I was told someone who barely knows me used this word to recently describe me. What bothered me the most about it was that my child was witness to this characterization of me.
I asked my child, who was upset about the comment,
"Do you think I'm pathetic?"
"Not at all."
There was more to the accusation, but the gist of it was that someone wasn't happy with a decision I made. Without going into too much detail, I was accused of being manipulative because the choice I made, it was not in tune with what the parties involved wanted.
Despite knowing my truth and that my decision making stemmed from a good place and what I believed to be best for someone I love and care about, hearing of someone speaking ill of me, and making inaccurate assumptions, it hurt.
I knew I had to consider the source, someone who consistently feels the need to portray me in a negative light for their own reasons, and tried not to personalize it too much. But because it affected my child, it bothered me immensely.
For better or worse, I'm incredibly sensitive. I try really hard to be a good person. I play devil's advocate constantly with myself and try to right any wrongs I have committed. I'm open-minded and recognize that there are two sides to every story.
I try to see the good in everyone and that often is my greatest flaw. I can be my own worst enemy, often beating myself up, examining what I can do in order to be a quality human being.
But sometimes it's impossible to be on everyone's good side and there are those that need an antagonist for their story to work. They need a bad guy in order to justify their actions and inability to take accountability.
Having someone rip apart your character, or say horrible things about you that you know aren't true? It can take a toll on you if you let it.
So when it happens I try really hard to look at the bigger picture. When I'm 80 will this matter? Will the mean spirited opinions of others mean anything? No.
Do I have good friends and family who love and care about me? Yes. Do they believe the nonsense being said? No.
I'm far from perfect but I try to be a good person, a good mother and a good friend.
I've never deliberately set out to hurt someone. Have I caused pain through my actions at times? Of course. But I'm not malicious.
When you are faced with a person, or people, that blame you for everything when things go wrong, you have to dig deep inside of yourself.
My knee jerk reaction was to contact these people, and try to defend myself. Ask them why on earth do they carry such animosity? I could sink to their level spew mean spirited language too, but that would just add to the dysfunctional circle and create a negative environment.
So instead I have to try and brush it off. It's not an easy. It's probably my greatest challenge but I'm learning. I know I have my faults, and will continue to work on them.
But I will hold my head up high and continue to try and be the best version of myself. I forgive those who try to make me out to be something I'm not. It's their issue.
Their words hurt, sure, but it challenges me to take a good, hard look at myself, and in the end that only makes me stronger.
Either way. I will continue to work on myself and not let it bother me, ignoring their fiction and keep moving forward and living in a positive reality.