I have recently rediscovered my inner volcano. In a few moment of fervor, these sentiments came to me. I felt engorged with determination and focus. My words flew through my head faster than my fingers could compose them. Eventually, the following emerged. I plan to remember these sentiments the next time I feel small, powerless, or inferior.
When I was a child, I was bullied because my peers at Hebrew school thought my socio-economic standing was beneath them. I wasn't worthy of being their friend because I had clothes from Target instead of exclusively Benetton. I played their game and proved I was just as privileged as they. Upon being told I was worthy of having my nose in the air, I told them to piss right off. If I wasn’t good enough before, then I have no time for fools who believe a person is defined by their wallet.
When I was a teenager, my mother didn't believe me when I told her I was suicidal. She made no effort to understand my nemesis, depression and anxiety. I have scraped and clawed up a life-long climb for my mental health. My fingernails are battered and bloody, my knees worn from crawling towards stability. Today, I stand more than I kneel. I do not suffer fragility. My own brain can not turn me against myself, or intimidate me into backing down.
As an adult, when dealt a wrong, I have sued Blue Cross and Blue Shield twice, once for wrongful termination and once for a settlement for an on the job injury. One which I believed resulted in my being let go. I won both suits, and literally marched all over the their memory by buying carpet with the settlement. I am the small dog facing down a bear. One who knows her teeth are just as vicious when clamped on to the jugular.
For the majority of my working life, I have been on the receiving end of a headset piping insults, put downs, and flat out rude behavior directly into my ear. My concern for the way others perceive me could give Teflon cut throat competition in the open marketplace. I have no brother, I am my own keeper.
I have gone through divorce alone, without the support of loved ones. I have declared bankruptcy and paid my dues in 120 installments. I have reinvented myself more times than I have fingers. I am a rock. I am patient. I am bamboo; I bend without breaking.. And I am most definitely not. Afraid. Of. You.