I love meeting people and talking to them for my food stories–the food may be the reason for the interview, but the people themselves are always the interesting story. I met a woman recently who recounted her family’s struggles in growing their farm. When she delivered produce to one particular store many years ago, she told me, after unloading heavy boxes at the back door, a man would lock the door against her, preventing her delivery. He was a monster, she said in no uncertain terms. And she warned me:
There will always be monsters at the door
Maybe she was talking about the farming business, but she was old enough that I suspect she wanted to also tell me that in life there will always be monsters.
I’ve been dealing with a monster of my own – a person in my life that hurt me profoundly. Part of learning to be strong, for me, is not letting others have power over me and the way I feel. My mom has always taught me that a person can’t have power over you unless you give it to them, and I’ve struggled lately to take back the power I gave to this monster.
The monster still has the power to make me cry, to make me sick with anxiety, to make me shake with fury and fear, and I just can’t allow that any longer. I want to be strong, and not afraid. So I’ve put some thought into what I need to do to take back that power. And I realize that I need to understand and accept three things.
1. It’s not my job to make the monster understand how much he hurt me. If he can’t or won’t face it, that’s his deal, not mine.
2. It’s not my job to make him care how irreparably hurt me. That’s the difference in people and monsters and none of us have the power to transform a monster into a person.
3. It’s not my job to make the monster pay for hurting me. It won’t change what happened and it only makes me a monster too. (Besides, karma is a monster in her own right so I have no doubt the monster will eventually pay.)
Now, it’s one thing to understand that I need to do these things, but I think it will take me a much longer time to accept them. But if I’ve learned one thing it’s that if I want something enough, I just have to work to get there. And I want to banish the monster.