January 12, 2011

One from the Archives: Confessions of a Reformed Bitch - The Making and Tempering of the Mafia Side

It's been a hectic few weeks and a bout of the winter flu hit. I have been a little cranky, a little moody, and my temper hasn't been normal. I went back and read this post from September 2009. It was a good reminder of where I came from and how to not head back in that direction. For those of you who haven't read this yet, it's a little insight into me. For those who have, thank you for being my friends and taking the time to get to know me and allowing me to be present in your lives.

Much love,

Confessions of a Reformed Bitch - The Making and Tempering of the Mafia Side

You know how when you were little there was the bully at school and your parents always told you, "He only picks on you because he's insecure"? Well the same can be said of that snarky bitch. I know because that bitch was me. Now I can already hear some of my friends jokingly say "What do you mean 'was'?" but I am going to let that slide. Because I will concede we all have our moments of snarkiness and ill behavior but I am talking about really difficult to deal with bitchiness.

Now I certainly wasn't born a bitch but I was always very sensitive. Being an only child without siblings to pick on me I was easily flustered when teased. In addition to my already delicate nature I had the trauma of a dog attack complete with scarring and was thrown into Gifted and Talented class in Kindergarten. So while other little girls were known for their beauty or charm or talent I was known for a few scars and my brain. I got picked on and teased often. As early as fourth grade I developed aggression disguised as assertiveness to handle the pain. It's so much easier to give people a reason to dislike you, like being snarky, hard to approach, condescending, and dark, than to let them choose their own reasons.

As I grew into my high school years the approach became more dramatic. That's right, I became Gothic. I was more than content to have people think I was an evil witch or blood drinking vampire wanna be than to let them in and make up their mind whether or not to like me. While I softened up a bit my senior year in anticipation of college I still kept my edge. In college I realized people were as quick to judge as "adults" as they were as children and adolescents.

Rather than take the high road and evolve into someone who I felt comfortable with I became the bitch. In classes I was a know-it-all, in social interactions I dismissed anyone that bored me, and I prided myself on being verbally scathing. I associated myself with a very close knit group of people who allowed this behavior to continue. Upon graduation I not only had the bitch thing working for me but also that naive recently graduated entitlement that some people in their early 20's get. Then life gave me the smack down.

I realized most of my relationships were superficial. I would have "best friends" that last six months and then I would be quick to judge something they did and never speak to them again. My romantic relationships were also lacking. I became somewhat of a narcissist and then I was alone. Nobody wanted to play my reindeer games. Finally I realized being the bitch is a sad place to be, an ugly place to be.

The first step was to admit I had a problem. Quite simply I didn't like myself. Part of this stemmed from depression suffered since puberty and part of it was the monster I made myself. Not to say I didn't have a good heart but it got overshadowed by my brash callous nature. I didn't want to be the girl that was hard to approach. I didn't want to be hurtful. I wanted to find happiness, find peace, share my light and not my dark.

So through quite a few years of work in therapy, self-assessment, through discovering yoga, and true friendships based on common ground rather than common hate I have become the Cupcake. I still have a Mafia side, but rather than channel that tough edge into the negative I use it to find my strength in challenging moments. Being tough isn't about being a bitch, it's about rolling with life's problems with grace and resilience. I am so honored to now share my life with such amazing people both in real life and my online communities. At times when the bitch tries to creep back in having such amazing people in my life reminds me of how far I have come and I love you all for it.


Raymond Shirritt-Beaumont said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Odd Things said...

I am so happy to have read this. One, I've always wondered where the name CupcakeMafia came from and I love it even more now.Two, It seems we are more alike then I imagined. I was the "bully", the "bitch" moving into middle school and carried that well into my 20's. I changed a lot about me starting at age 26. I have softened my ways and what brought me to that attitude was much different than you, but learning how to accept some of things in my life and making great positive changes helped me see through myself. Wish I had found yoga in my 20's but I love that it's now apart of my life. It has helped me even more.

Thanks for sharing Tali. It was great to learn this about you.

Tali said...

Awe, thank you for sharing too. Very cool to learn more about you and the amazing path you're on.

Lisa said...

Thoughtful and lovely. As an only child myself, I understand how the world seems different than to those with siblings. We all take different roads-not always beneficial to ourselves or others--trying to find our way. Some fail and never have the moment of clarity that could open up a whole new world, a good world. I am very glad that you found your way because I do enjoy your online company.

SpoiledYogi said...

I love this post! I think most of us can relate to having an ah-ha moment shortly after college when we realize being all angst-filled isn't who we want to be in adulthood. Yoga was a big part of that realization for me, too.

Thanks so much for sharing your story.

Tali said...

Thank you Erica, you phrased it beautifully! So true.