Changing the World One Word at a Time

Our place is buzzing with excitement about Changing the World in 2012.  We’re up every morning supping on a special green drink, much like the one Dr. Oz recommends.  We jog in the living room and do push-ups. Yes! We are amped to do our part in this New Year.  Even the feline Queens of my home –Paco and Teeka–are stepping up and have called a House Meeting to talk all about it.  I told them I need a few minutes first. Still, I am very curious about their choice of venue.

Before I entertain that –oh my, the cats are hilarious with their version of Zumba — I must tell you about how my plans were shaken up two weeks ago. There was an unwanted intrusion in my life by a person who is toxic to me.  The surprise quickly turned a perfectly good day into a bit of a horror.  It was a lucid nightmare where I was paralyzed and couldn’t alter the outcome.  My energy and enthusiasm quickly shifted to sporadic rushes of anger, sadness, confusion, followed by the desire to run and then depression.  It also set off some not-so-old echoes from those who sabotaged me at every turn and do so to this day. These tapes, as I call them, are strings of berating, ridiculing, hateful and cruel words, all hurled down 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 I endured with my family. Today, I could reply by recounting my name, where I was born and live now, plus what I do. I would say I am a writer and observer of people and that these two parts of me saved my life. By all accounts–professional validation–I survived a family which most might not. In fact, my not being a suicide statistic was simply good luck or an outright miracle. They sloughed off my skin as if they were planing a piece of wood. The beauty of words did not exist for them with their vicious, cruel, sadistic, and misogynous ways. What did I do to deserve it? I was born and lived.

 

You Just Want Attention

When I was a little girl, of course I wanted attention. I prayed for my mother’s hugs and reassurances and kindness. I even wanted her opinion on a poem I wrote, not to be locked up in a cold dark attic. Today, however, anybody who really knows me is aware that I am shy most of the time. Even when totally at ease with people, I am socially awkward. It is obviously something I will always live with to some degree.  On the other side of the nickel, I want to Change the World!  A person like me cannot do that without some acknowledgment.  In that sense, then, I DO want attention.

 

You Think You’re Better than Others

I know I can do a better Zumba than what I am seeing before my eyes at this second. They are dancing to Barry White! Are you kidding me?

Now I must aim that question at the person behind this charge. Are you kidding me? I used to spit at the image of myself in the mirror. I overdosed on pills many times because I was such a repulsive person and daughter. If your own mother and stepfather despise you and seem to enjoy watching you slowly become a hollow shell, how much worth would you feel you have? “Anybody who feels that much love has got to be sick!” my Mom said. I believed her. It took three decades for me to even make a dent in their programming of me. I had no value to anybody. Oops. Apparently, there was one thing I was good for, they continued, while laughing. In 2012, with all the changes in my life, I feel better about myself but I am still not immune to this struggle.

 

You Just Want People to Feel Sorry For You

Having somebody feel sorry for me is different from validation, which I do like. The latter 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 mere thought of it.  Like anybody else, I am just living with the life I was given and trying not to trap my energies in futile questions like Why? Or What If? I use what I know to reach out to others who may find something I do or write useful to them.

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I hope that sharing some of these thoughts will help restore my sense of security and give me some courage. The inner battle burns me out and the outer one, in front of me, just sent fur flying. The Queens are circling around each other in a mixed martial arts stance. I’d better get that House Meeting off the ground. Come on girls. Teeka is a streak of orange, black and white fur as I follow her lead. The location of our meeting?  She’s blocking my view. Where? The dryer?

2 Replies to “Changing the World One Word at a Time

  1. I knew you in those years, Terry, and I can honestly say that I loved you in those years.
    You were my best friend.
    I, too, was painfully shy and did not make friends easily.
    You brought me laughter. We seemed to have the same twisted humour.
    We drifted apart shortly after leaving elementary school, and I so often thought of you in those years.
    In fact, one of the greatest things about the internet was my hope that someday, I would be able to find you again.
    We had shared a horrible, secret, common bond all those years ago, but we didn’t know it until we reconnected in the past year or more.
    Whenever you question your value or place in the universe, please, always remember that you were and always will be very special to me, even if we do not communicate regularly.

    1. Marie, I am in awe of you! Thank you so much! I’m so moved by your words. I’ve also been so very happy the internet brought about our reunion.

      It really is strange, isn’t it? That we shared a common experience and didn’t even know it. I can’t tell you how surprised I was to hear that. It made me sad to know that if we could do it all over again, we still would’ve suffered in silence. Your support on this feels so good. Thank you, my dear friend. Much love to you, always. PS: We will laugh together again.

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