On Behaviour

Written By - Tessa Cash

I wrote a piece a little while ago that contained some sensitive information about a person I was close with for a time. Today that person contacted me and spat fiery words stating that I had no right to post that information in a public sphere. 

Whenever I’m accused of something I always examine myself for integrity. I went back to the piece and read over it. It was harsh, revealing but in all honesty, truthful. I could see why it was upsetting, and as my catharsis had been aptly delivered, I didn’t see the need to hurt them by keeping that post published. 

A month ago when I asked said person to take down photos of me that I no longer wanted in a public space, I was met with entitle, rigid, untrue claims and a complete lack of respect with regards to attitude and timely response. They finally succumbed when I threatened legal action on their “intellectual property” claims. They also reneged to remember that they’d divulged sensitive information about me without my permission. In fact their very source was a person who knew very intimate details of my life without my consent.

I reflected on that behaviour in my considered reply to this person. I didn’t want to play or manipulate in that way. What we had was dead and digging it up, scraping away at dredged wounds would achieve nothing. They threatened to reveal sensitive information about me in this exchange, and it made me think, what information about myself wouldn’t I want people to know about? That pushed me to delve deeper. I guess information I’m ashamed about. What am I ashamed about? I guess instances where I haven’t been my best self. When I’ve hurt people. There wasn’t much else I haven’t written about or been open about. Then that caused me to ponder why they were so offended and hurt about what I had written. I guess it was because they were ashamed about the way they had behaved. 

I then examined why I had written the piece. I had been deeply hurt, was currently wading through the anger phase of grief and wanted that person to be fucking accountable for their actions. I hadn’t felt respected. I hadn’t felt appreciated. I felt used and completely discarded. I gave so much away and ended up abandoning myself in the process. It wasn’t my place to bring consciousness to their vibration. That had been one of the underlying causes of demise. My wounded ego had shown her worst colours throughout that tormented nine months and there was no reason to keep beating the same bloodied drums. I had to let all that toxic shit go. I’d learned the lessons, died a slow painful death and risen from the ashes all the whilst moving continents and starting from scratch again. Enough pig, enough.

There were two other things I took from this. Firstly, I felt bad about what I’d written. I was angry and perhaps I should have kept it to myself. If they chose to do the same to me, it probably wouldn’t hurt as much as how I felt hurting them. Plus, they’d already damaged me so much, (via my omission) there wasn’t much more harm that could be inflicted that hadn’t already mangled my entire being.

Secondly, it made me reflect on myself and my own behaviour. One of the recurrent themes that sparked more arguments that I’d prefer to remember was how thoughtless they were when they spoke.  They’d constantly say things which were insensitive and harsh. I patiently explained countless times that words of positive affirmation was my king love language and that it really upset me when they weren’t thoughtful, gentle or kind in communicating with me. Wasn’t it a kind of comical that when the tables were turned, all it took was one request and one quick consideration for a hurt to be remedied? 

That’s care. That’s love. Venturing outside one’s self, laying the ego down and admitting wrongdoing and correcting the behaviour that causes the upset. 

Maybe I have a nasty surprise waiting down the road if they decide to strike back. Maybe this is the final time I’ll visit this graveyard of dead love. But whatever happens, I’ll always be proud of the way I tried, the willingness and openness I had to rectify things and the capacity to which I loved. I wasn’t perfect. I’ll never be perfect. I don’t and didn’t always do the right thing. But I always apologise and do my best to fix whatever hurt or upset I’ve caused with integrity and humility. And I’m kind of proud of that.