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Behaving Out of Character and Self Care

June 4, 2008

I did something totally out of character for me the other day. Well, actually, I did more than one out of character thing in the span of a few days.

Unread spam I can ditch with no problem. Personal emails are a different story. Even if they are from someone I am in a conflict with, this persistent optimist always hopes there’s a way we can work things out.

All personal emails I read…eventually. Until the other day. That is when I realized I needed to do something different.

I thought a conflict situation was over…not healed…just over. Then I received an email from someone letting me know that she had been told something negative about me relating to the conflict situation. What she was told was true. I had blown it. So I emailed her back, apologizing and asking for forgiveness. I had also been accused of trying to do certain things that I had not tried to do, so I also tried…again…to explain what my true motivations were.

She had heard more facts about the situation, so I wrote her the rest of the story. I figured…might as well get it all out in the open so it could be finally laid to rest. That is why I cc’d the person she’d cc’d, plus the person who had told her more facts. Might as well finish dealing with it all now…once and for all. I wrote that I hoped it was the last email, but that if she really felt she needed to discuss it further, I would.

My email bounced back with a notice from her ISP saying that she had blocked my address. So, the email that I had hoped would bring final closure…she never got. (I like the fact that her ISP let me know I was blocked, so that I would know why it bounced back.) I was uncertain what to do. I did not want to appear to be hounding her, yet I did believe she should have the rest of the facts.

I finally decided to just let it go. I figured that, if God wanted her to see the email, He could make it happen. Since she had blocked my email before, I figured that was the end of things. Clearly, she did not want to discuss it further and I was OK with that. I really wanted it to be over.

Then I got three more emails from this person. I see no point in reading emails from someone who has blocked my address. Her responses prior felt very negative to me and I also did not want to subject myself to more of the same. Yet…what if she did see my email and had accepted my apology? What if she truly wanted to let it go…or wanted a real dialog? I debated in my mind what to do. In the meantime, there they sat in my inbox…unread. Very out of character for me.

I finally asked my hubby, who knew of the situation in general, to read them for me and tell me what the tone of each was. His take on them was that she was still very upset with me and did not want to dialog. So, I did something very uncharacteristic of me. I did NOT read them. In fact, I even took it a step further and asked him to delete them and then empty my trash folder so that I would not be tempted to read them later.

Then I did something else uncharacteristic for me. Since she had written to me after she blocked my address, and since she was not wanting to dialog, I blocked her address. My ISP won’t send her a bounceback, though.

Anyway…very uncharacteristic behavior on my part…to delete unread personal emails and to block someone’s email addy. I still don’t like having done it; but I guess I just have to accept that, sometimes, I need to expand my definition of self care.

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