We have to take responsibility for our own feelings, right? It is up to us to decide how to react in the face of hurtful behaviour, aggression, disloyalty. People can't harm us unless we allow them to.
I get that, I really do. It makes sense. There's just one problem. I can't make it work for me.
Two years ago, my partner and I slowly discovered that a person we considered a dear friend had used us, and others, to abuse his position as a paid employee, in a charity branch we worked at as volunteers and trustees for 12 years. The discovery that he was certainly the person responsible for a sizeable sum of money that had gone from the safe was the last straw for us. This bombshell coincided with me having a serious accident, needing months of support from my partner while I recovered. The only thing that kept me going was the certainty that the man would be sacked and shamed.
Of course, life is never that simple. After a failed spiteful campaign of trying to discredit us, and the few others who were prepared to speak out, he played the stress card, on full pay in the free house that went with the job, off sick for twelve months, while merrily filling his Facebook page with photos of parties and holidays. We resigned, sickened by the lack of guts of others who caved in, unable to contemplate working with any of them or him again.
He now lives and works far away, still for the same charity, on a higher salary and even more opportunities to exploit. We still volunteer, with another organisation. But the sense of grief, the desire to see him pay preoccupies my thoughts, and drains my energy.
I have practised the cognitive exercises I learned, been to a workshop on Buddhist meditation, read books and watched Ted talks. I have tried to forgive him in my mind, but I don't mean it. I am deeply ashamed of the way I am allowing this unworthy person to damage my quality of life. He ticks all the boxes for Narcissistic Disorder (forgive the amateur psychology). My partner is still angry, but has managed to put it in a compartment and move on.
Can any of you relate to my experience? Did you find closure hard to achieve? I thought I was tougher than this.
A Moodscope member.
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