I made my way to the delivery room.
There is a mean girl in me that will probably always be there, just beneath the surface. Though she no longer defines me I would be remiss if I didn't acknowledge her existence. There will always be a part of me that is afraid of losing control. A part of me that takes control even when control isn't freely given. I stand above the others even when I try to shrink myself because the inner part of my essence burns bright.
There is a fire that cannot be extinguished. I battle with the voice inside my head that demands I take without regard. I consciously choose to serve others because by serving I get closer to who I want to become. I realized that I was a mean girl and had been for some time. To those who know me now, they scoff at this declaration because it seems impossible to them.
That someone like me could be someone like that. Yet, they cannot help but deny the energy that I bring into a room. The way that everyone stops and stares when I walk into a room. The way that I command their attention and respect. I exude it. It rolls off of me with such ease that no one notices the pull.
No one notices the tug at their own confidence. They seek to be closer to me, to know me, maybe to be me because deep down they see the truth that I try to hide. The truth that I have laid bare before you. My experiences are not unique but they are my own. I cower at the thought of being perceived as weak yet it was when I embraced my weakness that I ultimately found my strength.
Mean girls aren't all the same. There is no one size fits all. Some of us are created from abuse. Sexual, physical and emotional trauma. Others are taught from an early age how to behave and they believe that their actions are not just acceptable, but also justified as well. There are some who for other reasons simply see the world through a different lens. No one exists but them. Everyone is just a background in their world.
Of course, everything in this world is adaptable and even the greatest of mean girls can make a decision to be different. To make a decision to be better, to decide to make the world better by their actions. The extend a kindness with no hope of reward in return. To simply be...be comfortable in their skin, be comfortable in their weakness and in their vulnerability...to be comfortable with the face looking back at them in the mirror.
Even when you make the decision to change, there is always a part of you that will remain the same. The insecure part of you, the mean part of you, and kind part of you, it will always exist. In there, somewhere who you used to be will come face to face with who you are today. When that happens, you will be forced to evaluate who you want to become tomorrow. It is a one day at a time journey.
You weren't created overnight and you should not expect your change to happen overnight either. There is no magic wand that can erase the pain you caused or one that can erase the pain that was caused to you. There isn't a way to turn back time, so why are you still looking behind you? Why are you concerned about the girl who was mean to you and called you fat? What does it matter? Why do you still give her power over you? Does she haunt your thoughts the way my mean girl haunted mine?
Or are you the one who gave someone else those nightmares? Are you someone like me who treated others as though they were beneath them. Someone who lived under the guise of being nice because...you were not a mean girl. You were just honest...right? You were just being honest.
We can break down the walls that we have built. It's possible. I hadn't realized how hollow I was inside until I felt for the first time. When I saw my baby boy covered in wires, fighting for his life, I felt it. It was such a gut-wrenching pain that the fire burned deep inside my chest. I thought that that pain would never die out.
The feeling of falling and sinking at the same time and never understanding how deep hopelessness could run. The tears flowed so easily from my eyes that it gave me pause. It had been years. I had thought I was incapable of feeling this kind of sorrow. Yet here I was, experiencing the pain of responsibility...I had done this. He was here, like this, because of me. I wanted to blame my husband for choosing to save my life.
In the hospital room, I wanted to be angry at Charlie for saying "Save her" when he was presented with the choice. He could only choose one of us. Yet, deep within my very essence, I knew he wasn't to blame. He was protecting what he loved. I was loved by him so deeply and so profoundly that he would risk his progeny to save me. It was a love I hadn't realized could exist in real life. It had never occurred to me that someone could care for me this much.
It never occurred to me that I could care for someone this much. The damn had been broken. I couldn't stop the flow of tears from falling from my eyes. With each drop that fell from my eyes a part of that wall, I had built crumbled. I wanted to be worthy of him. I wanted to be worthy of this little boy in front of me. His dark brown eyes staring deeply into my soul. His tiny hands grasping my finger begging me to not let go.
He held a promise in his eyes that I needed to hear. He would be watching me. My son would be molded by my words and by my actions. He would either love himself or hate himself and I would be responsible. I would be better. I must be better. He will see. He will come to know a version of myself I hadn't thought were possible.
I would humble myself and live my life in service for he would one day grow to become a man and the man that he would become rested on my shoulders. It rested on our shoulders. My husband was a good man, a strong man, a kind man. Was I ready to become who I needed to be for his sake? Yes, yes I was. Goodbye, mean girl. Goodbye.
Two chapters left. This has been emotional for me but I am so grateful that you have stuck it out and been a part of this journey. We're almost there.
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When You Realize You've Become a Mean Girl...and What Comes Next (In Editing)Non-Fiction
It isn't every day that you find yourself waking up and realizing "Hey, I'm a mean girl." I could make sure people like you didn't make their way into our circle and I was very good at it. You wanted to sit with us? No thank you. You wanted to talk...