There are times, especially with writing that I feel a little twinge of envy toward other writers; when someone posts their latest essay in the New York Times, or Washington Post, or other hard to break into publications. The envy I feel never outweighs the good feelings I have for them though, and the envy never clouds my wanting to support them, congratulate and see them succeed. The only other time I feel negatively toward someone is when they are a mean person.
I don’t understand mean people. I don’t understand what motivates them, or the thought process that leads up to them choosing to do something hurtful to another person. I simply don’t get it, and maybe that is a good thing, but it feels like a disability – that not understanding.
When people are mean to me, I take it particularly hard. For one, I think to myself, “Why would you have hard feelings (jealousy, anger, envy, etc.) toward someone who struggles with schizophrenia every day? Why wouldn’t you want to see that person, with so many odds against them, excel, succeed, and have good things happen to them?”
There are people (almost always women) who are mean to me, and some on a regular basis, and that “meanness” is confused and clouded by the “good” things they say and do. It is the type of meanness that if you were to point it out, they could claim, “Who, me? I didn’t know that! I didn’t intentionally do that,” or they might say, “How was I to know?” When you know full well, that they have known about the thing they said or did that has hurt you for years.
I have diverticulitis, and since my first episode with it, there are many foods, that I love, and that I would consider comfort foods that I can no longer eat. I miss many of the foods that are off-limits tremendously, and occasionally I will say to my husband, “I just wish I could curl up and eat popcorn or nuts and watch television. It seems like a simple thing, but one I enjoy so much and I miss it.” The realm of food is an area where people can be mean to me – always making sure nuts and popcorn are around when I am there. Frequently, talking about eating nuts and popcorn, etc. I don’t even know what the person’s goal is other than to make me feel bad.
I have another person in my life that brings up a person who made my husband’s and my life miserable for many years. She does it in a way that she can claim ignorance but after twenty years? Ignorance?
All of my life I have heard people say to look for the “silver lining.” I guess the silver lining in this situation is that people don’t see me as someone they should feel sorry for, or be nice to because I have a tough time. Apparently, these people don’t see their actions as kicking someone while they are down. I am going to try to feel good about the fact that I must handle the “mean girl” mentality of other people just like anyone else would and feel happy that schizophrenia doesn’t seem to be a part of the picture.