Friday, May 23, 2008

Friday’s Child – Confronting A Coward

We’re getting down to the wire on these repeat posts. It looks like I’ve got about a month’s worth left. I know they’re not the easiest works to read. Thanks for sticking with me.
Here’s a picture to help get you through it. If you’d prefer, you can always comment on it instead.

From Monday, September 24, 2007

Confronting A Coward

It’s interesting that a few new and full moons have waxed and waned since my sister called.
The last time she phoned my husband answered. After a few moments of putting up with her nonsense he told her to “Fuck off and leave us alone.”

It appears to have worked.

Mental illness aside, my sister is a bully. She likes her own way and screeches and screams and stomps and rails about unfairness until she gets it. The quickest way to calm her down or shut her up is to give in.

I’ve have observed (I’m not a professional counselor or psychologist or the like) that bullies tend to back down when confronted. The bulk of them are cowards.

It’s worse when someone, my sister for instance, always gets her way by raising a ruckus. They don’t learn anything and their bad behavior gets reinforced. It worked once so I’ll do it again and again. Why try anything new?

Standing up to my sister wasn’t the kind of thing my parents were apt to do. It brought on the kind of drama and excitement that no one wanted.

Reason and logic, as occasionally tried by our dad, was lost on her. My sister is quite intelligent and was the smartest in her class all through school. But reason? She doesn’t seem to grasp it. She’s a creature of emotion. I suspect her idea of reason is if stomping and yelling and crying worked in the past, then logically it will continue to do so.

In fairness I don’t think she knows any better. She can’t cope with reality and even when she was purportedly sane she really didn’t deal with it all that well.
Bullying though violence or simple loudness worked. Giving in is wrong, but it is easy.
I think I wrote already how I stood up to her once by saying no. She didn’t speak to me for two years.
And now, my husband pointedly and forcefully told her to leave us alone. To date, that’s happened.
I may be speaking too soon, though. The full moon is two days away.


the Bag Lady said...

Love the photo, dfLeah. Hate the bullying, but glad you are getting it out in the open.

Terrie Farley Moran said...

df Leah,

I agree, bullies are cowards and bluster is an act. It is too bad your parents never saw this. Peace at any price can be very costly in a family.


Leah J. Utas said...

df Bag Lady - Thanks

df Terrie - It was unfortunate, but it's the way it was.

Reb said...

Interesting juxtaposition of the pussy willows and the story of your sister bullying. I am glad that you are now able to put it in perspective and are able to tell her to leave you alone.

Great photo.

Leah J. Utas said...

Thanks, Reb. Perspective is everything.

Thomma Lyn said...

You are absolutely right, giving in to bullies only reinforces their bad behavior. I've seen this in several contexts, not only in mental illness but also in poor parenting (giving in to children who want everything including the moon). It doesn't do anybody any favors to jump every time a bully holds out a hoop -- neither the jumper nor the bully.

The photo is beautiful. I'm glad you are able to draw firm boundaries with your sister. That's so important.

Leah J. Utas said...

Thanks so much for your support, TL.
Boundaries are very important or else we are doormats.

Glad you like the photo.