Welcome to my blog.
I woke up this morning with two words on my mind, “I survived.”
Yesterday was a bitch of a day, and the primary emotions were confusion and disappointment after things went south quickly with a publicist and her client who threatened to sue me several times. The details of the situation aren’t important, and I don’t feel like rehashing that negative energy; just know that it’s re-dunk-ulous and just plain sad.
But let’s back up since this is my first blog post on my new blog.
My name is Kimberly, and I’m a 45-year-old black woman who lives in the Pacific Northwest; Western Washington to be exact. I was raised by a single mother in Portland, Oregon. My mother lives with depression. I just realized that I don’t know how to say that – is it “lives with,” “suffers from,” “is depressed?” Whatever, my mom and depression are well acquainted, and that relationship impacted my upbringing into adulthood. I don’t blame my mom, she did the best she could and since I don’t have kids, I find it difficult to judge another’s parenting style even if it did make me bat shit crazy for decades.
Three years ago I hit rock bottom. After years of self-loathing, suicidal thoughts, and taking nuclear weapons to a knife fight (not literally Homeland Security), I had to finally admit that It’s Me, Not Them. I went into therapy.
Therapy rocks. You sit for 50 minutes and just talk about yourself. There were a lot of tears the first year as I learned why I behaved and felt like I did. I learned about triggers and how to avoid them. For the first time in my life, I experienced true happiness, joy, and peace – it wasn’t fleeting.
So back to yesterday.
My blog is popular, and I attract a lot of aggressive people who like to fight. The conflict is mostly with people who aren’t happy when I won’t promote them on my blog or they think that I’m going to use my blog to attack them – over the past year, I’ve had three people ask me why I’m trying to ruin them. What????
I’ve learned to stand up for myself, to demand respect respectfully, and stay true to my passion (dogs). It’s not always easy, because when someone is aggressive, making wild accusations, and throwing out “you’ll hear from my lawyer,” every part of me wants to take off the earrings, pull my hair back, and start swinging.
But I didn’t.
I said my peace, I stood up for myself, and I protected myself.
Then I waited.
I waited for the misery to come. The self-loathing, whom I’ve named Lesli that tells me that I deserve to be treated like that. I hear it all the time, and I’m still waiting for the private messages from “concerned friends.”
“What is it about you that makes people go crazy?” Or my favorite “There must have been something you did, because I don’t know anyone who has to deal with this like you do.” And the most recent “I think you stir people up for the attention and to get a reaction.”
Social media is synonymous with victim shaming. Social media is also where I found support as my friends rallied the wagons and offered validation. I showed them the emails, told them about the phone call, and everyone felt that it was crazy too.
What’s shitty about depression is that when you have a conflict, you question your emotions. After decades of overreacting, the inevitable victim shaming from “friends,” and receiving an email yesterday stating that I became “over emotional,” I begin to think “Shit, what is it about me that draws these lunatics to me?”
But I stopped. Fuck that negative self-talk. And fuck those people who think that it’s okay to come at someone who is being bullied and tell them “if you’d only…”
People are responsible for their own bullshit. If someone wants to be an asshole, it’s because they’re dealing with something in their life that is driving their choices and behavior. It’s not my fault, it’s not my business, and the only thing I can control is how I react to it.
And to the person who asked me to stop posting about these experiences, I think it’s time we cease to be friends.
I stood up for myself and the dark cloud never came.
I spent the day bewildered by the strange interaction; not angry or sad.
I went home, I surrounded myself with dogs, laughed with my boyfriend, bought my best friend flowers, and went to bed. I got a great night’s sleep. Lesli didn’t sneak in and ruin my day; instead, Kimberly was able to take a step back and see two heartbroken and terrified people who lashed out at a stranger to gain some relief.
I hope they feel better. I know I do; because depression is finally my bitch.