I haven't written in awhile because of fear. Fear of revealing too much of myself. Fear of what others would think of me. Fear of someone stealing my voice. For a very long time I was unable to find my voice. I would mimic others voices. Their words would become mine. I didn't want to draw attention to myself. I never wanted to be on the wrong end of the conversation and have someone lash out at me. It was easier to be the appeaser. I did this for so long, my voice became lost in my head. When my voice did come out it was clothed in anger ...it would be the destroyer. Because I was afraid to be me. Afraid that anothers words would destroy me I had to make sure mine were more potent.
And it is not just speaking mean to me. I can be in a regular conversation and I will look for the hidden meanings behind someones words. It is not always what they say ....it was what I hear. Now that sounds totally out there...right? But it makes sense to me. My close friends understand this. They know that if I start to pop off at them....we need to talk. Have I taken my meds? Am I stressed? Do we need to talk about something that was said a week ago that I have been simmering about? In my youth I could never accept a compliment. I would always doubt the sincerity. I have grown out of that...thank goodness.
But once you hurt my feelings, once I find that you cannot be trusted verbally with my emotions..... your ass is grass and I am the lawnmower.
Now I can take a hit. Just be prepared to get one back. And be prepared to duck because I grew up with people fighting all the time and they did their very best to mess each other up. Anything could and would become a weapon. I remember people getting stabbed with ice picks. You don't see those anymore. But when I was a child, people would get stabbed with ice picks and die because the wound would be so small but the damage was often fatal. After the childhood I went through, physical violence always seemed to be a fact of life. One that had to be guarded against. When I was young I never thought I would live to see my 30th birthday. I never knew why I believed that but I did. And once that birthday came and went I was at lose ends ....I hadn't made any plans for life after that 30th year. The thought of my death doesn't scare me. And during my fight with depression I always kept it on the table as a manner of escape if things got too bad to endure. I have found that the hardest thing is just living. Taking each day as it comes and believing that a higher power -God is directing your path. That's what get me through these days now. That and trying to learn from my mistakes.
But I still fear my anger. Therapy and meds have given me some control but once it becomes ignited the danger of losing control becomes too scary. It becomes either you or me and I am prepared to sacrifice my life as long as I don't endure the beatings that Catherine did.
I still am Catherinesdaughter. I still hear her screams. I still see her face after each beating. I still want to protect. I am still casting myself into the role of the protector Even with my friends.
One day ....a month ago...I went to court with one of my friends to lend her "sister support" during her divorce hearing. First of all, her husband is a nut case. He verbally abuses her, steals and sells everything in the house that is not locked down to support his drug and alcohol habit. She lives in fear of staying with that man and even more fear of leaving him because of his unpredictable anger. So I went to court with her because she knew and HE knew that I was not the one to fuck with. And it hit me. My anger was still there. The anger at anyone who abuses. At anyone that destroys...pride....hope...beauty. That takes advantage of innocence.
Once I became and adult, I can't really ever remember someone hitting me. Definitely there were no ass whuppins from the men in my life or anyone else. All it would take was my perceiving someone as a physical threat and my rage would take over. My insanity would take over... I think you could see it in my eyes....the violence ...the loss of control. And they knew. They knew that once the violence started it could easily turn into a kill or be killed situation. For a very very very long time, I had no control when confronted with physical violence. So I would try everything I could to avoid those situations. I would never become my mother.
But words are another matter all together. Words still have power over me. They are my Achilles Heel. Not a slap. Not a punch. Not a mean look. It only takes one mean word to do my ass in. They had and have so much power over me. And then it hit me....why am I giving these people so much of my power? They know better than to lift a hand to me. Madea and I both pack. But why am I letting their words have such credence?
And do I really need to put up this shield of protection between myself and others? Since that epiphany I am trying to not look for hidden meanings in a persons words. And if they do speak daggers at me, I try to consider the source and the situation. Some criticism can be constructive and I try to keep that mindset. I am taking what I need and leaving the rest. I am a lot happier these days.