Monday, June 10, 2013

Coping Mechanisms

"People say time will help you heal and move on, but it's not true. Time only teaches you to manage the tears so they fall when you are alone, because everyone else thinks you should be okay by now."

~Kaliana Dietrich

It's true. Time does heal you. But it's also true that time does teach you to manage things. It's also true that those who love you, friends, relatives, sometimes even mere acquaintances will expect you to return to your old self in their time periods... not yours. You don't have a say in it. You can give it a try and pretend to be okay, but you will eventually grow to resent the pressure to conform.

At the moment I find myself in a frustrating situation. I am being bullied by a neighbor. We had a falling out 2 years ago in one of those "final straw" moments. He doesn't just bully me, he bullies anyone he feels he can get away with bullying. Because he doesn't know when to stop, he always ends up getting his fingers slapped, but he will eventually start up again. It's pretty much a regular pattern. Behaviors such as making as much noise as possible without breaking the law. Letting his dog bark at 3:00 in the morning, then he reminds all of us who live around him that he has a police scanner on his iPhone and can quiet the dog before they arrive. Stupid immature behaviors like that.

I've done some research on bullies, and I have a new insight about things. Adult bullies were often bullied as children. If their parents, or teachers, didn't or wouldn't, or couldn't teach them proper coping mechanisms, they often grow up to become bullies themselves. It's not an excuse for their anti-social behavior, but it's a reason.  I try to have compassion. I try to remember that deep down the neighbor is seeking attention. I try. GOD HELP ME I TRY! But I am only human! I try. But there are times when I could just pack up and move from my cottage, but I cannot let someone drive me from a home I have lived in, comfortably, for nearly 15 years... and I won't. To give in is to empower the bully, and you know what happens after that!

So, I am trying my best to learn to have compassion, and understand that his behavior is more about his struggles than mine, and hope that one day he will tire of his own behavior... Probably not likely, but people do, sometimes, change for the better. What can I do? At age 51 I don't give into bullies, and especially not in his case. But for the sake of debate lets say I did move, I would always wonder if the empowerment I would be handing him, would be passed onto whoever moved in after me. I have seen him drive other neighbors off the property with his baloney, and that's exactly what happens each time, he becomes a bigger monster.

Truly, I would feel bad about passing that kind of a haunted house along to someone.

As for how I am dulling the pain and anxiety... with... my choice of coping mechanisms...

Alan, Head Phones, Researching The Subject, Old Movies, My Cats And Yes, The Occasional Valium.

For every evil under the sun
There is a remedy or there is none
If there be one seek till you find it
If there be none then never mind it

~Mother Goose

Mood: Quiet


PS: About the photo for this post. I saw these items in a shopping cart in the parking lot of a K-Mart here in the East Bay. I haven't touched them in any way, this is exactly as they were arranged. In a weird way it made me feel less alone.

1 comment:

MyMaracas said...

Hi - just checking in on old friends. I'm so sorry your neighbor is such a jerk. Few things are harder to live with or deal with. I don't know what to tell you, but I have one suggestion about the barking dog: Call the police at 3 am on your mobile from outside so they can hear the dog. Maybe take a video with sound as evidence.