As I put in my sidebar, I moderate all comments. It’s my personal preference to do so. Chalk it up to me being a control freak. I want to know what other people are saying before I release the comments to the world. And I’ve caught a few comments where people left an email address or phone number.
The other day I received a comment on my entry about cleaning my room. The entirety of the comment was one word.
When I read it, the first thing I thought of was my mother saying “Are you finished yet?” when I cried. That one word snapped me back to a time when I was 6 years old. When I had been beaten with a belt for not finishing my dinner. When I had cried out in pain. When I was screamed at for a normal human reaction.
I read that comment and I sat in front of the computer just sobbing. I sat there feeling a sense of terror. I sat there waiting for my mother to walk through the door and start screaming at me. I sat there with all of the emotions I’ve been holding back just flowing out of me. And nothing bad happened. I ended up with red, swollen eyes and a runny nose. But the earth didn’t open up and swallow me alive. And I survived.
So as much as the comment hurt me, it ended up being the trigger that released so much that was pent up inside of me. And as much as I know that’s a good thing, it still hurts like hell. I’d rather not sit there crying like that. But I know it’s a necessary part of this journey.
The other thing that it brought to the forefront of my mind is just how much my past has colored my perceptions of the things that happen in the present. I know we use past experiences to interpret the present. That’s only human. We need a framework to help us understand the world. But I seem to see the negative in everything. In fact, I was hurt by something that wasn’t even intended to be posted on my blog.
How do I know? After I calmed myself down, I did the rational thing and asked the person what the comment meant via email. Turns out it was meant to be posted somewhere else. It was never meant to go to my blog. It was never meant to hurt me. It was an accident on that person’s part.
I jumped to a conclusion based on one word. A word that triggered a memory. A word that, in of itself, is harmless. And this whole thing has helped me understand myself much better.
So as strange as it sounds, thank you to this person for making that mistake and helping me face something and realize something that needed to be seen and understood.