All my life I was taught to be nice to people or “God would punish me.” In my teenage years that statement turned me into a doormat. People would make fun of me or my boyfriends’ would treat me like shit and I just took it. Why? So that a mysterious figure in the sky wouldn’t punish me?
The situation only got worse after two of my friends took their own lives. Then, not only was I worried that “God would punish me,” I was also worried that my words would cause a third person to take their life as well. So, it was easier for me to just swallow what I had to say.
Even if that person deserved to be put back in their place. There is only so long that you can take verbal abuse without fighting back before it will come out in a different way.
Right around the age of eighteen was when all of the hurtful things that had been said to me started to come out in a negative way. I had always had a habit of twisting my hair, but all of a sudden I started to rip it out. I also started to get terrible acne and the thought of killing myself was constantly on my mind. That was when I took a long hard look in the mirror and said, “It’s time to give therapy a shot.”
As I called around searching for the best therapist who would fit my needs, I would ask two questions. “Can you help me stop thinking about killing myself and can you teach me how to defend myself?”All these years later I can say therapy saved my life. Once the thought of suicide enters your head, I am not sure if it ever truly goes away, but therapy has helped silence those thoughts in my brain for the most part.
As for defending myself, well that’s a work in progress. When it comes to business, I have mastered it. Don’t mess with the money I currently have or the money I can potentially make. It’s as simple as that. If you do, you will see a wicked side of me. And my dogs. Don’t mess with my dogs! My crazy is lurking right around the corner, and if you come anywhere near those dogs, you’ll see a side of crazy you have never seen before.
Then there is my personal life. I am getting better each day. I hate being mean to people, but sometimes I have to or else those evil thoughts creep back into my head. Those, “I don’t want to live” anymore thoughts are there waiting for me all because I let some person attack me and their words start to eat away at me. However, this morning, I think I had a breakthrough.
I live right in the middle of Downtown Los Angeles. I am one of those people who is a fitness fanatic. You know my kind, the ones who are always posting about their workouts on social media. It’s obnoxious, you can say it, I know and don’t care. Exercise is my natural anti-anxiety medication and when I am high off of endorphins, I post “high off of endorphin” shit. That’s just what we super fit people do. Love or leave it!
The thought of being late for the class I love to take sends my anxiety levels through the roof. So, this morning, as I was rushing leave for the gym, there was a homeless lady inside of the lofts where I live. She was looking at the front door, pressing on it, trying to get out. I didn’t want to scare her, but I was in a rush.
Me (in a sweet tone)- Good morning, can I help you with that?
Homeless Lady (turns and screams)- No you white bitch! Unless you have some money you want to give me. Do you have five dollars?
I think to myself, “This crazy lady is going to make me late to my class.”
Me (remaining sweet)- No, sorry. I don’t have five dollars to give you.
Homeless Lady (still screaming)- Well then too bad you white bitch!
I think to myself, “Is this reverse racism? I think this is the real deal.”
Me (exhaling, remaining calm)- Except I need to go to now, so if you can just open the door by twisting it, that would be great.
Homeless Lady- Listen here white bitch, unless you have five dollars, I am not moving. So I am going to ask you again. Do you have five dollars white bitch?
I think to myself, “Jeannette do something or else you’re going to lose your favorite treadmill and you’re going to have a terrible workout, and your day will be ruined.” Meanwhile the angel on one shoulder says, “Be nice and polite because she is a little crazy, she can’t help that.” Then the devil on the other shoulder says, “This is it, all the money you spent in therapy to learn how to defend yourself, now is the time to practice! The angel says, “Yes, but think about all of the work you do to try and help people Jeannette. Don’t be mean to this grumpy homeless lady.” Then, the little devil, turns into Ludacris the rapper, “Move bitch, get out the way! Get out the way!” As the devil and the angel were fighting, my skin was getting hotter, and the lady kept screaming, “White bitch!” Then, out of nowhere, I turned into Tony Soprano!
Me – No, this white bitch does not have five dollars to give you! However, I do have 1 nondiscriminatory left foot that is about to be planted up your ass if you don’t get the fuck out of my way! Capisce?
Homeless Lady (opens door, mumbles under her breath)- White bitch!
The lesson learned here- sometimes in life you have to say something mean to someone else in order to prevent yourself from doing something mean to yourself. Onward and upward….opening doors on a daily basis…sometimes by knocking politely, others through hard work, and others by simply turning into a #whitebitch!