“Living well is the best revenge.” -George Herbert, “Outlandish Proverbs,” published 1640.
Yesterday I went to the office to pick up a few things. The person in HR helping me said they recognized my name. I’m sure by now everyone at the town’s post office knows who I am. And after I wrote about my experiences with gig work, I noticed different nonverbal cues given off by some of the employees of the stores where I shop. I wonder if they heard about it?
I’m moving from hiding in plain sight toward putting myself out there. From speaking my truth to changing my hair style and manner of dress, I have garnered a bit of attention.
It hasn’t been easy getting used to having eyes on me. I learned early on that when a narcissist notices you, it doesn’t ends well. Act like a normal child? Have your father literally beat the piss out of you. Ask your mother to live with your grandparents? She’ll total her car and blame you. Win the school spelling bee in 7th grade? In 8th grade you can’t go to school on spelling bee day. As a teenager I lost weight after years of being fat shamed; then men paid attention to me and I was slut-shamed. I’ll bet the family still talks shit about me to anyone who will listen; I cut off contact so I don’t have to hear it.
Today I can seek attention for myself and it won’t lead to attack. Even if it does, I’m resilient enough to withstand it. My blog posts are where I share me. If, while talking about me, I write something about you that you don’t like, maybe you should have behaved better.
To avenge against those who had harmed me
had been a life goal since I was a child.
To watch them suffer fates similarly
would motivate me when they’d got me riled.
As I grew older, my revenge list grew
to include those who took advantage of
one desperate for someone’s, “I love you;”
they’d lie and take their fill, then scamper off.
When I began to see my truth first-hand,
through self-reflection and talk therapy,
my wanting for revenge would not withstand
the stronger need to set my spirit free.
Now rid of trauma’s agonizing spell,
the best revenge, indeed, is living well.