This week was hard, as hard weeks tend to follow a randomized pattern of easy, hard, or indifferent; a non-sensical equation comprised of mathematical possibilities and a sledge hammer. “X”, which is me, is the only known factor. I never know what the week will be. I only hope I can cope.

I don’t respond well when someone presents me with irrational, angry emotion and places the entire blame at my feet. Deep down, I prefer measured discussions, led with rational thought. The kind of thoughts that allow sincere communication and, hopefully, a compromised conclusion.

At face value, the discussion quickly digressed into a one-sided shouting display. Lots of finger-pointing, “YOU”, and the laundry list of every perceived slight was flung at me.

I listened. Then I measuredly and quietly told the person I was proud they were able to articulate so well, and detailed how I would respond to their request.

When the meeting ended, the flashbacks began. Every one where I simply had to take the person’s lashing. Every one where trying to defend myself was derided, ridiculed, and declared hopeless. Every one where the person implied that theirs was the only rule. Every one that were “gotcha” moments so the other person ensured their winning and my cowing to their will. Every one where the only choice was to listen so that it would all finally end.

We have all heard of fight or flight, but there is a third one. Play dead. I am that third in these situations. Play dead and maybe the predator will go away.

I have a secret to tell you. They never actually do.

My soul is exhausted.

That night, I opened the computer and signed up for therapy again. I do not hope to be better. I only hope I can get more tools to help me cope.

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