia, I am so sorry you had to go through that. I don’t understand why or how people can not understand, what they do or say has a ripple effect in the lives of others.
    I love you, girlfriend!
    :-*

    • Thank you, Patti. I try to be careful of my environment and to limit my exposure to such things, but there will always be people who affect us in a bad way. I’m still trying to learn how to let things roll off my back…….but I have a long way to go in that area! And I don’t expect folks to tiptoe around me….just don’t get in my face and loud with me. We ARE all responsible for what we put out there in the world, like it or not. Thanks for reading, my friend. And for having such a wonderfully gentle heart. xoxoJulia

  2. I am so sorry that you had to go through this. May tomorrow be brighter. some days I really wonder if all manners and personal responsibility have gone out the door. But thankfully there are good people out there that make it better, like you delivering gifts to people to warm their days and hearts.

    • Thank you, my friend. I didn’t mean to whine too much…..or preach too much…..or vent too much! Sure hope it didn’t come off that way. Sometimes you just have to call a thing what it is and put it out there in the light, so to speak. lol Take good care and thank you so much for reading and leaving a note. xoJulia

  3. Keith Wissman

    I really regret some things I have said and done in the past but am becoming more aware of what is appropriate and to be encouraging to others everyday.

    Matthew 15:11

    • Me too, Keith! The best we can do is to try to learn from our mistakes and become better. Thank you so much for reading. You’re the best! xoJulia

  4. Timari Deane

    Time to get together. Get out your calendar.
    Text me. Love you.

  5. We are on the same page of intolerance, Julia. It’s surprises me that no one else seemed bothered. Hope you feel better.
    Blessings ~ Maxi

    • Thank you, Maxi. I think others were bothered, but were able to shrug it off more easily than me. Thank you for reading and leaving a word. You are so kind. Blessings to you, my friend. xoJulia

  6. On a really low day, now you can write “didn’t drive off the bridge again” when you make it to the end. And you will. I’m glad you got to deliver the wonderful afghans.

  7. Hi Julia,
    I hope you are feeling better soon. It is good that you make your readers aware.
    Best wishes,
    Naomi

    • Thank you, Naomi. I am struggling still…..although the evening has long since passed and the issue is no longer upon me. That is my point, though, we never know how our words or actions can affect the person next to us. I was triggered and have been spiraling ever since. Thank goodness that, although my brain doesn’t stop, I am present enough in it to know that this will pass. So I just hang on and wait and hope and trust…..and try to believe, that it will. Take good care, you precious soul, and stay well. . xoJulia

  8. Julia I am sending you a hug and can SO relate to your experience here – stuff like this has happened to me and the whole spiral thing happens to the point of self destructive considerations. We can’t give our personal power away to people who don’t deserve it but it’s so hard to stop it once it starts…especially for people like us. What I’m working on is when I get mad about something to refocus my thoughts on what I want to happen instead of all the venom into what happened and how pissed I am. What we focus on expands – the Law of Attraction and all that….little comfort when in the middle of the tornado. Hang in there and I hope since this post things are improving for you my friend.

    • WE ARE ALL RESPONSIBLE! agree absolutely… remember that when you get so sad… that we are all responsible for each other.. and that includes you.. we would be much less without you most beautiful and giving spirit.. much to do much to do.. and that includes you my friend! beautiful strong and important message

    • Saymber, thank you for taking your time to share your thoughts with me. I will try to do as you do and redirect my thoughts at times such as these and try to imagine a better outcome. Or maybe I can just reach for imagining me reacting differently! Like you said, it’s a bit difficult to learn while in the midst of it…..of course, that would be the time for it though. I understand the giving away of my power to those around me…….I’m still working on that. It’s on my very long list of things to work on. ha ha. I’m still in a downward mode, but I’m patiently waiting and hoping and trusting….that it will pass soon. Take care and thank you so much for your helpful words of encouragement and understanding. You are kind and emotionally generous……and truly a blessing…….xoJulia (p.s. I loved the hug! Here’s one back to you, my friend! xo)

      • What a loving comment to read this morning! Julia I don’t think we visitors ever truly become masters of these difficult things! The thing I’ve been working on for YEARS is anger management. Yesterday we caught the same kid who egged our house 3 times in December (to include christmas eve) throwing pecan seeds at our dog run side windows of the house! No apology from his mom who caught him also…again. They lied to our face about the egging! My husband was able to reign me in and handed me a couch pillow to unleash on and boy I did! I wanted to go over there and pop his head off of his shoulders! He is also having anger management issues I think with his sister. The other day we found her little pink Gameboy broken in two in the front yard and we think he did it. He got a Spanish cursing out and a whooping we could hear but I don’t think that’s going to be enough with this one. We are having to learn a lesson together and it’s not pleasant! The Universe has “tested” me on this issue on and off for several years and I have failed more times than passed. UGH! So you are not alone! We just have to forgive ourselves, continue to learn and embrace the next lesson! Love and hugs back to you. I hate it when the emotional rollercoaster goes down so fast!

  9. Luann

    Thank you for the reminder to take care in what we say and consider the possible effects on others.

    • Thank you for taking the time to read this and leave me a note. Thank you for also trying to understand what I am feeling. That’s all we can ask of one another eh? Just try to be kind….and try to understand. Take good care. xoJulia

  10. Bipolar has always amazed me. I don’t really know much about it, but recently watched The Silver Lining Playbook, not sure if it represents it correctly though 🙂

    • I wrote a piece called, “Being Bipolar”. I think it’s in October’s archives if you’re interested in reading it. I think it’s one of my best blogs. If you do, please let me know what you think. I haven’t seen the movie, “Silver Lining Playbook” and didn’t realize it related to anything like that. I’ll have to check it out. Thanks. Take care and keep on keeping on! xoJulia

  11. As hard as it is for me to do this sometimes, I find the best why to handle obnoxious people is to remember that I, too, can sometimes be obnoxious, as hard as that may seem. haha. Then I pray for them, remembering that I have been obnoxious and others have forgiven me. It makes it easier for me to forgive them. I have to give those sort of things to the Lord and let Him handle it.

    • Oh, Jayne, I am very clearly aware of my abilities to be obnoxious! ha ha. I actually look to those who are and allow them to show me what I don’t want to be. The difficult thing about this obnoxious guy, was that I knew he was experiencing some difficult times…..so I understood. But I just can’t/won’t tolerate his expression of it, or his lashing out, or unstable reactions being directed or having affect on me. I could forgive him almost right away, but the point is, he set off a chain reaction in me. People don’t realize or remember or remind themselves that we are all experiencing something and none of us needs anyone else getting on us or lashing out. We need to remember this. We are ALL responsible for what we say and do and how it effects others. And I do wish all of us troubled souls, comfort and love and peace and friendship. I harbor no ill will. Blessings to you, my dear girl. Be well. xoJullia

  12. Big hugs from Romania:)

  13. I have struggled over this exact issue myself. While I cannot hold anyone but myself responsible for my suicide attempts, people have said cruel things to me that have certainly affected me. And it hasn’t always been that I have misinterpreted what they have said or their intentions for saying it. Some words are meant to hurt, even wound, no matter how they deny it. There are certain things that have been said to me THAT WOULD HURT ANYONE. Frankly I struggle a lot with my self-esteem because these kind of people make me seriously doubt myself and as much as I try there are times when I can’t get these things out of my head.

    As far as what happened in that bar, do you have PTSD? You mentioned that it triggered some bad memories for you. You may be right to avoid certain places that might trigger you, however isolating completely often makes things worse for us. We need to find places where we feel safe. One of my places is a local mental health social center. They don’t just do support groups, we can sing karaoke, too!

    Remember that we all have more strength than we think, and you have already demonstrated that!

    • Mary, how do I ever ever ever THANK YOU for sharing these words with me? I could never express how much they comfort and help me. Yes, I think I do suffer from PTSD….and I am going to discuss it with my therapist during my upcoming session. I have learned a lot about safe zones and such, but sometimes we just can’t control our environment or the surprises it holds. I am working on that….and new tools for coping. Baby steps, I guess. Thank you, dear wonderful new friend. And take good care of your precious self. xoJulia

  14. I’m glad I could help!

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