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Correction of My Reality

Updated on December 8, 2008
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Rebecca Graf is an experienced writer with nearly a decade of writing experience and degrees in accounting, history and creative writing.

My Upfront Apologies

This piece was inspired by a frustrating few months of dealing with a variety of people and their perceived notion of who they really are and how others view them. I think I realized that the more they talked and described themselves, the more I realized that they had no sense of reality. I asked myself if anyone ever really tries to be introspective or are we so arrogant and selfish that we just have no desire to do so. I began a journey into myself and discovered quite a few unpleasant rooms in my personal “house”. Rooms that needed cleaning out and airing so that others would want to come in and visit there. I talked to a few people and realized that they did not know that there were stinky, cluttered rooms in their own lives that were preventing others from getting close. So, I created a character that I’m addressing in this piece that is really a mixture of all these people that I’ve been dealing with (maybe even a little bit of myself). Some are friends and some are relatives. But each one has an uncanny knack of believing themselves to have certain personality traits that no one else on the planet sees. My apology as I vent and get it all out, but too much bottling up is not good for the soul (or the health of your spouse). So explains the sarcasm that follows.

Thank You for the Correction

I was listening to you talk last night and you were mentioning how you were such a good listener and could take criticism better than anyone else you knew and also all those other wonderful traits you were humbly telling this person. Really got me to thinking and I decided that I don’t know you too well after all and I want to apologize.

You mentioned your listening skills. I just wanted to verify that I’ve really misunderstood some things in our past and to apologize for them if that is so. Good listening….. I’m sorry that I did not realize this as I was telling you about my new boss last week….and the next day you arguing (quite vehemently) that I have never told you that the old one had been fired. So sorry about that. And also, about getting my feelings hurt when Christmas rolled around and your gift to me was something I had not collected or been into for over 10 years. I must never have told you any of my new hobbies like you are now saying that I have neglected to do.

I also wanted to say thank you for pointing out to your friend who was visiting the other night how overly sensitive I am and how I cry so easily. I did not realize that when you told a room full of people that I was not a good cook and all mistakes that I had made (even the ones that I had now inherited that other people had made) that I was being too sensitive. I’ll work on that.

I’m also going to work on how I handle any crisis that comes my way since it seems that I don’t do it well from what you have been saying a lot lately. I’ll make sure that I follow your example of screaming and cussing loudly and having to be restrained the next time my children get hurt and need medical attention. This holding myself together until it is all over is just not working.

I’m also going to have to look into not letting disappoint and concern over you be so evident. When you told me that you had started smoking again and I was disappointed for you because I knew how hard it was to stop, you let me know how much that hurt hearing my disappointment and concern and you stated that you didn’t want to speak to me again. I’m so sorry that I was wanting to be there for you even then.

This issue with me being cold and detached I’ll have to work on, too. I know how much you have been complaining about how I just will not be open and friendly with you and will not have conversations with you. The next time we are visiting and you stay at your computer playing computer games or hush me because your show came on during the dinner party you invited me to, I’ll remember to work on my unfriendliness.

I’ll also work on checking with you about how I respond to my children. You’ve pointed out so many times how I’m too hard on them when they tell me a lie and I punish them. Then you so lovingly let me know that when they throw a fit that I’m not hard enough. Next time, I’ll ask your wise direction before I act.

I’ll also try to email every day but I think I need a little clarification on this on. I used to be good about this but you began to tell me that you were too busy to answer and to please stop. Just today, you got very upset with me because I don’t email you anymore and wanted to know the deep rooted problems that I must have with you. Sorry I didn’t answer the only email you sent me in 5 months. I figured since we talked on the phone not two hours after you sent it that I didn’t have to. I’ll work on that, too.

I’ll also work on having something for us to talk about. I’ll have to begin to talk politics or begin to fall in love in certain stars if we are going to talk at all.

I’ll look into that psychiatrist, too. You mentioned many times how much I need one. This sleeping all the time during the day because you are up all night with the lights on and making loud noises have nothing to do with it at all. I’m obviously depressed because of that.

I’ll also talk to the doc because I have too much anger. I’m sorry that I get upset when you call every single night as I’m giving my little one a bath, or that you call repeatedly while out to dinner with my husband (which rarely happens) until I answer. You are right that I over-react.

I’m also sorry that my anger causes me to get upset when you argue with me about what my middle name is and how I spell my child’s name. I do have a tendency to forget those things. So thank you for pointing that out to me.

I’ll also like to apologize for not remembering anything that happened in the past correctly. You are right about how I reacted when my first child was born (though you were not present, I’ll trust you). You are also right that all these pictures I have during the holidays that show us at my sister’s house were really at your house each year. So funny how you two decorate exactly the same way.

I’m also sorry for reading my book the other day while we were visiting your house. I just got bored sitting there while you surfed the internet and played online games.

I’ll also work on having a better relationship with you. When I call and you can’t talk (which is pretty much every time) I’ll not care when you call and get mad because I don’t answer when I’m busy. I’ll also sit and listen since I can’t get a word in otherwise. That might help our relationship.

I’m also so sorry that I would call you argumentative. The next time you tell me, an accountant, the correct IRS mileage rate and how to correctly prepare taxes I’ll listen and make sure you go with me to the IRS during my audit. I’ll also never question you correcting me on every actor that I name that is in a movie that I just watched and the correct title of the book I just finished reading. When I say that the sky is blue I’ll defer to your ruling of pink.

I’m also sorry that today I ate that piece of cake you put in front of me after dinner and hounded me to eat it. And then admit that I eat too much as I eat a piece of bread with my meds so that I will not have an upset stomach. You know best.

I’m also so sorry that I didn’t tell you about my new dog. The fact that you complain if anyone gets a pet and the complaints usually go on for months in every conversation had nothing to do it. You also mentioned that I hold too much of my life from you. OK, well hubby and I……..

I’m also sorry that I didn’t let you review the book I am about to publish that I have never told you about though I could have sworn you were present during my discussions at the last family gathering and the dinner in which my husband was going on about it with pride. Your usual negative comments would really have helped my self esteem and I deeply regret not having you mark it up and rewrite it.

I’m also so sorry for being sensitive when you called me a “Plain Jane” and pointed out that I’m not graceful. You are right. My apologies for that. And also for being a little hurt when I crocheted you the afghan that I took so much pride in and you pointed out three stitches that were not quite right in front of everyone.

I’m also sorry that I’ve always believed you to have a faulty memory. You are right that I have been married 13 years (though my marriage license states 15). You are so right when I got married that I had to have you show me how to boil water because I knew absolutely nothing at my first Thanksgiving dinner. (The fact that I made everything by myself but the gravy because you were so eager to show me your method did not happen.) Thank you for telling this story at every Thanksgiving meal now. I really appreciate it.

I would also like to apologize on thinking that you are an inattentive downright scary driver. The fact that most people fight over who will drive so that you don’t have to or that people pay others to sit in the front seat with you because they fear for their life is way over-exaggerated. You are the clam driver you claim to be.

Apologies for thinking you gossip too much, also. I thought that when you had to tell everyone at the pot luck about whose car was in the neighbor’s driveway all night and who was now expecting out of wedlock was considered gossiping. You are right. You were just stating facts. Please continue.

I also want to say that I’m sorry that I got upset when you entered my office when I wasn’t around and straightened everything up. That included all the drawers with personal financial information and confidential business information. And thank you for throwing away those scraps of paper with all those codes and directions on them. I really needed to put in those extra hours the next day to rediscover them.

I will work on these issues that I have and correct the way I view you. You are right. You are the most attentive, caring, calm, rational, peaceful, and above all humble person that you claim to be. I’m so glad you set me straight on this.

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    • profile image

      Eddie Perkins 8 years ago

      Wow!

      This made me think I was back at my old job of customer service. I’ve never apologized so much in all my life. 

      I was thinking as I was reading: aren’t we glad all of this wasn’t just one person”.  But when you’ve spent 8 hours a day on the phone with one after the other they all run together into one.

      Thank you for refreshing my memory of just how frustrating this can be. ~ eddie

    • profile image

      JenArt 8 years ago

      I'm glad you were able to get that out of your system and I hope it helps. For your New Year's resolution I think you should vow to get new friends and surround yourself with people who actually RESPECT you. I can't believe the nerve of the people in your life now! You deserve so much better.

      Vent here anytime, I'll listen!

    • KT pdx profile image

      KT pdx 8 years ago from Vancouver, WA, USA

      Just reading this has been therapeutic for me, knowing that someone else has people in their life like that, too. I can definitely relate to many of these, and am dealing with the sleep all day because hubby is up all night making noise one at the moment! Funny how he thinks I'm getting too much sleep!

    • BDazzler profile image

      BDazzler 8 years ago from Gulf Coast, USA

      Whew! Yep ... I understand.

    • RiaMorrison profile image

      Ria Bridges 8 years ago from Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada

      Some people really make me think of the term 'toxic friend'. As much as you may love a person, sometimes when being around them causes you that much stress, it's time to take a step back. (General 'you' here, not you specifically.) One-sided harmful friendships don't do anybody any good.

    • RGraf profile image
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      Rebecca Graf 8 years ago from Wisconsin

      Eddie, glad I brought back memories or maybe I should apologize :) The customer is always right has kind of opened the door for the obnoxious ones to take complete control. By the end of the day, I feel like I cannot do anything right and should just defer completely to them.

      One of the people rolled up in this vent session actually argues with me when I know God is calling me to go through with something that they actually have better ideas and I should listen to them instead. Thank goodness I know who is really in control :)

    • RGraf profile image
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      Rebecca Graf 8 years ago from Wisconsin

      JenArt, thank you so much. That really meant a lot. I'm in the process of working out how to not be the door mat and not go the extreme and become just like them. It can be a fine line. I agree that I've got to get better influences around me. Some I can't totally "get rid of", but I've got to develop ways of not letting them get to me.

      Thank you again for your support!

    • RGraf profile image
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      Rebecca Graf 8 years ago from Wisconsin

      KT, glad I could help. I was surprised at the responses I'm getting. I was just venting and needed to get it out. I think it is so funny how the other person is always innocent. My husband read this and at each section named the people it encompassed. He got a good laugh even at the ones about him.

      Thank you for stopping by the vent channel.

    • RGraf profile image
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      Rebecca Graf 8 years ago from Wisconsin

      BD, I'm amazed at how many are understanding. It is kind of sad, too. And I always wondered why my self esteem was always so low...... :)

      Thanks again.

    • RGraf profile image
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      Rebecca Graf 8 years ago from Wisconsin

      Ria, I agree. It took a lot and will take more learning but I'm going through a growing time where I'm realizing that I've put way too much stock in these people and cared too much what they have thought about me. I've got to move on. I'm in a personal study right now that is working on getting me to be a better person. My thoughts were that I will go down the road of becomeing better while they can sit stationary. I have an exciting life in front of me.

      Thank you for stopping by! The responses to this has been a pleasant surprise.

    • countrywomen profile image

      countrywomen 8 years ago from Washington, USA

      Rgraf- It requires a lot of character to accept one's own shortcomings. I am sure you are a very good human being. This article has certainly helped me introspect further.

    • RGraf profile image
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      Rebecca Graf 8 years ago from Wisconsin

      Glad it could help. It's amazing how we perceive ourselves. You are right about looking at own shortcomings. It is not fun and it can be painful. But it is worth it to go that route. Thank you.

    • Pam Roberson profile image

      Pam Roberson 8 years ago from Virginia

      Lord have mercy, that is a lot of heavy crap other people are putting on you. You've touched a soft spot in me because I totally understand where you're coming from. I concluded a while back that when people feel the need to constantly criticize you, then it's really more about how they view their own shortcomings than anything else. But knowing that doesn't always help, and I sure do wish I could share more here. This entire hub could have been about one person I know, and it reached a point to where I had to stop allowing her into my life as much as possible.

      Someone else mentioned something about "toxic" people (friends, family), and I think the only way to deal with them is to not deal with them - if possible. At the very least, limit the amount of time you're around them.

      One of the hardest things in the world to do is to look deep inside ourselves and recognize our shortcomings, but that's the only way we can grow and eventually accept and love ourselves as well as others. Good for you RG! :)

    • Barbie-Perkins profile image

      Barbie-Perkins 8 years ago from Cincinnati, OH

      RGraf,

      Wow!  Writing that article was a much needed stress relief!

      God Bless You!  Barbie Perkins

    • Lgali profile image

      Lgali 8 years ago

      very nice article

    • Marlene F. profile image

      Marlene F. 8 years ago from Richmond, Virginia

      Wow. I feel better just reading this Hub!

    • RGraf profile image
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      Rebecca Graf 8 years ago from Wisconsin

      Pam, thank you. In all honesty it is mainly about one person but so many of the traits reminded me of so many others. You mentioned about them not seeing their shortcomings - I had this same person go on and on about how controlling I was because due to many people's health and financial issues I decided that no one was to bring anything for a Thanksgiving dinner I was hosting. She decided that I was too controlling over this event because I refused to have everyone bring something. I still have not lived that down and she says that she just has trouble dealing with me since I'm such a control freak. Everyone who knows real well are always joking that she must have been looking in a mirror when she said that.

      Thank you so much for your words. I didn't realize how theraputic this hub would be for me.

    • RGraf profile image
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      Rebecca Graf 8 years ago from Wisconsin

      Barbie, thank you. It really helped release so much anger and bitterness. After awhile there is only so much you can take.

    • RGraf profile image
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      Rebecca Graf 8 years ago from Wisconsin

      Lagli, thanks for stopping by and commenting.

    • RGraf profile image
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      Rebecca Graf 8 years ago from Wisconsin

      Marlene, glad it could help. It's amazing the people we have in our lives and they would probably be shocked at how they are really viewed.

      Thanks for stopping by and reading.

    • Pam Roberson profile image

      Pam Roberson 8 years ago from Virginia

      RG, I cannot believe that someone would dog you over the fact that you were being very nice about Thanksgiving and doing everyone a favor by not insisting they bring something. That is extremely thoughtful of you, and that person has a huge problem in calling you a control freak. A control freak would have mailed everyone an invitation along with a note saying what they must bring to the dinner. lol!

      I'm just happy to know that you see the actions and behavior of others for what it is and don't take it personally. People like that can really drag you down if you let them. You just keep on the way you are. ;)

    • RGraf profile image
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      Rebecca Graf 8 years ago from Wisconsin

      Pam, thank you. I used to take it personally and a couple of days ago I let it again. But then I realized that I cannot let them control me. Though it does take all kinds to make up this world :)

      Thank so much for your supportive words. It comes at a really good time.

    • KT pdx profile image

      KT pdx 8 years ago from Vancouver, WA, USA

      Just read all the comments since mine. I used to be a "pleaser", too, but realized that it was causing me to go crazy. A couple things that helped me: the Serenity prayer, and going through the 12 steps (in my case, Al-Anon). It really helped me focus on what I could do to change my perception when the other people were injecting themselves into my life. Hope this helps!

    • RGraf profile image
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      Rebecca Graf 8 years ago from Wisconsin

      KT, it does. I'm actually leading a twelve step group called Celebrate Recovery. That led me down a personal study of Proverbs which then led me to letting go of trying to please and such. I realized that I needed to focus on growing me and leave them alone. It is not easy and you end of going backwards sometimes, but you can get out from under them. I never realized how much of a "pleaser" I was until I was becoming so miserable losing myself in their demands and needs. I was treated as a nobody and I got tired of it. God made me a somebody and I intended to be everything He wanted me to be.

      Sorry for the continued rant. This is something I've become very passionate about and am actually excited about discovering myself and experiencing the growth.

    • KT pdx profile image

      KT pdx 8 years ago from Vancouver, WA, USA

      Don't be sorry about the rant, be happy about it!  Just look at all the positive comments you've got!  :)  You should never feel guilty about being yourself.  :) If you ever want to talk about anything, just send me a message.

    • RGraf profile image
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      Rebecca Graf 8 years ago from Wisconsin

      I'd have to admit that I've been so surprised at all the responses I've been getting. It has been great!!!!! KT, I really appreciate it. You brought a smile to my face tonight.

    • Mighty Mom profile image

      Susan Reid 8 years ago from Where Left is Right, CA

      *Stretching out arms to hug RGraf*

      I don't doubt for a minute you are a super-sensitive person. All the best writers are sensitive. And that's what makes them good writers! Your hub is so clever -- you can sorta kinda tell which accusations belong to your husband, mother, siblings (perhaps) but I'm sure there are other people in there too.

      Now that you've gotten it out on paper, I hope you can start healing from all the mean things people in your life have said about you. I agree that when someone is being that awful, it's something wrong with THEM, not you. Even though of course it doesn't feel that way...

      Just wait till your book comes out. That oughta hush some people's mouths, eh?

    • RGraf profile image
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      Rebecca Graf 8 years ago from Wisconsin

      A hug is returned. Thank you, MM. I appreciate it. I was told by one person that I was too sensitive. I responded (before I could catch myself) that maybe they weren't sensitive enough. That didn't go over well, but boy did I feel good. This has helped me more than I could ever imagine. I should have done it sooner.

      Thanks a million.

    • Feline Prophet profile image

      Feline Prophet 8 years ago from India

      You've spoken for many here RG! And I'm sure it felt good. It's amazing how many self righteous people there are out there...no one can quite measure up to their own exacting standards, right?

    • RGraf profile image
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      Rebecca Graf 8 years ago from Wisconsin

      Feline, thank you. I didn't realize how many could empathize. You are so right that you cannot measure up to it. It took a long time to realize that and it was painful, but I'll do it right, I'll never be good enough. So why keep killing myself trying to get a good comment out of their mouths. I thought I understood that, but just recently I realized how much I was still striving for some praise and recognition from them. I was angry and ashamed at that because I knew better. This hub actually helped me so much in saying good-bye to all that.

      Thank you so much for your visit and encouragement.

    • Dottie1 profile image

      Dottie1 8 years ago from MA, USA

      I loved your reality. Now there is only room for more. Thank you.

    • Shalini Kagal profile image

      Shalini Kagal 8 years ago from India

      The classic case of the control freak - give them an inch and they'll take a mile. Maybe the only way to deal with them is to say No as soon as they put their foot in the door.

      This hub speaks for many RGraf!

    • RGraf profile image
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      Rebecca Graf 8 years ago from Wisconsin

      Dotte, thank you and you are welcome :)

    • RGraf profile image
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      Rebecca Graf 8 years ago from Wisconsin

      Shalini, you are so right. Thank you for your words of encouragement.

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      Joe 8 years ago from Valdosta, GA

      *applause*

    • dayzeebee profile image

      dayzeebee 8 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

      Hello RGraf, I must say this is good therapy. Allowing and accepting all the thoughts and feelings you have and expressing them in a creative manner can definitely help release the tension and make room for more positive things to flow. Wishing you well. Godbless:)

    • RGraf profile image
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      Rebecca Graf 8 years ago from Wisconsin

      Thank you. I appreciate all the support I've gotten. Getting it all out really helped, but having such wonderful feedback I think made it even better.

    • SweetiePie profile image

      SweetiePie 8 years ago from Southern California, USA

      Very good points. People should not have to compromise who they are so much. Be happy to be you and never feel bad about this.

    • RGraf profile image
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      Rebecca Graf 8 years ago from Wisconsin

      Thank you. It's taken a lot of growing up to get to this point.

    • countrywomen profile image

      countrywomen 8 years ago from Washington, USA

      Rgraf- We all are evolving all the time I just hope in the positive direction :-)

    • RGraf profile image
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      Rebecca Graf 8 years ago from Wisconsin

      Very good point, countrywomen. I think we have seen some sad evidence of the opposite direction :)

    • countrywomen profile image

      countrywomen 8 years ago from Washington, USA

      Well we can't do anything about anyone but ourselves and hope we stay on the positive track. It is very easy to be mean but very difficult to be considerate. My father once said "Whatever is good for us needn't be easy for us and whatever is easy for us needn't be good for us"

    • RGraf profile image
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      Rebecca Graf 8 years ago from Wisconsin

      Those are very wise words. Thank you for sharing them. I'll have to post them up for me to use.

    • countrywomen profile image

      countrywomen 8 years ago from Washington, USA

      Sure you can use them. I have a very affectionate, kind and loving dad. I guess I should write a hub about him.

    • RGraf profile image
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      Rebecca Graf 8 years ago from Wisconsin

      You should. I've been tossing around one about my Dad because he left me with such good advice. I'll keep my eyes open for it.

    • countrywomen profile image

      countrywomen 8 years ago from Washington, USA

      Well I am working on writing another hub. We have some work deadlines and once that is over will write that hub about my dad. I also will keep an eye for the hub about your Dad's wisdom.

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      S.M. Tanvir Farhad 8 years ago from Dhaka, Bangladesh

      Thanks for sharing nice topic. It will help me lot.http://mytube.flixya.com

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      DarleneMarie 8 years ago from USA

      I hope you are able to surround yourself with people that care and respect you. I know we can choose our friends, but we can't choose our relatives. By focusing on what you need to do and working on yourself, you'll find that you will make new friends and the toxic friendships will disappear. As for the relatives, they'll either accept you, or they will learn to treat you differently---don't give em much of a choice and YOU GO GIRL!

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      Rebecca Graf 8 years ago from Wisconsin

      Mytube, glad I could help.

      Darlene, Thank you. Now that I've been really focusing on improving myself and making corrections in my life so that I don't turn out like them, I'm feeling better about myself and shrug off so much of the relative issues. A few days ago I was in a position where I was receiving much of the same comments, I just smiled and did what I was going to do anyway. They got irritated but I felt more confident. Thanks for stopping by and the encouragement. What started as a vent that I figured no one would ever read has turned into one of the best things I've done lately.

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