At least once a week, one of my little maniacs comes to me. They’re upset. They might be crying, and if they aren’t, they’re one deep breath from it. Their shoulders are depressed, their spirit is crushed.
Someone called them a name.
Someone said they were dumb. Or stupid. Or a cheater. Or a baby or — the latest — a curly-haired ding dong.
I tell them to suck it up. Move on. They aren’t whatever name they’ve been called — unless they are, and then, well…we work on acceptance.
Of course, there are some people who go through life without ever putting their toe to that line, because that line separates who they really are from who they’ve created — who they desperately want to be. Who they want the world to see.
Here’s the thing: The truth is stronger than someone’s distaste for it.
The truth will always be stronger. It will always have more power. It will always taste bitter to someone who refuses to accept it.
That’s why people who can’t accept it, fear it.
I could have predicted the email. The one that would come once I started sharing my experience, my growth, my terror with others who may learn from it. An email, in hindsight — for a man who prefers property damage or defamation — was a tame response, despite the outlandish and faulty grenades he planted within it.
But then again, I’m only three chapters into a hurricane of chaos that would put some of the ocean’s biggest storms to shame.
She’s unstable. She’s a sociopath. She is desperate for attention. Her kids think she needs a mental evaluation. She’s lying. And exaggerating.
And it goes on.
She is narcissistic. She needs therapy. She is vindictive. She needs help. She is warped. She is not normal.
This is what happens when abusers are called to account. They don’t know any other way to act. They rear up and attack, using anything within their grasp — including their own children — projecting their own dark, infected seeds on others who actually aren’t any of the things they’re suggesting.
It’s as if this type of person believes that if he says it, or writes it down, it will be true. It will stick. It will damage. Except, life doesn’t work that way.
I knew it would happen, some type of wildly inaccurate personal attack. I’ve already been through it. And survived. My career has been through it too, at the hands of the same human, and it’s survived. I’ve seen others go through it, too. And they’ve survived.
I actually know someone who was abused and vilified by this same human, and she not only survived but is thriving. Now. Because that’s what we do. We continue, letting meaningless words and fiery threats die the worthless death they deserve.
It’s one of the reasons I’ve sat with these words, the ones I’m publishing, for a long time. Why I’ve kept them with me, and only me.
Because, I’m in the safest place I’ve ever been. The place where truth is my constant companion, where light shines on the disgusting darkness that was.
Which means none of the defensive denials mean anything. At all. Also, it’s not about this person. At all. But this person can’t see that. It’s about me. And growth. And lessons learned, through terror, but still.
Truth is with me — it’s no longer tucked away behind closed doors. And it’s helping other people. Except one. The one who is beyond truth’s reach. The one who fears truth, because it’s just too real.