Realizing You Were Wrong

It’s kind of jolting to realize when you’re wrong about something. And not just like one thing, but “something” as in a whole pattern of behavior. It’s even more disturbing to realize that the pattern probably cost you a few relationships and a whole lot of time wasted.

Early in college, there was a weird situation with some friends and a bunch of people got hurt and things got complicated, and it just wasn’t pretty. For years, I was convinced I hadn’t done very much wrong, or that I had good intentions, or whatever, but within the last two years, being given a lot of space from the situation, I realized I was totally wrong.

I was controlling, manipulative, and judgmental. I spent a lot of energy involving myself in things that were none of my damn business. I was a bad friend and just all-around, not a great person. Even worse, I actually believed that what I was doing and thinking was right and that God had led me to it. Sure, I acknowledged some imperfections, I wasn’t that delusional, but I always made excuses for myself:

“I just care too much.”

“It’s coming from a good place.”

“I’m a good person for knowing when I’m wrong about things.”

“I get so obsessed because of the anxiety/depression.”

Note to the world: having depression or anxiety does not excuse you from being a bad friend or a bad person. It can explain some of it, i.e. with the level of anxiety I had, it was very difficult to not freak out about things I saw as dangerous behavior in friends, but it does not excuse the fact that I became very judgmental or reacted poorly. My mental illness does not control me or how I handle my relationships or hard situations.

It’s difficult to know what to do after you realize you screwed up, and screwed up bad. Is there any way to come back from that, with the person involved? Or is it one of those things you just have to let go of and never really resolve? I’m not good with non-resolutions. I’ve already had one major relationship in my life that ended pretty strangely and the lack of concrete resolution still haunts me. But then I stop and think about it, and realize this is all still about me, isn’t it? How feel and how want to feel better about myself by being apologetic and humble. Ultimately, it seems like it’s about power and control, I don’t like feeling like someone else has some kind of power over me. By getting a resolution, I am claiming control over the situation, and if I don’t get it, it drives me crazy. By saying “I was wrong” to someone, I’m still the one in control. That’s not really a great motivation for trying to reconnect with someone.

So…what is a good motivation? What should I be striving for? And even thinking that makes all this still about control! By not knowing, I feel powerless. Maybe I just need to chill. Stop questioning myself so much. I don’t know though. By not questioning myself, I managed to go years believing I was totally in the right when I was really totally in the wrong. This is all very complicated and confusing.

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