I've been wanting to write about this for the longest time.
I know I probably shouldn't. But it's something that I should just forget about, but I simply can't. Certain things get under my skin.
No. Worse that that.
Certain things get into my veins.
They are traumatically, and permanently imprinted into my mind.
I have a very long memory.
In fact, my mind is like a steel trap, and once something is in there, it's unfortunately in there to stay.
I remember everything from conversations I've had, to outfits I've worn, to meals I've eaten. And I remember the things people have said to me.
It's not that I harbour grudges. I don't. But like the saying goes, I never forget the way someone has made me feel.
I watched a documentary on fellow Gemini, Marilyn Monroe a few months ago. Naturally, I wept watching it. She had a very sad life. So stupidly sensitive to everything I am. I couldn't help but feel for this beautiful and tormented woman.
There was a quote from the biographer narrating the story which really struck a chord with me. "She provoked people to mistreat her".
I wondered, is this what I do? What I've always done?
This is the longest opening explanation I think I've had to anything I've written.
Probably because I'm afraid of admitting what I'm about to. It takes a lot of courage to admit to your flaws.
The article that was published with the Huffington Post - "15 Things Women Can Do To Feel More Confident" a few months ago, was something I was ridiculed for.
No one likes to admit when they're wrong.
And I'm not admitting that I was wrong in writing that particular piece. Just that I didn't explain myself properly.
So just give me a moment to explain myself. Not that I need to. But that I want to.
I also wrote an article in my defence in response for the abuse I encountered after that article. One that I did send to the Huffington Post that was approved for publishing, but that I decided to pull at the last minute. My fragile demeanour simply couldn't handle anymore negative feedback.
I didn't think that it was at all fair that I was attacked for writing what I deemed to be a light-hearted, and what I thought, was a helpful piece. And I simply had to rush to my own defence. No one else was about to do it for me. Even if I only managed to publish my response on my own site.
So let me explain it in a little more detail.
I published the original article on my site on the 4th of February. One day after what would have been my 13 year wedding anniversary. One week and 3 days after my husband had moved out of our marital home after 2 years of a very difficult unravelling of our tumultuous relationship.
I was doing everything I possibly could to fight to keep myself from drowning in a sea of despair. In fact, I thought I may never feel good again. Never, ever again.
I had also been with this man for 20 years. From the tender age of 15. You don't hear of that much these days.
In a lot of ways, I am very naive. I feel as though I have lived in a bubble for the longest time. My life had mostly consisted of being the perfect "Stepford Wife", and working tirelessly in my businesses.
The world had changed, yet I remained the same. Suspended in a state of sometimes eternal adolescence, even though I'm an impossibly old soul. Wise beyond my years. But not always.
I was feeling really, really shit about myself.
My self esteem had really taken a hit as a result of the breakdown of my marriage. I felt unattractive, undesirable, lacking confidence, and very vulnerable. Friends had abandoned me in my darkest hour, and in turn, I had also abandoned myself.
And so when my girlfriend phoned me that fateful day on her way to a date where she felt unattractive and unconfident, I offered up the best advice I could pull together in the state I was in. And I found it so helpful to myself (particularly as I had pretty much refused to leave the house, my weight had dropped to a skeletal 47 kilos, and my wardrobe consisted of pyjamas), that I thought, hey, why not write about it?
I didn't even consider the rage that this particular piece might incite from women who have been fighting for equality for eons. I wasn't thinking of anything like that.
I was thinking of the things that work for me when I'm feeling like absolute crap. When I was clinging to whatever I had left to make me feel like a woman that was now resembling a mere shell of the confident women I was meant to be.
If you feel so poorly on the inside, sometimes it really can help to spruce yourself up on the outside, so when you look in the mirror, you can have a physical reminder that you don't look as ghastly as you feel.
So, I do want to apologise if I did offend anyone with that article. It certainly wasn't my intention, and like I mentioned earlier, I was very broken at the time.
Whilst it often appears that I am quite transparent, I'm actually very, very guarded. No one is allowed to get close to me. Not many people anyway. I guess I didn't properly explain the full story. I suppose that's what's so good about being a writer. The luxury of editing. I hold my cards very close to my chest.
I guess for me, it's all about hiding my pain behind a beautiful smile. A smile that was dimmed by tears for what felt like an eternity.
Ninety percent of the time, I actually do look like a mess. I'm not this perfectly put together flawless girl. I'm anything but. But I am finally comfortable in my own skin.
I seldom brush my hair. I hardly ever wear makeup, and my wardrobe is one to rival a 15 year old girl. The one that I am desperately trying to free myself of and evolve into the 35 year old woman I will be next Friday. I can't believe I'm about to be 35. Where did all that time go?
Life really is a long lesson in humility.
My sister had this quote tattooed up her back when she separated from her husband a few years back. I don't think I totally got it until I had this same experience that has left a temporary scar on me.
And so, I have now asked myself the question, have I provoked people to mistreat me?
Maybe. Yeah. Maybe.
But if life really is a long lesson in humility, take solace in the knowledge that I have been served.
True beauty and confidence does come from within. I'm not going to sugarcoat it and pretend like it comes from anywhere but. However, like I always say, do whatever you can to get you to where you need to go.
The one comment that probably hurt me the most was that I'm a bad person, and a bad writer.
My guru Todd Savvas (toddsavvas.com) told me to just ignore it. That it's all just an illusion.
And it is.
I had to try to not let it affect me as much as it did. And in that same lesson of it being an illusion, I also had to recognise that outer beauty is similarly just an illusion too. I
I'm not a bad person. I'm anything but. And I think I write beautifully a lot of the time.
But that's ok. We're all entitled to voice our own opinions. And I guess it comes down to the quote I'm going to leave you with today. And I'll just hold out for someone recognising me for the true gift I really am.
"Outer beauty attracts, but inner beauty captivates." - Kate Angell