Honey, That Ain’t Nothing But Sheer Hate Driving You Home

Oh, my little legs are sore from running around the lake again.  Every time I get mad, I run. It was a lot easier at  27 than 37. But with every turn,  I kept hearing that line from that Ashley Judd movie ‘Double Jeopardy’ in my head:  “Honey, that ain’t nothing but sheer hate driving you home.”

I kept thinking, tell me my whole family thinks I’m a “crazy b-tch who belongs in a home.” Considering I’ve watched every third kid in Dickson County over the last 15 years, that doesn’t speak very highly for my family or friends.  I mean, I personally wouldn’t let somebody who belongs in a home watch my kids. And I distinctly remember picking two little kids up from school and daycare every day for awhile.

I actually appreciate it though. Insults have always been the motivation I need to keep my little butt running. I shouldn’t have to be used to taking them, but the sad fact of my life is I just am. I’ve had a lot of experience.

I kept thinking I might slug the first person that tells me to “calm down” or “just be the bigger person.” I’ve been the bigger person for a decade, and all it’s gotten me was children that act like they’re afraid to speak to me and my closest genetic relative who doesn’t even acknowledge me out of fear they might get nagged at.

Or, else just hates me for some sin I wasn’t even aware I was committing.

With every mile I pound out,   I think about the difference between then and now.  Then was filled with years of me just taking stuff and knowing I had to be quiet about it. And taking it from various sources. Knowing I couldn’t even acknowledge it because it was going to be turned on me and it was always going to be my fault.  I was “crazy”  or  “too sensitive” or “overreacting.”  And it was up to me to just be the bigger person. It wasn’t just up to me, it was expected. And I would face backlash if I didn’t.

Boy, would I ever.

But now… No, I won’t be silent. And here’s why.  I saw a therapist that helped me through some step work once who told me this:  Secrets keep you sick.

Everytime the “shunning” happens, continues, escalates, and nobody takes up for you (and nobody ever takes up for me out of fear for the way psycho will act if they do);  every time you can’t tell anybody because you don’t want people mad at you and because of the verbal abuse that you will receive  if you do speak out;  every time you just take it;  every time you can’t tell anybody, every time you can’t talk about it,  every time you are verbally abused for pressings back, acknowledging it or even pointing it out, it further perpetuates the cycle of emotional manipulation.  Every time no one else says,  “You know what, it’s really messed up that you treat her that way, she has done a lot for you,” or every time nobody says, “Hey, if you can’t treat every other member of this family with respect, maybe you shouldn’t come to (insert function),” or every time they don’t say, “You know, it’s kinda f-cked up that Candi gets treated like a leper and no one even acknowledges it, because she didn’t do anything to you and she’s been generous to you on multiple occasion,” every time they just expect me to show up and be quiet and be the adult and ignore it or refuse to acknowledge the elephant in the room, it continues the cycle of abuse. And the message one internalizes from that is:  “It’s all your fault.”  I’m sick of always feeling like it’s all my fault.

It’s particularly upsetting when people say, “I don’t want to take sides” and then comes to the corner of the room where I’m sitting in to say hi,  while someone else makes a very public spectacle about the fact that they think they’re running the show — while making it very clear that I’m not in the show by intentionally making it known that they’re not talking to me like this is real life Jr High — while another acts like they’re afraid to be seen talking to me because they might get in trouble,
thereby  “not taking sides,” that puts more weight and blame on me. Because there is no side. I did nothing but run out of assets to share and get sober. If I still have 40 grand to be gained in a condo I was willing to share by agreeing to sell it for whatever one could get approved for, you better believe I’d be talked to. 

Again, that compliance by others — simply because I’m not the one that will act psycho if they don’t — only continues the abuse and emotional manipulation and whispers to the person being treated that way that they’re not worth it.

I’m tired of not being worth it.

Then you wonder how someone ends up depressed and “crazy”? They’ve been told they’re not worth it for a decade.

It’s classic textbook! I didn’t have to major in Psychology to understand this pattern.

And if I want to feel better — and I do — it’s up to me to end the pattern by whatever means necessary.

Abuse; gaslighting thrives on silence. I will no longer make myself sick to save face for somebody else. Not for one more day of my life.

Repeat:  I will no longer make myself sick to save face for anybody else. I don’t care who it is. As I’ve said many times, you don’t like what I write on Facebook via my blog, wait until you see what’s in my hard drive over the years where I’ve written about this and didn’t show anybody, just waiting for the day that I can pound it out in a self-help memoir. You don’t want me to tell Dickson County, or eventually the world,  how you treat me — try doing better. Because I’m taking my power back. And I will use whatever tools I have at my disposal to do that. If it’s a Facebook, if it’s writing, if it’s a blog, so be it. I will no longer suffer or be mistreated in silence. Not one more day.

Not one more day.

I am worthy of people in my corner. I am worthy of acknowledgement. I am worthy of respect. Even if I only get it from myself.

And I no longer have to cease — refrain — from kicking somebody else’s ass just so I can be loved.  I’m going to be hated no matter what I do anyway,  I might as well kick their butt and enjoy it.

That day has been looooong coming.

Until then, like most who put up with this, I’ll just find a way to take it out on me: so, run.


The Best Sobriety Present I Ever Received: My Twinkie Loves.

My sobriety date is August 15th. The year doesn’t matter. But let’s say, it’s been a few.

That was a day — coming to in a  jail cell I don’t remember ending up in,  being told that I was arrested for DUI and trespassing, when I wasn’t trying to get arrested for trespassing, I was trying to get arrested for assault and battery but the cheating son of a bitch wouldn’t open the door — I entered into an agreement with God.  Where he told me that if I would surrender to him — regardless of what comes; regardless of how hard it is; regardless of what I would lose; regardless of how lost I felt, how much I missed my life or who would leave me; regardless of how much it hurts, of how they persecute me; no matter what they say about me;  no matter what life does; and, the big one, no matter who dies — that one vice that carried me through it all, alcohol, then He would bring things to pass that I never imagined. That I would see dreams come true that I couldn’t wrap my mind around. Miracles I couldn’t measure. A future I couldn’t fathom.

Some years, to me,  that meant Kenny Chesney.  Others, it was a Sony writing contract. Some, like today,  it’s Matt Kemp or Cory Booker. But  mostly, on the sane days, it’s simply my own success with something as simple as peace of mind.

Still, the years came and went, the book deal — or even the clarity of mind — didn’t, but I clung hard to the promise that God made me that no matter what came at me, if I would hold up my end of the deal,  I would have treasures untold.

Four years ago, those treasures came to me in a set of twins that made my life worthwhile.  They were born on the same day, but years after, their Can Can gave up alcohol. I will never be able to repay or to express what those sweet babies mean to me. No matter how tired, no matter how far down, no matter what they put me through the week before — twinkie love hell! — I always got up (at 6 a.m.) with gratitude in my heart because of their faces.

They were — are — the joy in my life and the song in my heart.

Happy 4th birthday to one of the many reasons I know that God never gave up on me, and to a gift that I will never be able to repay — the joy of spending everyday with my twin lovies, Avery and Emily.

And, thank you to their mommy and daddy for sharing their lives with me. I don’t know that I will ever be able to say what they mean to me.

Only that when I used to look in over their cribs and sing, “Baby, you a song, you make me wanna roll my windows down and crooooouise…” and watch their sweet little faces smile and their little legs kick, I knew that God had made good on his promise to give me things that I could not see.

The day Emily, barely able to say a few words at all, toddled up to me, pointed her sweet little finger at my t-shirt, looked up with those big cheeks and eyes and sounded out “O-bam-a!” and the days Avery pointed at every football player she’d see and shout, “Jalen Hurd!” were days my life got good.

I may never see the Senate, the New York Times Best Sellers list, or the top of the BillBoard charts. Clay Matthews may never come calling — but this Can Can is cool with that. In “my” many children, I’ve been blessed more than anyone deserves.

Happy Fourth Birthday to Can Can’s heart!

“Touchdown, Big Orange!”  to Avery and “Go, Cardinal Birds, Em!”