Responsibility looks different in context, and irresponsibility comes in many guises.
It was a decision made after extensive consideration. It was a decision which saddened and hurt others. It was a decision to honor their own experiences and a demonstration of loving oneself. It was a decision which presented difficulties on many fronts.
Their one action following the monumental decision was experienced as rejection and indeed alienating.
And perhaps I shouldn’t have been surprised by her attempt to “fix the situation”. Her anger and microaggressions (as someone close to me called it) were obvious and, on the best interpretation, came from her sadness, hurt and an overwhelming need to protect her loved one.
Their concerns were dismissed as “nonsense” without an offer of one kind word. Accusations of wrongdoing lashed on them, delivered through a facade of her care and concern for her loved one.
She laid her responsibility on them, who was younger and perceived weaker, seeking from them a reconciliation from a breach she did not wish to understand. Instead she sought to overcome her sense of helplessness by making them the offender, the one responsible for the “nonsense”.
She demonstrated little empathy. The strong-arm approach, her bullying shattered their innocence and the hope and affection they had. Did she not know their decision was a mere symptom of a malady which began many years before?
The lack of validation for their experiences of disappointment, sadness and hurt, and the disrespect for their tenacity and courage to make this one decision might likely have sealed the fate of their relationship.
I can write this now, weeks later after my struggle to forgive the injury she inflicted on them, and to work through my disappointment and anger.
Perhaps I am harsh in my assessment, perhaps her attempt was an act of desperation from a woman who just doesn’t know what else to do, a woman who is still learning to be with vulnerability.
Perhaps it was the limit of her response-ability, and being irresponsible is the kindest I can say of her actions.
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