This year I broke my own rule that I established almost 9 years ago when I first started blogging: I would never let haters keep me from blogging.
But I did.
I didn’t consciously plan to stop blogging. I just didn’t want to write about things that were going on in my life. And? That’s what I do here. I have blogged through the good and the bad. I have blogged through the happiest times in my life and the most heartbreaking. But this? This was something that I chose not to talk about both here and in real life.
This is the first time I have discussed it. It is the first time even many close to me will be finding out how bad things became.
When things started to go wrong, they went really wrong very quickly. People I truly cared about and considered friends were overnight enemies. People I trusted were suddenly tearing me down in a way I have not seen outside a bad Lifetime movie or sitcom making fun of Mean Moms. But it wasn’t funny. What these people did to me almost destroyed me. And I don’t mean that figuratively. It almost cost me everything. (Yes, my sobriety, my life and my family.) And at the time they did it with joy, pride and smugness. From Facebook posts to unfounded rumors, there was no where I could go where I was not faced with the fallout from these people. (Now let me say right now, I made mistakes. I was not perfect. I know that. But no matter what mistakes I made, no one deserves the public and private crap that was thrown my way.)
You are free to choose but you are not free from the consequence of your choice.
I was lost as to how to handle such cruelness. After speaking with trusted friends and mentors who knew first hand what was happening, I decided to just keep my mouth shut.
There is a difference between giving up and knowing when you’ve had enough.
I was not going to fight back. I was not going to stand there and defend something that surely people who knew me knew was crap. Maybe that was the right choice. Maybe it wasn’t. In the end I lost way more than I bargained for. Not just friends. (Were they really friends to begin with?) I lost my ability to trust. You see I have always lived by the motto “Everyone is good until or unless they show you otherwise.” I have always trusted so easily. Clint and I would argue over this as time and time again I would get my heart broken. Still. I could not imagine keeping people at arms length all the time. I love people. Even when they hurt me, everyone deserves a second chance. It’s how I live my life. Or at least it was how I had up to that point.
But they showed me that was a naive and ridiculous way to think.
So, I built a wall so tall and so strong around me no one can get in. I pushed away everyone. I isolated. I retreated. My health suffered. My family suffered. My friends suffered. My very outlook on life suffered. May they never know the feeling of being bullied to the edge of that cliff between life and death. (It is important to note that this situation did not cause this reaction alone. It just helped pushed me over the edge. There were really rough things going on in my life that were pushing me to my limit.)
There were days I spent the entire day in bed gripping the covers with all of my strength so as to have something physical to keep me grounded. As I cried and begged to find something within me to get up to be the mom and wife I knew I needed to be. I was drowning in a despair that I wanted to swallow me up. At the time I thought maybe I was the horrible person they said I was. Maybe I didn’t deserve to live. I sank so low into that dark place, I almost couldn’t crawl out of it. I almost didn’t want to.
When you love people and love being with people, isolating yourself from everyone goes against your very soul. But it is what I did to survive. Not to live. To survive. And it was the worst thing I could have done for myself.
I guess by isolating me from all that I loved in my community in that sense they won.
I blessed that at the end of this past summer I was able to meet up with women I consider closer than friends and more like sisters. They love me as I am. They can take the dark and the light. They know how to show me the good. When I met with them they literally and figuratively wrapped their loving arms around me and I found healing with them. I truly laughed from the heart again. I cried with one of them one night and it was okay to do that because she sat and cried with me. She reminded me that everyone has stuff and it can’t define us negatively but should make us better. But what she did that night that will forever make me love her like a sister? She cried with me. She listened. Her heart hurt with mine. She loved me without any conditions. And she cried with me. I will forever be thankful for that moment she gave me. It meant more to me than she will ever know. Not for nothing but it made all the difference in the world to me.
Even when it came to blogging. I just couldn’t do it. I knew some of these people who wanted to destroy me, who hated me with every thing they had, who would gleefully watch me disappear into nothingness, they were reading it. It started to feel like my blog was being violated. Like they were coming into my home to find things to mock. I hated the idea. I mean, it made me my heart break and my skin crawl thinking of it.
So I stopped.
And they won.
You see, I never dealt with bullies as a kid. I had no patience for them. Not as a victim and not as someone seeing it happen. I have no tolerance. As an adult to know that there are grown women who truly wish the worst for me and would probably rejoice at any harm coming my way is a very surreal experience. Now, since all of this happened, I have found a truce in my heart.
I wish them peace. I hope whatever pain they have within them finds healing. I wish them the kind of inner contentment that every person deserves.
Now, if you are still with me and read this far, thank you. The whole point of this is to let it out and let it go. I will not talk about it again. I will start 2012 with a new attitude, a new heart and a new outlook. And? I will blog. Just do me a favor. If you don’t like me, don’t come here. If you wish me ill, please don’t come here. If you want to hurt me, please just go away. This is my home and I am reclaiming it.