Our place is buzzing with excitement about changing our world. We’re up every morning sipping on a special green smoothie less the half-pound of kale Reese Witherspoon uses in hers. We jog in the living room and do push-ups. Yes. We are amped to get in motion. Even the feline queens of my home — Teika and Meeko — are stepping up and have called a house meeting to talk about it. I told them I need a few minutes first.
Before I entertain that –oh my, the cats are hilarious in their latest Tik Tok moves –I must tell you how my plans were shaken up two weeks ago. A toxic person intruded on my life again. The surprise quickly turned a perfectly good day into a bit of a horror. I felt paralyzed at altering the usual outcome. My energy and excitement shifted to sporadic rushes of anger, confusion, sadness, and the desire to run, followed by depression. It also set off some not-so-old echoes from others who sabotaged me at every turn in the past. These tapes are strings of berating, ridiculing, hateful and cruel words hurled at me. In an effort to render them quiet again, I decided to address those questions and accusations, charges, if you will.
Who Do You Think You Are?
When I was nine or ten and had this one thrown at me, I had no clue as to the answer. That never changed for the remaining seven years of abuse I endured by my family. Today, I could reply by recounting my name, where I was born and live, plus what I like to do. Deeper than that, I am a writer and observer of people and these two parts of me saved my life. By all accounts, outside validation, I survived a family which most might not. In fact, not being a suicide statistic was simply good luck or an outright miracle. They sloughed off my skin as if they were planing a beech log. The beauty of words did not exist with their vicious, sadistic, and misogynous attacks that almost destroyed me. What did I do to deserve it? I was born and lived.
You Just Want Attention
When I was a little girl, I did want attention. I wanted my Mom and Dad’s attention. I wanted visits and ice cream cones with Grandma and Grandpa. I wanted Aunt Cathy to babysit us again; she was fun and would slide down Mom’s freshly polished floors with us. I wanted friends at school and at Brownies. I wanted my teachers to be proud of my stories and praise me. I did not want my Mom and stepfather to laugh at me or beat me anymore. I did not want my Uncle Ronnie’s ‘special’ attention in the bathroom with my pajama bottoms down and his pants unzipped.
You Think You’re Better Than Me
I know I can do a better Zumba than what I am seeing before my eyes at this second. They are dancing to Nelly. Are you kidding me?
Now I must aim that question at the person behind this accusation. Seriously? I used to spit at the image of myself in the mirror. I overdosed on pills several times because I was such a repulsive child and daughter. If your mother and stepfather despise you and seem to enjoy watching their daughter evolve into a shell of a person, how much worth did I really have? I got my definitive answer when my sister shared one of my poems with Mom. Her verdict was swift. “Anybody who feels that much love has gotta be sick!” They programmed me this way for three decades. My worth was non-existent. Wait. I forgot. I was good for one thing only, they told me while laughing. In 2021, with all the changes in my life, I am still not immune to this struggle.
You Want People to Feel Sorry for You
Having somebody feel sorry for me is different from validation, which I do like. It reminds me that I was not the crazy one. I was simply the first girl and middle child in a family that never should have had daughters or children. Feeling sorry accomplishes nothing. I never wanted pity and bristle at the thought of wasting energy on futile questions. Why? What if? I use what I know to reach out to others who may use even a shred of what I do.
I hope that sharing some of these thoughts will help me restore my sense of security and give me some courage. The inner battle is endless.
As I see here, the outer fight is too. The fur is flying. The Queens are circling each other like mixed martial artists owning the octagon. I’ve got to break this up and get back to our goals.