(I really wanted to first write a post on all the sweet comments and commiserations and sympathy I got from the lovelies who responded to my most recent post, but I guess this needs must come out now.)
My mother and I were heading upstairs a few minutes ago, her to go to sleep, me, apparently to write this post (though at the time I had no thought nor intention, the fact that I am now hitting the keys with a formed idea tells me it was a forgone conclusion).
Mom said to me, “You’re so sweet.”
I thought about it, and struggled for half a moment, before responding, truthfully, “Sometimes. Sometimes I’m just a bitch.”
My lovely mother responded with something like incredulity (on my behalf). ”What, like I’m not ever a bitch?”
You would have to know my mom and me and have been privy to years of us in our most intimate moments to follow the rest of the conversation. But the gist was about how when my mom is a bitch, it’s in an ‘I’m tired, I’ve had a long day/week/month, I need some space, I’ll snap at you’ way. Every man, woman, and child had been a bitch like that. And yes, through the years, she has sometimes upped her game and been a real bitch, but it has been rare.
Even at her worst, though, her most intense, out-of-control-bitch-ness, I don’t think she has ever come close to me (and she agrees, though she loves me much too much to outright say so). My level of bitch cannot even be explained away as mood disorder related, though on some occasions that has added fuel to the fire. I am something that there isn’t even properly a word for, when I am a “bitch.”
Because when I am a bitch, I am intense, intelligent, persuasive, subversive, focused, relentless, forceful, and ten million kinds of dangerous. I could probably do more damage than an H-bomb. Seriously. Ask anyone who has known me intimately and at length. Actually, don’t.
I don’t bring out the bitch very much any more. I keep her in check, because I know well the harm she can do. She can destroy nations (though her work typically runs on a slightly smaller scale), because she has a pretty spotless history. All of her crusades have been honest, informed, and honorable. How powerful is that? A bitch who only ever fights for causes that are noble and worthy of her faith, and who can stand up to everything that is dished out at her and still walk away without a spot or a stain. Gives me chills.
So yes, I have reined in the wrath, and I have learned to wield my power responsibly. And I have gone from Liberty Leading The People to La Belle Dame Sans Merci. Which has actually brought me full circle in a way that is not worth my words to explain.
I present, instead, a visual for all of you. I’m not sure whether to be proud of myself or frightened. Probably both.