It makes me unhappy that to this day. I let people get to me. A man of my age – and I’m old enough – should be able to chuckle and allow daggers to bounce off my hardened hull and fall ineffectively to the Earth.
I am reminded of my high school years at Bishop Moore in Orlando, FL. It wasn’t a terrible time but I never really made life-time friendships. I dated but never had any significant girl friends. I’ve never been interested in reunions and have never gone to any. The few people I keep in touch with are at arm’s length.
For me, my high school years were filled with your typical teenage angst. I was very skinny and some would even say nearly malnourished. My metabolism was very fast and my family wasn’t the healthiest food servers around. Later in life, a doctor once told me that had I eaten better, I would be another six to eight inches taller.
I was gangly.
I wasn’t a jock. I played on the football team for about two-thirds of one year, but was easily third string.
I was a nerdy but didn’t look like a nerd – and this was when being a nerd truly was not looked upon as something trendy or hip.
I was funny.
I used humor to keep from getting teased. My father was very quick-witted person, smart funny and taught me the basics of humor. Like timing. How to tell a joke. Why does a baby duck walk softly? Because he can’t WALK hardly. Boom. Emphasis and timing.
But still, my humor-defense-mechanism would not always work. There were students who gleefully held back nothing and made me feel totally worthless. I was often ashamed because of my long skinny arms but my tall uneasiness. I hated and hurt…and plotted my imaginary revenge that never actually initiated. It particularly hurt when something positive would happen or I would receive some recognition and there they were, to insert a pin into my balloon to pop me, my deflated ego descending back to solid ground.
To this day, I loathe bullies.
I convinced myself that at least when I left High School and entered the world of grownups, I would not have to deal with such people. All of us would mature gracefully and treat each other with the respect that I felt was naturally part of being an adult.
For the most part, this expectation came true. As an adult, especially as a late middle-aged one (euphemism alert!) I have found that most people are polite and friendly. Given the proper lead-in kindness, it is in turn returned. Nearly always.
But still I encounter people who bring terms like “justifiable homicide” to mind. Now please, this is not a threat to physically hurt someone or suggest that I would commit a crime to exact my revenge. Not in the least. In fact, such an act would be a cop-out, in my opinion. It would be far more pleasing to simply find a way to return their “favor”. But then there’s the realization that such an opportunity will not afford itself. And any forced way to accomplish such an act, if caught in the process, would be even more painful for me than if I just let it go. But even more importantly, I would become THEM. And I hate THEM.
With a tip toward Frozen, I instead will let it go.
Do you encounter the same thing I do? How do you “let it go”? Have you ever been able to exact revenge and was it worth it?