When I was 12 or 13 my cousin and I got in a fight. As in a me on top of her with fists fight. My parents had recently divorced and we were spending a lot of time at my aunt’s. One morning my cousin and I were laying on the floor watching TV when she started aggravating me.
I don’t even really remember what she was doing, patting me I think. If you know me in real life then you know I hate to be touched. Just… don’t. I’ve never liked it. Anyway, she kept tap, tap, tapping me on the leg and when I finally got enough I rolled over and knocked the hell out of her.
Now I’m sure this wasn’t the first time we got in a fight, or even the last time, but this time stands out because of something that was said by my aunt. Our moms came running into the room to break us apart, and my aunt said, “Jennifer you need to quit wearing your feelings on your sleeve.”
Huh? I’m pretty sure I turned around and looked to see to whom she was talking. I have NEVER been one to wear my feelings on my sleeve. Oh no, I keep them very tight to my chest so that no one can see them. I was especially guarded during this time of my life. The whole point of the fight was that I was pissed and I acted on it. Period.
Today I read a post by Gigi about friend breakups. It really hit me because I have a very close friend going through something similar. Someone she thought was a friend hurt her in a way that, to her, is unforgivable.
She talked to me about ending the friendship. My advice was that she needed to think long and hard about whether that is something she wanted as a permanent solution. Once it is done you really can’t go back. I explained that ending relationships has never been hard for me, but I don’t recommend it for everyone.
I don’t know if this is a learned skill or something I was born with, but I’ve always been good at building walls to block the pain. I very rarely give second chances. If you hurt me then you are gone, and it is most likely that I’ll never even look back. My motto is “fool me once… fuck you.”
I’m not saying this is a good way to be. I’m not even sure why I’m like this. I don’t recommend it for other people. I don’t think forgiveness is a bad thing. I think it is actually better for the fogiver than the forgivee. Sometimes I wish I could be one of those people, but I just can’t.
What about you? Are you a forgiver or a wall builder?