I find it hard to shine like a beacon from a lighthouse, when met with the force of a grumpy person.
“Hello there,” I am sulking and make it very clear in my down tone. “My mother is asking whether ‘they’ will be invited to the wedding. What the hell am I supposed to answer to that?”
“Are you really asking me?” the Mentalist retorts annoyed. “If you are, my advice is yes invite them.”
“Why?” I cry out in defense. “We don’t get along. They hate Wim. I am never invited to any of their weddings.”
“Two reasons,” the Mentalist tells me firmly. “Family is one. Second why throw oil on the fire?”
“I mean, really?” I can’t believe this is actually advice coming from my best friend.
“So then why are you asking?” the Mentalist retorts again.
“I don’t understand that you don’t understand me,” I am getting more distressed by the minute.
“I understand well,” the Mentalist tells me off. “My constant point is family is important. But in your case it must be a conspiracy thing and you need lots of ‘be careful’, ‘don’t do it’ type stuff. You already know what you want. Do what you think is best. But don’t cry when they reject you again.”
“So my mother taking me to court wasn’t important?” I shout at him. “The family shunning wasn’t important? All I went through wasn’t important? Thanks. And that was family!”
“Fiona don’t confuse me with someone who cares about your and your family’s childish feuds. I don’t care all that much. I know you love the drama and I am supposed to say what you want to hear. It’s this kind of behaviour that will always hold you back. If you really want to know what I think it is this. You are an idiot for playing this game for so long. You should have cut them off a long time ago. You should stop living in the past. Revenge is served cold and has no value like this. Attacking me for your stupidity is pointless.”
“I am not attacking anyone,” I set him straight but have calmed down on the game insight. “I don’t understand your point of view that’s all.”
“I didn’t make your decision or choices. You did,” the Mentalist reminds me. “Take responsibility for them and either change the game or change the rules to the game so you can move forward. Invite her. If she gets above herself humiliate her publicly but sweetly. Or just tell her that based on the past her presence will cause too much stress for everyone.”
“I will think of something,” I try to avoid the subject. “Or invite her another day.”
“Otherwise just be frank with her and tell her you want the minimum contact and nothing more,” the Mentalist advises. “Another day is as insulting as not inviting her at all. I can tell you if my kids did this to me I would cut them off.”
“She already has,” I answer shortly to that.
“Invite her and seat her near the kitchen or toilet with the worst people you can seat her with,” the Mentalist gives me other options to think about. “I assume your brother is included.”
“I am a puppy rolling over on her back again begging to be petted,” I am annoyed that we are even discussing the possibility of having them present that day. “That’s what I assume too. But I can’t. It will ruin my day. And Wim’s.”
“If she has cut you off, which I don’t think she has, then just be honest with her,” the Mentalist repeats again. “She will kick up a fuss and all that. Then tell her she is not welcome and why but sweetly. Gotta go. See you later. Do the right thing. Don’t do the childish thing as it will come back to you later. And don’t be submissive. Change the rules. Take control and take your power back. Be smart this time.”
When I am in a good mood, I can shine like the sun. But when I am in a grumpy mood, it can feel like a dark cloud above my head dimming my radiance and blocking my positive way of seeing the world. I can remind myself about the silver lining. It’s not easy to not let these grumpy clouds affect my mood. Responding with confidence and understanding is key to getting round these dark clouds. It takes rain and sunshine to create a rainbow.