A Couple of My Character Defects

Published June 9, 2018 by Nan Mykel

I was in fifth grade when I first became aware of a character defect in me, though I didn’t label it as such at the time.  A bunch of us were in line for the teacher’s desk to have her check our papers and someone broke in line in front of me, whereupon I got out of line and retired to my desk, where I pouted.  Does that suggest some kind of self punishment?  Not as much as I had in the seventh grade when I recall reading the newspaper “social page” for reports of parties I hadn’t been invited to!

Of course the number of my character defects has increased exponentially–or at least my awareness of them–but one that remains is a stubborn unforgiveness of being called a liar directly or indirectly.  In the early part of ninth grade the teacher caught someone talking when she wasn’t supposed to and in my loose boundaries and over identification tendencies I put my hand over my mouth in empathic reponse, and the teacher mis-interpreted my response and accused me of having talked, too.  I told her I hadn’t and she disputed me. In other words, said I was lying.  Then, much later, a nice intelligent woman whom I respected indirectly called me a liar and I have never been able to forgive her.  An attorney friend had given me his home phone number in connection with our mutual participation in public access.  I lost the number and needed to reach him, so I contacted a mutual friend requesting his number,  explaining that he’d given it to me but I had lost it, and she refused.  That was calling me a liar, too.   This was about 20 years ago and I haven’t re-friended her–though I doubt she’s missed me.

8 comments on “A Couple of My Character Defects

  • That getting out of the line to go sit at your desk … I’d not call it a character defect. It was making a grand statement about what is right and what is wrong. Your silent protest had dignity. As to being called a liar – it’s happened to me too and I was/am equally hurt.

    Liked by 1 person

  • Oh! What? Other people do this too? I have the exact same character defect where I internalize false accusations from others and hold on to them for years and years, never quite being able to let it go. It might be mean to say this, but this post made me kinda happy actually 😁

    Liked by 2 people

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