I’m falling behind! This is yesterday’s word, and it was also some serious art therapy. Years ago, when I first heard of art therapy, I thought that must so healing, and it is! When I saw the word “cruel” on the list, the first thing that popped into my head was when my closest friend dumped me because I wasn’t supporting her pursuit of a hugely inappropriate relationship. The quote in the image was the thing that really wrenched my heart. The last time we went to get coffee, I asked if everything was okay. I felt like we were off, but she kept reassuring me, “No, everything is fine, I love you, you’re like the sister I never had!” I believed her. She went home and never returned a text or email again. A couple weeks later, she and her guy friend both unfriended me on Facebook in the same afternoon. No apology or explanation. My therapist later told me about narcissistic personalities, and everything clicked into place.
Looking back, the hardest thing to realize was that there had been clear red flags all along. I’d just ignored them (so desperate not to offend, not to rock the boat – that’s my baggage to work through!).
Life lesson: if someone tells you right at the start how cruel they can be, believe them. Believe them hard. We’re learning that about people, as a culture, aren’t we? Take people at their word. Allow for growth, of course! Everyone makes mistakes, everyone is human. A sincere attempt at fixing things should never be ignored. But when someone is cruel without acknowledgment, believe what they’re telling you about themselves.
When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time.
– Maya Angelou