I know I am supposed to be writing about the next week of my quilt-a-long, but I really wanted to share something else with you today. I looked up the definition of the expression "facing your demons" and it said confronting something you fear or have been trying to avoid. Hmmm. I guess you could say in a way I faced my demon.
Some of you may recall how I wrote about being bullied as a child, and never feeling good enough because of the resulting low self-esteem. I was amazed at how many people wrote me telling me of similar experiences. Also amazing, and sad, is how these things that happen when you are so young stay with you all of your life.
Fast forward to the present. In this past two weeks we have attended two funerals. Also very sad, but a good reminder to be thankful for every day we have here on earth. Yes, we all have aches and pains, bills, and stress, but at least we are above the ground. I once told a man to have a good day, and he said as long as he was breathing it was a good day. As I sat at the funeral services I reflected on my life - my priorities, and the way I am living.
I decided that overall I am pretty happy with the way things are going; however, I do need to stop and smell the roses a little bit more!
Back to the demons. Those sad times in my childhood were about to resurface. I knew I would be face to face with one of my childhood bullies. I actually started feeling anxious and uneasy about seeing her again. Old feelings kept floating up, reminders of that little girl. . . the one who wanted so badly to belong, to have a friend, to feel like she was good enough for the others.
Just knowing I would actually be in the same room with this bully was unnerving. I wondered what she would look like, how she would react when she saw me. Maybe she wouldn't even remember me. I also knew this person no longer had any power over me, and in a strange way, I was almost looking forward to actually coming face to face.
Let me tell you, I primped and fussed and tried my hardest to look as good as possible look that day. Makeup, check. Jewelry, check. Black dress pants, black top, light pink retro inspired cardigan - pretty, classy, comfy, check. Painted fingernails, check. I wanted to look really good but not look like I tried too hard, if you know what I mean.
It was a cool, windy, cloudy day, and the clouds opened up every now and then to send down a sprinkling of showers. Great - just when I got my hair perfect. I got out the big guns. I found my can of extra strong firm hold hairspray, and my poor husband ran for cover as I started spraying my hair.
I never use hairspray, but this was an emergency. My husband swears, with amusement, not one hair on my head moved with a big gust of wind.
Even if I was nervous on the inside, I wanted to look confident and pulled together on the outside.
There she was. She looked exactly the same. Actually, she looked much older than her age, or at least older than me. She looked unhappy, and in my mind she still looked like a bully. She didn't see me, or at least didn't acknowledge me. I was kind of surprised how just seeing her, all these years later, made me realize she was not intimidating or scary at all. Just a human being.
As the afternoon progressed and things were wrapping up, I went to make a plate of food to take to Mom. As I walked back toward the table, concentrating on not dropping the plate or falling off my heels, I looked up and was almost directly facing her as she was coming from the opposite direction. I thought about taking a sharp left turn to avoid her, but decided it was now or never. I took a deep breath, stood up straight, forced a smile on my face and said hello. She just looked at me. I said I thought we went to school together. She continued to stare at me. She asked "Who are you?" and I told her my name. She just kept staring at me. Awkward. I told her we went to elementary school together. She continued to look me in the eyes for about ten or fifteen seconds, not saying a word. Felt like forever. Finally, she looked down and walked away. It was so strange. Not exactly the closure I was hoping for.
I wanted to grab her arm and say "Do you have any idea what you did to me?" but I knew I couldn't, I wouldn't. I wanted to yell after her - "Oh yea, well guess what? I have a husband who thinks I am the most wonderful, beautiful woman on earth. I have four kids, four grandchildren, a mom, sister, two brothers, and cousins who love me. Even my son-in-law and daughter-in-law love me, and that's sayin' somethin'!! I live in an charming little house my husband built with his own two hands. I have a wonderful sewing room, actually two sewing rooms - filled with beautiful fabric!! I have a lot of friends who care very much about me. I have a beautiful garden. I have a cute little blog, and something I made was published in a magazine. I have won over 20 blue ribbons. Me, yea me, the little misfit who wasn't good enough to jump rope with you - not even hold the handles while you jumped. You didn't ruin my life. You didn't crush my spirit. I have a wonderful life and I am happy, and . . . and . . . and . . . well, I even have a cute little dog and 7 chickens who love me! SO THERE!!!!
Of course, I didn't say any of that. As I walked back to my table, I could see my family and friends watching me. My husband and sister looked a little worried, like they weren't sure how this whole thing was going to make me feel. I smiled to reassure them that it was all okay, and told them how she wouldn't talk to me. Some things never change I guess.
You know what? I'm so very happy I had the opportunity to face my demon, so to speak. The big bad boogie girl wasn't so big and bad any more. Actually she didn't seem a bit scary, just kind of pathetic. True, I was still not worthy of her speaking to me, and she didn't acknowledge that she even knew or remembered me, but as she stared back with that cold, blank expression, what I saw reflected in her eyes was a woman who was happy, confident, loved, and yes . . . good enough.
And that's good enough for me!
Please stop by my friend Donna's blog, Donna's Lavender Nest, to check out her wonderful giveaway. Click here to visit her. Thank you to my friend Meri, from Imagimeri's, for all the wonderful vintage images. Click here to visit her blog.