I Owe My Life To Words. I Won’t Abandon Them Now.

Karma has never been kind. Ever.

I learned in 12-step meetings that if we all got what we deserved, we would all be in trouble. And I come to witness this fundamental truth — that God can take far better care of people than you can.

When you know that you’ve always went above and beyond to try to help;  you’ve always extended a hand when you can;  been giving of  yourself and your resources;  always been nice and you let yourself be mistreated on multiple occasions. And someone takes advantage of a situation and uses it as an excuse to get in your face and belittle you — and it’s not even original, it’s the same verbal abuse you’ve heard many times before — I will never again be down on myself enough to apologize for getting angry.  Because I’m human, and that anger is  loooongg overdue. Hell,  even Jesus got angry in The Garden of Gethsemane. All you have to know when you lie down to sleep at night is you have always done your best.

It’s okay to stand up and say I will not be intimidated, I will not be verbally assaulted, and I will not go through another round of verbal put-downs “everybody is embarrassed of me; everybody hates me; I’ll never amount to anything; my Uncle Chunky wouldn’t speak to me if he was alive because he’d be ashamed of me… blah blah blah” by a grown  man who gets in your face and threatens you — or, on several occasions, tells you to open the door so you they can kick your ass — all because you FINALLY attempt to stop lying for them. Stop covering.

Stop pretending to have an answer to “How is so and so…” and start saying, “I have no clue.  They’re not allowed to speak to me because I have no more money to give or because I’m the only one that can’t be manipulated or that one can try to sway, play, draw to their side.”

I’ve never been a piece on that chessboard.

Because here’s the thing: I wouldn’t have made it through the things I made it through if I cared about having anybody on my side. I wouldn’t have made it through what I made it through if I cared what anybody else thinks. I  learned when I was very small that all I have to live for is me and God. And if I’m okay with my choices,  it doesn’t matter if I stand alone. Because when you stand in truth, you don’t ever stand alone.  You stand with your higher power.

The truth is, life has never been that hard for me, but it’s never been that easy either.

I recently had a conversation with someone I went to school with who has always followed my writing who said, “I never would have known it, but girl,  you’ve been through some shit. I always knew you were tough, but I didn’t know how much.”

I haven’t hung out with this girl since high school. But she had no clue how true those words were.

From a court case that changed the course of my life and went all the way to the state Supreme Court that really shook me to my core. To losing two instrumental people in my life so young. To surviving the suicide of a boyfriend and then the persecution by those who tried to have me arrested and intimidated to cover up for the fact that they were involved in his “suicide” that the TBI would not rule out as a murder. To watching so many friends from Spencer to Red Wing succumb to the disease of addiction and alcoholism. I miss them every day. To learning what it’s like to navigate a life where you may not talk to another person for days at a time except for the woman who takes your coffee order. To learning what it’s like to treat food as food and not just another drug to abuse yourself with. To battling depression. To surviving alcoholism with a genetic disease that wanted alcohol more than it wanted sanity. To overcoming the post-traumatic stress that follows you from an experience that shaped every relationship you have with a man a
for the rest of your life — one you still aren’t ready to talk about. The real reason you bailed on college and that degree. Because you couldn’t go back. You can never go back. Not after something like that.  And the only thing you know to do was work double shifts and two jobs and stay busy and don’t think.  And when that didn’t work, you drank.

Until the drinking stopped working, too.

So, see if you think I care about sides, or you think I care what you say about me, you never really took a good look at me at all — did you? Here’s why I will never be quiet and why I will never stop writing, no matter who wants me to…

because through everything that I went through,  it was always the word of somebody else that helped me. Either the words in a book, either in a meeting, or either the tear stained Dixie Chicks album cover jacket and the words that got me through nineteen.  Whatever the source, I swore that if I ever got to a place in my life where it made sense, and I could use one word or one experience to give somebody else some peace, some hope, or some light — then that would make it all worthwhile. The only point of life is each other. And I am only here because somebody gave to me. Every experience I’ve been through has made me stronger.  Every time I didn’t stand up for myself, I learned something and I had to live with disappointment. When I come out of it on the other side, I realize this:   everything we go through is not about us, it’s about somebody else.   We’re here to share our experiences, to pass on our truth, our lessons, and I will never be quiet about my struggles just because somebody else has appearances to keep up — and God forbid the truth be out there, that people who are miserable abuse, manipulate and hurt others.

And people who are generally just content to hurt themselves — while appearing to be the one with all the “problems” — are generally stronger than all the perfect people together.

I’ve lived the life of one who has earned the right to speak out. I’ve battled for my place in this life, and I fought like hell to keep my head above water while everyone else just stood around and said: “Ha, ha — look! She’s drowning!”

I never fucking drowned. 

And this is my time.  It is my time,  and if you think I need you to be there with me — you don’t know me at all.

I’m just sad that anybody else has to be mistreated for actually standing up for me.  I’m just sorry that someone has to be hurt with the things they love the most in life because they had the audacity to finally stand up for me. It’s beyond wrong. It’s shameful.

I’ve said this to my naysayers all along and I’ll say it again. You better hope that your children have one ounce of my soul in them — because  it would be the best gift you could give them. Life could beat the shit.out of them and they’d still stand.

So while you’re out to get a pizza and you see someone who constantly talks about what a fuck up you are drunk and at the liquor store on a weeknight — and driving —  you remember what you learned that made all the difference.

That God can take faaaar better care of people that I can. Everybody gets their dose of Humble Pie, and I’ve eaten enough that I can tell you  — it’s a taste you won’t ever forget.

Some folks have a big ole helping coming.

I speak from experience:  there’s no amount of success, or shit that you can buy, or liquor you can drink to make that mess taste good when you wash it down once it comes your turn at the table.

Best remember that.

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