This morning I saw Wannabe Fundycath and her husband at Mass for the first time in about a year. They were two pews ahead of me. I saw them and mildly freaked out. I actually thought about just walking to the back and going up to the choir loft to sit. But I stuck it out. I wasn’t going to miss Mass because of them.
I kept hoping that they wouldn’t see me or stop to talk to me after Mass. But then I thought, even if they do see me I don’t have to talk or do anything with them. I can say no and then say I have other plans. They don’t deserve anything from me, not my time or my emotional investment or my frienship. And while I was thinking on one level that not wanting to deal with people isn’t very nice (the whole love your neighbor thing) but Wannabe Fundycath is a narcissist and reminds me badly of my mother and her abuse. I honestly did not want to deal with her in any way. I wanted to avoid her and her husband at all costs.
Thankfully, I did NOT end up having to deal with them at all. When they left the pew at the end of Mass, I started putting on my coat and turned my back to them so they couldn’t make eye contact with me. This was after going to Communion and walking back to the pew making sure to not make eye contact.
I was able to manage because I could think it through. I didn’t and do not owe Wannabe Fundycath anything. She is dangerous to my physical and mental health. She’s a liar. Everything is about her. Nowhere does it say that I have to put up with or take her treatment of me to be a good Catholic. I do not have to change her or be friends with her or thankfully, I don’t even have to like her.
She’s too much a part of a bad time in my life. The first dinner I had with had so many red flags that I should have run the other direction but I didn’t. I now know better and can choose and keep better friends. People who treat me with respect instead of treating me like a slave or object meant to do their bidding.
I have much better mental health when I take care of myself and give my needs value. I am mentally stronger knowing that I don’t have to take responsibility for other people and their bad decisions. Their bad decisions are just that: theirs. I am responsible for me and my decisions. I had internalized that so deeply: that I was responsible for other people and their mistakes and decisions. And that if someone rejected what I said or did or told me no, there was something fundamentally wrong with me. I was the problem not the information or the other person’s decisions or lack of information but me.
I still believe that and have to fight that but I’m aware now. I am important too.