Saturday, September 14, 2013

Being yelled at and more

Nobody likes being yelled at, and it doesn't happen all that often to me. But it did last Thursday at the Senior Center.

The previous Thursday, the weather had been forecast to be simply awful, and we discussed whether or not to head out to the High Country. We decided to go anyway, and it was one of the finest days of hiking we could have had. But it might have gone differently. I wrote about it here, and I called the day simply miraculous. We could not have had a better day. The other hiking group, however, decided to take a different hike because of the forecast. (There are two groups that head out on different hikes, one being longer and harder and the other shorter and not as fast a pace.) When I arrived this past Thursday, I was chatting with some of the women from the other group who had seen my blog post and mentioned again that the forest ranger had cautioned us about possible lightning. The leader of their group walked up right then and began to yell at me for having taken such risks. His voice rose in volume and soon several people were watching and listening as he went on about how much danger we had exposed ourselves to. Before long a couple of others from my group had joined us, and we sort of backed away from the angry person.

He focused on me as he wagged his finger and yelled, and I felt myself shaking and felt the awfulness of being targeted by his anger. Although I was only one of the group, it seemed to me that he felt that somehow it was my fault that we had taken such a risk. It is true that the forest ranger did not think it was a good idea for us to head out, but she made sure we knew how to minimize the risk and gave us some tips about lightning safety. We listened all the way up to the top for signs of thunder, but the forecasted weather didn't arrive. We were not being unsafe at all, in my opinion.

I have carried that load of anger around ever since, and I woke up last night reliving the experience and feeling the leftover karmic baggage. When I was little and my dad would yell at me like that, I would get the same feeling, but at least in most of those cases I had earned it. It occurred to me that maybe writing about it here would give me a chance to let it go. So there you have it.

It's been an unsettling week in other ways as well. I was distressed to learn about the controversy over Diana Nyad's swim from Cuba to Florida. After having watched her rise up out of the sea at the end of her historic swim, I cried with happiness, not only for her, but for all of us people of a certain age who attempt things that we are not supposed to be able to do any more. She didn't even know about the controversy until she saw it in the news, when she should have been exulting in her achievement. It appears that she was in some very favorable currents that helped her swim faster at times, and the resulting faster speeds made some skeptics jump on her for cheating. Why in the world would she have done that?
From Florida Keys News Bureau 
I read somewhere that some swimmers who were looking for sponsors for other difficult swimming events felt that if a senior citizen could do what Diana did without cheating, they wouldn't be as likely to gain funding. I don't know if that's true, but it will make me very happy when this controversy has been laid to rest.

And last of all, I did get to go skydiving last Sunday and had one of the most fun skydives I've experienced in years. Four of us, including my dear friend Linnie, were playing in the sky and having a great time. When it came time for us to separate and open our parachutes, she experienced a very hard opening. She has a very sore neck and what she thinks is whiplash. This can happen, rarely though, when a packing error can cause even the most docile of parachutes to open way too fast. It's happened to me a few times, and I'm very careful, as is Linnie, to do everything possible to minimize their occurrence. She is still too sore to skydive this weekend, and I am concerned and hoping that by next weekend she will be back to her normal self. It was our second and last jump of the day. Christy and I went off to see if we could find her a neck brace, and all we could find were soft cervical collars that did little to help. Linnie has been to the doctor several times this week for treatment.

Well, things can only go up from here, right? After a fine week of exercise and time spent in the beautiful Pacific Northwest wilderness, I am looking forward to another wonderful week, and one without angry words or untoward parachuting accidents.


  1. glad this gives you a chance to vent and defend your GROUP's actions (not your sole decision!) with the lightning warning.

    and i hope your friend linnie can recover well!

  2. Sorry you felt targeted Thursday. It was a group decision and all was well. Focus on that, and keep smiling!

  3. ugh...sorry you were attacked like that...i would hope that someone would come to your rescue or at least told the person to chill out a bit...some people though...ugh...

    glad you got to go skydiving...

    the thing is when people see someone achieve like diana there will always be those trying to bring them back to earth....crabs in a pot...

  4. I think it's the hardest thing to be treated unjustly and being yelled at always makes me feel small even when I know I've done nothing wrong, as you surely must know. I hope you find absolute peace around this. That angry person has issues unrelated to you or even that incident. Have a beautiful evening, filled with peace.

  5. What an insulting confrontation – this guy needs anger management. I think the best would have been to walk away while he was talking – I know it’s hard to do when you feel you need to be polite but he sure was not polite with you. I hope you won’t see him again or that he will come back and apologize. I also hope this coming week will bring you more joy.

  6. Some people have a lot of nerve! Who does he think he is? I agree with Vagabonde - you should have walked away.

    Oh no, I hope Linnie feels better soon.

  7. I don't know this man who was confrontational with you, but when I read in your blog post that he is the "leader" of a group, my first thought was that that group possibly needs to re-think who they select to lead. A leader is one who does so by example, and from what I've read here about how he lost his temper in a group setting, he was certainly NOT setting a good example as a leader. It is difficult to be berated like you were, and I am so sorry that you had to experience that (especially in front of others.) I pray that you can and will forgive and forget what he has said and done to you. Harriet Nelson: "Forgive all who have offended you, not for them, but for yourself."
    I send you an extra hug this evening, Jan. (I've been away with my husband for an extended trip to our mountain home, and I haven't commented on blogs in a while.)

  8. Hiss and spit. And painful haemmorhoids to the gentleman (I use the term very loosely) who was so unpleasant to you. I do hope that writing it out has let you release it.
    I am also very sorry for your friend Linnie. I have had whiplash and didn't realise how much your neck gets used. For everything. I do hope she is feeling better.
    And another hiss and spit to the detractors of Diana Nyad's swim. I suspect that most of the detractors couldn't manage it themselves...

  9. Inappropriate yelling is more than unsettling. When you know the person it's worse. I hope he comes to his senses and apologizes. As for lightning on the hills , it's frightening. I had one experience where a small cell formed far below us in the valley. we could feel the static and got off the peak very quickly. I know your careful and who'd want to risk lightning?

  10. Djan, after listening to my daughter vent, and myself, and you... must have been a full moon or something this past week. Anyway, we all survived it fairly well. So... as I've heard some of the younger folks say... 'bring it on'.

  11. When I first read that you had been yelled at, my first reaction was, "Who would yell at DJan?" I mean really, who would. I am sorry you were targeted for this attack. That seems very unfair. In the end, you are all adults. You made an informed decision. I am glad you were safe. I'm sure he felt better after he yelled, but then he left his anger on you. That is what people who can't control their anger do. As far as I'm concerned his reaction was abusive and insulting. He should be spoken to by those who put him in a leadership role. Obviously, he don't know how to handle his role well.

  12. Whew. I think I've caught up with all of your adventures and misadventures now. You've been up and down mountains and up in the air a bunch!
    What a shame to have been verbally assaulted over a day you cherished so much you called it miraculous. I can't help but think there was a bit on envy that the other group missed out on your wonderful experience.
    I hope Linnie is recovering.

  13. Wow! You missed getting struck by lightening on the hill but you sure got it from the leader. I don't understand how anyone can speak to someone else in that manner... I also don't understand why no one would step up and stop it. Big hugs sent your way...

  14. I'm so sorry that happened, DJan. Angry people have a way of pushing their usually very misguided beliefs on the unsuspecting. I had it happen a few weeks back with someone who hadn't done their own work and got in my face instead. Like you, I chewed on it a LOT and it made me more and more angry. I have determined that I will distance myself from them at the appropriate time, which isn't now. Just knowing that gives me a sense of control and peace. Maybe you can think of what you might do in a similar situation in the future because, with a person like this, it may happen again. Could you turn on your heel and leave? Could you ask some of the people who were there that day but didn't seem to defend you if next time they might be willing to speak up? You weren't leading a group of preschoolers up a hill. These were all thinking and responsible adults. They made their own decisions.

    I have to agree with your commenter who said yelling man was a terrible example of a leader. I wouldn't let someone that angry and inappropriate lead me across the street. I hope writing about it helped you vent but a plan of action is also very empowering.

    And Diana? I have purposely ignored the news. She's a heroine. If the current was with her then God be praised. She did it. The End. I think your yeller would be in good company with her detractors. Any success takes something away from them.

  15. Gee, what a week you have had. I would have felt shaky myself, if someone had yelled at me. I liked this post, though, because it was different from your previous posts. It let me know what was going on inside you.

  16. I would feel that a person of your experience and your groups experience judged the weather, took the appropriate safety precautions and prepared for the hike well knowing from experience what to look for - you could always have turned around on each others sound advice if the weather element appeared to disrupt your hike.
    I would have been shocked if someone had verbally attacked me like that. You, being the wiser person slowly backed away while he went on and on. Cudos to you DJan for handling this; at that time, the way you did. Sounds to me like he was ANGRY alright and focused on you ( a small, kind, well liked and trusted, well focused person) - kinda like the bully we all experience in our lives, Eh. Perhaps this insulting individual should attend a seminar on how to approach and talk to people in a quiet, polite manner. Honey, you are probably not the first person to feel the brunt of perhaps a deeper anger in him. He just sounds like an angry person. You handled the situation well - he would owe you a public apology in front of your hiker friends, but anger like that usually is the underlying anger of a deeper problem. Best to let it go and I see by the remainder of your post - the sun shone and brought you good weather to frolic in the air with your buddies. Hope Linnie's neck is feeling better soon. Best regards, Eh - Lilly

  17. I think you did yourself justice in ways that only those of us who 'know' you by your blogging, by writing your story and perhaps helping you to get it out of your system.

    You're kind-hearted, to be sure, and I can only imagine how that ranger made you feel. Thing is, why oh why did the finger pointing be directed to YOU?!!

    It will take a while to forgive and forget. Just try and not take it personally. And I know that is easier said than done.

    Hope your friend recovers!!!

  18. I know what you mean about the anger hanging around you all week. When things like that happen, it stays with me also.The child in you remembers.

    So strange how he needed to justify somehow that he did not go by getting angry at you.

    Even in a bad week you are able to put a positive spin on things.

  19. I would have marched right up to that guy and told him to stick it in his ear! What a grumpy gus. I don't like anyone that hollers at people or shakes their fingers at people either or slams fists on the table. Childish for sure.
    Hope you are all better now. Poor Linnie I hope she recovers fully:)

  20. Such a shame that some bully felt the need to chastise you like that. I know it is hard, but don't let it get to you. He should feel ashamed. Sounds like he is just a big jerk.

  21. What a horrible experience to be so put down! Wonder what he ate to be so out of control.
    He actually must have lost a lot of respect behaving so foolishly!

  22. My experience with such a person (the yeller) tells me that if someone approached him about it after the fact he would deny every aspect of his behavior. Of course I don't know this guy, so who knows how he'll behave. Glad you stood your ground and didn't escalate things, but sorry you had to take the brunt of it with no support from others. And now, may you have a great and peaceful week!

  23. Damn! That guy sounds really nasty! Grrrr!!! I hope you feel better after having written this, venting sometimes does help quite a bit! :o)

    Big hugs!!! :o)

  24. Like you told us in your post and again today--the bad weather did not arrive. You guys would have turned around if it had. Angry people need to take it out on somebody, but I know it really stresses me out to be yelled in any way. It was a group decision and you weren't forbidden to go or anything. Some people!

    I hope your friend is okay. And I hope you have a better week! *hugs* :)

  25. The anger dude? It's HIS issue, not yours. We only empower people like that when we dwell on it, mull it over. Forget it, write it off.

  26. Sorry you have had such a rotten time, DJan. Getting yelled at and a hurt friend. That is a lot more than anyone should have to deal with.

    Blessings and Bear hugs.

  27. To attack you like that in a public place only shows he has some serious anger problems. Be happy that he is not your leader and that you aren't the one who has to go home with him.
    I hope this post took some of the stink off.

  28. Dear DJan, I'm so sorry you had to experience that tirade, which seemed to be directed at you. I become a little girl, cowering in the corner, when someone yells at me. Or "gives me the finger' when I'm driving.

    Those experiences can ruin a day--and a week too if we obsess over them, and on the few occasions this has happened to me, I have obsessed. So I'm glad that you can put this into perspective and be gracious to yourself. Peace.

  29. We all have bad weeks and that was yours, by the sound of it. A truly horrible week; but it has passed and I do hope the week that follows will be better for you.

  30. Good grief! I can just imagine how I would have felt if somebody starting yelling at me that way. Do you feel better now?

    If not, do you think you could sit down with this yeller later and tell him how you felt. "I was really taken aback when you yelled at me in front of everyone." Explain further how you felt, why your entire group decided to take that hike, and how you would like this yeller to handle this situation if it crops up again. At least then you could get it off your chest in a calm way.

    On the other hand, if this is a crazy person, I don't know if this would work. I'm glad you don't belong to that fellow's groups. How awful!

    I couldn't believe all that controversy after the Nyad swim either. I felt really awful for her!

  31. Oh DJan, you so don't deserve such miserable treatment by anyone, much less a so-called leader. It seems that yelling at other is going around lately.

    My older son was in a McDonald's in Alberta when the guy in the next line was paying for his meal. He wanted a larger fries with the deal he ordered and was upset over having to pay a dollar extra for the upgrade.

    He started yelling and swearing at the young women behind the counter and my son spoke up and told the guy to calm down and just leave quietly. They guy kept yelling and my son kept trying to diffuse it.

    The guy (very large and muscular) turned and punched my boy (slight, but strong build) in the chest - thankfully not with his full strength but enough to bruise him. The guy seemed to calm down some after that and spoke less threateningly to the staff and soon left.

    The manager took my son's contact info. The owner soon phoned him and asked him to come in to the store and decide whether or not he wanted to press charges. If so, she would hand the store's video tapes over to the police. He decided to do that because as he put it, the guy can't just go around punching people because he's having a bad day and not expect consequences of his behaviour.

    My son made his statement and the owner gave him a $100 gift certificate for his getting involved. The most shocking part to me is that my very health-conscious son was eating in McDonalds. ;)

    I am sorry you went through this. I hope his weakness won't allow you to lose another moment of sleep.

    And I hope your friend heals quickly.

  32. Sorry you had to go through something like that DJan. Yelling never accomplished anything. If this man disagreed with your group's decision to go hiking under those conditions he should have discussed it in a calm manner.

    I hope Linnie is feeling better.

  33. I've had similar problems with angry people. It may be helpful to note that some of them may be angry and frustrated with problems beyond their control. Alzheimers often elicits such responses....Or they may just be toxic people to be avoided.

  34. Catching up on my blog reading, I've gone in reverse order..
    I just commented on another post that good energy is contagious.
    Well, negative energy can be, too!
    I'm glad you spoke up & let out your frustrations at being yelled at.
    No one needs that in their day, it sounds very out of line. I'd be upset to be treated that way, too.. and these things tend to eat at me until I process them like you have here.
    I sure hope Linny's neck feels better soon!

  35. After such an angry outburst I don't think I would be able to leave it there. I think , like you I would put my feelings down on paper and maybe send him a copy. Let's hope he reads your blog. I am assuming they were envious of your decision to go ahead and enjoy the weather they missed out on.


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