In fact, if not for our mutual person, I would not have to have a relationship with this person.
Or rather, this could apply to several people in my life right now but one in particular brought these thoughts boiling to the surface.
Recently, someone referenced the person in question and told me, "you're going to _____, right?" They prescribed a social nicety I hadn't considered. An action that assumes relationship is present. I rumbled inside and reacted outwardly. And then later, when I had a chance to process, I noted how the mere mention of this person's name forces me to confront feelings I don't wish to acknowledge. Feelings I safely contain in a box in a far corner of a storage unit until an offhanded sentence forces me to peek in.
I don't like this proof that I am not good or kind. I don't like the welling of prickly pride and self-righteousness and thinking I know best. Thinking I see something in these people no one else or few others do. The thing is, maybe I am right about these people.
I have a good sense of discernment, you see. A blend of spiritual gift and social work training. I believe the best in others but I am finely attuned to red flags and so-called offness. I draft boundaries before I pinpoint why- and I'm rarely wrong.
I'm not talking about personalities not quite clicking. I can get along with just about anyone, even when my guard is up and the lines have been drawn. I'm talking about the people that get under your skin or the ones who are clearly wrong for your loved one or folks that are straight up crazy.
I may be justified but this attitude is all wrong.
I don't want to fix it.
I don't know how to fix it.
If I want to keep our mutual person in my life, then I have to adjust and make do. At least, stay civil. And yet, one mention of this person's name and anger charges forward, the intensity shocking me. There must be something else at the root but I don't want to explore it.
I don't want to admit this might have less to do with this person and everything to do with me.
And what does that say about me?
For now, I stuff the poison back in its corner until the next mention. I pretend I am fine and loving. I go through the motions.
But I know better.