Monday, October 22, 2012

FACING MY DEMONS


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.

28 comments:

  1. Oh, Julie....I just want to hug you. =)

    ReplyDelete
  2. Bravo you! I'm so glad you didn't voice those things, but instead knew in your heart that they were so. It really is tragic how we don't realize how special we are until we're older. What would each of us do if we started out knowing how special and amazing we are.....would we build a better world, would we run it or would there be nothing left to aspire to? Sometimes I think God has his reasons for why we go through torment at different times in our lives, and it's to teach us humility and appreciation. Thank you for being who you are, and for being my friend.

    Love ya'
    Meri

    ReplyDelete
  3. Awww, I don't know whether to laugh or cry! You are so right, and it's sad that some of these bullies never change as they get older, they just seem to get meaner or unhappier. I wish all children that are bullied could see this and not get hurt in the first place. But I'm happy for you, you did move past it and "That is good enough!" :-)
    Hugs from me and Ms. Wilma

    ReplyDelete
  4. LUCY,
    It sounds like a success! You are 100% perfect just the way you are and you are pretty and talented and just lovely! I am thrilled beyond words that I get to call you my friend. You are happy and loved none of the rest matters a bit! Love you bunches.
    Ethel

    ReplyDelete
  5. Yay, for you sweet Julie!! So brave and what strength the Lord blessed you with!! Hugs to you and thanks for sharing! xo Heather

    ReplyDelete
  6. Her unkind behavior has followed her around her entire life! I think that's the reason for the sour look on her face. Happy for you that you realized you are a winner!!

    chris

    ReplyDelete
  7. I have often wondered what I would say if I ever saw one of the bullies from my younger years. I think you handled yourself with grace.

    Danielle

    ReplyDelete
  8. HI Julie, its been a long time since I have looked at any blogs. So I have enjoyed the last 30 or so minutes catching up on all your happenings. I love to read your blog, its so uplifting and happy and your such a positive person. I was so shy when I was young and had no confidence what so ever. I have on my face book now a girl I went to school with and I told her how I was so scared of her and most everyone else in my grade. She told me she was sorry I had felt like that and that she didn't know anyone who had a bad thing to say about me. I was really touched by her saying that. Thanks for sharing all you do, you are amazing and I am sure you touch many people through out the world, some you wouldn't even know about. Hugs from Australia

    ReplyDelete
  9. Wow, You are the bomb. Yeah for you. And you didn't need to say any of those things aloud, because you had such confidence. Isn't it funny how things turn out. This is good lesson on counting our blessings every day.This was a wonderful post.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Julie,
    WOW, what a day! You know after someone has changed your life forever like this and doesn't even remember you, it is a shock for sure. But what is nice to know is you faced her, no matter what her response was. I have a son that was bullied horribly and his life changed forever. I wish I could go back and change things, being his Mom, I feel somehow I let him down....but he assures me now at age 32 that it wasn't anything I could have helped with....I hope that is true. I am so happy you can realize all of the wonderful people and experiences you have now that make you the happy lady we all know...:) Thanks for sharing....Sandy

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dear Julie, I truly believe those kind of people have never been happy in their heart, I am so glad you have overcome,every day is a new chapter in our lives..
      Big hugs and Bravo to you! thanks for sharing,

      Jeannie from Ontario Canada..

      Delete
  11. Julie,
    This brought tears to my eyes. I was bullied as a child as well, so I have such admiration for how you faced your demon with such grace and dignity. You are an amazing woman.
    Hugs,
    Julie

    ReplyDelete
  12. Good for you Julie! Loved reading that post, very uplifting and positive!

    Hugs, Estelle xx

    ReplyDelete
  13. Dearest Julie,
    You are a woman of substance...the genuine article and I am so proud of you!
    Big big hugs across the miles,
    Carolynn xoxoxoxo

    ReplyDelete
  14. I am so glad that you got to get this off of your chest! You are a wonderfully blessed woman, and I am so happy to get to just visit your blog and leave a comment! so don't worry about those old demons, or any new ones for that matter! You are a blessing!
    Great big hugs,
    Susie

    ReplyDelete
  15. I am so sorry that this happened to you. It is so heartbreaking the way some children treat other children. When my oldest daughter was in 6th grade she was bullied by a very insecure girl. Thankfully the girl transfered to another school after that year. It is strange how God works but my daughter (who is a sophmore in college) saw this same girl on campus a few weeks ago-she hadn't seen her since 6th grade! She told me that the girl looked very alone and sad and that she had forgiven her for being such a bully. Your story is such an inspiration of how a negative turned into a positive! Thank you for sharing!

    ReplyDelete
  16. Hi Julie, What a heart clenching moment this was for you! I just watched a show on Oprah about this very thing, and the leader of the show asked the traumatized person, "Are you okay now?" "Then choose to be okay!" This is exactly what you did! You are MORE than good enough! Elizabeth

    ReplyDelete
  17. Okay! Looks like my comment will work today!

    I meant to get back by your place before this but it was our weekend and then we've been busy jumping through red tape hoops concerning the new house we're looking at. Whew! I'll be so glad when the last paper is signed.

    I think I told you before that I was teased a lot as a child and heckled as a teen. No one ever tried physically hurting me because I was always taller than everyone so they assumed I was tougher (and I was!)

    In recent years, I became friends on facebook with a "boy" from the popular crowd that made my high school years miserable. I don't recall j him teasing me specifically- I sort of lumped everyone together from his group. (which wasn't fair on *my* part!) Anyway, he's grown up into a wonderful Christian man with much fruit in his life and I was tickled when he told me how pretty I am that he always thought I was cute in school. So silly that I would care but when the cutest boys in school ridicule you, it really affects your self esteem!

    So anyway, that brought a lot of healing to me and I get what you went through the other day.

    There are bullies in adult life,too. When I was in my early 30s, I had a female relative who was always trying to find a job for me and then finally just BLASTED me for wanting to be a home maker! I don't understand people like that. I want to love and accept all people for who they are. She worked 2 jobs and was tired and angry all the time- screaming at her kids, fighting with her husband, etc. I thought her life looked miserable but I wasn't about to sit her down and tell her so! (I think she found that out on her own.)

    Anyway, here I go rambling on... ;) Big hugs to you- most lovely lady!

    I'll be posting pics of our new house soon! ♥

    ReplyDelete
  18. Big hug.... Your a class act. Isn't that how it goes when you get older and you face your bullies.... *sigh* I've been bullied all.my.life... even by my family. (You just wouldn't believe it if I told you....) I think bullies can't handle "good" people and they try to knock you down--- well listen, even if you get knocked down, strike a pose and smile :-)
    big hugs,
    Cheryl

    ReplyDelete
  19. Hurray for you. It is hard to sometimes come face to face with our fears. Big hug sending your way!

    ReplyDelete
  20. Wow that must have been a big turnaround in you life! Thank God it has come and gone and you can move forward never giving that ugly person another thought! Psst.... still waiting for your mailing address. Hugs, Diane

    ReplyDelete
  21. Interesting how time has a way to reveal who the insecure one really was. I think it's obvious that this person is the one who really struggles with fear, Julie. We all just have different ways to mask our insecurities. It's a good thing I wasn't there. teehee I would've told her to go have a rat gnaw that mole off her witch's face. teehee Can't take credit for that great idea...John Candy's in Uncle Buck. ;) Fun to dream of the possibilities, but I know I would've done the same as you. Just knowing you have all those blessings is more than enough, besides, she sounds like she could use some prayer.
    XOXO's,
    Marcia

    ReplyDelete
  22. Thank God everything is ok and you are moving forward! Sending you tons of hugs and many many wishes for a wonderful Thanksgiving! Bless you...you are one very special lady and friend! Hugs...

    ReplyDelete
  23. Stopping by to wish you a Happy Thanksgiving Day with your loved ones! Elizabeth

    ReplyDelete
  24. Great post, I'm very happy you got through it to see how she really wasn't anyone at all....love n hugs....Wishing you a most wonderful Thanksgiving. with love Janice

    ReplyDelete
  25. Hello new followers Julie! ;-D
    Thanks for the compliments ... Also your blog is very nice and your work super beautiful.
    A hug across the globe (svizzera!!) Hi Hi HI
    See you soon kisses
    Miky (google translation)

    ReplyDelete
  26. Miserable people make other people miserable; because they find solace and comfort that someone else is feeling just as bad as they feel inside.

    Bravo! for taking your power back. It was very brave.

    ReplyDelete