I’m a bitch

I’m hoping to do some insightful posting, but I’ll probably just start whining. At any rate, move along and find another blog to read if you’re not up for my self-therapy today.

Some people in my life have said I was the most caring person they knew (obviously they didn’t know many people. …). Some people have even gone so far as to say I was “too nice” or “too sacrificing” when it comes to other people. Others know me as a bit on the insensitive side. Hell, my former employer used to say I was “cavalier” (hence my username and nickname on every website and IM program imaginable).

At any rate, I have this ridiculous blurting habit. Yes, as in, I blurt out the first possible thing that comes to my mind. I have lost so much self-restraint during the past few months. I used to work at a job where everything I said/did was held against me, and even things I didn’t outright say/do came back to haunt me, too. At jobs before that, when I was disgruntled, people heard about it loud and clear. And as time wore on, I realized that I needed to put a cork in it sometimes — and “sometimes” became “more-often-than-not.”

But then I lost those newly acquired social graces. I can’t even remember how. But, for as long as I can remember, the weirdest shit just pops into my head. In the right company, I can share it. But I can’t always be 100 percent “Dawn” when not everyone needs or even wants that. I need to replace the filter that used to keep that weird shit contained in my head.

I also have a family problem, in that nobody ever held anything back. That, and some of my grandfather’s relatives are the most uncouth assholes ever born. I mean, jeebus, his older brother is one of the cruelest people I’ve ever met — the man just slices you down to size and laughs at his own jabs. He’s the only one laughing. And that humor has trickled down through the branches of the family — they think they’re so damn funny, when all they’re being is hurtful.

I really tried to escape the path of using humor to hurt. And I guess I don’t do it directly, but I think I still do it.

For instance, I was talking with my designer yesterday, and he mentioned something personal (which he rarely does). And then he made a comment that it was probably too much information, that it wasn’t something I needed or even wanted to know. The first words out of my mouth were, “You know I don’t give a shit about stuff like that.” But what I MEANT (and should have said) was, “I appreciate you sharing that information with me. It doesn’t bother me in the least. In fact, I think you’re a terrific person and that it’s awesome that you said that.”

I think he knows me well enough to understand that, when I say I don’t care, it means that hey, nothing fazes or offends me, so your secret is safe with me. But why can’t I just SAY that in the first place?

Even today, the poor guy is sick, so I offered to run to the store or run errands for him, and he of course said thanks but no. What comes out of Little Miss Unfiltered? “Hey, I’m trying to be nice. It’s hard for me to be nice. Work with me here!” I guess, in the grand scheme of things, it’s not so bad (considering that I was laughing and being goofy when I said it), but there is some truth to the fact that being nice doesn’t come altogether that naturally for me.

I hate for this to turn into a therapy session, but what the hell … here goes:

I’m a product of tough love. While my family unquestionably loved me unconditionally (and still sometimes remains obsessive about it), there was an element of sarcasm and psychological torture that kept us together. (Yeah, we were dysfunctional, but families aren’t “normal” if they don’t have an element of dysfunction! We didn’t call it “Dysfunction Junction” for nothing!)

That tough love concept carried its way into my earliest of friendships. We lived for teasing each other. But it was teasing in a loving kind of way. Sometimes, sure, it went too far, but it was always in context and apologies were usually given when somebody got hurt. Unless we meant what we said. But that’s a whole ‘nother blog entry.

I always viewed teasing/joking (done lovingly of course!) as a sign that you were close to somebody — close enough to know them inside and out and be able to laugh WITH them at their foibles and idiosyncracies. Or, in some of the instances described above, I might not be that close with someone, but it’s my way of getting to know them — if they can handle me, then they’re pretty damn cool. But then there are the folks who don’t know me so well and who don’t get it that I make a joke out of just about everything.

And that’s my coping mechanism. I laugh. Not hysterically, mind you. Not “they’re-coming-to-take-me-away-ha-ha” laughter (not always, anyway!), but I tend to find the humor in nearly every situation. And if there isn’t any, I create my own. Maybe that’s the journalist reporter in me — when there’s no news, you still need to get paid, so you find or exaggerate whatever you can get your grimy little mitts on. I mean, take this very blog for instance — it’s all real, but instead of just calling my boss, oh, I don’t know, how about “Boss”? I call him Cruise Director of Club Medicated. Or King Kumquat, king of the Veggie Patch. Everybody bitches about work — I just like to put a creative spin on it, because you can get the vanilla job kvetching just about anywhere else.

At any rate, I guess what spurred all of this on is that I guess I need to better distinguish my professional self from my personal self. Hell yeah, I’m gonna keep making my snarks and asides to the people who enjoy it most, but maybe I need to, at least at/regarding work, re-adopt the old, “bite yo’ tongue, biatch!” attitude that used to, for the most part, keep me out of trouble. Although it did cause me to implode on more than one occasion!

And for those who don’t know me or who don’t know me well, always take me with a grain of salt … and a couple of shots of tequila. 😀

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