I am struggling with how to deal with asshats. Struggling mightily.
I managed to disentangle myself from the bullying and childish behaviors years ago, and yet it still seeps in like a bad case of toxic mold. I chose to leave it, I chose to remove the poison from my life, and yet I still occasionally get slapped in the face with it.
This is where my struggle begins. I want to push back at the lies and untruths. As the lies are told and grow, I want to correct them with the truth, the one that I still foolishly hold close to prevent collateral damage. I want to write bullet pointed, power points in reply, disproving all of the nonsense and lies. I want to win, I want to say I won't be bullied or cowed into submissiveness for one more day of my life. I want to have the last word, and I want my last word to be enough to stop the bully in their tracks.
And yet, I don't. I wasted years of my life with asshat behavior. I spent years in submission trying to be better. Trying to make everything just right, so that there would be no bullying, no words hitting like fists. I spent years making everything appear peachy, so that maybe reality would follow the facade. I spent years hiding the truth, covering up for asshats who did not deserve to be protected. I spent years putting a happy face on it all, when really I should have stood up and shouted the truth. I should have slammed the door in a huff of truth instead of trying to close it without making a peep.
And now. Now, I have to continue to deal with the asshat behavior occasionally. I have to be on the receiving end of behavior that affirms my decision beyond doubt. Every hostile and nasty missive, they affirm that my first step out the door was my best step ever.
I want to reply to the asshat behavior. I want to have the last word. I want to refuse to be bullied. And then I realize something important.
MY life is a reply. I do have the last word. Each and every day that I choose to be free of the bullying, of the lies and petty cruelties, I win. Every morning when I wake up without fear or dread of saying or doing or being wrong, I win. I win. Every day that I don't have to cover up for someone else, or put a happy face on the misery, I win.
Last words. I win. Because I am free. I win.