Something Wrong?

“There’s something wrong with you, Joy!”

No, there’s not. I’m perfectly ok. I have a job. I rent a big house all by myself. I pay my bills. Lazy about exercise, but that’s nothing unusual in the course of human history. I don’t cheat people – at least not the ones who don’t cheat me. I’m fair. I’m honest. I’m kind. I’m considerate. I’m funny. I’m talented. I’m a great cook. Lousy at keeping house, but again, not unusual in the course of human history. I need a maid, but haven’t hired one yet, though I could afford it pretty easily on my six figure data scientist salary.

Wouldn’t it have been easier to just say “I don’t like you, Joy”? I would have agreed. You’re not like me, and you don’t have to like me. That’s perfectly ok, but when it comes to the decision that there’s some unknown, non-specific, unsubstantiated wrongness about me… well…

I avoid speaking the words associated with GFY – that famous acronym made popular by the most wealthy (and decidedly handsome) entrepreneur America has ever seen. But, I sure do think it. I’m passive aggressive, but only when GFY is appropriate. And, to be even more authentic, I have fun dropping those little nuggets that I know will tweak some irrelevant egos, all the while pretending I didn’t do it on purpose. But only when GFY is appropriate, like when someone tries to get too controlling with me. I’m so good at that! They call it “improv” in some circles, and it involves listening. Really listening.

I’m vindictive, but only when it’s legal to be so, and only through legal means (see passive aggressive). Revenge is best served cold, they say. And really, I am not obligated to forgive anyone. I am not obligated to forget anything. Why should I?

I’m authentically skeptical of all kinds of things – like new age psychobabble in particular. “Let me heal the traumas you endured before I was born… for just under $1,600 and a full workweek of your very expensive time in my magical intensive brainwashing workshop.” Yea… GFY. I’m ok. And your four reviews? Four perfect reviews? Really? Where’s the bad ones? Where are the handful of disgruntled former students that trail behind every new age guru? What’s your education in all this? Any peer reviewed studies to show me? Or are we just going to hold hands, pray to Jesus to help us forgive pedophiles, and sing kumbaya? I have no intention of forgetting anything, Jesus hates pedophiles as per scripture, so GFY. And, not to mention “revenge belongs to me,” said God. I happen to believe that’s true, and have seen the proof thereof, so GFY. My middle finger now has a scratch on the knuckle… very painful, but I’ll be ok.

“I hope you find someone who can help you, Joy.” Thanks! Surely someone will be available to help me unpack. “No, I mean help you with your trauma, because you’re drawing in negativity like a big magnet.”

Ok, I live in Harris County very near the 45 south in an America that has cultured negativity through rotten economic policies. Luck of the draw, really, when it comes to crossing paths with slugs… I mean thugs. I don’t think it’s me. I think it’s the environment. Speaking of which, I’d much rather be living in some rural area with no neighbors, Targets, or freeways, but a psychic told me that the man who loves me would find me here, so here I am. He said my lover will do whatever it takes to be with me, but that he needs to think it through. Easy peasy! I’m also very patient, having waited decades to remarry rather than trying to feign my way into an inevitably disastrous relationship.

Did I mention that I’m authentic? Yes, mostly. In fact, I believe that I am so entirely authentic that I don’t have to put my authenticity on display. No one has the right to know what I’m really thinking. And, if they’ve been a jerk, no doubt they’re calling themselves all the authentically filthy names I have in mind for them anyway, so why duplicate their self-deprecation? How’s that for authentic?

I’m extremely smart. Does that make me smarter than anyone else? Not by a long shot. I’m no more capable of filling my brain with knowledge than the next person. In fact, I’m smart enough to know that there’s too much to know in a single lifetime, so I only know the things I’m interested in knowing. Therefore, everyone is as extremely smart as they want to be, making me extremely smart as well. I’m interested in a lot of things – acting, singing, music theory, literature, poetry, math, science, photography, gardening, butterflies, and food… did I mention that I’m a bit of a dilettante? And I eat too much. Yup, that, too. A smart dilettante with good taste, I am.

I am grateful. Oh, boy, am I ever grateful! There’s this God connection thing going on with me. Little miracles here and there that I find very interesting. I need to learn not to tell people about them – people who might be resentful that they’re not getting little miracles, too. But, really, they probably are getting all kinds of little miracles that they just don’t notice. Note to self… don’t reveal my connection with the divine to those with a “higher” spirituality lest I appear to them that there’s something wrong with me. There’s nothing wrong with me. I just notice the little details, and I’m authentic, which I think Jesus appreciates. Look closer, and it’s clear that Jesus was authentic, too.

There was a time when I was so under the thumbs of my faux family that I thought there was something wrong with me, because they told me there was something wrong with me. There never was anything wrong with me that couldn’t be solved by cutting them loose. And it was free! Didn’t cost me a dime, and probably saved thousands of wasted hours trying to please them. I’m not a people pleaser anymore, though I haven’t yet gotten to the point that I can say “none of your business” to anyone outside of the anonymous surveys demanded of me after I buy something. I mean, damn! I spent time shopping and chose your product! What more do you want from me?

I don’t go to church or claim a religion because I know too much about narcissistic personality disorder. Instead, I consider myself omnitheistic, meaning that I appreciate all religions as a manifestation of that culture’s attempt to understand what no human could ever completely understand. It’s a beautiful thing! All religions are beautiful, though I am personally skeptical of Mormons as the few I’ve come to know haven’t been particularly consistent between the preach and the practice.

A note on leadership and narcissism. All leaders need to be a little bit more narcissistic than most people. Some leaders end up being malignant narcissists, so I try to avoid those places where they roost – the controlling, manipulative types who are so unsure of themselves that they need to dominate in order to stand with their own beliefs. Strange dynamic, yes – but, it’s everywhere. I love religions, but I think spirituality is a very personal thing, and God doesn’t have a bank account, so the 10% thing only makes sense to keeping a roof over the heads of religious leaders, and providing a meeting place for their followers. That’s cool and all… community is a good thing. But, like a lover, I’ll know my spiritual community if I ever find it. Haven’t found it just yet.

When I was a little girl, there was this self-help book called “I’m OK, You’re OK”. I never read the book, but the title alone has been very empowering all these years. Everyone is ok. Well, mostly… when they haven’t allowed the challenges of life to make them not ok. They can choose to be ok.

I’m ok, thanks… but no thanks on the two workshops for a total of $1,600 plus a full work week of my time to learn your method of moving on from my past. I don’t need to prove to anyone that I’ve moved on. In fact, I am not obligated to move on, and I have no intention of moving on. I will, eventually, sue the F out of a handful of people… when I get around to it. I’m busy. Very busy. And there’s nothing wrong with that. Nothing at all. Anyone worried about that? GFY.

And, finally, about the sisterhood I recently joined… there’s some authenticity in there that makes me want to stay. And some very intensely inauthentic types that give me pause. I just don’t know… right now I’m not feeling it. But at least I’m not pretending otherwise.

So, I’m ok. Nothing wrong with me. I’m just being… just sitting here, being me, and that’s perfectly ok. In fact, it’s perfect. Perfectly, authentically me.

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