I’ve been crying my eyes out for the past 30 minutes over something completely stupid.
There’s this guy at work named Josh – 34, good looking, nerdy, sense of humor, all around great guy! He seems like he’s part of the crowd of sarcastic joke tellers who know how to throw it back, but twice now I’m made a joke that rather than throwing back, he put it down rather subtle as to suggest I did something wrong.
I shared that my son was singing some random song he was making up, and because he doesn’t understand half of what he’s saying, he randomly sang “I’m going to get head”. Shock humor, considering its my son, he’s a kid, and he doesn’t have a clue what he’s saying! Josh said something to the effect of that sounding like a good time till I reminded him my kiddo is 7, to which he said he was a 34 yo kid and I said… #manchild.
At the time I was TRULY ignorant as to what that word implies. It means immature, which I thought was what manbaby meant, but come to find out they’re interchangeable. When I said manchild I meant it as a sarcastic form of “way to get in touch with your inner child”, not meaning to label him immature. His next response was “I feel very triggered by your # and need to leave now.”
Thats when I apologized and heard nothing back….
So I sent him a message apologizing, and still nothing back.
Now I’m panicking. The guy is a department manager out back, and this week I managed to get some hours in by training in deli, which means I’d see more of him, and that would make things difficult.
Then I realize the level of sexism implied in what I said, because it downplays the value of a man who is in touch with his inner child, and I’d never want to do that. Then I feel like an asshole for betraying my core value of equality that was sacrificed for humor that wasn’t worth it.
Then I started thinking that if this comment really bothered him, he must have had a dysfunctional relationship of some kind, perhaps with an ex or a family member, or maybe he’s bipolar because it’s not often I hear the words “I feel triggered”, and on, and on, and on the narrative went. Then I was terrified he’d bring it up with the front end store manager and I’d be called into her office despite the fact that this happened outside of work because it’s made for an awkward work environment, and how that would damage my reputation at work, and holy shit did I cry for being such an asshole!
Then he finally messages me back saying “I hope you didn’t take what I said seriously.”
Then I bawl even harder because in the end I’m left to hold all this shame and guilt, and feeling like I was a terrible person. I told him straight up I was crying, because I didn’t know he was joking (based on the word “triggered” especially) and if I had actually hurt him when he’s a really good guy that would make me feel like shit, but now that I know that was the case, I could calm down… but for some reason knowing that he was joking made me feel the weight of my actions even more, and I cried even harder… and here I am unable to negate this maze of what I want to assume is self-loathing, but is actually much deeper than that. I know this is 1 part trauma and 1 part codependency on my part… I just feel like shit.I was emotionally wired and pent up anyway because I’ve not had time to myself in at least three weeks (but I’ll get tomorrow), and the fact that my portion of the rent was late never makes me feel good… it’s just shitty all the way around.
I hate feeling like this.