Remember that old saying, “Win the battle, lose the war?”
Some play the victim in order to control the situation or to look like the good guy, but they lose the trust and respect of others.
Their martyrdom is so loud that any truth they might speak or pain they might feel is lost in the narcissistic lie of their victimhood.
My momma, the queen of martyrs when I was growing up, learned this lesson late in life. Dad, the king of narcissists, learned it late, as well. Sometimes, our “need to be heard” or “need to be understood” is just a veneer of pride, a desire for our egos to be stroked and our importance to be validated.
On the flip side, ever know someone’s silence to be louder than words? ‘Cause they’re teaching YOU a lesson?
Ever “learn” that lesson? Or do you give in just to keep the peace, never actually solving the problem?
Below is the rough draft of the second stanza of an unfinished poem (the first stanza can be read here):
Pleasant and quiet,
you hide the ogre of bitterness
behind demure facade, proper courtesy.
you seem a modern saint,
but you’re waiting
for someone to shoulder the work,
make the decisions,
be the excuse
for whatever goes wrong.
You ask my help
then duck behind me,
the strongman to shield you, the villain you blame.
As you can see, there is a bite to this poem, and that may end up being its title: “Bite”. Ideas are being pummeled and knocked about like stones in a riverbed. This morning, I wrote notes for a third and possibly fourth stanza. I’m finally telling the truth that’s been crouching behind silence, and though the people to whom it is directed may never read this poem — or, if they did, may never recognize themselves — I’m finding the words at last.