At Peace

This morning a small flock of geese flew north over the horizon. The sun rose in the west. The air is glass still. White streaks still linger. The frost sparkled. Birds flew. Yes.

This morning the whole day stretched out ahead of me in a long winding path. I followed it.

My wanderings on this sunny day seem to follow a theme, passive aggression.

“A defense mechanism that allows people who aren’t comfortable being openly aggressive get what they want under the guise of still trying to please others. They want their way, but they also want everyone to still like them.”
Source: http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=passive%20aggressive

The thing about interacting with passive-aggressive people in a relationship, is that issues are seldom aired out in the open, or brought into the light. As the passive-aggressive person dances around what they really feel and what they really want, you are left wondering what tune is being played. Every passive-aggressive person should come with a secret decoder ring. Then you could slip it on every time you need to communicate with them, and actually connect.

On the other hand, those who want to use or dominate other people are going to be stuck with passive-aggression, as the only non-violent and superficially acceptable means of attaining their goals. I think of them as the “strangers with candy” crowd. But if they are in a position to use brute force to get what they want, they will use brute force. “How can I take from you, let me count the ways” was never a popular line in classic literature; with good reason.

I have decided to record a few memories, since this journal is my little tale. It is the milder, gentler memories that I will tell, happy and sad, not the stuff of bitterness. Perhaps, having written them down I will be at peace with some of them. To date many of my experiences, and their memory, have been carried by myself alone. The silences in life can be deafening.

Some memories involve other people, we shared the experience, and the tales are theirs as well. Those memories will not be shared beyond those relationships.

During my scholarly career I experienced unwelcome, unpleasant, and far-reaching sexually charged attention from a very powerful individual. I suspect I was the object of an obsession, in his eyes I was “all woman”. To challenge the unacceptable behaviour through legal means would certainly have ended any chance at a career in my chosen field. To play along with him was beyond my capabilities; my personal integrity meant, and still means, a great deal to me. Avoidance was impossible. My attempts to solicit advice and support from trusted colleagues fell on deaf ears; his behaviour was described as surprisingly “out of character” to those I confided in. I was left to deal with the situation on my own, behind the wall of silence, as best I could.

In the end, I simply told him no. He told me that I would come crying back to him, begging, that I needed to be under his wing of protection. That did not happen; I did not go back. He was probably correct, I probably needed to be under the wing of his protection to succeed in my chosen field. He died some time after I left the academy, was eulogized with great enthusiasm, honoured without hesitation by other powerful people. Sympathy was expressed for his wife and children. They already had my sympathy, when he was still alive. I watched in wonder.

My cynicism is hard earned.

If there is a force in the universe, an afterlife, a God, I wonder if it is as corrupt as life on earth. Hopefully what we find, when we cross the river, reflects what we built here, while we had the chance.

At Peace
MistApril2013

Worldly Distractions

Weather

-4°C °C °F
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Pressure: 102.8 kPa
Visibility: 16 km
Temperature: -4.1°C
Dewpoint: -4.5°C
Humidity: 97%
Wind: NNW 4 km/h
Wind Chill: -6

Quote

“Believe those who are seeking the truth. Doubt those who find it.”
Andre Gide
1869-1951

Funny

I laughed till I cried!

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5 Responses to At Peace

  1. Sarah says:

    There are those who seem to get away with it; nay, they do get away with it, at least here in this life, this time around. But they pay a karmic price sooner or later, if not in this life, then in the next. I believe that each of us has a life lesson to learn, and if we don’t learn it in our current incarnation, we repeated are put in siutations and life relationships until we do learn it. So he may have gotten away with it–for now, leaving you with a broken career and shattered hopes and a sick feeling of being wronged with no recourse. But…I do believe that some day, wrongs are made right. Justice prevails.

    Or else, what is it all for?

  2. Sarah says:

    Sorry if I got preachy. I feel very strongly about what you described, having endured something similar myself in a male-dominated industry.

  3. Maggie says:

    Sarah, I can well appreciate how deep this kind of injustice cuts, so I wouldn’t use the word preachy, I’d call what you wrote “passionate honesty”.

    I too believe that justice prevails. Sometimes I see it, sometimes I do not. I have met some truly evil people in my time, people who got away with it. One of the prices they pay is that they must live with themselves. They know nothing of the joys of internal integrity, the power of love, the intimacy of respect…

    They live half-lives, vaguely aware of their own humanity, in a shadow, always seeking some greater conquest to alleviate the gnawing of the inner beast, which is their own, deeply buried, disappointment in themselves.

  4. Sarah says:

    Beautifully said.

  5. I agree, well said.