Today seems to be an exercise in recognition of what kind of pain truly hurts me - I had a conversation with someone who could only dish out their own anger and frustration of their life and project it onto me. The actual topic of the conversation was just the platform on which the play could find expression. The details don't matter. All I have is my experience to share. It is not about pointing my finger in a sense of judgment. It is about realizing what goes on within.
I felt deeply violated by the insensitivity that I was presented with. It touched deeply and I admit that it may not even have been the goal of the other person to achieve that. I am open enough to think that it was not. The feeling that lingered and reverberated through me was one of violation, because I had offered access to something that is really dear to my heart and I feared ridicule and more harsh words. This sense of being violated was in part the actual feeling, but stronger still, the fear of more, a continuation of being violated was much stronger. I fell silent, the conversation fizzled away - no need to blame anyone for my feelings, really.
I went to the kitchen, to look out the window into our back yard and saw that one of our bikes was missing, another on the grass and a strange hat was there too - Obviously a thief thought it was ok to come onto my property, open the gate to my back patio and pick and choose among 4 bikes to take one and make a get-away - leaving his hat behind. (I am assuming it was a male thief from the size and shape of the hat ...)
Another great opportunity to continue my experience of being violated today. Of going into fear. Well, strangely enough, that did not happen. The thief had come and gone. Luckily he took the crappiest bike we own, so the financial damage is minimal. I am not even torturing myself with "why didn't I lock the bikes together onto the patio post?" There is definitely a sense of "this is not right", but I do not feel personally violated over something that should most definitely cause these feelings.
So here I am, a bit stunned over the fact that I do have the feelings of being violated at something that wasn't intended to be violating, and something that hasn't even happened, yet the one real event that would give me good reason to feel violated doesn't trigger this emotion. What does that mean? -
For one I could see that the area where things are still somewhat out of balance for me are those of human interaction. That still scares me. The potential of getting hurt by human interaction is far greater than if a thief comes in the middle of the night to steal a bike off my back patio and doesn't come into contact with me. In my world, violation happens (or is feared) through direct human interaction. A very old, ingrained pattern and I am aware of its roots.
My work suddenly becomes very clear - the polar opposite of violation is obedience or respect. I like the word respect and it holds huge meaning for me. So potentially, any situation of feeling violated holds the potential of respect. It appears to me that my mirror is telling me that I do not respect myself enough and I believe that to be true, (at least some of the time). Instead of fighting over "you violated me!" - "no I did not" or worse to have to hear: "I'm sorry you chose to make yourself feel that way" which does hold some truth, but does not excuse the abusive behavior of the other person, I chose to respect my feelings of feeling violated, expressed them calmly and stopped the conversation from going further. I realize that with my actions today, I have in fact respected myself, my feelings and also the other person, as I saved us both the trouble of perpetuating the issue and creating lots of drama. Wow, lots of respect for self and others - I like that, I really do. As I type this, as I am going through this reflection of my mirror, my sense of having been violated is dissipating. It is simply fading away. The incident is not holding that sharp edge anymore, the fear of more disrespect (violation) is fading alongside. I suddenly am filled with a sense of "I like it when I respect myself."
While typing this post, I got a call back from the police department who told me that they will not get anything off the hat that was left behind (and it's for me to toss it in the garbage!)...but a desk officer will call me to take a report in the next 24-48 hours. Looks like I gained a whole lot of respect, freed up my day for not having to wait for an officer to come by whenever today and a crook got my bike and made a clean get-away hopefully for something minor. If I respect myself enough, I think there may even be a faint chance that he will return the bike once he's done "borrowing" it - I will leave the hat there for a while so that he can pick that up then.
Today, I thank all the actors and jesters in this drama for their roles and am quite happy at continuing my day of (self)respect.