First, I would like to say that I am a tiny bit disappointed that no one took part in the poll from my last post on the subject of my next book. Didn’t any of the proposed topics interest anyone? I also posted the poll on Facebook and my 80smetalman’s Blog and the result was an overwhelming vote for idea number three, the vigilante story. So, that will be the topic of my next novel.
On to the subject for this week. Throughout much of my life, I have always had the destructive self belief that I am always wrong. That whatever I say in a given situation is going to be wrong and therefore it is often not a good idea to venture forth saying anything. Even when I am right in the situation, if a contradicting view comes into play where it is suggested that I could be wrong, I immediately begin to question myself as to whether I was right in the first place. Even, when I can provide evidence that I am right, if the doubting person isn’t convinced, it only goes to show in my head that I am wrong. In many cases, it has eroded my self esteem and is part of the reason why I am often not outgoing in social settings. I fear I’m going to get it wrong.
After living with myself for over half a century now, I think I can possibly venture a reason as to why I think this way. Admittedly, throughout my life, I have made many a social blunder, which was immediately seized upon and used as a stick to beat me with. Many times I have said the wrong thing at the wrong time or something I said has been taken completely out of context. When corrected over my mistake, I totally beat myself up over it and used it as an excuse to retreat back into my shell. Then to make matters worse, some well meaning friend or person closer takes it upon themselves to try to get me to open up and be more outgoing, not realising the anxiety that it is causing me. In order not to be looked upon as being rude for not wilfully engaging in conversation, I, once again, say something wrong and the vicious cycle continues.
Fortunately, through painful trial and error, I have learned that I am not always wrong and just because someone may not have the same view as me, it doesn’t mean that mine is wrong. Although that feeling will never totally go away, I find it much easier to cope with. Furthermore, there are people around me who understand me better and seem to know how to engage me in the process and that makes a lot of difference. My anxiety levels drop and my self esteem rises.
Another reason why I believed I was always wrong was definitely down to the bullying. I have encountered bullies who are under the impression that might always makes right. Because they can threaten others with violence and get away with it, that they are always right. Because I lacked the skills to fight back, I must be wrong or worse, be forced to admit I was wrong in order to avoid a beating.
There is one more thing I would like to share and it is in relation to “He Was Weird” and the bullying I suffered that inspired me to write the story. I mentioned in the Forward that I would love to name and shame the town where the bullying happened but if I did, the town would sue me. I fear that some lawyer would get me on the stand and bamboozle me into admitting that I wasn’t bullied so bad when I lived in the town and that I was wrong once again. This is why I don’t name the town.
Next post: Bullying In Strange Places