After the Wounds Have Healed, Here is the Story
We homeschool moms love to tout that we are socializing our kids, but in a different way. Our kids do not learn social skills the way that public and private school kids do. Many homeschool moms love to write posts about how they are teaching their kids about social skills. Moms who homeschool do their best to teach their kids many things they never learned well in their growing up years. One of these things, is social skills.
Whether they were homeschooled or not, though, moms are not perfect at social skills themselves. Sometimes, this shows. Most of the time, it hides. Sometimes, it takes the form of gossip. Sometimes, it just stays buried in the minds of the other homeschool mom, and she keeps it her secret, that she just cannot stand you.
I will tell you that homeschool moms do not always tell the truth. In fact, when I hear things that are not nice, about others, I become extra suspicious and ask questions of the person they are talking about, herself. ‘I know she can shed some light on this,’ I think to myself, and I find out her point of view.
Recently, the (false) news was spread that (name) was responsible for something I did that the local homeschool community did not like. I was upset and worried, or course. I was upset that this woman might feel upset. I was worried that she would think I had said that she had caused me to do the thing many did not like. I told her she was not responsible, and that I had done this for many reasons. I named them. I assured her she was not a reason. To this day, I have told nobody which homeschool moms were the big bullies who caused me to do this thing nobody liked. Ther were roughly 15 of them. I will not give names. This made the homeschool community upset. They wanted to pin the blame on somebody, so they made up a story and pinned it on someone. This was not fair and not nice.
I was very upset one day and my wonderful, kind, music-loving husband introduced me to Taylor Swift’s song, “Shake it Off,” from 1989. It made my day. I bought it from Amazon. I listened to it again and again. It got me through this rough time. I heard from a couple people, that many were saying unkind things about me in the homeschool community, and also that I had true friends, because there were people defending me and standing up for me at the same time.
I did not even ask who the nice people were standing up for me. I knew who they were without asking. I also have a guess that the same people who hurt me, were the ones trying to take stabs at my reputation. Knowing this hurt immensely. It was like…O.k. I have tried 3 metaphors already and like none of them. I went from feeling safe and loved in my community of homeschool moms, to feeling hated and unsafe. I felt I could no longer trust so many people.
This was a lot of emotional and social pain for me, but it has helped me to become a better person. I have since read a few books and have learned how to:
-spot potential “frienemies” before I let them into my cirlcle of “I trust you with my thoughts and my heart.”
-notice “frienemies” who are disguised as people I can trust with my heart and my thoughts, and stop sharing things with them, and stop inviting them over, doing favors for them, answering their seemingly innocent pleas for advice, and so forth
-Notice emotional blackmail attempts of others, on me, and thwart the attempts, letting them know where the boundaries are and letting them know that I feel this way and you feel that way, and it is o.k. that we disagree. I will not change my position or stand, because of guilt, shame, social pressure, anger, or any other emotion.
-Notice when I am using emotional blackmail on others, and stop it! I now know what it is and how I have used it, unknowingly, most of my life. I am now catching and stopping myself.
-All about narcissists. Narcissism is not what I thought it was. It is a different thing. I used to think it ws conceit and vanity. It is not. What it is, is a disorder causing the person to take advantage of others, not thank others, make people feel guilty for not giving them more, and to use others for their own gain. It is manipulating others into giving things up for their benefit, so that they can metaphorically eat from the King’s Table while the others (who have sacrificed for them) eat the pig’s pile of scraps for food. “Suuuuuu-Ey!” It is then demanding a word of thanks for the pig’s food given them, then asking for more sacrifice. It will be never-ending, until the others tell the narcissist no, and stick to their “no.”
-That to end my cycles with narcissists, in the relationships in which it is necessary and possible, cutting off contact with the narcissists, is the best move. In some situations, one can just learn to say no, and the relationship just changes for the better. In some situations, cutting off contact is not possible because of relationship ties. However, in these relationships, we must be extremely vigilant and NOTICE when they are using emotional blackmail to get us to do what they want us to do.
I am grateful for what I have learned. Thanks, ladies. I am now so much wiser!