A Herd of Grazing Grudges

Daily writing prompt
Are you holding a grudge? About?

Don’t get me started.

I never forget an insult or insulting behavior.

Forty years ago, a friend of my then boyfriend, now husband, called me a gold digger. Not to my face, to his, but he did, unfortunately, tell me about it. There is no overlooking such an insult. Or forgiveness unless the sayer completely owns up, prostrates herself with apology, and donates hundreds to charity in my name. That hasn’t happened. It could. We are both still on the planet.

There are more recent instances, but probably too fresh to describe.

I intensely dislike being bullied professionally. That doesn’t mean being bullied by a professional bully. What it means is being bullied about a professional issue. Bullying can take many forms. When a professional person bullies another professional person, the tone is typically one of “you don’t understand the situation,” a not so subtle way of saying you are incapable of understanding the situation because of your many intellectual deficiencies, so the bullying focuses on establishing the opponent’s inferiority. This works best with a man-woman dynamic, as you might imagine. I have been bullied this way, by the best of them, in person, via email, and even Zoom. I remember each occasion in stereo.

The “I’m disappointed in you” is a variation of the inferiority gambit. The presumption here is that, somehow, my mission is to live up to the expectations of others and, when that does not occur for whatever reason, most often because the expectations are a complete fiction, then the disappointed person lashes out in his disillusionment. This might be hard to follow but those of you who have, unwittingly, disappointed someone professionally will know exactly what I mean. It’s such royal bullshit.

What was the question? Am I holding a grudge? Yes. Several.

I nurse my grudges like small newborn calves. There is a herd of them now. They graze just over that hill. If you climb the hill and look down in the valley, you’ll see them all there, grown now, grazing, but still belonging to me. Loyal and true. As they should be. They wouldn’t exist without me.


Photo by Serge Le Strat on Unsplash

4 Comments on “A Herd of Grazing Grudges

  1. Oh so relatable Jan- I too am a grudge holder even though I will vociferously profess not to be especially if it is of the man to woman slight, professional or not.

  2. No, I don’t hold grudges, holding grudges allows others to have my power. I’ve learned over the years, people are going to act the way the act because that’s who they are. I cannot change them, but I can change the way I react to them, and that is to leave them where they are and move on. Life is too short to waste it on negative energy.

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