I don’t like “crazy”.

There are so many words one can choose to describe a feeling. Crazy should not be one of them. I hear it often just haphazardly tossed out to label or judge what someone else is feeling. Calling someone else crazy does a few things. One, it takes all the accountability away from the person saying it and puts it on the so called “crazy” person. Second, it is a blanket word that dismisses the true emotion that that person is feeling. Third, whatever has happened for a person to get to a state where they are deemed “crazy” is completely discounted. And, what does it say about the person saying it? When I hear a person called crazy, I immediately look to the person saying the word and question what they have contributed to that situation. Someone’s mental health can not and should not ever be called crazy. Instead, let’s get to the root of why that person was called that in the first place and just give it another name.

I thought about this last night when I had the thought cross my own mind that boy was I feeling crazy right now. Then I thought more about it and realized that crazy does not do my current situation justice at all! I’m not crazy. I’m overwhelmed. I’m bone tired. I’m in pain. I’m feeling helpless, lonely, manic, and hopeless all at the same time. With the handful of thoughts and events that were swirling around my head it was no wonder I was feeling the feeling I was.
Here is what was really going on. I couldn’t sleep. I was thinking about the list of house projects that need to be done and no people to actually do. I was thinking about my dog who is dying of cancer and needing to go out every few hours…would he wake me up 3 times tonight or would I actually get sleep. I was thinking about my daughter. She has been sick for over 2 years now. I so desperately want her to be well. I went over and over the last two years of her ER trips and Doctor appointments and prayed for guidance on where to turn next. I was thinking about all of these things and just couldn’t sleep. Soon after, my daughter told me she was feeling dizzy, my dog had to go out, and it was now 2 am. As soon as the dog went out a skunk sprayed. The smell made me ill. I could smell it seeping into the house and my daughter started to cough. I started to throw up. At this point it was 3 am and I thought to myself I am feeling absolutely crazy right now. My head was churning with anxiety. My heart rate was 130. I realized at this point I had been up too long. Done too much. My muscles most likely would not even work the next day so how on earth would I take care of my daughter while my husband is at work. This was not crazy. Let’s call it what it really is. Let’s give it a name that sums up what I was going through that validates that magnitude of feelings I was feeling. I can’t. There isn’t one word. Crazy is just a word that people sometimes use which describes what happens to someone’s mind who has been pushed beyond what they thought they would be capable of and yet still are trying to hold it together. But it nowhere near is an appropriate word to encompass even one night in the life of me!

So when I hear someone called crazy. I wonder. What is that person really feeling? Is she overwhelmed? Sad? What has happened that day to make her behave in a manor that someone would say that? AND why does that have to be labeled as crazy? I’ve seen men throw things, punch things, yell things, and they aren’t called crazy. They are just being men! But if I were to throw a picture across the room I would most definitely be called crazy. Why can’t I just be angry? Toss a frame and be told, ” Wow, she must be angry!” Not, “wow she’s crazy.”

Another example of misuse of that word…I saw my neighbor once do a crazy sign behind his wife’s back because she was upset about something. Calling her crazy meant it was ALL on her. The words coming out of her mouth, her demeanor, her body language, weren’t crazy! By him doing that I only thought 1. He is extremely shallow and disrespectful. 2. How sad for her to have a husband who thought more about how it may look for her to be upset than to validate why she was upset in the first place.

It is easy to call someone crazy so that way you don’t have to really care about what they are really feeling.

If someone is called crazy for their behavior how do you think it feels to have such conflicting emotions that no one can see at all? I look at, say Susie, and the criticism she has received for acting out on her emotions and I think, ” I can’t imagine what that person would then think about what is going on in my mind right now!! If Susie is called crazy for her behavior what would I be called for my thoughts?”

This stigma on “crazy” is one more reason that women keep silent about what is really going on with them. Suicidal thoughts, despair, deep depression, negative thoughts, fears, hopelessness, anxiety, rape, sexual abuse, are all kept a secret. We don’t want to be called crazy. So we don’t share our inner most thoughts because if Susie can’t throw something then we most definitely cannot say that we are feeling out of control in our own minds! How many women finally come forward with their stories of abuse and are brushed off with “That’s crazy” In other words, that’s not true and we don’t believe you. If they aren’t believed in what happened to them, they surely won’t tell a soul the fear and isolation they also feel.

I’ve been afraid to share my thoughts out of fear of being called crazy. I didn’t want others to use my feelings against me. When I expressed my true emotions and the details of what happened when I was abused, my stepfather replied and said that I needed therapy. What he really said was ” We don’t need to do the right thing. We don’t need to be accountable. We don’t need to love you or comfort you or validate you. This is all your problem. We can wash our hands of it because you just need to get therapy.” Right. Because I’m just crazy right?
So I have been conditioned back as a child and even now. I cannot say what I really feel because for fear of how my family will spin it in their favor. Me being crazy means they have an out. But I am not crazy.

This pressure to be strong, this pressure to be perfect is a burden I can nolonger carry. If being weak means I am an easy target for them to blame me then that is a flaw in them, not me. I should be able to be vulnerable, feel weak, and not have it used against me. So should everyone else.

We shouldn’t be so afraid of being called crazy that we silence what needs to be released. It is okay to let yourself be. It does not make you crazy just because you are allowing yourself to feel. Shoot I was put in a mental hospital and I was NOT crazy!!! I wanted to die, I didn’t want to see the man who abused me everyday anymore, I didn’t know how to cope with the abuse I suffered, I didn’t know how to cope with my family, but I wasn’t crazy.

I want to change the language of mental health. I want crazy to be removed. it limits, it hinders, it silences, it accuses, it blames, it minimizes, it judges.

I am not crazy. You are not crazy. We may feel lost, frantic, angry, sorrowful, or confused. Give your emotions the correct and appropriate word that describes them best. Make your emotions and your state of mind a safe place to be. Know that anyone that chooses to call you crazy is clueless to what you have endured and what you have overcome. For all of the many words in the human language that we can use to describe how we feel, choosing “crazy”, is not choosing the clear truth or respect that we deserve. We are far more than one word. But if I had to choose, just one, I would say we are SURVIVORS.

Raw words bring awareness of the truth.

This morning I woke up and thought…I should write a happy blog. I don’t want people to think things are all bad, and I don’t want anyone to feel sorry for me.

That kind of thinking is what shut my mouth for too many years. Worried about being judged. Worried about what others will think and say. Thinking more about other people than myself. Thinking about their feelings instead of validating and expressing my own.

The things I write about in my blog are things that I feel I must share to help other women during their healing process. I write about the hard things because they need to be written about.

There is such a stigma on the raw. If I do not speak of it then who will. I hope that my voice encourages others to have their voice. The raw may be hard to hear. It is hard to feel. Speaking of it creates a bridge to healing. Speaking the words tells every part of myself that I am not ashamed any longer.

The emotions that I have shared in my blog are emotions that I did not even allow myself to feel until just one year ago. I cannot hide my struggle. I cannot hide the sadness, the anger, and the depression that come in and out of my life. It would be an injustice to those who are fighting with me to overcome abuse if I sugar coated the reality. There is no shame in what you are going through. There is no need to always feel you have to sugar coat the truth.

I have no desire to write happy words any more than I have a desire to speak happy words.
Sexual abuse is NOT happy.
I am writing about a topic that cannot be and should not be altered so that others have an easiness about reading it. To spread awareness and understanding of sexual abuse it is imperative that we speak the truth.

I will continue to speak my truth and I hope that you do too.

Putting things in the correct context.

Billy- is a child molester. I painted that on the ski jump on our lake when I was a little girl. When I knew that no one would protect all of the other girls, and when I knew that no one on our ski team would stand behind me. I tried to warn the other parents. I tried to warn the other children. I tried to make it known to all the people living on the lake that this man was not to be trusted. After my parents chose to let my brother stay with the ski club and the man who molested me, they sent a very clear message…We do not believe our daughter. Years later, when my father saw the man who molested me in  our small town restaurant, and my father shook his hand, he sent a clear message…We STILL do not believe our daughter.

I thought this morning about everyone involved in my story. I thought about everyone involved in my childhood. Then I thought about HIM. His wife stood by him. Every member of the ski team stood by him. He had devoted friends and family who stood by him. A child molester. I may have not shared every single detail of what that man did to me when I was a little girl, but it was very well known I had been abused. It was written on the ski jump. What more needed to be said other than Billy Banks is a child molester. Yet, everyone in our life chose him. Chose to keep on living the same way they had been living completely discounting that tragedy that happened right beneath their noses.

Think about all the mothers who stand by their sons who are murderers. Think about all the mothers who stand by their sons who are rapists. Think about all the wives who stay with their husbands after their husbands rape their own child. Think about all of the women who stand by the men that are true abominations! Women who will visit their sons or husbands in prison after they have committed heinous crimes.

I’ve never hurt anything in my entire life. I will try tirelessly to save a tree frog that has found it’s way into my home. I catch spiders and release them. I rescue animals that have been abused. I don’t have a malicious bone in my body. My intent is pure. It always has been. I was a victim of many many crimes. I was the victim. I know the importance of stating that we are survivors and not focusing on the fact that we were victims. But I was a victim. I was a little girl who was the victim of a child molester.

It is a sad realization when a victim realizes that the perpetrator has received more loyalty than she has. What of those who support the rapists and the child molesters? What does it say about the wives who stay with their husbands after their husband rapes their child? They are a disgrace to humanity. They are pathetic, weak individuals with no morals and no character. They allow the cycle of violence to continue and the number of victims to increase. They are a willing contributing part of the abuse that will continue.

Put in the correct context; If a child molester’s wife can stand by his side, what does that then say about my family who did not and does not stand by me?

Had I only mattered.

*trigger warning

Should I be looking for a predator around every tree, my mother asked her friend. But that really wasn’t the right question. That question has an easy answer. Yes, there are predators around every tree and every corner, and you should be looking for them.
Maybe the question she should have been asking herself was, “Should I have left my daughter alone with men when she was just a child?” Either way, none of the questions she was asking had anything to do with me or my feelings. None of my family’s actions over the years in response to the childhood abuse had anything to do with me. Had I truly mattered, none of what occured after the abuse would ever have happened.
My mother’s comment was one of many negative replies I got after I wrote a letter to my father a year ago. I could never have imagined the response my entire family would give..After a series of ugly emails and letters… I could not have imagined all of them never speaking to me again. My mother, brothers, aunts, uncle, cousins, never to be heard from again.
After a year of reflection I now understand that they behaved no differently than they had my whole life. Expecting a loving, compassionate, validating reply to the details of the abuse I suffered would have been unrealistic.

My husband and I just reread the letter that I wrote to my dad. I read some of the details I chose to share of the man, Billy, who molested me as a child. A few nights later I had a flashback. I remembered being at Billy’s house. He had made me look at his porn magazines. He told me how my breasts were growing nicely. He had just had me try on some of his daughter’s bathing suits and model them for him. I was 13. I had changed the sheets on his bed. I knew if I finished cleaning then he would take me skiing. That was the deal. I was just starting to vacuum, and his wife came home. She had never come home during the day. I only saw her on the weekends when the whole ski team was together. I never saw her alone in her house. I just stood there, in my bathing suit, with the vacuum cleaner. She stood there. He stayed sitting in his “child molester recliner” as I had deemed it. She asked me what I was doing. She asked why I was there. She KNEW. I could see it was written all over her face. Why in the world was this child in her house cleaning? Why was this girl from the ski club at her house in the middle of the week? I watched this flashback like someone watching a movie screen. I watched the three of us and I saw my face. I remember what I was feeling. I was embarrassed. I felt like I had been caught cheating on a test. I didn’t know why I felt this way. He had convinced me that what he was doing to me was fine. He had convinced me that I was beautiful and that this is just what we do. But seeing his wife standing there I felt…dirty. The flashback ended. I tried to reconnect to it and remember what happened next. I wanted to remember more. But it was gone. I wanted to understand how that woman could go on for all the years following and not question what I was doing in that house and do something. I was left with that picture. Of her looking at me, and me feeling dirty, and her looking at me like she thought I was dirty too.

One memory. So many emotions. So many violations. With just one memory of one moment of one day. There were so many days. Multiply that memory. Multiply those emotions and feelings.

Growing up on a lake and on a waterski team I was always in my bathing suit. It was not until I was allowed to be alone with Billy Banks did he then have the opportunity to molest me. Had I never been alone with him, I would not have been molested. I would have been one more little girl in a bathing suit that he just watched. When Billy asked if I could go to his house and clean it for him, and in return he would take me skiing, all my parents had to say was no. Had they said no the opportunity would have never been so perfectly presented to a child molester. As soon as Billy got me alone… it was already too late.

I don’t think one member of my family realizes the number of bad memories that I have. I don’t think one member of my family thought about how it made me feel every time they brought up Billy for the next years to come.

Billy Banks, touched me more times than I can ever remember. He touched me different places on different days and different times over a period of years. After I finally was able to tell my mom about Billy, my brother begged to keep skiing with the ski club (which included Billy). My brother was only around 15 years old. When my parents said yes they dug a knife so deep in my back it would take 30 years to heal from. Yes, he could go back and ski with the man who molested me. Yes, I would then have to watch my brother over there every weekend for years. My parents and brother continued to bring up the ski club to me. They brought up ski club members they saw in passing. They would mention seeing so and so learning a new trick on the lake that weekend. My brother, a few years back, decided that he wanted to get my ski back for his friends to use. Twenty years after I left the ski club he wanted my ski back. He had to tell me the story of how he looked for my ski, asked about my ski, etc.
My mother would tell me when she saw Billy and his wife in the store or in the restaurant.
EVERY SINGLE time my family brought up the ski club they twisted the knife. I would forget the knife was there but sure enough not even a week would go by, year after year, and one of them would bring up someone in the ski club and that knife would dig deeper. Because every time they brought up the ski club I remembered Billy Bank’s hands on my little body. The 50th time when he kissed my neck. The 80th time I felt his hard penis rubbing under my body. Every time they brought up the ski club it hurt the inside of my being.
My brother finally told me that he made a stand. He told his buddies that he wouldn’t get into the boat with Billy because of what he did to me as a child. My brother then called to tell me all about it. 30 years later my brother decided to finally not ride in the boat with the man who molested me hundreds of times. Was I supposed to rejoice? Slap him on the back and tell him good job? Commend his new found growth?
My mom would tell me that she would give Billy and his wife “the eye” when she saw them. Over a 30 year period I listened every single week by either my mother, father, or brother, something that had to do with that ski club. That ski club that was full of secrets and lies all having to do with me. My brother not riding in the boat with the man who molested me was just one more time I had to hear the name Billy Banks. They never let the memories fade. They never asked if it bothered me to hear about the ski club. They never asked how I felt about anything.
How I felt never mattered.

When I finally told my family everything that happened it should not be so surprising that they reacted the way they did. I think it was the little girl in me that still hoped. The little girl that wanted my father to go and confront the man that hurt me. The little girl who wanted her brother to say he would never go back and be around a man that molested me. That little girl who needed so badly to be saved, validated, comforted, and told everything would be OK. I saw that little girl in my flashback. She should have never been standing there in her bathing suit at 13 years old in some 50 year old man’s house.

My mother could ask herself what would have happened if she and my father had not left me alone with men. But that is not really the right question either.

The only real question any parent should ask themselves after they find out something has happened to their child is how can I make this better. How can I make this child safe? What words can I use that will be validating and comforting. What words would be hurtful and hinder the healing process? How do we move forward from this moment so that my child feels like she matters?

When I finally told them bits of the truth when I was little, and when I told them the entire story a year ago, I may not have gotten the same response, but I was left with the same feeling. That I did not matter.

If I had only mattered…

When pride goes awry

Pride. To have pride in your work, to have pride in a job well done, to have pride in an achievement are all the simplest and purest ways that we can experience pride. I am proud of my daughter. I am proud of my husband.
The definition of pride is :
1.a feeling or deep pleasure or satisfaction derived from one’s own achievements, the achievements of those with whom one is closely associated, or from qualities or possessions that are widely admired.

Pride is to admire. That is what pride is supposed to be.
I’ve been pondering pride for some time now. At what point did it turn from satisfaction in a job well done accompanied by deep admiration for those close to you to selfishness? Where did admiration turn to manipulation?
What happened to the original diagnosis of pride?

When I was 19 I often skied with friends on the weekends. In all my waterskiing jobs I never learned how to backwards barefoot. For those non-skiiers that is skiing with no skis, barefooted, at a high rate of speed. I was with a bunch of people and my pride got the best of me. I HAD to show off and backwards barefoot and show these guys that a girl could do what they couldn’t do. I pushed myself over and over and over again to get it right. My last time I heard a pop in my shoulder and was in excruciating pain. I couldn’t move my arm, started going into shock, and had to be carried into the ER with my wetsuit on (what you wear when the water is cold to keep you warm). The guys just said I was determined. I know it was pride. Pride ruined my shoulder. 20 years later when I got diagnosed with a muscle disease, that same shoulder was the first thing to atrophy. My pride caused me full function of my shoulder to this day. This is a pretty basic example of where pride can go awry. It didn’t involve hurting anyone else. Just myself.
Pride ruined my shoulder.
Pride ruins a lot of things.
Having to be right because you have to much pride to just be humble can ruin a marriage.
Not apologizing because you have too much pride can ruin a friendship.

I remember one Thanksgiving my daughter was 5 and we had just adopted a puppy, Molly. We took Molly to my aunts for Thanksgiving because she was too young to be left home for an entire day. My brother was messing around with Molly out in the yard. My 5 year old daughter thought he was being mean her. So she yelled ” Stop being mean to my puppy!” I have to admit, most of us don’t want to be yelled at by a 5 year old. A knee jerk reaction prideful reaction is to yell right back and put that child in her place. A good reaction is going over to the child and saying, ” I can see you got mad because you thought I was not treating your dog well. I was just playing. It is not okay that you yelled at me. I would have listened to you if you just came over and told me you didn’t like it.” But alas this is not what happened. When you are dealing with a protective 5 year old and you react in pride things don’t turn out well. He yelled at her. Then he yelled at me that I had raised a disrespectful child. I yelled at him because no one yells at my child. Things got ugly. All over pride. And a little spirited 5 year old who to this day will speak her mind if she thinks an injustice is happening. Looking back it was pretty ridiculous. It could be said that we let a 5 year old ruin Thanksgiving because we ended up leaving.
It was pride that ruined Thanksgiving. My 5 year old was being…just a 5 year old. The adults apparently couldn’t raise above a 5 year old’s level because their pride got the best of them.

Pride is a very childlike emotion. It is rooted in ego. It is all about one person. It has no regard for anyone else’s feelings. It has no room for apologies, no time for forgiveness, and runs on the assumption that the person that has it is superior to everyone else.
But there is a deeper side of pride that people don’t think about. The wounded side. Under the facade of pride is really just insecurity and suffering. A person that exhibits pride is devoid of a true sense of self and worth. Because they are lacking this fundamental truth in themself, then they need to push it in the face of everyone around them. They make demands of others because they cannot demand it of themself. Others must submit to their orders because that is all the power and control they feel they have. The demanding of power is only in the absence of power they have within themselves. They feel weak inside so on the outside they overcompensate with pride.

We must face our own insecurities before we can tackle pride.
Fears, insecurities, pain, will all show up as a huge chip on your shoulder aka pride.

I had some of it when I first got married. I had to win the argument. I knew I was right. He had to know I was right. He had to admit I was right. It came from a wounded place that lacked ever feeling validated. I see that now but didn’t then. And still, this pride did not really hurt anyone. It just made for wasteful arguments with a pretty patient man who taught me how to eventually let it go.
Just HAVING to be right made me wrong. HAVING to be right meant that I was putting pride over love.
My husband and I just celebrated 19 years of marriage. He told me that a long time ago he realized that he would rather me be happy than to be right. That him being right was not more important than our marriage. So being right or wrong to him did not matter. Our arguments were always ridiculous anyway. They mostly consisted of ME not putting something away, or ME not putting the top on something correctly. Him coming behind me telling me I should put things away. Me telling him that he didn’t get to tell me what to do. Always the same argument. Me acting like a child. Me having too much pride to accept that I was actually wrong. Stupid little arguments that are meaningless. He said later that he realized they were meaningless and he chose to love the things that originally drove him crazy about me. Over the years I realized that I had to be right even if I wasn’t early in our marriage. But we both started listening. We both started putting the other first. We both dropped our pride so we could hear each other and not waste time on such insignificant things. This did not happen over night. This happened with work on ourselves and with each other with a common goal of respect. In pride their is no respect for the other person. That is a set up for a failed marriage. We chose to work through that and set pride aside.

Do you want to be right or do you want to keep your spouse?
Do you want to be right or do you want your child to respect you?
Do you want to be right or do you want to have meaningful relationships?

You cannot have both.

Pride in having to be right can take on an entirely different form if not kept in check. It can turn from a prideful platform into a manipulative one. Pride and manipulation are a very ugly combination. When a prideful person becomes a manipulative one too then you have to walk away from them.

I cannot emphasize this enough: You have to walk away from a prideful manipulative person!

My daughter recently encountered a few prideful teenage boys. One of them she has known for years. She texts him and he has come over to visit. They went to highschool together. She thought she knew him. He sent her an inappropriate sexual text. It was a text that crossed the line and needed to be called out. He needed to be told that it was not okay to send these types of texts and that she was very upset that he thought he could. So she was honest right away. She told him that he could not talk about such things with her. The ONLY reply she should have received from him was, ” I’m sorry I won’t do that again.” But that is not what she got. He first came back with the, “I’m confused.” reply. Then he hit with the, ” Well you are overbearing and make too many rules,” reply. Then he went on with insults and completely manipulated his wrong doing into her being somehow the cause. Classic manipulation.
She was left with, ” Well what do I do now?” For two days she was upset, not knowing what she should do? what she should say? She went over and over replies and come backs. In the end she said nothing. She had already told him she did not like what he had said. His reply was accusatory, prideful, and manipulative. So there was nothing else to say. HE was in the wrong. But his pride turned things back around on a completely innocent girl.

You cannot convince a manipulative person full of pride. No words will make them understand. The best you can do is walk away and say nothing. Going back and forth will only end up in pain to you. They will ALWAYS knowing they were right. Their pride will be their constant reminder that they were better than you and you will always be wrong. Pride hates to be challenged. Pride hates to be confronted. Pride unchecked will turn into a manipulative beast that ruins every relationship around it. Pride leaves the innocent questioning. My daughter didn’t understand at first. Did she do something wrong? Why didn’t he understand? Why did he attack with insults? Why did he blame? What could I have done differently?

Nothing. You can’t win against a prideful person. Especially if they have moved on to a master manipulator. They will chew you up, spit you out, and walk away.

If someone hurts you and you bring attention to that hurt and they do not apologize, then it is a battle not worth fighting.

Unfortunately, sometimes the next step will ensue. Manipulation turns to control. The strong need to control. Control turns a person down a path that is hard to ever come back from. It is the making of a criminal. It is the making of a rapist or molester. The man who molested me was a very prideful manipulative man. I’m not saying every person who is overrun by pride and manipulation will turn into a child molester. But the possibility is there. Every many who ever hurt me, and there were many, ALL had manipulative pride. They thought they were untouchable. They were superior. They were right in everything they were doing nomatter the level of wrong. And if I were to question them they always manipulated me into submission. Most children who have endured long experiences of abuse have been at the hands of men who have mastered manipulation, and whose control turned to total dominance. Once they get to that level, a child cannot always walk away. A child cannot always find away out. I have wondered about the men that abused me. Did they start out with just a pride issue that turned into manipulation that turned into control that turned into rape? I cannot get into the minds of the men that abuse. But I do see the outcome of control. What will happen to the boy who texted my daughter? What will he become? It wasn’t just a “boy thing to do”. These behaviors cannot be excused. But he couldn’t be argued with. He already, at 19 years old, needs to be right and has no ability to apologize for an outrageously inappropriate sexual text.
My daughter had to walk away. His pride is already turning him. But it is not my daughter’s job to fight with his pride. I’m actually not sure whose job it is. It has left me unsettled, this boy. Who will keep him from going down a path he cannot come back from? It is definitely not my daugther’s responsibility. My daughter is strong though. Had something like that happened to me at her age I would not have reacted the same. I would have crumbled. I would have been the perfect target. I guess if we cannot stop the prideful people we can focus on empowering the ones they target. My husband and I empower our daughter. We stand with her. We help her to recognize red flags in people. We have open communications about texts and conversations good and bad. Those of us who were targets as children can help others to not be.

I thought that pride gone awry was such a small scale issue. Someone that just had to be right and was willing to lose everything around them just to feel they stood by their need to be right. But it goes far deeper than that. I believe it is rooted in insecurity and lack of self worth. Those things left unchecked can turn a person into a complete monster.

when pride becomes destructive, we have to move out of it’s path. It has nothing to do with us and will never have anything to do with us. Some may just stay stuck in the need to be right forever. Some may move into manipulation. Some may move into control. I have experienced and witnessed so many people who allowed their pride to destroy them and those around them.

When the true definition of pride is lost, then that person is lost to us. The best we can do is recognize a person who uses their pride and manipulation to control situations and not feed into them. The more people who do NOT feed into their pride the less power their pride gains. When pride turns into a beast, sometimes the best thing to say is nothing. Do what my daughter did, walk away. And know that their pride cannot hurt you if you do not let. Their words can be arrows to your heart. But you have the ability to avoid the arrows. Just move a little to the left, let the arrow fly off into the wind, and know that it had nothing to do with you in the first place. Pride cannot win if you choose to walk away from it. You will walk away with dignity They will be left all alone, in the end, with just their pride. Hopefully they won’t leave a trail of victims along the way. A prideful monster tried to destroy me as a child. I no longer allow pride in my life or around those that I love. I know what it can become. Pride gone awry is the absence of God and the dominance of ego.

I am still proud of my daughter’s character. I am still proud of my husband’s integrity. I am sticking with the original definition of pride. But I’d rather call it something else now…
I am not so much PROUD of them as I just admire them. They are two people who I greatly admire. Being proud has more to do with me. Admiring is just all about them.